Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back To School Give Away

I’m so excited to be teaming up with my favorite freebie-friends for a BIG giveaway to help get you going this school year! Over at the Freebielicious blog, we’re giving away a BIG, GRAND PRIZE (scroll down to the bottom of this post to read all about it!) and right here on my little blog, I’m giving away $25.00 to one my favorite stores to go school shopping: Michaels. 

Some of my favorite things from Michaels!!

I use this cart right next to my projector table. I house all of my electronics here.

I use these for my take home bags! I am finishing those now! I have a birthday bag, lost tooth bag, and star of the week bag!

Please enter with integrity, using the Rafflecopter below. I’ll choose a winner a week from today.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

The Freebielicious ladies know how much of your own hard-earned money goes into buying supplies, tissues, books, and classroom d├ęcor to get your classroom “kid-ready,” and we want to be able to put some of that money right back in your pocket. Over at the Freebielicious blog, we are giving away a $300 Visa gift card! YES…YOU READ THAT RIGHT! $300!!!
To enter the BIG GIVEAWAY, click HERE or on the button below!

Also, while you are there, be sure to check out what the other Freebie-ladies are giving away. Be prepared for some AMAZING prizes. Take a peek at some of them below!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Let's Work On Writing {Drawing a Detailed Picture}

Hello friends! I recently asked Kindergarten teachers what was the most important thing to work on when beginning to teach writing. Most answers were the same, but the one that almost all teachers said was, DRAWING DETAILED PICTURES!

I have a few monthly work on writing units. In those units, I have included a couple of pages that work on drawing a detailed picture. Well, I thought why not create an entire pack!? So, I DID! :-)

There's not much time left in August, but I whipped a quick August FREEBIE! Grab yours from my TpT store by clicking cover page below.

FREE drawing detailed pictures

You will want to make sure you talk about what a detailed picture is! Choose one of these to do together. Brainstorm things that you can add to the picture that is already there. What else might they see? Where would that be...inside or outside? Every time they add another detail to the picture, then they color in one star. They need to add at least 5 details. I ALWAYS stress that they can add more. You don't have to stop at 5. Now, we talk about what color those things are in real life. We want to use colors that make sense. I teach my kids that a detailed picture has at least 5 colors. So, each time they use a color, they color one of the crayons at the top. They should use at least 5! They don't have to stop at 5 colors either!
This is an example from the packet. You could put this on your projector, or just share with your students if you don't have a projector. Ask your students what they see....students waiting at a bus stop to go to school. Would this be inside or outside?, you could add a sun, some clouds, a road, a bus, and some grass. I always encourage them to draw (add the details)  with a pencil first. Once you have all of the details added...making sure to color in a star with each detail you add.  Now, you are ready to color! Ask what color the things are that you just added. Stress that you want to use colors that make sense.

This is a great way to get your students ready for writing! Starting with drawing detailed pictures!
I have created a pack for September.

This pack contains Autumn and apple picture starters!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!

I know teachers everywhere are mourning the end of Summer. Let's look on the bright side....the beginning of school means that Fall is right around the corner. Fall means many things for me...jeans, sweatshirts, and HUSKER FOOTBALL!! I am a huge football fan.

My district uses Reading Street for our reading program. In Kindergarten, we introduce 40 sight words with that program. What we are running in to is that those 40 words are not enough. We want our Kinders to be at GRL C by the end of the year. So, I found that we need a little extra sight word practice. Last year I started using the Dolch words. I wasn't sure if my students would be able to read them or not. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. They exceeded my expectations. Several of my Kinders were reading all 220 words by the end of the year. I figured...let's roll with it.

I have created a few football themed things to go along with the Pre-Primer list. We will work on the Football words for the 1st quarter.

Here are some word wall cards. You could introduce each word and then add it to your word wall. You could also print a set, put on a ring and add to your writing station. These are also perfect for guided reading groups.

The first word work activity that I introduce is play-doh. They are already familiar with it and they love it! It takes little time to teach expectations for this activity.

The next word work station I introduce is stamp a word.

This is a fun game that I created for my parents and parent volunteers. I send it home with my students. They are to "teach" their parents how to play. They love the thought of being the teacher.

I do have a few other items that I am working on for the Pre-Primer words {sight word readers, magnetic letters, secret code, qr codes and more}

Saturday, August 9, 2014

School Supplies {community or individual}

My first week back is over. I got my room "Open House" ready. There is still so much more that I want to do. I am making my list and will do what I can...when I can! Word of come to my NOT open the cabinets. You open at your own risk! I am not saying for sure, but it is POSSIBLE that a FEW things might come tumbling out (hanging head in shame). I had every good intention with those dang piles, but it just got to close to Open House...let the shoving begin people!

This post I want to talk about supplies. I have tried community supplies and where they keep their own. I will be honest...not completely happy with either. I felt like the kids that were responsible with their things were getting the short end of the stick by having to share with the kid that constantly chewed on everything, forgot to put the lids back on the markers, or simply used half a glue stick on one worksheet! This year I have come up with a combination of both!!  Crossing my fingers!

Our supply list! We ask for a lot! YIKES! Here is the low down on our requests...small tool box, 4 boxes of Crayola 24 crayons (one a quarter), 12 glue sticks (we usually run out), 3 boxes of Crayola markers (1 for community supplies/stations and 2 for students), 2 bottles of Elmer's liquid glue (1 a semester), pencils, 2 erasers, scissors, 1 crayola watercolor set and dry erase markers. They bring all of these supplies at Open House. I have a sheet that explains what they need to do with everything. This is usually what it looks like when I leave that night....

Inside their toolbox (which they keep at their table spot) goes 1 box of crayons, 1 glue stick, 2 pencils, 1 eraser, and their scissors.

I spend the next morning organizing the supplies. I use the Sterilite 3 drawer organizers to store all of their extra supplies. The rest of their supplies go in these drawers. I have them labeled by number. This way I don't have to change them each year.
Now, for the community supplies at their tables. I use the colorful containers from Really Good Stuff. Each table has a color. There is one caddy and two smaller baskets. In the caddy, I put 2 pencils, 2 glue sticks, 1 box of markers, and 1 bottle of glue from each student that sits at that table. The glue and the markers are only used for special projects. The pencils and the glue sticks are there for those students that seem to "eat" their supplies. Please tell me that you have those students. You give them something and two days's gone! I's just GONE. Where did it go? I don't see it in the room ANYWHERE! They ate it, right?! (wink wink) I will also put their lunch choice sticks in these baskets (not done yet lol)

You can get my supply drawer labels in my TpT store.
student numbered supply drawer labels

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back To School!

I am heading back to school TOMORROW! As I sit and look at my schedule for the week, I wonder how in the world am I going to be ready....FREAK OUT TIME!! I still have so much to do before Open House on Thursday. I really wish that they would build in staff development during the year and not the first week. Give me what I need to know to start the year and let me work in my room for Pete's sake! FRUSTRATION!!!

Anyway, I know that you spend as much of your own money as I least let's tell my hubs that, OK?! TpT is having their big Back To School sale on Monday and Tuesday! You can save up to 28%! You will find everything that you need to get started!! This adorable button was made by my good friend Annie over at The Moffatt Girls

Here are my bright posters!! I love the colors! I have just never been one that can stick to a "theme," but colors...I can do colors! I like polka dots, stripes, and chevron! So, I use them all! :-) This set includes: alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors.

These are my schedule cards....that are EDITABLE!! You can print the ones that I use, OR you can type in your...bam...your schedule board will be totes cute ( I have spent waaaaay too much time with my teen daughters this Summer)

These are my helper cards and guess what....EDITABLE!!!!

I created this power point slide show to play during Open House! You KNOW how crazy it can families coming in, past students coming in to say hello and give hugs, and just trying to get to everyone...can be stressful! This has helped me a TON! It answers several questions that new families have for me. Hey, hey, hey and guess's E.D.I.T.A.B.L.E!! Woo Hoo!!

I created this next packet for my parents. I print it off and send it home with them at Open House! It is my ABCs of Kindergarten. There is a page for each letter. I type in important information that will help my parents throughout our year together. I will give you three guesses what I am going to tell you next :-) It IS editable.

This is a set of calendars that you can send home with parents OR use for yourself! Print and put it in a cute frame on your desk and use a dry erase marker to write in the dates, meetings, etc!

These newsletters match the calendars! I like things to match! :-) I use these newsletters as general info reminders. Basically, I bullet the things we will be learning the following week in each area.

I will be honest with you...totally in love with this next product! I use a facebook group to communicate with my parents. They love it! I love it!!

I love start outing my year with the next two big books!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Parent Communication {Newsletters and Calendars}

This is my last weekend before I have to report back to school on Monday....sigh. This time of year is like no other though, is it?! I feel anxiety about being ready, excitement for meeting your new students and their families, and hopefulness about starting organized and ready to try all of the new things you have found on blogs and pinterest (wink).

I started a post last week about communicating with parents. I showed you how to start a Facebook group. Today, I want to go a more traditional route. Let's talk about newsletters and calendars!

 I do still send a weekly newsletter home in Friday Folders. However, I use it mainly as just giving quick info. For example, I will bullet the skills that we will be working on the following week.

I do NOT print each family a color copy. I print one and then make copies front/back. I try to print them on the same colored paper each week. This way parents know what to look for.  You can also save your newsletter as JPEG and upload it to your Facebook/Instagram as a picture. I usually upload my newsletter to Google Doc and then share that link on my Facebook group too. This way parents can print the newsletter off at home, if they need to. 

My newsletter pack is editable! You can use the version that has the headers already there OR you can add your own on the completely editable set! The only things you can NOT edit are the placement of the boxes or the clip art that is already there. You can get this set in my TpT store by clicking the cover below.

Editable Newsletters

The last Friday of each month I send home a calendar for the following month. I add special days, specials schedule, and any other important information that parents might need to know throughout the month. I print the calendar and then copy on a different color than my newsletter. You can also save this a JPEG and share via web, just like the newsletters! 
I have an editable calendar pack that matches my newsletter pack! You can add your own dates and information. 

You can get this set in my TpT store by clicking the cover below.
Editable Monthly Calendars

Monday, July 28, 2014

Parent Communication {Facebook}

I don't know about you, but I loooove the convenience of technology! As teachers, we have so many options to keep the lines of communication open with our parents. When we communicate consistently and effectively...we build strong relationships with our families. Parents know what is going on, what is being taught, and what is expected of their children AND from them.

Let's talk Facebook! Facebook is growing each year. Chances are the majority of your parents already have a Facebook account. Let's take advantage of that!

First decide whether you want to set up a group or a page. I personally have a group set up. I will gear most of this post towards that option, but please know that you need to choose the option that best suits you. 

I have created a couple of FREEBIES to help you get this set up! Here are two printables that you can use. Simply click the images below to download your freebies.

FREE parent communication FB printables

FREE parent communication Facebook printalbes

Now, decide what you will use Facebook for. Facebook is NOT the only thing that I use. I want to make sure that all parents are getting information. I love it because this way is easy to share photos easily.

Here is some information on creating a FB Page. These are OK too, but if you are concerned about privacy, then a group might be your best option.

 I have a new pack to help get you through the year! You will be able to remind parents via Facebook and Instagram of upcoming events. Some events included are: conferences, class parties, spirit days, tests, library days, and more! To see a full description of what' included click on the cover page below.