Sunday, August 28, 2016

Number Sense, Nursery Rhymes and more...What I am Teaching This Week

Welcome back to another year! My goal is to share a snippet of the skills, activities and ideas I will be working on each week. I hope to blog weekly like I did last year and share TONS of ideas and resources with you.

This is week 2 for us. The first week felt like a blur and I am glad that it is OVER! You can read about what I did my first week right here. Since I am new to my district MANY things are given to me to pick from. I have never been this lucky before. For the past few years, I was given the standards I had to follow and then come up with ideas, lessons, and resources on my own. This is the TOTAL opposite of what I am used to! I am now also teaching ALL the subjects. I am excited to be bringing back math and science fun to my room.

This week in math we are working on building number sense. Last week we worked a little bit on building numbers up to 40. This week we are really focusing on all the different ways to make 10. I have this anchor chart that I will be making with my students as the week goes on. I found some great freebies to help with this skill over at Little Minds at Work.  I also loved this activity and we will be working on it Monday.
In reading this week we have been working on setting up expectations for readers and writers workshop. I have never taught writing like this before and I am excited to see my students growth this year. We have been working on setting up our writing folders and creating LOTS of anchor charts about what we can write about, what our writing should look like and more. For readers workshop, I have started using the Daily 5 for the first time ever! I have used something similar before but never realized it had a title.  I made these posters last week while we worked on building stamina.

This week I have some district testing that needs to be completed so we will be starting a few stations.

If you would like these posters for Daily 5 you can grab them  HERE.

Last week we also used nursery rhymes to help with reading and sequencing. I have been using these at the beginning of the year since last year and it really helps the kids build their confidence!

Here is a peek at all that is included in my Nursery Rhyme set

                     Just click the covers to see it in my shop

That is it for this week. Make sure to come back and read all about my classroom reveal! Hope you have a great week of school!

New Year- New Teacher!

Woah! It has been AGES since I last blogged! These past 6 weeks have felt like a blur. I started a new teaching job in a new district. It has been amazing, overwhelming and nerves all rolled into one! Even though I am far from a first-year teacher, right now that is what I feel like! There is SO much to learn when you are hired by a new district. Have you felt this way too?

I was so lucky that I was given my keys to my classroom at the end of July. I had my ENTIRE classroom all over my house and garage. It looked like an episode of joke! Once I had those keys I rented a U-haul and moved everything in!  Here are some pictures of ALL my things unloaded.

I have been in a small box type classroom for the past 9 years so walking into THIS room was like HEAVEN!!! I even had a window....ooooooooooo.  I was also beyond ecstatic about ALL those cabinets!! I had to supply my OWN storage in the past. I STILL do not have every cabinet filled up! Yippeeeee.

Starting August 1st I haven been in some type of district training learning all the ropes. I feel very lucky to be a part of where I am at and I am really looking forward to this coming school year.

These past few weeks though have been hard. It is hard to come in and absorb all that information that you are supposed to know and use. Am I right? I finally feel like I am starting to get into some kind of routine and my students are too.

I hope to get my classroom reveal post up this week so you can see my "home" This year. It really does feel like that too!

I hope that all of you are off to a great start if you are back in school and if you start in the next few weeks, best of luck to you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

First Day of School- 4 tips to help!

Today I am here to share with you what I will be doing on the first day of school looks like and some ideas to help you with yours. This year will be my 22nd first day! I try and jot down some notes after each beginning just so I can try and prepare and remember certain things for the following year. Looking back I came up with 4 tips that can help make the day run smoothly for any teacher!

                                                                            First tip:

At my school students have 30 minutes to arrive in my classroom. Some will be there first thing, while others come in at different times. I didn't want my students ( and parents) just hanging out with nothing to do. Last year I made this flip book. I had it on my students desks so, once they arrived they could work on it while others students arrive. You can grab it for free from my TPT shop just by clicking on the picture.

I also made this version that is printed on colored paper for those students who can write more that draw pictures.  I really like this activity and some years I have saved it and shared it with my students on their last day of school. They are amazed at the growth they had!

Second tip:

Right after everyone arrives and our calendar routine is introduced I have my students participate in a sorting activity. I call it Making Good Choices. Students get a card with a picture on it. Then as a class we talk about the actions that are shown and if it is something that is a good choice to make or a bad choice. As we discuss we sort the pictures in a pocket chart.

I then pass out a variety of extension activities for them to work on. I have 2 reasons behind this. One it shows me the work and how they do and two it is another good way to keep them busy and break out those new supplies they want to use! ;)

You can find this resource by click the cover below.

Third Tip:

Another activity I always work on the first day is creating our classroom rules and expectations. Now that students know what is correct and acceptable school behavior we create our rules together. I start off my showing these posters and having the students then dictate to me what our class rule should be.

I have  13 posters I show them and rules are created. In past years I had words that I created to be displayed under the poster. It worked fine but, I just really like having the students be apart of the decision making process. I feel like it gives them more ownership of the rules since they helped create them.

You can check out the posters here

                                           Fourth Tip:

This is probably the MOST important one! I have each parent fill out this form on either meet the teacher night or at drop off on the first day.

Then after I make sure I have a sheet for each students I write the names down on these sheets I have hanging right by my door.

Dismissal time at the end of the day can be super stressful but, with these sheets at least you can make sure you KNOW how your students are getting home that day. If you would like the sheets you can click on the pictures above to download them.

Now I know that is a LOT to cover in one day. I have found that I need to be SUPER flexible that first week! So I tend to over plan and if I do not get to an activity one day I could always work on it the following day.
I would love to hear about anything else you do on that first day or first week of school too! Leave me a comment below and share with my what works in your classroom.

I hope some of these ideas will be useful to you on your first day.  Wishing you all a very successful school year!


   Feel free to use the image below to pin to your Pinterest boards.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Task Card Organization

Hi friends! I am back today with another organization project that was on my summer to do list. For years I have been using task cards with my small groups. I am a BIG fan of them! You can read about what task cards are right here.  Then I saw a picture that I knew would take my organization to the next level!

In the past, I have used manila envelopes to store them and labeled them on the front of the envelope.

It worked for me for awhile UNTIL I saw these on Instagram.

Aren't they soooo pretty??!!!??!! Many people commented that they would use these cases for task card storage. How smart is that!! I was on board and bought 2 cases. One for literacy and one for math. Then when I was in Target one day I saw the same kind of boxes but in clear!

I knew I would use these too soooo, I got every pack I could find.  My task cards fit perfectly inside and since it is clear I can see right away which set it is.

                                        Each case has 6 boxes so I labeled them by topic.

Then I also created a  label to put on the top of the box. I put my grammar cards together, Early Finshers cards and math cards in the different cases.

I made lables for all the task cards I have. Here are just a few of them:

I also made these covers to put on the front of the boxes:

If you would like these labels you can grab them for free by clicking  right here! I even made ones that are editable. That way you can make labels for any other task cards you may have. The font I used is KG Miss Kindergarten Chunk. You can find it here.

 If you want to see some task cards up close you can check them out  in my TPT shop.

Want a chance to win some goodies? Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope these organizational tips have inspired you to try them out. Hop on over to the next blog to grab some more great tips!