Saturday, September 24, 2011

WOW! Finally Back and Adding On

I just realized that it's been just over 3 weeks since I have posted to my blog. I'm not even sure where the time has gone but I do know that I'm exhausted. Starting Monday, I am a co-teach class. My new roommate starts on Monday. We finally got to meet Friday after school. I thought it might be a good idea instead of her walking in cold on Monday. I think we are going to get along great. I think she's just happy to have a home school as this will be her 4th school since school started in August. We will share 25 children, 21 K students and 4 First graders. I'm really excited to start this new venture. I tend to be more creative and venturous when there is someone there to help. I was also able to adjust my schedule so that my 5 speech kids weren't missing math during the week. Things are starting to look up. Now hopefully, I will be able to keep up here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

4 Weeks Later...

So, I am finishing up my fourth week of kindergarten and I am still exhausted! I have finally finished FAIR testing but now have to finish FLKRS. ugh It's ridiculous that we have to spend the first month or so of school doing nothing but assessing. My class this year is pretty tough and immature. I feel like I am fighting for control all day long. They love the attention getters but the attention only lasts a brief moment and then it's gone. Really thinking I could use a Ritalin salt lick in the room. lol I really feel bad for the 3 or 4 mature students who would like to move on and not have to review the rules all day long. All they want to do is play all day. I've gotten to the point that free choice centers are at the end of the day and only if we are able to complete all our lessons. I've explained to them if they use my teaching time with talking and interrupting then we'll have to use our free choice time to finish our work. Does anyone have any suggestions for immature classes?

Today my friend, Tara from 4th Grade Folics came to the classroom for Book Buddies. Her kids were paired up with my kiddos. It went great as the one thing my kids love, is to be read to. We are planning on doing it every 2 weeks when we don't get specials (due to budget cuts). It was nice to finally have a break where I was free to walk around and take pictures.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

First Week and an Oops!

Well, the first week is over and I survived. Monday we had parent meetings. There were 4 different meetings and parents were able to come to the classroom in small groups at an assigned meeting time to go through a kind of parent orientation. I went over my rules, routines, school procedures, what to expect, etc, etc. Tuesday and Wednesday I had 1/2 hour appointments with each child to screen them so that I know what they are coming in with academically. I always go over the information with the parent afterward so that they know how their child did and where we will go from here. As usual I have one who doesn't know the difference between a letter and a number as well as a couple who are already reading. The screening gives me an idea of where to start with each child. It also provides me with a tool to show growth over the next couple months.
Thursday I had 9 kids and Friday I had 7 kids (2 didn't show up due to being out of town). We are fortunate to have this staggered entrance so that we can go over rules, routines and the cafeteria in small groups. It is definitely like herding cats. I'm nervous to see what Monday will bring. I've already spotted certain behaviors that will have to be curtailed and yes, I even had to use my ugly voice.
Now, let me just say that by Friday afternoon I was thoroughly exhausted and the day seemed really long. I have one little guy who has never been to preschool or even left with anyone other than mom. He spent all of his free choice time walking around the table. I finally got him to sit briefly and draw a picture (scribble since he's never used crayons before). When he was done he got up and walked around the table some more then came and told me that his mother was waiting for him. I assured him that we only had a little while more. When I called for the kids to clean up he was the first to grab his lunchbox and was ready to head out the door. We went through the routine of getting our backpacks, putting our STAR folder in our backpacks, making sure our chairs were pushed in and our seats were neat. I explained where everybody was going to go (parent pickup in the hall, bus and YMCA kids with me). I had a couple that just couldn't get through their heads that they were NOT getting on the bus but going to YMCA after we dropped the one child off at his bus. Anyway, I put the parent pickup kids name hats on them and took them to the hallway and sat them down. I just couldn't figure out why no one else was heading out yet and then it hit me. I was an hour early! So feeling stupid but explaining that even teachers make mistakes, I sent them back in and let them go play at stations. They were thrilled. Maybe by next week I'll learn how to tell time. lol Well, at least I made it through the first week. Only 175 more days of school..haha

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Open House and Finishing Classroom

Well, tonight was Open House. I had 10 out of 18 families show up in addition to even more former students and their families. It's going to be an interesting year. Still hard to see how it will all fit together. The boys seemed to get along very well playing with the Legos together. My room finally started coming together right at the end of the day and right before the parents arrived. My closet on the other hand now needs help since I stuffed a lot of the mess in there for the time being.
These are my book buddy bags hanging on the stand that my wonderful hubby made for me.

My writing center, my hubby built the table years ago so that one side is chalkboard and the other side is dry erase. The table top lifts up and flips over to change.
Calendar and group activity area, my hubby built the chair too.
View from across the room.
I gave a bag to each new student that came for Open House.
Another view, hubby built the listening center table as well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Oh my goodness, I'm soooo exhausted that I started nodding off tonight during youth group at church. Even as I sit here writing this, I'm nodding off so this should be short.
I have so much to do and tomorrow night is Open House. My custodian walked in today and asked if I was done. I seriously thought she was joking since it was very obvious that I was anything but ready. Then she preceded to tell me that I couldn't put things here or there. I basically told her too bad, they were staying where I put them. Tomorrow there are no meetings so I'm planning on cranking up my music and busting it out. I think right now I'm on complete overload. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to finish taking pictures and post them on here. In the meantime, I'm heading to bed for a fresh start tomorrow.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Here we go!

Well, tomorrow I officially go back to work. I've been working on and off in my room for 2 weeks but tomorrow it's official. In one aspect I dread the end of summer but on the other side I look forward to a new group of kids and a much needed paycheck. Today my wonderful hubby and I spent about 4 1/2 hours building a stand for my Book Buddy Bags. For years I have kept them in bins but they were hard to see so I wanted a stand to display them on. My husband was in construction for years before he became a computer tech so he's a VERY handy man to have around. He's always been great about building things for my classroom as long as I draw a picture of what I want. I must say I was thinking really simple but he made it so much better. The book bags get very heavy so I knew I wanted something sturdy that would last. Luckily, we had some purple heart wood in the garage that had been sitting untouched for years. I love exotic woods and this is a very hard iron wood.

This is the base of the stand. Unfortunately it's too big to fit in my suv so hubby will have to bring it to me after he's done at his school tomorrow.

This is the final product. The dowels are just regular pine. I can't wait to finally have all my book bags hanging on it. I will post a pic when I finally get it in my room.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Back to School What's for Dinner?

Well, I've come across 2 linky parties asking for recipes for things you cook on a busy schedule. Growing Kinders and Clutter Free Classroom are each hosting one. I thought, "Now that's what I need!" So to add to the list I thought I would add my easy go to recipe. I'm not sure that it is exactly a precise recipe as I tend to fall more into the add a little of this or little of that kind of cooking. My family loves it when I experiment. My crock pot is definitely my best friend in the kitchen. There are no exact measurements as I usually throw in what I have.

Southwest Chicken Soup
Boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 per person is about what I plan for)
1 T. chopped garlic
1 cup salsa (whatever your favorite is)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water
Cover and put on low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken and put back in pot.
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn drained
1 carton or can of chicken stock (amount depends on how much chicken)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
Cover and cook for another hour.

You can serve with sour cream and shredded cheese or rice if you would like. All amounts can be adjusted to your personal taste. Like I said, there is a lot of throwing this and that in when I cook. Time is also flexible. I put this on in the morning before I leave and then come home and add the final ingredients and let it finish.

Countdown and new theme

Well, even though I officially go back to work on Monday (1st), I have been in and out of my classroom for the past 2 weeks. (Sorry, I keep forgetting to take pictures.) At this point, the furniture is where it's going to be (for now), but there is a lot more to do to decorate and organize. Today I am busy printing and laminating as much stuff as I can to get me started. I decided to change my classroom theme this year to go along with our Rising Stars program at school. I decided on a Hollywood theme because what kid doesn't want to be a movie star. lol I am also trying to modify or make as much as possible so that I didn't have to spend more money on new things. So far I am very excited and the ideas just keep coming. For my helpers I decided to rename the jobs. My line leaders will be the Lead Actor and Lead Actress, the door holder is the usher, office helpers are the production assistants, clean up people are the set designers. The kids that receive the award each month will be put on the Walk of Fame. The lunch boxes will be placed in the concession area. Their name tags are on lanyards and are used as office passes will also have Backstage pass on the back. My behavior plan will start the kids with 2 thumbs up, then one up and one down and finally 2 thumbs down. I am having so much fun with this. I'm also making a poster for outside my door to look like a movie marquis with all the kids names in their own star. If anyone has any other ideas let me know. I will take pictures next week as I get it all set up.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Giveaway Freebie

Just Another Day in First Grade is having a giveaway freebie. It's very simple. All you have to do is blog about her freebie and tell her you did before Sunday night and she will send it to you on Monday. It's an entire unit on shoes. What kid doesn't love to show off their shoes? See which shoes match, which ones are new, light up, have Spiderman? The possibilities are endless. I also figure this will go well with Pete the Cat's Shoes. I love it when it all comes together. Head on over to her site to get all the info and the blog to get you very own unit for FREE!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Freebie from me

Our school became a Positive Behavior Support school last year. Our Assistant principal started an assembly called Rising STARS. Each month we highlight one of the Seven Habits and choose a student who displays that trait. This year I thought I would take it one step further and make a poster to show my students which rules fall under each of the positive behaviors. Feel free to download if you would like.

Getting Ready

Well, today I went to school to pick up my keys. I ended up going back later to drop off all the things I have purchased at Target, Dollar Tree, Lakeshore, Walmart and Kohls. While I was there I moved a little furniture just to get an idea of where I want things. I feel the need to revamp my room. I guess I'm never satisfied. I'm always looking for a better plan but I can't do it on paper. I have to see and feel it to know if I like it or it's going to work. I'll probably head back on Thursday to work on it some more. Tomorrow, I'll be moving furniture at my parents' house. They had the carpets cleaned so we went Monday to move it all out of the rooms and then back tomorrow to put it back. Maybe I should look into furniture moving as a summer job next year. lol I can't wait to get into my closets at school and start setting things up. Sadly, I like my room to be put together by the first day teachers go back so I can socialize and start planning. I know, I'm sick.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ladybug's Teacher Files: 1000+ Followers Giveaway!!!

Wow, over 1000 followers, think I would celebrate too. Go check it out!

Ladybug's Teacher Files: 1000+ Followers Giveaway!!!: "AAAAA!!!! I am so excited I can't even focus on making a graphic to show how excited I am!!! I stayed off my blog all week working on my st..."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Creativity Giveaway

Here's a first. My friend, Jill at Color Me Happy in Kindergarten is giving away a $10 gift card to Target for the person who comes up with the most creative use for Altoid tins. They have accumulated but she has no idea what to do with them. Head on over and offer your suggestions and maybe you could win the giveaway. This one is based on creativity.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Key West

I know, I know, I must be crazy. I'm in the middle of paradise and blogging away. Sadly, it's true. What is worse I think is the fact that I had this almost uncontrollable urge to turn into every Target I passed along the way (and that's alot of Targets on a 7 hour drive). I did control myself however. Probably more so because my husband would have killed me and I really wanted to just get here. This is my husband's hometown so we don't do very many touristy things. Well, that and we can't afford for the 4 of us to do pricey tourist things either. We have a timeshare here so that makes the trip affordable. We could only manage to get the condo here for 4 nights though so we will be heading for Bonita Springs (Coconut Pointe) on Thursday for 3 nights. I know, you all feel soooo sorry for me. lol I'm still on the hunt though for ideas and things to use in my classroom. A teacher never stops thinking about education.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Techman

Well, it's official, my blogging has led to the entire family blogging. My husband started his blog yesterday offering tech tips. His first 2 entries are about avoiding viruses, something we all hope to avoid. Go check out his blog. It may end up saving you a LOT of money in the long run.

Tips from the Techman

Friday, July 8, 2011

Giveaway Time again!

Head over to Camp Kindergarten. Jody will be giving away a $10 gift card to TpT. I know I have been eyeing some things on there for awhile. Don't hesitate, the drawing will be held on Monday.

New Blog Giveaway

Donna over at Peace Love and Learning is giving away a birthday packet for free! You know you love free stuff. Head on over and check out the whole packet then follow the directions to get your very own birthday packet for free. Did I mention it's FREE? hehe

Newest Giveaway

Mrs. Bainbridge is having a classroom theme giveaway. She will be giving away one of her themed packs. There are some really awesome packs you can purchase as well on The Teaching Oasis. Go check it out, become a follower and tell her which one you could like to have. It's all that simple.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Day of School Supplies

Over the years I have finally figured out the easiest way for me to handle school supplies. Let me start by saying that our supply list contains EVERYTHING that they will need for the entire school year. My students start by coming for kindergarten screenings so I try to encourage the parents to bring their supplies then so that the kids aren't loaded down. Those that don't bring them to screening bring them the first day of school. I keep gallon sized Ziplocs on hand and write each child's name on them. As I unload their supplies, I separate out the things that are general use such as Klenex, dry erase markers, copy paper, etc. Then put their individual supplies into the Ziploc, folders and spiral bound notebooks fit just right. The supplies that they will need now go at their seats. I keep all the bags with the extra supplies in a box and as the kids need new crayons, folders, etc. I pull them out. Since the Ziplocs aren't bulky, they are almost filed in the box until needed. At the end of the year, I send home any supplies that the kids did not use so they will have them for the summer or next school year.

Head on over to Mrs. Kincaid's First Grade. She's having a linky party on how YOU handle the first day supplies.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Kohl's Cares for Kids

Kohls has their newest collection of books and stuffed animals out. This series is Clifford and Friends. Each book or stuffed animal is only $5.00 and profits go towards a good cause.

Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Giveaway Alert!!!

Head on over to Mrs. Addock's blog. She is giving away a $15 Target gift card to celebrate 100 followers. You know how much we all love Target.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Activity revised

I made this activity to work on number sense with my students. I noticed that no matter what I did they still had to count all the counters in the tens frames regardless of whether they were full or not. They just weren't comprehending that a full frame was 10. I will try to post pictures later of some of the uses for these pieces. I blogged earlier with a plain frame but have jazzed it up a bit since and added the number cards and the blank frame. Hopefully this will work. I had used Scribd because Google Docs kept changing my entire activity. Let me know if you encounter any problems and I will attempt to fix them.


Reading Log

Our Kindergarten team has a Kinder Kids Reading club in which our Kindergarten students earn prizes for their parents reading to them. Students are awarded prizes for every 20 books their parents read to them. All they have to do is fill out a reading log and send it in. Here is a cute reading log that I have made for my parents to fill out.

Wow, Yet Another Giveaway

Is hosting a giveaway for 5 pieces of Lia Sophia jewelry. Make sure you head over to Live, Love, Laugh and enter.

Another Giveaway!!!

Karen over at Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten is having a giveaway to celebrate her lucky 13 followers. Of course, now she has more than 13 but isn't that the point. I think I may have to follow in her footsteps and have a giveaway. First, I'll have to think about what to give away. In the meantime, head over to her blog for 3 chances to enter her drawing. It ends July 7th.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Head on over to Little Miss Kindergarten to get her Magic 5 poster. Great way to start out the year.

Another Giveaway

My friend, Tara, over at 4th Grade Frolics is hosting her first giveaway for a Target gift card (we all love our Target finds) and a Starbucks gift card (we all need coffee). Head on over and check it out.

Target Treasures

I went shopping at Target again last night but at a new store and did a lot more damage. Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons had posted letter stamps and I was lucky enough to find them. Today she posted the worksheets that she made to go with them.

Go check out her blog. She's got lots of great ideas.

Great Linky Party

Head over to Just Add Clip Art for a great linky party. Lauren has got some great stuff going on. I am totally using her Math About Me idea at the beginning of school. Best of all, it's FREE!!
Here is a pic of her math activity.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yet Another Great Blog

A Linky Party and Giveaway to celebrate great blogs. Be sure to go and add your blog to the list.

Great New Resource

I have seen several people post about Teacher Tipster and I've watched a bit of it. There are some great ideas and resources for all teachers. Here is the link to his website to get printables and watch videos. He also has a facebook page that you can like.

Yet Another Giveaway

Ms. Patterson over at Pocketful of Kinders is hosting a giveaway to celebrate 60 followers in one week. How does she do it? Go check out her site and enter to win.

Be sure to check out her blog on "Ways to Know You Are a Teacher". I'm sure we can all relate.

Another Great Giveaway

Head on over to Kindergarten Kraziness to win her Miss Bindergarten unit for free.

I Love Target!!

I kept seeing all the great things people were finding at Target but when I went last week I didn't find that much. I even checked the other Target store in the area. These are some of the things that I got last week.

Today, however, I went in search of the mini dry erase erasers and found a newly stocked GOLD mine! I was so excited. My wonderful husband is such an enabler to my addiction that he kept throwing things into my basket and finding more. I now have pointers, dry erase markers, sentence strips and erasers for every kid in the room. I also found dry erase boards with handwriting lines already on them. One of my favorite finds (thanks to my husband) were the signs to show the kids what you are expecting (line up here, listen, eyes on my, quiet, etc).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Giveaway Fun

Welcome to Kinderglynn is giving away a $10 gift card for the new TBA store.

Don't miss out!

Giveaways are always fun!

Check out this giveaway but hurry it ends Thursday night.

Erica's Elementary Excitement!!

You can win a $50 Lakeshore Gift Card and a $25 Target Gift Card. Great way to start your school year.

While you are there, check out her great ideas as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011