Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A little about my schedule...

I have received several questions about my schedule the last few weeks so I thought I would share it with you guys. I want some feedback....what do you have questions about specifically? What can I tell you more about?! I will be posting detailed answers to your questions this week!

Leave me a comment or visit my Facebook page to leave a question!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Getting started: Guided Reading

Happy Sunday, friends!

We are 3 weeks into school and I just started guided reading last week! The first 2 weeks there are so many procedures to instill and practice that we never have time for small group! We practice a LOT of independence and reading to ourselves during reading time and I was so glad this week when I started stations....they were totally capable!

So I wanted to give you guys a little run-down on how I run guided reading in my classroom. I don't really do "literacy centers" and I don't really do "Daily 5" {while I would love to...we have intervention pull out during this time and I don't want anyone to miss any of the mini-lessons so I do a 40-ish minute whole group lesson instead before stations} but I do a combination of both!

This is what my rotation chart looks like:
My stations last about 15 minutes each while I meet with a small group for guided reading. I see EVERY single student every day. I have another rotation after recess {a 5th rotation} for my intervention group- so those students in high need will receive 30 minutes of ELA pull out every single day.

A little about each station:

My FAVORITE part of the day is guided reading and it always ends up being my students' favorite part, too. If we have to miss a day because of a half day, assemblies, or such my kids moan and groan about it! seriously! I worked really hard on a packet this summer that encompasses a lot of the phonics skills that we teach over the course of Kindergarten. Click on the pictures below to take a closer look!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Build an Apple: Behavior Management

Hi friends!!
We are going start an apple unit next week and so I'm pre-prepping all the fun stuff I have planned. When we do themes, I really like to stretch it across the entire curriculum. We will be doing everything apples...except maybe Social Studies! ha!

Last year, my blogging buddy Hadar from Miss Kindergarten came up with the cutest way to track table points! I don't usually start table point right off the bat, but it will be the 4th week of school when we begin apples so I figure it's a great time to really focus on team work!

All you will need to do this is some scraps of felt. I happened to have plenty in my craft closet but I ended up using 2 red sheets, about a quarter of white, black, and green each.
I just eyeballed all the shapes when I was cutting. I have 4 tables, so I cut an apple, a leaf, 2 eye balls, 2 black parts of the eye, and a smile for each table. I ended up with these little cutie patooties!
I plan on hanging these up on my white board just like Hadar did and when I see my students working well together, completing directions quickly and quietly, being kind to each other, etc. they will get to add a piece onto their apple! When each table's apple is complete, they will get to choose a coupon out of the prize bucket!
I have used something similar to this in the past (using a rainbow) for a child that needed a little extra motivation to complete work in a timely manner. You could use this in many ways for individuals OR groups! I love the visual that it provides and gives each child a chance to work together and earn a reward!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 1 Writing

Now that we've got the first week of school behind us, we're starting to get some serious learning in! I still have another week until I start my small groups and guided reading so we have a lot of time to teach explicit expectations!

This week in writing is one of my very favorite! On the first day of school I always have my students draw a self portrait...just to see where we are! I got a lot of illustrations like this (I love these...adorable!!) This shows me exactly where my students are developmentally and where I need to go with them. I. adore. this. stage!
This week in writing we are doing a LOT of guided writing! I'm teaching clear expectations about what I want from my students in their writing...with LOTS of modeling! Click HERE to get the printable plan for writing this week.
This morning we talked about nouns {read this post about how I teach nouns and snag up the interactive freebie page}and explicitly about people that are nouns. We brainstormed ideas and added our ideas to our anchor chart.
After talking about people, I reminded them how we drew a picture of ourselves last week. I told them that they all did a fabulous job, but we are going to learn to be great writers this year and great writers need great illustrations! So we all got our pencils, a piece of paper, and clip boards and moved down to the carpet. I like my students to all be sitting on the carpet when we do guided writing so I can see exactly what we're all doing and help where I need to.

I found this step by step guide a few years ago and have been using it since! I draw mine under the document camera while my students follow along. I made this anchor chart to tack up by the writing station because...well, they seem to forget sometimes! ;)
The results were some AWESOME little people like this: {I love how much thought they put in the details!} I specifically said to not draw or color outside of the person. We will be using this paper all week to add to!  {this little guy has a brace on his leg. Do you see it?! LOVE!!}
{look at the details in her necklace! LOVE!}

I know it sounds tedious...but if you spend this time at the beginning of the year then your results by the end will be well worth it! Happy writing!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My classroom!

Hi friends!

Today was our second day of school..and, well, it went better than the first!! ha! I always forget how tiring these first few weeks in kindergarten is!

I'm here to show you a few pictures of my classroom! I always feel like it's a work in progress all year. And I hate how bare my walls are right now...but just give it a few weeks and anchor charts will be plastered everywhere!

This is the view standing at my door. I am SO jeajous of all of you with windows! I have none! I never know what the weather is like until we walk out into the hallway for recess! I love that little saying over on the left. And ignore those big boxes of math books that I haven't unpacked yet! :O
Here's my calendar wall. I mainly do calendar on the Smart board and with our interactive calendars, but we use this to refer to and to count the days we've been in school! The monthly calendar headers are from my friend Kristen. I am in LOVE with them!! 
These posters are from my Guided Reading: Fluency Fun packet. I use these posters as we learn new punctuation marks in our daily questions.
This is my "I can" board. I really need to work on putting this together in a packet..but as of now I do not have it together! I worked on it all year last year! ;)
I'm in love with those little kid silhouettes. I saw them in Maria's classroom {which is TO DIE for!!} and knew I had to add some of those little guys to my own! My chalkboard alphabet is from Maria, too! I love it!
 I am in LOVE with this little ribbon tassel! Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies made the CUTEST one and I had to make one of my own! I made is using a whole lot of hot glue and all of the random ribbons that I had in my craft closet! They could probably coordinate a little better...but I was so happy to get rid of some of that ribbon!
These numbers are a freebie in my shop. Hop over to snag them up!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School Printables

Hi friends!

I haven't officially started school yet, but it is getting pretty crazy around my house this last week! We've got 3 different open houses at 3 different schools! {mine, Ella's and then Luke's preschool} and with all the PD and meetings we've been having lately, I've hardly even had a chance to think about what I'm actually teaching next week!
Does this happen to you every year?! Because if we're being honest does to me! Sometime a month from now maybe I'll take a breath! enters my latest packet. Usually I name these by the month...but since we all start back at different times, I just went for "Back to School."
This packet has a TON of resources for your first few weeks back. And the best thing?! There are no PIECES to manage. We have to start somewhere, right?! Before we drag out all those pretty materials we have to actually teach them how to properly use them. Can I get an amen?!
So take a closer look at what's included!
And the best part?! TpT is throwing a quick 1-day sale for all of us who haven't grabbed our back to school supplies yet! :) So hop on over and take a look! {click any of the pictures to visit my TpT store}
{thank you Printable Princess for the button!}

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Welcome letter

Happy Sunday, friends!
I went back to school this week on Wednesday for professional development. I still have another week of PD before school starts on the 25th! We've slowly been getting open house packets together and something I wanted to share with you is my welcome letter! I think it's so important to have a warm welcoming letter to your parents when they come for meet the teacher night. There is always so much going on that you're lucky to talk to each parent for just a minute! So, the first thing that I always place in my student's packet is a welcome letter!
This "a few of my favorites" idea came from the fabulous Cara Carroll! I started it 2 years ago and my parents really pay attention to them! I've had parents bring me a random Sonic cherry coke after school or a latte in the morning. Bless them!!

If you're wanting to create your own letter just like mine, click HERE to get the editable {FREE} version. Just click inside the text boxes and insert your text! I have left links to the fonts that I used to create my letter.