Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunshine Folder and Classroom Pics

Please excuse my blogging absence, I have been suffering from teacher perfectitis. I have started blogging about my classroom set up and first days of school several times but deleted the drafts because I didn't like how things were looking. I want the room to look perfect, the projects I shared to be projects that went perfectly with my class, everything to be perfect. Not sure why I thought things would be perfect, but somehow I got the idea in my head that it should be. Well my room is coming along but not there yet and these first 6 days of TK have been hard, really hard. Nothing is perfect and I decided finally that is ok. I'm not a perfectionist usually, just look at my house, but I have wanted to share my best at least.

After really thinking about it I realized my room is actually looking better than any other year and my class is really going pretty well. Most of the class is doing great with the Whole Brain Teaching tools I have introduced and I really only have a few friends that are going to be challenging. We have the 5 Rules, Class/Yes, Hands and Eyes, Mirrors and the Scoreboard going. We also have started Read to Self and Word Work which most of the class can do for 5 minutes each. Work on Writing, Math Stations and Creative Stations are each up to 10 minutes each which is really amazing for four year old students after only 6 days. Now if I can get a handle on my 4 challenging friends I will be able to start assessing and doing small groups since the majority of the class is rocking and rolling. So what if things are not perfect, in the words of Pete the Cat, "It is all good." I'm going to focus on the positive and share any help I find for the challenges when I find them.

 The amazing Debbie from Rainbows in Reach has the most powerful post on her blog today and it is a blog hop. Be sure to hop over and read the story she shares and take a look at the amazing photos of classrooms that are sprinkled through the post. It reminded me that I even though I have been struggling, I am making a difference in the lives of my students. Teaching, especially I think the youngest students, is a mind molding, life altering, hard but rewarding work. Debbie reminded me that we all struggle at times but we are stronger together, making our students stronger too :) So with the knowledge that this is a work in process not a work of art, here are some pictures of my room and the links to the blog hop started by Debbie. Hope you like them :)
 Here are our cubbies with ocean artwork from one of my fellow teachers until student art is finished
 This is our store which is from my own parents, they bought it for my 3 children and we moved it into my classroom. Took me most of 2 days to put it together again. 
 One of 4 tables with crayon cups
 Close up of the crayon cups. I was so excited to get these on clearance for 30 cents each this summer from Walmart :)
 Our Word Wall with the green letters from my Tropical Dot Word Wall Letter sets. The book shelf on the left holds the open Word Work choices and the shelfs under the board hold the goodies that will be used later in the year.
 This is the calendar part of our front board. The monkeys are from Graphics by Ruth and yu can get them here
 Hung beach balls and tropical flowers :) You can see the rest of our front board which will hold PowerPix and our screen and lcd projector I use with the ELMO and WII whiteboard.
 Our class library and Wonderful Work Wall
My teacher desk and small group table next to our bathroom :)

Hope to share more soon and that you will join in the blog hop with pictures of your room :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teacher Tech Tuesday-Pinterest

One of the coolest tech tools I have found this year is Pinterest and I mainly pin teaching stuff. It amazes me how many cool things there are from classroom theme ideas to how to fix whiteboards that have ghosting. I am in no way a master pinner but I am friends with a few :) 
Rachel, a fellow Top Teacher, from Minds in Bloom has a great post on Pinterest that is a must read.

The delightful Debbie from Rainbows Within Reach is a super pinner and has been sharing the love by hosting some awesome Pinterest linkies. Here are just 2 of the many wonderful linkies Debbie has put together. Be prepared to repin and follow like crazy and link up your Pinterest account too :) Transitional Kinder is both Early Childhood and Kindergarten so my TK friends make there are treasures on both of these lists :) 


Debbie is also hosting this freebies Blog Hop full of super awesome freebies. I am so excited to be the second link on her list :) Don't forget to pin your favorites! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Must Haves and Must Reads for TK- Letter Recognition

A HUGE part of kindergarten is letter recognition and I know I plan to start working on this from Day 1. What will I be using to work on letter recognition this year? Well I will have my Tropical Dots ABC's posted front and center.
You can grab the pink ones here or leave a comment below with your favorite letter recognition activity or tip and I will email you the whole set :) I am using these to make Letter Hunter pointers and we will use them during whole group.

Now my favorite part of kindergarten is that I can sing and noone will tell me how bad I am, trust me it's pretty bad :) So I had to have some musical must haves for all the great letter songs. These will be sooooo great!
If you teach kindergarten then you love Dr. Jean and Mary from Sharing Kindergarten has the cutest freebie to go with Dr. Jean's ABC chants. A total Must Have for letter recognition and did I mention it is FREE? YEA!

Lori from Teaching with Love and Laughter has a great environmental print freebie and a wonderful Letter Sound pack that goes with Jack Hartman's song I can't wait to use. I know in my classroom we are always singing and it is usually Dr. Jean or Jack Hartman.

Heather from Kickin It In Kinder has created these awesome Glogs with her favorite alphabet youtube songs to sing as whole class warm ups or transitions. I can't wait to see if these will work at school. 

Jennifer K from Herding Kats in Kindergarten has a freebie for letter and number recognition and a free I have Who Has for school supplies that is a great way to learn how to play the game. Jennifer has a ton of awesome I Have Who has games in her TpT store so be sure to check them out by clicking on the third picture. I Have Who Has is a new staple in my class :)

Shuna at Pocket Full of Kinders has a great post sharing her cute beachy classroom and wonderful freebies including some Must Haves for letter recognition like this I Have Who Has game. Remember I love this game :)

Lidia for Kinder Alphabet has the perfect freebie for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the MUST Read for letter recognition.

 Next you are going to want to grab this set for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  from Caitlin from Kindergarten Smiles.  Caitlin has jammed so much into this super cute set.
Hadar from Miss Kindergarten Love just posted these super cute labels for the classroom that will be perfect for Letter Hunters and match great with so many of she other cute products like these Daily Schedule Cards I can't wait to put up. 

Kaci Hoffer from Mrs.Hoffer's Spot has this letter intervention kit freebie and these Letter Magnifying Glasses that are part of her Read the Room set  I can't wait to try. 

I know my class is going to love making these super cute ABC books and doing all the activities in this set from Crayons & Curls

I'm going to to use these sets from Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyles for extra practice with letters. 


Now remember many of the paid items are on sale today and you can get an extra 10% off when you use the code BTS12 so grab them quick :) 

When your done shopping don't forget to comment below with your favorite letter recognition activity or tip for your free copy of my Tropical Dot ABC's then hop over to my post on my Whole Brain Teaching blog for my Must Watch and Must Reads for WBT :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Suite Saturday -My Memories Suite Winner!

We have a winner in our first My Memories Suite Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered and commented. I told you that everyone would win so here are some goodies for everyone :)
First remember that everyone can download a trial of My Memories Suite for free by clicking the words  My Memories Suite   This will take you to the  My Memories Suite  store where you can get the trial or buy the program. When you are ready to buy   My Memories Suite put in my Share the Memories code for a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value! The code is STMMMS99167

Now if you download My Memories Suite these next goodies can be installed right into the program and you can use the tips below to customize them, moving elements around or use different paper. It is soooo cool.  If you do not have My Memories Suite you can still download all of these and any My Memories Suite kits as a zip file of png images that will work with other graphic programs like PhotoShop so still cool, just not as cool :)
Each of these kits includes papers set up to make the cutest bracket books. Click on the pictures to download each kit. Everyone gets all 3 for FREE from My Memories! You need to hurry though because these will only be free until the end of this weekend.

Now that you have your kits here are some tips and a tutorial from My Memories for making your book.

Using MyMemories Software to Customize your Bracket Book 
  1. Download template file and install it into your software
  2. Using MyMemories Suite, choose Create Album From Designer Template and find your project
  3. Now you can print and enjoy the provided template, or customize it with your own papers and embellishments. 
You can right-click on the white guide and lock it in place to keep it from moving while you are working. Make sure this is the top layer of your project before printing.

Instead of adding the paper as a background paper, you can add it as an embellishment so that you can move the paper around.  This is especially useful when using papers with stripes or circles, so you can decide which part of the paper you want to use.

Once it is added as an embellishment, you can now select the paper and move it into the position you want it.  

Just SAVE and PRINT on cardstock!

Bracket Book Tutorial
  1. Print your Bracket Book on cardstock and gather supplies.  (Recommended supplies: pen/pencil, ruler, small scissors, ribbon or jump rings)
TIP: When printing on both sides of a page, remove the white cutting guide from one side of the page before printing.  This way you don't have to worry about lainig up the 2 sides just perfectly when you print! 

Cut out along white cuttng uide lines on all of your pages.

3.  Using the ruler, mark where you want to punch your holes to put your ribbon or jump rings in.

Punch holes where you marked.

5. Tie ribbon or use jump rings to bind your book together.
TIP:If using ribbon, make sure to leave about a fingers space in your loop, do not tie the ribbon too tight, this will make it so that it is easier to open your book

Can't you see using these for creating quick class rooms with a page for each student or an ABC book or a CVC word book? So many possibilities that will be fast and so cute. Hope you enjoy these. Please comment if you want to have more freebies and tutorials :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Must Watch and Must Reads for WBT- Core Four and Five Rules

It's been a while have I am actually posting for Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday on Wednesday! Click on the pic below for my post.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for My Memories Suites back here.

Transitional Kinder with Mrs. O Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design