Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fabulous Friday Freebie

I know it's not actually Friday but I didn't want to skip this week's freebie! I hope you'll forgive me for my late post. So, to make it up to you I'm going to giveaway 2 polka dot freebies!  Enjoy!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rockin' Resources Linky Party

I'm a linky party addict! It's just so much fun reading and sharing information that I have to join them!!!  The newest one I've found is "Rockin' Resources". I started thinking about some of the things I can't live without in my classroom and they seem kinda boring but I'm sharing anyways! 

1. White-Out: I'm OCD when it comes to my writing! I have no clue when it began but it was pretty early in my life. I'm one of those people who always has to decorate my paper whether I'm just making a simple list or taking notes at a faculty meeting. I prefer the pens because I like to make bubble letters and they aren't as messy as the bottled stuff.
Here's an example of my writing....(don't laugh it's ridiculous I know).


2. Timer: I have always had a timer in my classroom! After about the 2nd week of school my kids automatically clean up when it goes off! I've tried a variety of timers in my 9 years but an old fashion kitchen timer is my pick! You never have to worry about the batteries running out or running to your desk to turn it off because the beeping won't stop! I have a Promethean board so sometimes I use the timer function and silly noises to get their attention too!

3. Sharpies: At the beginning of every school year, I go to the office supply store and buy the biggest set of Sharpies I can find! Yes, I use them up EVERY year! It's an expensive habit but I use them for everything! 

I couldn't find the one I's way cuter!
4. Big Desk Calendar: I love having all my important information right in front of me on my desk (color coded of course). I'm a little scatter brained so it helps me to write down all my deadlines, meetings, units, etc... I actually went to the teacher store here in town today and purchased my new one for this year!!

I splurged a little at the teacher store on this pack of paper!
5. Cute Paper: I love going to the dollar store and stocking up on cute computer paper and notepads for the year! My weekly newsletters are very colorful!! (I have to make it stand out in their weekly folder so parents actually notice it and read it!) Fun paper makes me smile and it's the little things in life, right?   

6. Starbucks: Yes, I have a Starbucks across the street from my school and I stop every morning! I know what you're thinking...doesn't that get expensive? On a normal day, I usually get an iced coffee which doesn't cost much. However, gift cards tend to come in regularly and they are always for Starbucks! My parents know I need my Starcrack on a daily basis to survive! I stand in my doorway every morning greeting my kids with my coffee in hand! It's funny because I tend to sit my coffee down in random places in the room and then I forget where it is! Good thing my kids are always watching me!

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to click on the linky party picture so you can share your list!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Wow, I can't believe how quickly I reached 100 followers!  Thanks to everyone who is following me! I'm so excited about this milestone that I'm giving 5 winners any item from one of my teacher stores!That's right, you'll get to pick which item you WANT!! Please enter this giveaway below and spread the word so your followers can enter too!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Day of School Plans...LInky Party!

From year to year, I always forget how the heck I teach rules and procedures during the first few weeks of school! Some of my fellow teachers say it's like child birth (no experience there...yet), if we remembered we would probably rethink our careers! It's always a blur but I do remember that I tend to got to bed around 7pm every night during the first week! LOL

With all the changes going on this year(common core, CAFE, Daily Five, etc...), I started planning for the first week back in the spring! Here's a sneak peak at my first day of school! It may seem like a lot but I'm one of those teachers that gets the ball rolling on day 1!!! 

On the first day of school, almost all my kinder parents walk their child to my door. They've already been informed that no parents are allowed in the classroom because it makes it hard for the kids (and parents) to deal with the 1st day of school! I stand and greet at the door while my TA helps the kids unpack their book bags. We normally don't have a lot of supplies coming in on the first day because our parents have already brought them to "Meet the Teacher" the week before school starts. (Reason #2 for sending out welcome postcards: add a note asking parents to drop supplies off early!) This helps us sooooo much on the first day because we're not overloaded with stuff to put away!! After my kids unpack with my TA, they go to their assigned table and explore math manipulatives until the tardy bell rings. Kids tend to trickle in at a nice pace from buses and car riders so unpacking isn't chaotic at all! 
We have first block (PE, Computer Lab, Music & Art) but on the first day of school we don't get to go because all the block teachers are helping out with the car riders! (overload because it's the first day)  At exactly 8:10am, I set my chimes to ring on my Promethean Board and talk my kids through how to clean up and come to the carpet nicely! I've outlined what we do next... 
  •  Gathering Place anchor chart
    • model correct & incorrect way to sit on rug
Shows students exactly what being a good listener means.
Great chart I found on Pinterest!!
  • Watch Eagle News (daily)
  • Discuss Promethean Board rules & procedures
    • practice moving our names under our lunch choice (After today making their lunch choice will be part of their morning routine. Makes my life so easy because I can just print the flip-chart page and line the kids up according to their choice at lunch time.)
Cafe/Daily Five Lesson #1: "3 Ways to Read a Book" (only 1 & 2 on first day)
1. Read the Pictures
2. Read the Words
  •  Anchor Chart
  • Read: David Goes to School (modeling the 2 different ways to read)
    • use book to discuss class rules 
3 ways to read
David Goes To School


  •  Read: Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes
Use clues to go on tour of our school!!!  I found this awesome activity on Inspired by Kindergarten!!! (click Pete to get your own FREE copy) When we get to the cafeteria, we always take a little extra time showing the kids where our table is located and how to carry their trays. Makes life a little easier during lunch time!
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes

When we come back from our school tour, the kids sit on the rug and we go over our "Gathering Place" anchor chart again. Then we begin our daily Calendar math activities using our Promethean Board. I create monthly flip-charts for our calendar time. (pictures coming soon) The kids always sit so nicely during calendar because they want a turn manipulating the different activities I've created for them! (great management tool) At the beginning of the year, I always have a name game flip-chart page to help us get to know each other a little better! If this explanation is as clear as mud, I hope to make it better with pictures SOON! After calendar we always DANCE!!! Last year we discovered "Just Dance Kidz" on YouTube and from that point on that's all they wanted to do during dance time! LOL  (video below...I couldn't resist. YouTube started buffering half way into the song so I stopped recording! Please ignore my messy room in the background.)

I'm trying out math journals for the first time this year and I'm super excited! So, my plan is to do journals after calendar every day...I'm using this time as my super mini-lesson before math stations.  On the first day, we'll discuss rules and procedures for math journals. Then we'll do a practice entry using the Promethean Board together. When we're finished,  I'll send the kids to their tables to complete the same entry by themselves. Here's what I've created for the first 5 weeks of school....
Teacher's Notebook Store
ha! true!

CAFE/ Daily Five: Introduce CAFE Menu Board
Read: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe
Laura over at the Delightful Daily 5 Cafe blog has an awesome introduction lesson using this book!
 A Crazy Day at the Critter CafĂ©
  • post first strategy on board (click on picture for your own copy of Emergent Cards)

11:15AM  BRAIN BREAK!!!!!

Read: Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition
  • What are letters?
  • What letter does your name begin with? (I create a flip-chart for an easy graphing activity.)
  • At this point in our day, we discuss our basket rules and procedures (We haven't needed them until now.)
    • I have 4 tables in my classroom that are distinguished by color (red, blue, yellow & green). Each table has a cubbie where the students have their own basket for their scissors, glue & crayons).
    •  I like to dismiss one table at a time from the rug to get their basket and take it to their seat.
  • Our letter activity for the day will be to cover the first letter in our names with colorful squares.Thank you Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching blog for this wonderful idea!!!


CAFE/ Daily Five Lesson: Read to Self
  • create I-chart with expectations
  • discuss & model book basket rules and procedures
  • model correct & incorrect read to self time
  • practice stamina for 3 minutes
  • practice putting book boxes up and returning to the rug
  • graph our stamina & celebrate
  •  repeat these steps 2 more times
Great for Daily 5 class library or individual book baskets!!!     
Book Baskets from the Dollar Tree

Writer's Workshop Introduction 
  • rules and procedures
  • entry #1- write your name and draw self-portrait
I'm still working the kinks out of my writer's workshop design. I've been following the book study In Pictures and In Words over at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten blog! I would love suggestions on how you have your WW time set up! Please email me with any resources you may have!!

1:30PM BRAIN BREAK!!! (lots of breaks are needed in K)

Social Studies Unit: Welcome to Kindergarten
Read: The Kissing Hand 
  • How did you feel on the 1st day of kindergarten?
  • "________ felt ________ on the first day of school."
    • I always have this predictable sentence ready on a flip-chart to make things easier and faster.
    • After all the students have shared, I'll send them to their tables to color a 1st day of school picture.
      • This is a great opportunity to start packing up book bags and tagging students for their afternoon transportation!
Ring chimes for clean up time
  • I call tables one at a time to put their supply baskets away and join me on the rug.
  • If time, we'll share our favorite part of the day.
Line-up and head out the door!!  We line K up a little early on the first day since our kids have never been through dismissal traffic in the halls is nice.

Diet Coke & chocolate time because I made it through the first day!  I can't fully celebrate until around 3:30PM when I know all my kinders made it home without a problem! There's always one of us that gets the CALL..."so and so wasn't on the right bus" or "so and so was suppose to be a car rider!" Seriously, we asked you a million times how your kid was getting home on the first day!!!!   

I hope my first day plans gave you a few ideas! I know I have a lot planned but I'd rather have too much then not enough! I love sharing ideas and getting suggestions....COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Great Giveaways

I pretty much blog stalk all the time and I've come across so many great giveaways to share with you! 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

Linking up with other bloggers is the best way to find out who's out there! I've joined a few other link-ups and was amazed at how many awesome blogs I found! Make sure you click on the button above to link up at Grade Three is the Place for Me! 

About Me:
1. I live in Georgia.
2. I have been teaching kindergarten for 9 years.
3. I have always taught kindergarten.
4. I started blogging back in June and I'm hooked!
5.Google has been the best blogging resource for me! I've created everything on my blog by searching for "How to" websites!!!  I'm pretty good at following directions!

Want to join too? Here are 5 things you need to share:
1. What state you are in
2. Your current teaching position
3. Your teaching experience
4. When you started blogging
5. Share a blogging tip/blogging resource. 

Friday Freebie, Award, & Question


First of all, I would like to thank Lauren at Teacher Mom of 3 for giving me the Liebster Award! It was a very nice surprise!
This award is named for the German word "Liebster," which translates to "beloved" or "favorite", and it is given to "new, up and coming bloggers." 

The rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

Here are the
blogs I have awarded the Liebster Blog to:

Take a minute and check out all these fabulous blogs! It's amazing how many blogs there are out in cyber space!!  I could have made this list much longer!!!!  Congratulations Ladies! 

Since polka dots make me so happy, I had to create my Daily Five choice cards to match the rest of my classroom! Enjoy!

So, I went back to my classroom this past week with high expectations of transforming my mess into a functional room again! Well, not much transforming occurred because apparently I left my motivation at home. One of the things I did work on was my word wall, which began as a huge dry erase board that needed a new function. I had this great idea that blue painters tape would be perfect to create my grid but that wasn't the case. I got the grid up on Wednesday and when I returned on Thursday it had fallen off the board.  Any suggestions on what I could use to create my grid that won't ruin the board?  

Blogging tips