Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Made It

Yay! Another week and more school projects completed or in the works! I am once again linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to share what I have been working on.

I am changing my color scheme to green, blue, and yellow this fall, so this week I dug into that more. I have bright yellow tables you can see in one of the pics below. I bought some fabric and asked my amazing assistant if she would sew me what I had envisioned in my head. I can not sew, do not own an iron, completely clueless with anything to do with sewing. But I knew what I wanted and my assistant was able to take the fabric and create just what I wanted! I LOVE IT! 

My next project in pinterest inspired from She's Crafty! She made it look so easy, I thought I could do it! I had gotten extra fabric and planned on doing it myself, but my assistant being as amazing as she is, took it and is helping fix them as well. I am super lucky! So as you can see this is still a work in progress, but with the rest of my room posts, I didn't want to leave this one out. I will post pics of the completed project once it's done. 

I redid my classroom borders with advice from School Girl Style. She has a great post on how to decorate without upsetting the fire marshal. I use fabric on my bulletin boards and decided to attempt the double borders with green and black. I LOVE the way it looks. Only sad part is I ran out of green, so I have to go back and get more to finish it.

Here is Michelle from Apples and ABC's she guest posted at Kindergarten Lifestyle with her cork board displays. I made mine this week. I plan on putting each student's name on the center of it to easily identify work once I get my roster in the fall. I plan on putting them on my back wall storage. Very similar to the way she did. 

So my next project is my love/hate one. I love how Maria at Kinder-Craze redid her Sterlite containers. So I decided to give it a try. I first had the hubby spray paint them blue! Easy! Next I attempted to do the scrapbook paper cutting and taping. It took forever and did not turn out the way I really wanted. She was not kidding when she said you will need a lot of time and tape. So for now they have just been painted, I might attempt the scrapbooking again. But for now happy with the blue. Not really but tired of trying to get it right and it not work!

Lastly I went by Dollar Tree one day this week searching for green and blue baskets to redo my library boxes. I didn't find what I was looking for but I did find the exact boxes I had bought some yellow and green back in the spring and they had ran out when I went to get more. So this time I got all they had 25! I know as teachers we have issues with any type of container. So with my new color scheme, I plan on using them for word work storage and maybe library boxes. 

The last thing I want to share is that I started my first linky party. I have a friend who recently found out she is moving from 2nd to Kindergarten and she was asked me a really good question. And with all the great teachers out here, I thought this could be very useful to someone moving to K or starting fresh out of college in Kindergarten. So I would enjoy it if you could link up with your advice! 

You may click here to check it out or link up! 

So I am making big gains in my projects, I hope you are too! The sad/good thing is that for everything on my to-do list I mark off as completed, I check out everyone else's post and add to my list. But that's ok. We are going to have great looking rooms in the fall. See you back next week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What you wish you had been told? Linky

I am very excited to host my first linky party! I am a huge fan of linky's especially Farley's Currently and Tara's Monday Made It! So I originally had just posted this as a regular post, but after some suggestions for a linky I decided why not! Plus at first I had thought it would be a cool linky, but wasn't sure. Anyways here goes. 

Please share your advise on what you wish you had been told prior to teaching KINDERGARTEN?

My personal advise is WHATEVER you think they know...... they DON'T!

They can't hold a pencil, they can't color in the lines, they can't use scissors, they can't walk in a straight line, etc. Granted yes some can, but you have to TEACH them everything!

Most have never been in a school setting and we are sometimes the first person they have to listen to that is not a family member. Some have never been around other kids. Some come to you reading and writing already (this happens to be 1 or 2 out of my 20 a year). Some do not know their name, yet alone how to write it. Some can not clean themselves up after a trip to the bathroom because mom has done everything for them. They can't open any of the lunch they bring because it is opened for them at home. Most of our students are dependent on adults and struggle to even TRY to do something independently.

And yet we as KINDERGARTEN teachers are suppose to have them all reading and writing by the end of the year!

  I believe the first nine weeks of school are pure torture for kindergarten teachers. We have to do everything in super slow motion. We have to teach the the routines and rules and everything. 

But I also believe we have the most rewarding job because come the end of the school year we can look back and see the growth of each child in our room. The one who could not write his/her name is now reading and writing three page stories.

So I hope you see where this idea came from and I hope this benefits at least one person who is moving to Kindergarten from another grade or a brand new teacher!

Please grab the picture above to go with your post! I found this free frame from

I can't wait to read everyone's advise.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What do you wish you had been told when you began teaching KINDERGARTEN

A former coworker of mine at my first school, emailed me last night needing help! She just found out she is moving from 2nd grade to Kindergarten. I was honored that she thought of me for help! I spoke with her a few minutes this morning before I had to teach summer school. I have invited her to come observe my summer school class, to get an idea of the academic levels of the students she will be getting. I mean I have one who writes her first and last name perfectly and 3 who have no idea what to do when I say write your name. I am hoping she takes me up on it and I don't scare her to death before she even starts. But I think it would be extremely beneficial.

One of her comments made me think. You all need to write a book about what you wish you had been told before teaching kindergarten. So I thought it would be fun to see how many answers we can all get to her comment.

What do you WISH you had been told when you began teaching KINDERGARTEN?

Here is my biggie.

Whatever you THINK they know.... they DON'T!

They can't write their name, they can't sit still, they can't use scissors, they can't button their pants, they can't open their lunch, etc. Yes there are a few exceptions which is why I love kindergarten. 

I feel that we get to see the MOST growth from the beginning to the ending of the year. I mean we have to get them reading and writing by the end of the year.

So I am going to try to help her out as much as I can, so I need your help. 

Now my system does not have a Kindergarten Curriculum. We have Common Core, but we can teach any way we want to. We do not have textbooks or teacher's guides! You come up with whatever you need to teach the standards. So I know that is another answer to my question, but I want to know yours. 

Please comment below and let me know your thoughts, so I can share them with her.

What do you wish you had been told when you began teaching KINDERGARTEN?


Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Made It

It's that time again! Time for Tara's with 4th Grade Frolics Monday Made It Linky! I have a few projects in the works, but not finished yet. They will debut another week! And after looking at everyone else's projects this week my to-do list keeps GROWING! 

So a biggie for me this week was creating a Donors Choose project for my classroom. I was inspired by Mrs. Stanford's Class. She did a guest blog for Kindergarten Lifestyle and it was on Donors Choose projects she has created and that have been funded! I have wanted to do a project for some time but never really decided what I needed. I mean come on we are teachers we need EVERYTHING! I really loved her ball chairs, so I decided I would attempt to get three for my classroom because I know that my kinders sometimes  okay most of the time have a difficult time to sit still to learn. So by creating this project which I hope gets funded, I will get 3 ball chairs for my classroom for the students to share using. It's my 1st try and I hope it works!

You can click here to see my project!

I also updated my kindergarten team's behavior charts for the upcoming school year. Changes the dates and vacation days. The only thing I will have to do is update the library day once I find out the schedules and know when everyone has it! 

We all slowly converted to the clip behavior chart throughout the year last year and LOVED it! I enjoy the fact that students can move up for good behavior or down for negative behavior. I saw an improvement almost immediately when I made the switch! Plus NO more TREASURE BOX! I hated despised that thing!

Here is a pic of the one we use. A 1st grade friend originally created it, and I just took over updating it when she moved to 1st. She was our computer genius and I learned everything I basically know from sitting and watching her when I should have been working on something else.

This stays in our students communication folder that goes home and returns to school daily.  At the end of the day we look at the chart and record the number that goes with the color they ended the day on. At 1st I didn't have the colors on it, but the kids went home saying I ended on purple and parents were clueless as to exactly what that meant without reading the chart. So I added the colors on one side and the number on the other, so parents can easily see what kind of day their child has had. 

So one more thing! I am THRILLED to have been nominated for the Most Fascinating Blog of 2012. I was extremely surprised by it!

I am off to check out everyone else's Monday Made It's. If you are working on school projects, you should join the fun! 

Have a great week, see you back next Monday!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Teack K Question?

So I am super jealous of everyone who is going to be attending I Teach K in Las Vegas! I have wanted to go for years, but my school system does not have the funds to pay for me to go and having 2 children in daycare, I don't have much extra to put back to go on my own. Yes I know if I really, really wanted to I could find a way to put back enough for the 4 days, airfare, hotel, and food. But still that's a lot of $$$$$$$!

So I have a question for those of you who ARE going....... 

How do you pay for it? Does your school system help, are their grants available, or do you pay out of your own pocket?

If you want to comment below and share how you afford to go to do this wonderful opportunity, please do. Or if you want to share but not openly, please email me at

I recently found a coworker who like myself wants to go but can't afford it, so if we pull together and work on it, maybe next year we will be lucky enough to join you!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kindergarten Daily 5 Linky Ch. 1

I am Linking up with other fabulous kindergarten teachers doing a book study on Daily 5 for Kindergarten! It is so stinking exciting knowing that we have our own study group! Since we are a breed of our own! Click on the picture to see what everyone else is doing.

I used Daily 5 two years ago and LOVED it! But it was difficult because I was trying to make it work for Kindergarten and didn't have but one other coworker to help try to figure out the kinks! Then I went on maternity leave and had left the room more center oriented for the interim and never got back into the habit of Daily 5. I suffered this year to do it, because my kids could not handle literacy stations. So I am very eager to implement it again this coming fall.

So hear are the questions from Chapter 1.

1. How do I teach new behaviors?
Model and practice, model and practice. But I find that when I think the students are getting it and I don't model as much, they retreat to previous behaviors.

2. How do I teach expectations?

At the beginning of school we go over classroom expectations, school expectations, everything over and over and over again. 

3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?
I use the clip chart behavior system so I can reward students being on task and clip down students not on task. I LOVE this system. Last year I was constantly all over the classroom trying to get my students working on what they should be and redirecting them to it. I wore myself out by the end of the year. 

4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?
Students who do not exhibit correct behavior clip down and then are asked why they chose what they did. I have students sit out during afternoon discovery centers.

5. Whose classroom is it?
I want it to be OUR classroom, but this is something I am still working on. 

6. Locus of control?
I give my students more independence than the other teachers in my grade level, but I need to make them more independent at completing their work.

7. Where are supplies stored?
My supplies are stored in table cubbies that hold our everyday needs, and a shelf that holds the random stuff you might need. 

Well there is my summary of Chapter 1. Now I need to go check out what everyone else thought of the introduction to Daily 5 for Kindergarten. Can't wait for next week.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Made It Linky

I am sooo excited to be able to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics again for this week's Monday Made It! I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to since last week was CRAZY for me, but here I am with a completed project. I just finished it about 10 minutes ago! After looking at the projects from this week, looks like Lowe's and Home Depot are getting a lot of teacher business! So here is my Teacher Toolkit!

Of course inspired by Create*Teach*Share. I chose to go with bright blue spray paint and yellow and green scrapbook paper. I am going to attempt to redecorate my classroom and go with blues, greens, and light yellows as a color scheme. So this is my 1st step!

I don't have any pics of me actually making it due to the fact that hubby decided he was going to spray paint for me and already had a coat on it before I was able to start snapping pics. 

I was unable to make a home project this week because I was super busy with starting teaching upcoming kindergarten 19 day summer school and taking my girls to vacation bible school at church. I am going to share a picture of the crafts they made and the super cute jellyfish that was a decoration. Wish I would have taken pics of ALL the decorations as they were over the top this year!

Well, I am off to try to decide what fun project I need to get started on for next week. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June Currently and Updated Freebie

So 1st off I totally messed up my yesterday post by not clicking SHARE in Google Docs, so no one was able to get the FREEBIES, I was trying to give away. So PLEASE go to yesterdays Monday Made It post and get your FREEBIES! 

Now on to the fun for the month. Farley has sent us her Currently, so of course I had to join. I LOVE these. It really helps me think about things going on in life right now!(Every Month) So anyways.... Here is mine.

So if you are not aware of  Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics Monday Made It, you just might want to go check it out. She is hosting a weekly linky to showcase all the things you are working on during the summer for school and home if you want to join the fun. I am loving it, except for the part I didn't click share yesterday and no one got my things. 

I sooo want to go back to Las Vegas, I LOVED it when I went about 8 years ago. I went to Hot Springs a month or two ago to go hiking, and I want to go back to Tybee Island, but don't think it will be till next summer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Made It Linky! and Math Freebies!

I am sooo excited that Tara from 4th Grade Frolics, decided to make her Monday Made It into a Linky Party. I know I am very happy she did as it will make force me to actually do more school and home activities because I want to see and share with what everyone else is doing  accomplishing this summer! So here goes....

School~I was asked about 2 months ago if I would help with a Math Workshop for Kindergarten for my county kindergarten teachers! At first I was super thrilled to be asked and of course jump on it, only to freak out later asking.... what the heck were you thinking!!!! Me in front of my peers teaching them something, yeah right! Put me in front of a class full of 5 year olds and I can do anything, but in front of my coworkers who most have taught many more years than myself....what was I thinking. 

So I finally got over my nervous part and got down to business! I was asked to do an hour on addition and subtraction! An hour easy peasy! This workshop could be whatever I wanted or needed it to be. The other three girls decided to do a make and take activities with their math topics. Great! But me with addition and subtraction didn't really think of alot that we could do for make and take, so instead I get the bright idea to create I CAN charts for the addition and subtraction activities that I use in my classroom. I have always wanted to do more I CAN charts, but never slowed down to make them, so why not do them now! 

So I went to work, but not until school was out which gave me a whole four days prior to presenting at my class. I am the biggest procrastinator ever! But I produce things great under pressure! 

So here are my creations...... feel free to click the pic and grab if you like what you see. 

Links Addition and Subtraction I Can chart and recording sheets! This one can be differentiated! Check out Marsha from A Differentiated Kindergarten's post on Differentiated Math Stations HERE.

Roll-A-Sum I Can chart and recording sheet and a dice. 
This activity was actually created by myself and 2 coworkers when we had to present at the UpperEastTennesseeCouncilofMathematics. I just made an I Can sheet to go with the recording sheet we made.


Domino I Can chart and recording sheet. The recording sheet I found at Mrs. Plant's Press. Click here to get it.

Since I didn't need any materials purchased for my activities. I was able to get every teacher attending the book Quack and Count by Keith Baker. Our kindergarten students are required to read 5 math literature books during the school year, so I found this cute book and decided to ask for it! I made a little activity to go with it as well.

Here is another addition activity to go with the book Animals on Board by Stuart J. Murphy. We all received this book last year with our new math series.

So as you can see I have been extremely busy trying to make those! I enjoyed every bit of it, but I don't see how most of you teachers/bloggers do all the units and everything for TPT! I am extremely thankful that you do!

Home Project~ So the hubs and I worked on staining the front porch, back porch, and the girls swingset! 

As you can see the front porch and swingset completely finished:) The back porch though still a work in progress. We basically just got tired and quit to go pick up the girls from nanny's and haven't managed to get back outside and finish it!

Well as you can see I have been quite busy with school and home projects, so head on over and check out the linky party to see what everyone else has been up to this past week and join if your like me and feel that joining this linky will MAKE me be more productive this summer. 

I hope you have enjoyed what you seen or downloaded, please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!