Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blog Hoppin' ....Where it All Goes Down Wednesday

Calendar Area....although this is from last year, I've already changed it for this year !

Reading Area. My kids love the board books, I Spy books and theme books I put out each month. I also have a good supply of ZooBooks, Zoo Babies and National Geographic Kids Animal magazines.

Class Jobs. I've changed this for this year, too but it is pretty similar.

My  Blue Pocket Chart! This is from the first month of school obviously. Weekly I put in some kind of simple , predictable sentence strips or a poem of some sort. I use the pocket chart in various center activities during that week.

We have a bank of 10 computers in our lab. So half of my class goes one day , the other half the next day. We have software programs and use programs like starfall, pbskids, razkids, etc.

Monthly Theme Bookshelf

I love my flannelboard area! I have tons tons tons of flannelboard shapes, characters, story retelling stuff, etc. and a lot of finger puppets. There are tons of great ideas to use literacy with flannelboard!

What class isn't complete with a rocking chair for read alouds?

Each child has their own box for supplies such as markers, number tiles, spaceman for journal writing, dry erase marker, etc. The white boxes at the top are for lost or community supplies.

Sorting, patterning, counting, graphing boxes

Leveled readers for Guided Reading

Center organization chart. I have tons of ways I use this...

Easel with chart paper. Love love love this. 

"gray carpet" gathering area also doubles as a center

Red work buckets and orange pencil baskets for community supplies. Each table has a red work bucket for glue, scissors and crayons. Each table also has a pencil basket full of pencils.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher!!

Link Up with Blog Hoppin' and tell about yourself...

Tell Us Something About You: This is my 14th year of teaching. I taught First Grade for 5 years, Second Grade for 1 year and Kindergarten for 8 years. I've been teaching All Day Kindergarten for 5 years now. I've been married for 14 years to my husband, Jason. We have 2 kids.. Hayley Danielle is 11 and Hayden Daniel is 8. I am convinced it was meant to be that my son chose me to be his parent....he has some learning issues and I really understand how to help him better than anyone else...My daughter is an avid competitive diver and my husband has endless patience when it comes to my career and the beginning of the year craziness!

You Might Not Know: I did not want to be a first.  I was convinced it was too traditional and just not my thing. After some of my undergrad methods courses I realized it was something I was good at. I had a wonderful student teaching experience! I recently earned my Master Teacher accreditation through my school district which took me over a year to achieve. I HATE shopping unless I am by myself and even then I find it is a chore. Grocery shopping is ok. I prefer to do most of my Christmas shopping online. 

What Are You Most Looking Forward to This Year: Enlightening the powers that be.... in a gentle manner of course.  Just when we adopt and implement a new assessment, data tool, computer program, etc. our district goes out and purchases something entirely different. Or entirely similar! Sometimes these kinds of programs are not appropriate for this grade level! If I'm appointed to be on the committee and go through the training, I'm going to have to speak up. I enjoy the beginning of every year. I like being organized and implementing new things each school year.

What Do You Need to Improve: Daily 5! I really need to buckle down and implement it the way it is supposed to be and find a way that works for me. I'd like to streamline more of my record keeping, parent handouts and lesson plans digitally, and do less with paper. I'm thinking of working on a parent handbook on CD. I'd like to work smarter, not harder.

What Teaching Supplies Can You NOT Live Without: my DJInkers CD roms/downloads, Sharpies, Diet Pepsi (truly addicted), my laptop, Crayola markers, Crayola crayons, my document camera, my classroom rocking chair and large chart paper...the kind that feels like newsprint and has the blue lines... all of my Gail Gibbons books! Lastly, teaching blogs. I heart blogging!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Here is an activity I like to do on the first and last day of Kindergarten. I have the kids draw a self-portrait and write their name then I collect them and keep them until the last day of school. They've forgotten about it by then...I have them do their self-portrait and write their name again then I pass out the one from the first day of school. They love it! They think it is so funny how 'weird' they used to write their name or how they didn't put arms on their body...
This is Me

Some Organization

Here are some simple and basic ways I organize my classroom. As I'm working in there more I will post how I do centers, lesson plan book, etc. For now here are some basics. 
Each child has their own tub which I label with a laminated cutout (frog or bee) and put their name on it. They keep their markers, unfinished work, spaceman (for writing), number tiles for tiling packets and some of their readers from guided reading. The four white boxes on the top row are extra supplies. If we are in the middle of something and Tyler can't find a pink crayon, he can just go over to the white box and get one. 

Scissors, crayons, pencils, glue. 

Each table has a 'work bucket'. They are filled with glue, scissors and crayons. I don't have these filled yet because I haven't collected supplies from the kids yet. I do community supplies where each table has their own set of supplies. I allow the kids to keep their markers in their tub but other than that we share everything. I've tried doing supplies a few different ways. Because we have tables and not desks, there isn't a good storage place for personal supplies. One year I did let the kids keep their supplies in their tub but it was way too much getting up and down and if someone lost a red crayon I was constantly replacing lost supplies. I also have these skinny orange baskets I call pencil baskets. Each table has their own basket filled with 8 or so pencils.

I'm a little late on the Target posts. Everyone has posted the great deals they got at the Target dollar spot. Here are some simple matching games which I'm keeping in these cute Dr. Seuss bags. I made about 10 of them. I like how I can have the kids grab a game and take it to a quiet area of the room to play. Also good for a center, very portable. I have lots of parent volunteers and this year I  have 4 non-English speaking students. So I will have my parent volunteers use these games to play with some of those students.

Kind of a wonky picture of my room, but I have 4 tables of 4 plus 1 trapezoid shaped table and a round table. One year I had 16 kids which was perfect....4 tables of 4 but this year I'm going to have 22 so I will need the extra tables.