Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sight Word Book

We learn two words the first week of school - We, Can. We begin learning our sight words (rainbow words) right away. Our school uses the Treasures series by Macmillan McGraw Hill. We teach the sight words in order that the series does as well as color words, number words, and words from the Fry list. Sounds like a lot huh? It is. We've been in school and have taught over 20 words. I KNOW! Our series has WONDERFUL little reader books that go with the series, but often those don't have the FRY words in it. I try to create small books for the students to practice reading and take home. We often highlight our new words of the week and do lots of activities with this book. I am using this book next week. It really focuses on the words can and see. We are also just beginning to sound out CVC words (like Sam and map). We have learned the letters Mm, Aa, Ss, Pp, and Tt so far. Here is a quick freebie. I hope you can use it! I'm still working on my rainbow word unit!

I CAN SEE book

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Makeover

I got a makeover. I got a makeover! I am so excited. Truth be told I have LITERALLY stalked Dreamlike Magic Designs for over 3 weeks trying to decide which design to get. Just when I had made up my mind, she added even more new designs yesterday. I stuck with my gut and chose this design. I LOVE pink and green and grey....well, it's cute too! Hope you like it. If you have my old button, will you please change it to my new button. Just grab it over on the right.

Kindergarten Korner


I so close to 100 followers! I am working on a freebie I hope you can use. It has to do with my RAINBOW words. More to come soon!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Freebie Friday

TGIF. What a week! I've had so much fun joining Blog Hoppin' this week. I have gotten many great ideas! You may have seen my Give Me 5! display.


I use this at my Writing Table. I begin teaching this around October and by November they are self checking their work to see if they have done everything in the Give Me 5! before turning in their paper to be graded. A few days a week I use this for the students to self-asses that their work is ready to be graded. If I just say "Did you Give Me 5?" they say yes and typically they have forgotten a step. (It is usually the punctuation.) If they use this little guide, it really helps. I staple it to their paper when graded. I hope you can use it!

give me 5

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three for Thursday

Back again thanks to Blog Hoppin'. Teacher week has been really good for keeping me on my toes! Today is Three for Thursday.
My Favorite Font
I've been addicted to fonts for years. I have so many downloaded on my computer at school. Then when I forward stuff to people they are always saying it comes up funky because they don't have all my fonts. Sorry!: ( I think my new favorite font is:



I love Kevin and Amanda fonts. I have all of their peas fonts and their doodles! So much fun!
I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fonts


My Favorite Blog


This is really hard. I love all the blogs. Seriously do. If I HAD to pick a favorite it might be Mrs. Jumps Class. She has so many awesome resources. I absolutely LOVE her common core standards in student friendly terms. They have saved me so much time!


I've been blogging FOREVER and have many other favorite blogs. In terms of everyday reads, I love Kelly's Korner. I've been reading her for almost 4 years. Crazy to think I feel like we are BFF's and I've never met her. I also love crafting blogs. My favorite crafting blog is:


My Favorite Online Resource:
I'm gonna have to say that this year it is YouTube.
I cannot get enough. There are so many great videos to songs we already since. I use a lot of HarryKindergarten. I have also found all of the Color Songs I sing from Frog Street Press. My favorites are by beeblebrox01. Oh. And all you kindergarten teachers who still teach some fables, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales...Debbie and Friends has the most adorable videos! Love it!
Can't wait to see what you like!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where It All Goes Down Wednesday

Today, the theme is Where It All Goes Down Wednesday. I posted this a few weeks ago, so I am pretty much just re-posting.
This is my teaching area. I have had an ACTIVboard for 3 1/2 years now and I LOVE it! I can't imagine teaching without it. All of my whole group instruction takes place here. To the left is my desk (pictures below) and to the right is the student's cubbies (with the crayons as labels). You can see the bundting pendant I made for decorations (thanks pinterest).


This is a close-up of the classroom jobs. I have their names on labels in the top draw of the blue organizer. I keep them in order and start from the top. At the end of the week, students who had jobs go to the bottom of the stack and I continue to rotate. I use an Ipod for all of my music.

This is the stage area where I used to teach before getting an ACTIVboard. Unforunately, the stage doesn't get used much. The green table is my reading table (see this post about how my classroom schedule is ran). I use this area for one of my small reading groups and most of the alphabet centers/posters/etc. are around this area. I also use the stage for my listening center.


This is my writing area. The students do all handwriting/writing activities at the yellow table. You can see my word wall. We do "rainbow words" (I will explain in a whole other post.) and we add them up there as we learn them. To the left of it you can see a title "Give Me 5!". Below that are the 5 things the students MUST check for before getting their paper graded. They are: 1. Do neat work, 2. Begin with a capital letter, 3. End with punctutation, 4. Use finger spaces, and 5. Use the word wall. By Christmas they are really good at checking for these. I have a few more things I will add to the right of that wall later in the year.


This shows the alphabet I made this year using scrapbook paper. My "S" is a little crazy in this picture, but I got it fixed. The back of the room displays "WOW" work and the home living center is back there as well as the sink and drying rack. You can see the blue table to the right. That table is for science, social studies, or art activities. Most of the time when students get to that table they go to the computer for Headsprout.


This is my desk. A good friend of mine painted it a few years ago. I retouched up the black paint and still haven't written Mrs. Shelton on it yet. I will!


I am VERY fortunate to have a large nice classroom. Hop on over to Blog Hoppin' and see the other posts! I love looking at other teacher's classrooms and getting good ideas!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

It is day 2 of Teacher Week at Blog Hoppin'. Today is the day for advice for new teachers. It has been 10 years since I was a new teacher, but I have helped many KTIP teachers and colleagues who have had a rough first year. Here is advice:
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. I would recommend a weekly newsletter to let parents know everything that is going on. Parents get upset when they feel left out of the loop. I make sure I keep in contact with all parents. I want them on my side!
2. Be firm and consistent with classroom management. This is an area I had trouble with in the beginning. My first year I had 9..yes 9, kids. I had no classroom management. I didn't need it. The next year when I had 18 it was out of control. I explain classroom rules day 1 and I am very firm with these rules. Students know what to expect and how to behave.
3. Delegate - get help. Being the type A person that I was, my first year I DID EVERYTHING. I wouldn't even let parents run my copies because they might mess it up. Well, I learned quickly that I needed it. I have many parent volunteers who come weekly to assist with different areas in the classroom. Collaborate with colleagues and get their advise.
4. Reflect. Your first year will have many ups and downs. Try and write these things down so that you know what to do and what not to do the next year. You might think you will remember, but you won't!
5. Have fun. You will never have a first year again. Remember those kiddos - they will always hold special place in your heart.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday

I'm so excited to be joining Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week 2011. Today, Monday, is Meet the Teacher.



Tell us a little something about you....
I'm Sarah and I teach Kindergarten. I am 32 and have been married to my husband Dave for 4 years. We have a 2 year old daughter Lilly who is the light of my life. I adore that girl so much I can HARDLY stand it. I LOVE crafting and love to sew. I love to make my daughter clothes that I cannot afford (think Matilda Jane). I am totally addicted to crafts. I own an embroidery machine, sewing machine, and now a Cricut. It's kinda ridculous. My husband is a home builder so we move every 2-3 years. Our house is currently on the market. I'm ready for a new home. I love to shop...seriously love to shop. It is a problem...ask my hubby. I love to play on the internet. I probably do that 1-2 hours a day. I don't watch much TV (because I'd rather be on the internet) but I do love Modern Family. It's my fave. My favorite colors are pink and green. My couch is lime green and my curtains are a shade of pink.

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 10th year teaching Kindergarten. I taught 1/2 day Title 1, 1/2 day Kindergarten my first 2 years, but when our school district went full time, I got to teach 5 year olds all day. I LOVE my job...seriously love it. I teach in a small rural school. We have awesome kiddos and awesome parents.

You might not know....
I HATE to cook. Really hate it. Totally don't have an interest in it. It's not that I am horrible, it is just that there are so many things I would rather be doing. I can never think of anything fix or even get for my husband to fix. He does enjoy cooking, but I can never think of things to get at the grocery store for him to cook. I think it is so much easier (but not cheaper) to eat out. Every year I promise I'm gonna get better, but I never do.

What are you most looking forward to this year?
A year of new beginnings. We have a new principal and a new curriculum specialist. I was initially very nervous about the new principal because well...he is new. Notice I said, he...that was new too. So far....LOVE him. He is fabulous and I am very happy! :) I an excited to see changes be made and looking forward to what that brings!

What do you need to improve?
Time management. Not necessarily at school, but at home. I am a morning person. I get up at 5:30 and am at school by 6:30 so that I get an hour of quiet time before school starts. I am pretty good at being out the door at 3:15 when we can leave. After that time management goes out the window. I feel bad for not being with my daughter all day so I want to spend every moment with her until she goes to sleep. That leaves me 1 hour and 1/2 to do everything...get ready for the next day, pack lunches, school bags, sew, laundry, dishes, pick up, play on internet. There...I said it. What really happens is I sit down at the computer and get to blogging and pinteresting (is that a word) and that is all she wrote. I get nothing done...nadda. I want to make so many things for Lilly but it just doesn't get done. I have to get better at that!

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
My ACTIVboard. I've had it for 4 years and I seriously cannot do without. LOVE it!!!!

My Crayola markers. I grade papers, create checklist, write parents notes, etc with my markers. Love 'em!

Graphicsfactory.com - I just got a subscription and I use it to create worksheets, games, etc DAILY. Love it!

Diet Mt. Dew - I know it is not a teaching supply, but I can't be a teacher without it!



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Teacher Week

So...I'm in a slump...a blogging slump. Out of ideas. Luckily, Blog Hoppin' has a cure for it. This week is Teacher Week.

I'm so excited to have a topic each day to help me get out of my slump. Click on the picture about and "hop" on over to join the fun! Can't wait!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are your goals clear?

One of the requirements from our district is to have your CLG (clear learning goals) posted weekly in your classroom. It is very important that kids know what they are learning and why they are learning it. In the past, I wrote the goals on sentence strips and stuck them into a pocket chart. This has all changed thanks to Deanna Jump of Mrs. Jump's Class. She created the CUTEST Clear Learning Goals in student friendly term. I love them!!! As soon as I saw them on her blog, I jumped on over to her TPT store and purchased them for myself. Now I have the cutest little display for my student friendly clear learning goals. I know it is important they the goals are there for the students to see but who says they can't be cute too?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Star Student

The Teacher Wife posted yesterday asking how do we make students feel special in our classroom. I thought this was a great idea to post about. I have "Star Student of the Week" in my classroom. On Friday, I choose a student randomly. All students who have not been star student stand up and students take turns asking me yes or no questions until only 1 student (the star student) is standing. I love this because it works with questioning skills! That student will take home the Star Student poster to complete and return on Monday to display in the hall. All week, the Star Student gets to be calendar helper AND line leader. They love this! Probably their favorite part of being star student is taking home the Froggy Bag. On Monday, they get to take home a bag that has the following in it:
Class Scrapbook - Each student gets a scrapbook page to complete as their summer homework. This page is returned the first day of school and included in a scrapbook that the kids get to take home to show their families all of their classmates.
Froggy - Froggy is a BIG deal. They get to spend all week with Froggy. I encourage each student to wash it the first day they take it home because kids LITERALLY sleep with Froggy when he is at their house. **Last year we had a lice scare, so this year our school purchased small Froggies that each student can keep instead of a big froggy. I understand the reasoning behind this but it makes me SUPER sad!

Froggy Books - Students read these books with Froggy each night.


Add caption

Froggy Journal - Students (okay parents) journal what they did with Froggy throughout the week, their favorite part of being star students, and what their favorite book was. I also encourage pictures and usually get lots of them!
When I say kids cannot wait to be Star Student...that is an understatement. They LOVE it! I did a monkey theme for a few years, but I think I have stuck with the frog theme for about 7. I would love to know your thoughts. How do you do Star Student or do you?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birthday Bash Unit

One of the first units I do is the Birthday Bash unit. It is a standard in our district that Kindergarten students know important holidays (including their birthdays).



Usually only about 1/2 of our students know their birthday so we do a lot of practice and reciting of this all week long. We begin the week with students coloring a birthday cake that has their birthday on it. We also sing Birthday by Jack Hartmann. It is from Math All Around Me CD. They love this song! It takes a while for some students to remember when to stand up, but they definitely have it by the end of the week. Throughout the week we graph birthdays on the ACTIVboard, add birthday baskets to Everyday Count Calendar, and place them on my birthday cupcakes for display in the room. We also decorate a birthday crown using jewels, tissue paper, crayons etc. for them to wear. The students create a birthday cake glyph which is great for following directions! On Friday, every students brings in a gently used or new book already wrapped. We have our Birthday Bash (with cupcakes and drinks) and have a gift exchange. All students get a new book to take home.
I am excited to FINALLY have my FIRST unit posted for FREE!!! I am attempting to attach this via Google Documents. I had to attach the crown separate because it is in landscape form. I blow it up on copier (about 120%) and run on white large construction paper. The bottom part of the crown (the straight strip) is used to attach to each side so it fits around their head! ENJOY!!!
**I did it in a really cute font, but it showed up all wonky on scribd, so I changed it to century gothic. If you want the cute font, just leave your email and I will email it to you!

Birthday Bash Unit

Birthday Bash Crown

Don't forget to show off your new cute classroom in my linky party below!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cute Classroom Linky Party

We have been in school for 2 days! Whew! I was SO tired after those 2 days. It is going great. I finally got my classroom done the day before they came and made sure I took pictures before they came in and destroyed it. I did a lot of new things to my classroom this year since I had to tear everything down to paint it!
This is my teaching area. I have had an ACTIVboard for 3 1/2 years now and I LOVE it! I can't imagine teaching without it. All of my whole group instruction takes place here. To the left is my desk (pictures below) and to the right is the student's cubbies (with the crayons as labels). You can see the bundting pendant I made for decorations.


This is a close-up of the classroom jobs. I have their names on labels in the top draw of the blue organizer. I keep them in order and start from the top. At the end of the week, students who had jobs go to the bottom of the stack and I continue to rotate. I use an Ipod for all of my music.

This is the stage area where I used to teach before getting an ACTIVboard. Unforunately, the stage doesn't get used much. The green table is my reading table (see this post about how my classroom schedule is ran). I use this area for one of my small reading groups and most of the alphabet centers/posters/etc. are around this area. I also use the stage for my listening center.


This is my writing area. The students do all handwriting/writing activities at the yellow table. You can see my word wall. We do "rainbow words" (I will explain in a whole other post.) and we add them up there as we learn them. To the left of it you can see a title "Give Me 5!". Below that are the 5 things the students MUST check for before getting their paper graded. They are: 1. Do neat work, 2. Begin with a capital letter, 3. End with punctutation, 4. Use finger spaces, and 5. Use the word wall. By Christmas they are really good at checking for these. I have a few more things I will add to the right of that wall later in the year.


This shows the alphabet I made this year using scrapbook paper. My "S" is a little crazy in this picture, but I got it fixed. The back of the room displays "WOW" work and the home living center is back there as well as the sink and drying rack. You can see the blue table to the right. That table is for science, social studies, or art activities. Most of the time when students get to that table they go to the computer for Headsprout.


This is my desk. A good friend of mine painted it a few years ago. I retouched up the black paint and still haven't written Mrs. Shelton on it yet. I will!


I am VERY fortunate to have a large nice classroom. I would love to see your pictures! I got many ideas from Pinterest this year. So...if you have worked hard to get that classroom ready (and I know you all have) link up to let us see the pictures!!!



Monday, August 1, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Yeah! We have winners! The first winner was:


The 2nd winner is:

And the 3rd winner is :


Congratulations to the winners! I will contact the 1st winner to see which prize she wants and then continue through winner 3. If you have won, leave your email in the comments just incase I can't get you! Thanks!