Friday, July 29, 2011

Target Dollar Spot

     One more post before I go!  These are the items that I found at the Target Dollar Spot and how I plan to implement them this year.  Some of these items I got a couple of weeks ago and others today on a last minute run before we head to the airport.  A lot of the items are similar year after year, but these are fairly new, or I didn't find them last year!
I know the picture is small and a little blurry, but hopefully, after I tell you the item you can figure out what it is.  I bought 3 new bins, and yes, these were a $1!  I use these for everything...books, storage, etc.!  In the very back there is a mat with a spinner.  It is also laminated and has a dry erase pen with it.  This one is for time.  There was one for money, but I thought it would be too difficult for my kids.  I was hoping to find some more of the time mats, but no luck.  Next to the mat is some magnetic clips.  I also bought the color ones.  These are great for posters and clipping notes to the file cabinet.  In front of the clips there is ABC Bingo and Math Bingo.  I will probably use these for small group instruction and then in an ABC center.  I thought the Math Bingo was for numbers, but it is actually addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  I haven't opened it yet, but hopefully I can just use the numbers.  If not, I'll find some use for them! :)  Next to that is ABC stamps.  I buy these every year or every time I see them.  I use them mainly in centers, but when I get enough I may let each child have a set.  You can use these for practicing their names, sight words, ABC order, or in their journals.  There is also some mini ink pads in different colors towards the front.  Yes, there are pirate baggies!  SCORE!  There is number puzzles that I will use for assessment and in centers.  I will hold up one piece of the puzzle and they will have to match it during assessment.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, these laminated sentence strips.  I will use these for name practice, sight words, and working with words.  The kids love writing on those white boards!  I also bought flash cards for ABC's, numbers, shapes, colors, and beginning concepts.  I put these on rings and use them all the time!  (morning meeting, transitions, centers, assessment)  These are great for review at home!  The last thing are animal cards. These are great!  One pack is animal sounds and the other is animal pictures.  These will go in the Science center.  I also picked up some silly bands that were .50 for the treasure box, a pointer, (I'll share my pointers when I get back to school), and some 3D shapes.
     Now these were not in the dollar bin, but were a couple of dollars.  They were on an end cap near the stationary.  The top three are window clings, and the bottom two are posters.  I am going make games out of these for the spring.  Have to wait for that! :0  This time, I'm really leaving and you won't hear from me for a week!  Chow!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

This and That

     I cannot believe it is almost time for school to start!  This summer has flown by!  Today I really tried to wrap a lot of things up because next week I need to "finalize" lesson plans.  I've used the same first week plans forever and really felt like I was getting a little stale and bored, so I looked to see what else was out there.  I came across two fabulous kindergarten teachers that I want to be when I grow up!  The first one is Deanna Jump  She is incredible!  My teaching style is very similar to hers and I do a lot of similar craft/art projects that she does.  She has a pirate themed classroom where I have borrowed many ideas for my upcoming class this year.  I made her pirate ship that she uses for workjob stations.  I'm going to use mine for a job assignment chart.  I'm not quite finished with it yet...still need to add details! My letters are going to say All Hands On Deck.  I've made some buckets (I'm not really happy with) that I'm going to put the jobs on, and then I'm going to make mops to put their names on.
I bought her Back to School packet that had some fabulous ideas in it.  I usually have a song and poem that goes along with our theme, but I really didn't have anything for teaching rules.  She uses a poem with the cutest little monsters that I am going to use this year.  I made the puppets with the directions that she gave.
How cute are they!  The kids will love them!  I can't wait to spice up the rules!
She also had a pirate with a treasure chest that she used for workjob mats.  I had planned on using a treasure chest, but when I saw her idea I liked that better.  I made mine bigger, and I am going to use it for our 100 day count.  I put velcro on the treasure chest and the other piece of velcro on to gold coins, so each day we will add a gold coin to the treasure chest until we get to 100.
I made a palm tree that I'm going to use for my Wishing Tree. I'm also going to make coconuts with the requested item that the parents can take home.  I'm not sure yet what items are going to be on the list yet. I usually figure that out when I'm setting up the room.  I'm going to use the tree after that as a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree.

I made a lot of games and manipulates that goes with my Pirate theme for centers, but they are in a pile of laminating that needs to be cut out! :) The other teacher is Kim Adsit.  I'll share some of the things that I gleaned from her when I finalize my plans.   I'll be gone for a week, so look for lots more when I get back!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Touching Lives

  Today I received the sweetest message from a student that I had 14 years ago.  Personally, I thought it was one of the most difficult years I ever had.  I was at a new school and a new grade level.  I felt I constantly struggled all year trying to meet objectives and teaching to the test. (Don't even get me started!)  She said out of all the teachers that she ever had I was her favorite teacher.  She also said that there was just something about my class that has stuck with her through out her life.  She also told me she was so happy to see that I was still teaching, so that other children could remember me just like she had.  That brought tears to my eyes...ok, I was bawling my eyes out!  I didn't post this to brag, but to remind myself that teaching is more than just lesson plans, decorating, and trying to get it all done.  It is about touching lives, reaching children where they are at and helping them become the best that they can be.
   I know everyone is getting busy and preparing for the upcoming year, but don't forget to be the best teacher that you can be.  Remember to love them like they are your own and pray for them!  My prayer for this year that I will be loving, understanding, and kind.  That I would not just teach but touch their lives.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Great Freebies

     I found a great web site that has tons of free resources to help with setting up your classroom.  There are a few themes that have a small fee, but it is well worth it.  Some of the themes that are on the web site are: jungle, zebras, monkeys, monsters, movies, moose, and ocean.  There is even a pirate theme! There is more than that, but I can't remember everything! I printed off name plates, book bag tags, and a page that I'm going to use for my parent information packets.  She also had some pirate clip art that I printed off, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet!  All of her packets are very elementary and even preschool friendly.

     I'm still working on my large ship for job assignments and treasure box for 100 day count.  Hopefully, I will have these finished by the end of the week.  I also finished up my parent information packet, but still not sure how to upload it.  I'm hoping to have the majority of the room decorations and open house information finished by Friday.  Still have lots to do!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Open House

  I didn't get as much done today as I had planned, but I did manage to get a few things accomplished.  I  updated my parent information handout for Open House.  I am going to attempt to attach this because I'm determined to learn how to do this! In the packet I have a letter about me and my assistant, our schedule, information about our reading (Scholastic) and math (Saxon) program, a developmental chart and my Treasures for Learning.  In the Treasures for Learning it describes pretty much everything that takes place in our classroom.

  I've been putting some things together to go with our classroom theme, as well as, the first week of school.  I do a 100 day puzzle in our room.  Each day we put up a puzzle piece until the puzzle is completed on the 100th day of school.  I love to hear their guesses at the beginning of the year to see what it is going to be!  This year we are going to do a parrot.   I found these adorable puppets that I'm going to use for circle time Pirate Pete and Polly Parrot.
     I'm hoping I'm going to get the hang of this soon because I have a lot of information to share!  I was able to get pictures, but not the file...not sure how to do that yet! :(

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back to School

     I was hoping to get some pictures and plans uploaded today, but my creative side took over and I ended up making things instead.  I made a large ship inspired by Deanna Jump for my job assignment board, a boy and a girl pirate for my Buccaneer of the Week, a counting book 1-5, and several pirate activities for my learning center.  I will take pictures of everything once they are laminated and ready to go!  By the way, my theme this year is Pirates. :)  I have found tons of information on the web and from other bloggers that I plan to share.
     I also came across an excellent book to help learn our class rules.  I'm not sure if it is new or old, but the title is Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow.  It is a cute story about a rabbit that never listens and gets into all sorts of trouble.  He ends up in a time out because of all the bad things he has been doing.  During time out he decides that he is going to be a good listener and change his ways.  He ends up being the best listener and receiving an award.  I love how many lessons that can be taught from this story!
     Hopefully, pictures and web sites to be added tomorrow!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Getting Started

     I'm not really sure what I'm doing, but I'm finally giving blogging a shot!  I've wanted to develop my own web site for years, but for various reasons never did.  This summer I've been reading so many wonderful kindergarten and preschool blogs that I thought I would try the blogging route instead of a web site.  I'm hoping this will help me organize my ideas, be a resource for other teachers, and a source of information for parents.
     This is a work in progress, and I'm learning as I go, so bare with me! :)  I've started my back to school planning, so hopefully I will have lots to share in the near future!