Writing Our Name (and a freebie)

One of the first things we start drilling is writing our name. Whew wee! Most kiddos come writing their name in all caps. It is the worst habit ever to break. I will never forget one year a little girl was SO mad at me because I was making her write her name correct. She kept saying "My mama said to write it this way." I always say "Well, at (school name) you have to write it this way."
Here's the deal. You get some kiddos who come writing their name like this:

And some who come writing their name like this:

Yep. I find that for sweet Carter and others like him...they can just get a little extra practice writing on lines. They are ready for pencil to lined paper. Clearly. Same for Hayden who just needs a little work on the a.)
Okay...so for these sweet babies:

The lines won't work for them. Nope. We are gonna need WEEKS of practice. So what do I do for those kiddos? Boxes. We don't even worry about lines. They need to practice each letter in their name. Here is what I give for them:

Here is an example of my little one practicing her name. If their name looks anything like the 2 pictures above, I also highlight their name all the way down.

This may take weeks! I have a few students who I 30 copies of these ready. I'm gonna need them! Once they get better. I begin just giving them their name dotted (no highlighting).

Once we are looking like my sweet little 4 year old above, we begin writing on the lined paper. We are all saying a big Woo! Hoo! when they start looking like above!

Would you like these for yourself? Well, lucky you! They are a Facebook Freebie on my Facebook page now! Just click below to go to my facebook page and grab them!!! The first line is editable so you can type in your own kiddos names! I give suggestions in the unit for the font to use!

A Few Shopping Finds and Washi Tape

Well, I'm that crazy cat that starts checking Wal-Mart and Target isles the week of July 4th. Yep. I have no idea why because that means school is right around the corner for me, but I can't help it. I LOVE school supplies. I'm have been stalking for the $ .25 Crayola crayons (Toys R Us this week)! I have noticed that most all great finds (Dollar Tree, Dollar Spot) are BRIGHT colors and well, I have primary colored tables remember?? I do have punches of orange, pink, etc in my room but not lots of brights. That has saved me a lot of money!

I did find this for all of your BRIGHT lovers at Big Lots!! Only $28!!!!

Okay. So I may be dating myself a bit, but how many of you had the packets of bright colored blue and pink notebook paper when you were in elementary school? You know...Lisa Frank? Well, I would be ALL OVER this if I were in elementary!

That was at Target but I was JUST at Wal-Mart and they had paisley and different patterns there too!

Okay...now I have a confession to make. I just bought my first roll of Washi Tape this week. I know. Where have I been? I was SUPER excited to do these.

All I needed was Washi Tape (Target), clothespins, scissors, and modge podge (not pictured).

Look how cute they turned out!!!!! I'm dying from the cuteness! Seriously!!! (It's the small things.)

I used these to hang up WOW work in my classroom. This was an empty space in my room and it worked perfect!

Okay...I'm off to the pool. I'll be back tomorrow with a Facebook Freebie!

Monday Made It (Non-school related)

Okay....so I am FINALLY linking up for Monday Made it!

It is TOTALLY non-school related, but has been on my To-Do list all summer and I am SUPER happy to have it done. I finally made my curtains for my little one's playroom last week! YAY!
I am a decent sewer, however these are fairly easy for those of you who think NO WAY could I do that. You can!

Here is what you need:
Sewing Machine
Curtain Rod and materials

First choose your material and decide how much fabric you need. I had a double window and knew I wanted a panel on each side....nothing fancy. The fabric was 54" wide from Ikea. (Most home décor fabric is 54"wide.) I knew I wanted at least 84" long so I figured 2 1/2 yards each panel. It just so happened that the match was mirrored so I didn't have to account for that. If you have a large match, you will need to get more. (This just means that each side of the curtain looks the same.)

Again, my fabric came from Ikea at $4.99 a yard!!!!!! LOVE that place!! First things first. I cut my 5 yards in 1/2 so that I had 2 panels that were each 2 1/2 yards. Then IRON. I always iron my fabric first. Just trust me.

After ironing, make sure you have a large place to work in. I used my bedroom floor. I laid out face down.

Next, grab your liner. Again, this is 54" wide (okay so really the IKEA fabric was a bit more, but that worked out perfect because I didn't cut anything). I had 5 yards of it as well and cut it in 1/2. Fold one end of the liner (double fold so you don't have a raw edge) and sew (width way). You want your liner to be a bit (about 2 inches) shorter than your fabric at the bottom.

 Lay the liner on top of the face down fabric making sure there is 2 inches at the bottom that does not have liner.

Next, fold the sides of your fabric in (double fold so you down have a raw edge hanging out). Pin this all the way down each side of the fabric.

Once this is done, sew this on your sewing machine. Just a straight stich all the way down the fabric.

Now I don't have pictures to show this, because...well I got excited that I was almost done!!! Fold the top down with a large 2 1/2-3 inch fold, catching the liner in it and pin. At the bottom double fold it but DO NOT grab the liner in it. This will allow it to hang nicely and not pull. Sew both the top and bottom folds.
**This is the easiest type of curtain to make. I chose not to place the rod through the curtain. This requires a bit more work at the top and material to make a rod pocket. I am hanging these using curtain clips. All the other curtains I have made had a curtain rod but I wanted these done quickly!
Next place the clips on the curtain and then on the rod. I then had hubby hang the rod so that my curtains just barely brushed the floor.

TADA!!! A finished product!!! :) I'm so happy with them and cannot wait to complete the room! (Uh....the green chair is leaving the room!)

Throwback Thursday

Y'all....I'm on a linky party craze! I can't help it!!! There are so many good ones. I hope you aren't bored. I'll be back with some "meat" soon! I'm linking up with Cara again!

If you are like me....you have Back to School on the Brain. Yep. Four weeks from today is our FIRST DAY and we all know teachers start WAY before then!!!! :( Here is a posted dated August 8, 2012 with my First Day of K Frame and the memory book I do for each kiddo!!!

Original Post - AUGUST 8, 2012

I know you have seen those ADORABLE empty frames that say My First Day of Kindergarten. Well, I made one and I LOOOOOOOVE it! Here it is being put to use this morning.

 I took each students pictures using the frame to include in the scrapbook I make for each child. In the past, I just took a normal picture and included cute clipart like this:

I think the framed picture will be SO much cuter!!!! I have been doing these for my students for 10 years. Each students gets a spiral bound scrapbook or memory book at the end of the year that includes 2-3 pictures for each month, along with a cute quote that has something to do with the month or what we learned. Here are a few other examples:

I also save writing and artwork from that month to include. Do you like the idea of a scrapbook or memory book for your students? Well, your life just got a lot easier! I have taken these quotes and put them together to create a Kindergarten Scrapbook/Memory Book unit. There are 2 different ways to use this. You can run the quote on small pieces of paper and cut out and place on paper with 2 or more pictures (cute stickers too) or you can just use the whole page quote with cute clipart that will allow you to place just 1 picture. (This is better for a smaller book.) All items in this unit are BLACK AND WHITE so that you can customize on your own colored paper (and save colored ink). If you would like to begin making these with your students, just click the picture below!

Classroom Management Tips

One of the MOST important aspects of being a great teacher is having good classroom management. Why? Because if you have good classroom management, your kiddos respect you and listen to you and they are eager to work hard for you and please you then you can do what you are there to do....TEACH. My first year of teaching (12 years ago) I had 9 kids. Yep. You heard me right.....9! I had 8 boys and 1 sweet little girl. These kids were good. Like perfect. For real. Who needs classroom management when you only have 9 kids in your class? Apparently I didn't.
Fast forward to the next year. 19 kids. WILD kids. Ruh. Roh. I remember my principal coming in and saying "You have got to get a hold of these kids." Ya think? Whew! I began using the "Strikes and Red Card" system. I didn't know any better. It worked. For 10 years. Last year, I was inspired by all of these wonderful bloggers to try the clipchart system. I'll be honest. I was skeptical. I liked the idea of kiddos who always did well moving up, but I doubted that kids who made mistakes would CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR to good and move up. Well, they did! I SWEAR! Brilliant!
Last year I created and implemented my Vertical Behavior Chart system. Worked like a gem. Best thing I have EVER done!

This year I made a Chevron themed one and I have JUST added it to my store. I added a place for parent initials at the end of the week. I know. You are SHOCKED that some parents never looked at their kiddos folders all week to see how they had been doing, but they didn't. Therefore, I added a parent initial line and now they don't have a choice hopefully they will follow through and initial.

You can see the behavior chart in use here and read more about my experiences with it! I am going to try and implement more of a reward for students who go above each day. I'm considering a ticket system! I'll keep ya updated! If you want more great classroom management tips, just click below!

Sunday Smorgasboard

I'm excited to be linking up with Fabulous in First for her Sunday Smorgasbaord linky party.

 photo c823e5c9-f7db-47fc-8555-123a065ce95b.jpg
This linky party is perfect for me since I am random most of the time! :)
We had a nice family weekend!!! I love 4th of July. Here is me and my family!

Our house is FINALLY finished! We have grass, landscaping, and I finally got my wreath on my door. Now I just need to get the inside decorated!!!

Um....look what I saw today in Target's ad!
That is a SUPER deal on the color cans! Also, markers for 99 cents! I usually buy 20 of those then when Crayola crayons go to 25 cents I buy 40!!! Oh! The chevron calendar! EEEK! Y'all I am STRAIGHT UP addicted to school supplies. It's an ugly addiction.
So supposedly we are getting wifi (in like 5 years...we live in the COUNTRY). Apparently my room is the hotspot. Do you see where they placed that puppy? Yup...right in the middle of my WORD WALL!!!!! WHAT???????????
There is my randomness for this week! I have only 3 full weeks left and it's back to work for me! Sniff, Sniff!

Throwback Thursday

Just a quick note before I link up with Cara, but don't Happy 4th of July! Make sure you run over to my Facebook page and get TONS of freebies in our Kinderland Facebook Freebie Hop!!!

Now to Cara's Throwback Thursday..... :)

Here is a great post on some freebie Back to School forms to get your year started off right!
Original Post - August 3, 2012
I am so excited to be part of the Back to School Blog Hop!!!! I love Blog Hops!

It is Back to School Time! I cannot believe school starts in 5 days for me!!!! 5 days people....where did the summer go? Our district is really good a making sure Kindergarten students have been exposed to the school and teachers well before school really starts. At our school, we send letters in the mail to our new K students announcing who their new teacher is. There is also these forms for parents to fill out:
(click to see a clearer picture)

I really enjoy getting the parents view on what their child knows and doesn't know as well as a few things that can help the students transition into kindergarten.

As soon as schools starts, we questions students using this form. With kindergarteners...it gets really funny!

The first day of school, we send home the following items with the kiddos. We can ALL use volunteers, right? We have THE BEST volunteers ever!!!!

Although our parents fill out emergency cards, I like for parents to fill out these for me to keep!

Do you like these forms? Would you like them to use in your classroom? Well lucky you...they are free! Just click below to go to my TPT store and download them...for FREE!!!!


Also visit Sharing Kindergarten...she is on the Blog Hop today too!
Sharing Kindergarten

Follow me on Facebook

Just a little tip for today......Make sure you follow me on Facebook. My kinder friends and I have something BIG planned for you!!!!! You won't wanna miss it! :)