Christmas in Review

Friday, December 28, 2012
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 Here is our December in review. We had an elf visit, studied about  Christmas around the world, had a parade, made Christmas Trees at our party, made LOTS of crafts...and watched the Polar Express! It was a wonderful month!

Cyber Monday (and Tuesday sale!)

Thursday, November 22, 2012
I am so excited to be taking part in the Teachers Pay Teachers cyber sale on Monday and Tuesday. I have several new items that I will have posted just in time for the sale, and some new free items too! I hope that you all had a wonderful thanksgiving and spent the day with family and friends. We did and it was a wonderful day.

These last few weeks we learned all about the Pilgrims and Indians, The Mayflower and John Bradford, and what thanksgiving is about now. My kids were so cute as they learned! We ended our studies with a thanksgiving feast where we traded gifts with those in another class. Here are some pictures from the feast.

We made bracelets to trade (SO STINKIN CUTE!) Here is a picture of us making out headdresses... the kids LOVED doing this too!


From Apples to pumpkins...

Saturday, October 13, 2012
We have had a wonderful time learning about apples. Here is a recap before we move on to pumpkins and then to bats and spiders!

 We started our unit by building an Apples have, are, make chart. We added to it everyday.
We learned about the life cycle of apples. We watched a movie on Johnny Appleseed and talked about how important it would be for johnny to carry seeds, because a tree would be WAY too heavy. 
We learned about the parts of an apple. The kids cracked up at calling the white part of the apple "flesh". 
We made an Apple Glyph for the whole kindergarten! The kids LOVED seeing it on the wall. And we graphed what color apple we liked the best after we tasted apples. I forgot to take a picture but it is a grade level graph and is hanging in the hall. 
After learning all week we had an apple celebration where we tasted a lot of things made from apples. We had apple pie, apple chips, apple butter, apple jelly, apple cereal... you get the idea. LOTS of things are made with apples. 

 We also made applesauce in the classroom. It smelled SOOO good. I have a special baby crockpot for the classroom. We make LOTS of things in my room. 

 Now we are moving to pumpkins and then on to bats and spiders. I can NOT wait to get to spiders and bats and all the creepy things of the night!! We will add some science of the moon and stars too!


Have I mentioned how much writing has changed for me???

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I am so excited!! This is one happy writing teacher. It's very hard for me to think about how a year ago I dreaded writing workshop with my kids! I (gasp) hated it! So if you read this often enough you know about my summer at the LR Writing Project's summer institute. OMG... talk about rocking my world! And I am SOOO glad that it did. See I walked in to my new school with the attitude that we all were story composers! Not a word had to be on a page... hello one of my MOST FAVORITE books is Tuesday by David Wiesner. And there are only like 3 words and a few times!! So I love my budding authors! I wanted to share how I am running writing workshop now that I have a new found understanding and teaching method. And I honestly wish that I could say that on Monday we do this and Tuesday is this but I don't even plan that way for writing workshop. Here is what I do....

In a week we have a mini lesson journal where we practice our mini lesson. These are usually single page prompts... my homage to the districts required one page one prompt directive. The first nine weeks have been about details in our pictures and labels.  Why so long? Well I realized that so many of these kiddos needed nothing more than time to get their minds wrapped around the idea that they could do it on their own. There are usually 3-4 pages in our journal. We do interactive writing every morning and we revisit these too in the afternoon when we pick out parts that we want to look at (think editing lessons or counting words and sentences). We practice some days on white boards and other days we work on collaborative works that will become classbooks. But everyday we write our own books. That is everyday the children can work on a past work from their writers notebook or they can start a new one. I don't have a set order of things, although we usually do a mini lesson on Monday (unless there is an assembly). And usually later in the week we work on a collaborative book- although we did that today after our mini lesson on writing sentences using a sentence frame.

Today as I met with students about their writing, I was blown away with the group of kiddos who decided, quite on their own mind you, to give me not one but TWO sentences!! Of course I have kids who didn't get the sentence part down at all... or struggled with the whole idea of sentences. I have some who can stretch words and get sounds and others who... well are still in random letter stage but they are making an attempt!

Here are some pictures from last week where the children were working on their books. You will see all kinds of stages of writing here.
(you can't really see it but the top of this one says "I see a sub."

Here are some whiteboard shots from earlier in September from a mini lesson:
( those are bats hanging from the top of the board!!! LOVE this kid!)
(look at my little over achievers!! LOL!! Lots of rebus sentences all patterned after one of our small group readers - The Toys)

I will take some pictures tomorrow of the pages we did today. I hope that you guys get excited about teaching writing too!!


Apple centers...

Sunday, September 23, 2012
This week is apple week in my room! I spent the weekend working on what my centers will be. I can not wait for my kinders to get a hold of them. We will be practicing all kinds of literacy skills. Here are the Common Core standards that we will be covering:

RF.K.1d Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
RF.K.2a Recognize and produce rhyming words
L.K.1a Print many upper and lowercase letters
RF.K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight
L.K.5 (a) Sort common objects into categories to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
RF.K.3a Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.

There are 9 printable centers and several more centers that can be set up using white boards and magnetic letters. I put this on TPT at a sale price. I hope that it is something that you guys can use. Come back later this week to see these centers in use!


My birthday is coming (and a TPT sale)

Saturday, September 22, 2012
Birthdays in kinderland crack me up! The kids are always so excited and I can't help but catch their excitement. I've had two of my kinders turn 6 this month. I do birthday's differently than I've seen others. I don't make it a HUGE celebration because I don't want anything to distract us from our learning. I give the birthday child a sticker first thing and we sing happy birthday during the morning calendar. Then we go about our day. At some point during the day, we make birthday poster for the birthday child. The poster is half size chart paper that I pre glue Carson Dellosa cake to.

 The kids take home their posters that day.  I write Happy Birthday and their name on the cake. It's cute and easy. I've tired pencils or treats but I found myself forgetting...ugh. But this works and the posters hang on my chart stand so I am ready at any second!

Since my kinders have gotten so excited about their birthdays, I have decided to have a Teachers Pay Teachers sale in honor of my birthday!Sale runs Sunday to Tuesday.
Hope you have a great week!


Kindergarten Common Core

Friday, September 14, 2012
This is my second year working with common core. I trully love it  but I am quickly finding that I am running out of ideas! Then I was introduced to a little book... a book that I can not wait to use! This is the Kindergarten Common Core workbook for kindergarten! (not to worry there are other grades too ;) ) I love how this book is going to give me more ideas.... you know that feeling- the OH NO I have this one who needs more and I'm out of ideas!!
This ebook is really packed with ideas for both ELA and Math! Here are some of the things that BLEW me away! 1. it's over 600 pages in ONE resource! 2. it's not JUST worksheets... there are anchor posters, centers and vocabulary cards! 3. EVERY worksheet has the standards ON THE PAGE! More SUPER coolness.. there are number cards that have the number, number word, set and tally marks. These would be great in a center or as poster. Using these would be a great addition to my RTI. The whole ebook is going to cost $39.99 but until September 16, 2012, if you blog, they are GIVING this book away!! Check it out HERE
I really think that is a resource that you are going to want, no you are going to need it! Head over there and check it out.


Day 1 and must have Monday

Monday, August 20, 2012
WOW! What a great day. There are several smiling faces that did not show up but I am hoping they will tomorrow. The district will cut classes if we don't have enough students... we need 4! Please please pray that we get them. I LOVE my new school and do not want to change anything. Not to mention that I fell in LOVE with my babies. I have a large Hispanic population, something that is different for me, and one sweet baby who does not speak English. But I am head over heals in love with him. He is SO adorable.

We spent today really working on procedure. I did not try ONE single thing that we had not talked about AND practiced. The day seemed to drag for me but it really kept the chaos at bay. We will tackle glue and glue sticks tomorrow. Kind of scares me lol! We are also going to work with markers. And I fear that a few markers an glue sticks will fall pray to "breaking the rules" lol. We also learned how to use the magic board, some math manipulatives, and playdough. LOVED today!!! My favorite part was writing workshop. We started making books and telling stories on paper. I reviewed some of the read a loud books and talked about the decisions that the author or illustrator made. I had already pointed out some things while we read. Then I modeled making a book. A couple of my kiddos asked why I wasn't putting words in my book. I asked them if they thought we could tell the story in a picture... they were like well yes I guess. Once I finished my book I set them loose to create their books. They were SO cute working and then we shared! OMG!! I LOVED it!! Some of the kids did scribble writing, others didn't try words at all but they all had a story to tell. Author's chair was wonderful. I loved listening to the kids tell their story. I can't wait to see them develop their concept of being an author.

Now on to the must haves for me!

There are so many things that I must have to make it through the day... the first is Mio black cherry. Since I gave up all soda (maybe a Sierra Mist when I am craving something "fuzzy"), I seriously need  some flavor in my life and this does it for me.

The other must have in my life is a good marker! I love the Mr. Sketch. They are so fun and recently I found this big set... LOVE them!! They make anchor charts SOOO fun!

all set up and ready to go...

Sunday, August 19, 2012
I was able to get into my room today. I think I'm ready. Here is a little peek around my room
This is my door. I have our jobs list, attendance, and how we get home poster. The behavior chart is to the left.
This is our build a rainbow positive behavior reward area... and the cubbies.
book boxes...
This is something I am doing this year to track progress. Our district theme is achievement in action.
This is looking back into my little corner of the room.
This is the overhead station and a look back toward the library.
Whole group carpet area and my crazy child!
Here are our table supplies. I learned a HARD lesson a few years ago about leaving glue and scissors on the tables. NOT a fun phone call to tell a parent that another child cut their child's hair. On their tables they have crayons, pencils, erasers, and dry erase markers.

So that is my little nest...


A productive day...

Monday, August 13, 2012
Today was an amazingly productive day. DH came and got all my tables the right height. He totally rocks! Once all my tables were level, I was able to move them into place. While he worked, I worked on hanging things. I LOVE how everything is coming together. Here are pictures from today.
This is the view from my door. The little table is my writing center.

This is the view across my room (corner to corner). I know lots of classrooms have bathrooms 
but at my old school I did not have one. I am SO excited to have one! The
red door is an outside door. The overhead station in on the wood cart.

This is looking back at my teacher table. Each kiddo has a cubbie and we will keep backpacks 
in tubs behind the the cubbies. The metal shelf on the right at the back of the room is 
where my classroom library will be. 

This is my smartboard/ whole group area. The cupcakes will hold our birthdays and
the shoes are our Pete the Cat color posters. And my word wall is below the window. 

So that is what my little world looks like now. I can't wait to get the last little bit done! I am tell you this is a dream come true! I am so blessed to be back in a place that will grow me as an educator. Over the last few days I've been able to visit with my team. There are 4 of us all together. Each one is bringing something wonderful to the table. We are going to be able grow each other! I can't wait to meet my little ones. I am hopeful to get a list soon... like as in tomorrow. Chances are it will be end of the week.

Well that's today's update. Thanks for dropping by!


Second day in new/ old room

Friday, August 10, 2012
For some CRAZY reason I woke up at 2am! What ?!?!  I know crazy. But I decided to get up and get to work! I worked on a set of Pete the Cat color cards as well as several other things. I was at school by 7am. I really don't feel like I got a lot done there. I did change out a BUNCH of tables... that took FOR.EV.ER! I love hexagon tables and I now have three... two big and one small.
The funny thing is that one of the hexagon tables has an orange top! It really makes me smile. I know it matches NOTHING but it's like it marches to the beat of it's own drum. And I am SOOO excited to have a bathroom back!! I did not have one at my old school and it was HORRIBLE!! I guess I did get a lot done, but with so much to do it feels like I was running on a wheel. I promise more pictures as I get things set up. I am still pinching myself. I CAN'T believe that I got the job!


2am; WHAT?

I am wide awake and for the love of Pete I can not figure out why!! So I decided to knock out a couple of new projects. I found these cubes at the Dollar Tree and decided to get a TON of them! Add a sharpie and they aren't just counting cubes- although they are that too! Since they are foam they WILL NOT make noise when rolled! Yep... gotta keep the distracting noises to a minimum! So I took these blank cubes...

and added numbers. I will also add letters to some.

Then I made baggies of 10 (five in each color) so that we could work on counting. I am also in the process of making math mats to use as well.
I also got whisper phones done! I have 10 right now, didn't get enough end caps. But I will be making 10 more this weekend and as a goodbye present for my teaching partner I am going to make her some! Here is the first batch. I had monster duck tape on some and Hello Kitty on the others. I did get some different duck tape today that I think I will use for the rest. It's bright colored chevrons. Very fun!
I thought I would give the measurements... I used 3/4" PVC pipe and elbows. I cut the pipe to 3-1/2" sections. I was able to get 20 segments, plus some from my pipe. Total cost for this project was under $15. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the white space on either side of the duck tape but the more I live with it the more I am ok with it!
See the white on either side of hello kitty? That is what I'm talking about... And this little suckers are LOUD! I can not wait to use them with my little ones!

I am going to be exhausted but I am working in my room today. And I have a quick dr's appointment to have him look at my progress since surgery. I think it's going good but I am still struggling to go up and down stairs. I am hoping that he will help me out with some more PT... to get the stairs part now that I have WAY more strength. I am worried that workers comp wont give me the PT though... stinkin workers comp ;)


Celebration TIME!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012
Yesterday I left the pre k interview feeling good and headed to lunch with a buddy from out of town. As we sat talking about the interviews that I have had and what I thought I text came in. The text read:

Can you do a phone interview? Now?

This was from the principal at dream job 1. I had taught in his building a few years ago on a temporary basis. Of course sitting at lunch in a LOUD restaurant is no where you want to have a phone interview. So I decided to respond with "I am currently at US Pizza eating lunch with a friend from out of town. Could it be possible to schedule the interview for a bit later". (My husband DIED when I told him my response!) I answered this way because 1) we had not set up a time for an interview, 2) I was with someone I only see once a year, and 3) I really would not be able to concentrate on the interview. The response:

I would call if you want this job. I would hate to have to give it to someone else.

I called! The funny thing is that I am going back to teach with a friend, and she had been ducking my calls since the first interview. She told me later that she new the plan and couldn't share it with me in case the district decided not to let me transfer. So last night I raced to my old school (WOW!! old school) and boxed some things up, came up with a plan, and lined up some help. Then I came home praising God the whole way! 

Today I pushed my knee to the extreme and moved my room. I had decided back in May to bring a LOT home this summer. Boy am I glad I did that or I would be moving for WEEKS! With the help of my youngest (he's going in 5th grade) and my mother in law we moved the majority of what needed to be moved while DH took the oldest to the orthodontist. After lunch DH came back and helped me move the last little bit! So now everything is DUMPED into my room. I tell you it's a nightmare! I snapped these pictures standing in the middle of my room. I hope that I am able to knock it out of the ball park tomorrow!! Heck I hope I can find everything! 

here is a peek at what I left tonight...


checking in... graduations and jobs

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
I love the little world of blogging!! You guys are such a support system!! I'll start off with the dream interviews.... the first one (kindergarten) I was SOOO nervous for. I couldn't calm my hands from shaking. I have not officially heard but at this point a week later, I am pretty sure that I did not get it. And you know what... I'm ok! This morning at 9am central time I get to interview for the pre k position!! I am  much calmer than I was last week. So we shall see how it goes. I'm posting this quickly so that I can get back to getting ready!

My bigger news is that I graduated on Friday!! MSE baby! I'm so proud... and I can hardly believe that I did it! This is the layout of the floor for graduation. I kid you not half of the education section- the biggest one on that map- was MSE grads!! ASU has a wonderful online masters program! My little family sat on the first row and yelled and cheered. I was sad because my mom and kids left before it was over- I wanted a picture with them sitting in their seats. So I got one of DH, Sherry (step mom) and dad... he's the one with the camera.

Here are some pictures!
And one more... ME!! Karen Day, MSE

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