Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School Books

Who doesn't love books?!  And since I just spent the last 3 days sorting through all of my classroom books, I have a BAJILLION (kinderterm here) picked out that I want to read--like right away!  Too many choices...Anyways, I posted my favorites below:
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten is an all-time favorite of mine and of my students. The kiddos love all the alphabetic names!
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I love The Kissing Hand and how it really helps calm some of the shy and timid students of mine that miss mom just a little bit more than the rest of the bunch. 
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And third, I absolutely adore You Are Special by Max Lucado.  It talks about not letting others' words and opinions affect you.  Perfect for establishing a loving and caring environment where each child knows they are appreciated for their uniqueness! :)
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Take a look at some other back to school book choices!

 Only ONE more day until my new students arrive!! Almost there! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Teacher Week: Therapeutic Thursday

It's Thursday and I'm TIRED.  Still working on my classroom and I have to have everything clean and DONE by 3pm tomorrow--then its ice cream social time for incoming preschool, TK, and Kindergartners.  Aaah! 

So after tomorrow I WILL be relaxing and doing a little R&R before school officially starts.

Here's the breakdown:
Can't beat good ol' fashioned SLEEP. I love it. Lots of it.

Invested in one of these this summer...CAN'T... PUT.. IT ...DOWN.  Hunger Games- Check.  What next?

Listening to my fav-- country music :)

And I can do all three of these.....wait for the beach.  While getting a tan!  Yeah I'm spoiled, I know!  

Sometimes us teachers just need a break!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I teach Wednesday

Agh! My room is not ready! I have a week left to get it ready and I still have a LOOONG way to go! :/  So I'll put up a few pictures now and surprise you later! ;)

When I returned from vacation.  Clean carpets...YESSS!

My math manipulatives sans labels.  Will post updated photo soon!

New classroom pets- hermit crabs! (they're hiding).. I'm still afraid to hold them but that'll change  I did have a chameleon last year but he fell off a branch and broke his little legs :(  So a parent last year replaced him with a frog whom the kiddos named Senior Frog. (I have not idea where they came up with that--and yes I do know that's the name of a bar lol)

A second grade teacher I work with made these curtains to hide classroom supplies and the kiddos journal holder/tubs

And I've been doing a MAJOR overhaul/reorganization so my room really looks like this right now.  I know, go ahead and scream.  But it always gets worse before it gets better, right?

AND I've been working on my new classroom website...

Check out the other AWESOME classrooms! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday

Continuing on with Teacher Week, Today is Technology Tip Tuesday.  I guess technology comes pretty easy to me but I swear I still have so much to learn!  My students are constantly showing me how to operate certain things and give them an iphone or ipad; they know how to use it!  

My administrator promised me an ipad as soon as the funds are available, and let me say I CANNOT wait!  I've been looking up different apps to use and the list goes on and on!  There is an app I found called Kindertown that lists all the apps available that would be great for's awesome!

I DO have a Smartboard though in my classroom which I absolutely LOVE!  I purchased this learning software from Lakeshore Learning that the kiddos are always begging me to let them play...

Check out more tips over at Blog Hoppin'!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must-haves Monday Linky Party

One more week until the kiddos arrive in my classroom!  This week I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week. 

My must-haves are:

#1. Chocolate.  I love chocolate.  I store it all over my jars, in my cabinets, and in my desk (which I got rid of this year!).  I'm always sneaking a piece.  My kiddos know me so well, one of my past students went to Germany this summer--and what did she get me? Chocolate! So sweet!

#2.  Laminator.  I bought this trusty side-kick last year and I use it ALL the time!  Definitely worth every dime!

#3.  Books! Okay so this one is a given.  We all need books in our classroom.  But this summer I went book-crazy.  I found a goodwill bookstore (yes just sells books!) in my hometown and they offer a teacher discount!  SO I got paperbacks for $0.25 and hardbacks for $0.75.  I found tons of eric carle, fancy nancy, etc. in great condition! :) Score!

#4.  Pandora Radio.  I LOVE Pandora.  I listen to it all the time: before, during, and after school, and even at home.  I put it on classical, disney, & various children's music throughout the day while my students are working.  I find that it is the best way to keep the chatter down and them engaged in what they are doing--while singing along! Go Figure!

Well there's my top 4!  What can't you live without in your classroom? :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Official.

I have a problem.  I'm addicted to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Why do I love payday so much?  Well having money is nice...but being able to finally purchase some of those long, coveted wish list items is the best feeling in the world!

And even better--when you find yourself with enough self control to wait for the Back to School sale and save a ton!  That was me this year.

First off, the Crazy for Kinders unit by Babbling Abby is absolutely adorable and I think I might even try making the Jitter Juice myself before school starts! I love the "Find a Friend" pages to get the kids to know each other better.  Let me tell you that I have been waiting for this from her for awhile! 

Then, there is Alphapalooza by Deanna Jump.  This gal is PHENOMENAL! I also grabbed her zoo, scarecrow, ocean, and arctic animals units.  I am so stinkin' excited to use them this year!!!  Met her at the kinder conference in Vegas this summer and she was so sweet!

I also bought the Stamping Words Fun by DeeDee Wills.  I <3 this lady.  She is so sweet, I can't help but like her!  And her stuff is always so cute.  This packet helps students develop their sight words in a way that is fun and by using different means: stamping tracing, and freewriting-- really helps my kiddos develop their skills! 

And last, (well the last I will show you/write about here is the Primarily Portfolios by Growing Kinders.  I had a hard time last year remembering to take samples of kids writing their names/numbers/etc. every month, so this will be a big help!

I am soooo excited to use all of these this next year!  

Click to find out other goodies people picked up!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Classroom Survival Packet

Kindergarten is a rough year for most parents.  Their babies are growing up and finally entering "big school." So they always have the hardest time letting instead of waiting for Back to School Night to send all my information (and their anxiety about the first day to build) I decided to send it all two weeks before school starts.  Here's a picture of the front: (not quite finished)

I include a welcome letter from me, the poem "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," our schedule, overview of kindergarten curriculum in general (super cute & perfect!), the abc's of the classroom (everything explained from pickup policy, to sending healthy snacks to school), homework & discipline policies, class list, supply/wish list (cameo please!!!), school calendar, and a questionnaire to help me get to know the parents.

Oh yeah, and you can't forget the most important little guy/gal!  So I added in a little postcard explaining how excited I was to meet them, etc.
Hoping to get these babies shipped out tomorrow from work...and try to sneak in my classroom to take some BEFORE pics to share with ya'll.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mission Organization Part Two: Classroom Plan of Attack

So I’ve spent the past two days making labels.  FOR EVERYTHING.   For my math tubs {see earlier post here}, theme tubs, and art supplies.  I still need labels for my book tubs but I haven’t found any yet that I really LOVE and that work for me.  I found these great schedule cards that really have everything (let’s face most sets we find on TPT are missing that ONE label—seriously, isn’t that frustrating?) and the best part?  It’s free! You can find them at the First Grade Parade here and they are AWESOME!
Now before I tackle any job like cleaning and organizing my classroom, I have to make a list.  Or in my case lists.  I like having just a TO DO and a TO BUY list.  On my TO DO list...

I make subcategories like:

And my favorite part?  Drawing a nice dark line through each thing I finish! It feels GREAT! :)
Grab my "Classroom Plan of Attack" here.

And then I just dig in!   I like calling it my Plan of Attack--I think it motivates me to be aggressive and get things done. ;) What do you do to organize your classroom?  Make lists? Or just jump in head first?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mission Organization

At the forefront of every teacher's mind right now is organization.  You're in your rooms (or soon to be!) and cleaning through heaps of "stuff" in order to get the room ready for those kiddos about to run wild in.

I love being organized or rather thinking about getting organized.  I frequent pinterest for tips on organization but that's usually where it stops.  So I'm forcing myself (with the help of this blog) to finally GET ORGANIZED! Yep I said it...and its in writing...;)

Here's step one of my process.  Since I won't be getting into my room until next week, I am left to just start with making labels.  LOTS OF THEM.  Here's my first official FREEBIE. Grab it now!  If there is a label that is missing from there, let me know and I can whip it up for you! :)  

Happy Organizing!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Houston....we have lift-off!!

So I am all kinds of excited today! You know why?  After almost two years (yes two years!) of browsing every teaching blog on the planet, I have one of my own!!  I was always scared off by the amazing layouts, designs, and genius blog posts done by some of the MOST creative teachers I've come to "know,"  but I've finally decided that now is the time!

So without further ado, I present to you my blog.  Please click on the "followers" link and leave a comment, browse through my 50, wait 1 post and enjoy! I've got one more week until I have to report back to school to fix up my classroom (okay so I've sneaked or snuck? in a few times this summer...) and I'm planning on relaxing, hitting up the beach, and see a few friends before the craziness begins.