Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beginning of the Year

As a new year starts, the fun starts!  In the month of August, the students learn about shapes and colors!  Here are some of my favorite crafts that we do in the beginning of the year. I've come up with a fun way for students to learn the about the primary colors and how they mix together to make the secondary colors.  One of the things I dread the most is having students mix paint together because it is such a mess!!!  So, I came up with these cute color bugs.  It was super easy to prep as well.  I used my Cricut to cut 5in circles and then cut the circles in half to make the wings.  I had to make extra circles for the primary colors, for the color bug bodies and viola! 

At the beginning of the year, we read David Goes to School, which the students thought was hilarious!  This project came off of Pinterest and my students LOVED coming up with all good and bad choices to add to the poster.  Whenever a students doesn't follow a rule, we either added it to the poster or we referenced the poster and talked about the choice they made.  This will be staying up all year :)

No pushing or shoving
Pay attention
No food fights
No gum
No stealing
No teasing
Be safe
Follow directions
No playing rough
No pulling hair
No peeking at someone going potty
Return books
No bitting
No breaking toys
Clean up mess
No kicking
No throwing a fit
Inside voice
Help friends
No hitting
No spitting
Don't bring toys to school
Play nice
And my farting!

And not but least, my all time favorite craft of the whole school year...our paper dolls!  This project takes a lot of time to prep on the Cricut but it's so worth it to me.  The students love to personalize their clothes, skin color and hair.  Each one comes out as unique and special just as each student!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Crafts

I found this nifty idea for a Thanksgiving Craft on Pinterest this year!  I prepped the feet and nose and the students did the rest and I think they did a wonderful job!  They don't look as cute as the original posting found here on the blog Happy Home Fairy but I still think they are adorable and so are there answers!!!

"I am thankful for my baby sister."

"I am thankful for my teacher." - This one is probably my favorite :)

"I am thankful for my family."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Up and Running Centers!

The beginning of the year is so hard to get centers up and running because so much time is used to behavior management.  I started my centers at the end of August this year and it is so nice to have the students independently working already!!!  I have students in 5 groups of 4, and they rotate between stations that last anywhere between 7-9 minutes depending on how much time we have for the day.  Below are some stations that the students have been working on.

Students working on Starfall at our computer station.
This is also a math station where students trace numbers using PlayDoh
This math center is for 1:1 counting, students have to build and count out the corresponding blocks.
This center is called "PomPom Placement", in order to help with fine motor skills as well as color matching

"PomPom Placement" in action!
This is a math station called "Domino Parking Lot" where students have to park the correct domino on the corresponding number
Listening center is also used to share and play on the iPad.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Crafts

I know it's the day of but I wanted to share the crafts the students made to celebrate Halloween.  I tried to keep the crafts neutral, yet still fun!  The candy corn craft was idea I found on Pinterest two years ago so I don't have the site to source it back to but I just found a blank candy corn image on-line and had students fill it in using tissue paper.  Even though I can't stand candy corn, I think the project came out super cute!

I also found the following craft on-line two years ago, super simple Frankenstein!  All I needed was black strips for the hair.  As students were cutting the zigzags in the hair, I told them to save two of the triangles for his neck.  I printed out some circles for the eyes and had the students cut them out and then they drew the details for the eyes.  Some students even made their Frankensteins girls, you'll see the eyelashes in some of the pictures!  Then we drew a mouth and done!  But they look so awesome!!!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

iPad Books

I don't know about you but my poor iPad has run out of space :(  Over the years, I've collected free books or bought books on iTunes to start my collection.  I hook up my iPad at my listening center and will play a story for students to listen to and they really enjoy it!  So, over the summer one of my projects was to listen to all my stories and organize them by length.  Last year, I would randomly choose a story for students to listen to and sometimes they would be done is three minutes and sometimes they didn't get to finish the story.  I told myself that I had do come up with some organized system for all this books I had on my iPad.  It took a few days but I downloaded all my books by going into the App Store and clicking on "Purchased".  I then downloaded all the books in alphabetical order, so I could know that I didn't miss any.  This was also a great time for me to delete any books that I didn't like or that didn't read out loud for the students.

This is the spread sheet that I came up with.  I've put a bullet next to the stories that we've listened to and underlined the stories that aren't my favorite but just didn't have the heart to delete yet.  I print this out and update it every so often, when I get a few new books and add them into the list.  I keep this in my data binder along with my center schedule.  I also created lists of all my Language Arts and Math manipulatives to help me organize my centers!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When We Grow Up, Year 2!

Last year I made my first When We Grow Up collage from inspiration on Pinterest.  It was a such a hit, that I decided to make this collage annually!  Here is this year gang and their future inspirations of what they want to be when they grow up!  I truly hope they all succeed!!!

Here's to a wonderful school year!!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back to School Part 2

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I would upload more pictures of my classroom and all the fun changes that I've made for this school year!  Mid last year, I decided to scan our class set of Decodable Books  to send home with the students, since there are not enough copies of the book for each student to get one.  I spent about 3 weekends scanning all 45 books and placing the pages into Illustrator and then making 25 copies of each book, whew!!!  It was a lot of work but I'm so glad that it's done and both the students and parents love having a Decodable Book to read each week.  I made these envelopes for the books to be sent home in.  By the end of the year, they feel apart so this year I taped them all around the edges and during the summer I paced out exactly when we would be reading each book and laminated in onto the cover.  

Book envelopes for weekly checkout of Decodable Books for students to read.  The entire year is paced out, the books are sent out weekly and parents must initial that the book(s) were returned to me.  

I found this idea on Pinterest and I spruced it up but I LOVE the concept to help reinforce reading comprehension!  

I had mentioned before that there are a total of 45 of these books, so I have them all organized by level so it makes it easy for me to send them home weekly.

Closer look of each scanned book, divided into their tabs!
When students are absent, this is the homework folder that I send home with work that the student might of missed and bring it to the office for the parent to pick up.

I changed out my cushion for the listening center this year.  Unfortunately, last year a few of my students accidentally drew on my super cute white bench and ruined it :(.  This year, I found outdoor cushions from CostCo that can withstand all types of weather so I'm hoping that they can withstand kindergartners!  I zip tied the label to the back of the crate and then sewed the front of the cushion onto the crate using 50lb fishing line!

We were lucky to receive AV carts for our Elmo's this year, here is how I set mine up to hold all of the electronics that I have.

Side my projector is displayed on the shelving in the front and my computer is displayed on the shelving that slides out from the back.  If you look close enough, my speakers fit in-between the top shelf and the bottom shelf!  Woohoo!!!