Sunday, September 13, 2015

Whole Body Listening, Responsive Classroom, Check-in Cards, Plus MORE

We survived our first week of school!  We learned how to be a kindergartner, how to listen, how to line up in a straight line and how to walk down the hall without talking, how to enter our PIN numbers for lunch, plus so much more.  We are doing a great job learning our new routines in school,

We have been learning about being in a new classroom community.  We use Responsive Classroom in our room.  We have practiced how to line up, how to listen, how to sit in a circle, how to walk in a line, how to use our supplies, etc.  I introduced the Take-A-Break chair this week as well.  I had one little girl ask if she could go sit in it one day because she just wanted to think.  They are so sweet.  It's so hard to be  in school all day.
You can check out some things I made  HERE.

We have been really practicing sitting in a group,  We learned all about what it means to be a good listener.  I used a Mr. Potato Head and applied the body parts that we were learning about.  They loved using him.  I had them cut out the body part that we talked about.  They glued it on to their Mr. Potato Head.

You can find the sheets that I created HERE.

We are also working on being a good self advocate.  I want students to be able to tell me if they do not understand something.  I created some check in card for this purpose.  When we are doing our work, they will flip the cards to the color that they feel that they are at.
You can find these HERE.

I got some cell phone holders from Companies to Classrooms.  This is a local place that businesses donate things for teachers to.  We get to go and shop once a month for things for our classroom.

If you don't have cell phone holders, you can always put the cards on a ring and have them flip to the color that they are at.

We have been using our iPads in our classroom.  This year I got timers from Dollar Tree.  The kids set the timers when they are using the iPad.  once the timer is done, their partner gets to go.

We did our first science experiment this week.  We talked about germs and passed a piece of bread around the circle during our sharing time during Morning Meeting.  We put it in a baggie.  I then had one kid wash their hands and touch the piece of bread.  We put that in a baggie.  Finally, I put a piece of bread in a baggie that no one touched.  We predicted what we think will happen and wrote these predictions down.

I was so excited to have another Naeir order come in.  If you haven't heard of it, you seriously need to sign up.  They have such great deals for teachers.

During the week, my son got his iPad at school.  He said it was the best day of his life.  My oldest son gets his this week.  They are both pretty excited that they each get an iPad at their schools.

My oldest son played football this weekend.  It's so fun to watch him play.

Finally, we celebrated my youngest son's birthday this weekend,  He turned 12.  It makes me proud to see my kids grow up...but I am sad at the same time.  Time is going so fast!

I hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kindergarten Classroom Reveal 2015

Hi!  I am finally almost done setting up my classroom.  I still have a couple minor things to do, but I am mostly there.  It took a lot of time.  I am happy with how it looks and hope my kinders feel like they are in a cozy, learning environment while they are away from home every day.  Last year, we didn't get into our rooms to set up until a few days before school started, so this year I wanted to take the time to do it right.  I put tons of thought into each area and may change things as we go.

I used this mailbox for years.  Last year I did not use it because it looked old and gross.  This summer I recovered it with contact paper from The Dollar Spot at Target and it looks as good as new.

This is our "Kindergarten Family Tree".  I will add my kids pictures to it. Underneath it I have containers that JoAnn Fabric was getting rid of.  I made labels and covered the bins with contact paper.

I am using golf size pencils this year with my kindergarten kids.   They have small hands and these pencils are the perfect fit for them.  I got them at Amazon.

My sweet niece separated my crayons into colored bins.  I still have to make 2 labels.  I got these labels from Michaels this summer.

Last year I found this cute mirror at an online garage sale.  I attached some positive messages around it.  I change it out once a week.

I have positive messages hanging around my room.I have high expectations for my kids.  I do tell them that they can do anything they put their mind to.  

More cute signs.

I hung some positive messages on our door for Open House night.

Our schedule,  I have a spot to put our weekly red folders, Box Tops and library books.  I found the ruler at an online garage sale.  I take a picture of my kindergarten kids at the beginning of the year and the end of the year.  I made a mark where I fall on it.  I had some kids come back in my room this year and they were trying to see how tall they are compared to me.

I found these display stands at Companies to Classrooms.  I made some "helper cards" with the alphabet, colors, number words, shapes, sight words, and writing process.  Kids will be able to use them when they want to.

I love my green screen.  I was getting tired of putting it up and taking it down and putting it back up.  This summer I decided to hang it on the ceiling/wall.  I added some ribbon to it.  When we want to use it, I will unroll it and then put it back up when we are done.

These are clipboards from the Dollar Tree.  I cut the tops off.  They will hang artwork all year.

I got these utensil organizers from Party City.  I love the spot in the middle that is open.  When we are not using our name tags, or when we are using our iPads (taking pics) I will have my kids put their name tags in the middle of the organizer so we don't get pictures of our names.

I got these fun Isokinetic discs from Amazon.  I got 2 of them 2 years ago.  My kids loved them.  I had some very generous parents buy more for our class.  Last year I had about 12.  I also won a contest last year and won some money for our classroom.  I ended up buying the rest of the discs for my class so that everyone has one for their chair.  I love that they get to wiggle on them.

I made these charts for our bathroom.

My Writing Center.  This summer I found the letters at Hobby Lobby and covered them with scrapbook paper I covered my wall with fabric from JoAnn Fabric.

We do Zoo Phonics in our classroom.   Last year I hung Beanie Babies that go with every letter all over my room.  This year I decide to hang them above the writing center.  I got the ribbon for a border from Hobby Lobby.  I am so thankful for my sister for running to Hobby Lobby to get me a new roll every time I ran out of the ribbon.  I am still on the hunt for one roll of this so I can get rid of the brown piece at the end.

I have daily picture kids for my kids that need to see the steps to our morning and afternoon routines.

I am trying to give my kids more options as to where they can sit in our classroom.  I found these fun chairs at Ikea.

This is where we store our iPads during the day.

These are dish racks from Ikea,

More options for seating.  These are from Hobby Lobby.  If kids want to work at a spot other than their table, they can grab one of these.

This is our meeting area,

These are my Beanie Baby display cases for our Zoo Phonics animals. The top display case has the Beanie Baby for the day.  The bottom one has the mystery animal for the next day.

I was going to get rid of this cabinet that was at my house.  I used it for scrap booking.  My cousin made it for me.  I decided to bring it to school to use by my Smart board.  I covered it with contact paper.
The inside had 10 drawers made out of plexiglass frame boxes.  I have all the supplies that I need when I am working with my group in it.

I covered the backs of all my bookshelves with contact paper and now hang posters on them.  Last year they were wasted space.

Our dish racks for our iPads.

Our guided reading area,

I got these spice containers from Ikea.  I put letters in them to form words for the chunks that we are learning about.  Kids will take a container and make words with the letters.

I use fun wands for our morning meeting.

Our word wall.

Alphabet cards from The First Grade Parade.

My kids have to know 6 digit numbers to enter into a keypad to eat lunch.  It is sooooo painful to have to sit and watch them enter these numbers into keypad.  They get so frustrated if they get a number wrong and have to reenter it over and over and over until they get it write.  Half my kids come in not even knowing letters or numbers.  Several can't even find their name.  I got these bracelets from Amazon and wrote their numbers on them so they could try to enter it into the keypad for lunch time.

My birthday signs.  Kids will hold the number for their birthday,

I made this sign last year.  I had it printed at Staples.  The man said that it was the funniest thing he has ever seen come across their printer.

I reorganized all my cabinets.

My book corner.

I got this picture from Ikea.  I made character ed posters and will cover a new word every week.

I got these book bins from Big Lots.  I made labels for them.

Each label has a number.  Kids will take their numbered bin and find a place to read.  This year I put matching number stickers on the shelves.  When they put their bins back, they will put it on their number.

Different options for seating.

I got these scoop rockers from several different Wal-Mart stores.

I took pictures of EVERY single thing in my room this summer.  I made labels to go with all of our bins/containers. Kids will know where to put loose items if they find them laying around the room.

Our sensory table is filled with Legos for our STEM projects.

STEM/activity table.

I added an EXPLORE corner to our room this year,  It has math, science and STEM activities at it.

I made posters to change out weekly,

Letters are from Hobby Lobby.  I covered with scrapbook paper.

Our fluency cards are hung on a jewelry holder from Michaels.

Every bin is labeled.

Guided Reading Posters from Deanna Jump.

Science materials.

I scored this shelf off an online garage sale.
Science tools.

It's a work in progress.  I hope that my kiddos feel at home in their new home away from home.