Saturday, December 28, 2013

Getting back into the swing of things...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  We spent our first Christmas together as a family of 3, and it was every bit as amazing as I'd always imagined it would be!  Our baby girl is only 10 weeks old, so she didn't have a clue what was going on, but it was still so special to us.

Well, my maternity leave has ended and it's time for me to get back into the swing of things!  Both at school and with creating new resources for my classroom and for my TpT store!  I just posted my first post-leave product and I'm really excited about it!  I've had this idea in my head for a while, and it feels good to finally work on it and use it in my own classroom.  January Made Easy!  My plan is to create a similar pack for each month of the year.  Click on the picture to check it out!  I'll have it on sale for 20% off through the end of 2013!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I am still here! :)

It has been a while since I've updated the blog... but, for good reason!  I've been on maternity leave!

I've posted before about how we were planning to adopt and were matched with a wonderful young woman who has having a baby girl and chose us to be her parents!  Well, that sweet baby girl was born early last month and my time has been filled with ALL things BABY since then! :)

I have a few weeks left at home, then I'll go back for a week, then have Christmas break off with her before returning and getting back into the swing of things in Kindergarten!  Oh my word, how am I going to juggle everything when I go back? :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Five...

What a busy week!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a Friday Five!

1.   My kids are hilarious!  This seems to have become a favorite activity during our developmental center time!

2.  We worked hard on cutting apart and assembling sentences.

3.  We read Elmer and wrote some awesome story responses!  Have you read this book?  I love it!  Do you have to use commentary on student work at your school?  We are encouraged to add commentary to displayed writing.  I love cutting fun shapes from post-it notes and using that to write me commentary.

4.  My friends and co-workers at school threw me an adoption baby shower this week!  It was amazing!  I loved these monthly onesies!

5.  And, here's how generous everyone was!  I just couldn't believe it! :)  Only 4 more weeks until baby girl's due date!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So Ready for Halloween!

I love Fall!  It's my favorite season to celebrate in the classroom!  Part of what makes is so great is Halloween and Thanksgiving so close together!  My kiddos this year are loving our learning centers, so I couldn't wait to put together some Halloween centers for us to use next month!

There are 5 literacy centers and 5 math centers included!  Click on the picture above to check it out!  It will be on sale for the next 24 hours!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Five!

What a week!  I'm so thankful for a three-day weekend!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Friday Five!

1.  I have to start by recommending that you NOT buy this yogurt.  Ever.  It tastes like what I'd imagine orange Clorox wipes taste like.   There is a coconut vanilla flavor that is awesome, but this one... not so much.

2.  Our first week of math centers was a success!!

3.  Making shapes with yarn and glue.

4.  I've been spending more time with my embroidery machine...

5.  And....


Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Five!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for another Five for Friday!  I love reading what others post about their week and looking at all the pictures.  It's a great way to wrap up the week!

1.  We had some Chicka Chicka Boom Boom fun this week in class!  I love having my kids make Chicka trees!  I tell them to write all of the letters they know... it's a good way to gauge their letter knowledge at the beginning of the year!

2.  We had F.A.Q. Night this week... it's pretty much a Parent Night, or Back to School Night.  Parents are invited to come learn more about the classroom and ask questions about anything.  Here's a picture of my parent turnout... whomp whomp. :)  There's was a huge downpour right before it was scheduled, so I think that had a lot to do with it.

3.  This little one made my heart melt with her adorable outfit today!!

4.  I've been working on things for our baby girl we're adopting in October... a ribbon wreath is the perfect girly touch in her nursery!

5.  And I tried my hand at sewing her a onesie gown!  LOVE it. :)

P.S.  I've bundled several products into a Back to School Bundle!  I marked it at 20% off for the regular bundle price... but this weekend only I've take an additional 20% off!  Click below to check it out!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale!

It's back to school time!  Everything in my store will be 20% off on August 18-19!  Plus, you can get an additional 10% off your entire purchase by entering code BTS13 at checkout!

Here are some fun back to school items that I'll have on sale.  Click on the pictures to check them out!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Five!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a Friday Five!

1.  Rainbow Hair!!  We had such a fun time reading this poem and making our own rainbow hair pictures.  This little friend is having such a hard time with glue... but we're gonna keep working on it!

2.  We're working on shapes and this is one of my favorite cooperative group activity!  We searched magazines for objects that are different shapes and made collages!

3.  I'm trying a new system for extra crayons this year.  I usually have a big tub and all extra crayons go into it.  Then, when a student needs a color, he/she can get it from that tub.  However, in recent years, I've noticed some kids get lost over at the crayon tub, digging for what seems like an hour!  So, hopefully, this will cut down on the crayon box digging!

4.  LOVE this fortune from lunch today!!

5.  Hit a consignment sale this week and was so excited to find some really cute smocked items for baby girl!

Teacher Week '13 - Tricks and Tips!

It's the last day of the Teacher Week '13 blog hop and it's been a ton of fun! I've learned a lot and have loved having a peek into the classrooms of so many amazing teachers. Today's topic is all about teacher tricks and tips! I have two that I'd like to share with you! The first tip is about how I manage lunch choices in the mornings. If your classroom is anything like mine, there is so much to do and keep track of in the mornings! I used to do the lunch count as a whole group and have kids raise their hands if they wanted the main entree, PBJ, or salad. But what ended up happening is that my kinder kids would end up raising their hands more than once and messing up the count. I tried sticks in cups, but somehow we'd end up losing some sticks. So, last year I tried a clip system, and it's worked!

I have pictures printed out of all the menu items our cafeteria serves for lunch.  Every morning I switch the main entree choice.  Then kids come in and move their clip to the choice they want for that day.  The clips stay put!  This makes the lunch count SO much easier to deal with because they choose one thing and are done!

My second tip is my favorite...

I seriously LOVE these things!  We don't really grade papers in kindergarten... when my kids finish with something I give them a smiley face on their work.  And these kids will work HARD to get a smiley face in a fun scent!  If they do extra well they can choose their scent.  They are obsessed! :)

Don't forget to hop over to Blog Hoppin' to check out more tips and tricks!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Classroom Management

Day 4 of Teacher Week is all about Taming the Wild!  Classroom management can be one of the trickiest parts of teaching... especially when teaching the little ones who really don't have much school experience.  I remember my first year of teaching feeling like college did not prepare me AT ALL for how to handle management and discipline problems.  I've used many systems over the years... some have worked and some have failed miserably.

What I've learned is that the most important part of a good classroom management plan is consistency and high expectations.  Helping children learn to respect themselves and respect one another is huge.  And LOTS of praise goes a long way!

We have a school-wide plan since we follow PBIS.  We have tickets called Pride Paws that students can earn when they are making good choices.  Every 2 weeks we spend time trading them in for small prizes or extra privileges (recess, computer time, sit with a friend at lunch, etc).

I used a behavior clip chart last year, but this year we have implemented the behavior stick school-wide.  It's just like a chart, but in mobile stick form. :)  It goes with us everywhere... to lunch, specials, etc.  


Don't forget to hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to read about some more classroom management ideas!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week '13 -- Organizing for Instruction

I'm loving all of the Teacher Week posts I've been reading!  Today's topic is Now Teach!  Organizing for Instruction.  Being more organized became one of my classroom goals last year, and it's still one I'm working on this year.  So, here's a small peek into some of the ways I try to organize myself for instruction.

First of all, I started using a large teacher planner binder last year and it's been awesome!  I have tabs in there for my calendar, lesson plans, curriculum maps, student info, committee meeting minutes, Common Core standards, and a few others.  I'm grade chair this year, so keeping all that info straight is important!

I worked hard last summer to organize my cabinets!  It's so easy to find things now, and to be able to see when something is getting low.

This past summer I worked on putting together math stations.  I decided to organize them using large manila envelopes.  I like attaching the cover sheet with instructions on the front so I can easily remember how the station works!

I have these storage drawers under my desk.  I've labeled each drawer with a day of the week.  Inside I keep copies for each day, as well as any materials we'll need.  It's awesome to be able to open a drawer and have what I need for the day inside.

I love this organizer I found on clearance at Target this past summer!  I'm using it for our math stations this year.  I like how there are 4 colors, and I have 4 tables in my classroom.  So, each day, a table gets to use a different color.  They have to complete the activity in the large tub first, then if they finish early, they can grab one of the small tubs to use.  

Don't forget to link over to Blog Hoppin' to check out some more organization ideas!

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