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!






Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just in time for the TPT sale!

Hey everyone!  I've been working on this pack for a few weeks now and just got it ready!  So, go pick it up while it's on sale!  It's got lots of activities about pumpkins, spiders and bats to help you get ready for fall....

It's regularly $8, but with the sale today and tomorrow, it's $6.40!  Thanks and have a great Sunday!



Hey everyone!  I've been working on this pack for a few weeks now and just got it ready!  So, go pick it up while it's on sale!  It's got lots of activities about pumpkins, spiders and bats to help you get ready for fall....

It's regularly $8, but with the sale today and tomorrow, it's $6.40!  Thanks and have a great Sunday!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School Sale!!


As most of you know, TPT is having a Back to School sale tomorrow and Monday and ALL of my products are 20% off!  On top of that, TPT is giving an additional 10% off the discounted price when you use the code BTS12.  Check out my store by clicking on the image!

And I promise you that I will post more pics of my classroom soon, but I'm sure you know how crazy things have been at school during this Teacher Week back at school.   So, I'll take pics when those little squirrels of "I need to do this...no this needs to happen first...Oh my gosh! How did I forget to do that!" quit running through my head!  

As most of you know, TPT is having a Back to School sale tomorrow and Monday and ALL of my products are 20% off!  On top of that, TPT is giving an additional 10% off the discounted price when you use the code BTS12.  Check out my store by clicking on the image!

And I promise you that I will post more pics of my classroom soon, but I'm sure you know how crazy things have been at school during this Teacher Week back at school.   So, I'll take pics when those little squirrels of "I need to do this...no this needs to happen first...Oh my gosh! How did I forget to do that!" quit running through my head!  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Second grade freebie!

Since I promised myself I wasn't going back to school before I have to on Tuesday, I decided to spend my time re-organizing the files on my computer, which, frankly, has turned into a bit of a mess since I've been playing on it and creating things all summer long.  I was so amazed at all the stuff I found!  I had some fun reading some of my papers I had written in college and thinking "Wow!  Look at all those big words I used!"  Anyway, I ran across my Second Grade file from my first year of teaching and all the goodies I made then.  Because I can't really use them now in Kinder Land, I am giving away some of my grammar posters as a freebie on my TPT site!  Click to grab them now!
I printed these off, backed and laminated them, then used them as a reference for my kiddos when I was introducing a new grammar skill.  After the week of intro was over, I moved them to a different part of my room where the kids could use them as they completed a literacy center about the skill the next week.  Hope they become useful for you!  




Since I promised myself I wasn't going back to school before I have to on Tuesday, I decided to spend my time re-organizing the files on my computer, which, frankly, has turned into a bit of a mess since I've been playing on it and creating things all summer long.  I was so amazed at all the stuff I found!  I had some fun reading some of my papers I had written in college and thinking "Wow!  Look at all those big words I used!"  Anyway, I ran across my Second Grade file from my first year of teaching and all the goodies I made then.  Because I can't really use them now in Kinder Land, I am giving away some of my grammar posters as a freebie on my TPT site!  Click to grab them now!
I printed these off, backed and laminated them, then used them as a reference for my kiddos when I was introducing a new grammar skill.  After the week of intro was over, I moved them to a different part of my room where the kids could use them as they completed a literacy center about the skill the next week.  Hope they become useful for you!  




Friday, August 3, 2012

Classroom Sneak Peek #1 and a Freebie!

Whew!  I officially go back to school on Tuesday, but I feel like I have not stopped doing school stuff all summer long!  Not complaining though - I love creating materials and organizing my classroom.  As promised, here is a link to the new Math Journals I've been working on.  These fit on Avery 5160/8160 labels, so you don't have to cut them apart and deal with kiddos using globs of glue on them, then inevitably sticking the pages of their journal together.

Now, on to the classroom tour!  I only took a few full room shots while I was at school, but will upload more specific pics showing my centers and teaching areas later.  Here is my door, with my new Where Are We? sign (grab it by clicking on the pic!).  

This is the view when you first walk in the door.  Cubbies are on the right and my "Information Wall" is on the left.  The blue shelf is where kiddos will put their lunch boxes, folders, name badges, and the clipboard we have to carry to special areas and lunch.

This is a close up of my "information wall."  On the right is my How We Get Home chart (available for free on my TPT page).  The middle is my Wish List where parents can take a candy cut out and send in the item listed on it (I'm still adding to it).  The left is my class helper chart.  I have little cupcakes with each student's name on them and velcro on the back to stick to the "plates."


Stepping in to the classroom a little more, you see the student's tables.  I LOVE the chair pockets.  Our Kindergarten has an Intervention Aide who sews in her spare time and she was kind enough to make these (and my curtains) for me!

Here is a shot of my reading table with my teacher stuff in the back.  The yellow pocket chart on the wall is how I rotate my students through literacy centers.  I put their names beside a letter (A-J) and then move the letters down when they need to switch centers.  

More teacher stuff goes on this counter, which is right beside my reading table.  Ignore the fan!  It's in my room still from when we painted the walls before school got out!  The purple pocket charts on the wall is where I will assign students to go to math stations.  These are numbered, while my literacy centers are lettered, so I don't confuse myself!    Hanging from the side of the counter is my new Brownie Points tray that I saw on Pinterest!  I am so excited about this!  Each time they get a whole class compliment, they get to add a (paper with a magnet on the back) brownie to the tray.  When the tray is full, they get something special.  Still haven't figured out the something special...any ideas?

Bulletin board behind the reading table (not quite finished!).  The left has symbols for my reading groups (cupcake, popsicle, ice cream and candy) and the student names will be put beside their reading group.  The right side has signs for punctuation and noun, verb, and adjectives at the top (found somewhere on Pinterest...)  and the green poster is a Story Map that we can add post its to in order to describe our story we are reading.  I'm also going to add a Schema poster (to add post its to as well) and an academic vocabulary poster (from one of Kim Adsit's packs...check it out here).  Above are my ice cream scoop number words (available here on my TPT site).

Here is my carpet area.  It's to the right of my reading table.  In the far corner is my classroom library.  On the back wall is my word wall.  

Here is a shot facing the outside door.  You can see my writing center on the left.   

This is kind of a management wall.  The blue pocket chart will be home to my class partners.  This is something new I'll try this year - assign each kiddo a partner, so when we have an activity that they need to do with a buddy, they always know who to go with.  Hoping this will eliminate some of those partnerships they choose sometimes that may not be such good ideas!  I also have the common core standard posters from Deanna Jump and the gumball machine will be where I will put info so the kids know what we are doing that week, such as sight words we are working on, math skill words, etc.

That's all for now!  I'll take more pics when I go back on Tuesday.  I promised myself I wouldn't be back before then, but we will see if I can stay away that long!  












Whew!  I officially go back to school on Tuesday, but I feel like I have not stopped doing school stuff all summer long!  Not complaining though - I love creating materials and organizing my classroom.  As promised, here is a link to the new Math Journals I've been working on.  These fit on Avery 5160/8160 labels, so you don't have to cut them apart and deal with kiddos using globs of glue on them, then inevitably sticking the pages of their journal together.

Now, on to the classroom tour!  I only took a few full room shots while I was at school, but will upload more specific pics showing my centers and teaching areas later.  Here is my door, with my new Where Are We? sign (grab it by clicking on the pic!).  

This is the view when you first walk in the door.  Cubbies are on the right and my "Information Wall" is on the left.  The blue shelf is where kiddos will put their lunch boxes, folders, name badges, and the clipboard we have to carry to special areas and lunch.

This is a close up of my "information wall."  On the right is my How We Get Home chart (available for free on my TPT page).  The middle is my Wish List where parents can take a candy cut out and send in the item listed on it (I'm still adding to it).  The left is my class helper chart.  I have little cupcakes with each student's name on them and velcro on the back to stick to the "plates."


Stepping in to the classroom a little more, you see the student's tables.  I LOVE the chair pockets.  Our Kindergarten has an Intervention Aide who sews in her spare time and she was kind enough to make these (and my curtains) for me!

Here is a shot of my reading table with my teacher stuff in the back.  The yellow pocket chart on the wall is how I rotate my students through literacy centers.  I put their names beside a letter (A-J) and then move the letters down when they need to switch centers.  

More teacher stuff goes on this counter, which is right beside my reading table.  Ignore the fan!  It's in my room still from when we painted the walls before school got out!  The purple pocket charts on the wall is where I will assign students to go to math stations.  These are numbered, while my literacy centers are lettered, so I don't confuse myself!    Hanging from the side of the counter is my new Brownie Points tray that I saw on Pinterest!  I am so excited about this!  Each time they get a whole class compliment, they get to add a (paper with a magnet on the back) brownie to the tray.  When the tray is full, they get something special.  Still haven't figured out the something special...any ideas?

Bulletin board behind the reading table (not quite finished!).  The left has symbols for my reading groups (cupcake, popsicle, ice cream and candy) and the student names will be put beside their reading group.  The right side has signs for punctuation and noun, verb, and adjectives at the top (found somewhere on Pinterest...)  and the green poster is a Story Map that we can add post its to in order to describe our story we are reading.  I'm also going to add a Schema poster (to add post its to as well) and an academic vocabulary poster (from one of Kim Adsit's packs...check it out here).  Above are my ice cream scoop number words (available here on my TPT site).

Here is my carpet area.  It's to the right of my reading table.  In the far corner is my classroom library.  On the back wall is my word wall.  

Here is a shot facing the outside door.  You can see my writing center on the left.   

This is kind of a management wall.  The blue pocket chart will be home to my class partners.  This is something new I'll try this year - assign each kiddo a partner, so when we have an activity that they need to do with a buddy, they always know who to go with.  Hoping this will eliminate some of those partnerships they choose sometimes that may not be such good ideas!  I also have the common core standard posters from Deanna Jump and the gumball machine will be where I will put info so the kids know what we are doing that week, such as sight words we are working on, math skill words, etc.

That's all for now!  I'll take more pics when I go back on Tuesday.  I promised myself I wouldn't be back before then, but we will see if I can stay away that long!  












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!






Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just in time for the TPT sale!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 10:51 AM 0 comments
Hey everyone!  I've been working on this pack for a few weeks now and just got it ready!  So, go pick it up while it's on sale!  It's got lots of activities about pumpkins, spiders and bats to help you get ready for fall....

It's regularly $8, but with the sale today and tomorrow, it's $6.40!  Thanks and have a great Sunday!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School Sale!!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 12:10 PM 0 comments

As most of you know, TPT is having a Back to School sale tomorrow and Monday and ALL of my products are 20% off!  On top of that, TPT is giving an additional 10% off the discounted price when you use the code BTS12.  Check out my store by clicking on the image!

And I promise you that I will post more pics of my classroom soon, but I'm sure you know how crazy things have been at school during this Teacher Week back at school.   So, I'll take pics when those little squirrels of "I need to do this...no this needs to happen first...Oh my gosh! How did I forget to do that!" quit running through my head!  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Second grade freebie!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 6:56 AM 0 comments
Since I promised myself I wasn't going back to school before I have to on Tuesday, I decided to spend my time re-organizing the files on my computer, which, frankly, has turned into a bit of a mess since I've been playing on it and creating things all summer long.  I was so amazed at all the stuff I found!  I had some fun reading some of my papers I had written in college and thinking "Wow!  Look at all those big words I used!"  Anyway, I ran across my Second Grade file from my first year of teaching and all the goodies I made then.  Because I can't really use them now in Kinder Land, I am giving away some of my grammar posters as a freebie on my TPT site!  Click to grab them now!
I printed these off, backed and laminated them, then used them as a reference for my kiddos when I was introducing a new grammar skill.  After the week of intro was over, I moved them to a different part of my room where the kids could use them as they completed a literacy center about the skill the next week.  Hope they become useful for you!  




Friday, August 3, 2012

Classroom Sneak Peek #1 and a Freebie!

Posted by Jennifer Winters at 11:59 AM 0 comments
Whew!  I officially go back to school on Tuesday, but I feel like I have not stopped doing school stuff all summer long!  Not complaining though - I love creating materials and organizing my classroom.  As promised, here is a link to the new Math Journals I've been working on.  These fit on Avery 5160/8160 labels, so you don't have to cut them apart and deal with kiddos using globs of glue on them, then inevitably sticking the pages of their journal together.

Now, on to the classroom tour!  I only took a few full room shots while I was at school, but will upload more specific pics showing my centers and teaching areas later.  Here is my door, with my new Where Are We? sign (grab it by clicking on the pic!).  

This is the view when you first walk in the door.  Cubbies are on the right and my "Information Wall" is on the left.  The blue shelf is where kiddos will put their lunch boxes, folders, name badges, and the clipboard we have to carry to special areas and lunch.

This is a close up of my "information wall."  On the right is my How We Get Home chart (available for free on my TPT page).  The middle is my Wish List where parents can take a candy cut out and send in the item listed on it (I'm still adding to it).  The left is my class helper chart.  I have little cupcakes with each student's name on them and velcro on the back to stick to the "plates."


Stepping in to the classroom a little more, you see the student's tables.  I LOVE the chair pockets.  Our Kindergarten has an Intervention Aide who sews in her spare time and she was kind enough to make these (and my curtains) for me!

Here is a shot of my reading table with my teacher stuff in the back.  The yellow pocket chart on the wall is how I rotate my students through literacy centers.  I put their names beside a letter (A-J) and then move the letters down when they need to switch centers.  

More teacher stuff goes on this counter, which is right beside my reading table.  Ignore the fan!  It's in my room still from when we painted the walls before school got out!  The purple pocket charts on the wall is where I will assign students to go to math stations.  These are numbered, while my literacy centers are lettered, so I don't confuse myself!    Hanging from the side of the counter is my new Brownie Points tray that I saw on Pinterest!  I am so excited about this!  Each time they get a whole class compliment, they get to add a (paper with a magnet on the back) brownie to the tray.  When the tray is full, they get something special.  Still haven't figured out the something special...any ideas?

Bulletin board behind the reading table (not quite finished!).  The left has symbols for my reading groups (cupcake, popsicle, ice cream and candy) and the student names will be put beside their reading group.  The right side has signs for punctuation and noun, verb, and adjectives at the top (found somewhere on Pinterest...)  and the green poster is a Story Map that we can add post its to in order to describe our story we are reading.  I'm also going to add a Schema poster (to add post its to as well) and an academic vocabulary poster (from one of Kim Adsit's packs...check it out here).  Above are my ice cream scoop number words (available here on my TPT site).

Here is my carpet area.  It's to the right of my reading table.  In the far corner is my classroom library.  On the back wall is my word wall.  

Here is a shot facing the outside door.  You can see my writing center on the left.   

This is kind of a management wall.  The blue pocket chart will be home to my class partners.  This is something new I'll try this year - assign each kiddo a partner, so when we have an activity that they need to do with a buddy, they always know who to go with.  Hoping this will eliminate some of those partnerships they choose sometimes that may not be such good ideas!  I also have the common core standard posters from Deanna Jump and the gumball machine will be where I will put info so the kids know what we are doing that week, such as sight words we are working on, math skill words, etc.

That's all for now!  I'll take more pics when I go back on Tuesday.  I promised myself I wouldn't be back before then, but we will see if I can stay away that long!  












 
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