Monday, July 18, 2016

Step Away From Your Computer!

Have you heard of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?  I'm pretty sure as teachers, we experience this on a daily basis.  Who wants to miss a great idea that is being shared on Pinterest or a flash freebie on Facebook?  I don't know about you, but I have a very difficult time shutting down my computer or not looking at my phone every little bit.  

However, I have 2 children who are both in college.  I blinked and they grew up.  So, I know our family time isn't as plentiful as it used to be and it will probably be less in the future. This summer, my husband and I are trying to spend as much time as we can with our kids and to be more present during that time. So instead of FOMO this summer, my family is trying to GOMO (going out more often). It isn't easy to find things to do with a teenager and a twenty-something, but we are trying.

We have attended an outdoor program at the art museum that is close by us.  We went with my sisters and their families.

We also visited a part of Ann Arbor (a little over an hour away from us) called Kerrytown. We had an awesome brunch while there and browsed some of the little shops. (Google is your friend.  I found this gem while searching for places to visit in Ann Arbor.)

Flea markets are also a fun place to visit.  We went to a large one at Shipshiwana in Indiana.  I found some great early readers to use in my classroom.

Picnics are a great way to spend time together.  My family and I went to a park that we hadn't been to before.  It was about an hour away.  We bought some Subway and enjoyed some downtime together and nature.

Since our summer isn't over, we are hoping to visit some more places close by in the near future.

I have recently checked out the website Eventbrite. They are promoting the idea of GOMO. It looks like a great website to look for events to go to with my kids.

Not to mention, if you are interested in creating your own event, you can also do that by checking out Eventbrite!

I know as a teacher, it is difficult to turn off you computer, tablet, phone or teacher brain.  But make sure you try to GOMO and relax this summer with your family.  

Thank you for stopping by my little blog!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Makeover and A Freebie

So, don't faint, but I am actually blogging.  I'm not sure why I stopped blogging. Life has just gotten busy and time has gotten away from me.  I sent my youngest to college this past year and adjusting to that seemed to take up a lot of my time.  But I am back.

I have actually found time this summer to begin working on remaking some of my first products that I created. Hopefully, they will look better.  After looking through my TpT store, I was embarassed about how some of my products looked.  I had created them with Word instead of Powerpoint.  So I decided to recreate them in Powerpoint.  I have finished my first product makeover.  It is the featured product in my store and a freebie, so I thought I should begin with that one.

It is a graphing activity.  The students graph their favorite type of apple.  I realize that graphing isn't in the Common Core standards for kindergarten. However, my students take the MAP test from NWEA. I was surprised how many questions about graphing that there were on that test.  I don't believe in teaching to the test, but if I can have my students do some activities that help them to do better, I try to do that.  Besides, when they are graphing they are still counting with one-to-one correspondence, writing numbers and telling more than and less than.  All of those things are objectives that I am supposed to be teaching. So by using graphing in my classroom, I am getting a two-for-one deal.  (Kinda like shopping at Kohl's)

Here is the freebie if you would like to get it for your classroom:

Click here to get the freebie.

I hope you like it and can use it in your classroom.  Be sure to watch for my more updates to my product.

Thank you for stopping by my little blog.

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.