Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back to School Linky-Week 3-Classroom Decoration

It's time for my weekly Back 2 School linky with Miss. V's Busy Bees and Mrs. D's Corner. This week's topic is Classroom Decoration! Aghhhh I could seriously shop for my classroom forever. Seriously. I have a problem!

I have only been able to go to my classroom once this summer. That day being today! I taught first grade last year but went on maternity leave in February. I now get to go back to Kindergarten for the uncoming school year (my happy place) and that means a new room. I had one day to completely pack up my old room and haul it accross the school. One day. Let's just say it was a lot of throw these things in a box or on a rolling shelf and get me out of here. I was kicking myself today when I walked into this...

As you can see I did bring some helpers (my 5 month old included--who is not pictured because I'm holding her!!!) hoping to accomplish at least the furniture set-up. Yea not even close. We moved about half of the furniture before it turned into me holding Kenzi (who was suppose to be napping) and picking up the millon math manipulatives that hurricane Kylee got into. My husband stayed positive and that is the only reason ANY furniture was moved!

The best news is he said we can go back tomorrow to at least finish moving furniture. I'm pretty sure I need a babysitter for the organizing and decoration visits. Which brings me to this post...the rambling was justified right? 

Even though I have yet to actually laminate and hang I've been working HARD all summer on decorations for my room. The first thing I made was a huge bundle of bright chevron decor!

Bright Chevron Classroom Decoration Bundle

My printer has been put to good use this summer! I also made all of these fun projects that you can find on my Monday Made It posts :) There are lots of freebies too!

Stay tuned for a full classroom tour once I get a babysitter my act together and get some work done! Happy Decorating!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Florida Teacher Blog Hop

Hi Y'all! I'm so thrilled to introduce you to some fabulous Florida bloggers! Not only do you get to enjoy a "Mini-Digital Vacation" but you also get to grab some FREEBIES along the way!! So grab yourself a beachy drink (umbrella included) and be sure to enter to win our Bundles of Sunshine Giveaway!

You should know that I am a born & raised Florida girl with a drawer full of swimsuits to prove it! I grew up in Tampa, Florida and later moved to Riverview during my high school years. The best part of my location in Florida is how close it is to everything. I have a Super Target 5 minutes away (clearly very important), the beach 45 minutes away and downtown party fun 20 minutes away!

It's really hard to think of "cool" places to share with people. I know it should be easy since I grew up here but everything seems normal and typical to me. Haha! I guess I will just have to try my best to show off my town. Riverview is a small little town outside of Brandon...and Brandon is a small little town outside of Tampa. Confusing?!?! I know.

Kylee (on the left) with her BFF Brooklyn
Just a few months ago I discovered we have our own Manatee Viewing Center! Who knew??? It's right off a canal next to our Power Station. When the temperature goes below 68 degrees the manatees gather in the canal and you can walk out on the observation deck to see them! I took my daughter here for a play date when the temperature was NOT below 68 degrees. We didn't get to see any manatees but still had a blast walking down the tidal walkway through the mangroves. We will be going back over the holiday break!

Keeping with the nature theme I also love going to Lithia Springs Park. Doesn't this picture make you just want to jump right in?? The spring is absolutely amazing. The water is cold and fish are everywhere! This park also has picnic areas, playgrounds, trails and canoe/kayak areas. It's a hidden gem for sure. 

As I promised in the beginning of this post, we all have FREEBIES for you! Stop by each of our blogs for an activity or idea to use in your classroom. To grab my freebie just click the image below!
This freebie is the perfect way to welcome your new class! It's also a part of my Bright Chevron Classroom Decoration Bundle and guess what??? It's on sale for this weekend only!

The Florida teachers below have two fantastic giveaways for you! You can enter once from each one of our pages. All you have to do is follow my blog! Then hop around to all the blogs listed below, and be sure to follow them to get more entries. The more entries you have, the more likely you are to win! Each pack also includes a Starbucks gift card!!!

Now rack up your entries and grab your freebies by learning more about our SUNNY state and following our fabulous teachers!

Back 2 School Linky - Week 2 Assessment

I'm so excited to link up again this week with Miss. V's Busy Bees and Mrs. D's Corner for the Back 2 School Linky - Week 2. This week's topic is ASSESSMENT!

I don't know about you but I have a serious love-hate relationship with assessments. It could have a little something to do with the fact that I teach Kindergarten and assessments take forever. Like at least the first month of school. Seriously. However, I do believe the benefits of assessment out way the downfalls.

There are so many ways that we as teachers assess our students. From district assessments to informal observations the list can go on and on. But what about self assessment?

If you think about your experience in college I'm sure you were always given a rubric of how you would be graded on an assignment. It is very important that we provide these rubrics for all students no matter the age.

I've always provided my students with a rubric of what I expected from them in a verbal conversation. I'd say about 50 percent of my students actually complied and produce the expected level of work. Until my ridiculously talented friend Amy over at Learning Lesson's with Mrs. Labrasciano showed me an even better way to provide these rubrics for each lesson!

Each and every lesson. What?!? Yes it's true. Okay here's the scoop!

Basically our report card for students is broken into Above Level-On Level-Below Level with separate ratings of Excellent-Satisfactory-Needs Improvement-Unsatisfactory. Amy had a poster in her room with 4 sections labeled E,S,N and U. Then before students began on any assignment she would fill in the rubric poster with expectations for earning each grade. That's not even the best part...she didn't come up with the grading by herself! She coached her students to be able to give their own grading system!!

Amazing. Simply Amazing.

So I modified her idea for kindergarten and came up with a color coded system that also has non-verbal cues! Here's what the poster looks like:

You can click the picture to grab your freebie :)
Let's say you just gave your class a mini lesson on using transition words in their writing piece. Before they begin writing you could fill out this chart with the following:

This not only gives your students exactly what your looking for but those lazy "non-overachiever" students the push they need to show off their amazing capabilities. I also allow my students to write their self assessment color on their work!

If you like this idea you can find your free copy here! Once you download it all you need to do is print and laminate. I use an expo marker to fill it in and then a Magic Eraser to start over. 

See you next week for my favorite....Classroom DECORATION! Yay!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It (July 21st 2014)

Time is ticking over here! I'm frantically trying to finish up all my projects so that I can get some much needed time in my new room. AGHHHHH...a teacher's to-do list is never done! At least I have Tara's linky to keep me on track! Seriously how did we stay motivated without this link up?!?!

First up I have been working really hard on making new classroom decorations. I finally bundled these products together and you can enter to win your own bundle at the bottom of this post!! 

I bought these cute trash cans at the dollar store a month ago & finally made coordinating labels. I love having a trash bucket at each table when doing crafts. It keeps the mess manageable and the students responsible. My trash helper is in charge of emptying the buckets into the recycling bin each afternoon. Then on Friday they get to dump the recycling bin into the school bin!

Last year I had two whiteboards in my classroom so I used the back one for my word wall. I loved the fact that I could easily write the words at anytime. However, my new room only have one whiteboard so I decided its time to join the Pinterest craze and make the interactive ribbon word wall. I am very exciting to get into my room and hang these against the black bulletin board!!!!

My last made it is for my table signs. This project isn't really complete because I still need to dangle them from my tissue pom-poms that are in my classroom. BUT printing and cutting them is still an accomplishment! Haha!!

Now it's time for you to win your very own Bright Chevron Bundle....just enter below! The winner will be announced on next weeks Monday Made It!! Good Luck!! You can click on the image to preview the product on TPT!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you go check out all the other crafty teachers!!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday (July 18th 2014)

Whoa we've had quite the busy week over here! It's time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Our stucco on the top part of our house was severely cracking and we've spent months negotiating with the builders to fix the problem. I'm so happy that it's finally getting fixed but nap times are not working so great. The best part is we have to repaint our house so I am going to get rid of this green and go for a simple gray with a black door!!! Finally!

We went to Legoland Water Park and had a blast! It was the perfect day to play in the water. Kylee keeps asking to go back to "legolamb" haha!
We stayed the night in Orlando and then went to Seaworld the next day! Kylee LOVED watching the dolphin show. It's so much better when you get to watch kids smile pure joy all day long!! 

Next up was Dave & Busters! Not sure who had more fun... My husband or Kylee?!? Kylee picked out a sticky hand from the ticket shop and played with it for at least 30 minutes. Cheap entertainment at its finest!!

We wrapped up the week with Glaziers Childrens Museum. We actually have a pass here and it's the perfect place to let a toddler explore INDOORS! Her favorite was the publix shopping area. She even told me "maybe next time you can have a cart!" Too cute!

That's all for us. I worked the first half of summer so we made a "summer bucket list" of all the things we wanted to do before it's back to school. We checked a lot of things off this week!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back to School Linky - Behavior Management

Another linky...I'm so excited! Even though it is a BIG wake up call that I have a lot to do before school starts in 4 weeks. I can't wait to read everyone's wonderful ideas for back to school!

This week's topic is behavior management. We sometimes have a love/hate relationship with this! My passion for management is because children THRIVE in a structured and positive learning environment. I've had my fair share of "behavior children" and honestly have learned so much! One student in particular started the year hissing and grunting under my guided reading table during a shared reading lesson. However ended the year making significant gains in behavior and some in academics as well. He did need an extra year to master the standards and we both agreed to share another year of fun and learning together. This is what we teach for right?!?! Making a difference in our students life's!!

My first tip involves popcorn! Who doesn't love popcorn?!?!
What you need:
Two popcorn bins from the dollar store.
A large ladle from the dollar store.
Some popcorn kernels from ANYWHERE!

How it works:
Anytime the class is working together or anything positive you can give them a scoop or two or kernels. The opposite goes for negative behaviors. You can dip the ladle in just to make some noise and BAM watch the class grow quiet! It's magical. When you fill up the empty bucket the class earns a popcorn party. MMMMM

Behavior Signs are another way to encourage positive praise in the classroom. Like most classrooms I do use the color clip system and LOVE it. My highest color is pink so I made these fun signs to put on the students desk for the day IF they reach the color pink. I love that it gives extra attention to that student for the day. My favorite is when a visitor enters the classroom and can easily praise the student for earning the pink! Here's what the sign looks like:

You can read more about these on this blog post. Even better... you can grab your freebie here!!

See you next week to talk about assessment!