Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Math Journals and an Award




I just wanted to let you know about a new Math Journal packet I uploaded to TPT!  I am really excited to use this bad boy in my room this year.  It is organized according to the enVision math series, but is appropriate for all Kinders (and probably some firsties).  Now, this is just a PDF where you will have to cut up the strips before passing them out to your kiddos.  A friend of mine suggested that I make it to be able to be printed on Avery labels, so the munchkins can just stick it right on their paper, so that's what I'm working on now.  Warning:  it may take a while because Microsoft Word is always such a pain in the you-know-what with label templates!  As soon as I get done fighting with it, I'll let you know.  If you want to wait for the Avery label version, I totally get it, but still check it out and I'll let you know when the new version is ready!


Hip Hip Hooray!  Today's my lucky day!  I was nominated for an award and I am super excited because it's my first one!  Thanks so much to Cheryl at Spotted Around the School for nominating me!

  

Ok...here's the rest of the rules and who I am nominating!
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.  (done!)
2. Include a link their blog. (done!)
3. Include the award image in your post. (done!)
4. Give seven random facts about yourself. (done!)
5. Nominate 5 other bloggers for the award. (done!)
6. Include a link to the blogs you nominated. (done!)
7. Let the bloggers know they have been nominated. (done!)


Since I just did the Tell me more, Tell me more linky, I figured I'd tell you seven school-related facts about me:
1.  My classroom is decked out in a sweet shop theme because I have an enormous sweet tooth and it makes me happy looking at candy, cupcakes, and ice cream all day long.  
2.  My favorite teacher was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Adams, because she always joked around with us and I try to do this with my kiddos as well.
3.  I would much rather have tables in my room than desks - so much easier to do collaborative and group work!
4.   I spend a lot of money on Scholastic books for my classroom.  Seriously.  I think I still owe them money from last year.  
5.  I can't leave school each day until my teacher table is cleared off and my materials for the next day are moved from my weekly storage container (labelled Mon-Fri) to a basket in my big book stand.  Otherwise, I just don't feel prepared when I walk in the next morning.
6.  I LOVE looking at data and seeing the progress and differences in my kiddos.  Mind you, I do not love getting the data, but if someone else would test my kids, I could look at and analyze their scores all day long.
7.  I end up barefoot at least once a day at school.  I just can't wear shoes that long!  Especially not while chasing around a bunch of Kinders!


Here are my people I nominated for the award.  Check them out!
1.  Heather's Heart
2.  Miss Kindergarten
3.  Lovely Little Leaders
4.  Teaching with Love and Laughter
5.  Doodle Bugs Teaching






I just wanted to let you know about a new Math Journal packet I uploaded to TPT!  I am really excited to use this bad boy in my room this year.  It is organized according to the enVision math series, but is appropriate for all Kinders (and probably some firsties).  Now, this is just a PDF where you will have to cut up the strips before passing them out to your kiddos.  A friend of mine suggested that I make it to be able to be printed on Avery labels, so the munchkins can just stick it right on their paper, so that's what I'm working on now.  Warning:  it may take a while because Microsoft Word is always such a pain in the you-know-what with label templates!  As soon as I get done fighting with it, I'll let you know.  If you want to wait for the Avery label version, I totally get it, but still check it out and I'll let you know when the new version is ready!


Hip Hip Hooray!  Today's my lucky day!  I was nominated for an award and I am super excited because it's my first one!  Thanks so much to Cheryl at Spotted Around the School for nominating me!

  

Ok...here's the rest of the rules and who I am nominating!
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.  (done!)
2. Include a link their blog. (done!)
3. Include the award image in your post. (done!)
4. Give seven random facts about yourself. (done!)
5. Nominate 5 other bloggers for the award. (done!)
6. Include a link to the blogs you nominated. (done!)
7. Let the bloggers know they have been nominated. (done!)


Since I just did the Tell me more, Tell me more linky, I figured I'd tell you seven school-related facts about me:
1.  My classroom is decked out in a sweet shop theme because I have an enormous sweet tooth and it makes me happy looking at candy, cupcakes, and ice cream all day long.  
2.  My favorite teacher was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Adams, because she always joked around with us and I try to do this with my kiddos as well.
3.  I would much rather have tables in my room than desks - so much easier to do collaborative and group work!
4.   I spend a lot of money on Scholastic books for my classroom.  Seriously.  I think I still owe them money from last year.  
5.  I can't leave school each day until my teacher table is cleared off and my materials for the next day are moved from my weekly storage container (labelled Mon-Fri) to a basket in my big book stand.  Otherwise, I just don't feel prepared when I walk in the next morning.
6.  I LOVE looking at data and seeing the progress and differences in my kiddos.  Mind you, I do not love getting the data, but if someone else would test my kids, I could look at and analyze their scores all day long.
7.  I end up barefoot at least once a day at school.  I just can't wear shoes that long!  Especially not while chasing around a bunch of Kinders!


Here are my people I nominated for the award.  Check them out!
1.  Heather's Heart
2.  Miss Kindergarten
3.  Lovely Little Leaders
4.  Teaching with Love and Laughter
5.  Doodle Bugs Teaching



Saturday, July 28, 2012

First Day Jitters Blog Hop

I told you I love these linky party blog hop things!  Here is another one from Fierce in Fourth:

The site glitched out when I was trying to link up, so I don't have the links to all the different people participating in this, but if you click the image above, it will take you to Fierce in Fourth's page where she has all the links for you!
Here's how this one goes...we are supposed to list three things about the first day of school that gives us the "jitters."

1.  This is my second year teaching Kindergarten.  Last year, most of our Kinders left at 1:00 and each teacher had 4-6 students stay for "After School Intervention" until 2:30.  This year, everybody stays all day.  While this will give us A LOT more time to get stuff done this year, I am a little concerned about having them all day long.  I was exhausted by the end of the day last year and I can't imagine how tired I'm going to be this year.

2.  We got our tentative class lists when we went for an inservice on June 14.  Then, each K teacher at my school had between 18 and 20 kiddos on her roll.  In June.  Before new student registration.  Last year, at this time, we each had about 14 on our rolls and ended with about 20.  You do the math.  Yep. I've got the jitters about the 24 kid Kinder class that may be headed my way.  

3.  My last (well, probably not last, but third) jitter is the mystery that Kindergarten brings.  First grade teachers and up have the sometime benefit of being able to talk to their new students' previous year teachers about which kiddos are great helpers and which are not so much.  Kinder teachers don't get this.  We walk into a dark room, not knowing what's going to happen.  This is probably the biggest jitter of all to me...the mystery.  

What are some of your First Day Jitters?  Are they similar to mine?


I told you I love these linky party blog hop things!  Here is another one from Fierce in Fourth:

The site glitched out when I was trying to link up, so I don't have the links to all the different people participating in this, but if you click the image above, it will take you to Fierce in Fourth's page where she has all the links for you!
Here's how this one goes...we are supposed to list three things about the first day of school that gives us the "jitters."

1.  This is my second year teaching Kindergarten.  Last year, most of our Kinders left at 1:00 and each teacher had 4-6 students stay for "After School Intervention" until 2:30.  This year, everybody stays all day.  While this will give us A LOT more time to get stuff done this year, I am a little concerned about having them all day long.  I was exhausted by the end of the day last year and I can't imagine how tired I'm going to be this year.

2.  We got our tentative class lists when we went for an inservice on June 14.  Then, each K teacher at my school had between 18 and 20 kiddos on her roll.  In June.  Before new student registration.  Last year, at this time, we each had about 14 on our rolls and ended with about 20.  You do the math.  Yep. I've got the jitters about the 24 kid Kinder class that may be headed my way.  

3.  My last (well, probably not last, but third) jitter is the mystery that Kindergarten brings.  First grade teachers and up have the sometime benefit of being able to talk to their new students' previous year teachers about which kiddos are great helpers and which are not so much.  Kinder teachers don't get this.  We walk into a dark room, not knowing what's going to happen.  This is probably the biggest jitter of all to me...the mystery.  

What are some of your First Day Jitters?  Are they similar to mine?


Tell Me More Linky Party



I am absolutely loving these linky parties!  It is such a great way to discover new blogs!  This one is from Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons.
Here are some things about me:

1.  The title of this, "Tell me more, tell me more!" brings that song from Grease straight to my head!  I loved that movie when I was a kid and watched it probably everysingleday.  For real.  I still remember all words to all songs.  And now that I'm older, I understand the meaning of some of the more...hmmm...how to put it...risque ones!  Can't believe my mom let me walk around singing some of those!

2.  My husband and I have no kids of our own yet.  Our doggie is PLENTY for right now.  This is Jasper:

And our house belongs to him.  We just live here.  Seriously - that shirt he is holding on to belongs to my husband.  Jasper is in charge and what he says goes.  If he wasn't so darn cute, it may be a little different around here....

3.  I am a secret nerd.  I love all the classic geeky shows:  Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who (and just so you know - the 10th Doctor is the best), Supernatural, Fringe, Eureka, etc.  And Star Wars may be just the greatest thing ever.  And now, thanks to my husband, I have entered the realm of video games.  That's right.  I have two characters on World of Warcraft.  We will see if I can keep up with my stats once the school year starts!
4.  We don't have cable.  No TV service at all.  Most people can't believe this.  Don't get me wrong, we still have TVs, but we just watch movies and iTunes on them.  

5.  I don't drink coffee.  Ever.  So gross.  I would much rather have my glass of orange juice each morning.  In fact, it is necessary to have my OJ.  It is my coffee.  If I don't have it, my day just does not go right.  

6.  Best book ever that will change your life - The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.  Check it out.  You will never be the same.  For real - the subtitle is "A Book that Changes Lives" and it does not lie.  Click the pic to get it on Amazon.  I would seriously buy 1000 copies of this and hand them out to people if I could.  

7.  I love making things for school on my computer.  My friend at work calls it my "creative therapy."  

8.  When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian.  Then, when we had to put a dog to sleep, I decided I couldn't do that.  So I decided to be a lawyer.  I was NEVER going to be a teacher because my mom was one and I saw all the junk-ola she had to deal with.  Well.  Look how that worked out.  And I wouldn't trade my teacher junk-ola for anything.  :-)

9.  Some day I would like to go back to school and get my Ph.D. so I can teach future teachers about actually being an elementary school teacher.  I don't think there was but a handful of my college professors who actually did teach elementary school at some point.  The ones who did were the ones I learned the most from.  Still, though, there should be a college course entitled: Boogers, Snot, Wet Pants, Projectile Vomiting, Nose Bleeds, and Difficult Parents.  I think I would have gotten more out of that class than I did in my whole 5 years of college!

10.  I secretly wish that I could teach Kindergarten all day long, then moonlight as a 4th or 5th grade writing teacher.  I LOVE teaching about writers' craft and making your writing beautiful.  Don't really get to this a lot with my Kinders.  I wish I could do both, though!  

So what do you think?  How crazy am I on a scale of 1-10?  Link up so I can see how crazy you are!









I am absolutely loving these linky parties!  It is such a great way to discover new blogs!  This one is from Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons.
Here are some things about me:

1.  The title of this, "Tell me more, tell me more!" brings that song from Grease straight to my head!  I loved that movie when I was a kid and watched it probably everysingleday.  For real.  I still remember all words to all songs.  And now that I'm older, I understand the meaning of some of the more...hmmm...how to put it...risque ones!  Can't believe my mom let me walk around singing some of those!

2.  My husband and I have no kids of our own yet.  Our doggie is PLENTY for right now.  This is Jasper:

And our house belongs to him.  We just live here.  Seriously - that shirt he is holding on to belongs to my husband.  Jasper is in charge and what he says goes.  If he wasn't so darn cute, it may be a little different around here....

3.  I am a secret nerd.  I love all the classic geeky shows:  Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who (and just so you know - the 10th Doctor is the best), Supernatural, Fringe, Eureka, etc.  And Star Wars may be just the greatest thing ever.  And now, thanks to my husband, I have entered the realm of video games.  That's right.  I have two characters on World of Warcraft.  We will see if I can keep up with my stats once the school year starts!
4.  We don't have cable.  No TV service at all.  Most people can't believe this.  Don't get me wrong, we still have TVs, but we just watch movies and iTunes on them.  

5.  I don't drink coffee.  Ever.  So gross.  I would much rather have my glass of orange juice each morning.  In fact, it is necessary to have my OJ.  It is my coffee.  If I don't have it, my day just does not go right.  

6.  Best book ever that will change your life - The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.  Check it out.  You will never be the same.  For real - the subtitle is "A Book that Changes Lives" and it does not lie.  Click the pic to get it on Amazon.  I would seriously buy 1000 copies of this and hand them out to people if I could.  

7.  I love making things for school on my computer.  My friend at work calls it my "creative therapy."  

8.  When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian.  Then, when we had to put a dog to sleep, I decided I couldn't do that.  So I decided to be a lawyer.  I was NEVER going to be a teacher because my mom was one and I saw all the junk-ola she had to deal with.  Well.  Look how that worked out.  And I wouldn't trade my teacher junk-ola for anything.  :-)

9.  Some day I would like to go back to school and get my Ph.D. so I can teach future teachers about actually being an elementary school teacher.  I don't think there was but a handful of my college professors who actually did teach elementary school at some point.  The ones who did were the ones I learned the most from.  Still, though, there should be a college course entitled: Boogers, Snot, Wet Pants, Projectile Vomiting, Nose Bleeds, and Difficult Parents.  I think I would have gotten more out of that class than I did in my whole 5 years of college!

10.  I secretly wish that I could teach Kindergarten all day long, then moonlight as a 4th or 5th grade writing teacher.  I LOVE teaching about writers' craft and making your writing beautiful.  Don't really get to this a lot with my Kinders.  I wish I could do both, though!  

So what do you think?  How crazy am I on a scale of 1-10?  Link up so I can see how crazy you are!







Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to work!

I have spent a few days this week working in my classroom.  We don't actually have to go back until August 7, but I've found that those teacher inservice/work days are NOT the time to try to get your classroom together.  Instead, I like to get it completely ready BEFORE we are even supposed to go back, so I can deal with all those extras that come flying my way during that first teacher week back.  Anyway, I promise more pics will find their way here soon, but for now here are two pics and a freebie.  First up is that completely finished (except for student names!) behavior chart I was so jazzed about earlier:
  
I just love how it turned out!  The second pic has a freebie with it.  Have you seen this thing on Pinterest?  It's such a fabulous idea:
I know last year I did the typical poster and wrote on it how my kiddos go home.  By the end of the year, it was pretty much completely wrong, because for some reason, this Kinder teacher just never could find the time to change it when a kiddo started going home a different way!  Imagine that!  Hopefully this will help me keep my act together since all I'll have to do is move a clothespin when a car rider becomes a bus rider.  Click the image to get it at my TPT store.  That's all for now!



I have spent a few days this week working in my classroom.  We don't actually have to go back until August 7, but I've found that those teacher inservice/work days are NOT the time to try to get your classroom together.  Instead, I like to get it completely ready BEFORE we are even supposed to go back, so I can deal with all those extras that come flying my way during that first teacher week back.  Anyway, I promise more pics will find their way here soon, but for now here are two pics and a freebie.  First up is that completely finished (except for student names!) behavior chart I was so jazzed about earlier:
  
I just love how it turned out!  The second pic has a freebie with it.  Have you seen this thing on Pinterest?  It's such a fabulous idea:
I know last year I did the typical poster and wrote on it how my kiddos go home.  By the end of the year, it was pretty much completely wrong, because for some reason, this Kinder teacher just never could find the time to change it when a kiddo started going home a different way!  Imagine that!  Hopefully this will help me keep my act together since all I'll have to do is move a clothespin when a car rider becomes a bus rider.  Click the image to get it at my TPT store.  That's all for now!



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Math Anchor Charts

I went to an inservice last summer on Math Workshops and one of the activities we had to do was to, in groups, create an anchor chart on some math topic that we could duplicate with our class.  After everyone made their charts and shared, they were placed on tables in the back for us to look at.  This was last year and I am just now figuring out a way to get the pictures off my phone so that they might actually be useful!  First up is graphing - tally marks and bar graphs:

Numbers, number words and quantities:


Different ways to sort (I love the illustrations on this one!):

Basic addition:  


Different ways to make ten.  I liked this one so much that I made a flip chart for my ActivBoard where you can plug in any number from 0-10.  Get it for free at my TPT store!


I liked that one so much that I tweaked it for Kindergarten and made a flip chart for my ActivBoard where you can plug in any number from 0-10.  Click this image to get it for free at my TPT store!


Ok back to the charts...Comparing numbers - More and fewer:


Patterns (I really like how this tells all the different things you can use to make a pattern):

And subtraction:

Ok, this one was a little different.  The people who made it said to make it on a paper grocery bag and hang it from a hanger that has clips on it.  Then each kiddo can make their own on a paper lunch sack and place manipulatives inside.  LOVE this idea!  It makes the aspect of an anchor chart so much more engaging and personal.  

Well there you go!  It only took me a year, but now these wonderful ideas have finally left my phone and will hopefully be useful to someone!  Thank you to all those people who made these wonderful charts!



I went to an inservice last summer on Math Workshops and one of the activities we had to do was to, in groups, create an anchor chart on some math topic that we could duplicate with our class.  After everyone made their charts and shared, they were placed on tables in the back for us to look at.  This was last year and I am just now figuring out a way to get the pictures off my phone so that they might actually be useful!  First up is graphing - tally marks and bar graphs:

Numbers, number words and quantities:


Different ways to sort (I love the illustrations on this one!):

Basic addition:  


Different ways to make ten.  I liked this one so much that I made a flip chart for my ActivBoard where you can plug in any number from 0-10.  Get it for free at my TPT store!


I liked that one so much that I tweaked it for Kindergarten and made a flip chart for my ActivBoard where you can plug in any number from 0-10.  Click this image to get it for free at my TPT store!


Ok back to the charts...Comparing numbers - More and fewer:


Patterns (I really like how this tells all the different things you can use to make a pattern):

And subtraction:

Ok, this one was a little different.  The people who made it said to make it on a paper grocery bag and hang it from a hanger that has clips on it.  Then each kiddo can make their own on a paper lunch sack and place manipulatives inside.  LOVE this idea!  It makes the aspect of an anchor chart so much more engaging and personal.  

Well there you go!  It only took me a year, but now these wonderful ideas have finally left my phone and will hopefully be useful to someone!  Thank you to all those people who made these wonderful charts!



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Newbie Blogger Blog Hop



I just stumbled across this and thought it would be a great way to see people working on their new blogs just like me!  I know I always love seeing blog hops and traveling to the different blogs to "visit" new people, so here's hoping you like them too!  This was started by  
 
and is the 
Click here to check it out!
So the deal is, once you link up, you have to tell everyone:

    1.  what state you are in  I am in Tennessee.
    2.  your current teaching position  Currently teaching Kindergarten and L~O~V~E it!
    3.  your teaching experience  This will be my second year teaching K, the year before I taught    second and the year before I was in college completing a year long internship in 5th.  Had a little bit of everything!
    4.  when you started blogging  Just started about a month ago and am still learning.  
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource  Wow...ummmm...be careful and patient adding images.  They tend to have a mind of their own!

Have fun hopping!  





I just stumbled across this and thought it would be a great way to see people working on their new blogs just like me!  I know I always love seeing blog hops and traveling to the different blogs to "visit" new people, so here's hoping you like them too!  This was started by  
 
and is the 
Click here to check it out!
So the deal is, once you link up, you have to tell everyone:

    1.  what state you are in  I am in Tennessee.
    2.  your current teaching position  Currently teaching Kindergarten and L~O~V~E it!
    3.  your teaching experience  This will be my second year teaching K, the year before I taught    second and the year before I was in college completing a year long internship in 5th.  Had a little bit of everything!
    4.  when you started blogging  Just started about a month ago and am still learning.  
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource  Wow...ummmm...be careful and patient adding images.  They tend to have a mind of their own!

Have fun hopping!  



Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Behavior Chart and Freebies!

So my next project of the summer was revamping my behavior chart.  Last year I used the basic daily  red, yellow, green clip chart with an "Outstanding" purple level at the top for those kiddos who were having an Outstanding day.  The problem with this:  I always forgot to have someone "move up to purple," so it didn't really have that positive reinforcement value.  The year before (teaching 2nd grade), I used library pockets with cards: 2 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 red and it lasted all week.  The problem with this:  forgetting at the end of the week what kiddos were on when I marked behavior charts and what exactly they had done to make it to their "second blue."  So, with a little inspiration from one of my coworkers, I'm trying yet another behavior chart this year.  Drumroll, please....




Going back to library pockets (except these were made by my Cricut and are actually open envelopes) with a twist.  This time I have these also:

Tiny buckets from the Target Dollar Spot!  Each bucket will have colored popsicle sticks in it that match the bucket - red sticks in the red bucket, green sticks in the green bucket, etc.  Each color represents a different place where students could get into mischief - classroom, lunch, hallway, special areas, recess.  I am hoping the color coding of "put a stick in your pocket" will help solve another problem - remembering what a student did to get in trouble!  By the end of the day last year, if it was a particularly "eventful" behavioral day, I sometimes had difficulty remembering which little darling did what to get their clip on yellow!  Hopefully this will help me remember - if they have a green lunch stick, I can probably make a good guess on what they did.  Now, my printer is low on ink right now (and I'm waiting on a printer ink sale to occur), but each bucket will be labelled with one of those places I mentioned earlier.  Here's the file if you want to use it:

Click here to download this freebie!
 The link to the freebie also has a half sheet to send home if a student has a really troublesome day.  I'm thinking three sticks deserves a note home that has to be signed and returned.  

 
I used something similar to this last year and LOVED it because it's just a few checks to let parents know what happened to their sweetie that day, instead of writing a whole long detailed letter.  Also included in the packet is a "Today I went to red because..." in case you use that system.  
Now, I loved the idea of "moving to purple" like I had last year, but just wished I actually used it.  This is my positive reinforcement plan for this year: I think I'm going to choose one student per day to send home a "happy note" with to let parents know that they had a SUPER day.  This is also in the freebie:
I'm going to run it on fun, bright colored paper and stick it in the take home folder of one AWESOME student at the end of the day.  So that's my new classroom behavior plan, we will see how it goes!  I'll be sure to post pics of the chart and buckets when they make their way to my wall!  Any classroom behavior plans you use that you love?

So my next project of the summer was revamping my behavior chart.  Last year I used the basic daily  red, yellow, green clip chart with an "Outstanding" purple level at the top for those kiddos who were having an Outstanding day.  The problem with this:  I always forgot to have someone "move up to purple," so it didn't really have that positive reinforcement value.  The year before (teaching 2nd grade), I used library pockets with cards: 2 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 red and it lasted all week.  The problem with this:  forgetting at the end of the week what kiddos were on when I marked behavior charts and what exactly they had done to make it to their "second blue."  So, with a little inspiration from one of my coworkers, I'm trying yet another behavior chart this year.  Drumroll, please....




Going back to library pockets (except these were made by my Cricut and are actually open envelopes) with a twist.  This time I have these also:

Tiny buckets from the Target Dollar Spot!  Each bucket will have colored popsicle sticks in it that match the bucket - red sticks in the red bucket, green sticks in the green bucket, etc.  Each color represents a different place where students could get into mischief - classroom, lunch, hallway, special areas, recess.  I am hoping the color coding of "put a stick in your pocket" will help solve another problem - remembering what a student did to get in trouble!  By the end of the day last year, if it was a particularly "eventful" behavioral day, I sometimes had difficulty remembering which little darling did what to get their clip on yellow!  Hopefully this will help me remember - if they have a green lunch stick, I can probably make a good guess on what they did.  Now, my printer is low on ink right now (and I'm waiting on a printer ink sale to occur), but each bucket will be labelled with one of those places I mentioned earlier.  Here's the file if you want to use it:

Click here to download this freebie!
 The link to the freebie also has a half sheet to send home if a student has a really troublesome day.  I'm thinking three sticks deserves a note home that has to be signed and returned.  

 
I used something similar to this last year and LOVED it because it's just a few checks to let parents know what happened to their sweetie that day, instead of writing a whole long detailed letter.  Also included in the packet is a "Today I went to red because..." in case you use that system.  
Now, I loved the idea of "moving to purple" like I had last year, but just wished I actually used it.  This is my positive reinforcement plan for this year: I think I'm going to choose one student per day to send home a "happy note" with to let parents know that they had a SUPER day.  This is also in the freebie:
I'm going to run it on fun, bright colored paper and stick it in the take home folder of one AWESOME student at the end of the day.  So that's my new classroom behavior plan, we will see how it goes!  I'll be sure to post pics of the chart and buckets when they make their way to my wall!  Any classroom behavior plans you use that you love?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Birthdays

So last year was my first year teaching Kindergarten.  The year before I was a second grade teacher.  The other K teachers at my school had all these cute headbands and such for student birthdays...and my kids got a certificate.  So, while I sit at home this summer watching Netflix, I decided to do something to step up my "birthday game" for my kiddos this year.  I ran across these ADORABLE and (now this is key) EASY to make b-day headbands from Kindergarten Kindergarten.  Check them out and the super easy instructions here:  http://www.kindergartenkindergarten.com/2012/06/birthday-crowns.html

Anyway....this was a great use for all my scrap card stock I had laying around that I just couldn't stand to throw away.  I am still working on cutesy-fying them (my glitter glue is at school, which is locked), but I am so excited with how they turned out so far!



All you do to make it into a crown is staple it to a sentence strip!

I also ran across these on Pinterest that I am working on:

I've got the balloons cut (Thanks, Cricut!) and instead of using Pixy Stix (because I'm scared of our school nutrition rules) I have a whole bunch of sparkly pencils I'm going to use instead.  So that's a crown and a balloon/pencil thingy for each kid's birthday for a grand total of $0 (already had the scrap paper and the pencils!).  Same cost as the homemade certificate I had last year but oh so much more fun!  What do you do for student birthdays in your class?
So last year was my first year teaching Kindergarten.  The year before I was a second grade teacher.  The other K teachers at my school had all these cute headbands and such for student birthdays...and my kids got a certificate.  So, while I sit at home this summer watching Netflix, I decided to do something to step up my "birthday game" for my kiddos this year.  I ran across these ADORABLE and (now this is key) EASY to make b-day headbands from Kindergarten Kindergarten.  Check them out and the super easy instructions here:  http://www.kindergartenkindergarten.com/2012/06/birthday-crowns.html

Anyway....this was a great use for all my scrap card stock I had laying around that I just couldn't stand to throw away.  I am still working on cutesy-fying them (my glitter glue is at school, which is locked), but I am so excited with how they turned out so far!



All you do to make it into a crown is staple it to a sentence strip!

I also ran across these on Pinterest that I am working on:

I've got the balloons cut (Thanks, Cricut!) and instead of using Pixy Stix (because I'm scared of our school nutrition rules) I have a whole bunch of sparkly pencils I'm going to use instead.  So that's a crown and a balloon/pencil thingy for each kid's birthday for a grand total of $0 (already had the scrap paper and the pencils!).  Same cost as the homemade certificate I had last year but oh so much more fun!  What do you do for student birthdays in your class?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Math Journals and an Award

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 5:05 PM 1 comments



I just wanted to let you know about a new Math Journal packet I uploaded to TPT!  I am really excited to use this bad boy in my room this year.  It is organized according to the enVision math series, but is appropriate for all Kinders (and probably some firsties).  Now, this is just a PDF where you will have to cut up the strips before passing them out to your kiddos.  A friend of mine suggested that I make it to be able to be printed on Avery labels, so the munchkins can just stick it right on their paper, so that's what I'm working on now.  Warning:  it may take a while because Microsoft Word is always such a pain in the you-know-what with label templates!  As soon as I get done fighting with it, I'll let you know.  If you want to wait for the Avery label version, I totally get it, but still check it out and I'll let you know when the new version is ready!


Hip Hip Hooray!  Today's my lucky day!  I was nominated for an award and I am super excited because it's my first one!  Thanks so much to Cheryl at Spotted Around the School for nominating me!

  

Ok...here's the rest of the rules and who I am nominating!
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.  (done!)
2. Include a link their blog. (done!)
3. Include the award image in your post. (done!)
4. Give seven random facts about yourself. (done!)
5. Nominate 5 other bloggers for the award. (done!)
6. Include a link to the blogs you nominated. (done!)
7. Let the bloggers know they have been nominated. (done!)


Since I just did the Tell me more, Tell me more linky, I figured I'd tell you seven school-related facts about me:
1.  My classroom is decked out in a sweet shop theme because I have an enormous sweet tooth and it makes me happy looking at candy, cupcakes, and ice cream all day long.  
2.  My favorite teacher was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Adams, because she always joked around with us and I try to do this with my kiddos as well.
3.  I would much rather have tables in my room than desks - so much easier to do collaborative and group work!
4.   I spend a lot of money on Scholastic books for my classroom.  Seriously.  I think I still owe them money from last year.  
5.  I can't leave school each day until my teacher table is cleared off and my materials for the next day are moved from my weekly storage container (labelled Mon-Fri) to a basket in my big book stand.  Otherwise, I just don't feel prepared when I walk in the next morning.
6.  I LOVE looking at data and seeing the progress and differences in my kiddos.  Mind you, I do not love getting the data, but if someone else would test my kids, I could look at and analyze their scores all day long.
7.  I end up barefoot at least once a day at school.  I just can't wear shoes that long!  Especially not while chasing around a bunch of Kinders!


Here are my people I nominated for the award.  Check them out!
1.  Heather's Heart
2.  Miss Kindergarten
3.  Lovely Little Leaders
4.  Teaching with Love and Laughter
5.  Doodle Bugs Teaching



Saturday, July 28, 2012

First Day Jitters Blog Hop

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 10:06 AM 5 comments
I told you I love these linky party blog hop things!  Here is another one from Fierce in Fourth:

The site glitched out when I was trying to link up, so I don't have the links to all the different people participating in this, but if you click the image above, it will take you to Fierce in Fourth's page where she has all the links for you!
Here's how this one goes...we are supposed to list three things about the first day of school that gives us the "jitters."

1.  This is my second year teaching Kindergarten.  Last year, most of our Kinders left at 1:00 and each teacher had 4-6 students stay for "After School Intervention" until 2:30.  This year, everybody stays all day.  While this will give us A LOT more time to get stuff done this year, I am a little concerned about having them all day long.  I was exhausted by the end of the day last year and I can't imagine how tired I'm going to be this year.

2.  We got our tentative class lists when we went for an inservice on June 14.  Then, each K teacher at my school had between 18 and 20 kiddos on her roll.  In June.  Before new student registration.  Last year, at this time, we each had about 14 on our rolls and ended with about 20.  You do the math.  Yep. I've got the jitters about the 24 kid Kinder class that may be headed my way.  

3.  My last (well, probably not last, but third) jitter is the mystery that Kindergarten brings.  First grade teachers and up have the sometime benefit of being able to talk to their new students' previous year teachers about which kiddos are great helpers and which are not so much.  Kinder teachers don't get this.  We walk into a dark room, not knowing what's going to happen.  This is probably the biggest jitter of all to me...the mystery.  

What are some of your First Day Jitters?  Are they similar to mine?


Tell Me More Linky Party

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 9:34 AM 2 comments


I am absolutely loving these linky parties!  It is such a great way to discover new blogs!  This one is from Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons.
Here are some things about me:

1.  The title of this, "Tell me more, tell me more!" brings that song from Grease straight to my head!  I loved that movie when I was a kid and watched it probably everysingleday.  For real.  I still remember all words to all songs.  And now that I'm older, I understand the meaning of some of the more...hmmm...how to put it...risque ones!  Can't believe my mom let me walk around singing some of those!

2.  My husband and I have no kids of our own yet.  Our doggie is PLENTY for right now.  This is Jasper:

And our house belongs to him.  We just live here.  Seriously - that shirt he is holding on to belongs to my husband.  Jasper is in charge and what he says goes.  If he wasn't so darn cute, it may be a little different around here....

3.  I am a secret nerd.  I love all the classic geeky shows:  Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who (and just so you know - the 10th Doctor is the best), Supernatural, Fringe, Eureka, etc.  And Star Wars may be just the greatest thing ever.  And now, thanks to my husband, I have entered the realm of video games.  That's right.  I have two characters on World of Warcraft.  We will see if I can keep up with my stats once the school year starts!
4.  We don't have cable.  No TV service at all.  Most people can't believe this.  Don't get me wrong, we still have TVs, but we just watch movies and iTunes on them.  

5.  I don't drink coffee.  Ever.  So gross.  I would much rather have my glass of orange juice each morning.  In fact, it is necessary to have my OJ.  It is my coffee.  If I don't have it, my day just does not go right.  

6.  Best book ever that will change your life - The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.  Check it out.  You will never be the same.  For real - the subtitle is "A Book that Changes Lives" and it does not lie.  Click the pic to get it on Amazon.  I would seriously buy 1000 copies of this and hand them out to people if I could.  

7.  I love making things for school on my computer.  My friend at work calls it my "creative therapy."  

8.  When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian.  Then, when we had to put a dog to sleep, I decided I couldn't do that.  So I decided to be a lawyer.  I was NEVER going to be a teacher because my mom was one and I saw all the junk-ola she had to deal with.  Well.  Look how that worked out.  And I wouldn't trade my teacher junk-ola for anything.  :-)

9.  Some day I would like to go back to school and get my Ph.D. so I can teach future teachers about actually being an elementary school teacher.  I don't think there was but a handful of my college professors who actually did teach elementary school at some point.  The ones who did were the ones I learned the most from.  Still, though, there should be a college course entitled: Boogers, Snot, Wet Pants, Projectile Vomiting, Nose Bleeds, and Difficult Parents.  I think I would have gotten more out of that class than I did in my whole 5 years of college!

10.  I secretly wish that I could teach Kindergarten all day long, then moonlight as a 4th or 5th grade writing teacher.  I LOVE teaching about writers' craft and making your writing beautiful.  Don't really get to this a lot with my Kinders.  I wish I could do both, though!  

So what do you think?  How crazy am I on a scale of 1-10?  Link up so I can see how crazy you are!







Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to work!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 12:21 PM 1 comments
I have spent a few days this week working in my classroom.  We don't actually have to go back until August 7, but I've found that those teacher inservice/work days are NOT the time to try to get your classroom together.  Instead, I like to get it completely ready BEFORE we are even supposed to go back, so I can deal with all those extras that come flying my way during that first teacher week back.  Anyway, I promise more pics will find their way here soon, but for now here are two pics and a freebie.  First up is that completely finished (except for student names!) behavior chart I was so jazzed about earlier:
  
I just love how it turned out!  The second pic has a freebie with it.  Have you seen this thing on Pinterest?  It's such a fabulous idea:
I know last year I did the typical poster and wrote on it how my kiddos go home.  By the end of the year, it was pretty much completely wrong, because for some reason, this Kinder teacher just never could find the time to change it when a kiddo started going home a different way!  Imagine that!  Hopefully this will help me keep my act together since all I'll have to do is move a clothespin when a car rider becomes a bus rider.  Click the image to get it at my TPT store.  That's all for now!



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Math Anchor Charts

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 4:59 AM 1 comments
I went to an inservice last summer on Math Workshops and one of the activities we had to do was to, in groups, create an anchor chart on some math topic that we could duplicate with our class.  After everyone made their charts and shared, they were placed on tables in the back for us to look at.  This was last year and I am just now figuring out a way to get the pictures off my phone so that they might actually be useful!  First up is graphing - tally marks and bar graphs:

Numbers, number words and quantities:


Different ways to sort (I love the illustrations on this one!):

Basic addition:  


Different ways to make ten.  I liked this one so much that I made a flip chart for my ActivBoard where you can plug in any number from 0-10.  Get it for free at my TPT store!


I liked that one so much that I tweaked it for Kindergarten and made a flip chart for my ActivBoard where you can plug in any number from 0-10.  Click this image to get it for free at my TPT store!


Ok back to the charts...Comparing numbers - More and fewer:


Patterns (I really like how this tells all the different things you can use to make a pattern):

And subtraction:

Ok, this one was a little different.  The people who made it said to make it on a paper grocery bag and hang it from a hanger that has clips on it.  Then each kiddo can make their own on a paper lunch sack and place manipulatives inside.  LOVE this idea!  It makes the aspect of an anchor chart so much more engaging and personal.  

Well there you go!  It only took me a year, but now these wonderful ideas have finally left my phone and will hopefully be useful to someone!  Thank you to all those people who made these wonderful charts!



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Newbie Blogger Blog Hop

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 8:17 PM 3 comments


I just stumbled across this and thought it would be a great way to see people working on their new blogs just like me!  I know I always love seeing blog hops and traveling to the different blogs to "visit" new people, so here's hoping you like them too!  This was started by  
 
and is the 
Click here to check it out!
So the deal is, once you link up, you have to tell everyone:

    1.  what state you are in  I am in Tennessee.
    2.  your current teaching position  Currently teaching Kindergarten and L~O~V~E it!
    3.  your teaching experience  This will be my second year teaching K, the year before I taught    second and the year before I was in college completing a year long internship in 5th.  Had a little bit of everything!
    4.  when you started blogging  Just started about a month ago and am still learning.  
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource  Wow...ummmm...be careful and patient adding images.  They tend to have a mind of their own!

Have fun hopping!  



Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Behavior Chart and Freebies!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 12:41 PM 2 comments
So my next project of the summer was revamping my behavior chart.  Last year I used the basic daily  red, yellow, green clip chart with an "Outstanding" purple level at the top for those kiddos who were having an Outstanding day.  The problem with this:  I always forgot to have someone "move up to purple," so it didn't really have that positive reinforcement value.  The year before (teaching 2nd grade), I used library pockets with cards: 2 green, 2 blue, 2 yellow, 1 red and it lasted all week.  The problem with this:  forgetting at the end of the week what kiddos were on when I marked behavior charts and what exactly they had done to make it to their "second blue."  So, with a little inspiration from one of my coworkers, I'm trying yet another behavior chart this year.  Drumroll, please....




Going back to library pockets (except these were made by my Cricut and are actually open envelopes) with a twist.  This time I have these also:

Tiny buckets from the Target Dollar Spot!  Each bucket will have colored popsicle sticks in it that match the bucket - red sticks in the red bucket, green sticks in the green bucket, etc.  Each color represents a different place where students could get into mischief - classroom, lunch, hallway, special areas, recess.  I am hoping the color coding of "put a stick in your pocket" will help solve another problem - remembering what a student did to get in trouble!  By the end of the day last year, if it was a particularly "eventful" behavioral day, I sometimes had difficulty remembering which little darling did what to get their clip on yellow!  Hopefully this will help me remember - if they have a green lunch stick, I can probably make a good guess on what they did.  Now, my printer is low on ink right now (and I'm waiting on a printer ink sale to occur), but each bucket will be labelled with one of those places I mentioned earlier.  Here's the file if you want to use it:

Click here to download this freebie!
 The link to the freebie also has a half sheet to send home if a student has a really troublesome day.  I'm thinking three sticks deserves a note home that has to be signed and returned.  

 
I used something similar to this last year and LOVED it because it's just a few checks to let parents know what happened to their sweetie that day, instead of writing a whole long detailed letter.  Also included in the packet is a "Today I went to red because..." in case you use that system.  
Now, I loved the idea of "moving to purple" like I had last year, but just wished I actually used it.  This is my positive reinforcement plan for this year: I think I'm going to choose one student per day to send home a "happy note" with to let parents know that they had a SUPER day.  This is also in the freebie:
I'm going to run it on fun, bright colored paper and stick it in the take home folder of one AWESOME student at the end of the day.  So that's my new classroom behavior plan, we will see how it goes!  I'll be sure to post pics of the chart and buckets when they make their way to my wall!  Any classroom behavior plans you use that you love?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Birthdays

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 1:26 PM 1 comments
So last year was my first year teaching Kindergarten.  The year before I was a second grade teacher.  The other K teachers at my school had all these cute headbands and such for student birthdays...and my kids got a certificate.  So, while I sit at home this summer watching Netflix, I decided to do something to step up my "birthday game" for my kiddos this year.  I ran across these ADORABLE and (now this is key) EASY to make b-day headbands from Kindergarten Kindergarten.  Check them out and the super easy instructions here:  http://www.kindergartenkindergarten.com/2012/06/birthday-crowns.html

Anyway....this was a great use for all my scrap card stock I had laying around that I just couldn't stand to throw away.  I am still working on cutesy-fying them (my glitter glue is at school, which is locked), but I am so excited with how they turned out so far!



All you do to make it into a crown is staple it to a sentence strip!

I also ran across these on Pinterest that I am working on:

I've got the balloons cut (Thanks, Cricut!) and instead of using Pixy Stix (because I'm scared of our school nutrition rules) I have a whole bunch of sparkly pencils I'm going to use instead.  So that's a crown and a balloon/pencil thingy for each kid's birthday for a grand total of $0 (already had the scrap paper and the pencils!).  Same cost as the homemade certificate I had last year but oh so much more fun!  What do you do for student birthdays in your class?
 
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