Tuesday, July 31, 2012

First Day Jitters Linky

Fierce in Fourth is hosting a "First Day Jitters" Blog Hop.  

Kids are always surprised that teachers get jitters too. . . but WE know how stressful the first few days are!  

Here are the 3 things that make me a little nervous STRESS ME OUT the first day of school:

#1  How many moms and kids are going to cry and WHAT DO I DO!?!?

This is not my first rodeo folks.  14 years of experience. . . I know there WILL be criers.  Every time it happens I freeze.  WHAT DO I DO?  Tough love?  Sympathy?  Walk away?    

#2  Are they all here?  You wouldn't believe how many times I count the kids the first day.
I don't know them yet. . . their friends don't know them yet. . . and they don't know you yet!  Honestly if they end up in another line or classroom it's hard to tell!  So I count and count again, and count again!  One time I knew I was missing a kids and we couldn't find him for 10 minutes!  We lost him during recess (I knew he was going to need special watching so I was trying to point him out to the EA on duty and he was no where to be found!) 10 minutes later  he wandered out of the corn field bordering our school and handed me a stalk of corn he had picked for me.  Had the biggest darn smile on his face and was so proud.  Took 10 years off my life!

#3  26 Kindergartners
That's my number right now. (it could grow to 28)  It's the biggest kindergarten class I've ever had.  I had 27 first graders one year but I was too young to know to worry about it.  I told my principal, "I have 22 cubbies and seating for 24 so I'm very sorry but I just can't have 26 in my room."  HA!  Good try, right?  It's not really the cubbies or tables I'm worried about (although that does create a problem).  For the next 175 days these kids are MINE and I want them all the love school and learning and I want them to be ready for all the challenges of First Grade.  Plus, I'd really like to do it with my sanity intact!

Ok. . . deep breath. . . Sigh. . . .

Tomorrow in blogging land should be a lot of fun!  Jessica Stanford from Mrs. Stanford's class is hosting a Magical Product Swap.  Bloggers are making, using and reviewing other's TPT products and posting about it on their blogs.  Get ready for your TPT wishlist to GROW!  


Stop back tomorrow to see the packet I'm trying out!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rules Posters and a Lunch Packet that will save you time!

I've had a lot of requests to change my 6 Rules packet to meet individual classroom needs.  While I would LOVE to be able to help everyone out I just don't have time.  BUT, I did spend a little time searching for other packets that might serve your needs better than mine so take a look and see if any of these will fit your needs: 

Click the pictures to go to each set of rules

Fourth and Tens' Blog:

The Polka Dot Patch

A Teacher on a Mission

Renee Smalley

And a whole bunch more from a search I did on TPT:

Hope you can find one that works for you!

Also, Stephanie from Primary Possibilities has a new packet on TPT that must have taken FOREVER to compile!  If your students get lunch choices you have to check this packet out! It's 32 pages of lunch pictures and it's only $3.00!  Click the first screen shots to go to TPT and check it out!  What a huge time saver!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tell Me More! Tell Me More!

I meant to get this link up done days ago but got distracted with other things. . . now there are 195 blogs participating in the link up!  Incredible! That makes me #196!

Nothing too exciting to report about me but here are the basics:

My husband and I started dating in high school.  We dated all through college and through the first 2 years of my teaching career while he finished college.  We rarely lived in the same town while we were dating!  7 years later we finally got married!   July 29th will be our 12th anniversary. . .which means he's been in my life for 19 years now!  He must be darn near perfect to put up with me for that long!  

We absolutely LOVE Mexico. . . the culture, the people, the atmosphere- EVERYTHING!  We try to get there at least once a year.  It's our "de-stressing" time!

We also "de-stress" by taking motorcycle trips.  Some of our favorite trips have been to Sturgis, Milwaukee, Northern Minnesota and Canada.

We have 2 beautiful children.  Paige is 9 and loves soccer, running, swimming. . .well, pretty much anything where she can move CONSTANTLY!  Addie is 6 and loves her babies, her stuffed animals and anything she can mother. . . she is my nurturer.

They flew in an airplane for the first time this year when my parents took the whole crew (all 14 of us) to Disney to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.  (We're hoping for Hawaii to celebrate their 50th!)  You can't ask for better parents than them. . . I am extremely blessed.

I teach at an amazing school in eastern South Dakota and love my job.  This is a picture of all of us (teachers and kids) taken this year.  Do you see me?  Ha ha!

That about covers it.  
Check out more "Tell Me More" stories here:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rockin' Resources Linky

I'm linking up with Teacher Idea Factory for Rockin' Resources Linky (Part Deux)!  I'm excited to see everyone's:

Here's mine (in no particular order):

Smart Board

Personal Laminator

My 2 Grade Level Co-Workers
It's great to work with people who know you're crazy, can tell you you're crazy, and can refrain from choking you when you know they want to!  Thanks ladies!

Of Course:


Click here to see what other teachers can't live without!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies

I've linked up with Classroom Freebies (Manic Monday)
Here are 2 of my most downloaded freebies. 

Click the pictures to get your copy:

I know, it's not anywhere near April but hey. . . it's free!  : )

Happy Manic Monday!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitchen Play Center....don't give up on it yet!

Early Childhood experts agree on the importance of play.  I dare you to find one expert that says children DON'T benefit from play. . . trust me, you won't find one!

My own daughter was a kindergartner last year and she has been dreading first grade all summer. 
She said they aren't allowed to play in first grade!  I hope she's wrong but she's probably right.  

Standards are climbing and teachers are scrambling to keep up.

No, we don't play all day BUT we DO PLAY!  And yes, I believe in the power of play!
Ok, I'm off my high horse.

My kitchen center needed a little attention this year so I've spent the summer collecting and making items to replenish it a little.

Here's what I've been doing:
This is my daughter's kitchen at home.

One thing I've found is that kids prefer playing with the "real deal!"  Instead of spending lots of money on fake food simply clean out your own containers instead of throwing them away!  

If you keep cans (like the Manwich can in the picture) make sure you open the can from the bottom.  It won't have the sharp edges that can cut and when you put it on the shelf it looks like it hasn't been opened yet.

I've also been working on some paper items to put in the center.

click picture to see on TPT

The great thing about play is that they don't need directions.  Experts also agree we shouldn't guide play.  Kids know how to do it naturally.  

So let them play!
And learn.
And grow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Behavior Charts....here's what I'm going to try!

If you saw my post a few weeks ago about Behavior Charts you'll know I was questioning the use of my "normal" behavior chart in my classroom.  (http://inspiredbykindergarten.blogspot.com/2012/07/behavior-charts-advicecomments-welcome.html)

There were 2 main reasons I started to question
"The chart":
 (#1) I would want to talk to kids about their choices 2 hours after it happened (while they were missing their recess) and I couldn't remember what they had done to get their picture moved to yellow! Of course they couldn't remember either. . . what great conversations we had.

(#2)  My "angels" were constantly saying "I've never been on red or yellow.  I'm always on green.  Bobby is always on yellow or red."  Blah, blah, blah.  Yuck.  I didn't like it at all.  No matter how often I asked them to "Be the Boss of You" they still talked about it!  Those kids don't forget anything!!

So, I tried to think of a different way to keep track of behavior.  I need visuals, the kids need visuals, and I need it to be EASY and CONSISTENT!

After looking at lot of different behavior management ideas I took a little of this and a little of that and came up with something I think will work for me and my class.

Since I don't have access to my classroom, a class list, or ANY supplies yet I made this beautiful visual for you (nice, right?)

So this is what's in my head.  It will be kept near my desk (out of the view of prying eyes but right in my line of vision).  Each kinder will have a pocket.  If their pocket is empty they are making good choices.  If there is a card in the pocket they will need to conference with me before going to recess or any type of free play time.  The cards in the pocket are miniatures of our class rules.

clipart from Scrappindoodles
By the way. . . love the rule from Whole Brain teaching "Keep Your Dear Teacher Happy!"  Hello. . . that rules applies to everything the other rules don't cover! 

This is completely new to me but I am excited to try it out.  If you're interested in seeing the "whole shebang" click HERE for your free copy!

I usually like to stick with blogging about things I've actually tried and like but this time I'm going out on a limb and sharing my "future" with you!   I will let you know how it goes once I give it a try!   

Sunday, July 15, 2012

An OLD Freebie (Did you get it?)


I'm on vacation!  Woo Hoo!

And I can tell that you are truly impressed that I am blogging on vacation.

I won't disappoint you and tell you this blog post was scheduled ahead of time.  ; )  

I pulled a moldy oldy out of archives for today.  

Ok, maybe not too old. . .I've only been blogging for 9 months.

I'm rambling.

Click on the pic to download your free DJ Inkers themed Alphabet Posters!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wish List

I fear I might need an intervention.  

I have 25 items on my Teacher's Pay Teacher's wish list.  

Is that a lot? 
It feels like a lot!

I cleaned it out a little.  
I deleted 1 item 
(it was one of my own products. . .how did I get 1 of my own products on my wish list!?!  Weird!)
I bought 2 
(they were on sale!)

I don't know if that actually counts as "cleaning out."  
Baby steps, right?

This is #1 on my list right now. 
(It is Reagan's from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits.)
I didn't buy it today because then I would have had to rush to school to start organizing and I promised my kids we'd go to the pool today.  
(Oh, the sacrifices I make! Sigh. . . )  

How many items are in your TPT wishlist and do you have a #1?