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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reading Posters - Freebie for Followers!

Is anyone else absolutely and utterly exhausted!?  I absolutely adore my precious new SuperKids, but I always forget how tiring the first week of school is with sweet Kinders.  Hallelujah for an upcoming 3 day weekend!

I made three new reading posters to use with my class this year.  You can purchase them for $1 on TPT here OR follow my blog and I will email them to you for free!  :)
 Just leave me a comment with your email address (and make sure you're a follower), and I will email you the posters!
Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tuesday

Happy Technology Tuesday!
You have to check out this totally Kinder-friendly site: Symbaloo!  It is basically a way to organize and create an online "desktop" for your students.  You add sites to the desktop (Symbaloo calls it a gallery), and an icon and title appear for your students.  You can create different desktops for different units, subjects, themes, etc.  Here is an example of a Starfall Symbaloo Gallery:
 One with E-books:

Math Games:
If you haven't heard of Symbaloo, check it out!  And blog hop over to see other techno tips today!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Have Monday

It's Teacher Week!
Today was my first official day "back on the job," and my brain is in overload!  I hope you all are having a great beginning of your year either with your staff or with your new kiddos!

My teaching must-haves...
I love my toy microphones.  We use these for Share Chair, guided reading, and our SuperKid News Reports.  The kids LOVE talking into these, and I'll admit, I love talking in them, too.  ;)

This is one of my favorite "attention getters."  I blow my train whistle twice, and the students cheer "ALL ABOARD!"
I think that business card magnets are the best adhesive magnets!  They are always pretty strong, and the stickiness actually works.  I also love them because they're easy to cut in different ways.  I buy mine from good 'ole Amazon.

And I just can't get rid of my ginormous ghetto stereo circa 1992.  Even though our computers play through the ceiling speakers, I love that my kids can be trained to work the stereo during the first week of school.  I count on them to start the clean-up song for the entire year!  (I use the instrumental version of "We Will Rock You.")  Transitioning to clean-up time is so incredibly easy... the song starts and the kids get movin'!

Hop on over and browse lots more must haves!

I'd love to hear all of your favorites, too!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Interactive Student Word Wall

I have always wanted a low-to-the-ground Word Wall that students could use independently.  Unfortunately, I never had any wall space that wasn't covered with cabinets, built-ins, or shelving.  My classroom was renovated this summer (YIPPEEEE!) and I have so much new wall space, including a section that will work fabulously for a student word wall!  (I am still going to have my "main" large Word Wall hanging up higher on a large wall space, but have added this extra one for my students to use.)

I first put up the student Word Wall using some old fabric I had from IKEA.  It was a neon yellow and orange ombre.  After looking at it for 2 days, I ripped it down.  The fabric was just too bright and I didn't like the ombre effect for this type of bulletin board.  Here is a picture after I had already ripped off the border.
I also wasn't a fan of the last row of letters - 8 crammed together while the other rows only had 6 each.  (I might have had a momentarily lapse in brain power that resulted in me thinking there were 24 letters in the alphabet... I know, I know, and I teach Kindergarten.)

After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I replaced the fabric with some solid orange broadcloth.  And I planned and measured for my letters using 26 for the calculations...
I made a pennant banner for the title, which matches all of my other many Word Walls around the room (stay tuned for that post soon).  The word cards I will be using for this wall are ones I've had since my first year teaching when my Word Wall was on a magnetic white board.  So since they already have magnets on the back, I'm using washers to attach the words to the wall, rather than the popular Velco method.

After a few trials-and-errors, it was permanent mounting squares that did the trick to get the washers to stay attached to the fabric.
It will actually be awesome to have them on magnets, because in addition to students removing the words to take to their seats, we can transfer the words to the white board and make sentences, put them in ABC order, graph and sort them, etc.

Do you have an interactive Word Wall in your classroom?  Feel free to share any tips or tricks and how your students manage its use!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mousepad Makeover

I got the brilliant idea from one of my wonderful teacher friends to cover my quite unattractive mousepads with fabric!  It was a pretty easy and quick project, and I only have some minor glue gun burns.  ;-)

Here is one of the umm, lovely mousepads provided for my 7 student computers:

This one was actually in pretty good condition.  Some of them were peeling apart much more than this one and a few had some lovely drawings and student names tattooed onto them... (good 'ole Kindergartners)

I cut squares of fabric and simply wrapped the fabric around the mousepads like a gift.  I hot glued the edges on the back and did my best not to let things get too bunchy around the corners.  Luckily the fabric I used was pretty thick so my fingers weren't singed too badly when I pressed the fabric down onto the hot glue.  If you use thin fabric, definitely use a marker or some other tool to press down as you glue.

A student computer before:

 And the colorful, fun after!

I'd love to know any of your DIY ideas for sprucing up your classroom!  Feel free to share in the comments.  ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sight Word Sticker Books

What in the world did we do before Pinterest!??  I saw a wonderful idea for sight word sticker books and pinned it immediately.  The original idea comes from Mrs. Cooley at First Grade... at Last!  You can click here to see her post.

Since her sticker books contain Dolch or Fry words and we use a whole different set of Kindergarten words, I recreated this for my lil' friends!

I'm going to print these on card stock, cut and laminate, then hole-punch the pages in the top lefthand corner and connect with a binder ring.  I just know the kids are going to flip for these!  Each student will have his or her own and will add stickers to the circles throughout the year as he or she learns the sight words.  I think this will be fantastic motivation, as well as an excellent way to allow the kids to monitor their own learning and self-assess in an informal way.  And what 5 or 6 year old doesn't love stickers!??

How do you motivate your kiddos to learn their sight words!?

Summer Awards!

I know, I know... I haven't blogged in two months.  I'm in total awe of all of the fabulous bloggers who have been postin' away all summer long.  While I definitely wasn't lounging around with a pina colada in hand (well at least not ALL summer...), blogging just wasn't on my radar.  What was?  Curriculum, curriculum, curriculum.  Throw in some private tutoring and leading several district trainings and my summer has been packed!  But I am very blessed.  :)

I am thrilled that a wonderful blogger friend nominated me for two awards over the summer.  *blush*  It's my turn to pay it forward and share my thanks.  The lovely Perinne at Modern Kindergarten passed along...

Since I'm lazy trying to get back into the swing of this blogging thing, I'm going to combine the two and pass them both along to these 15 lovely ladies (don't you worry all you rule followers, all of these bloggers fit the criteria for both awards):

And to prove I'm a Versatile Blogger, I give you 7 random facts about moi:
1. I am an extremely fast typist
2. I sometimes could eat ketchup straight
3. I'm incredibly clumsy and bruise easily (not a good combination)
4. I have both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Elementary Ed
5. I have nodules on my vocal chords... bye bye singing voice  :(
6. I'm a ____ With Friends iPhone games addict
7. I couldn't live without Bravo 

For those of you interested in claiming your award and sending it on it's way around the blogosphere, here's the skinny on what to do with the Liebster Award...
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include some linky love on your blog.
2. Include the award image on your blog.
4. Nominate 5 other blogs with under 200 followers!

And the Versatile Blogger...
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include some linky love on your blog.
2. Include the award image on your blog.
3. Share 7 random facts.
4. Nominate 15 other blogs!

Thanks again Perinne for the love!  I hope everyone had a wonderful summer!