Monday, October 15, 2012

Drowning in Flash Cards!!

So, I don't know about you, but I have flash cards with those stinking sight words all over my room!  I have them on the word wall, in the word work center, at my small group table, in the writing center and at my teacher easel for whole group reviewing.  My teammate and I were talking the other day "If I have to write one more sight word flash card..." well, you can imagine how that ends!  We got the brilliant idea to get rid, once and for all, of one set of flash cards.  The set we are getting rid of is the set used for whole group sight word review.  The cards still exist at small group table, word work center, word wall, and the writing center (for now until another epiphany is had!).  Now, instead of just flipping the cards, saying the words and tapping it out (ex: "can.  c-a-n spells can." where students tap left hand on right knee, then right hand on left knee, and on for each letter and clap on "spells"), we start this PowerPoint and students follow along with it saying the words and tapping them out.  It switches between words automatically after 6 seconds (longer for bigger words).  Best thing about this little idea - you can get it for FREE in my TPT store!  I plan to switch the slides around occasionally for my kiddos so they don't become cheaty-faces and just memorize the order of the words.  I don't do the whole slide show each day.  I stop it when it goes through the words we've covered.  There's one for sight words and one for color/number words also!  Click the pics to get to the one you want!
Click for Sight Words

And TPT is being difficult, so I'll put the color and number word slide show up later!


Thanks for checking in!








So, I don't know about you, but I have flash cards with those stinking sight words all over my room!  I have them on the word wall, in the word work center, at my small group table, in the writing center and at my teacher easel for whole group reviewing.  My teammate and I were talking the other day "If I have to write one more sight word flash card..." well, you can imagine how that ends!  We got the brilliant idea to get rid, once and for all, of one set of flash cards.  The set we are getting rid of is the set used for whole group sight word review.  The cards still exist at small group table, word work center, word wall, and the writing center (for now until another epiphany is had!).  Now, instead of just flipping the cards, saying the words and tapping it out (ex: "can.  c-a-n spells can." where students tap left hand on right knee, then right hand on left knee, and on for each letter and clap on "spells"), we start this PowerPoint and students follow along with it saying the words and tapping them out.  It switches between words automatically after 6 seconds (longer for bigger words).  Best thing about this little idea - you can get it for FREE in my TPT store!  I plan to switch the slides around occasionally for my kiddos so they don't become cheaty-faces and just memorize the order of the words.  I don't do the whole slide show each day.  I stop it when it goes through the words we've covered.  There's one for sight words and one for color/number words also!  Click the pics to get to the one you want!
Click for Sight Words

And TPT is being difficult, so I'll put the color and number word slide show up later!


Thanks for checking in!








Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Crazy Life....


Well, it's the beginning of October and my kiddos have already gotten me sick!  I spent about a week just exhausted and dragging myself to school (because we all know it's easier to teach sick than to get together sub plans!), then coming home and sleeping.  Turns out I had a sinus and respiratory infection!  All better now, though, so back to blogging!  In addition to all this fun, my school had a big event and broke a world record today for most kids at a Read-In!  Check out the news feed here!

So, here are some cool activities we did last week throughout all my sickness...

Love this chart a friend came up with to help kiddos understand the differences between letters, words, and sentences.  Each day we filled in one box, then underlined all the parts of the "I can run." sentence in its corresponding color.
So, for example, we underlined all the letters in blue, then the words in red and the whole sentence in green.  It really helped the kids understand these concepts!

We also did our apple unit...here are some cute activities we did with that...  We tasted the three different kinds of apples, students chose their favorite, wrote their name on the corresponding apple and put it on the right tree.  


The next day, we made these cute little apples showing our favorite kind of apple.  I just gave the kids a square of paper and they had to cut it into the shape of an apple.  Some of them turned out very tiny! They also did a mix and fix at the bottom that says "I like _____ apples." and they had to fill in the color word. 


We were finishing up our sorting unit and culminated the unit with this project where students had to sort by color.

The text says "_____ Owl baked cookies today.  He sorted his favorite chips.  He sorted ___ and ___ chips."

Well, that's just a glimpse of some of the things we did last week!  Barring any future illnesses, I should be posting again soon!  






Well, it's the beginning of October and my kiddos have already gotten me sick!  I spent about a week just exhausted and dragging myself to school (because we all know it's easier to teach sick than to get together sub plans!), then coming home and sleeping.  Turns out I had a sinus and respiratory infection!  All better now, though, so back to blogging!  In addition to all this fun, my school had a big event and broke a world record today for most kids at a Read-In!  Check out the news feed here!

So, here are some cool activities we did last week throughout all my sickness...

Love this chart a friend came up with to help kiddos understand the differences between letters, words, and sentences.  Each day we filled in one box, then underlined all the parts of the "I can run." sentence in its corresponding color.
So, for example, we underlined all the letters in blue, then the words in red and the whole sentence in green.  It really helped the kids understand these concepts!

We also did our apple unit...here are some cute activities we did with that...  We tasted the three different kinds of apples, students chose their favorite, wrote their name on the corresponding apple and put it on the right tree.  


The next day, we made these cute little apples showing our favorite kind of apple.  I just gave the kids a square of paper and they had to cut it into the shape of an apple.  Some of them turned out very tiny! They also did a mix and fix at the bottom that says "I like _____ apples." and they had to fill in the color word. 


We were finishing up our sorting unit and culminated the unit with this project where students had to sort by color.

The text says "_____ Owl baked cookies today.  He sorted his favorite chips.  He sorted ___ and ___ chips."

Well, that's just a glimpse of some of the things we did last week!  Barring any future illnesses, I should be posting again soon!  





Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! What's Going on in my Room?

Whew! It has been a while since I've had time to get on here and blog!  I just come home every day absolutely exhausted!  But, I will try to do better and here are some things we have done in my class up to this point.  We spend a little time each day talking about how we should act in school and sometimes we even come up with charts to hang up as reminders!

My class and I did this one the other day when we were talking about listening.  We read the story "Interrupting Chicken" first and if you have not read this with your kiddos, you definitely should.  The kids got really annoyed at how the Chicken in the story kept interrupting the bedtime stories Papa Chicken was trying to tell him.  Hopefully this really drove the point home about not interrupting the speaker!  Anyway, I wrote "I can listen" at the top and they came up with how to act when we are doing good listening:


Another day we come up with this chart after reading "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and discussing what all he did with his crayon and what we should do with our crayons and other supplies.  I showed them some broken pencils and broken crayons I had found and then we talked about how to treat our supplies.  Again, I wrote down the rules the students came up with.  Please ignore the illustrations - I am so not an artist!

Now on to some of the more fun activities we have done!  We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and watched the video to it as well on Discovery Education (the song they turned it into is so catchy!).  Then we made coconut trees with the letters to our names climbing up the trees.  The text at the bottom of each tree says:  
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Will there be enough room?
____________ has _______ letters in 
his/her name.

We have also been talking about colors and had a little book with blank monsters that the students had to color different colors.  There was not a page to make a black monster in the book, so when we talked about the color black, we made a black Angry Bird!  The students LOVED this!  They got so excited when I said that we were making an Angry Bird.  Below the Angry Birds is a name practice activity we did where I wrote each student's name really big on a strip of white construction paper and they tore paper and glued it down on each letter.  It turned out so cute and was such a great fine motor activity!

We did this on the first day of school.  Love this keepsake idea from another teacher -  I got each student's handprint, then backed it and laminated it, hot glued a clothespin to the back and stuck a sticky magnet on the back of the clothespin.  Then I clipped this little saying to the clothespin:
I made this little clothespin magnet
On my first day of school.
Isn't it pretty and very cool? 
You can put it on the fridge
 Or where ever it will stick.
Then on it you can hang 
The artwork that you pick.

So cute!  The last thing I want to share (I know its a long post....like I said I'll try to do better about posting more!) just really made my day when I saw it!  When we were lining up for lunch on Friday, I was checking out my line, making sure everyone had a "bubble and a ducktail" and I noticed this.  One of my little kinders had one of the old timey plastic Beauty and the Beast lunch box.  Oh my word - I totally had the EXACT SAME lunch box when I was in Kindergarten!!!!  She didn't have the thermos, but it was so weird to see this lunch box with another kid 20 years after I had used it!

That's all for now, but I am working on an Apple unit to add to TPT!  Be on the look out and hopefully it won't be as long before I post again!!












Whew! It has been a while since I've had time to get on here and blog!  I just come home every day absolutely exhausted!  But, I will try to do better and here are some things we have done in my class up to this point.  We spend a little time each day talking about how we should act in school and sometimes we even come up with charts to hang up as reminders!

My class and I did this one the other day when we were talking about listening.  We read the story "Interrupting Chicken" first and if you have not read this with your kiddos, you definitely should.  The kids got really annoyed at how the Chicken in the story kept interrupting the bedtime stories Papa Chicken was trying to tell him.  Hopefully this really drove the point home about not interrupting the speaker!  Anyway, I wrote "I can listen" at the top and they came up with how to act when we are doing good listening:


Another day we come up with this chart after reading "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and discussing what all he did with his crayon and what we should do with our crayons and other supplies.  I showed them some broken pencils and broken crayons I had found and then we talked about how to treat our supplies.  Again, I wrote down the rules the students came up with.  Please ignore the illustrations - I am so not an artist!

Now on to some of the more fun activities we have done!  We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and watched the video to it as well on Discovery Education (the song they turned it into is so catchy!).  Then we made coconut trees with the letters to our names climbing up the trees.  The text at the bottom of each tree says:  
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Will there be enough room?
____________ has _______ letters in 
his/her name.

We have also been talking about colors and had a little book with blank monsters that the students had to color different colors.  There was not a page to make a black monster in the book, so when we talked about the color black, we made a black Angry Bird!  The students LOVED this!  They got so excited when I said that we were making an Angry Bird.  Below the Angry Birds is a name practice activity we did where I wrote each student's name really big on a strip of white construction paper and they tore paper and glued it down on each letter.  It turned out so cute and was such a great fine motor activity!

We did this on the first day of school.  Love this keepsake idea from another teacher -  I got each student's handprint, then backed it and laminated it, hot glued a clothespin to the back and stuck a sticky magnet on the back of the clothespin.  Then I clipped this little saying to the clothespin:
I made this little clothespin magnet
On my first day of school.
Isn't it pretty and very cool? 
You can put it on the fridge
 Or where ever it will stick.
Then on it you can hang 
The artwork that you pick.

So cute!  The last thing I want to share (I know its a long post....like I said I'll try to do better about posting more!) just really made my day when I saw it!  When we were lining up for lunch on Friday, I was checking out my line, making sure everyone had a "bubble and a ducktail" and I noticed this.  One of my little kinders had one of the old timey plastic Beauty and the Beast lunch box.  Oh my word - I totally had the EXACT SAME lunch box when I was in Kindergarten!!!!  She didn't have the thermos, but it was so weird to see this lunch box with another kid 20 years after I had used it!

That's all for now, but I am working on an Apple unit to add to TPT!  Be on the look out and hopefully it won't be as long before I post again!!












Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday - on a Thursday!

Here we go again with Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week.  Yesterday was Where I Teach Wednesday - surprise, surprise...I'm behind!  Maybe tomorrow will be Thursday and Friday, but for today, here's what I've got...
Now, I took this two different ways.  First off, I teach in Knoxville, TN.  You may recognize it as this if you are a football fan:

The second way I took this was where in my classroom do I teach, which is the idea I chose to really run with.  I spend most of my time teaching here:

I spend most of my time at the ActivBoard when we are doing whole group lessons while the kiddos sit either on the carpet or at their tables.  In the pic, you can see my ActivBoard, my pocket charts underneath (a normal red/green one and a yellow/blue/green Venn Diagram), my big book stand and on the bulletin board my post it note anchor charts.  I put a half tablet of chart paper on the big book stand normally and we list things there.  The blue thing with white cards in front of the big book stand is a pocket chart with ABC cards where we build word family and sight words.  The three green posters on the bulletin board contain a Story Map poster, a Schema poster, and a Literacy Vocabulary Poster.  In that teeny white space beside the ActivBoard are my brand new directions cards on magnets so I can tell students what order to complete activities (right now its set to write, color, cut, glue).  Below that is my rainbow tracing chart that has the order students go in when they trace something like their name or the letter of the week.


The other place I do most of my teaching is at my reading table:

The chair pockets on each student chair have a pencil box inside them with crayons, pencils, scissors, and glue.  That way these materials are always close by for guided reading groups.  That brown bookshelf is home to all the different lined writing paper (in the clear and white bins), my whisper phones, testing materials, office supplies, and finger pointers.  The colored drawers beside the bookshelf is where I keep my weekly activities.  Each day has its own drawer.  On the counter is where all those other papers go - things to copy, go home, etc, etc.  The yellow pocket chart on the wall is for my literacy center rotations and the purple pocket chart is for math center rotations.  The images on the bulletin board are for my reading groups (cupcake, popsicle, ice cream, candy).  Once I figure out who is in what group, I'll write their names on a sentence strip and stick it up beside their icon.

Whew!  Any questions?  I'd love to know where you all teach!





Here we go again with Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week.  Yesterday was Where I Teach Wednesday - surprise, surprise...I'm behind!  Maybe tomorrow will be Thursday and Friday, but for today, here's what I've got...
Now, I took this two different ways.  First off, I teach in Knoxville, TN.  You may recognize it as this if you are a football fan:

The second way I took this was where in my classroom do I teach, which is the idea I chose to really run with.  I spend most of my time teaching here:

I spend most of my time at the ActivBoard when we are doing whole group lessons while the kiddos sit either on the carpet or at their tables.  In the pic, you can see my ActivBoard, my pocket charts underneath (a normal red/green one and a yellow/blue/green Venn Diagram), my big book stand and on the bulletin board my post it note anchor charts.  I put a half tablet of chart paper on the big book stand normally and we list things there.  The blue thing with white cards in front of the big book stand is a pocket chart with ABC cards where we build word family and sight words.  The three green posters on the bulletin board contain a Story Map poster, a Schema poster, and a Literacy Vocabulary Poster.  In that teeny white space beside the ActivBoard are my brand new directions cards on magnets so I can tell students what order to complete activities (right now its set to write, color, cut, glue).  Below that is my rainbow tracing chart that has the order students go in when they trace something like their name or the letter of the week.


The other place I do most of my teaching is at my reading table:

The chair pockets on each student chair have a pencil box inside them with crayons, pencils, scissors, and glue.  That way these materials are always close by for guided reading groups.  That brown bookshelf is home to all the different lined writing paper (in the clear and white bins), my whisper phones, testing materials, office supplies, and finger pointers.  The colored drawers beside the bookshelf is where I keep my weekly activities.  Each day has its own drawer.  On the counter is where all those other papers go - things to copy, go home, etc, etc.  The yellow pocket chart on the wall is for my literacy center rotations and the purple pocket chart is for math center rotations.  The images on the bulletin board are for my reading groups (cupcake, popsicle, ice cream, candy).  Once I figure out who is in what group, I'll write their names on a sentence strip and stick it up beside their icon.

Whew!  Any questions?  I'd love to know where you all teach!





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin again for Teacher Week!  Today is Technology Tip Tuesday, so here are some great websites I use in my class!


1.  Teacher Tube.  I just got on this one to find the little song for Pete the Cat: Rockin in My School Shoes, which my class is doing next week.  It has lots of little school videos for free once you sit through a 30 second ad.  It's great, since we can't get YouTube at my school.  Plus:  it has Schoolhouse Rock!  Hooray!


2.  Discovery Education a.k.a. United Streaming.  No, I promise, we do not just watch videos in my class!  But this is another amazing site!  I think you have to have a subscription, though, but you should definitely inquire about it if you don't have this at your school!  It has a bunch of Magic School Bus episodes and Reading Rainbows and so many educational videos!  It's great for those rainy days when we can't go outside - we just pop on a Magic School Bus related to what we're talking about in Science and the kiddos love it!

3.  Starfall.  My kids LOVE this!  We use it at the computer center and first thing in the mornings to help us review our letters and sounds.  They also have a store with the best journals for very, very cheap!

4.  Brain Pop Jr.  This is so helpful in explaining difficult concepts and even has little games at the end of each short video.  There are so many topics, you could probably incorporate one each day into whatever you're teaching!  Plus...the kids love the robot character!  (Needs a subscription again, though, but is totally worth it.)

Please feel free to share any Tech Tips you may have!  I know kids today LOVE technology, so I try to incorporate it as much as possible.  Like I posted yesterday, I could not live without my ActivBoard!




I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin again for Teacher Week!  Today is Technology Tip Tuesday, so here are some great websites I use in my class!


1.  Teacher Tube.  I just got on this one to find the little song for Pete the Cat: Rockin in My School Shoes, which my class is doing next week.  It has lots of little school videos for free once you sit through a 30 second ad.  It's great, since we can't get YouTube at my school.  Plus:  it has Schoolhouse Rock!  Hooray!


2.  Discovery Education a.k.a. United Streaming.  No, I promise, we do not just watch videos in my class!  But this is another amazing site!  I think you have to have a subscription, though, but you should definitely inquire about it if you don't have this at your school!  It has a bunch of Magic School Bus episodes and Reading Rainbows and so many educational videos!  It's great for those rainy days when we can't go outside - we just pop on a Magic School Bus related to what we're talking about in Science and the kiddos love it!

3.  Starfall.  My kids LOVE this!  We use it at the computer center and first thing in the mornings to help us review our letters and sounds.  They also have a store with the best journals for very, very cheap!

4.  Brain Pop Jr.  This is so helpful in explaining difficult concepts and even has little games at the end of each short video.  There are so many topics, you could probably incorporate one each day into whatever you're teaching!  Plus...the kids love the robot character!  (Needs a subscription again, though, but is totally worth it.)

Please feel free to share any Tech Tips you may have!  I know kids today LOVE technology, so I try to incorporate it as much as possible.  Like I posted yesterday, I could not live without my ActivBoard!




Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Have Monday

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week!  I'll do my best to post each day....We'll see how this goes!
So today is Must Have Monday.  Here are some things I must have to keep my classroom rolling as it should:

1.  Coke.  I don't go for the Diet version.  I need the real stuff.


2.  Lakeshore Instant Learning Centers.  These are FABULOUS!  I currently have only the Math and Science ones, but they are wonderful for throwing out for a center one week.  Sometimes I make a recording sheet to go with them, but they are self explanatory with great picture directions and the kiddos LOVE them.

3.  My Activboard.  I taught for one semester with an overhead before I got my activboard.  I hated it, the kids hated it and it just was a prime time to take a nap with those lights off.  I love my Activboard and my kiddos just think it is the best thing ever when they get a turn to write on it.  


4.  Project Popperz.  They just make your anchor charts POP!  And they come in such bright and fun colors!  And they are super thick, so your words really stand out.


5.  No pic for this one, but - my teamies.  I LOVE my other K teachers at my school and we all do everything we can to support one another.  I am so blessed to work with such a supportive and cohesive team!  We see someone else doing an activity and no matter who it is, they are more than happy to share.  And let's face it - teaching is much, much easier as a team sport!

Tune in tomorrow (hopefully!) for Tech Tip Tuesday!








I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week!  I'll do my best to post each day....We'll see how this goes!
So today is Must Have Monday.  Here are some things I must have to keep my classroom rolling as it should:

1.  Coke.  I don't go for the Diet version.  I need the real stuff.


2.  Lakeshore Instant Learning Centers.  These are FABULOUS!  I currently have only the Math and Science ones, but they are wonderful for throwing out for a center one week.  Sometimes I make a recording sheet to go with them, but they are self explanatory with great picture directions and the kiddos LOVE them.

3.  My Activboard.  I taught for one semester with an overhead before I got my activboard.  I hated it, the kids hated it and it just was a prime time to take a nap with those lights off.  I love my Activboard and my kiddos just think it is the best thing ever when they get a turn to write on it.  


4.  Project Popperz.  They just make your anchor charts POP!  And they come in such bright and fun colors!  And they are super thick, so your words really stand out.


5.  No pic for this one, but - my teamies.  I LOVE my other K teachers at my school and we all do everything we can to support one another.  I am so blessed to work with such a supportive and cohesive team!  We see someone else doing an activity and no matter who it is, they are more than happy to share.  And let's face it - teaching is much, much easier as a team sport!

Tune in tomorrow (hopefully!) for Tech Tip Tuesday!








Saturday, August 18, 2012

School Supply Extravaganza!

I absolutely LOVE the beginning of the year...mainly for the school supplies that roll into my classroom!  My first year of teaching I was hired late and was an "added" classroom, where they pulled kids from other rooms to make up my class, so I didn't get to enjoy the plethora of supplies.  Last year I piled all the crayons in a box, all the glues in a box, etc and had community supplies.   The only thing the students got to keep that they specifically brought was their scissors.  This worked fine for a while, but then when my whole community supply of glue ran out in about March, I realized I was not so much of a fan.  I just didn't think it was fair that there were kids who had only used one glue bottle the whole year and there were some that used gobs and gobs of glue and used up about five bottles.  Enter this method...
I have students put all their supplies in their cubby until I have time to sort through it.  Then, I fill up the pencil box they brought with their scissors, one glue bottle, and one box of crayons.  The rest of the glue bottles and crayon boxes go in a gallon bag, labelled with the child's name, and into the big basket.  The tiny baskets you see are for those optional supplies, like extra glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, dry erase markers and pencils.  These things do become community supplies because not everyone brings them and we don't use them all the time.  

Everything gets labelled that is not a community supply!  Binder, composition books, 2 cans of playdoh (one for my fine motor center and one for word work center), pencil box, and scissors.  You can see the binders labelled and some of the labelled playdoh in this pic. 
I asked each student to bring in two composition books (one for math journal and probably the other for the math journal when the first gets full).  I stack them into two piles with names on all of them so I have my two class sets.  I also asked students to bring in a pencil pouch to be their money pocket for the daily folder I send home each day.  I stuff these in a pocket of one of the folders I will use (in the blue basket) and stick a label on the front of the folder.  When I get time, I'll put the pencil pouch and the behavior chart, etc. in the prongs!
Whew!  That is my supply organizational system for this year.  When I get done, I'll store all the extras in the closet of my room. I would love to hear how you organize your supplies, so leave me a comment!  

Now for something fun...I was so excited about this stuff!  My parents this year are fabulous so far!  Some of them even brought me little goody baskets to Meet the Teacher, but I thought this was so creative:
I know it's sideways, but it's one of those jars of scenty-good smelly stuff that you stick the reeds in to make your room smell good.  And it's cotton candy scented, which fits perfectly with my sweet shop themed classroom!  Now you walk in and see all the candy, cupcakes, ice cream and can smell cotton candy!  Love it!  It's such a great accent!  Glad I don't have a frog or dog themed room....not sure how awesome a frog-scented room would be!






I absolutely LOVE the beginning of the year...mainly for the school supplies that roll into my classroom!  My first year of teaching I was hired late and was an "added" classroom, where they pulled kids from other rooms to make up my class, so I didn't get to enjoy the plethora of supplies.  Last year I piled all the crayons in a box, all the glues in a box, etc and had community supplies.   The only thing the students got to keep that they specifically brought was their scissors.  This worked fine for a while, but then when my whole community supply of glue ran out in about March, I realized I was not so much of a fan.  I just didn't think it was fair that there were kids who had only used one glue bottle the whole year and there were some that used gobs and gobs of glue and used up about five bottles.  Enter this method...
I have students put all their supplies in their cubby until I have time to sort through it.  Then, I fill up the pencil box they brought with their scissors, one glue bottle, and one box of crayons.  The rest of the glue bottles and crayon boxes go in a gallon bag, labelled with the child's name, and into the big basket.  The tiny baskets you see are for those optional supplies, like extra glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, dry erase markers and pencils.  These things do become community supplies because not everyone brings them and we don't use them all the time.  

Everything gets labelled that is not a community supply!  Binder, composition books, 2 cans of playdoh (one for my fine motor center and one for word work center), pencil box, and scissors.  You can see the binders labelled and some of the labelled playdoh in this pic. 
I asked each student to bring in two composition books (one for math journal and probably the other for the math journal when the first gets full).  I stack them into two piles with names on all of them so I have my two class sets.  I also asked students to bring in a pencil pouch to be their money pocket for the daily folder I send home each day.  I stuff these in a pocket of one of the folders I will use (in the blue basket) and stick a label on the front of the folder.  When I get time, I'll put the pencil pouch and the behavior chart, etc. in the prongs!
Whew!  That is my supply organizational system for this year.  When I get done, I'll store all the extras in the closet of my room. I would love to hear how you organize your supplies, so leave me a comment!  

Now for something fun...I was so excited about this stuff!  My parents this year are fabulous so far!  Some of them even brought me little goody baskets to Meet the Teacher, but I thought this was so creative:
I know it's sideways, but it's one of those jars of scenty-good smelly stuff that you stick the reeds in to make your room smell good.  And it's cotton candy scented, which fits perfectly with my sweet shop themed classroom!  Now you walk in and see all the candy, cupcakes, ice cream and can smell cotton candy!  Love it!  It's such a great accent!  Glad I don't have a frog or dog themed room....not sure how awesome a frog-scented room would be!






Monday, October 15, 2012

Drowning in Flash Cards!!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 2:59 PM 1 comments
So, I don't know about you, but I have flash cards with those stinking sight words all over my room!  I have them on the word wall, in the word work center, at my small group table, in the writing center and at my teacher easel for whole group reviewing.  My teammate and I were talking the other day "If I have to write one more sight word flash card..." well, you can imagine how that ends!  We got the brilliant idea to get rid, once and for all, of one set of flash cards.  The set we are getting rid of is the set used for whole group sight word review.  The cards still exist at small group table, word work center, word wall, and the writing center (for now until another epiphany is had!).  Now, instead of just flipping the cards, saying the words and tapping it out (ex: "can.  c-a-n spells can." where students tap left hand on right knee, then right hand on left knee, and on for each letter and clap on "spells"), we start this PowerPoint and students follow along with it saying the words and tapping them out.  It switches between words automatically after 6 seconds (longer for bigger words).  Best thing about this little idea - you can get it for FREE in my TPT store!  I plan to switch the slides around occasionally for my kiddos so they don't become cheaty-faces and just memorize the order of the words.  I don't do the whole slide show each day.  I stop it when it goes through the words we've covered.  There's one for sight words and one for color/number words also!  Click the pics to get to the one you want!
Click for Sight Words

And TPT is being difficult, so I'll put the color and number word slide show up later!


Thanks for checking in!








Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Crazy Life....

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 2:50 PM 0 comments

Well, it's the beginning of October and my kiddos have already gotten me sick!  I spent about a week just exhausted and dragging myself to school (because we all know it's easier to teach sick than to get together sub plans!), then coming home and sleeping.  Turns out I had a sinus and respiratory infection!  All better now, though, so back to blogging!  In addition to all this fun, my school had a big event and broke a world record today for most kids at a Read-In!  Check out the news feed here!

So, here are some cool activities we did last week throughout all my sickness...

Love this chart a friend came up with to help kiddos understand the differences between letters, words, and sentences.  Each day we filled in one box, then underlined all the parts of the "I can run." sentence in its corresponding color.
So, for example, we underlined all the letters in blue, then the words in red and the whole sentence in green.  It really helped the kids understand these concepts!

We also did our apple unit...here are some cute activities we did with that...  We tasted the three different kinds of apples, students chose their favorite, wrote their name on the corresponding apple and put it on the right tree.  


The next day, we made these cute little apples showing our favorite kind of apple.  I just gave the kids a square of paper and they had to cut it into the shape of an apple.  Some of them turned out very tiny! They also did a mix and fix at the bottom that says "I like _____ apples." and they had to fill in the color word. 


We were finishing up our sorting unit and culminated the unit with this project where students had to sort by color.

The text says "_____ Owl baked cookies today.  He sorted his favorite chips.  He sorted ___ and ___ chips."

Well, that's just a glimpse of some of the things we did last week!  Barring any future illnesses, I should be posting again soon!  





Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! What's Going on in my Room?

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 9:57 AM 0 comments
Whew! It has been a while since I've had time to get on here and blog!  I just come home every day absolutely exhausted!  But, I will try to do better and here are some things we have done in my class up to this point.  We spend a little time each day talking about how we should act in school and sometimes we even come up with charts to hang up as reminders!

My class and I did this one the other day when we were talking about listening.  We read the story "Interrupting Chicken" first and if you have not read this with your kiddos, you definitely should.  The kids got really annoyed at how the Chicken in the story kept interrupting the bedtime stories Papa Chicken was trying to tell him.  Hopefully this really drove the point home about not interrupting the speaker!  Anyway, I wrote "I can listen" at the top and they came up with how to act when we are doing good listening:


Another day we come up with this chart after reading "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and discussing what all he did with his crayon and what we should do with our crayons and other supplies.  I showed them some broken pencils and broken crayons I had found and then we talked about how to treat our supplies.  Again, I wrote down the rules the students came up with.  Please ignore the illustrations - I am so not an artist!

Now on to some of the more fun activities we have done!  We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and watched the video to it as well on Discovery Education (the song they turned it into is so catchy!).  Then we made coconut trees with the letters to our names climbing up the trees.  The text at the bottom of each tree says:  
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Will there be enough room?
____________ has _______ letters in 
his/her name.

We have also been talking about colors and had a little book with blank monsters that the students had to color different colors.  There was not a page to make a black monster in the book, so when we talked about the color black, we made a black Angry Bird!  The students LOVED this!  They got so excited when I said that we were making an Angry Bird.  Below the Angry Birds is a name practice activity we did where I wrote each student's name really big on a strip of white construction paper and they tore paper and glued it down on each letter.  It turned out so cute and was such a great fine motor activity!

We did this on the first day of school.  Love this keepsake idea from another teacher -  I got each student's handprint, then backed it and laminated it, hot glued a clothespin to the back and stuck a sticky magnet on the back of the clothespin.  Then I clipped this little saying to the clothespin:
I made this little clothespin magnet
On my first day of school.
Isn't it pretty and very cool? 
You can put it on the fridge
 Or where ever it will stick.
Then on it you can hang 
The artwork that you pick.

So cute!  The last thing I want to share (I know its a long post....like I said I'll try to do better about posting more!) just really made my day when I saw it!  When we were lining up for lunch on Friday, I was checking out my line, making sure everyone had a "bubble and a ducktail" and I noticed this.  One of my little kinders had one of the old timey plastic Beauty and the Beast lunch box.  Oh my word - I totally had the EXACT SAME lunch box when I was in Kindergarten!!!!  She didn't have the thermos, but it was so weird to see this lunch box with another kid 20 years after I had used it!

That's all for now, but I am working on an Apple unit to add to TPT!  Be on the look out and hopefully it won't be as long before I post again!!












Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday - on a Thursday!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 1:04 PM 2 comments
Here we go again with Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week.  Yesterday was Where I Teach Wednesday - surprise, surprise...I'm behind!  Maybe tomorrow will be Thursday and Friday, but for today, here's what I've got...
Now, I took this two different ways.  First off, I teach in Knoxville, TN.  You may recognize it as this if you are a football fan:

The second way I took this was where in my classroom do I teach, which is the idea I chose to really run with.  I spend most of my time teaching here:

I spend most of my time at the ActivBoard when we are doing whole group lessons while the kiddos sit either on the carpet or at their tables.  In the pic, you can see my ActivBoard, my pocket charts underneath (a normal red/green one and a yellow/blue/green Venn Diagram), my big book stand and on the bulletin board my post it note anchor charts.  I put a half tablet of chart paper on the big book stand normally and we list things there.  The blue thing with white cards in front of the big book stand is a pocket chart with ABC cards where we build word family and sight words.  The three green posters on the bulletin board contain a Story Map poster, a Schema poster, and a Literacy Vocabulary Poster.  In that teeny white space beside the ActivBoard are my brand new directions cards on magnets so I can tell students what order to complete activities (right now its set to write, color, cut, glue).  Below that is my rainbow tracing chart that has the order students go in when they trace something like their name or the letter of the week.


The other place I do most of my teaching is at my reading table:

The chair pockets on each student chair have a pencil box inside them with crayons, pencils, scissors, and glue.  That way these materials are always close by for guided reading groups.  That brown bookshelf is home to all the different lined writing paper (in the clear and white bins), my whisper phones, testing materials, office supplies, and finger pointers.  The colored drawers beside the bookshelf is where I keep my weekly activities.  Each day has its own drawer.  On the counter is where all those other papers go - things to copy, go home, etc, etc.  The yellow pocket chart on the wall is for my literacy center rotations and the purple pocket chart is for math center rotations.  The images on the bulletin board are for my reading groups (cupcake, popsicle, ice cream, candy).  Once I figure out who is in what group, I'll write their names on a sentence strip and stick it up beside their icon.

Whew!  Any questions?  I'd love to know where you all teach!





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 3:37 PM 1 comments
I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin again for Teacher Week!  Today is Technology Tip Tuesday, so here are some great websites I use in my class!


1.  Teacher Tube.  I just got on this one to find the little song for Pete the Cat: Rockin in My School Shoes, which my class is doing next week.  It has lots of little school videos for free once you sit through a 30 second ad.  It's great, since we can't get YouTube at my school.  Plus:  it has Schoolhouse Rock!  Hooray!


2.  Discovery Education a.k.a. United Streaming.  No, I promise, we do not just watch videos in my class!  But this is another amazing site!  I think you have to have a subscription, though, but you should definitely inquire about it if you don't have this at your school!  It has a bunch of Magic School Bus episodes and Reading Rainbows and so many educational videos!  It's great for those rainy days when we can't go outside - we just pop on a Magic School Bus related to what we're talking about in Science and the kiddos love it!

3.  Starfall.  My kids LOVE this!  We use it at the computer center and first thing in the mornings to help us review our letters and sounds.  They also have a store with the best journals for very, very cheap!

4.  Brain Pop Jr.  This is so helpful in explaining difficult concepts and even has little games at the end of each short video.  There are so many topics, you could probably incorporate one each day into whatever you're teaching!  Plus...the kids love the robot character!  (Needs a subscription again, though, but is totally worth it.)

Please feel free to share any Tech Tips you may have!  I know kids today LOVE technology, so I try to incorporate it as much as possible.  Like I posted yesterday, I could not live without my ActivBoard!




Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Have Monday

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 4:26 PM 3 comments
I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week!  I'll do my best to post each day....We'll see how this goes!
So today is Must Have Monday.  Here are some things I must have to keep my classroom rolling as it should:

1.  Coke.  I don't go for the Diet version.  I need the real stuff.


2.  Lakeshore Instant Learning Centers.  These are FABULOUS!  I currently have only the Math and Science ones, but they are wonderful for throwing out for a center one week.  Sometimes I make a recording sheet to go with them, but they are self explanatory with great picture directions and the kiddos LOVE them.

3.  My Activboard.  I taught for one semester with an overhead before I got my activboard.  I hated it, the kids hated it and it just was a prime time to take a nap with those lights off.  I love my Activboard and my kiddos just think it is the best thing ever when they get a turn to write on it.  


4.  Project Popperz.  They just make your anchor charts POP!  And they come in such bright and fun colors!  And they are super thick, so your words really stand out.


5.  No pic for this one, but - my teamies.  I LOVE my other K teachers at my school and we all do everything we can to support one another.  I am so blessed to work with such a supportive and cohesive team!  We see someone else doing an activity and no matter who it is, they are more than happy to share.  And let's face it - teaching is much, much easier as a team sport!

Tune in tomorrow (hopefully!) for Tech Tip Tuesday!








Saturday, August 18, 2012

School Supply Extravaganza!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 10:41 AM 0 comments
I absolutely LOVE the beginning of the year...mainly for the school supplies that roll into my classroom!  My first year of teaching I was hired late and was an "added" classroom, where they pulled kids from other rooms to make up my class, so I didn't get to enjoy the plethora of supplies.  Last year I piled all the crayons in a box, all the glues in a box, etc and had community supplies.   The only thing the students got to keep that they specifically brought was their scissors.  This worked fine for a while, but then when my whole community supply of glue ran out in about March, I realized I was not so much of a fan.  I just didn't think it was fair that there were kids who had only used one glue bottle the whole year and there were some that used gobs and gobs of glue and used up about five bottles.  Enter this method...
I have students put all their supplies in their cubby until I have time to sort through it.  Then, I fill up the pencil box they brought with their scissors, one glue bottle, and one box of crayons.  The rest of the glue bottles and crayon boxes go in a gallon bag, labelled with the child's name, and into the big basket.  The tiny baskets you see are for those optional supplies, like extra glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, dry erase markers and pencils.  These things do become community supplies because not everyone brings them and we don't use them all the time.  

Everything gets labelled that is not a community supply!  Binder, composition books, 2 cans of playdoh (one for my fine motor center and one for word work center), pencil box, and scissors.  You can see the binders labelled and some of the labelled playdoh in this pic. 
I asked each student to bring in two composition books (one for math journal and probably the other for the math journal when the first gets full).  I stack them into two piles with names on all of them so I have my two class sets.  I also asked students to bring in a pencil pouch to be their money pocket for the daily folder I send home each day.  I stuff these in a pocket of one of the folders I will use (in the blue basket) and stick a label on the front of the folder.  When I get time, I'll put the pencil pouch and the behavior chart, etc. in the prongs!
Whew!  That is my supply organizational system for this year.  When I get done, I'll store all the extras in the closet of my room. I would love to hear how you organize your supplies, so leave me a comment!  

Now for something fun...I was so excited about this stuff!  My parents this year are fabulous so far!  Some of them even brought me little goody baskets to Meet the Teacher, but I thought this was so creative:
I know it's sideways, but it's one of those jars of scenty-good smelly stuff that you stick the reeds in to make your room smell good.  And it's cotton candy scented, which fits perfectly with my sweet shop themed classroom!  Now you walk in and see all the candy, cupcakes, ice cream and can smell cotton candy!  Love it!  It's such a great accent!  Glad I don't have a frog or dog themed room....not sure how awesome a frog-scented room would be!






 
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