Five for Friday: The First Full Week!

I have almost made it through my first full week of kindergarten and it has been a great week! There have only been two nights that I have fallen asleep on the couch around eight, so I consider that a success. We have had no crying (by me or the students), no accidents, and we have been having lots of fun. The kiddos are doing a great job learning the routines and procedures of the room.  I am excited for a fun filled year!

We have been spending a lot of time on classroom rules this week.  I want to make sure to spend the time now and continue to talk about it all year so that I can build a warm and accepting classroom community.  I want my kiddos to be kind to one another, respect each other, and appreciate one another.  We have been reading over the rules we made together each day and I think I will continue to do this.  It is a great reminder to get the day started.  This year after we wrote the rules I had each student put their handprint around it.  It was there way of "signing" it.  

After we wrote our rules I also showed them these classroom expectations.  As I hung up each one we talked about what they meant and gave examples.  Some say, "We are kind to each other!" "We say please and thank you" we "Dream Big".  It is just another way to really emphasize our caring classroom community that I am trying to establish. 

We started our Jolly Phonics program this week. It pairs an action with each letter sound. We concentrate on one letter sound a day.  After we practice the action the kids have a chance to practice writing the letter in their sound book.  Yesterday was one of those days I love.  After they were done working each group of kids just started transitioning effortlessly into alphabet puzzles, sorting or matching.  It was great.  The kiddos above pulled out my alphabet puzzles from my Look at Me, I know my ABCs packet and started working together.  

I just uploaded my latest packet to my store and I can't wait to use it with my kiddos.  We are going to use the pages for letter homework each week.  They have a chance to practice uppercase, lowercase, and color and write words that start with each letter.  You can click on the pictures to check it out. 

Lastly, I'm really trying to hold true to this saying below.  With the start of school everything can be so hectic.  I am really trying to relax and only focus on what is important and trying to stay positive.  There are so many things to be thankful for! :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday.  I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read my post.  Have a great weekend!


Back 2 School: Advice as you get the Year Started

It is back to school time for me as I am sure it is for many other teachers out there.  This time of year is always exciting.  It's a clean slate, a fresh start.  New supplies, new faces, new activities.  The possibilities are endless.  

I thought it would be fun to share some words of advice.  A place to share some words of wisdom as we begin this new year...

Before I begin I wanted to share this video with you.  Have you seen it?!  I watched it on Institute Day and plan to watch it several more times because it just cracks me up!

I think we can all relate... ;)


Here are some tips I have learned along the way...

I learned this quickly as I started on my first day of Kindergarten.  These sweet kiddos are babies.  Some have gone to preschool, some have not.  You have to show them EVERYTHING.  A lot of times I like to model, then I ask a student to show us, then we all try it.  We also practice, practice, practice.  My first full day with my kiddos was on Friday.  I know on Monday I will have to revisit a lot of directions and procedures and on Tuesday, and Wednesday...You get my point. :)

My first year of Kindergarten I had these lovely baskets on the table.  Inside each basket there was enough glue sticks, scissors, dry erase markers, crayons, and pencils for each student.  I put the morning work down and I was confident that I was ready for this adventure.  The kids came in, they unpack, they start their morning work.  Things are going great!!  I'm thinking to myself, I got this!  I turn my head to do attendance and when I look back at my lovely little learners it turned into pure chaos in just a matter of seconds.  A group of students were using scissors to cut their paper into confetti.  Two students were using their dry erase markers to color their paper and table.  Then some other kiddos were rolling their glue sticks all the way to the top, gluing their paper, gluing their hands, gluing under the table!  It was crazy. Now I may have fabricated how many students were actually playing with all the supplies to prove my point, but you get the idea... 

I learned, and I learned fast that I only needed to put pencils and crayons at their table for the first few days.  Then as we used the different supplies and I had a chance to model and show them I would add the rest.  

I can't stress this enough.  It is important to keep activities short and sweet and incorporate a lot of movement in between.  Whether movement includes songs, Kagan structures, dancing, or just moving from their chairs to the rug and back.  These kiddos need to move and groove otherwise they get antsy and I do too!

Especially the first few days.  You are just getting to know your class and it's hard to tell how slow or fast an activity will go.  I like to make sure I have a lot of short activities just in case.  For the first few days I even write out my day like I would for a sub, just so I have an idea of times and what activities I should do when.  Plus, there are so many directions and procedures to go over I like to write it all out so I have less of a chance of forgetting something.  

 Oh man I can't stress this enough.  Be kind to your students, be kind to your colleagues, be kind to yourself.  Let's have real talk for a second...the beginning of the year is stressful!  I do not think it matters if you are a first year teacher or a teacher who has been teaching for twenty five years.  Remember if nothing else to be kind.  Your students will mimic your behavior and if you model kindness they will do the same.  I want my students above all to be kind to one another.  It is my goal to build a strong community in my classroom and I believe it starts with being kind to one another. 

Be kind to your colleagues.  These are your people, they get it.  As much as my sweet husband listens and tries to envision a day in the life with a room full of five year olds he does not fully understand.  Lean on your teammates, lean on your staff and support each other.  

Be kind to yourself.  Give yourself time to unwind and do things that make you happy.  You will be a better teacher for it.

Finally, I feel so lucky to have the job that I do.  I love working with my students and I love watching them grow.  You have to be in a job that is just right for you and you have to love what you do, otherwise you are not happy and your students will not be happy.  Not every day will be good, but there will be good in every day.  Just keep swimming! :)

Now it is your turn! Join in the fun.  Grab the slide below and type some Back 2 School words of wisdom.  Then link up to share.  I can't wait to hear your words of advice.  

Thank for stopping by!  Have a great start to your school year.


The First Few Days...

We are officially back to school and I am officially struggling to keep my eyes open past 9 o'clock.  Our first full day was Friday.  Does everyone still get the jitters the night before school starts?!  I am guilty of this and I am always afraid that I am going to forget what to do.  Fortunately I jumped right back into the routine as soon as the bell rang. 

I have a great group of kiddos this year!  They immediately caught on to following the procedures and routines and when we went back to school after the weekend I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of them remembered a lot of the routines I had taught them on Friday. 

To try to get the kiddos moving and grooving in between all my talking I rely on Go Noodle to save the day.  Unfortunately the site is not work at my school.  We have to investigate, but the gist of what I am hearing is that Go Noodle has switched to a new browser?  My teammate and I plan to look into it today... 

Fortunately I was able to find a cute movement break on You Tube featuring the song from Despicable Me.  

Yesterday we worked together to write our Class Rules.  They did a nice job coming up with rules to keep us safe at school.  As I was writing the rules onto chart paper one little girl said, "You should write that we will have fun at school and make the word fun BIG!"  I thought it was a perfect way to end our rules. 

I plan to hang our rules by the door so that we can see them and refer to them often.  

In the next few days we will start to work on writing a number a day.  Last night I created a new packet 

It has a page for each number 1-19.  

You can click on the pictures to check it out OR you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to snag it for FREE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for stopping by!  Have a great Tuesday!


AARRRGGGHHH You Ready for Back to School?!

I am excited to be joining a fun back to school blog hop with some of my favorite early childhood friends.  Be sure to hop to each blog to get some great ideas and enter to win some great giveaways!

It is about that time for me, BACK TO SCHOOL!  The teachers go back on Monday and our kiddos start on Thursday.  Back to school time of year can be so exciting.  New supplies, new faces, new classroom design, and great ideas to get the year started. 

The product I am raffling off for the Back to School Giveaway is my Back to School Pack (seems appropriate right?!)

(Click on the picture to check it out)

Inside you will find pages to celebrate the first few days of school. 

I plan to use this on the first day of school and then keep it in their file for their memory book at the end of the year.  For their memory book the students complete a page for each month throughout the school year and then at the end of the year I put it together as an end of the year gift to remember the learning and fun we had in Kindergarten. 

There is also this emergent reader.  Each page has a different activity we do the first day with simple sight words.  I plan to read this with my students and then have them take it home to read with their parents and tell them about their day!

Inside the pack there is also ABC practice.  I printed off five sets of these ABC puzzles and plan to keep them at their tables.  At each table I have "I'm Done!" baskets.  In the baskets I put different activities they can do independently.  When they are finished on a task they can work in the "I'm Done" basket.  To keep it fresh I like to rotate the items in the basket every few weeks.  

By entering the Rafflecopter you have a chance to win this product AND $10 to my TpT store to pick out products of your choice.  

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope the start of your year is fantastic!  

Be sure to click on the Blog Button below to hop to the next blog and enter win more great products and prizes.  


Five for Friday: Back to School Fever

Well, I certainly know it is back to school time because I have started my nightly toss and turn routine.  I just can't seem to turn my brain off.  Even the notepad by the nightstand idea isn't cutting it because as soon as I write down one thought another one takes its place.  Oh man, please tell me I'm not alone in this?!  I am excited to be linking up with Doodle Bug's Teaching for her weekly Five for Friday.  It's the last one before school starts....EEKKK!! :)

This year I decided to stick with the Superhero theme for my classroom.  It was a big hit last year with my kiddos, so I hope this new group loves it too.  

This year I created my alphabet and number posters to hang up in my room.  They are part of my SuperKids Themed Classroom Pack.  It's one thing to create a product on the computer, but when you see it come to life, it's a whole new level.  It makes my heart happy!  I love this TpT adventure!

With the help of my wonderful Husband and Dad I was able to make the crate chairs I have been eyeing on Pinterest.  Once I purchased all the supplies it was relatively easy to assemble.  I'm so thankful for their help.  I am excited to have these in my classroom.  I think they will be special seats for my kids to sit and read or work on activities.  I started with 3, but if it goes well I might ask for their help again to make a few more. 

Speaking of the Hubby helping.  I have such a wonderful and supportive Husband.  He not only helps me assemble furniture, but after a long days work he also lends a hand and cuts out some laminating for me.  Love him! 

Have a mentioned that I love, am obsessed with my laminator?!  It was the best $20 I spent.  I've turned into a laminating queen.  It's going to be handy to have this throughout the year when I want to make new literacy and math centers.  Plus, I love how hard the plastic is.  I think it makes the pieces really durable.  I swear I am not getting a cut from promoting these bad boys. ;)  

So I took the plunge and attempted another Periscope broadcast.  Holy hot mess!!  Kudos to all those amazing ladies out there like Ashley Schroeder, Angie, Meg from A New Box of Crayons, and Sheila Jane Teaching because those ladies make it look so effortless.  I watch their broadcasts and I'm amazed at how well spoken they are as well as entertaining.  I just love their Periscopes.  I'm pretty much the complete opposite.  I fumble over my words, I'm monotone, and I can't quite figure out how to flip the camera and not have the awkward side angle shot of the wall!  I might just stick to viewing Periscope! ;)

HIP, HIP, HOORAY!! I'm done with Grad School.  I took my last four classes this summer, and although I thought I was out of my mind at the time I am so glad to be, DONE, DONE, DONE!  I will definitely miss going to school, (I love to learn), and knowing me I will probably still take a class here or there, but it is such an amazing feeling to not have to take any more classes if I don't want to. 

Well, that wraps up my week.  I hope everyone has had a great week as well as you plan, prepare, and start your school year.  Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Weekend!


Five For Friday

Happy Friday Friends.  I'm soaking in one of the last lazy Fridays I have of the summer.  My bud Mario is also doing the same. 

Before I join him on the couch I wanted to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for one of my favorite linkys. 

I was excited to hear that Target was selling laminators.  As soon as I heard I jumped in my car and zoomed over.  Luckily I snatched the last one!  It was a deal too, $18.  I am excited to have my own because I think it will come in handy when I want to make literacy and math centers.  Oh, it is the little things that make this teacher smile!

I wanted to try something different to display dismissal information.  After I bought the transportation pack from Whimsy Clips (I am obsessed with her stuff) I created this new dismissal pack.  I plan to hang the signs by the door and then use little clothespins to display each child's information. If you are interested in my dismissal pack it can be found here.  

This week I have been able to enjoy some of my favorite things.  Relaxing mornings, coffee, planning, organizing, and creating!  Summer days are just the best!

Yesterday I was able to get into my classroom.  I moved back to a classroom that I had taught in for many years.  My teammate and I are calling it our old "new" rooms.  I spent most of the day there  and was able to get almost everything unpacked. Now it is a matter of organizing and decorating. Last Sunday on #tptchat I mentioned that I would do a Periscope of my classroom when it is done.  I am sticking to my word and going to give Periscope another try.  Next week I will do my big reveal.  I hope you will tune in! :)

I don't know about you, but whenever I get my corner of the world set up I always feel better.  Even though I do not spend a lot of time at my desk, I love when it is put together and organized.  I'm stopping to take a moment and appreciate my clean desk.  It will not be like that for long! ;)

I want to end my Five for Friday with this image.  I follow Solid Quotes on Instagram and love their daily inspiration.  

Dream Big- I want to continue to dream big for myself and my students!  I also want my students to dream big for themselves.  

Laugh Lots- when things get stressful I want to be able to laugh!  Laughing is the best medicine!

Love All- Those two words pack a powerful message. No Judgement, just love!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by.  Be sure to check out Doodle Bug's Teaching for other great Five for Fridays.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and a great weekend!