Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last Chance

This is your last chance to enter my giveaway. I will choose the 3 winners tomorrow, August 1st at 7:00p.m!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

What a Giveaway!

Fun in First is having a FABULOUS giveaway! She has teamed up with some GREAT blogs to give away 11 (yes 11) units!!!! These are great!!! I really hope I win this one! Hop on over to Fun in First and enter her giveaway!

Fun in First

Don't forget to check out my post below and enter my little giveaway. It is NOTHING compared to Fun in First, but I'm just getting started!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's Giveaway Time!

Wow! I have reached 50 followers! Yeah! Like promised...I have a giveaway. I have 3 prizes to giveaway! Here is what you can win:
1. A $10 giftcard to JoAnn's.

They have lots of great items for teachers now and have the CUTEST school line (see my mirror here). It is A.DOR.A.BLE!
2. This cute wallet.


It is from a line called Initials that I used to sell. This wallet has never been used. It is embroidered with "let's shop". How cute is the inside with the orange and white polka dots????
3. This fun purse.

It is also from Initials. It has a brown and white medalion pattern with hot pink ribbon trim and "Girly Girl" embroidered on it.
I was originally going to just do the gift card giveaway, but I had the purse and wallet stored away for something special and this is it! Here are the details of the giveaway:
I will choose 3 winners on Monday, August 1st. The 1st place winner will get to choose which gift they would like, then 2nd, then 3rd. Here is how you can get entries:
  • 1 entry - Follow me and leave a comment letting me know you do!
  • 1 entry - Grab my button and put it on your page and leave me a comment!
  • 1 entry - Add me to your blog roll and then leave me a comment!
  • 2 entries - Blog about my giveaway on your blog and leave 2 comments!
I cannot wait to hear from you and see what new followers I may get! Have fun!

Monday, July 25, 2011

1 more, 1 more, 1 more

So I have 3 giveaways when I reach 50 followers! I am at 49 now. I am gone all day tomorrow doing Parent Home Visits, but I'll check in tomorrow night. I had 1 item to giveaway, but "found" 2 more items to giveaway today. I don't have a tpt store YET so I don't have all of those awesome classroom resources that ya'll have, but I hope you won't be disappointed.  Be looking for a giveaway!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

ABC stamps

Okay...so I have heard everybody RAVE about the Target Dollar spot ABC stamps. I literally visited and called the 3 Targets within a 30 minute drive daily until I found them. When I finally got them in my hands - I was disappointed. They are like 1/4 inch X 1/4 inch. Are those the ones you have? I've been looking at others blogs where they post the pictures and they look bigger with different packaging? Would they have 2 different kinds? I've been back and no such luck. So...if anyone out there has them, how big are yours? On that note...if someone happens to go to Target and you see the alphabet stamps (bigger than mine) and/or the numbers stamps...I'll pay you to get them for me and ship them to me. I would love about 5 or 6 of each, but beggers can't be choosers. I'll take whatever!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Random Thoughts

I can't think of anything specific to write about but I have lots of random thoughts.
  • My room is FINALLY being painted. I would have had my room completed by now (because the 1st day of school is 2 weeks from today!!!) I am hoping to get it completed on Monday.
  • We have the 1st ever Home Visit Blitz in our district this year. I will be visiting all of my students homes next Tuesday.
  • I only have 2 days left to spend with my baby girl...that makes me SO sad!
  • I only have 16 kiddos in my class this year - I know...don't hate me!
  • I am getting a membership to Graphics Factory so that I can create and sell worksheets on TPT or Teacher's Notebook. I've been making them FOREVER but had no idea there was a place to sell them (or for me to buy them). I just have to be sure the clipart is legal to use!
  • Did I mention that they are painting parts of my room with magnet paint? How excited am I? I am getting it on my word wall, math wall, and writing wall!!!!
  • We adopted Math in Focus last year. The kindergarten program seemed very easy so the company redid the K program. I am still waiting on a teacher's manual to see what I will be teaching the 1st week of school.
  • Can you tell I get anxious and overwhelmed? My mind goes a mile a minute this time of year and I don't feel like I get anything done because I don't know where to start.
Okay....I'm done. I feel better. Do any of you use Math in Focus? Do you feel the same way this time of year?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to School Linky Party

I am joining Fun in First for her Back To School Linky Party. I have seen so many great linky parties (like 100th day and Christmas) but I just can't get my brain there! We start school in 2 weeks and that is where my mind is! I, just like Fun in First, do a Gingerbread Theme as well. We usually have 2 days the first week of school so I spread this over these 2 days. Here is how our 2 days go:
1. The night before I bake 25 Gingerbread cookies. Let me tell you....NOT A GOOD IDEA. I didn't think kids would eat gingerbread so I tried to make them with sugar cookie dough. Have you ever tried that? Not a good idea. They blow up while cooking and look nothing like a gingerbread man. I have done this for 8 years and it is a disaster everytime. I am asking myself every year why I put such stress on myself the NIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL????? This year I swore I would have someone make them until I saw on Fun in First where Little Debbie makes them. Guess where I'm getting mine this year?
2. The 1st Day of School I read The Gingerbread Man.

3. After hearing the story, we decorate the cookies. I give them some icing, licorice, skittles, M&M's and let them decorate.
4. I then talk about how cute they are and we put them on a tray to show the principal. My assistant takes them and hides them. She runs back in the room and says "You won't believe it! Those stinkers jumped right off the tray and ran away! They even left this note in the hallway." The kids are so mad they can hardly stand it.
5. We follow their clues throughout the school that I have already placed. We usually visit just a few places today (library, secretary, principal). The clues land us back to our room where they say they have ran to their home. They are really upset because they were planning on eating them. It is so funny at how mad some of them get.
6. I send a note home to the parents (because the kids can't read yet) saying what happened today and for them to play along and pretend like they saw them but they ran back to school. I love this part! Some parents get really creative and leave crumbs and notes!
7. The next day we find another clue and follow it. We visit a few more places until we finally find them. The kids immediately eat one of their legs so they can't run and I get a picture of them with their cookie for their scrapbook I make.
8. We follow up with this great book I found at Big Lots from this company. It has games and they love it!
9. I also read The Gingerbread Girl. If you don't have it, you need to!

We have a lot of fun and the kids really get into it! I LOVE it! I have to note that I downloaded Fun In First's clues. They are so cute and I think I'm going to use it this year!
We also start learning the letter Mm and the color Red and color word these first 2 days. I can't wait to see what everyone else does. Join Fun in First and let us know!
Fun in First

Good finds and crafts

I am so stinkin' excited!!!! I FINALLY found those alphabet stamps at Target. I kid you not, I have called all 3 Targets (which are all 20-30 minutes away) everyday for the past 2 weeks looking for them in the Dollar section. Well, today they had them! My teaching partner (who rocks) picked them up for us. I really wanted the numbers too, but they didn't have them.
My 2nd favorite place besides Target is JoAnns. I do a lot of sewing so I am here there monthly weekly. They (along with Michaels now) offer a 15% discount to teachers. As I was in there browsing for fabric to make a project for my room (pictures when it is finished), I stumbled upon their new Back to School section. If I wasn't broke I would have went CRAZY! It is so ADORABLE. (I know..I use caps too much). I needed a mirror for the sink area in our classroom so that I can check myself out students can see themselves when they get paint/marker/glue on their face so I picked up this cutie:


I mean...seriously...they have cute things and it is all 50% off right now (plus your 15% teacher discount). If you have a JoAnns, you must go check it out.
Today I also finished a craft that I found here (and it has been on my pinterest board). I am not going to say this was easy. It was quite the booger, but I am so loving it.


I ended up having to hot glue a lot of the pinwheels down. I had trouble finding a small chalkboard so I bought a little wooden frame on clearance at JoAnns and put black scrapbook paper in it to look like a chalkboard. I'm not sure where I'm gonna put it in my room, but it will be cute. I am hoping to get in my room soon and take pictures as I get it completed.
By the way... I almost have 40 followers. Pretty sure I'm gonna have to do some giveaway when I reach 50! My wheels are turning.....maybe to JoAnns? What do you think?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lesson Plans and Standards

It takes me a whole lot longer to write something than type it. For that reason alone, I've never purchaed a teachers plan book. I have always had a format in which I created and just typed in my lesson plans. I usually had my plans out on my desk Monday morning ready to go. There may have been a few weeks here or there (can we say the week before Christmas and the last week of school) in which I didn't type them out, although we were still very much doing schoolwork. Well...no more will that happen. Last year, our school district required that every teacher email their lesson plans to our principal EACH WEEK by 8:00a.m. on Monday morning. We have to include our standards, CLG (clear learning goals), essential questions, vocabulary, and overt response. We could (at the elementary level) create any format we wanted, but it had to include those. I am a Type A personality and worked, and worked, and worked to get the format I wanted. I finally got it where I wanted. Here is an example of my lesson plans. Keep in mind this is last year's 1st week of school plans...I have tweaked things since then.
I'm curious. Are your lesson plans as detailed? I have to admit, they took me over 2 hours at the beginning and by the end of the year I think I could get them done in 1. I thought that was a little ridiculous and I could have spent my time doing things for my classroom, but no one asked so I continued to do it. This year I am hoping to just change dates and what little things I need to. I will have to change my language arts standards as those have changed to the new common core standards. Speaking of those.....we also have to post our CLG (I think they are to be called something else this year) and Essential Questions in our classroom weekly. I am so excited that Mrs. Jump has these standards all cutesy and for sale in her TPT store. I am SO getting these and using them. She just made my life SO much easier!!!!!! Check it out!





Friday, July 15, 2011

Carpet Song

Miss Kindergarten is having a linky party to share our favorite songs we sing with our kiddos. Here is one I have used for years. I really have no idea where I got it, so if you created it, let me know! I use this song to get students seated on the quiet carpet. I say the numbers and they say the words. Hope you can use it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Blog Design Giveaway

Okay...I worked really hard on my blog design but I'm still not super happy with it. Who wouldn't love a new blog design. Live Love Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten is teaming with Dreamlike Magic and having a giveaway for a blog design. They are all super cute and in my favorite color scheme!!! Head on over to Live Love Laugh Everyday and enter! I did!


Live Love Laugh

Target Giveaway

Target Treasures is having a giveaway! You can win a $20 giftcard to where???? TARGET!!! Yeah!!!! I am still on the hunt for those stinkin' alphabet stamps! Click on over and enter!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Déjà vu

So....just kidding. The same GREAT giveaway by The Moffatt Girls. In celebration of their 500 followers as well, they are giving away a memembership to Graphics Factory as well! Click on over and enter this one too!

The Moffatt Girls

Great Giveaway

Little Literacy Learners is having a GREAT giveaway because she is over 500 followers! Wow! 500 Followers! I am so excited that I have 20. (PS...thinking of a giveaway!)
Back to her giveaway. I am all about making worksheets but always unsure of what clipart I can "legally" use. The clipart from her giveaway can be used. Head on over and enter. You won't be disappointed!!!

Little Literacy Learners

Grade Level Linky Party

Yeah! The Teacher's Lane is having a Grade Level Linky Party. What an AWESOME way to quickly locate blogs in your grade level. I've tried to add them on my blogroll, but now I can see what I am missing! Just click on over to link up! Let everyone know who you are!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Teaching the Alphabet

I'm so excited. Learning with Mrs. Parker asked if anyone would be interested in posting about a letter of the alphabet so that we will all have resources to use in our classroom when teaching the ABC's. I signed up for letter Tt and I'm so excited! I cannot wait until we get this started and we can all share. Keep your eyes out for this awesome opportunity for us to get resources! One of the requirements in to make up a freebie to share. I've don't have a TPT store or have never uploaded to Google Documents but I'll figure it out! Can't wait! :)

Push my button!

I am super geeked! I have been playing around with my blog and having a lot of fun. I couldn't do it without all of those great tutorials! Anywho....guess who has a button. Yep...that would be me! I think hope it works. So, someone...will you try it out? Maybe add it to your page or just click on it to see if it works? It appears to be a littel blurry. Do you think so. Either way, I'm feel pretty smart! :) I've still got more work to do on it, but I'm starting to like it. Too bad my poor 2 year old hasn't had ANY of my attention, laundry hasn't been done, or the house hasn't been cleaned for the past few days!


Kindergarten Korner

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Classroom Jobs

I am joining up with Mrs. Dillard's 1st Grade Classroom Jobs linky party. I have the following jobs and switch them out throughout the year. The students names are on a handprint (or another diecut) and place in a stack. I start with the first and let them choose which job they want and continue until all jobs are taken. At the end of the week, I take those hands out and place them at the bottom of the stack. The next week students who did not have a job previous week will get a turn. I do this throughout the year and it works out really well. Here are my jobs:
Line Leader - The obvious....they are first in line
Door Holder - They hold the door whenever needed...they are 2nd in line.
Lights - This person makes sure all lights are turned out before we leave the classroom. They are also responisble for turning out lights to get students quiet if needed.
Messenger - This person takes messages/attendance to office in the morning and gets messages at the end of the day. Towards the end of the year when they are familiar with teachers/places, I may also use this person to run notes to others.
Lunch Box Counter - This person counts how many lunch boxes there are each morning.
Paper Passer - This person places all papers in the appropriate spot after directions have been given.
Strike Wiper - This person wipes the strikes (given for bad behavior) each morning. They know they are not to discuss what each students had. It is a new day..new beginning!
I am considering (but not convinced) I may try these new jobs this year:
Pencil Sharpener - sharpens pencils at designated times throughout the day
Housekeeper - Makes sure all chairs are put up at the end of the day and tables are clean

I've enjoyed reading the different possibilities. A lot of Kindergarten teachers don't fool with having jobs but I think it makes them responsible and it makes it easier on me! Who doesn't want that?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 Things to Know About Me

So...I'm joining my first every linky party. Woo Hoo! I am joining Go Forth With Owens linky party - 10 Things to Know About Me! Click her button and join too!





10. I LOVE to shop...like seriously...it's a problem!
9. I'm not an animal person...at all. Allergic to almost every animal. My poor daughter will never have a puppy. :(
8. I have Type 1 diabetes. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 28.
 7. I can make my daughter's clothes...cute clothes like Matilda Jane that I cannot afford.
6. On that note...I would love to have my own children's clothing line, but I don't have the time.
5. We are big boaters. My husband LOVES the water, therefore so do my daugther and I.
 4. I do.not.cook. There...I said it!
3. I would love to write a children's book one day.
2. I love to decorate for Christmas - Pink, Red, and Lime Green all the way. I usually decorate the weekend before Thanksgiving.
1. Our daughter is my favorite person in the whole wide world. I cannot get enough of her!

Vista Print

I've known about Vista Print for awhile now but for some reason NEVER thought of using it for classroom items. Hello???? Where have I been? I found the Vistaprint Addicts link on Pro Teacher....TROUBLE. I spent all day on that stinkin' thing and became obsessed with it. Here is what I got for $15 (that included shipping).
This WELCOME banner that has mine and my assistant's name on it. I think it is 3 X 1.6 or something.

It is so crazy the last day before Christmas break. We get a million gifts and they kids bring them to us at random times and want them opened immediately. We often get a few during the party and I know I will not remember who gave me what so we always have a Thank You card printed on colored paper to give them. I got 50 of these oversized postcards in color for FREE!!!!!!!!


Every year we have Parent/Teacher Conversations a few times throughout the year. I made these generic so I can fill in the date and times for each student. I got 100 for FREE!!!

 This is the back! (I covered up my email and phone number).


This was the one thing I had to purchase to get $5 shipping for everything. I purchased 500 of these color business cards for $10 (thus the $15 total). I tried to think of something I could use year after year so I came up with this. My idea is to use it as a positive reward for students that have a great day. I thought I could attach it to a Dum Dum and send home with them. Do you have any other ideas I could do with it? I'd love to hear them!
 I got these address labels (140) to put on those "nameless" papers. They drive.me.crazy. They were FREE.

I also got these address labels (with my phone and school email that I covered up) to attach to welcome letters so that parents have a reminder of how to reach me. They were 140 for FREE.


I got this letterhead too for FREE.

My husband is a self-employed home builder with this own company. I also got him a pen, sticky notes, notepad, and something else that I cannot even remember with his logo on it for FREE.
How excited am I? I cannot wait to get it all. I also cannot wait to get on there again and buy get more things! What have you purchased got for free?

Change

I don't like change. Never have and probably never will. I'm a Type A personality and am usually fine with things just as they are. The first big change (and probably the biggest) is that we have a new principal at our school. I have had the same boss for 9 years so this is big. I really loved her and she was like a mother to me. Our new principal is a man - yep...another change. I am going into it with an open mind and looking at it as a fresh start - this is big for me!
The other change is that for the first time we will do home visits instead of having Parent/Teacher Conversations. In the past, we had one day where parents could drop by for a 10-15 minute conference. This year, district wide - we are doing home visits. I have no idea how we will do this or what we are to do. I am hoping to hear more on that soon. Do any of you do home visits? I would love to know more about them!
I am in countdown mode. Our school district goes "Year Round". That means that we get out the middle of May and start back the 1st week of August. We also have a week off in October, April, and then 1 1/2 weeks off at Christmas. I have to say I don't really hate this schedule. I love it in May when we get out and then I start dreading it at the end of July when I am preparing to go back. I have 2 weeks after this week off before I really begin. I am trying to do a lot at home as my room is being painted this summer and won't be done until at least the end of next week. This gives me 1 week to get my room together. I will definitely have pictures to post after it is complete. I am so excited that they are putting magnetic paint on some of my walls. Have ya'll tried that yet? I hope it makes my word wall easier to use!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shopping Problem

So...I admit...I have a shopping problem. For myself, my daughter, and my classroom! This is my 10th year. You would think by now that I wouldn't need anything, but I am positive I absolutely need these things.
I found these for $1 at Dollar Tree. I really wish they had the other colors that we learn. Thought of getting more and spray painting but decided against it. **Those white stickers come off.


Here is what I got at the Target Dollar section. I got these for storage. I'm going to use the vertical bins to re-organize my read-alouds. I got that idea from one of the blogs I've been stalking. I am using the flat bins for each of my 4 tables (red, blue, green, yellow). These were technically $2.50 each but compared to Really Good Stuff (which I LOVE), it's a deal!

I got these erase boards and erasers for name practice. I will use the number and ABC puzzles with struggling kiddos and the sign language erasers for pointers in reading groups!


I plan on using the ABC stickers for different things. I would like to put them on dice and have students roll them to make words??? Not sure yet but for a dollar, who can pass that up?? The certificates and bookmarks I use as rewards for reaching benchmarks in Headsprout. I did this last year and they LOVED it.


I got these Dr. Seuss items to give as gifts on Read Across America Day! I'm thinking ahead!


My Target also had a small teacher section with everything priced at $2.50. I found this Smart Cookies bulletin board kit. It is huge!


I also found these cute holiday window clings!



Once I left I wondered if I was the only person who could spend $60 in the Dollar Section at Target, but then my teaching partner spent $90 so I figure I'm good! :) In her defense...this is her 2nd year! :) 

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Classroom Schedule

I really don't know where to start with this blog, so I thought I would begin by giving you an overview of how my class is ran. This will be my 10th year of teaching and I have tried different schedules but this is what works for me. I usually have anywhere from 20-25 students in my classroom (this year I only have 17...Woo Woo) and I have a full-time assistant. I have to say I could not do it without her. This is an overview of an average day:

7:30- Pick up students from gym and bring to classroom. Students get all things out of their backpack and begin morning work/daily journal. During this time, I (and my assistant) call students up to get folders, hang up backpacks, take attendance/lunch count.
7:50 - Monitor students in morning work/daily journal.
8:00 - Students come to carpet for whole group reading/writing. (I will explain my reading program in a later post).
8:40 - Small reading group time. At this time we divide students up among the 3 K classroom/assistant/and a few extra assistants we are given for our small reading group time. In all, my students are usually divided into 5 different groups ranging from low to high. If students are way above grade level - they go to 1st grade during this time. During this time, no "work" is given to students. It is all hands on, eye ball to eye ball instruction. (More later).
9:30 - Students come back for math instruction and or social studies/science. We recently began Math In Focus and this is taught during this time. If we have social studies/science (which is very rare - we REALLY focus on math, writing, and reading in K) we do it at this time too.
10:15 - Students break into 4 different groups. (This is where my schedule really differs from most). I have 4 different tables - Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow.
Red Table is my math table, Blue is Headsprout (or Social Studies/Science), Yellow is writing, and Green is Reading. The students are shown their assignment for each table. They then go to "their seat" and begin work. I am usually at the math table and my assistant is at reading or writing. The Headsprout table is independent. All students must "work" for 15 minutes. As they finish we grade their work and assist where needed. After 15 minutes of work time they get centers. Each table has an assigned center. (Red - blocks, Yellow - Home Living, Green - Listening, Blue - Headsprout). If they are finished they may play in centers for 15 minutes. This is time for my assistant and I to pull students 1-on-1 or work with those not finished. After 15 minutes students rotate to the next table. This is done throughout the rest of the day until all students have completed all tables.
11:00 - Lunch
11:30-12:10 - Specials (P.E., Library, Music, Enrichment, or Guidance)
12:10-1:30 - Complete Groups
1:30-1:45 - Recess
1:45-2:00 - Snack Time
2:00-2:30 - AR reading, Daily Review, Spelling Practice, Etc.
2:30 - Dismissal

So...are you confused? Do you have questions? It seems different than most other schedules but it works for me! I'll go more into my reading instruction, reading groups, and math instruction later!

Win a Blog Makeover!

There are some awfully cute blogs out there. I am working on becoming one....in due time! If you want a blog makeover you must visit 1st Grade with Miss Snowden . She is giving away 4 (yep...4) blog makeovers in celebration of having 400 followers. How awesome! So...jump on over and enter!