Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kindergarten Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Remember Forest? LOVE Forest! The other day this saying popped in my head...

Well really it was more like...
but said in my best Forest Gump voice of course!

Really this saying popped in my head because I was about to have a pity party for myself/boo hoo a bit thinking about what I "got" (if I am being honest). I stopped myself real quick...good thing I love a box of chocolates. I don't actually like to eat the chocolates, I just think it is a fun game to see what's inside each little chocolate! What a great way to look at your students...no matter the obstacles or the challenges that each one brings with them, its my job to find out the great treasure that they have just waiting to come out from within them! So that's what I have been doing...one little "chocolate" at a time! ;)

That being said, we have been working LOTS on our alphabet letter recognition and letter sounds in my classroom. We have been creating, sorting, writing, singing, dancing and anything else you can think of to learn our letters! Folks we are almost there! :) If you are having some of the same struggles with your little "chocolates" here are some of our favorite resources to use in our classroom! 

{YouTube Videos}



{Center Activities}



Kindergarten really is like a box of chocolates...and that's the best part! :) Happy Wednesday!



Monday, September 8, 2014

Printing On Post-Its

I wanted to share something that is one of my favorite things with you. If you are OCD like me and HATE handwriting on things, than this is the post for you!

Last year I saw on Pinterest {Come pin with me!} that you could print on post-its, and I did it last school year...but this school year my obsession has gone to a whole new level! I started off printing on post-its, but now I print on ANYTHING that I can figure out how to print on and NOT write on!!! {Like all those cute little tags at Michael's!!}

Here are some pictures of how I use it in my classroom and life!

Name labels at Meet the Teacher


Labels for my Wish List at Academic Focus Night!

Gift tags for presents!

If you want to print on post-its click on the picture below to get your FREE templates! I hope you become as crazy obsessed as I am! 

 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beginning of the Year Recap!

As always the first few weeks of school have been a whirlwind! I wanted to share some pictures of some of our favorite activities!

On our first day of school we read the Kissing Hand and did this Chester craftivity! I love how they all turned out!

Since I am a pennant loving gal {if you don't believe me check out my room decor}, of course I had to have my students help decorate our classroom with this class pennant and fun pencil keepsake.



Some of my other favorite activities that I do at the beginning of the year come from this unit. One of my favorite includes marshmallows! If you are looking for great ideas, this product is a MUST!

Surprisingly my students this year are AMAZING at cutting! Wow! I am beyond impressed. What we have had to work on is letter formation and handwriting. I work on handwriting during my letter sound focus time. I have really enjoyed using Alphabet Directed Drawing by From the Pond. I focus on one letter a day, and review the already learned letters daily. To start the lesson, the whole class does a hands on letter sound activity which could include a sorting activity, bean bags, fly swatters, bowling, etc. After this short little lesson and review, we practice writing the new letter. After I see the students are forming the letter correctly, we complete the directed drawing and think of other words that start with the letter that we have been working on that day! I love how excited my kids get when they realize by following the picture cues and directions they created a really cool illustration! Even though we have been doing it every day for a few weeks now, it still surprises them every time! :) The best part is that during writing workshop I see my students trying to  remember some of the directed drawings we have done, and they are using them in their illustrations! LOVE IT!

Due to all of the testing that is required at the beginning of the year, we jumped right into math and reading centers. This year's bunch of students were really quick learners of how to have appropriate behavior in centers and how to work independently. I am so grateful! These are some of the centers they were working in the past few weeks!

I have been using The Moffat Girls No Prep pack for all kinds of things! It is jam packed with goodies! I use this for math extension activities and ELA practice. 

In preparation for Academic Focus Night, we have completed our Kindergarten Goal Books for August. I know that keeping portfolios on each student is quite the task, but for me and my students seeing their growth in such a simple way is AWESOME! I love sharing it with parents at the end of the year. The hardwork is worth it!

Making my students feel like our classroom is their second home is so important to me, and having them feel like their peers are their second family is even MORE important! I think that learning each others names is the first step to making a classroom family. So in the past few weeks we have done several activities with our names and also have done a study all about being friends, what makes our family special and the most important all about ME! 


If you are interested in any of the activities shown just CLICK the picture below!
        

           


       



I hope your year is off to a great start!




Monday, August 18, 2014

Say It Ain't So...Back to School!?! The Kissing Hand too!


I'm not sure how this happened...but it is August and I'm already back in school! How is this possible?! I usually spend lots of time during the summer creating and redecorating my classroom, but I LOVED what I had done with my room last year and I didn't want to change anything! So I didn't...until I felt like such a slacker for not changing anything! :) So I just did a few little things around my room! Take a peak!


Bulletin Board Outside my Classroom
This was super easy to create! I got a large bottle of bubbles and cut it in half. {Okay, so I didn't cut it...the Mister did. I don't know why he doesn't trust me with a power tool!?} I modged podged my own little sign on to the bottle. Then I just hot glued it to the board. I used sticker letters from Michaels and typed my students' names on "bubbles"...aka circles!


 One of the things that I love about my classroom is that I get TONS of natural light, and I really like to keep my blinds open all the time. However, there are times in the morning that I have to close the blinds because it gets TOO bright. So I came up with this little idea to keep the blinds "open" and "closed" at the same time, while keeping things looking cute! I just made bows out of black ribbon, then hot glued the bows to clothespins, and clipped the blinds together! Perfect!

I got a new rug at IKEA! Love it!

Kindergarten Squared posted a picture on instagram that was my inspiration for this little number. Some of the quotes came from this FREEBIE by The Bender Bunch. This bulletin board is at a random spot in my classroom and was not really able to be seen by students, so this idea was perfect! I got the frames on sale at Michael's for 25 cents. Then I just printed the quotes that I liked and added some ribbon!

These are my new birthday pennants. All that is missing are the candles with my students' names and birth dates on them! This comes from my EDITABLE chevron decor pack.




I also got this hanging thing {sorry I don't know what I should call it!} from IKEA! I love that it takes up way less space for my writing center! 

Okay so I am super excited to share the last picture with you, because it came out just so darn cute! Today was our first day of school, and I always love to start the year with the book The Kissing Hand.
Am I the only one who gets a little choked up EVERY single time I read this book!?! Anyhow we made a little Chester to help us remember our first day of school!



Heading back to school soon? Check out all these FREEBIES in my store!

XOXO

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year {FREEBIE}

Today was my first day back at school! As I was getting ready for bed last night, I saw lots of teacher friends posting on Instagram how they had extra days off because of this CRAZY weather. I won't lie...for a split second I thought about how great it would be to have a "snow day"...like I said a SPLIT SECOND! I will stick to with my 80 degree weather! (Although tonight it is suppose to get down into the 40s!)

Thinking about how I shared my resolutions/goals with you the past few days, I thought about how I would love to hear my students' goals for the new year. Click on the picture below to get your free copy of the printables I will be using!

If you are feeling a little blue about going back to school...here's a little pep talk from the "oh so cute!" Kid President!
Stay warm folks! Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Organization


Day 5: Organization...MY FAVORITE!

I am an incredibly organized person. I really am...and if you don’t believe me you should check out my Tupperware cabinet! :)

At the beginning of each month I set goals for the month and I then plan how I will achieve those goals.  At school I try and plan as far ahead as I can by planning out mentor text, anchor charts, and center activities.  By doing this I make sure I have more then enough time to focus on daily activities and meetings (doesn’t it seem like you have a 100 different meetings every day!!!).  I am so organized at times that it can be one of my greatest faults.   When I do not complete everything I have planned to do I end up driving my self CRAZY! Because I made a plan I expect myself to follow through with the plan, but like many plans, I seem to always run out of time!

I am a little “old school” when it comes to the way I stay organized – aka I still rock the paper and pencil to make my many to do list, BUT this year I want to get techie!!!  I plan on using technology and apps to become even more organize (I get so excited thinking about this, again, I was telling the truth when I said I am obsessed with organization!!!).  


I want to use the Tone Up App to make sure my workout is planned every day.  This way I have no excuses for not working out, though I am sure I will be able to think of one (my dog ate the app??!?!?!). 


The meal planner app is amazing at helping me plan out my meals for the entire week and it also helps make my grocery list for me.  With this app by my side I will never get halfway through making a meal and then realize I forgot to buy an ingredient – this happens to me at least once a week!!!


The ColorNote App might be my favorite of all the apps.  All my to-do list are in one place and always with me!


I also love using the Dropbox App to help keep all my files, documents and photos organized and accessible at all times!

Happy Organizing!

Today’s my last day of Winter Break! :( Off to make the most of my final moments of rest and relaxation!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Professional Goals: A Resolution Link Up



Today is Day 4 in the 2014 Your New Year linky at Blog Hoppin'. Time to share my professional goals. There are always so many things I want to accomplish professionally, it was hard to narrow it down! 




No more “Piddling”!  Stop – DO NOT reach for your dictionary or thesaurus to look up the actual definition of “piddling”.  Though it is an actual word I have managed to invent a new definition (should I contact Webster?!?!?). “Piddling” to me means to procrastinate.  I like to “piddle” around instead of getting anything accomplished. This year I will try my darndest to stay on task.  I will do my best to make sure I am not rushing to finish anything (professional or personal) last minute. 



I work with any amazing group of teachers!  I know most people think that the teachers they work with are the best but I am positive that I have the greatest group of people working beside me everyday.  With that said, I feel like I have underutilized all the knowledge, ideas, tips, and strategies that are found in the classrooms beside me.  There are so many great ideas out there and I want to make sure that this year I make a real effort to learn and share great ideas with everyone I work with.

What are your professional goals for 2014?!

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