Saturday, July 23, 2011

A bit of a break from school prep.

I had to take a little break from all of my school prep to get a little sewing done.  I have been working on valances for the bedrooms in our North Carolina house. 
Striped Valance is for my older sons bedroom, blue batik for the master and crazy green, orange and yellow is for my younger sons creamsicle room.
I'm excited to get down there again, haven't been since April.  We will spend two weeks there painting, doing yard work, golfing and a myriad of other things.  I'll have limited internet access so I'm a bit worried all of the fun blogs I follow will have a lot of posts but I'm excited to spend some time getting my labels ready for Math and Literacy workstations, updating my ABC's of kindergarten and getting things ready to go come September.  I'll post those as soon as we return.

We were also able to spend some time these last few days with my mom and sister.  They came on Wednesday this week and we were able to watch my older son in a golf tournament.
It's been so hot here we were a little concerned with spending that much time in the sun but we lucked out and it was cloudy most of his round which kept the temps down.

On a school note I did finish my storage crates this week as well thanks to the blogs who posted the pattern.  I'll take pictures when I get them placed in my classroom.  It's almost August and I'm itching to get back in it but the building is under construction and we aren't allowed in until the 29th of August. The NC trip will be good for me because I'll know when I'm there I can't be in my classroom.

Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas that have been posted on all of the excellent teaching blogs, I hope to share some of my teacher made items soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Teaching Wouldn’t be the Same without…

Lil' Country Kindergarten is having a linky party entitled My teaching wouldn’t be the same without…  Here’s my list:

1. Binders: my colleagues call me the binder queen.  Everything goes in a binder. I have binders for each month of school, for math activities, for literacy activities, for professional development and on and on and on.  I find that when I put things in a file cabinet they get lost or are never referred to.

2. Music:  We sing everyday most of the time.  I even make up songs as we go.  My favorite artists that I use in my class are Mr. Al, Gemini, Dr. Jean, Jack Hartmann, and the Learning Station.  Music always makes for happy kids and a happy teacher.

3. My whiteboard.  Hopefully this year we’ll have some new technology to go with our projectors and whiteboard that are being installed over the summer.

4. And last but not least, coffee.  I love my classroom Kuerig.  It gets a workout each day.

100th Day Activities

In kindergarten, the 100th day of school is a big celebration. 
1. We have a 100th day snack made up of 10 different snacky foods such as gold fish, teddy grahams, m and m’s, etc.  The kids count out 10 of each item.
2. I read lots of 100th day books with the kids and they share their 100th day collections with their friends.
3. My favorite activity is our 100th day pictures.  I cut out 100’s on the elison machine and ask the kids to look at their numbers and design them into something else.  I give lots of examples but the kids’ creativity never ceases to amaze me.  When they have finished their  pictures they add the label My 100 is a…
Here are some examples:
Here is a the label I used last year.
100th day picture

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Big Blogging Thank you

A big thank you and shout out to Marlana from Lil Country Kindergarten for designing a blog button to match my template.  I always thought I was pretty computer savvy but I have much to learn about this blogging world.  Thank you so much Marlana!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blogging Question

I know there are a lot of you bloggers out in blog land who are especially gifted with all of this HTML stuff so I have a question.  How do you design and post those fun blog buttons.  Any help would be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Classroom Jobs

This past school year I was lucky to be trained in Conscious Discipline and classroom jobs are an important part of this program.  Becky Bailey encourages teachers to have a job each week for every child in the class but with 29 kinders last year I ran out of ideas.  Thanks to Mrs. Dillards Classroom Jobs linky party I have been given many new ideas.

I had fifteen jobs in my class and they are as follows.

1. Line leader
2. Caboose: this person's job was to make sure everyone walked in line quietly.
3. Electrician: this person was in charge of turning on and off classroom lights as needed.
4. Messenger: this person took the lunch count to the cafeteria, items or messages to the office and other classrooms.
5. Lunch Basket Helper: this person with 3 strong friends took our two lunch baskets down to the cafeteria each morning.
6. Song chooser: this person was in charge of choosing all of the songs we sang.
7. Calendar person
8. Weather girl/boy
9. Newsreporter: this person read the daily schedule out loud and helped with the morning message.
10. Scrap Patrol: this person had the all important job of picking up scraps of paper that littered the floor.
11. Direction helper: This past year one of my students was autistic and it was really helpful if the direction steps were written down.  I developed a card along with the standard kindergarten directions and the direction helper made sure that each tables card had all of the steps necessary to complete a task.  (Most of the time I find that I'm not always creative but I was really proud of how this idea not only helped my autistic student but all of the kids from asking me 100 times what they needed to do)
12. Writers workshop helper: This persons job was to make sure the kids had everything they needed for writers workshop.
13. Trash collector: this person took care of putting the garbage cans in the hallway at the end of the day.
14. Materials manager: this person handed out papers to students
15. Teacher helper: this person did a myriad of things to help make the day go smoothly.

My job chart was pretty plain this year but I love all of the theme ideas posted.  Might have to spice it up a bit this year.

Target Finds

 I have been looking at Targets both in Michigan and Wisconsin without any luck but yesterday I hit the dollar spot jackpot. They finally started putting out the back to school things and even had 5 or 6 more boxes of things to put out.  Guess I'll have to go back later this week to see what's new.  Anyway here are a few pictures of what I found.

Monday, July 11, 2011

10 things about me

1. I love being a wife and mother to my two teenage boys.
2. When I'm not teaching I love to quilt and have made many quilts in a variety of sizes.
3. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, moved to Michigan 21 years ago and will soon embark in a new adventure when we move to North Carolina in a couple of years.
4. I love to read and will read pretty much anything.
5. I am an avid Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer fan and even though my boys have lived there entire lives in Michigan I have raised them as Badger and Packer fans.
6. I earned my bachelors degree in Recreational Therapy but really wanted to teach so I went back to school to become a teacher.
7. I have spent much of my career working with children and adults with special needs but recently made the transition to regular education.
8. My favorite sport is golf and love to golf with my hubby and two boys.
9. I'm a bit of an organization freak, my coworkers always come to me when they can't find something because most of the time I can find it.
10. I have an extensive collection of children's books and love to buy new ones to add to that collection.

First Post on my new blog

A few years ago I started a blog when I was inspired by the many quilters who have them.  At the time I was working part time and had a lot more time for quilting.  Two years ago I had the opportunity to go back to work full time teaching full day kindergarten and I took that opportunity.  My family learned how to adjust to mom working full time but we have all survived.  As I've been enjoying my summer vacation I've been so motivated by the wonderful teachers in blog land.  Your creativity inspires me and I decided it's time to start my own teaching blog.  Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Welcome to my kindergarten blog.