Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Summer Project Linky Party

I am joining Lory over at Fun For First's Summer Project Linky party! 

I am very eager for the next 17 days to quickly pass. I am using a personal day tomorrow due to the fact that somehow I still have 2 unused personal days that I am not going to pass up. I HATE being out of my room at this time of year, but honestly didn't have a reason to miss work this year, thus my still having 2 Days! So on to the real fun.

Summer Projects:

1. DIVE more into Common Core and prepare somewhat to start the year. 

2. Clean out my filing cabinet and get rid all most of the things in my files. While looking through them I have realized how much Kindergarten has changed in the seven short years I have been teaching. I am going to trash the items more suited for Pre-K.

3. Actually make some of the MANY things I have pinned on Pinterest! Namely the file crate seats for my small group table! But many, many more.

4. Teach Summer School~ Yes you read that right. I look forward to teaching summer school every year. We have it for 17-20 days (19 this year) and I try to get the upcoming Kinders. It helps me get back in beginning of school mode (they can't write their name, can't sit and listen to a story, can't walk in a line, etc) It makes beginning August much easier to deal with! Plus this year I am taking my oldest with me as she will be starting kindergarten in the fall at my school! So I want her to make friends over the summer since we live in a different county and she doesn't know anyone!

5. Paint some rooms in my house and make plans to get the back porch remolded to be bigger!

Summer Fun:

1. Spend time hiking and biking with my family!

2. Spend lots of time at Dollywood! We have Season Passes:)

3. Enjoy my kids being little.

4. READ for FUN!

5. Celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary. Wanted to travel away for a few days, but doesn't look like that will be happening, so maybe a weekend to Pigeon Forge without the kids! 

Of course I have a TON to get done in the next 17 days before I think anymore about summer, as I am sure you do too. Head on over and join up with us as we dream of summer!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cracking up!

So tomorrow is a big day in my household..... well it is for my daughter and her daddy. My oldest who will be starting kindergarten in the fall comes to school tomorrow for her kindergarten screening. It has been hilarious from my view point tonight in the house. Her daddy had to take off to take her since I will be giving the screenings to all the little kinders we have registered for school in the fall. So he is asking her the questions that will be on it, telling her she needs a good nights rest so she will do good on it, and on and on and on. As I am listening I think wow is this really what parents do on the night before screenings!

Now for my benefit I am happy she is growing up, can't wait till I don't have to pay for her to go to school (daycare) anymore, but I am not one of the parents who get all mushy cause their baby is starting big kid school. Now her daddy on the other hand is eating it up. He took off to take her tomorrow, has been talking about school shopping for months now, is planning on taking her 1st day off, so he can take her to school. (It's not like I won't be going there) I am thankful she has at least one parent who is acting like a normal kindergarten parent. 

I am excited though. Daddy rarely gets a day off, so for him to take off and bring her to her test, is huge. And afterwards they are going to Wallabies to play and have a daddy/daughter day!

Now back to my point.... what do you do to see where the kinders you will be getting in the fall are? We use the Brigance. Granted we still have the OLD version that honestly I think most 3 year old's could score well on. I hate the test we use, it doesn't show us anything unless the kid has not been worked with AT ALL at home! If they don't make at least at 80, then there is some concern. Most of them EASILY score above an 80.

I really wish we gave the new Brigance which we could actually get more information about what the child knows or doesn't. It tests ABC Recognition, drawing a person, counting to 30. I mean really that would give us teachers more of an idea about how to split the kids when making rosters, to give the teachers a fair chance of high, middle, and low. But the test costs money and we all know that we don't have ANY of that! 

It still amazes me that parents think their child has to do well on the screener to get into Kindergarten. Doesn't matter what they score if they are 5 years old or will be by Sept. 30th they go to K. 

So what do you use to test kids coming into Kindergarten?

Friday, April 13, 2012

TN Blogger Meet-up TOMORROW!!

I am soooo excited! Tomorrow is the big day! I am looking forward to meeting everyone and making connections throughout the state! If your a TN blogger and you are able to join us, contact Laura at Kinder Kraziness tonight! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TPT Product Reviews

I have had a chance to review 2 fellow bloggers new TPT products. First up is Ms. Patterson at Pocketful of Kinders: Grillin Up Some Contractions. She has made a sheet to use a magnifying glass to find contractions, hidden in a picture, a concentration game, and a set of task cards that students choose the correct contraction. I typically don't use contractions in Kindergarten but now that I have this mini unit, I plan on using it with my higher students who tend to attempt to use contractions in their writing, but don't know what a contraction is:)

Click here to go to Ms. Patterson's TPT store.

I also have been lucky enough to review Kerri at Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten. She is a fellow East Tennessee blogger who I am very excited to meet Saturday at our TN Blogger Meet-Up! I have seen her Buggy for Words pack and LOVE IT!! It includes Fry Phrase cards, Letter cards made of snails to build words, she has included digraphs to make harder words. She has Elkonin boxes to help students with a visual to make words. Also included in the pack is word cards for students to create sentences. I am so excited to have this resource ready for my kinders to use next week as we dive into our insect unit!

The second product I have reviewed for Kerri is her Word Work Tools. My boys LOVE this station. It has word cards, number word cards, word family cards, and letter cards. All you need is a few wrenches, hammers, and nuts and bolts, and your boys will be working on words and not even realize it. This has to be a new favorite in my room. They hammer a word if they can read it. Throw a nut on word cards and have to read the word it lands on. I even have them building words with the nut letter cards. This is a must if you need something to get your boys into learning words!

Click here to check out Kerri's TPT store.

I can't wait to see more new material from both of these great ladies!!!! Please check out their stores and blogs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Giveaway reminders!

Nicole at Rowdy in Room 300 is having a giveaway where everyone wins. Go check her out this giveaway ends tonight Tuesday April 10th!

Shauna at Pocket Full of Kinders is having a giveaway where everyone wins she will be sending the prize tomorrow so check it out tonight.

Jessica at A Turn to Learn is also having a giveaway thru April 14th! She has created UNO games for the classroom. Head on over to check her out!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I've Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by Ms. McBee's Kinderbugs.

Here Are The Rules:
  • Post these rules
  • Answer the 10 questions that the tagger posted for you
  • Create 10 questions of your own to ask the people that you're about to tag
  • Tag 10 people and link them with your post (and let them know they've been tagged)

Here are my 10 questions from Ms. McBee:

1.  What do you like to do when you are not teaching? Spend time with my 5 and 17 month old and hiking or biking.

2.  If you didn't teach, what job would you have? Wow... never realized how hard it would be to answer this one. I honestly have no clue. I would love to do something with travel, but would hate to be away from my family, but stay at home mommy is not my choice either. So I guess I would .......yeah still drawing a blank:(

3.  What is your favorite time of year? Summer

4.  Coffee or Tea? Neither I am a Coke girl!

5.  Beach or Mountains? Mountains. Love to visit the beach every few years, but LOVE my Mountains.

6.  Does your classroom have a theme?  Yes What is the theme? Monsters

7.  How many hours each day do you spend reading blogs? about an 1 hour weekdays and anytime I get a free chance on the weekend!

8.  If you could go any where in the world, where would you go? Australia

9.  What is the last book you read? The Hunger Games

10.  How long have you been blogging? Since January 2012

Here are my 10 questions:
1. What grade do you teach now? 

2. What grade would you teach if you couldn't teach where you are now?

3. What is your favorite TV show?

4. What is your favorite book?

5. What is your favorite physical activity to personally do?

6. What is a food you would NEVER eat?

7. What is your favorite drink?

8. Football, Basketball, or Baseball?

9. What is your reason for blogging?

10. If you could change one thing about teaching what would it be?

So the ten I am tagging are:

Fun in First Grade

First Grade Rocks

Kroger's Kindergarten

Mrs. Plant's Press

Camp Kindergarten

Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

Busy in K

Keen on Kindergarten

Little Minds at Work

Carried away in .... Kindergarten

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I made it!

Sooooo I am finally on Spring Break! Thursday was wild and crazy! We decided to go ahead with our field trip to a local park to have our egg hunt. On my way to school a fellow teacher called to dicuss if we were going to go or not. It had downpoured through the night, but wasn't raining on the way to school. It was very foggy and rain was headed our way but was suppose to be over prior to our trip. My vote was no cancel it its too wet, but my coworker wanted to go ahead. She had called someone who lived near the park and had found it not to be too wet there. So after LONG discussion we decided to try it. The radar said the rain was moving out of the area by the time we were to leave. So we decides to go and that once we got to the park if it was too wet, parents who had taken off for the day could take their child. We would then return to school and hunt in the gym. As soon as I had called our bus drivers to confirm YES we are still going, I looked outside to find it downpouring! We had parents calling upset to find we were going to still go. Granted I was with them, I did not think we would get to go. But five minutes later,the rain let up. My thinking then changed to ok we will go and the kids will NEVER forget hunting eggs in the mud!
Sure enough it was not muddy thankfully, but VERY WET! Of course the kids had a ball. It ended up being a great day. It warmed up and parents were happy it turned out well. We battled the weather and WON! I know we can probably never do it again but it worked.
We dis our egg hunt a little different this year, typically we ask students to bring 12 eggs. (12 x 78= 936) plus some because some send in more than 12. We have parents toss the eggs and in less than 10 minutes they are ALL found. We hide in a field so no place to really hide. Since it is always over so quickly we decided this year to number the eggs 1-12 and have students find the eggs in numeral order. We started slowly having each child find a 1 freeze and hold it in the air. When all 78 had found a 1 we blew the whistle to find a 2 freeze and hold it up. After that we thought they got the picture and sent them off. Needless to say it took quite awhile for all the kids to find eggs numbered 1-12. After they finished they began helping friends find eggs. It was wonderful. I really think they kids enjoyed it and the parents did too. Except for the water everywhere part;)
After the hunt we ate bag lunches on the walkway path that runs through the park then went to play on everything except the swings it was a huge water puddle! We ended our day with popsicles and loaded the bus back to school!
So on Friday since the hubby was off as well, we went with a group from where he works to hike Max Patch, NC. It is a favorite spots of many Appalachian Trail through hikers because it is a very large flat area on top of the mountain. You get a 360 view of NC and TN. We hike the Max Patch Loop and traveled down the Appalachian Trail a tad to a shelter for lunch. I love reading some of the comments the through hikers leave on the notebooks left in shelters to record bits of their journey. Here is a few of the pics we took!
My Saturday and Sunday were spent with my two little ones hunting eggs and enjoying our time together. Those pics are still on the camera. Will post a few pics of my girls next post. I am looking forward to sleeping till my girls wake me up and playing around the house tomorrow. I need to clean some on the house, but not sure how well that will go.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Break 5 for 5 Giveaway

Jenn at Finally in First is having a Spring Break 5 for 5 Giveaway. She is on day three, but the cool thing is you can go back and enter day 1 and 2! Look forward to tomorrow day 4 and Friday day 5! Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Currently

I am so excited for Farley's Currently Linky Party

So, please let me clarify a few things.

1. My baby is 17 months, and she went to sleep with little help from mommy tonight! I fed her and she wanted in her crib. I laid her down and rubbed her back and she drifted off to sleep. We always play classical or something similar at bedtime for her. 

2.3. We have only had 4 school days off since we returned to school in January! Last year we lost all our snow days and this year used one! My kids are tired of each other, and I am tired of them. WE all NEED a break! Today was a good day, so there is hope we can make it 2 more days!

4. If you are NOT familiar with Secret Stories, you need to check them out. Laura @ Kinder Kraziness. She posted a giveaway last week on these wonderful stories and posters that help teach students diagraphs and blends. It looks like a wonderful resource for any teacher!!!!! Go check it out! Secret Stories.

5. I have way too many things I need to do in the next 25 school days. 25! That's all we have left. It's kinda scary thinking, have I covered everything, do they know it, will they remember it. But the end of the year paperwork is what I always DREAD!!!! I try to get ahead and turn it in early, but it NEVER happens.... so maybe making a to-do list will help. One can hope can't she:)

6. Yes my super power is rather strange, but I get easily frustrated watching people but things left and right, and knowing that I personally don't have the money to buy everything I want. I don't mean your regular debt, which everyone has in order to live..... but I would like to know how people afford new clothes, shoes, items for their classrooms (ALL the time). I wish I could do it, but I just can't I am lucky to say that my little bubble would be minimal due to the fact I was raised if you don't have cash for it, don't buy it! Yes, I own credit cards, but it's mainly for a better credit score. If I buy something on credit, I make sure to have the money to pay it off, when I receive the bill, so as not to pay interest on it. I would want a filter on my brain so I wouldn't have the urge to say something about people's bubble, but it would be very interesting for me to know. So strange as it is that would be my super power.  

So just want to give a shout-out to anyone from TN who blogs. We will be having our TN Blogger meetup in Lebanon on Saturday, April 14th @ 11:00, contact Laura at Kinder Kraziness if you are from TN or near TN and want to join us. I can't wait to meet some of these lovely ladies.