Monday, September 15, 2014

It's All Good!

Wow!  It's hard to believe that we are entering our third week of school.  We have 10 days under our belt.  My class is doing great; all 23 of them.  This is one of the largest class sizes that I've had in over a decade.

I thought I'd pop in to share a few photos and a little freebie to use now or tuck away for next year.

While setting up my classroom, I decided to dedicate an entire white board space to math.  I am not a huge calendar fan but do use our calendar time to teach many math routines.  This trimester we are focusing on substizing  numbers from 0-6,  counting orally to 20, decomposing teen numbers, and showing multiple ways to make 5.

The monthly headers and papers above the calendar will serve as a timeline of our kindergarten year.  It was inspired by A Place Called Kindergarten.

I am in love with these Melonheadz Learning Objective Headers from Learning in Wonderland.  Although not required, during my summer course, I read about the importance of students knowing what they are learning.  These objectives will help me be more purposeful in what I am teaching and sharing that with my students.   

No beginning of the school year would be complete with Pete the Cat! We used I Love My White Shoes to review our colors. Each day, we would create a color anchor chart and share an item from home with that color.  This bulletin board display will hold my students' writing; their first opinion piece.  We also played this Pete the Cat Roll and Color game which my students loved.  

Well, as you can see, we've been busy.  But, it's all good!

Happy Teaching!
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently September

September!  It can't believe it's September.  Tomorrow is our first day of school and marks my 16th year of teaching.  Which is also hard to believe.  

I thought I'd join Oh Boy Fourth Grade Currently linky party.   

1.  LISTENING - All is quiet except for GMA on the television.  Enjoying the lasts moments of silence before our day begins in full swing.
2.  LOVING - Melonheadz.  I just made a few things to post in my classroom with her adorable clipart. 
3.  THINKING - That I hope I have everything ready for the first day of school.  I have a long to do list to accomplish today. 
4.  WANTING - I have many sick loved ones fighting cancer and other illnesses.  I am hoping that their bodies can heal.  It is a reminder that life is precious.
5.  NEEDING - I wish I loved cleaning but a domestic goddess I am not.  It is a bit messy but we are working on it.  Just not on the top of my priority list today.
6. 3 TRIPS - I want to go to Walt Disney World for our 10 year anniversary.  I've never been but this would make a great family trip.  We don't really get fall in CA so WI would be great to visit.  I don't like long flight but if I did, I'd go to Spain and Italy.  It would be a food adventure.  

Happy, September!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Blogiversary with a Few of My Favorite Resources Giveaway

It's my 4 year blogiversary!  I thought I'd celebrate with a Giveaway of some of my favorite things.  These are items which make my teaching life so much easier.  I hope you'll love them as much as I do.  One lucky person will receive all these items; valued at over a $100.00 for your classroom.  ;)

My Favorite Resources for Planning
I can't live without shopping at Target, ordering that last minute book via Amazon or finding that perfect unit on TPT.  I am giving away a $25.00 gift card to one of these places.

My Favorite Resources for Classroom Management & Assessment
My teaching life was made easier when I discovered SitSpots and ESGI.  Both have graciously agreed to sponsor a prize from their company.  Want to learn more?  Here are some blog posts about SitsSpots and ESGI that I've shared in the past.

Enter here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
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Please note: This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Becoming a 21st Century Teacher

Header with words: Becoming a 21st Century Teacher

This fall my school hopes to become a 1-1 school; a mixture of iPads and Google Chromebooks.  Although, this is an exciting time, it can be a bit intimidating knowing that you are responsible for fully implementing technology into your classroom throughout the day.

As a result, I have been taking an online course for a Leading Edge Certification.  The programs teaches you how to become an online and blended teacher.  Personally, for me, it has made me shift some of my 19th century teaching practices and move it to the 21st century.  I am halfway through the course and I have learned so much.

Photo of Voki Screenshot
It has challenged me to rethink what my classroom will look, sound, and feel like as we add this new dimension into our learning.  During the first weeks of school, we will model and work together with our technology tools. I plan to incorporate the computers during my math and language arts center time using the rotation model.  I really want to be conscious not use the technology in isolation.  So, I also plan to incorporate the 4Cs into our units of study.  Just the thought of this makes me a bit nervous.  But, I know that this change will be good for me and my students.

As I create my projects for class, I always have my students in mind. I know that they are digital natives but they are also emergent readers and writers.  Web 2.0 tools like Voki help me record directions for my students.  They can access their learning without needing to read or have me by their side.  I am excited to use Plickers as an instantaneous way to access students' learning. I plan to continue to use some of my favorite iPad resources like QR codes and iMovie.  But look forward to some BIG changes.

I am hoping to network with other teachers and classes, too. I'd love to create a classroom blog, Skype or even Tweet (if given permission by my administration) with other classes.  Let me know if you are interested.  I hope to hear from those of you who are 1-1.  What are some of your favorite apps?  How do you successfully integrate the computers into the classroom?  What are some of your challenges? Please share. I'd like to make the transition into 21st century learning as smooth as I can.

Happy Teaching!
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Monday, July 7, 2014

The Pout Pout Fish Goes To School

I love picture books and The Pout Pout Fish is a popular book in our classroom.  My class loves the repetitive nature of the book and of course, the ending.  SMOOOCH!

When I saw The Pout Pout Fish Goes to School, I knew it would be is perfect addition to our collection.

In this book, Mr. Fish goes off to school only to find that he feels out of place.  He thinks that he's not smart enough.  Or will never get it.  This leads him to feel that he doesn't belong and should forget about it.   BLUB.

Familiar readers of the Pout Pout Fish series will understand Mr. Fish's feelings of BLUB.

Thankfully, Mr. Fish meets Miss Hewitt who shows him that he does belong and that he is smart.  He just didn't know it.

For activities to go with The Pout Pout fish books, go here.

Happy Reading!
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dreaming of Summer


It seems like the days get longer as the count down to summer begins. It gets a bit harder each week as teachers and students from around the US begin their summer vacations.  (Just in case you are wondering, I have 9 more school days.) 

Here's what I've been up to while you all have been enjoying summer.

Sea Animals Research Projects
During the last month of school, we began our research projects on sea animals. Due to all the madness of the preparing for the end of the year, it really does take about a month to get all the learning and researching complete.  We started by making this cute craft.  I added the writing component.

Next, we visited Sea World where we saw many animals up close.

This week, we will present our research projects to our kindergarten friends and families.

Groups of students work together to make a presentation board. I guide them every step of the way.  They each create something for the board and will speak about their sea animal.  You can read about the books we used here and see how we create these boards here.

Field Trip Chaperon
One of the advantages of having your child attend your school is that you get to participate in class activities including attending field trips.  So, I've spent a few days away from my classroom so that I could spend them with my son while enjoying a trip to the zoo and the Children's Museum.

Teacher Finds
I'm not sure about you but TPT is my go to place for teacher finds.  With the end of the year testing, it usually means that I can't spend as much time as I like with my kiddos in small groups.  Here are a few great resources that I found to keep my kids learning while I am testing.

I began using DeeDee's Word Games with my intervention groups and they loved it.  So, I have integrated them into my Word Work centers.  The kids are engaged and busy practicing their blending skills.  For this game, I added fishing poles and a hula hoop to serve as a lake.  Instant hit!

Looking for something new to add to weekly Teacher's Choice center, I stumbled across this great resource! The kids can't wait to get to this center to have their turn at pinning the weekly sight word.  It was so quiet while they worked on the carpet! It was even intriguing to my 7 year old who had to make his own.  

This ABC chain is perfect for keeping kids busy.  I had each child make their own chain.  It did take some time.  So, next time, I would probably break this activity up over the course of the week.  The kids had fun comparing how long their chain was versus their friend's and worked happily.

Well, that's what I've been up to.  In the meantime, I'll be counting the days until I can have this view.  

Thanks, Michelle for hosting.

Dreaming of summer,

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