Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Math Wednesday and Other Stuff

Okay, so yet again I have fallen behind on blogging. It is migraines my friends. They have hit hard. I know, I know. Take your iron pills Markeeta then your migraines will stop. I just forget!!! Hopefully this week of being in a very bad place will help me get better about it. Any way. I have my pictures for week 4 of the Clutter Free Classroom Project. I really did a number to my desk, but it is about to change. We got our PTA to buy kindergarten kidney shaped tables for small group, so say goodbye to my desk. I will post for week 4, but then another post will come (soon I hope) about the removal of my desk!!!! YAY!!!!

We have been doing Guided Math for two weeks now and it is getting better. Here is my plan for starting topic 10 (addition).

1. Today I will do the introduction story that comes with Envision Math. We will also take one of the three tests that come with the series. I will use this test to put them into 4 groups.
2. Tomorrow I will tell them their groups and we will begin our lessons.
3. Each group has a center
            A. Small Group with me
            B. Center Cards
            C. Games
            D. Worksheet
4. We start each lesson whole group. We do the following in whole group.
            A. A daily review
            B. Problem of the day
            C. Add vocabulary to math word wall
            D. Watch the visual learning that goes with our series
5. Then they go to centers. They rotate after 12 minutes. Anyone who doesn't get their worksheet finished has to complete it before they move on to the next center.

My low group always starts with me, then moves to worksheet. This way we can start it together, then they can finish it on their own. My high group starts at worksheet because they usually already understand what to do. Then when they get to me we check it and see if we can take it a step farther.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It finally hit

Exhaustion that is. I have not posted at all this week, but I promise I have good reasons. First, I have two children under two that take turns staying up at night! My hubs has been out of town. I am only on week three of full time work with my babies. I have been sick with what I can only describe as flu like symptoms. I think that part of that is our wellness challenge though. We started a wellness challenge at school and now I am staying and working out three days a week, which has made me sore add that to the mini stomach bug I had and the pleurisy and you get flu like symptoms without the flu! I hope any way!

Sorry about that just needed a minute to vent. Well we have done 3 days of guided math. It is going pretty good. The kids are use to small group structure, routine, and rules so that part has been fine. The table that does the assessment has not gone well. Monday's they finished in about two seconds. Tuesday's took fffffooooorrrrreeeevvvvveeeeerrrrrr. Then today's was super easy again, so I really need to tweak them! Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Clutter Free Classroom Project Week 3

This is week three of the Clutter Free Classroom Project. If you haven't joined yet you should.

Purging clutter really isn't that hard for me. I do it at the end of every year, especially since I have been in 4 classrooms in 4 years. It is easy to purge so you don't have to move it!
For this project I am focusing on my art center and my small group area. My small group area is by the door and catches a lot of junk. I forgot my camera the day I did it so no pictures but trust me I got rid of a lot!!!!
The art center was full of messy paper, lots of containers with markers and crayons galore. I went through and threw out all the dried up markers and marker lids with no marker. Check out my purging!
Empty box lid (covered in contact paper-that is how the teacher before stored things). This once held  paper, but not very well!

All the paper that has been drawn on or cut up that was once in the box lid. This is going in the cutting tub  where students practice  cutting, but it is a sturdy plastic tub with scissors attached.

All the markers I cleared out. (Used that same old box lid)

Three tubs of markers down to just one!

The final product! It still needs to be moved to another area, and needs better storage but it looks a lot better now!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I totally had a post ready to go yesterday and my little man (who likes to shut things) shut the computer and lost my post! I was just to tired to do it again! So today will be about math, maybe I will pin this weekend!

I am starting Guided Math. We have spent this week practicing how to use our center cards, where to get the materials for them, and how to play the other games. Tomorrow I will give an assessment to put the kids in math groups for this topic.

On Monday we start. I will have four groups. One will do the center cards that come with our series. One group will play other math games I have created, or found on Pinterest and TpT. Another group will do an assessment page. The fourth group will work with me.

We will start whole group with a video clip and overview activity of the days lesson. I will tell the about the center card to be added and what game to play. This should take about 12 minutes. Then each group will get 12 minutes at each station. The only group that will complete the work page without me will be my highest group and they will start with that. All the other groups will come to me then move to the work page next. That way we can start it together and they can finish independently.

Do you do guided math? How does yours work?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reading Tuesday

Well we are back in the swing of things. Of course this is the time of year for snow, so who knows how many days in a row we will be going to school the next few weeks. We had a snow day last Friday, and we were off yesterday for MLK day. They are calling for flurries tonight, that could potentially mean a delay or snow day tomorrow. It kind of makes my plans all over the place. It raises one of the hardest questions I have as a teacher. Do I follow my plan as is, no matter what days we have missed, or do I skip what we miss. With math it is fairly easy to decide we just do the next lesson no matter how many days we have missed. With reading it seems more complicated. Do we continue with a story even if it takes three weeks to finish or do we stick with the curriculum map and start a new story every week even if we didn't finish the last one? So what do you do in your classroom? Do you hate writing plans for the winter time? Or are you just really jealous because you never get snow days?! I want to hear from you on how you handle this time of year!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Day In My Shoes

Over at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher she is hosting her first linky. She wants us all to share a day in our shoes. I am loving reading about every one's day, so I thought I would join in. You should too!

I debated what time to start my day, so I will start in the very first hour!!!

12:00 Little Sissy wakes up for a feeding!
3:00 AM Little Sissy wakes up for a feeding!
5:30 AM The alarm clock goes off, I shower and get ready as much as I can before...
6:00 AM Little Sissy wakes up for a feeding!
6:30 AM I finish getting ready and put something in the crock pot for dinner that night and pack a lunch.
7:00 AM The babysitter arrives, we run through what kind of night Little Sissy and Bubby had and what I need her to clean for the day (I am so extremely blessed, you can all hate for a second if you want!)
7:10 AM I am on the road to school. I usually talk to my mom. We only live 45 seconds from each other, but when I lived 3 1/2 hours away we talked every morning on my way to work, so we just continued with the tradition.
7:30 AM I arrive at school. Put away all my things and turn on the computer. I pass out morning work, put the lunch count up on the SMART board, and make sure everything is ready to go. I try to run down to the cafe and get some tea in my cup, but I usually get distracted talking on my way.
8:00 AM The students are released to our classrooms. They come in, put their backpacks away, turn in their folders, and do their lunch count. They sit down and start their morning work and wait on the morning news to start.
8:10 AM Our fifth grade does a morning news program (Kindergarten does the weather!)
8:20 AM We have our morning meeting. We go through our calendar and sing songs about the days, months, letters, and numbers. We also celebrate birthdays and kiddos  with missing teeth!
8:40 AM We begin our reading lesson for the day. We go through a PowerPoint where we talk about our reading strategy, read our story, practice our Popcorn words, and review our letter of the week. We also sing a few songs (phonics songs, vocabulary songs, and a letter song).
9:00 AM I go pump, because Little Sissy is having a feeding!
9:15 AM The students go to literacy centers. They begin at their must do center and as they finish they have two choice centers to go to. During this time I am pulling reading groups.
10:00 AM We have a snack time.
10:15 AM We start math. Right now it is just a boring chunk of time, stay tuned for Wednesday's post where I share how I am about to change my kids math worlds!!!!
11:10 AM Bathroom Breaks
11:20 AM LUNCH, which means wonderful time with my coworkers just talking!
11:50 AM Pick up kiddos from the cafe and do a really quick lunch break
12:00 Students are off to related arts (art, library, PE, music, guidance, computer lab) and I am off to pump because Little Sissy is having a feeding!
1:00 Kiddos are back so we have a quick bathroom break and have our ISE time, which is Intervention and Enrichment. My assistant pulls some of my students for extra help, and the rest of us spend more time on grammar and writing. I also do some of the fun things I find on blogland during this time!
1:50 Recess, which means more chatting with my wonderful fellow teachers!
2:20 Back inside for restroom break and rest time
2:45 Time to pack up and get ready for the end of the day
3:00 Car riders leave with the assistants and I take the bus riders out to get on the bus before the bigger kids rush out! Then I run back in to..can you guess...pump, because Little Sissy is having a feeding!
3:00-4:00 Get some work done that I didn't finish during planning and set up for the day
4:00 Head home, talk to the babysitter about how Little Sissy and Bubby's day went. Then spend some quality time with my two favorite people in the world.
5:00 Get dinner ready
6:00 Hubs gets home and we all eat dinner, even Little Sissy gets a feeding!
7:00 Bedtime routine starts, bath if the babysitter didn't have to do them already (Bubby is a messy eater!), story and cuddle time
8:00 In a dream world Bubby would be asleep but in reality he is still cuddling
9:00 Hubs takes Bubby to his crib for the night and Little Sissy gets a feeding! This is when I relax and get some blog stalking and posting done.
10:00 Hubs and I head to bed, I would like to go earlier but never seem ready.

So that's my day. I am still waiting for the day when Little Sissy doesn't eat every 3 hours on the dot, but for now we just work through it! Today is a day off for me, but I had the babysitter come any way so I could nap and go to a doctors appointment. My nap was wonderful!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Clutter Free Classroom Project Week 2

I am participating in the Clutter Free Classroom Project. You should check it out and join up with me.
This weeks challenge is to create a plan. After snapping pictures for last week, I decided that I would focus on two areas of my room. My small group area and my art center. I think the big problem for both of these are their locations. My small group area is as soon as you walk in the door, which makes it a dumping area. My art center is on a shelf with other literacy centers, it doesn't get a lot of space. 
My plan:
1. Clean out the art center. Get  rid of markers that don't work, paper that has been used and put back.
2. Go through every thing in the art center and decide what materials I have, what materials I am out of, and what materials just aren't getting used. 
3. My materials will go into one of three boxes: 1. Keep for the art center, 2. Donate to the art teacher, and 3. TRASH!!!
4. Then I will be moving the art center to a new area, where it can have more space and a better area for the students to work.

1. Clean off my small group table.
2. Go through all my small group games and materials.
3. Go through my drawer organizer and clean out all the stuff that has just been crammed in there!
4. These materials will go into one of three boxes: 1. Keep, 2. Donate to the teachers lounge, 3. TRASH!!!
5. Then I am moving the small group area away from the door so that it will quit being a catch all!

I am excited, and may take Monday (a holiday) to go and get some stuff done in the room!

I can't wait to see what every ones plans are! Good luck!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pinterest Thursday and Currently

Well I am pretty much exhausted. So my posts, which have barely made it up have been short! Hopefully I can get some rest this weekend and recover for next week!

Three pins for the week:

This just made me smile

I made this last week and it is our new family favorite, we have already fixed it again and it's on next weeks menu!

This is a good idea, I may work on something like this over the summer

Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade is hosting her monthly Currently Linky Party. I am linking up. Are you?

Come on and join

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reading Tuesday

Okay so this was suppose to post yesterday and it didn't for some reason. Oh well, because I don't really have anything for math today! Sorry! Here is Reading Tuesday's post:

My kids are really struggling with sentences. So we are starting over. We are learning all the parts of a sentence over again. This week we have talked about capital letters, periods, and naming parts. We created an anchor chart together (and color coded it). Then we used our color coding to do some practice. I printed the anchor chart off and it is hanging in the room, plus it is on my SMART board so I can pull it up and add to it when we go over the telling part! I am putting a picture of the chart here. If you would like the digital copy and have SMART notebook just leave me a comment with your email and it is yours!

How do you teach your kids sentences?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Freebie Monday!

Well this post will be short and sweet for two reasons.
1. Tonight is the national championship game, and it is time to prepare!
Roll Tide Roll!!!!
2. My babies stay up all night and I am tired!

So here is your freebie. Each year I have a hundreds club. This club is for students that can count to 100. I have a bulletin board in my room and when they can count by one's to 100 they get this ribbon on the bulletin board. Then they can try for 5's 10's and 2's. They love it. I occasionally hold "meetings" where they get to eat lunch in the room and watch a movie. Here is the ribbon I created. Hope you can use it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Clutter Free Classroom Project Week 1

Well I am a day late, but I went back to work for the first time in 8 weeks this week, so surely you can forgive me!!! I almost forgot (even though I had it on my to do list EVERY DAY THIS WEEK!!) to take pictures before I left. I took pictures of two areas that I really want to fix, and then just some general pictures of my room, and one area that I organized, made labels for and gotten the way I would love my whole room to be. Here you go my before pictures:

Of course it would help if I would explain. If you feel completely lost in this post then you probably don't know about Clutter Free Classroom's Project to help us all get more organized. Check out her blog to learn all about it and join up. It's going to be so much fun, and who could pass up a chance to party every Friday (well linky party at least!!!)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pinterest Thursday

This first pin is what I made for dinner tonight and it was d-e-lish!!

This is what I wish my classroom looked like!

This is the time of year for new students. I am sure in a few weeks I will regret not doing this yet!

Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Math Wednesday

We use the Envision Math series. I am still out on whether I like it or not. I guess I should say there are things I really like about it, but there are things I really don't like about it. They provide a daily spiral review, which I love. Except it is a sheet we have to copy. So that is one sheet on the front five days a week. I spent a good part of Monday making my own spiral review booklets. I put two lessons a day on a page, copied front/back. That really cuts down on the copies. Plus I put it in a book and that allows them to keep it in their chair covers. Then they can pull it out at the beginning of math (end of snack time) and complete that days lesson. It becomes like a math journal. I have them labeled as the lessons for our math. I put them on TpT, but I thought the lessons won't make sense if you use another series. So if you like them and want to purchase them just send me a message and let me know how you would want them labeled and I will correct them and email you a customized copy. Check them out at my store.

(The border and a few graphics came from From The Ponds store. Check her out here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reading Tuesday

Well today is my last day from maternity leave/holiday break. I am a little sad. I am going to miss being home with my babies, but I am ready to get back to a more normal life. We only have a three day week this week. So there will be some review of how to be in school, plus we are doing a reading story. I am curious how all of you out there in bloggy land do your reading time. My goes like this:

We start whole group on the rug and go through a Power Point that I have for each story. We sing a song about our amazing words for the day, then discuss what they mean. Then we read the story for the week (on Thursdays they listen to it on CD and on Fridays we read a related story). After the story we do some form of activity on the reading skill for that week. Then we spend some time working on our letter of the week. We sing a song about the letter and do some phonics activities. We also work on sounding out words and high frequency words. The students then return to their seats and complete some form of independent work on some skill from that day.
After the independent work they go to centers. My students complete one must do center and then have the choice of two other centers. If you want to know all about how my centers work check out this post on centers. During this time I work with small groups on different reading activities. We have some extra time in the afternoon that I work on writing and grammar skills, plus some more work on the letter of the week.

So how do you fit all your reading/language arts into your schedule? And what does your reading time look like?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clutter Free Classroom and a Linky Party

So Clutter Free Classroom is doing a year long project to make your classroom clutter free. Every Monday she will give a topic, give ideas throughout the week then on Friday allow those participating to share. So I am moving my freebie to Monday (plus that will give me the weekend to work on it now that I am going back to work) and Friday will be Clutter Free Friday!! I am looking forward to organizing my classroom and seeing how everyone else does the project topics!! You should participate!!! Just click the link below:

Little Miss Kindergarten is hosting a Linky Party. Teachers supporting Teachers, what a great idea, supporting each other. That is the best part of blogging, all the support we give each other. My most supportive bloggy friend is Laura over at Kinder Kraziness. She does a lot to support fellow teacher bloggers! She offers all kinds of freebies and every Sunday she features an up and coming blogger (mine was yesterday!! THANKS!!!!) If you don't already you should follow her!!
Little Miss Kindergarten