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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Teaching Character Traits {TBT}

It's time for Throwback Thursday!

As I was sitting here reflecting on this past school year I was thinking about one thing I really liked this year.  That was my Character Trait posters.  I hung my posters on my calendar wall and focused on one trait per week during each marking period.  So, by the end of the year we had focused on each of the nine traits for a total of four weeks.  My kids knew the words and what they meant... and worked to act them out in what they did.  I really liked adding this element into our daily routine.

{Last summer I posted about my posters here.}

TODAY ONLY {6/12/14} you can get the posters for 20% off!
Check it out in my TPT store!

UPDATE 8/16/15:  This product is no longer available.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top 10 Things I Want to Do This Summer

I am linking up with Deanna Jump to share how I plan to spend my summer.

10 Things I Want to Do This Summer {in no particular order}:

1.  I want to start {and finish} my nursery.  I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but Mr.P and I are expecting our first baby!  I'm 18 weeks along and anxiously awaiting our next appointment to find out if Baby P is a boy or girl.  Either way, we're going with gray and yellow in the nursery so I'm excited to have lots of time to get this going.
Thanks to my friend, Chelsea, for taking our pictures!

2.  CLEAN!  I know this doesn't sound like a fun thing to do this summer, but I want to get the house in order.  You know all of those little tasks that always get pushed off during the school year?!  We've also only been in our house for 6 months so there's many projects we haven't had time to tackle.

3.  Watch Season 2 of "Orange is the New Black".  June 6 cannot arrive soon enough!  I had been wanting to watch Season 1, but just hadn't gotten around to it.  Then, my librarian brother informed me that it's actually based on a book.  I ran right to my library and got the audio book.  It's a good read {or listen in my case}!  I definitely recommend it.  After finishing the book I binge watched the first season.  So excited for Season 2 to be released on Netflix!

4.  I want to spend lots of time with my family.  Having spent 4 years living in North Carolina I didn't get to see my family in Michigan as often as I'd like.  Mr.P and I are loving being closer to home now so I want to make sure I use every opportunity to be with family.

5. Catch up on my TPT items.  I've got some items that I made and used this year in my kindergarten classroom, but didn't have time to make them 'TPT ready'.  I plan to work on those items and get back into more blogging.

6.  Read up on all of the mommy and parenting books.  I'm currently browsing "What to Expect When You're Expecting".  I also re-watched the movie-- it's much funnier when you're actually pregnant!  My brother and sister-in-law also gave us a copy of "Baby 411".  They said it has a lot of useful information.  What books have you read?

7.  Organize all of my teaching materials.  My teaching stuff consumes a huge amount of space in our basement.  And, to make matters worse, I'm leaving the classroom to move into a Title 1 position next year so the entire contents of my classroom has to move back home.  After 6 years in the classroom I think I have a good idea of what can be tossed, sold, or kept so I need to tackle that job this summer.  I've avoided it for a long time because {as I think many of you can relate with} you never know when you might need that little scrap of yarn!
...and now I'm bringing it all back home!

8.  Prepare for my new job {at the same school}.  The past couple of years I've been pondering the idea of moving out of the classroom into a coaching-type position.  The opportunity has arisen.  Next year, I'll be the Title 1 Program Coordinator and Academic Coach at my school.  My time will be split between working with kindergarten and first grade students in the classroom and small groups and observing, modeling, and mentoring teachers.  I'm very excited about this new position!  I want to find some good resources that will help me develop strong interventions and data tracking methods.  Any suggestions?

9.  I want to become more familiar with cooking.  I am a lucky woman to have married a man who loves cooking.  During the summer, though, I feel like I should do more cooking since I'm not working.  It's not like I can't cook-- I'm just not really good at it.  I enjoy watching Rachael Ray and have occasionally picked up ideas from her.  What's your favorite meal to cook for your family?

10.  RELAX!  I want to be sure that I make plenty of time to relax and enjoy the freedom of summer.  This will be my last summer before becoming a mommy.  I want to appreciate each moment in anticipation of the busy months {and years} ahead of me.

Wow, this list makes my summer look jam-packed!  Don't worry, I'll be sure to take #10 very seriously!!  Now it's your turn.  Link up with Deanna and share what's on your summer to-do list.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Another school year comes to an end....

Here I am on my first official day of summer.  I have big plans for the months ahead, but first here's a little recap of my last couple weeks of school.

A few weeks ago my team hosted a kindergarten prom.  Cutest thing ever!  The night included music, dancing, bubbles, cookies, juice, and lots of memories.

Did I mention there was also some impromptu "Let it Go" karaoke?!  It was a hoot!

Then, this past Thursday night we had our kindergarten graduation.  We ordered caps with tassels and they dressed their best for the night.  It was a packed house-- standing room only.  My kiddos were so proud of themselves and the families loved the event.  On Saturday I attended one student's graduation party complete with pony rides, potato sack races, and water balloons!

What end of year festivities do you do for your kids?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Wow... it's been awhile!

I might be the worst blogger ever!  I've posted randomly on my blog Facebook page, but haven't actually blogged on here since December.  Let's just say it's been a busy year for me.  My kinders are amazing me this year-- their progress is through the roof!  Outside of school, my husband and I have been keeping busy with the purchase of our first home.  We L.O.V.E. making this house our home and are so happy in our community.

I'm sure you've all heard by now-- TPT is having a huge sale in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week!  I will be offering 20% off every item in my TPT store on May 6-7.

I'm especially excited about my new kindergarten product for long vowels.

I don't know about you, but I only have 19 days of school left.  As the school year is winding down, though, I can't help but think about getting ready for next school year.  Please tell me I'm not alone here...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Start Making Your List... and Check it Twice

I'm super excited about the big Cyber Monday (& Tuesday) sale on TPT.  I've already started making my own list and now it's time for you to start making yours.  Start shopping tomorrow (thru Tuesday) and save 28% off every item in my TPT store by using the promo code CYBER.  I've got lots of items for Christmas and winter for kindergarten and 1st grade.

Isn't this a super cute sale banner?!  Thanks Krista at Creative Clips!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall Lovin' in Kindergarten

Phew, I can't believe I haven't blogged since my classroom pictures in August.  I'm a terrible blogger.  I always forget how busy I am during the school year... ahhh, the freedom of summer spoils me.  Anyways, I'm still here and I am loving all of the fall activities with my kids.  Have I mentioned that I L.O.V.E. fall?!!  It's seriously my absolute fav!

Last week we focused on leaves.  We began by reading my big book "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt".

Then, we actually went on a leaf hunt.  My school has an environmental focus and sits on 17 acres of land so we had an ample supply of colorful leaves to choose from.  After each student had chosen the *perfect* leaf they put it in their Ziploc bag (labeled with their name).  Upon returning to the classroom we discussed our leaves and made observations.  Then we put all of our brainstorming about leaves onto a graphic organizer.  They really did great with this!  I collected the leaves in bags to keep safe until the next day.

The following day we reread "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt" and I pulled out the leaves again.  Each child dictated their sentence on the predictable chart.  "My leaf is __________."  We pointed and read all of the sentences once the chart was complete.

On the final day we once again reread my big book, read through the predictable chart, and then completed our pages for the class book.  Each student cut apart their sentence, glued it on their page in order, and then wrote their sentence.  We glued our leaves to the page and then I laminated them.

Here's the final product:

I just love the last page that says, "My leaf is dirty."  {It was indeed a very dirty leaf!}  This is hands-down their favorite class book of the school year.

A few other things we've been up to... we finished unit 1 of Kim Adsit's Reader's Workshop.  Here are a couple of our celebration projects.  They loved this!

Today we had the local fire department come with their fire safety house to teach the kids how to get low and crawl out.  This was so cool!  The trailer was actually set-up like a house-- a living room with fire place, kitchen, stairs, bedroom.  After learning how to get out safely the kids actually got to practice while a smoke machine and smoke detectors went off.  It was a great learning experience!

Next up-- APPLES!  Today we labeled an apple diagram, tasted, and described apples.  Pictures to come.  In the meantime, head over to The First Grade Parade for some amazing apple ideas!  :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Classroom

Well, I've got the first 5 days of the school year behind me.  I love my new group of kinders.  They've got a good foundation of skills and I'm loving their personalities.  The downer for the week was definitely the heat... upper 80s + no AC = miserable.  I'm looking forward to this week with the big cool down at 75 degrees.

Here are some pictures that I snapped of my classroom:
This is a view from my door.
I left some blank space here to fill with anchor charts I make with the kids.

Another view from my door.
I'm loving my new polka dot carpet from IKEA
and the red polka dot valance my sweet husband hot glued up for me.

And another view from my door.

Last view from my door.

My group meeting area.  I kept my calendar pretty simple this
year because I'm going to be using a calendar book with my kids.

This bench was truly a labor of love.  When I got it at a garage sale it was ivory with ladybugs all over.  My sweet husband transformed it into a black beauty and my stepmom recovered the cushion to match my classroom theme.  This is great because there's room for a 'special friend' to sit next to me when needed.

Ready for the first day.

My leveled classroom library and individual book boxes.
{By the way, I am doing the Daily 5 this year and my
kiddos are up to 6 minutes in only 4 days!}

Computer Table

Supply Center- I'll house my Daily 5 materials in the colorful drawers.
On the shelf is my pencil sharpener, glue sticks, scissors, pencil drawers,
and table supplies will go in the bottom red boxes.

Listening Station-  My hubby removed the table legs and I got the red pillows at IKEA.
I think it'll be a cozy place to listen to reading.

Lunch Choices

Vowels & Writing Resource Board

This is where I'll put the snack calendar, current newsletter, etc. as a quick reference.

Our school follows these 6 measures of excellence.
I thought this would be a fun way to display them.

There's still some finishing touches I'd like to add, but it's a fully functioning classroom for now!  :)