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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Welcome to my Room!

So I only made 1 post during Teacher Week... per my usual.  Despite my best intentions, the week before school starts just overwhelms me.  But I'm back and super excited for the 1st day of school tomorrow.  I met my new students on Friday evening, and oh my word - they are beyond precious!!  And now for a tour of my classroom... welcome!

 Here's the back of the cubby shelf that serves as a partial wall to create a small entryway.  The top of the shelf holds our folder buckets and turn-in tray.  I just hung these pockets from Ikea on the back.  They hold line-up chants and songs, as well as some hallway friends.

Miss Mouse joins us in the hall when we need to practice being quiet, Fly-Straight Fred helps us when we need to stay straight in a line, and Kiki Kangaroo helps us practice walking, rather than jumping or running.  ;) 

 My Goofy and Angry Bird hats are here by the doorway so I can grab them to wear in the hall as well.  I wear them backwards and they watch my line for me, of course!  :)

My Math and Science Word Walls are to the right once you enter my classroom.  They are bare now of course, but we will start adding words during the first week of school.  By the end of the year, they will be full.

Here's our little SuperKid Library.  I add thematic books to the triangular shelf, and the students' book boxes are in the cubbies.  Their book boxes hold their published books (from Writer's Workshop) and readers on their independent levels.

Literacy Station tubs are on this shelf, with our scrap buckets on top.

We are so lucky to have 7 student computers!

Our Reading Wall, Reading Tent & Reading Buddies, Treasure Box, and "back door."

 Here's the view the children have when sitting on the learning rug.  More Literacy Station tubs are on the counter with the Word Wall behind.

I used napkins to add the fun pom-poms this year.

Our Calendar area!

These shelves act as a divider for the room.  Normally there are more math games on the top of the middle shelf, but I had the table tubs there for Meet the Teacher night to make room for the folders on their tables.

Ikea cardboard magazine files make the perfect holders for math games!  I have about 40 more games stashed under the student computers, and I change them out throughout the year.

 The SuperKid rubric and "Kid Word Wall."  I used mounting tape to adhere washers to the fabric.  We add high frequency word cards with magnets to the wall throughout the year.  The students can remove the words and take them to their seats.

More about this interactive word wall here.

Our blank Writing Wall.  I can't wait to fill it up with all of our wonderful anchor charts!  Below is my shelf where I keep all of my Guided Reading goodies.

My desk and teacher table, where I had signs out for carpool and photo-taking on Meet the Teacher night.

My desk!  I love pictures.  :)

And out in the hall, we hang fantastic "Level 3" student work (usually from Literacy Stations) on these clothespins.  It's hard to tell in this picture, but we glitter-fied them this year Pinterest style.  :)

My class bulletin board:

I hope you enjoyed my classroom!  I can't wait until it's full of my SuperKids tomorrow!!  :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet the teacher

I canNOT believe that it's already Teacher Week!  Time just flies when you're having fun.  ;)
Let's get it started!  It's Monday and that means it's "Meet the Teacher" day.  I don't think I've shared very much about myself on this blog yet, so I can cover the basics plus some fun facts.  Here we go!

#1: I have been married to my wonderful husband John for 4 years.  He works as an IT Auditor for an accounting firm and is super jealous that my job is so much fun.  (Although he doesn't want to spend his days in a room full of 5-year-olds, either, but you get the point.)  We have so much fun together, and I am so blessed to have him by my side.  I thank the Lord for this man everyday!

#2:  We don't have children (yet), but we do have the 2 sweetest dogs, Lulu and Scarlet.  They don't usually cuddle, so when we catch them, we have to rush to get photographic evidence!

#3: When I was in Kindergarten, I told my parents I wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher.  Over the years, I never changed my mind.  I absolutely love what I do - teaching students to read and write is unbelievably rewarding.  I also love the character development and social skill training that comes along with being a K teacher.  We truly touch lives, y'all!  School should be so much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic.  Can I get an amen!?
#4: My mom battled triple negative breast cancer over the past year, and we can now say with glee that she is cancer-free!  Praise the Lord!  We just celebrated with a 60th birthday bash for her.  She is such an inspiration to me and to everyone that knows her.  I'm so proud of her!

#5: I love to workout and am a Turbo Kick instructor for 24 Hour Fitness.  I also teach yoga classes from time-to-time.  Exercising is my top way of releasing stress and getting an escape from the day-to-day grind.  And Turbo Kick is seriously fun.  No, seriously!

#5:  I am super blessed to work with three of my very best friends.  Lisa teaches Kinder with me, and Tracy is a 1st grade teacher.  She gets to teach all of our cuties when we have to say goodbye.  :)

Jessica teaches Kinder at another campus, but we write curriculum and lead district trainings together.  We make professional development fun.  ;)

#6:  I start every morning with a jumbo iced coffee.  Even in the winter.  I love coffee but like it cold.

 #7:  John and I took a 2 week trip to Italy and Spain this past July.  It was AH-mazing and I literally cried when we were leaving.  I'm trying to convince the hubby that we need to move to the Cinque Terre.  It's beyond words.  Rome and Barcelona were unbelievable as well.

#8:  I mentioned exercise as a stress-reliever.  My other relaxation technique: wine!  That might be part of the reason why I adored Europe so much...

#9: I have the cutest, smartest, darling-est 2-year-old niece.  Unfortunately she lives 5 hours away.  Thank goodness for Facetime!

#10: I'm currently trying to break my shopping addiction habit.  I really, really, really love to shop, but I know that *things* are just that - things.  I'd rather save my money for traveling, date nights, and making fun memories with friends and family.  It's just hard for me to remember that when I see such cute things everywhere!!  ;)

I hope you liked reading a bit about me.  I've been having fun "meeting" all of the other amazing teacher-bloggers today!  Happy Teacher Week!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Climb Inside a Poem

Is it already August!??  I swear time literally speeds up every June and July.

I write curriculum for my district every summer, and I was blessed to be given a fantastic project this go-round!  In an effort to integrate and embed more poetry into our Language Arts curriculum, the district purchased the Climb Inside a Poem series by Georgia Heard and Lester Laminack.  I took the poems and lessons included in the book, aligned them with our current curriculum, and adjusted the lessons to best address our specific standards.
We will be using these poems and lessons in both Kindergarten and 1st Grade.  They are INCREDIBLY developmentally-appropriate, child-centered, and FUN!  And the authors did such a great job of digging deep into each poem in authentic ways.  They include some very sophisticated vocabulary and concepts, but introduce them in such a way that the kids will really be able to understand and apply what they have learned.  If you need to include more poetry in your classroom, I highly recommend you take a look at Climb Inside.  

I hope you have had a wonderful summer!