7/28/12

My Little Jungle of a Classroom!

I'm sorry I've been MIA all week...I've had a lot to do! Monday was the first day I was able to go in and really get down to business setting up my classroom. I was so excited because my classroom has a GREEN accent wall! Can you believe my luck? :) My aunt took some before pictures, so here they are!




I moved the right cabinet to beside my teacher desk!

The previous teacher left quite a bit of stuff for me, and I wanted to change up the layout of the room to make it my own. So...my cousin and I attacked. We moved furniture, hung posters, sorted books, put things in cabinets, went through curriculum...EVERYTHING! It was fun because we put some music on and talked a ton. She was so helpful and I'm blessed to have had her help! I still have some work to do on the room before the kiddos arrive, but I think I'm pretty much set to go.

I hope that you like the pictures. Let me know if you have any fun ideas that I should add in!

Little library area! I store other things on that shelf as well. Should I cover it somehow?

Hallway window to my classroom! (Ignore the mess on the inside!)
Word wall! I have no bulletin boards so I made due.
We added the missing letters, don't worry :)
Job rotations! I will put craft sticks in these pockets and move them.
Made my cubbies into a little entrance hall.

All that's missing now is a teaching chair and little sweethearts!

Calendar and Skippyjon Jones! Oh, and Blue. That's my shelf's name.
I promise I'm not crazy.
What's a jungle without a palm tree? The coconuts will have
student names labelled on them!
Guided reading table. The blue cabinet has curriculum in it!

My desk! I had no desk drawers, so I put sterilite drawers and fabric drawers under!

Have you tried Veggie Sticks? LOVE them! And I couldn't live without my label machine!


Hallway poster set of praying kids! I thought they were precious!
I left some space for classroom rules, but I haven't even put them together yet...I seem to be procrastinating on creating my classroom rules and procedures. How do you post your rules? I was thinking of doing the Whole Brain Teaching rules because they seem really good, but I don't like the two that say that they need to constantly raise their hand for permission to do things.

Other things I need to are set up workstations a bit better, organize my picture books, organize cabinets, and hang up some paper lanterns! I'd really like to get some fake plants to spread around the classroom. I think it would make the room look more like a "jungle."

Hopefully this post wasn't too picture heavy for you! I thought you all would appreciate these pictures the most! :) Feel free to pin these photos to your heart's content!


What are your classroom rules?


7/22/12

Magazine Holders Redesigned!

During my time as a student teacher, my cooperating teacher/mentor taught me so many tips and tricks about kindergarten. Her main tip was planning lessons and getting materials ready on Friday so that Monday doesn't sneak up on you.

She used these wonderful magazine holders to store her lessons. There were five holders labeled with the days of the week. Each holder had a manila folders for math, phonics, shared reading, etc.

I decided to use this form of planning as well, so I took a trip down to one of my local Walmarts. (I'm from a huge city where there are a billion Walmarts within driving distance. It's ridiculous really.)

I found some really nice magazine holders for $5 each. I wasn't too excited about the price, but after looking on my phone and comparing prices quickly on Amazon, OfficeDepot, and other stores, I decided to just splurge. They're made of metal, so I know they will last through the years. Not sure what the holes are for. Any ideas?

My only problem is...they're not so cute. I mean, if you're a minimalist, it would probably suit you. But I'm a teacher. There's not enough...personality! I needed to do something about that--FAST!

Out came the scrapbook paper and the black cardstock. I booted up my trusty Silhouette Cameo die-cutter (which is my absolute favorite thing right now besides my laptop!) and got to creating. It didn't take long before I had these little babies all assembled and ready to stick on.


I used the font Elise by Kevin and Amanda. I love their fonts. So cute, yet so free! :) Anyways. Back to my creation.

After I laminated and cut each one, I got out my packing/masking tape. You know, the clear tape that's super sticky? I pulled off a bit so that I could wrap the ends around onto the holders. It turned out really cute.

Magazine Holders Redesigned! Use these to store your week's lesson materials.

Here are some photos of the completed project! It really took very little time to do this, and I'm definitely excited about them!

Redesign your boring magazine holders!
Get crafty with your magazine holders
Magazine holders redecorated to store your lesson materials


I hope I inspired you to try this out, too. It's really fun and can go with any classroom theme and color scheme. My theme happens to be jungle/wild animals, so that's why I picked these adorable animals!

Thanks for dropping by.

I'm so thankful to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for hosting this fantastic linky! It makes me work. :)

OH!! Classroom pics will be up sometime THIS WEEK! Keep your eyes peeled for that!
 

How do you organize your teaching materials?

7/21/12

Liebster Award! Woo Hoo!

Just this Wednesday, I received the sweetest compliment from a blogger that really encourages me to keep on keeping on. Mrs. Katzman from Mrs. Katzman's Kinder Cubs and Mrs. McElveen from Whooo Loves Kindergarten? awarded me the Liebster Award! Mrs. McElveen doesn't have a blog button, but her blog is still precious! I've been seeing this award floating around the blogosphere lately, but didn't think I'd have the honor of receiving it. Thank you so much, my dear friends! You are wonderful! Oh, and you should go check them out if you haven't. :)

 

This award is named for the German word "Liebster," which translates to "beloved" or "favorite", and is given to a "new, up and coming blogger."

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

AND the award goes to.... (drum-roll pleeeease!):





Mrs. Hodge and
Her Kindergarten Kids





Patterson's Porch


The Resource Room Teacher


The Teacher Garden
Liv to Teach

Liv to Teach

I'm also linking up to the Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop! I love this idea, and I'm excited to participate.


Here are my responses to the questions:

1.  What state you are in? Texas (All hail the mighty state!)
2.  Your current teaching position: Kindergarten teacher (and super excited!)
3.  Your teaching experience: I've gone through student teaching and I tutored a lot. This will be my first year of teaching and I can't wait to begin this journey.
4.  When you started blogging: The middle of May, and I don't regret it at all!
5.  Share a blogging tip/Blogging resource: Honestly, I learned so much from Teaching Blog Traffic School! I watched all the videos and I got to meet some fantastic bloggers who've helped me grow and expand. I love the community provided there! If you haven't checked it out, I really highly recommend it to you! (Seriously.) I also learned a lot about social media etiquette, how to host a good linky party, and what to do with Google+! Charity is great and I love how much time she puts in to help newbie bloggers get on their feet. Click the picture below to learn more about it through my referral!
 
 
I hope you enjoyed reading my responses! Thanks for being awesome!

What do you love about teaching blogs?

 

 

7/18/12

Bubbl.us and MindMeister Video Tutorial!

This post is going to be short and sweet!

Quick Sidenote: Things have been getting a little crazy in my life right now, and I hope that you can go through this wild time with me. I definitely need all the encouragement I can get right now! I'll be going to set up my classroom hardcore next week -- I got my keys!! Woo hoo! I'm official.

Okay, back to the cool tools!

Today's tutorial is on TWO different web tools. I know that you're going to love them. :) I did! Some of you may already know about them, but it could help you still. They are called Bubbl.us and MindMeister.

These tools are meant to allow you to get your thoughts down in a logical manner. This can be called "brainstorming," "concept mapping," or "mind mapping." It can be used in so many different ways, but the focus is to start with a concept and come up with tons of branches that come off that idea. (If you get my drift!)

How can they be integrated?

Here are some simple ways to use these tools:
  • Create a whole class concept map when the season changes! (Start with "Summer" in the middle and branch off of that)
  • Plan your letters that you send home to parents.
  • Let the class plan stories (using main character, setting, etc)
  • Allow students to use these tools as a way to accommodate them in essay writing. Some kids think better when they have a chance to brainstorm in a different way.
I hope that this tutorial helps you out! Here's the video!



Oh, and here's the quick survey. I'd love if you filled it out! I read all your entries and cherish each one. They brighten my day!

Which do you like better: MindMeister or Bubbl.us? Why?



7/16/12

Monday Made It! (and other news)

My wonderful followers, I did it! I Monday made it! 
I've never linked up to this fun party, but now I can actually show you something I made for my classroom. I'm going to go in and work some on my classroom this Wednesday, so I'll have at least one crafty thing to hang up in my room :)
I made these with my Silhouette Cameo! (My first ever project!!)
If you don't have a die-cutter, you need one. 
Like now.
I got the idea from Kim at For the Love of Kinder Garden.
For the Love of Kindergarden

She told me that one of the things she puts up every year is a collection of question words. I thought it was genius! SO, I created these. I will point at the words when I have the students ask questions. I want them to understand what the words LOOK like and not just how they sound.
Seeing the print is great for connecting the sounds to text. PHONICS! Labeling everything will help students grow their schema, so I figured that those words are super important to label. They use them on a day to day basis. (Especially "WHY??")

I also cut out these fantastic schedule cards from Barbie Roper's TPT page. They're too stinkin' precious! I think I love them!
I love the snack one! The kids are dressed as a Lettuce and Carrot! :)

I'm thinking about doing the Sterilite bins tutorial from Kinder-Craze. She's awesome, and totally inspires me. I got a 5-drawer bin last week at Walmart. I couldn't resist. It was calling to me. This last week I shopped till I dropped.

Here are some of the things I bought for my classroom!
Calendar kit with cute monkey number pieces from Lakeshore!
I RAIDED that store. Seriously.
Uppercase Letter magnets, a large stamp, color words
poster, and a Magna-Doodle!


A 6 foot tall palm tree for my wall. I may just end up
using the trunk!
2 sets of border and one PURPLE pointer! Oh my goodness!
I love shopping with gift cards!

In other bloggy news, I will be posting my technology tutorials on WEDNESDAYS from now on. I'm sorry I skipped last week. I had a lot going on, so please don't be too disappointed! I will post up this week's tutorial on Wednesday. You're going to LOVE it. You may already know the tool, but maybe it will help refresh your memory!

Name idea: Web Tools Wednesday?

Do you have a better name idea for my series of video tutorials on web 2.0 tools for teachers? Comment below! If you haven't seen one of the posts, you can find them here. I made a little handy link for you to click and take you to all of them! :) You can also look in the Tech Tutorials tabby page at the top of my blog.

Thanks for reading!

Make sure you click the follow button on the sidebar OR follow by Facebook! I'd love for you to stay a while and see what other goodness I have planned for this blog.

Thank you to 4th Grade Frolics for hosting this linky party. I love getting all those wonderful ideas for my classroom! It's such fun!

Oh, and please leave a comment! I love comments! It's similar to the feeling of opening Christmas gifts early. I will take the time to reply to each one of you, too! :)