Saturday, April 11, 2015

Testing! Testing! Testing! and a Freebie

Good Morning from Chicago!

I don't live in Chicago, but I'm visiting my sister and picking up my youngest who has been spending her spring break in Chicago.

I found a little extra time this morning before we head out to brunch to cross off something that has been on my to-do list for awhile now.  I have been wanting to make a table to keep track of which common core standards my students have mastered in Math.  (I know, I know, this should have been done at the beginning of the year.  But I have this little problem called procrastination.)  Up until now I have been keeping track of where my students are with a file folder, their names and some velcro.  (I will share this idea later, after I get home and can take a picture of the file folder.)

Anyways, I thought that another teacher might be able to use this.  I made a table that lists the common core standard at the top and has a box under it for each student for you to write the date the student takes the pre test and the date the student passes the post test.

Here is the link for it on Google Drive:

Thank you for visiting my little blog this morning.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five for Friday in March

Happy Friday!!!

I have linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday Weekly Linky Party.

I returned to school from the IL ASCD PreK - Kindergarten Conference inspired and ready to teach.

I haven't used my making word folders in awhile.  I pulled them out this week and my kinders love using them.  I had them make words that were in the phonics reader I was having them read that day.  Click here to find the freebie to make these in my store.

This is one of my little ones amazing me with his decomposing skills in math.  I have to give each one of my students a pretest to see if he/she knows the next objective I'm going to be teaching.  This little guy already knew how to decompose numbers before I even formally taught it.  I love moments like this.

This is a cheating picture and is really from last week.  It is so cute, that I could resist sharing it.  My students dressed up like that silly cat last week to celebrate Right to Read Week. They were so adorable, that I couldn't resist sharing this picture.

Today was our annual Spring Fling Dance.  For the little guys, the dance takes place during the morning.  It was a western theme, so I had my little ones make "cowboy hats".  I used this freebie for a cowboy hat pattern.  Click here to find the product on TpT.  They were adorable!!!!

Last, but not least, what does any teacher spend her Friday night doing??  Cutting out lamination of course.  I bought a very cool CD full of great center ideas from Greg at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard at the conference.  So of course I need them for next week.

Bye for now.  I'm off to find some scissors.  

Thank you for visiting my little blog,

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Back From Chicago!

So, don't faint, but I'm actually blogging today.  I just returned home from presenting at the IL ASCD PreKindergarten & Kindergarten Conference.  During my presentation, I mentioned my blog.  I did warn the attendees that I haven't blogged in a very long time.  So instead of being totally embarrassed by my "not blogging", I thought I would blog about my presentation.

My presentation was about centers that I use in my classroom.  Some of the center ideas I have as freebies in my TPT store.  I'm going to list all of them here to make it a little easier for the nice teachers who attended my session.

My #10 idea is a measurement center.  Click here for a link to a worksheet for the students to record the number of snap cubes or colored tiles the object is.

My #17 idea is for a Making Words folder.  Click here to get the freebie file in my TPT store so you can make this.

My #20 idea is for making a door graph.  Click here for the freebie file to make the My Favorite Color door graph.  Click here to get the freebie to make a My Favorite Kind of Apple graph.

My #22 idea is for sorting erasers.  Click here to get the recording sheet.

My #30 idea is for making a lunch bag book.  Click here to get the directions for making one of these.

I hope this helps all of the wonderful and patient teachers who attended my session.  Thank you for all of your support.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pics of My Classroom (Better Late Than Never)

Happy Saturday!

I realize that it has been a SUPER long time since I have posted to my blog.  (More than 2 months, actually.)  So I have decided that I am not very good at posting regularly, but I will forgive myself and post when I have time.

I haven't shared pictures of my classroom yet this school year.  So here are a few of my beginning of the year bulletin boards.

This is my favorite bulletin board.  As you can see, it is my job board.  Instead of having a list of jobs on the board with my students' names next to them, I just have one helper each day.  (His/her name is on a dog bone that is attached to Clifford's collar with velcro.)  That helper does whatever I need done.  They lead our "Manners Song" at snack time, push the lunch bin down to the gym at lunch time, take names off the attendance board, etc.  I have 16 students so they are able to have a turn every few weeks.  I just feel like this is a much easier way for me to handle jobs in my classroom.  (P.S. My student teacher did an awesome job of tracing a picture of Clifford for the board.)

This is a bulletin board I used to display our art activity from the first day of school.  I found the activity on Kindergarten Days blog.  Click here to see the idea.

My calendar wall.

I hope you have enjoyed a little peek at my classroom.  Thank you for stopping by my little blog.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1st Day of School Lesson Plan

Happy August!

When did that happen?  I can't believe that it is August already.  Technically, I'm still on summer vacation, but it seems to be whizzing by me.  I report back to school officially on August 18th, but I've already been in to my classroom organize some things.  My students don't come back until September 2nd.  Since I know some of you have already started back, and others are beginning soon, I decided now would be a great time to share my 1st day of school plans with you.

Anyone who has taught kindergarten knows that the first day of school is CRAZY!!!!  So this isn't an exact science, its kind of more like a wish list for what I want the first day to look like.

Here is my (hopeful) plan:

7:30 - 7:45  My students arrive.  I have pattern blocks with pictures at each table for my students to use to explore. This gives me time to talk to the parents and collect paperwork.

7:45 - 7:55  Announcements.  Saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  This year I purchased the Pledge of Allegiance poster from the KindergartenWorks TpT store.  I'm going to use it to teach the Pledge to my kindergartners.

7:55 - 8:15  Go over our classroom rules with the story and poster in Monster Fun! Teaching Manners and Expectations by Growing Kinders.  It is a freebie in her TpT store.

8:15 - 8:30  Take a wiggle break.  Have the students sing some of our favorite songs, Dr. Jean's "McDonald's", "Five Little Monkeys", "Mother Gooney Bird", and the very favorite "Tooty-Ta".

8:30 - 8:45  Read a first day of school book.  My favorite is "The Kissing Hand".  Then discuss how each child felt on the first day of school.  (This is a great way to begin to get to know each child in the classroom.)

8:45 - 9:15  Explain to students how to use classroom tools (i.e. pencils, crayons, scissors, glue sticks).  Have students make First Day of School crowns. This is a freebie in My Heart Belongs in Kindergarten's store. 

9:15 - 9:45  Snack time.  (I teach the students our rules for snack time and our song.  We sing the song before anyone can eat his/her snack.)

9:45 - 10:15  Discuss rules for in the hallway.  Before we walk in the hall we say, "Peanut butter lips, marshmallow toes, hands down to your side and follow your nose".  I learned this little saying from Jack Hartmann when I saw him at a conference in Chicago.  Then I take the students outside for recess.  When we get outside, I discuss the playground rules with them.  After that, they have time to play.

10:15 - 10:30  Get drinks of water and go back into the classroom.  Discuss rules for centers.  Divide the students into 4 groups for centers.

10:30 - 11:30  The centers that I do on the first day of school allow my students to explore some of the things in our classroom and interact with each other.  This center time also allows me to walk around the room and get to know my students by taking time to talk to each of them, one-on-one.
Centers - #1  Blocks  #2  Puzzles  #3  Legos  #4  Playdough

11:30 - 11:40  Get ready for lunch.

11:40 - 12:10  Lunch

12:10 - 12:40  Recess

12:40 - 1:00  Quiet Time (I play quiet music while my students put their heads down and rest.)

1:00 - 1:20  Calendar Time - Teach the students the "Days of the Week" and "Months of the Year" song.  Discuss what month it is.  Count to the date.  Place #1 on the hundreds chart, where we count the days we have been in school.

1:20 - 1:45  Read "Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes".  Sing the song on the website.  Click here to go to the website.

1:45 - 2:15  Have students make a page for Pete the Cat Class Book.  There is a freebie from Stacia Seagroves that has this page.  It also has a student note you can print for the students to take home.

2:15 - 2:30  Explain the procedure for a fire drill.  Go outside for a fire drill.

2:30 - 2:45  Explain the procedures for going home.

2:45 - 3:00  Get ready to go home.

3:00 - 3:10  Dismissal.  

Take a deep breath.  Go to the school secretary for reassurance that yes you will be able to get through the school year and that this class isn't any more immature than your class last year.  

Get ready to do it again tomorrow.

I hope this helps with some ideas for your 1st day of school.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Beliefs About Education

Happy Sunday!

I have decided to link up with Amanda at The Primary Gal for her beliefs on education linky party.

I have been teaching for almost 20 years (the past 13 years in a kindergarten classroom) and my beliefs have changed over time, especially since I have been teaching kindergarten.

Here are my top five beliefs:

#1  I teach my students like I would like my own kids to be taught.  This means that I strive to be the best teacher I can be.  I don't teach the same things year after year after year. I try to improve the way I teach each year.

#2  I believe that my job as a teacher, especially a kindergarten teacher, is to teach my students to love learning and to love school. These little guys will be attending school for a long time.  I want to make it a fun experience for them, not something they dread doing.

#3  I believe that school should be more than taking tests.  I give my little ones the tests that I am required to, whether or not I agree with testing 5 year olds.  But the tests are not the focus of my classroom, learning is the focus.

#4  I believe that I should teach each of my students at the level he/she is at.  If I have a struggling student, I need to do what I can to help that child.  If I have a student who is excelling, I need to do what I can to challenge that student. 

#5    I believe that I should make my classroom a place of acceptance and where each child feels like he/she is welcome.  I do this by listening to my students and making each student feel important in my classroom.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Reading Idea

First, I want to apologize for my TpT widget being at the top of the sidebar of my blog.  I finally figured out how to get it on my blog, and then I moved it down the page. BIG MISTAKE! It disappeared! So what did I do? I put it back on my page. There it was at the top and I moved it to the middle.  Guess what happened?  Exactly right! It disappeared again.  After doing this for 3 or 4 more times, I decided to leave it where it wanted to be.  It is a very stubborn widget.  So for now, it can stay where it wants to be.  Hopefully, I can find someone who can help me move it down my page soon.  If you have any ideas, please let me know.

I promised earlier this summer to blog more.  After finding out that I am presenting again at the IL ASCD PreK/K Conference, I thought this would be a perfect time to share some of the ideas that I show in my power point.

One of my ideas is to make my own puzzle cards.

Here is what they look like:

I use large index cards. On the top, I glue a picture and on the bottom I print the word.  You could also just put the beginning letter.  Then I cut them apart like a puzzle.  I use them when we work on a certain letter each week.

Scholastic has a book that has pictures that begin with certain letters that would be great to use to make this activity.  I was able to get this book as an ebook when they had their $1 sale.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog.