Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tried-it Tuesday: The Most Awesome Cubes EVER!

It's Tuesday! And I tried something today! And I want the WHOLE WORD to know about! Thanks to Fourth Grade Flipper for hosting this linky.
I was at The School Box a few weeks ago, and I saw these...
They are dice instructional cubes that have plastic sleeves on the outside so you can slide paper inside them. Paper with anything on it! Sight words, letters, shapes, numbers, sentences...the sky is the limit! Talk about a major impulse buy, but I just had to have them! We used them today with our sight words.

I had 2 levels...
1. recognizing sight words and
2. reading sight words in a sentence
The students sat in a circle, and I handed them one of the cubes (based on what they needed). They rolled and read and had a blast doing it! I was surprised how well they paid attention!

I then introduced our sight word station where one of the activities they will do is roll the cube and graph the sight words they roll. They had a lot of fun and it was a great sight word review. Even my lowest babies were catching on! Success!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday (August 23)

It's that time again! Five for Friday! Thanks to Doodle Bug for hosting this awesome Linky!

I have a Smart Board in my room!!!!! I've never had any kind of interactive board, and I'm so super excited to use it! If anyone has any tips on using this bad boy in kindergarten, I'm all ears.

We started learning about nouns this week. Today, we just focused on how nouns are people. I drew this LOVELY person outline (who doesn't have hands or feet...) and wrote all of the people we could think of. In the coming weeks, I plan to add an outline of a house with places, a circle with things, and maybe a dog with animals. I don't know...I always feel like I should specifically mention that animals are nouns because they don't clearly fall into "person, place, and thing" definition (not for a kindergartener at least!)

I am finally trying Velcro for name tags. I put 1 piece on each end of the tag and the opposite piece on the table. Now I can easily move kids around without dealing with gross, sticky tape residue. I've always been hesitant to try this because I figured kids would tear up the tag and/or the Velcro, but this class is fairly non-destructive so I thought I'd give it a try  =) 

I thought I 'd share some organizational ideas I'm trying out this year.
Student Self Serve Station...This is where I keep all of the things kids use but don't keep at their desk: clip boards, paper, white boards, erasers, scissors and glue baskets, garbage grabbers

I got these scrapbook boxes when they were on sale at Michael's for $3! I've sorted my activities in them and labeled for each skill. Super helpful so I remember to use what I have!

Have you seen this? Turn milk crates on their side and they provide nice shelf/storage space. Great for big open spaces.

I LOVE my desk bags!! My super handy Mom made them for me. Kids keep their crayon boxes, books, and other treasures inside (and out of the way!).

Storage bins from Target and fabulous math labels (I wish I could remember where I got them) make for a well-organized math area! My kids can get whatever they need easy-peazy!

1. I LOVE my IKEA shelf with green baskets. I keep worksheets in them as well blank paper.
2. I love my hanging folder chart from Really Good Stuff! That's where I put student excuses, extra flyers, and lots of other needed paperwork.


I was dogsitting this weekend for my super awesome sis-in-law. She thoughtfully brought over a toy giraffe for Jenna to play with. This is said giraffe about 5 minutes later. Notice the stuffing EVERY WHERE!!!!!!! Jenna really wore herself out playing with it...apparently being a destroyer of all things stuffed is hard work!

Jenna and her doggy cousin, Zac, had a great time playing! Wore themselves out!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five for Friday (August 16)

First week of school...CHECK!
Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bug for Five for Friday. Here are 5 things from my week...
I got to spend time with my family at my niece's 6th birthday party. It was Phineas and Ferb themed. Who doesn't love those guys?? An awesome theme for an awesome little girl  =)

My adorable nephew was also there, stealing some cake from his Papa. Who could resist this face??

Monday was the first day of school. Oh, how painful it is to set the alarm clock again!

The first week of school means a lot of baseline testing. In GA, we do the GKIDS assessment for kinders, and my new school does another assessment called the BLT (never heard of it before, but it makes me hungry!). No worries! I can handle whatever data comes my way in my handy dandy data notebook! I can't wait to finish testing so I can add all my info to it.

I know, I'm a dork, but Ryan Gosling thinks it's impressive...
My students did some quick and easy color word stations this week that I blogged about here. Then I found this comic strip about Brown Bear, Brown Bear that just made me chuckle...
That's all for me this week. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

First week exploration

Tomorrow is the end of the first week of school! Other than being TOTALLY exhausted, it's been a great week. I have a smart, sweet group who are quickly learning the ropes of kindergarten. Even though I'm very excited to work with this new batch of kiddos, I always forget how totally nonexistent their attention span is at the beginning of the year!!

To battle this, we do a lot of "room exploration" the first week of school. My students think it's play time, but really:
     1. They are learning how to use all of the materials in the classroom
     2. I am assessing what they can and can't do
     3. I'm getting a look at how they interact with others

Isn't that sneaky of me to add such productive things to playtime??

Anyway, I start exploring time by putting a different tub of math manipulatives on each table. Students had about 7 minutes to play with explore each tub. Then I rotate the tubs to the next table (The first week of kindergarten, I definitely believe in rotating the stuff, not the students). We continued until everyone has a turn.

I also did rotations with color word activities. We read books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes and talked about the color words. Then we had 3 stations:

Group 1

Group 1 had a choice: Write their color words on the white board or use cards to spell color words. I was amazed at how well the majority of my students could form their letters!

Group 2

Group 2 used playdoh letters to spell color words. The cards are from KinderKids'fantastic Brown Bear, Brown Bear Unit on TPT.

Group 3

Group 3 used magnet letters to spell their color words. This really gave me insight into who could recognize letters and realize that letters are used to make words. I also meant to get the wikki sticks out for them to use, but I forgot. Oops! That will be an adventure for another day.

All and all, the room exploring was a big hit! Now it's time to walk my poor dog who must be wondering why she's all alone during the day now. Poor baby!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Freebie with a smidge of open house and a sprinkle of "haha, that's funny"

It's here! It's finally here! Tomorrow is OPEN HOUSE! I can't believe the first day of school is just around the bend (Monday). My room is basically ready...just need to print out a few more things. However, my ink cartridge is DYING, so I'm going to need a trip to the office supply place first. That's the only bad thing about all of the cute things at TPT...they sure do kill ink cartridges quickly!
Ur kitteh printer is runnin outa toner

Speaking of TPT, I was so super excited to hear that my new school used Saxon Phonics. I know that doesn't sound like I'm "speaking of TPT," but it will, I promise. Anyway, I really think Saxon does a superb job of teaching kids to read. The only problem is that it's kind of boring. SO with my new bloggy-PPT-tech-savvy skills, I made a TPT product to spice up my Saxon. It's literacy station activities containing 3 differentiated activities that correspond to the first 4 consonants taught using Saxon (L, G, H, T). I couldn't wait to show this to my team! THEN DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!!!!??? I found out that we weren't using Saxon!!!! Color me sad  =(  But alas, I'm giving my phonics activities away as a freebie for an undisclosed amount of time in hopes that it will help out someone who is using kindergarten Saxon. Enjoy! BTW...I sure would appreciate some feedback on it! Thanks!
Click the Pic for the link!
In other blogging news, I achieved a lifelong dream this week. I FINALLY went to The Container Store!!!!! It's so close to where I work and I didn't even realize it until I was driving around town with a co-worker. This place has containers for everything in every size and color imaginable! AND they're not expensive! They aren't exactly cheap, but they aren't outrageously overpriced like I thought they'd be. Even my hubby is a Container Convert! He grumbled the whole time we drove there, but on the way home he was talking about the NEXT time we go there. YAY!!!!!!
Click the Pic for a link to the store
To all those teachers starting back this week and next week, GOOD LUCK! To those still on summer break, ENJOY! Let me leave on these words of wisdom...
ChiTown Girl: Just a little teacher humor...