Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blog Hoppin' Freebie Friday {a few days late!}

Okay, okay, yes. I am late to the party for Freebie Friday. But the good news is, you get something free even though it is no longer Friday! Everyone likes free, right?

The first freebie I am offering is something new I created last year to go with a new Kindergarten Common Core Standard -- word endings! Students are to be able to tell what a word means based on its ending. To help my kiddos visually, I created word ending picture cards and a reference poster to help them with meaning. These are great for K-2 visual anchor charts!

The second freebie you can grab is a center game for reading, writing, and matching color words! You can find it in my TPT store, along with a monsters uppercase/lowercase letter matching game, for free! Here is the color word center in action with some of my kiddos last year:

Click here to go to my TPT store and get my other two freebies: Onward to my store!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where I Work Wednesday : {Teacher Week}

UPDATE 8/23: I posted pictures of "where I work" last week, so here is the blog post again that I'm editing to be included in Teacher Week: Where I Work Wednesday! Enjoy!

Though I have gotten through one full week of school already, I am just now getting around to posting pictures of my classroom! I have been totally swamped the past few weeks between attending meetings, welcoming brand new teachers to my team, and preparing my own things for my class that this is the first time I've actually had the chance to sit and make a post about it. I love how it turned out! Since school is in full swing, you may notice my tables looking more scattered and scraggly with papers and student's items, but try to pretend you don't notice. ;)

So this is what my classroom looked like post-summer cleaning when I first came back in July...

...And ended up looking like this by the time Meet the Teacher Night rolled around! Much better!

This is my book center. I love how it turned out. I accidentally ended up with somewhat of an Eric Carle theme in my room that began when I innocently bought a set of The Very Hungry Caterpillar nametags for my students... and then I ended up making this giant tree, which now houses my kids' incentive charts.

Here's a closer view of the incentive tree...

And these are the charts that are hanging from the branches! How fun!

Next here's my word wall, that I always do a good job of adding our sight words to at the beginning of the year but not so much as the year goes on... it's my goal to be better at that this year!

In front of that is my writing center table that I had to make smaller this year because I have way more students in my class than last year - I had to make it only one table so I could use the other one for my extra students. I bought the 3-drawer thing this year in an attempt to keep my papers more organized for my students to use!

Here's my calendar set-up. I made the red ten frame template (found it on pinterest) since that has been a huge push with the new common core. I'm just going to put velcro on the back of some red/yellow counters and put one up there for every day that we are at school for the month. As you can see I haven't quite finished making it as there is nothing on there and we have been in school for 7 days, haha.

This is where most of the technology happens - desktop computer, laptop, document camera. How did I EVER teach kindergarten without a document camera?? Lifesaver for modeling!

Finally, on the first day of school I noticed some mysterious mustaches that had appeared in my room - I went to tell the kids "rule number 5" on the first day and did a double take when I saw my mustachio'd friend! Then the kids found another one on our line-up poster. It was really my neighbor teacher's boyfriend that was the culprit, but a few of my kids came to the conclusion that it was done by the "Mustache Maker" and he was a bad guy that leaves mustaches everywhere. HA! That's a good enough explanation for me!

So there it is! Thanks for joining me on a tour around my classroom. I've loved seeing what everyone else has done in their rooms so far, too, on various blogs. My class is off to a GREAT start so far with their behavior! Hope it continues!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must-Have Monday : {Teacher Week}

Teacher Week is back! I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for the first day, Must Have Monday! As I was browsing through some others that have linked up, I noticed we had a ton in common with our teaching necessities!

Number one, hands down is my document camera. How on earth did I ever teach without that thing?? It is such a lifesaver for someone who has to model EVERYTHING in kinder.

I love to use the Papermate Flair pens! They are the best to write with and come in so many fun colors!

And while we are on the writing utensil topic, I use the Sharpie chart markers all the time! They are perfect for making anchor charts and other poster creations.

A must have is also my flash drive and laptop. I am constantly perusing blogland and pinterest for ideas and it makes it so easy to save things directly to my flash drive so I know where to find it again!

I'm also fairly certain I can't live without velcro dots. I've used them for my calendar, ten frame board, and tons of other stuff for easy hanging. Makes life easier when the calendar numbers won't stick to magnetic surfaces through your very thickly cardboarded calendar. :)

One thing that my kiddos can't live without is the Dr. Jean CDs. I swear she has a song for everything! This year's class begs me to play her songs every time we go sit on the carpet together. She is a genius...

My neighbor teacher and I share an office that connects both of our classrooms together; and at any given point in time there will be leftover snacks hidden away that didn't get used. Our favorites? Cheez-Its and Skittles. Bad for the waistline, great for the tastebuds. ;)

Hope you'll join in! I promise after this teacher week I will actually post things that are happening in my classroom... not just linky parties. But this one is too fun not to join in!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sneak a Peek at my Purchases! Linky Party

I've linked up with Blog Hoppin' to show you the awesome stuff I bought during TPT's Back to School sale!

I definitely took advantage of the great sale, but I always end up regretting NOT buying a bunch of things too! Oh well, I guess I can't go too crazy with purchases. :)

In my district we have brand new benchmarks for kindergarten. Normally we always just have a pre-test and a post-test, but now they are changing it so that they have 3 separate benchmarks to be given 3 separate times of the year. They recently informed us what was going to be on the 1st quarter math benchmarks and we flipped out! Due to the new common core standards, everything is getting shoved up and we are having to teach concepts earlier than ever but have been given no new curriculum to accomplish it. But lo and behold, some of my favorite bloggers came to our rescue and I bought 3 math-related units to help boost our kiddos' skills and get them to even higher levels of thinking. I'm so excited to get the ball rolling!

The first thing I bought was Deedee Wills' Complete Set of Daily Math Journals. I've had my eye on these for awhile (cause I seriously love everything she does) and last year we really implemented interactive math journals into our schedule so this was the perfect addition! I love that her Aug/Sep prompts are simple enough to help my kinders get into the basic routine (barring kiddos skipping ahead to random pages every 5 seconds)!

I also grabbed Deanna Jump's Math Magic: Common Core Games and Activities Pack. I don't know how I missed this before, but I didn't know it existed until I went scouring through her store to see what new fandangled thing I wanted to buy! Glad I found it, I think it will work perfectly!

Finally, I bought Growing Kinders' Fun With Numbers (Part 2) Pack. Those dastardly teen numbers are always so tricky for kinders to grasp and I think this will be an amazing resource. The circle maps included will go perfectly in our interactive notebooks!

Want to see what other treasures people found this weekend? Go link up here at Blog Hoppin' to join in!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

TPT Back to School Sale!

Good news! The annual Teachers Pay Teachers back to school sale is on from now through tomorrow, August 13th! Now my humble little shop has only one thing for sale thus far, but I'd be honored if you checked it out! I have an ABC Order Picture Sort Literacy Game pack with 8 different games and 2 different personalized recording sheets for each themed game! Here's a preview of what is included below - click the picture to get a larger view!

To go see my TPT shop, click here! There are also a few free downloads on there you can take advantage of - a color word match game and an uppercase/lowercase monster letters center! Thanks for looking! And don't forget to use the code BTS12 for all your purchases during this sale to get up to 28% off at different stores! I know that's what I'm about to go do!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Currently Mustach'd

Is it really that time already? Last month flew by. I can't believe the first day of school is in 2 days! My next post will feature my classroom with tons of pictures, but in the meantime, here is Farley's "Currently" link-up for August! And it is covered by a fabulous mustache. So why wouldn't you want to join in? Check it out here: Currently Mustach'd!

P.S. I have no clue why the picture keeps going all the way to the right of the page! I guess it's like teaching, things never go the way you plan! Ha!