November 29, 2015

Sending a Cyber Smile (:

Hi there! Have you heard? Tomorrow, TpT kicks off their TpT Cyber Smile Sale! 

I know I'm moving some wishlist items into my cart and ready to use the promo code SMILE for my purchases. 

My entire store will be on sale and I thought I'd share how I use my Count to 100 Certificate Recognition Printables in my classroom. 

In Texas, a Kinder Math TEK states that our kindergarten kiddos are expected to count forward and backward to at least 20Most of our kiddos that attended pre-k come in counting way past that 20 and I find that it's definitely something most of them can accomplish throughout the year. 

The first grade TEK states that students are expected to recite numbers forward and backward from any given number between 1 and 120. I think it's important to build that counting skill in kindergarten as well. 

At the beginning of the year I print a class set of gumball machines to have on hand throughout the year. Sometimes I laminate them, sometimes I don't, depends on the year/resources available (aka if the laminating machine is working ;). 

Count to 100 Printables

Using a 100s chart, I pull one kiddo at a time to assess how far they can successfully count by 1s. I like to assess all students at the beginning of the year just to get an idea where they are at. After that, I assess at the end of the month or every grading period as needed.

I include a template of a gumball machine and this is what I use to project on the wall and trace onto a poster a larger gumball machine.

Our poster sized gumball machine is hung on the ceiling and as students master counting to 100, I write their name on a gumball (printed on color cardstock) and add it to the machine. 

Our school has morning announcements and Fridays are reserved for Kindergarten recognition. I send new 100 club members with their gumball certificate and a crown for recognition. 

I bought the crowns at Lakeshore and use them for birthdays but sometimes double as recognition crowns. I've included a template to print your own headband. Just print and add to a crown or sentence strip to make a headband.

I saw so many motivated learners after the first couple of recognitions with the gumball certificates. I also had parents tell me that their child just wants to count at home and improve every night! 

So hop over to my store to check out my Count to 100 Certificate Recognition Printables and other goodies! Happy shopping!

September 3, 2015

Ready for not, here they come! Classroom Reveal!

Where did August go???

In hopes of being more active in the blogging world I joined Angie at Lucky Little Learners and Ashley at Schroeders Shenanigans with their Together We Are Better . This month it's all about our classroom reveal.

I was excited to sign up to join this linky party last month. This was motivation to set up my classroom and share with pictures what kinder looks like in my classroom. Sadly I couldn't get into my classroom about a week before school started. Construction was waaaaaay behind at my campus. This included working in Texas summer weather with a broken AC unit and a classroom with no windows. It was miserable and just unbearable, maintenance folks were out working on the unit late into the hours Sunday BEFORE the 1st day to prepare for our kids coming in on Monday. I worked maybe a total of 2 full days and a half setting up my room from bottom up.  Did I mention that I moved to my 3rd classroom in the last 4 years? Hence the blank canvas I had.

So needless to say, on Day 3, the Friday before the first day of school, I was as ready as I could ever be. Seeing photos on pinterest and instagram of elaborate classroom decor can be intimidating. I almost hesitated to post my results. I reflected this weekend over my first week back. I'm slowing pep talking myself that it's OK to not have every wall covered and all of the cutesy things available in the world that I could hang/post in room 205.

Right now my room is working out well for my kiddos. We've been transitioning and getting routines down, making anchor charts together, and slowly but surely making it our little community TOGETHER. Check back in a couple of weeks, together we'll get in sync and you'll see that our walls won't be bare for long.

Below are the BEFORE pics. I moved into a new classroom and ended up with the furniture of that classroom and my old. I had to work around all that until it could be removed.

This is the view from the door as you walk in. The blue plastic tubs are from dollar tree. I'm using them as crayon boxes. They are working well so far. Easy to close and open, and able to hold 24 count crayons.
The black plastic shelves are something new I am trying out. I'm debating having some of the materials we use the most on these shelves to make for quicker transitions.
Heading away from the door, I have our cubbies that house of our things like consumables. Above that is my pocket chart for our literacy centers work board. I'll be introducing these centers one at a time and slowly add the center icon cards as we learn how they work.
I'm so excited that I have three huge bulletin boards this year. I was able to section off these four sections show. First space is set up for our letter of the week and other helpful reading anchor charts we'll create together. My word wall is in the middle, followed by a section for math visual aids and anchor charts. Last is an area for science, social studies and anything health related. 
A couple of days in and I moved over our supply baskets away from the black plastic shelves.
This is what our supply baskets look like. I find this set up helps me. When we need just pencils, it's much easier to just pull the cup out. This minimizes distractions of my little friends that think they need glue and scissors ALL the time.
Here's our library. As we learn literary elements and reading strategies, I start posting these as anchor charts on clips to change out as needed. 
Because it's beginning of the year, I try to put library books that are a little worn out, in other words I'm okay if there is a tear here and there. As we practice and learn to take care of books, I start swapping them out as necessary. I have some friends that are still learning how to hold books so some of these older copies work out for them.
I also try to put out materials that most of my students have some familiarity with, like puzzles.
This the view my students have from the carpet for whole group. On the closet wall I have our ABC linking chart, our campus fluency words, good listeners visuals, and our whole brain teaching rules with our behavior clip chart below.

Our writer's wall gets student work added monthly. At the end of the year, I pull all of their work and make a portfolio to share with parents their writing throughout the year.
This little summer project is a favorite of mine so far and a popular class choice. I spray painted some old Scholastic book holders and printed a little readbox label from TpT here. These books are available for students to "borrow" when they are fast finishers. I'm going to be putting "special" kind of books and changing them up. I have two of them on opposite sides of the room.

I got rid of my teacher desk to make room for five student tables. I was nervous to part with it, but I realized it's just two small compartments I'd be missing. So this is my teacher area/guided reading/group area.

Whew! Thanks for sticking around. I'm off to catch up on emails and check out more of the classroom reveals over at the linky party.

August 2, 2015

Bulletin Boards

Hello there! I'm linking up with Angie from Lucky Little Learners and Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd! I love how they have started monthly linky parties with specific collaboration posts to support one another #2getherwearebetter. 

A goal of mine this year is to take quality pictures. Sometimes it's easier to snap a picture with my cell phone but I'm promising myself to put in effort to use a digital camera when possible to improve the quality of my pictures that I want to share. 

I've had the luck of being in a portable with limited walls to moving to a classroom with curtain walls, you know those icky panel walls that fold like an accordion. Yup, basically no sturdy wall space for bulletin boards. 

Tip #1: Use doors as walls. Never fear, doors are dear. That is until your doors are not able to hold tape. For some reason my closet doors had some special film over them that anything I tried putting up would slide off. I tried duct tape, masking tape, super glue, double sided tape, packing tape, even hot glue. Other classrooms in my hall didn't have this problem, lucky me.

I was able to use yarn tied and taped from inside the door to finally hold up some things. I added a pocket chart to change out vocabulary words. Some parts of my doors "accepted" hot glue. And with the help of a command hook and lots and lots of hot glue later, I was even able to add my slightly heavy behavior clip chart made of cardstock.

Tip #2: Add some width to your wall. Yay for bulletin board, booooo to it being itty bitty. With a glue gun and some fabric I was able to make that small bulletin board wider. You can't even tell that the space under the fabric is whiteboard, and it's very easy to remove when you need to. Comes right off the whiteboard.

Tip #3: Laminate and go with fadeless paper. I like to use a combo of fadeless paper and fabric in my classroom. I stock up on fadeless paper at the beginning of the year with some coupons. It's a good investment if you plan on keeping your walls the same year after year. 

I like to laminate things that I know will be up all year long like student work displays, I just add to it, never really moving anything. This keeps it sturdy and I don't have to worry about the paper tearing or fading as I update the wall.

Tip #4: Student Friendly. I know sometimes I'm guilty of wanting cutesy things up. But I try to remember that ultimately what I put up needs to really benefit my little learners. Promote THEIR work, support THEIR learning with visual aids like vocabulary words, anchor charts you create WITH THEM. I know my students love to see when a sentence/idea they created or shared is added to our big chart paper. They gain a sense of pride that their idea is valued in our classroom. And I love when they refer back to their learning when the chart paper is displayed in the classroom.

And there it is friends! I'm in the process of planning my bulletin board wall spaces for 2015. I moved to a new room so I have a blank canvas to work with! I'm off to read more posts and make notes for inspiration. Go check them out here!

July 22, 2015

Kinder Tribe (All About This Kinder Teacher)

I'm so excited to have found my tribe! So many teacher tribes are popping up everywhere with lots of teachers getting together to support, help, and inspire one another. The Kinder Tribe went a step further from the Facebook group and started a blog called Kinder Tribe.

Kinder Tribe is hosting a linky party this week called All About This Kinder Teacher. Here's a little something something about yours truly.
This year will be 5 years in K. I've been lucky to have applied for my grade level, get hired for my grade level, and stay in my grade level. I just love this early childhood age group. I hope to stay in kindergarten for a good while. Eventually I would like to experience another grade level. But for now, I'm very very happy where I'm at.

I CAN NOT live without my MacBook Pro. I went Mac back in 2007 and I never went back! I have years and years worth of pictures, music, and more in my mac.

My favorite school supply would have to be Mr. Sketch Scented Markers. They're perfect for anchor charts, grading, and the occasional "dot stamp" on a 5 year old. My kiddos go nuts to get a little dot stamp on their hand and smell like lemon or grape!

It's hard to choose just ONE favorite kinder book, I have too many to choose. But I will say that I'm a huge fan of Mo Willems books. Every year I do a big author study of just Mo Willems books. We go on a virtual field trip to his website and I share with my students how to access it at home or at a library. There are so many great things about his books. Emotions, speech bubbles, persuasion, etc.

I've been stalking following many many bloggers, hoping that one day I could blog and inspire others like they do. These three are some of my favorites. Yeehaw Teaching in Texas posts so many fun and bright pictures of happenings in her room. She's my inspiration to take more pictures of kids in action in my classroom. Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade, I know is technically not a kinder blogger, but so many of her fabulous products and posts I feel can still relate to teaching K. And Kreative in Kinder is another amazing blogger I admire. I was able to attend an SDE Conference in Texas one year where she was a presenter. She shared so many great ideas!

I love kindergarten because I love to see how much my students grow from the beginning of the year to the end. Especially when some kids have not had any prior school experience. The growth ALL children make is incredible!

If you made it to the end of this post, THANK YOU for reading all about this kinder teacher! I'm off to read up some more from fellow K teachers!

July 9, 2015

Catching Up and Week 3 TpT Seller Challenge

EEEK! I already did what I told myself I wouldn't do...forget to blog! So here I am two weeks later catching up.

Lazy Summer days include going to the gym for an hour in the mornings, binge watching new and old shows on Netflix, and checking out what others are up to through Instagram.

The data nerd in me was excited to see this pyramid today. I love these workouts. It's like I have my own personal trainer but with a group of people of all kinds of fitness levels. I definitely need someone to tell me what to do when it comes to working out.

And this is my new favorite show. I loved it so much after the first two episodes that I sat and watched the ENTIRE season one the rest of the night. I felt like I was BFFs with Jane and Lily!

I've also been busy working on my masterpiece for the TpT Seller Challenge.
I had started my "masterpiece" last summer when I needed a refresher for my monster classroom theme. I never went back to it as the year came and went. Thanks to this challenge, I really felt the push to finish.

The final product ended up being over 200 pages! I was tempted to keep going and make blackline masters but that might have to wait a little longer.
Some favorite printables of mine in this product are the binder cover pages and the school supply labels. They really pop with the super cute clip art and graphics I bought recently.
I also love my updated math wall kit.

That's what my wall looked like at the beginning of the year. ICK! Now I can't wait to add some color and cute monsters to match the rest of my classroom decor.

You can find my 'MONSTAR' Monster Decor Kit in my TpT Store, it's on sale right now too!

I can't wait to print out all of the pieces and laminate them. I've had this monster theme for 3 years now, let's hope I don't decide to pull a 180 and change the theme in August, ha!

Do you have any favorite classroom decor themes?