Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's been a busy few days

Well after four long days my classroom is set up and ready to go.  I keep forgetting to take pictures but will do so ASAP and get them posted.  I'm spending today and tomorrow working from home since I know for sure the computer will be working there.  It's been a bit of a challenging start since every building in our district has had some sort of construction project going on.  My building is one of the lucky ones as we did not have a lot of big construction, there are several teachers in our district that haven't even been able to get into their classrooms.
I am excited about some of the construction as every classroom has received new sound systems and interactive white boards.  Any way these next two days are dedicated to getting, folders, lunch clips, bus tags name tags ready as well as I large list of other things  (I can officially check name tags off my list, thanks Fran from Kindergarten Crayons for mentioning where I can find the plastic name tag covers.)
I use the great resources from Environments to make name tags for my class.  Each student has a picture beginning with the same letter sound as their name which really helps for recognition.  I also use Environments for classroom labels too!

This year I'm excited to have only 24 kiddos in my room a nice change from the 29 I had last year. We begin next week with an orientation day on Tuesday, half the class on Wednesday, the remaining half on Thursday and the full class next Friday.  Wednesday and Thursday our reading specialist and her little elves will be pulling all kinders for literacy testing.  This is a big help to the classroom teachers and we really appreciate it.

Wishing everyone a relaxing Labor day weekend.  I'll post classroom pics soon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

And now it's back to work

Wow, it has been a very busy week. After returning from vacation I knew I had to get busy getting ready for school.  The first thing I did was update my ABC's of Kindergarten.  I know many kindergarten teachers do this and it is a big help to our new parents.ABC's of Kindergarten Okay, hopefully this is right and the link can be seen, this is new stuff for me.
I've  also been in my classroom the last two days to begin setting it up for my kiddos but it has been a bit of a challenge.  Our entire district has been under construction and they are trying to finish last minute stuff which means our custodians are finding it hard to get into classrooms to clean.  I will love all of the new technology we are getting but without being able to fully set up my classroom I find it a bit stressful.  Any way I have a few pictures of my work and the progress of my classroom.
This is a picture of my classroom from my desk area looking towards the hall.
Another first day in my classroom, looking at my new interactive white board.  YEAH!!!!
I moved classrooms last year for this beautiful storage room.  This is what my storage room looked like when I closed it for summer.
A quick picture of my bulletins board covered in beautiful, bright fabric.  My classroom has a movable wall in it that is closed but gives me lots of bulletin board space.  It also has 3 big south facing windows and I found last year that the bulletin board paper faded really fast so I opted for fabric.
The curtains are up and the kids tables are being put into place.  With our new interactive technology, I've moved my tables to that end of  my classroom hopefully the kids will be able to see the white board that way.
Another pic. of my classroom.  Forgot to take more yesterday afternoon when I left but will do first thing Monday.  I'm going to spend the weekend working on curriculum stuff at home.  I am very excited that this year I only currently have 23 students which is a nice change from the 29 I had last year.

Blogging help once again

Okay, as I still learn about this blogging stuff I come up with lots of questions. Today's question is how do I get my google doc to display on my blog page.  I'd love to share things but until I figure this out sharing is difficult.
Thanks in advance.

Back from Vacation

We enjoyed a beautiful but very productive 2 weeks at our lake home in North Carolina.  It was hot but we loved seeing a gorgeous sunset most evenings.  Since we hadn't been there since April our lawn was very jungle like but we trimmed lots of trees, picked up lots of sticks and pine cones and removed 10 twelve foot bushes.  We also removed wallpaper and painted the dining room.  Slowly but surely we are making the house a home.  We will visit periodically throughout the year but plan to move permanently in 2 years after my junior graduates (he actually wants to go to college down there).  Now it's back to work.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Routine Books

I'm a big believer in routine books for my kinders, especially as they get used to school.  I made two books last year and have plans to make more this year.  I read them many times to my students at the beginning of the year and would even bring them out as the year went on and the kids needed a refresher.  My kids also loved to read these books during independent reading time. The kids especially loved seeing themselves in the pages of the book. Here are the two I did last year.
Beginning of the Day Routines
What to do when your work is finished

I hope these come through this is my first try with google docs.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Making my list and checking it twice

I know in  Michigan we don't start school until after labor day and this year with some construction and new technology coming into our classrooms staff isn't even allowed to come in before Aug. 29th, but there's something about August that get's me itching to get ready for another school year.  So instead of getting into my classroom I'm starting my list of things to do and getting some things ready.  Thanks to all of the wonderful bloggers out there this year I have more things I'm excited to do for my classroom. So this is what I have done so far:

1. Part of the technology upgrades is a new projector, whiteboard and sound field system so I've now transferred all of the cd's with great music on them (Dr. Jean, Mr. Al, Learning Station, Gemini and so on) into itunes.  My goal is to keep it handy on my desk top and use that for quickly finding, singing and dancing to the songs.  This spring on someone's blog I saw how they use there smart board to let students choose the song they want to sing.  That is so cool and maybe depending on what technology they bring into the classroom I may be able to do that as well.

2. My wonderful storage/seat crates are done in my turquoise and green theme. Thank you Fantastic in First and all of the other wonderful teachers who shared the pattern.

3. My brain breaks and sight word chants are done. Thank you Ms. S from Keep Calm and Teach and Kathleen from Growing Kinders for those wonderful masters.

We have a two week family vacation planned at our lake house in North Carolina.  No internet there but I have a big list of things that I can do without it and will share what I make when I get back.  I am a bit nervous about the number of blog posts I'm going to miss while I'm gone.  Thought I'd add a couple of pictures to this post the first is of my growing pile of things that will be taken into my classroom when I can finally get in it at the end  of the month and as you can see those wonderful seat/storage crates are full.  The second is of the fun brain breaks.