Friday, August 30, 2013

Five for Friday and Classroom Reveal!!

First I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday, which you can find more of here, and then I'll show you my room!
1. It's teacher week at my school and we have been having a great time! (which is amazing for my school...)  LOTS of time in our classrooms, minute to win it games, time with our team to plan! YAY!

2.  Meet the Teach day was today!  I now have 16 (maybe) kids! This is good people- we want more kids.  I'm actually calling the rest of the parents while I type, and I just had a Spanish interpreter on for one my last call, but I'm not sure the mom needed it...  It made me laugh.  I hate calling before I've met them- I don't want to offend anyone by using an interpreter if they don't need one.  Hopefully the parents appreciate it though.  (AND 40 minutes later I am now done!)

3.  Notre Dame Football start tomorrow!!! GO IRISH!!!
It could be a very rough year for them- but I never give up!

4. Look at this puffed up little face...  

My parents' puppy was either stung or bitten last night and had to go to the doggy emergency room!  Eyes and mouth were swollen and his heart was racing.  He's all better though- back to chewing on the couch as my dad said!

5.  As I walked out today I saw one of my old students (from 2 years ago) for the last time!!! His mom was filling out withdrawal papers :-(  This kid was a pain in my butt and a joy in my heart and I cried like a little baby for 10 minutes as I drove... Then my husband called and asked why I sounded sad and I started crying again!!!  Ugh, I can't take it.

Classroom Reveal!
Alright friends, there are lots of pictures, bear with me :-)

This is when you are looking in straight from my door.

 And looking in and to the left.  

This is my table assignment area.  I don't assign seats, just tables, so this system works GREAT for me.  I have nameplates (like you use on a desk) that I stick up here with magnets and move them at the beginning of each new quarter.  I won't start this until week 2 though- so I know who should be with who :-)

 My birthday area!  I didn't put this up last year and it was impossible to remember who had a birthday and when...  So I'm very happy to be using it again this year.
 This is under the left edge of the birthday board.  It is my "writing" area.  It holds: bottom- my whiteboards, scrap paper and crayons for free time, middle- highlighters for poetry, writing paper holder (only one type out for the beginning of the year), alphabet charts for those who need while writing, and a special bin (see next paragraph), top- basket with dry erase markers and socks for erasers, and turn in spot for each table.
So that special orange bin is for my table points winners! I am going to give table points out and they will win this bin for a day and will be able to use markers, colored pencils, pens, and glitter pens to do their work with.  But, I NEED A NAME FOR IT!!  Something cute and catchy- can you help me??

This is table 5, my teacher area, the guided reading table!

My personal library- no kids allowed! It's right next to my teacher area.  The blue shelf on top is new this year- a way to keep my guided reading groups/books/activities organized- they will be in the pretty bins.  One of the black bins holds extra teacher stuff for guided reading and the other is my To File bin.  I even put an organizer in there to keep it neat- so much nicer than my 2 foot stack of papers I had by the windows that needed to be filed last year!!!

To the left of my library is another table and where I keep math manipulatives and some art supplies- I don't label my bins... Haven't found the time and the kids learn quick!

To the left are our mailboxes where the kids pick up all their things including homework folder at the end of the day.  LOVE them!

 On the other side of my mailboxes is my dramatic play area and more storage!  All those bins on top are the homework supply bins we send home with the kids- can't wait till they leave.
 This is in the middle of my classroom- top- bins for each table that hold math journals, literacy journals, poetry folders, and writing folders.  Middle- table bins for each table with crayons, pencils, erasers, and glue sticks. Both of these have cut out SO much time when it comes to keeping them organized! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!  Bottom- this is where literacy centers we are using are kept- still waiting on my bins to arrive :-(

 On the other side of the table bins is my kid library and seating area.  I am really enjoying the tape I found this year to mark where to sit!  AND I'm going to change it for each season!

 My calendar and main teaching area.  Set up for beginning of year- other things will be going up after 2 weeks.  The 4 shelves on the left are used for math centers- but once again no bins yet.
 To the left of calendar is our easel, which I plan on being MUCH better at using this year for the kiddos!
 Behind my easel is my behavior chart.  We do not use it the first week of school, PLUS my clips haven't come yet :-(  

Are you sick of looking yet??? only 4 more!!!
 To the left is my para's desk and more storage behind her.  See that fish tank?  WELL, it sat there all year last year and I never got around to dumping out the water that didn't evaporate to clean it this summer so.... FAIL!
 My word wall!  I didn't touch it over the summer because it took me forever to make it look all beautiful when setting up last year!  Can't wait to get words up.

 Above my word wall is what I think I love MOST this year!! My beautiful paint job AND my sport signs for the Dolch Sport Sight Word system from A Differentiated Kindergarten that I use! Turned out so great!
 Lastly, this is my smart board area.  I have a small table on the right for whatever I need it for- but right now it is housing 2 computers that are waiting to be picked up.  My projector cart- hate this thing, but still grateful for a smartboard.  Then a shelf filled with math manipulatives!

That's it friends! Hope you enjoyed the journey!  

Don't forget to visit Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday fun!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Low numbers and first day books

We have "historically" low numbers for our kindergarten registration right now...  I only have 13 kids on my list! We are hoping they go up fast because otherwise someone will have to switch and teach preK this year- which has quite the waiting list!  Yikes!

First Day Books
I've finally decided on what to read on the first day! (next up is planning for the whole week...)  It feels a little last minute, but it will all be OK.  

First Up: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

 Read this book with my group last year for the first time and loved it, BUT it was really difficult for my English Language Learners to understand.  So I rewrote the story a little bit to make it easier for my kiddos.  If you want to see the rewrite you can go here.  

We will also read I Like Me by Nancy Carlson
and Chicka Chicka 123

The end of the day is what I am most excited about!!!  We are going to read You're Wonderful by Debbie Clement!!!!

The book comes with a music cd of the lyrics AND the sign language for the words so that the kids can sign along!  AMAZING!!  You can check out Debbie's website Rainbows Within Reach by clicking here.  That's also where you can buy her books! Or on TPT of course.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some games, some stress, and a whole lot of work!

I've been MIA from the blog for a week because I was enjoying my last few days of freedom, and then yesterday all I wanted to do was come home and sleep! So tired!

Some Games
Back to school week for the teachers is always so boring and I was worried about this... We've had ALOT of turnover during the last 3 years and moral has been LOW.  So one day while watching Game Show Network (no idea how I ended up there), I started watching Minute to Win It and got a genius idea--> DO THIS DURING TEACHER WEEK!  What could be more fun??  Cheer on your team, get your blood pumping, have a great time!  And, I can't lie, its been working like a charm! Everyone is loving it! :-) Unfortunately I have no pics to share- maybe soon.

Some Stress
There are 8 kindergarten classes at my school.  My schedule has always been different on Fridays- my special class is later than everyone else's.  Well, they moved it to Mondays this year- MONDAYS! UGH!  I can handle it on Friday, last day of the week, the kids don't even care. But I don't want to start my week that way!  This is on top of not having a para (Thanks to a coworker for sharing her's for half the day!!!!), getting a new ELL teacher to work with (even though I worked great with a different one!), and finding out that our ELL times have changed and my new special schedule conflicts with this...   So, today was a little stressful and everything is subject to change, of course.  

A Whole Lot of Work
My room was a disaster as I started setting everything back up! Disaster I say!!  But, it's coming along and will be all ready by end of day on Friday.  Here are some prelim pics:
I set up my main calendar/teaching area for the beginning of the year.  Color, shape, 100's chart Posters, the months of the year (which will come down after about 10 days so we can count how many days of school), calendar, voice level chart (weather stuff will go under this), alphabet chart (we use Breakthrough to Literacy), and the sentence strips are dry erase strips for my daily objectives. 

If you go behind my calendar wall this is what you find!!! STORAGE!  I absolutely LOVE it! It's also where we hang coats/backpacks.  I spent some time going through and reorganizing- almost everything you see was there when I moved in, which is pretty amazing.

Lastly, I set up this little gem.  These are from Marsha Mcguire of A Differentiated Kindergarten.  They are a set of ball dolch words, which you can find here!!  The system is absolutely amazing and engaging for the students!  So many different activities to help them learn sight words while having fun.  My kids last year LOVED them and really cheered each other on when someone passed a level!  I decided to hang them out on Command Hooks to make them easier to get to quickly.  The rest of the sets will be around the corner of the shelf- I ran out of space!

Hope school is going well for you whether you are still setting up or the kiddos are there!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Success and Table Label Freebie

Do you remember the catastrophe yesterday??  You can read about it here

Well, today was a total success!  Here is the final product:

 YES!  So happy with it.  No more crappy peeling paint, just wonderfulness!

And I created some new table labels today.  I use colors, shapes, and numbers to label my tables, so these will be perfect!  I included some that are numbered and some that aren't.  I also included 6 different colors (I only need 5).  Hope you find them useful!

Download the labels without table numbers here!

Download the labels with table numbers here!

I NEED HELP- I have no idea how to show a preview of my creations like all the fancy bloggers do, so I had to take a picture of my computer and it looks awful :-(  Any chance anyone can help me out??  THANKS!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Holy Cannoli everybody!! Today was a day!!  We are back in our rooms at least 2 days this week, so I decided to go today.  I got the OK to paint a small portion of my room where the paint has been peeling:

Awful, right?!?!  I scraped off as much of the white paint that I could...

So a friend of mine gave me some small cans on blue and green paint, and I picked up some yellow that I used 9 years ago while home in Michigan.  And I decided to do stripes! CUTE!  This morning I went in and starting taping right away:

Perfect! Well, actually, I did find out I messed up the measurements on 2 of the sections :-( but that's OK- noone will notice (except for everyone I just told- gasp!).  Then I started painting yellow:

LOVE! I call this "Perfect Yellow" because it truly is the most perfect yellow in the world! And my fav of course!  So I give it time to dry, move some things around, almost get eaten by a MONSTER spider- no joke- this thing had it's own zip code! NASTY! Gotta give a big shout out to Mr. Krasley for taking care of it for me!!! :-)

So now it's time to take the tape off and so I start gently ripping it off AND:

Do you see the 2 stripes that are basically GONE?!
AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  You gotta be kidding me!!  I freaked out!  I spent all that time and it turned into THIS!  SO ANGRY!   I had to go back and redo most of the strips in some way.  NOT HAPPY.  The tape got stuck to that stupid white paint I tried scraping off and it began peeling off my hard work with it.

Hopefully the blue and green will go better tomorrow.  I'll share the finished product when it's ready...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five for Friday- August 16

Linking up with Doodle Bugs for some Five for Friday randomness!

1. Got to hang out with these 2 cuties today!

These are our five year of nephews Tyler and Aiden. We got to hang out on the beach, got some ice cream, and then kept them occupied for a while inside before handing them back over. I can't believe they are starting K this year!!

2. Played actual rounds of golf this week! Played 2 rounds of 9 and was loving it! (And of course used a few choice words at the same time...) shot +16 on the first day- yikes! And +15 the second day... But you gotta start somewhere!

3. Made some sand castles today! The compound was named The Land of Trains and Crabs (thanks to the nephews). Then I got the genius idea to build a mote around them because every sand castle village needs a mote!!

Well, I ended up digging the whole thing myself, and then we all tried filling it with water for like 10 mins, but it all just soaked in because we did it too far away from the water. Maybe next time...

4. Met my parents new puppy Oberon while here in Michigan!! Soooo cute!

Looks like an angel- all he does is jump on me and bite my arms... Puppy school will be happening in September, so hopefully he will be more behaved when we are back.

5. It's our last night at the cottage :-( we have had a wonderfully relaxing time! Next week it's back to reality though...

Head over to Doodle Bugs for more randomness!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I'm kinda sad that I haven't linked up with Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week! BUT it's because I'm hanging out here:

And I just wanted to give my hubby a quick shout out because its our 4 year anniversary today! Love him so much!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Made It- August 12

Very excited to be linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for another Monday Made It!

Last week I showed you all my fabulous purchases from Target- you can find that post here. So I bought these notecards:

I used them to make an early finishers activity for the beginning of the year!  On the cards I wrote down skills that we will be working on at the beginning of the year.  They will be able to go through these by themselves or with a friend.  I also wrote the answer on the back so that students can self check!
This set includes letters, numbers, shapes, feelings, and the peach colored ones with the sentence "This is ___" will be colors- I just don't have any crayons or markers at my place right now!

You can see I used some sentence frames on the cards- this is to help my ELLs with language acquisition. Me and my para will introduce these cards before students use them independently, so they will be familiar with the skills and the sentences. 

Since there were 3 different sets of colors, I took 25 cards from each set and made them all a little different.  Here is another:
Each set repeats letters and numbers.  I repeated color cards in this set- again no crayons or markers!  I also included a counting activity and a school supply activity- this is the pink card that says " I see a ____".  I have school supply stickers at school to add to it.  For example, I'll put a pencil on one so the kids will say "I see a pencil."

And the last:
Letters, numbers, counting, complete the pattern, AND ______????  I need help!! I can't think of anything to do for the last 5 cards.  I would like it to include a sentence if possible, but it's not necessary.  If you have any ideas for me please leave a comment below!

I still have a ton of cards left over so I will be able to make new cards as the year progresses!  Hope the kids like them!  Make sure you visit 4th Grade Frolics to see more Monday Made Its!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five for Friday- August 9

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for my very first Five for Friday!
1.Got to hang out with one of my very best friends on Monday!  It was a short 8 hour visit but totally worth it!

2. My Vera Bradley bag (you can see it in the pic above) broke!!! I was so bummed :-( So I took it to the Vera Bradley store to see if they knew a way to fix it, AND they replaced it for FREE! That is why they are the best!

3.  I finally decided to share my blog with my friends on facebook.  I was so nervous.  But they have all been so supportive!  Thanks everyone!!

4. Does anyone else watch Real Housewives of Orange County?? I LOVE those ladies even though they are ridiculous!  My hubs and I were dying during the season finale! So many fights!  HAHA  And you are more than welcome to put your feet up at our place :-)

5. I leave for vacation TODAY!  (I actually wrote this yesterday...) We have a 10 hour drive ahead of us BUT it will be worth it to see family, friends, and hang out at Lake Michigan! This will be my view for the next week: