Friday, August 28, 2015

Five for Friday: Stations, Writing, & a New Baby!

Oh my...this is so fitting in my life right now in every domain =)

I decided to take the plunge and start stations this week. It was a little early since we had not even been through an entire week but they did fairly well.  I made them very simple and easy without any time constraints. I went from a typical class of 17 to 24 students this year and it was a huge jump. I think the biggest challenge I am facing is the noise level. This must be tackled ASAP! Other than the noise, I was pleased with the outcome of these activities. I had the geo blocks, rhyming game, iPads, counting, and computers all set up. I moved one group at a time through a sequential order. I hope it becomes easy as clock work when we have done it for a week or so.

Writing in Kindergarten takes a while to get off of the ground and must be done in small baby steps. I let the kids illustrate any picture of their choosing but start with a request of colors (5 colors for five year olds, 6 colors for six, and so on). This week, we tried to make as many details as possible but also started labeling our picture with the sounds we heard in words. I always tell the kids that I realize they don't know how to spell correctly, and some adults still have difficulty spelling, but I want them to make the sounds in each word by saying it very slowly. Writing is probably my favorite thing to teach with these kiddos as you see such a HUGE progression from August until May!

The most exciting news we had this week was my sweet little niece was born! She is so precious and beautiful!! My husband's side favors boys very heavily. In fact, my mother in-law has SEVEN grandsons and was finally blessed with her first granddaughter. Telling you were are ecstatic is quite an understatement. LOL!

Next week, I am going to start heavily assessing so that I can get a handle on where I need to target instruction. I did a few this week and think I may need to start with more basic concepts than I had anticipated. On top of doing my personal assessments, I have until September 30th to administer the KRA. I should know these kids inside and out. LOL!
You can grab my Kindergarten assessment pack here to cover all of the standards!

On my 'to do' list this weekend is finishing all of my safety training online for school. I have been doing them in small bits because I can only pay attention for so long. I saw this e-card and it fit so perfectly =)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Five for Friday: We made it!

I almost made it through the first full week back and I'm exhausted. It takes A LOT to make me tired. LOL! The teacher work day was on Monday with Open House that evening but we had our orientation on Wednesday with the incoming Kinder families. There is much to be done in preparation =)

My very dear Kinder teaching buddy found this cute lamp to accent our reading super hero theme. It is awesome and the kids love it! Thank you Lisa!

The kids started arriving so we began separating and organizing all of our supplies for the year. I had to go back in the evening for a couple of hours because there was much to be put away =)

I follow the Kindergarten Teachers Unite page on Facebook and these little chairs seem to be the new thing. I had to throw away my old bean bag chairs so I'm going to try these out. The kids did a great job using them today so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. They are in my reading and library area.

Phew! The first day of Kindergarten may be the longest of the year. Teaching the routines takes forever but I hope it saves us time in the long run. I have a handful more than last year and it really seemed to make a difference. I told my friend that the beginning of kinder is like running a marathon... the first couple of miles are definitely the hardest until you get into that rhythm!

These are some of my favorites for teaching rules in school. "You Get What You Get & Don't Throw a Fit!" is great as is "It's Hard to be Five". We read all of these on the first day and related them to rules we were going to establish in our classroom.

My boys are getting so big. We didn't have any tears or fighting to get up for school (so far). This makes me one happy MOM!

I told you that I was going to try the BLOOMZ app out. I invited the parents in my classroom the night before school and had almost everyone signed up by the next day. They LOVED IT! I took pics of the kids getting off the bus as well as more throughout the day. I was able to send them thru the app and tell the parents what we were doing. I received a lot of positive feedback. If you are interested in trying it out, you can download it onto your phone or tablet. It's absolutely free and it seems to serve as a great correspondence tool between home and school. You can have a volunteer set up, send private messages, organize your classroom calendar, and much more. It's awesome!

LOL! This is what our counters look like in the morning just to get out of the door. It's nuts!
We made our Costco run to get all of the items we were going to need for those lunches!

In going along with our Superhero theme, I gave my kiddos starburst treat bags with a little message them. I thought my helpers were going to get the work done but I think they might have done more snacking. LOL!

Have a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Five for Friday: The time has come....

LOL... I had to send this to my secretary when I started getting a little ancy this week while working in my room =)

The time has come for the summer to finish and meet my new kinders next week. I'm always so sad to see my days with the boys end but then I feel the new energy of starting a new group of superheroes! It seems like I tried to squeeze a lot in these past few days...physicals, orientation, exit interview for the class I took, etc. Here is a brief synopsis of my five for Friday!

I got all of my favorite back to school books out for the kids next week. I'm sure you see some of your favorites too. Our reading theme this year is about leading the way to reading so our fantastic librarians have been filling the building with superheroes. I will also be carrying it into our room. I went in for quite a bit this week just to clean and throw out before setting all of my goodies out.  Next week, I will show you the final product. The biggest item I got rid of was my desk. Let's face Kindergarten, who has time to sit down?! I never used it and the thing was ginormous! Seriously, it took both my husband and I to move it out because it was very old and heavy. This leads me to number two....

I still needed to find something to store all of my little things in and I found this little number at JoAnn's. It was a great find! They are 40% off this week AND you can get an additional 15% off if you are a teacher. SCORE!!

You know when you pull out of your school parking lot on that very last day and you have this big list of things you want to accomplish while you are home? I desperately needed to straighten our basement out. I was too embarrassed to post a before picture because it was horrible.  So now we are down to the last week and I still had not checked this one off. I spent an afternoon organizing and throwing out plus I probably could have thrown a lot more out but didn't ( I will have to wait until the hubby is out of town to get rid of it because it is mostly his junk. I say junk but really it's his prized possessions as in baseball cards and magazines =). I hope the kids go down there more often now.

Our school district just completed an AMAZING sports complex that is set to open on Saturday. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and then all of the sports teams were given times to test the field out. We checked it out today and found our brick that we donated. Kids were psyched to see their names =)

I don't know about your schools but teachers start back on Monday and we have Open House that very evening. I put this little number together to make it all go very smoothly. There are volunteering, conference, and get to know you forms plus so much more. Feel free to check it out in my shop!

Have a wonderful weekend and best wishes for a fantastic school year!