Hi! I am a mom of two great young men, I have a wonderful husband, and I love my job as a teacher. I hope when you visit my blog you find something useful and inspiring.
I love to receive comments. If you find something you like or you have a suggestion to help me improve something I am doing I hope you will let me know.
Today I read this book to my class and I have to say it is one of the cutest books, my students loved it and I could hear them saying they were going to be Ladybug Girl. I decided since the class enjoyed this book so much it was a great oportunity to write about what superhero they would want to be. I will post some pictures later. I plan on making a class book with their pages. Loved this book and how it had my students attention.
Raise your hand if you are exahusted!! As I sit here wrapping my brain around what is to come from my new group of Kinders, I can't help but think of Forest Gump. Yep Forest Gump and I quote "Life is like a box of chocolates" well the same can be said about Kindergarten. Kindergarten is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get.
I also think about the movie "Groundhog Day", we phase our students in slowly so the teachers students can adjust to a new school year. Which results in doing and saying the same thing each day. I will be doing this until Thursday when I will have all 20 of my students. Last year I had 17 students so having three more little personalities will be interesting. As far as my box of chocolates: Like many I have some students who do not know how to hold scissors or a pencil. On the bright side I only had one student tear up and he was fine within a few minutes.
Tomorrow I will drop my youngest son off to begin college and I can tell you there is going to be a mom doing more than tearing up.
I am attempting to be a better blogger! We all get so busy and the beginning of the school year is no exception. But the purpose of blogging (for me) is to share great ideas that will help us be better teachers.
Today's find! Thanks to Mrs. Larremore over at Chalk Talk:A Kindergarten Blog... is Do-A-Dot letters...
you can download these from Shannon over at Tot School. She has upper and lowercase letters.I have pinned this on my Pinterest account! Don't you just love Pinterest, I am such a visual person this was made for me.
I start school Monday with meetings for all Kinder teachers about the Common Core Standards and then we have students on Tuesday. I will be posting some pics of my classroom soon. I hope everyone has a great beginning of the school year!!!
Laura at Kinder Kraziness is having a linky party about how everyone keeps all of the great ideas found here in blog land saved.
I think this is a great topic and if you are keeping all of your data files saved on just your computer I can say from experiance you must save this information on some type of storage device other than just the computer .
I still save things on my computer at home and at school but I keep a copy of everything on a flashdrive. The one I am using now is a 1g and it is full. I am planning on buying a new flashdrive that is at least an 8g soon. I am hoping some will go on sale with the back to school sales. Oh and to just share for a moment the reason I say that I know from experiance to keep your data backed up and I just need to say make sure that you are saving it correctly and that you aren't just clicking save. The reason I say this is because I was, I kept the books for a school before I became a teacher. I was the school secratary / nurse / attendance / etc. (you get the picture). Anywho I had been using a computer system and each day I pressed save and thought that I was saving all of this information I had put in that day. Well in April of the school year my computer CRASHED! So I lost all of the data I had put in from July until April (the fiscal school year is July - June of the following year) I was lucky that I had paper copies I could use but I had to re-enter all of the information for almost the entire school year:o( It was a very sad and stressful time). Long story short no one had correctly shown me how to back up the information and to save it on an external hard drive. You can be sure I found out real fast how to put this informaiton in and save it correctly. If you are not sure how to do this ask someone it can save you a lot of heart aches. So share how you keep up wiht the great ideas you have found onthe internet.
I guess it's time to get back to my blogging! I love teaching but I work during the summer and don't have much extra time, but it's getting close to time for school to start back and I am on the look out for some great, inexpensive / free ideas to use this year.
Donna over at Peace, Love and Learning has a really great FREEBIE!!! So go check her out.
I try to do one big party for my class near the end of the school year to celebrate all of the birthdays. This way we are celebrating those summer birthdays.
How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom, I would love some great ideas.
I have some great finds from Target Dollar Spot (love) that I will post about later.
Well many of you may already know this but I just found out that Dr. Jean has a blog! Just click on her name and it will take you to her page. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet but I am sure it will have some wonderful information!
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer break. I have been out for about two weeks and my brain is on break for now :0)
Ok I have been trying to make some great purchases on TPT and uggggg is all I can say! I really wanted to get in on the great deals and just now the screen says TPT is doing scheduled maintenance double ugggg. Just wondering why they would schedule maintenance on a day like today????? Did anyone else have problems?
Tuesday is Teacher Appreciation Day and I hope that you guys know how much I appreciate you! Deanna Jump and I have joined together to offer FREEBIES and to have a great sale in our teachers pay teachers stores. On Tuesday be sure to check in for lots of free downloads to help you get ready for the next school year and for free games to play with your kiddos!
These free downloads will be available for one day only! We will also have a great one day sale in our teachers pay teachers stores! Teachers pay teachers is also giving an additional 20% off so it will be HUGE! Be sure and use their Promo Code TAD11 to get the additional percentage off of the price! It is good all day Tuesday from midnight to midnight Central Standard Time.
I love Kim and Deanna and can't wait to pick up some things for next year. Hope you can find some great things!
I am joining Mrs. Randall's Classroom Management Linky Party. I have tried a couple of different types of classroom managements over the last few years. The first year I taught I used cards that were different colors. Each day students stared out on green, if I had given a student several warnings they had to move their green card to the back and the card that was showing was blue, next was yellow, red, and the last card was black which was a phone call to the parent. I had a small poster with each color card on it and a smiley face clip art or frown to emphasize what each color and consequence was. This worked ok but I had a student that was diagnosed OD / ADHD and pulling a card caused a major melt down with this student, and to be honest any type of consequence was a battle, thankfully our school has what is called a 'behavior lab' and after having to carry the student down the hall screaming more times than I want to remember the student was allowed to be taken here (oh my sometimes I wonder how my poor students learned anything that year). This worked pretty good with the rest of my class and the next morning before everyone was put back on green the students who had stayed on green the day before were given a ticket that they could turn in on a special day for a prize or some type of reward. I did have one student who would act like he moved his card, move someone's card other than his own, or move his green back to the front before he left. (you know the ones) So the next year I thought I would try something new.
I purchased the stop light behavior chart and have tried to use it the past two years but I just have not had great success with this behavior system and have ended up taking it down and using something different the past two years. I am currently using the old fashion name on the board. We start out on Monday with a clean board and names are not erased until the next Monday. If a student gets into trouble more than once they get a check mark by their name. I also write a word at the top of the board such as Easter, if this word stays on the board until we leave on Thursday the class receives a treat on Friday, if they have lost letters then their is no treat. I also give them check marks if they already have all of the letters and they are doing a great job following directions, they get a compliment from someone in the hall or the cafeteria, etc. Next year I plan on using a different type of classroom management I want to use the clip chart by Rick Morris. although I have saw some ideas that I really like on this link party sooooo.... we shall see. Sometimes the class changes what you thought would work. Make sure you check out everyone's ideas and join in I love getting inspiration from others and sometimes we all need a new idea when it comes to classroom management.
In my previous post I showed my class using mentos to make a geyser. I found a kit at Cracker Barrel marked 50% off the regular price of $19.99. The one I had used was borrowed from another teacher so as soon as I saw this one I had to get it. This kit comes with more experiments than just the geyser. I can't wait to use this next year.
Here is a Product Description
Be Amazing! Toys Great Geysers Jar Learn how the Mentos Geyser became an overnight internet sensation as experimenters worldwide tried to uncover the secret erupting power of the popular mint candy. Something amazing happens when Mentos and diet soda mix ... people scream with excitement! This kit gives you the tools to make your own erupting soda fountain. Perform more than a dozen soda pop science experiments as you discover the power in the pop! Use the new Depth Charger to erupt the geyser with salt or other common household items. Make dancing noodles and much more. Activities include: Dancing noodles Soda can shake up The Mentos mystery Load and drop the depth charge The C02 Myth Includes: Mentos Chewy mints Magnifying glass Macaroni Sodium Bicarbonate Geyser tube Depth charge New caps Citric acid Rock salt Salt
MIA I have been sick for what seems like forever. This is my third year to teach and I thought I was finally building up an immunity but even as recent as yesterday I was in the bed with a killer stomach virus. I really have been wanting to post some pictures of what my class has been doing, so here is a mishmash of what has been going on:
Wow what a day, we had some really bad weather here today. We spent most of our day in the hall, but my students did really well. I took some time this morning to let my students know that we would be having some storms (because most of their parents had already told them this). We talked about what we should do if we had a tornado drill. We were sent to the halls at around 9:00 this morning due to tornado warnings. When we were able to go back to our room it was almost time for our lunch so we got our math lesson in and went to lunch. When we returned from lunch I let my students listen to Storm Is Coming. I have this on CD an I like to let the students listen to a story before I read it to them and show them the pictures. I will read it to them later and show them the pictures.
This was a perfect book for today! We compared how the farmer put all of the animals in the barn and how we were put in the hall. We also compared the farmer to our principal and how our principal was taking care of us just like the farmer took care of the animals.
The students drew a picture about their favorite part of the story. I had planned on letting the students share these with the class. I had planned to let the students compare how they felt in the hall to how the animal they drew felt in the barn. Well I was not able to do this because we were sent back to the hall again while another set of storms came through.
I am so glad that we were sent to the hall because when I got home and watched the news someone had lost their life in the storms today, homes were destroyed and pictures of a tornado were shown.
I hope everyone has a safe week and hopefully the bad weather will be past us for a while.
Today is yet another snow day. I really needed this day because my son had to have surgery yesterday so it was nice to be able to be home with him. All these snow days have been nice but I really need to have my students in class for a full week at some point. Between the snow days and flu I haven't seen all of my students for a full week since before Christmas. I have tried to move ahead without doing so much that my students that are out will get behind but at some point we are going to have to move much faster. It seems just when we are ready to start something new we have a snow day, oh bother. Well that's enough complaining. We have been making some valentines for the Veterans. We made Christmas cards and when I delivered them and ask if it would be ok for us to make some more things in the future the nurse was so nice and almost cried. She told me that they were overwhelmed around the Christmas holidays and then after that it was as if they were forgotten about. Veterans are the reason we have the freedoms we do and so I always want to remember them even if it is just with a construction paper card that says 'Thank You'.
My student understand that the cards are going to the men and women who made / make sure we are able to come to school. I have been keeping hearts and construction paper at a table in our room and each day we take some time to make a card. I have asked other teachers to help if they can and I have had lots of participation.
If your class or school is able to do something like this I would encourage you to do this or something like it.
Here are some pictures of my students making cards to send to the Veterans.
Exciting news.... I am a non tenured teacher and this is my third year to teach which means I will be up for tenure (that is if we don't have that taken away) anywho today was my third formal observation for the year and my last observation I will need in order to be considered for tenure!!!!!!!!!!!! woohoo.
My lesson was about germs and how they are spread, which is something my students needed to be reminded of. I couldn't take pictures because well I was being observed but I thought it was such a neat lesson I would share it with you.
We receive Studies Weekly and this weeks had this great lesson. We all know about germs and we are constantly trying to keep our classroom clean so I don't think you need that info. The activity was as follows = using four different colors of glitter sprinkle a small (very small) amount onto a paper plate (one color per plate) I divided my students up into groups of four. Each students in the group is given a plate and each person places their hand on the glitter. Have the students look at their hands explaining that what they see is just like germs.
I know you are thinking no big deal I have taught this lesson before, and so had I. It's the next step that I had never used before.
Next have the students to shake hands with each person at their table and then look at their hand. They will have some of every color of glitter on their hand. This represents how each person can pass germs. Pretty cool I thought!
I also wanted my students to understand the importance of using SOAP & WATER to get their hands clean!!
I gave each student germX and after they rubbed it in they looked to see if all the germs came off their hands. The students will not be able to get the glitter off using just GermX
**Just as a side note - I have about 4 germX bottles in my room, one in my field trip bag, one in my lunch box, and one on my pocket book. So I believe in using this stuff but as you know if you teach kindergarten or young children there are some things small children get on their hands that needs more than even germX can handle! I then gave each student a wet wipe to clean their hands. This will take some of the glitter off but not all of it (at least not for most of the students).
Finally I had one of the students to go to the sink and use soap and water to wash their hands. The student then showed the rest of the class that soap and water was able to get all of the germs off.
They really like this lesson and all I had to do the rest of the day was to remind them about the germs we had talked about this morning.
I did this lesson before lunch so it was a perfect time for students to use soap and water and get all of the glitter germs off their hands.
Wow! is it ever going to stop snowing long enough to go to school one full week? We missed another day of school this week and went in 2 hours late the next day. My students can leave at 1:15 so can you guess how much work you can get completed when you arrive to school at 9:45. Then go to lunch at 10:45 and rotation at 12:20 and then leave at 1:15??? Oh well that's a day we won't have to make up so I won't complain. We found out today that because we have missed so many days we now will have to give up two days that we were supposed to be out of school.
On to some organizing
I bought these at Target in their dollar section at the front of the store. They were $2.50 and most of my books fit in them easily (some of the bigger books won't fit) I keep books that I want to read in these and I keep the blue one hanging in our meeting area and the green one in our science area. They are displayed for the students to see the front and then after I read the book I place it on the edge of my chalkboard. They have a hanger on them like a clothes hanger and I have a hook hot glued to the wall to hang them from.
These also came from the same section and were $2.50. As you can see I keep my CD's in these for my reading series and CD's I use throughout the day. I keep these hanging by my desk this year. I have to use my computer to play them in because my CD player was broken when I had a sub (that's another story). When I get another CD player I will hang them near it. I have to say I use these on a daily basis so they were well worth the money I spent.
This is a small pocket chart that was only $1.00 and came in several colors. This one hangs in our calendar area with color words to review each day. I mix the numbers up and have students to put them in the correct order (we are passed 10 now). These are also great to use for centers.
I hope you can find some great items to organize with and remember to share.
I thought I would share a few more of the things I use in my class that make my days a little more organized.
I found this at the Dollar Tree and yes it was only $1.00 woohoo! They had red, blue, and black. I bought a few more and actually use one at home in my craft room. I have this hanging on a hook from my magnet board green chalk board, this is located in the area of the room I have mats and we have our meetings for calendar time, math, phonics, and story time. I keep my phonics letter / letter sound review cards, sight words, number words, color words, and upper / lowercase letters cards in this one. Now I don't lay them down and then forget where I put them and waste time trying to find them. These are actually very sturdy to have only cost a dollar, they also have a little organizer like this that you use in the bathroom / shower that you could use for something like this.
I bought this patterning and sorting pocket chart from Oriental Trading for $17.99. This comes with 414 double sided cards! They have a picture on one side and the words on the other side, so they could be used with different age groups or learning levels. My students have been working on sorting and they just placed the cards that were the same behind each other. I had these laminated so they would last and then I let my students sort them for me! I plan on either putting a rubber band around each group or placing each group in Ziploc snack bags, because giving your students 414 cards is a little overwhelming :0) I did let several groups work on sorting all of these so that it wouldn't be so bad. By keeping them sorted I can keep them changed so that their are different cards to sort or use in patterns each time. Compared to other charts I priced this was a great deal!
*this picture is from Oriental Tradings web page, sorry it is so blurry
This is a Numbers and Counting pocket chart that I bought from Oriental Trading for $14.99 (another great price). This chart comes with 244 cards with numbers, number words, math symbols and vocabulary, and picture cards. I also had these laminated so that they would last longer.
I really love the fact that this comes with cards that have number words all the way to twenty. Again this is a pocket chart that can be used with different levels of learners. We have used this during math time and center time. My only complaint about this chart is the longer pockets (the ones that hold things other that numbers) don't do the best job at holding all of the cards. I am planning on putting some Velcro dots on these to help keep the cards from falling out. For the price I can make that adjustment.
I hope that you find this information useful and if you have any great tips or great buys I would love to hear about them. Leave a comment and let me know what you have found and if you have a blog leave that information and I will post a link to your blog.
Like most everyone in the country we have had lots of snow and a week out of school. I love the snow but I have had my share and I am ready for some sunshine, and to see my students. I hope they haven't forgot everything.
Here is what my road looked like and yes I am on a tractor with my husband as he clears the road. We are the only people who live on top of this mountain so it's up to my husband if the roads get cleared. It's beautiful until you are running out of food and milk! and you haven't been able to get off the mountain for a week. We were actually going to get our 4WD that got stuck earlier in the week. We were supposed to go on a youth retreat with some friends, but after my husband got the roads cleared and went down the mountain to check out how everything looked he decided it was still to dangerous. So Saturday we tried again and we made!!!! We were on our way to Pigeon Forge!
This is where we got to stay!!! Beautiful isn't it and we are close to town. It was a great couple of days the only thing missing was the Internet. I am so behind on reading what everyone is doing. So far so good on getting to go to school tomorrow. I hope everyone has a great week and maybe I will get to take some pics of what we are doing.
One week out of school because of snow. I'm running out of pictures to share! :0) Just joking, I found these pics and thought I would share them. I'm not sure if any one has noticed yet or not but I am a visual learner. So plan to see lots of pictures on this blog.
Do you have a Cricut?..........(wait time for you to answer the question).
I am lucky enough to have one thanks to my parents. My mom had one that we shared, I would buy cartridges and then borrow it when I wanted to make something. Well my dad decided that my mom needed a new one so that I could just keep the old one:0) Great parents! Kind of a win, win for me and my mom. We still share the cartridges.
This is one of the things I made last year. I think it turned out pretty cute and I just added the frogs this year since that is my theme.
I had it laminated and then hot glued it to the wall. I am going to have to move it now that I changed where we have our morning meeting.
I would love to see some of the things you have made with a Cricut.
We have another snow day and I really don't think we will go to school tomorrow so I thought I would share what we did last Friday.
Friday we continued our discussion about winter.
We began discussing arctic animals by reading Little Polar Bear. The students loved this book, it was so funny we started reading it before lunch and when we returned from lunch they couldn't wait to finish reading it.
I have to admit I was going to wait about reading this but one of the other teachers asked if I wanted to read it and make these "polar bear" treats. She even had the directions all pretty and everything. Well I couldn't pass up an opportunity to read a great story and make a special treat.
What you need:
Vanilla or chocolate cookies - we had both so the students cold pick their favorite
Fur - Vanilla icing
Eyes and nose -Chocolate chips (3) you could use m&m's, the recipe called for raisins but we were trying to use up supplies we already had on hand.