Monday, June 25, 2012

Brown Bear Mega Unit Giveaway!

I just discovered a fabulous new blog!  It is called Pocket Full of Kinders.  WOW - is it packed with great stuff.  You should run over now and check out Shuna's new Brown Bear Mega Unit b/c it is on sale until Wednesday and who doesn't love Brown Bear, Brown Bear?

Hope everyone is having a great summer!  Be sure to check out Pocket Full of Kinders b/c she is taking requests on new units for her TpT store, and if she picks your suggestion - you will get the packet for FREE!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Student Memory Binders

Organizing Student Work

I have been teaching for what seems like forever.  One of the hardest things for me to do is keep student portfolios organized.  I have tried this and that, but it always ends up being more work for me (instead of something students can manage).  After much time and effort looking for new ways to handle this challenge, I came upon Mrs. Terhune's First Grade Site!  WOW - does she have some great ideas!  My favorite is what she called a Student Memory Book.  I plan to call it a Memory Binder.  Hopefully, the kiddos will be able to manage this after I teach them the "ins and outs" of it.

Student Portfolios
This is a picture of Mrs. Terhune's Memory Binders.  SUCH an inspiration!

I created some monthly sheets that I plan to print on card stock and let each child color as a divider in the Memory Binder.  If you would like a copy to use in your own Memory Binder that I have inspired you to make (or just want a copy for your students to color), please CLICK HERE!   

Pages were created using Kids All Year from DJ Inkers and DJ Fat Chat Font.

As always - please leave a short comment!  Thanks for looking  :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Font Linky Party


Last night I was browsing the web while I couldn't sleep!  I came across a Linky Party hosted by Teachery Tidbits.  Click on the picture above to see original post.  I have never participated in a Linky Party, but FONTS are one of my favorite things!  I love, love, love cool fonts.  DJ Inkers has some of my favorites.  My favorite font collection is Super Fontastic.  I think it is safe to say that fonts make me happy.  The only issue I have with fonts is that some of the cutest ones drive me crazy because they use all lowercase letters with no capitals.  (I think this is the teacher in me coming out because this really makes me crazy when I see these all lowercase fonts - especially when they are so cute!)
 What are your favorite fonts?

Friday, June 8, 2012

This, That, and The Other


I found a great new blog today!  It is called Buggy in Kindergarten.  Click on the link to check out  a great giveaway celebrating Buggy in Kindergarten having 100+ followers.  :) 


I haven't posted in a while, but I would love to know what you all do for Classroom Management???  I have done the library pockets with 4 colored cards, check marks on the board (LONG remember - Assertive Discipline), and most recently the clip chart system.  There are things that I like about each, and there are things that I dislike about each.  Just curious what you all use - please leave comments explaining your system.  I would appreciate it.  I'll leave you with some pics of my classroom last year.  I am going to reinvent my "Jungle" this year and brighten it up with some polka dots and a palm tree (something I never got around to making last summer).  If you need to make a palm tree for your class, you should definitely check out Deanna Jump's Blog for great step-by-step instructions.  I actually cut my carpet roll in half to make two smaller trees using regular size (not golf) umbrellas for my reading rug.  Hope you all are having a great summer (if you are already out).  If you aren't out yet, hope you don't have too much longer! 

Entrance to my 2nd home classroom - bathroom door with Clip Chart Management System on left - mailboxes for take-home papers on right.

View from my door

 Focus Wall (note to self - pick up NON-GLARE sheet protectors this summer)
Classroom Motto (framed) - Just do your best.

Left Wall - Computer Station - 6 new touchscreen HATCH all-in-one systems.
Crazy about the touchscreen computers - HATCH system is o.k.
Calendar and Color Bulletin Board on Left Wall.

My Desk and counter space (with sink - LOVE) and lots of cabinets in the back!
Two work station tables to the left side-by-side.  LOVE these tables from Lakeshore!

I have assigned seats at stations (name labels are taped inside top middle two cubbies w/pics at beginning of the year).  I know this sounds a little crazy, but it helps kids stay organized and lets me know who is not taking care of station materials.  The bottom two middle cubbies have supply labels taped inside them so that kids know exactly where things can be found (and put away).  Each set of items is labeled by # so that if supplies get mixed up on the table, they know which supplies belong to whom.  You can get my cubby label HERE.  Not sure why border isn't showing up around the outside of the text box for supply labels. Hopefully it will when you print.

Another view of the room - student work tables with table cubbies to hold pencil boxes.
Teaching table in back corner along with my super duper organization boxes for my reading materials.  Click here to see the ones I use.  I have green, blue, gray, and orange - one for each unit of my reading book and an "extra" drawer for all that OTHER stuff.

Group rug in front of SMART Board - HOW did we ever live without a SMART Board?  The more I learn how to use this thing - the more dangerous I become!!!  Writing Center (which doubles as a group listening station one day a week) - better pic at bottom that shows later in the year as this pic shows first week of school.

Touchscreen computers - LOVE, LOVE, and LOVE some more!  My district purchases the program Reading Eggs.  If you haven't ever heard of it - click on the link and check it out.  We LOVE it and can't imagine our classrooms without it.  VERY fun and educational!

*Pocket Chart Poem (Kids LOVE this station - changes weekly)
*SMART Board and whole group rug
*Big Book Cart (where we use lots of Wikki Stix to find HFWs)
*FAN - b/c I was BURNING UP getting my room ready last year!!!
*Green Pocket Chart hanging on whiteboard on right - GOT IT - SWAT IT - This is a game that my kids absolutely love from day 1 to day 174.  Caller (me at the beginning of the year - captain of group later on) calls out a HFW and first of two students who SWATS it with a decorative fly swatter wins.  Winner can either stay and face next opponent or get a sticker/piece of candy/eraser when he/she chooses to hand off swatter and sit down.

I usually put some type of "Sorting Activity" in this pocket chart that hides our journals.
Each student has a slot to store his/her Reading Journal, Math Journal, and Weekly Morning Work Packet.  Students know to pick up Weekly Morning Work packets in the morning after putting backpacks away in hallway, math journals after lunch when we return to the room, and  Reading Journals on Friday mornings.  This little set of cubbies has been a management LIFESAVER!!!  If you would like a copy of the Reading Journal that I use (goes along with TREASURES READING SERIES by MacMillan/McGraw Hill) and was made by a dear friend, CLICK HERE.  I make color copies for each student and bind them with a laminated cover.  Surprisingly - they hold up all year.  :)

My teaching table where I spend half my life!
My student Reading Relaxation Rug where students can read books 
or do one of three pocket chart activities that go with the theme of the week.

My Welcome Back bulletin board

Close-up of student table with table cubby (another of my favorite things)

My WRITING STATION later in the year...
Overalls hold letter-of-the-week picture cards with words
Red Pocket Chart holds Station Assignment cards for groups and Monthly Writing Station packet of word cards and "I Can..." pages - you know...directions.
You can CLICK HERE to view the Monthly Writing Stations I use in my classroom.
Small Apple Pocket Chart holds animal-of-the-week and five facts about that animal.
Various letter and theme words are hung as well as previous month's word cards on a ring.


I have truly been enjoying my summer.  I am usually the teacher who leaves school in May thinking about school in August.  I decided to REALLY take a break this year and enjoy my two favorite things in the whole world.  If I don't make many summer posts, it isn't because I've left the blogging world - it is because I am busy!  Here's an old pic, but one of my faves - my little ball player and his #1 fan, his little sister! 

One of my goals for next year is to become a "regular" blogger and blog weekly (if not daily). 
Have a great summer everyone!