Monday, July 28, 2014

TIME TO GET MY READING ON!!!!

My library area has always been one of the most tedious areas in my classroom to prepare. I have battled constantly with how to set up the area, what categories to use, and the usefulness to my kiddos. Now that I have been blessed with a new, BIGGER, beautiful classroom, my options have grown ten times. 

The shelving is limited so my oh so sweet Mister went and bought me these lovely shelves from Ikea. I decided to only get two and see if that would suit the area. Here is a view from the center. I like that these shelves can be accessed from either side. You can find these here

The center stand holds all of the books for the unit that we are learning. I let my sweeties get to these books in the morning and afternoon. On one side I have a basket of pillows for some comfy reading time. The other basket holds some random stuffed animals. In order to encourage my sweeties to independent read, I introduced a silent reading buddy. My kiddos can grab a stuffed animal to read to during independent reading. They absolutely ate this up!


In order to accommodate all of my books, I decided to separate my library. I have the above area as my fiction section and the picture below contains my leveled books and my nonfiction area. 

In my class my kiddos have to pick three level books that are JUST RIGHT for reading and two 'LIBRARY' books. They have the opportunity to switch out their book bags every week. 


The next picture is a closeup of my library labels. I used the labels from Schoolgirlstyle. I use a number along with the theme for each basket.

When setting up my baskets I tried to think of what was most important for my classroom. I am a strong believer in author studies, so I have a few of those that we tend to hit hard throughout the year. I also use different themes that are important during the school year.





I also created a quick and easy way to label all of my books. This year I plan on having a 'librarian' that will put away books in their appropriate places. I made this fun colorful label that has my name and a box for the number basket is corresponds with. I put out a number if these labels and as I am labeling my books I simply write the number in the box. This keeps me from wasting any labels.


The label is meant to wrap around the spine of the book. The number is shown in the front cover if the book and my name is on the back cover of the book. 




My black baskets are from Walmart. They have held up well over the past two years... minus one sweet basket that played the role of a chair to one cutie. You can find these baskets here. The top black baskets are from target. I use these at the beginning of the year. Each table will get some books and fun flashcard a to look through as other students are finishing a task. 


I have also placed a small couch on one side of the shelves. The other side holds two bean bags and more pillows.



Hope you have enjoyed taking a peek at my library. I would LOVE to hear what you think! Leave a comment below.

Happy reading y'all!!! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Math Station is a GO!

I have been hard at work to get my new classroom ready for the first day of school. Teachers start on the fourth of August and the sweet little cherubs start... *deep breath*... on the seventh of August.

THAT IS ONLY 19 DAYS UNTIL THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Oh my goodness, I think I am starting to freak the freak out.

Back to the classroom. I am going to do a little series on all the areas in my room and the how and why I have set it ALL up that way.

Here is a view of my math area when you enter my classroom.


I am blessed in that I can have two separate areas for whole group meetings. My Smart-board area is separate {That is where we will typically meet}. Here is a fun angle shot. I was testing out my AWESOME amateur photography skills. 


I added a fun pennant banner that has my numbers 0-20, ten-frames, and number word on each. 


Just below that is a super colorful number line. I got this lovely from Kinder-Craze. Here is a link to get this!

Another awesome shot of the number line!



I decided to create my own color, money, and days of the week cards. I wanted something simple, not too much clipart, and to the point. 


Along the bottom I added birthday cupcakes. I saw this idea on Pinterest and I wanted to give is a whirl. I have not been terribly happy with the way I have done birthdays the past couple of years. Each cupcake will hold *birthday candles* with the name and date of the kiddos. We will pull these at the beginning of every month and place them behind the date on the calendar. I will be back with a birthday post later. 

Next is a my calendar. I love this calendar


The hundreds chart was provided for us from our AMSTI kit. Next to the hundreds chart is our How Many Days Have We Been in School chart. We use ten-frames to give our pumpkins a better visual. Each day we add star stickers on the ten frame. I might try and find a cute superhero sticker to use instead. Although, I did enjoy making a pattern on each ten frame!!! My kiddos loved this!!!


Counting jar is up next. I have tried to use an actual jar in the past with fun little trinkets to match the theme, but my sweeties would always drop them or take them. Thus, the VELCRO COUNTING JAR was born. I change the clipart to match our theme and for those little cherubs that need to have another method of counting, they can pull them off one by one. 

GENIUS!!!.... RIGHT!?!?

I probably should make a better one, but I am going to let this one see the end of it's day before I draw up a prettier more durable one. 


I created these little printables for the beginning of the year. As the year goes on, my counting jar area will become increasingly more difficult. We start off with the number, the word, tally marks, a picture and a ten frame..... which is not up there.... hmmmmmm. 

Finally, a look at Cara Caroll's shape posters and my vocabulary area. 


That is my math board, now here is what's going on underneath. The first thing you see is my math workshop area. I have nine different tubs plus my computer area. I plan on having six different groups of four. 


Under the tubs are each groups math journal bucket and a trays for each individual student. I used a yoga mat and a cookie tray from the dollar store. This way my little ones are able to learn about personal space and the mat prevents the noise from getting too CRAY. 


I will also place some pencils, crayons, and glue sticks in each bucket. These four buckets are a bit random. I needed an *organized* area to place my geoboards and rekenreks, also known to me as Wreck it Ralph!


Such a precious movie!



Then I have all of my math manipulatives organized and ready for use. The larger containers are from here. The smaller ones are from here


Final view of my math area. I am in LOVE y'all. 


Happy Planning!










Friday, July 4, 2014

Yes. It's me. I am BACK!

I'm BACK! Yes. I know. I have fallen off the face of the planet.... BUT... I have returned better than ever. Can I just say that I was INSANE to try and have a blog my first year of teaching. That was not realistic. At all. 

To catch you up to what I have been doing these two plus years... I got married to an amazing man! I have another beautiful addition to the family, and I am in my third year of teaching kindergarten for the same school.

My Fabulous Kindergarten Team!
Blaine Daniel Spackman - 3 Days Old
Bella Photography



 I have learned SOOOO much! I cannot even express how excited I am about this upcoming year.

Now to tell you some FABULOUS news! The kindergarten teachers teach in pods. There are a total of two pods with 4 classrooms and a special area teacher in the middle. 

Well, my room was the infamous "secretary" room. It was the first room you would see when you walked into the pods.  It had no windows and was a tad disruptive at times when other classrooms would walk through... 


Can you see my room???? 

On a small side note, I am on my way to Pennsylvania so this is a very happy and welcomed mobile post. 

Back to my old room.... So can you? Can you see it? No windows, dark, and walk way for other classes. 

Painful right!?!? I am OH SO SUPER HAPPY to announce that I have been assigned a new room! 

I am still in the same pod; however, I have an enclosed room with.... Wait for it!... WINDOWS!!! 


I have already been working on getting everything ready for the upcoming year!


I am lovin' these windows y'all.... The light is beautiful! 


This is my whole group area. 


I still have a number of things to finish but I am very pleased with the progress. I will be back with another post soon! What are your thoughts on the new room!?!? Happy Reading! 

Planner Giveaway!

I am back with my FIRST giveaway!

To help one sweet soul with planning ahead and getting ready for the new year, I am giving away a copy of my teacher planner.



All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me a what type of product you would like to see for the upcoming year. This helps me get an idea of what my viewers would like!!!

You have until Sunday! Good Luck and I look forward to reading your posts!

To see more on this planner head on over to this post or check out my TPT store!

Happy Reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Planner In Me...

Are you gearing up for the new year? I am definitely trying to stay ahead of the game this year. With two sweet boys, one in 2nd grade and the other not even a year old, my life is busy, busy, busy.

In order to get my plans together for next year I have been doing a number of projects.... {drum roll please!}....I have finally finished my new planner! 


I am notorious for waiting until the last minute to write my plans on the computer. I always feel so much more accomplished when I write my plans down on paper. Over the past three years I have tried it all... word... powerpoint...plan book {which is awesome!!!! but just not right for me}... excel... and a number of different formats. All were great but it just never made me feel like I had it all together. So, I have decided to explore the word of writing!!!! Old School... I know, but I like vintage ever once in a while. 

Thus came the all-in-one planner to help with keeping all of the important information together. I did some research and looked at planners online, and at the store and took note of what I need when planning out my life. Here is a run down of what I came up with. After the cover, is a personal/school information page. Sweet. Simple. To the point. I didn't take a picture of that, but you can see a preview in my TPT store.

There is also 2 two-page spreads that allows me to keep track of all of my logins to different websites. I decided to keep everything as simple as possible. Color ink can get expensive.


There is a two-page spread that gives you the ability to log all of your birthdays for a quick and easy reference. I really like that I can open this page up at the beginning of every month while I am putting up my new calendar in the classroom and easily make note of the birthdays that month!

Not pictured is my yearly planner section. It is identical to the happy birthday section. I use the yearly planner to keep track of professional development and any units that I would like teach during that month.


Each month has a two-page spread. I use this for both school information and personal.


After each month is a two-page week spread for my lesson plans. Each column can be customized to individual needs. There is a section on top to place any meetings that week or duty.


The last section is a student checklist. In kindergarten, we don't grade papers, but I can use this for homework, money, standard grades, or permission slips. Each nine weeks I will take these out, file them, and print a new set to keep.


This section is not part of the planner, but I am happy to be giving this away! This is a common core checklist that you can keep track of dates that each standard was taught and whether your students have mastered or not. You can the checklist here.


All the items are meant to printed front to back.

On a side note, I have been busy making labels. I am loving the superhero labels from schoolgirlstyle! Check out all of the amazing themes here.


Hope y'all enjoyed the post. Be sure to get your copy of the planner here!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Craziness!!

Hello sweet friends. I am totally aware that I have been MIA for what seems like forever, but I promise that I have good and valid reason. Here it is... first year and kindergarten. Enough said, right!? I feel like my body has been going nonstop for the past month and a half. However, I am happy to report that I have survived, and with all of my body parts in tact! Ha! Can I just say that I am LOVIN kindergarten. My kiddos are amazing, darling, and a HOOT to say the least. Here is what we have been up to.


Well first off my very own pride and joy turned 6 years old!!! Oh how time flies by. He is such an amzing kid and I could not have asked for more in a baby boy.


Just like any other kindergarten classroom, we have been focusing our instruction around names and "All About Me" themes. I had my little cherubs star their names for a fun activity. I cut up a large piece of blue construction paper to make it look like a cloud and I simply wrote their name with a sharpie. I handed them the cloud and a packet of stars and off they went to make their names with stars. THEY LOVED THIS!!! My classroom was SILENT for, no kidding, 20 minutes!! Amazing activity to do when you have some down time.



We have also worked on the first 20 days of the Daily 4. This involoved routine, routines, and routines. We built anchor charts about readers, partner reading, word work, and listening. 


My little hikers have also started math workshop. My school has jumped on board with Alabama's AMSTI initiative. I do love this program! It is very hands on, discivery based, and student focused. Starting the workshop has been quite a challenge, but I think I have finally found a way that works for me and my sweet friends. A colleague found this terrific site that has tons of common core math activities. Those activities are shown in my pictures.



Along with learning names and learing more about each other. We have focused on colors. I made these color mats for kiddos to practice building the color word, and writing them. The names mat simply allows them to build their friend's name with magnetic letters and write in the spaces below.

Wow!! There is so much more that is going on. I can't wait to get up what we have been working on this week. I look forward to hearing your comments. Until next time!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Classroom is {Semi} Up and Ready!

Oh my word! I  know that I have been M.I.A. for quite some time, but y'all I have been giving it my all in my classroom. I have worked many nights to get to this point and I am happy to say that I am almost done. I mean how often can teachers REALLY sit back and say, "Yup, all done!".... Uh, NEVER! I still some odds and ends, but I am planning on taking care of that tomorrow. So without further delay here it is. Now as you are looking through these pictures, I need you to keep in mind that my room resides with three other teachers and a wonderful resource teacher. My room is the first of the four, so right when you walk into the room you will always see my shinning face. :)


 I hope y'all enjoyed this tour. I will be back soon with some updated pictures. Teachers start back on Monday! Oh, and please send me pictures of your classroom. I would LOVE to see other creative minds at work.