Saturday, November 19, 2016

5 Ways to Make Your Teacher Life Easier in December

We all know that the month of December can get crazy when it comes to teaching and scheduling. There are TONS of fun holiday events going on at school and we all love to plan more for in our classroom. So here's some ways that I like to make it easier on myself. I hope it helps you too!

The #1 best thing that I have done is made month buckets. Each month has it's own tub or bucket that I use to sort out all the papers and activities that I use. That way when I buy things, make things, or have larger pieces for activities in a particular month... I can put it right in the tub and have it all ready for the next year. I started planning out for December before Thanksgiving break. All I had to do was pull down my tub and go through it.

#2-  Save 1 copy of each activity that you found effective or useful to your students. Then the next year, you can take all of those copies, run them all at the same time, and have the entire month worth of copies done! I already have a stack of copies ready to file for the week and don't have to spend as long planning.

#3- Go ahead and plan! I have all of my dates and what not planned out and written down in my planner. This way I can let the parents know and have less last-minute emails too!

#4- Create a Pinterest board! I have the month of December's crafts already figured out with the help of my Pinterest board. I'm super excited about all that I have found! Click the picture to add to your ideas too!

#5- Since I know what my crafts are for the month, I went ahead and made a list of what all I will need. Being able to go shopping over Thanksgiving break makes it so much less hectic during December. Now, I will still have a last minute run to the store.. but it won't happen every week!

Just remember, December is a magical time of the year for our Kinderbabies. If it stresses you out, it won't be as fun and that's what this time of the year should be- fun!

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Community Helpers and the Election

As teachers, many of us would like to tie in the election to teach current events to our students. However you feel politically, this election is different than most and makes it a tad bit harder to show debates and what not to our students. Especially in Kindergarten, we just keep it simple.

-We elect a President every 4 years.
-Their job is to help keep our country safe and pass laws.
-They are part of the United States community.... therefore a community helper.

This week we have focused on community helpers. I used this book to talk to the students about what the President actually does and be able to show them some great visuals of presidents and the White House!

Afterwards, I gave the students a writing prompt to see what they would do if they were President of the United States. At this point of Kindergarten (barely at the end of the 1st 9 weeks), I wanted to see a couple of things:
-what their writing would be like on their own
-if they understood about this particular community helper

They writing turned out great! Whether my students are in the writing phase or in the drawing-to-tell-a-story phase, they were great pieces!

(If I was President, I would make laws.)

I love this one /\ ! I would talk!

If I would be a president. I will give flags to people. So many flags.

I even had a hard time deciphering this one /\ but I love that little picture! Look at how they are shaking hands and walking towards each other. 

The best part about this activity is that it was self scaffold - they wrote on their level. Plus it wasn't complicated to put together or plan. We are using several of my other activities this week as well. Check it out:

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Craft-ivities!

We've been having a blast creating with our units these past few weeks. Because fall is my favorite season, I can kind of get wrapped in it and all the arts and crafts! We've made everything from leaves to pumpkins! Aren't these precious?

During our week about bats, we created these lovely creatures:

Because we had talked about nocturnal animals, we had to make some sweet owls too!

And what would fall be without pumpkins? This was a great activity after we had gone on our field trip to the pumpkin patch!

And what better way to showcase them..... than to create an entire scene in the hallway for all to enjoy!

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

5 for Friday

What have we been up to lately? Check out all the latest happenings!

Pumpkin investigations! What a ton of fun! We measured their circumference, found out if they could float or sink, talked about their height and size. What a ton of fun!

I had an exciting delivery from Carson Dellosa! I can't wait to show you all of these great goodies that they sent my way. Yes I get to try them out for free and tell you about them. Fun, right?!

I've been busy using my Silhouette Cameo and heat press to make some amazing things! I loved making these for my team so we could match on our pumpkin patch field trip!

It will be our anniversary on Tuesday so we went out this weekend (grad school, work, kids, etc.. whoosh there's a lot going on!) and we had a blast! My husband surprised me and made reservations at The Melting Pot.... oh my gosh it was amazing!!!!

Yep.. grad school... This is what it looks like while I'm in class. I do an online classroom via webcam so I stay logged in and can participate. I might just work on some other work... like conference notes... while I was listening this past week!

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Whirlwind Countdown From 5

It has been a complete whirlwind around here lately! Here are the top 5 things to catch everyone up:

5- I finished my first Specialist program class- WOOT! WOOT! I am super excited about working towards this goal! I'm even thinking PHD in the next couple of years.

4- I have settled into my classroom and we have an amazing schedule going right now. I have 19 amazing little kiddos and they are fantastic!

3- I have been working on updating some of my products. Check out a sneak peek:

2- We have been having a blast graphing and eating in class! And building... and eating too!

1- But best of all, we've been enjoying a ton of family time this year so far! We just got home from Youth Night at the local high school since my kids are involved in cheerleading and football. It's been a blast hanging out. Tomorrow we are off onto another adventure!

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Engaging Sight Words with New Readers

We are only in week 3 of our 2016-2017 school year. My class this year is SO different from last years but I am loving each and every single one of them! They are so sweet and excited about everything this year.

Today when we were practicing sight words. I showed them how important they are to readers. We have learned (been taught) 9 sight words so far. So up on the board I wrote:

I see the yellow cat.

Then we highlighted the sight words (like above) and read the words we knew. We sounded out the last word. Then I pointed out to them that they had just read... not just a word (like in our phonics program) but an ENTIRE sentence. It was adorable their little looks of shock!


So, when I introduced a new way to practice our sight words, they were ALL over it! Here's what I came up with:

Trace, Write, and Build the sight words. They love it and did a fantastic job!

They love tracing the words and getting to put them together like puzzles. I love that their handwriting and fine motor skills are improving.

When I put this out today... it was silent in my room. Yes- 19 Kinders working to the point I could have (literally) heard a pin drop. It was fantastic and amazing!

If you are interested in grabbing it or getting a closer look, check it out!

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Open House Goodies

Trying to stay organized and ahead of the game is not always possible. However, I managed to get everything packed up and what not at the end of the school year with time to spare. SO I started to work on Open House copies.

I always love seeing what everyone else gives to parents on Open House. Here's what I'm going to be passing on to parents (with links) and most of these were freebies I found!

These first two are my classroom hand book and a common core math vocab sheet for parents.

The reading at home suggestions is actually 2 sided and I love them! They have simple but very effective suggestions. Here are side 1 and side 2.

The information sheet I grabbed on the fly last year when I could not find my file! I love this one better than the one I made though! 

This is my student's first homework assignment (See below for a better picture) and the parents' invitation to join Bloomz. I did almost ALL of my communication through Bloomz last year and I absolutely adore it! They have these sheets on there to print off ready to go with your specific code and instructions. Perfect!

Most of my students have access to some type of tablet or ipad. This is the best list that I have found to help guide parents. 

Here is my student's first homework assignment. I hand it out on Open House (Thursday) and ask for them to start coming back the next Monday. It's meant for parents and child to do together about the child's favorite things, people, food, etc. They get to share it during class and we all learn about each other.

It's simply the letter to parents and the letter I that I cut out from construction paper. 

What do you put in your packets to parents?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kinder Camp: Day 2

Who loves the Pout-Pout fish?

**Raise your hand high**

I love him too! My activity for today was to read about the Pout-Pout fish and the deep, deep dark!

Since I read the book today (and our rotations are about 20 minutes) I chose a coloring sheet to go with my activity. Plus it helps to see who can write their name and who can not.

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