June 30, 2013

Currently and a Sale!

I'm linking up to Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade!  for her Currently Linky party!  Fun, fun!

Also, I am having a sale in my little shop tomorrow!  My favorite back to school items will be 20% off until midnight tomorrow night.  Be sure to check it out!

June 28, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share my Five for Friday!  My little guy is still recovering from his tonsil/adenoidectomy, so I have had a lot of time to work on school stuff this week.  Here are some of the things I have been up to.

I was somehow able to go shopping yesterday, thanks to my sweet grandparents watching my kiddos.  It was a culture shock to be out of the house by myself for more than 30 minutes.  I hit up Michaels, Target, and Old Time Pottery.  I took a picture of some of the things I stocked up on for my classroom.  

1.  The chevron tubs.  I bought these from Michaels.  I have 2 owl tubs that were purchased from Meijer and are the exact same size.  Right now, I have my Accelerated Reader books leveled in them.  I plan on adding the chevron and mixing it up a little!  I will probably end up buying a few more of both types.  I live for plastic tubs. :)

2.  Scentso Markers.  These were on clearance for 50 cents at Michael's!  50 CENTS!!!  My kids loved these things last year.  How did I use them, you ask?  I put a few in the writing center to help the kids spice up their writing, but my favorite function of these heavenly-scented things were in our My Work Rocks boxes {idea from Mrs. Osterman's Kindergarten Rocks blog}.  I learned about these at the Indiana Kindergarten Conference, and boy did my kiddos love them!  They are just art boxes filled with fun things, like these markers, cool pencils, Twistable crayons, etc.  My kids totally wanted those boxes every day.  I chose two friends to get these boxes each day, with the only stipulation being they couldn't use them on tests.  THEY LOVED THEM.  Best reward ever.  And, hold the phone, but I even found smelly glue sticks for this year.  My new kids will flip their lids.

3.  Mini-accordian files.  I found these in the Dollar Spot at Target.  My plan for these is to print out alphabet, number, sight word, and math facts cards, cut them out, and store them for each child in one of these doohickies.  They can take these back and forth from home to school, and hopefully this will help us all stay organized.  They are bright, and I plan to make a cute chevron/owl name label to add to the front.

4.  Owl clip boards.  These came from Michael's.  I read on DeeDee Wills' blog about her sticker system for assessing on the spot.  I am really excited to try these!  My plan is to use one clip board for the weekly nursery rhyme assessment and another for our weekly oral reading assessment.  We use a program called ESGI for our grading period assessments, so it is a modification of the way DeeDee uses hers.  But great idea!

5.  Chevron and owl binder clips.  From Michael's.  How did they know that this was my theme?  I'm pretty sure the people at Michael's made this collection just for me. :)

6.  Pretty chevron saying sign.  I found this lovely at Old Time Pottery.  It's cute, and I plan to put it behind my computer in my teacher area.  It was a steal at $11.99!  

7.  Misc. chevron items.  I found all of these at... you guessed it... Michael's.  There are cupcake liners for open house treats, chevron pens, and chevron and owl pencils for my kiddos.  I stock up on pencils anytime I can, because my kids have a weekly spelling tic-tac-toe board for homework, and the prize for turning it in (besides knowing their spelling words), is a brand new pencil.  

For our first day, I am going to do a photo booth with my kiddos.  I always take a first day picture, but it's going to be fun this year!  I bought a tri-fold presentation board, and I plan to make a chevron bunting to put behind it.  Not sure what it is going to say yet, but I'm leaning toward I {heart} Kindergarten!  Above, you will see an idea I got from Michelle at Apples and ABC's.  It's a wooden letter (which was on clearance at Michael's) and a sheet of scrapbook paper.  I traced the letter, cut out the pattern, and Mod Podged it to the wood.  It is just the most adorable and perfect little prop!

Photo Courtesy of Accessory Auctions

I bought my first day outfit this week.  Anyone else out there are obsessed with online shopping as me?  I have discovered a new spin on it... Facebook shopping.  I stumbled upon a little shop called Accessory Auctions on Facebook.  They are based out of Texas, and they have the CUTEST stuff.  And it's cheap.  Cute and cheap.  I can do that.  Anyway, they have an auction Monday-Friday at 8 CDT.  I bought this little chevron top, and it is just too cute for words.  Even cuter in person.  And yes, I am a goober for buying my first day outfit two months before it's needed.  But the first day is pretty much like prom to me. :)

Another thing I worked on while tending to my recovering boy was filling my OWL binders for next years Kindergarten Kids.  I am at a loss for which binder cover looks best.  I am loving the chevron and chalkboard, but it's missing something.  The red cover is not doing it for me either though.  Your input matters to me! :)

Finally, I went to school yesterday for the first time since school was out.  I walked in to find this.

Let me preface this by saying I love to read to my kids and to teach my kids to read.  It's not that.  I just really don't like textbooks.  I am making the most of it though, and have already stored away a great deal of it.  I definitely won't be using all of it, but there are some good components that I will incorporate.  I have also purchased Kim's Reader's Workshop units to use with my kiddos.  I'm excited to do more of a workshop method incorporated with our reading series.  

Don't forget to switch over to Bloglovin'!  Follow me on there!  Link in the top left corner. :)

June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday!

Hey again!  It's only been a few hours, but I am linking up to Cara's linky to throw it back to the beginning of last school year.

In this post from August 7, 2012 {my very first blog post!}, I wrote very briefly about my room, but I posted lots of pictures....  not very good quality... But it's funny to see how much my room changed over the year.  I will be starting on painting my classroom hopefully next week, and I will blog about my total room transformation in the coming weeks. Can't wait!  :)
Original Post from August 7, 2012

A new year is upon us! It has been a fantastic summer for my family and me. Summer is coming to a close, and it's time to get back in school mode. Woo whoo!!!

My classroom is 95% ready to go. I worked this weekend to finish it up.

Tomorrow night is open house at VFES. I cannot wait to meet all of my new kindergarten kids! It's going to be a fantastic year!
Last week, I uploaded my my word wall cards and headers to my TPT shop.  They are for sale there, but you can access them until Friday through Google Drive for FREE!  Take advantage of it while you can!  All I ask is that you follow my blog and tell your friends! :)  Enjoy!

June 26, 2013

Calendar Time Summer Linky!

Hello again!  This has been a long, long week in our house.  My little guy got his tonsils and adenoids removed last Tuesday, and I have pretty much been Nurse Mommy for the last seven days.  He is FINALLY starting to act like his normal self, PRAISE THE LORD!!!  I have heard that this surgery is 100 times worse for adults... I cannot imagine what that would be like.  I am excited to actually get out of the house tomorrow to drop my trunk full of school supplies at my school!

I'm linking up with Sharing Kindergarten to share my calendar time routine.  Calendar time is one of my favorite things about our day in kindergarten.  I do calendar time right after lunch recess with my math block.  I know some do calendar first thing in the morning, but it works for me to do it with math.

First of all, please don't mind my messy room.  I took this picture on the last teacher day, before everything was put away.  Don't judge... It looks a lot better now. :)

We start our calendar time to the far left.  We name the month, add the calendar date card (all of my cards have owls on them and coordinate with the monthly theme), and name the year.  Below that, you will see two smallish rectangles.  Those are the niftly little whiteboard strips from the Dollar Spot at Target.  We write the coded date on one and tally the date on the second.  Next, moving to the top right, we do the days in school.  We talk about place value and name the parts of the number as well as the whole number.  We then sing our months of the year and days of the week songs.  We name today, yesterday, and tomorrow (on velcro below the days in school).  Moving right, we then name our colors (each day for the first part of the year, then we begin to skip over that one as the year goes on) and shapes (3D shapes will be added to my wall soon).  To the right of those posters, you will see a number line.  I use this to show number formation.  Below that is a 100s chart.  We do a Mystery Number each day.  We make a picture on it each month.  I have a book that was given to me in student teaching that I use to get the pictures, but sometimes I make up my own clues based on the needs of my students.  Below that, we do today's weather and temperature.  Finally, you will see coins, a clock, and birthday and tooth graphs.  

Sheww... That's a lot!  Let me go into a little more detail now.  First of all, I always guide this instruction until at least October.  When the students are ready and trained in calendar time, I give the responsibility of leading calendar time to my students.  They serve in that job a week at a time, and they LOVE it.  On the board, you will see a pocket with pointers in it.  They get to pick a pointer to use to guide the group.  They LOVE that.  You may wonder why I don't use a Promethean board.  Well, I don't have a Promethean board.  I'm not complaining at all, because I would much rather have the technology I have in my classroom that a board, but when the humidity kicks in and I am reattaching things to my calendar wall, I dream of a classroom with one.  :)

I have struggled this year with how to show student accountability for calendar time.  Some teachers use folders with coordinating sheets.  I used to do that, but it sort of became a hassle.  Some teachers do one sheet that accompanies the daily calendar, but what about those first few months of school when they just can't do it?  Teacher friends, any input would be much appreciated!  

I hope to post again tomorrow with another linky...  But I will go ahead and share this sweet little freebie I posted this morning!  Chevron... Chalkboard... Bunting... Oh My!

June 20, 2013

Throwback Thursday Linky!

I will be the first to admit that I had a rough time as a newbie blogger.  No lie--I had great intentions of updating this thing weekly.  I can blame it on having two babies under 5, or that teaching kindergarten can kick a person in the rear.  However, I am seeing the importance of making my little piece of the Internet a priority.

For one, it is free professional development.  While I have yet to meet any of these famous bloggers I adore, I stalk read their blogs every day.  I have grown more from blogstalking than from any conference I have attended in six years of teaching.  I have come to realize that I have great ideas as well.  Someone, somewhere might want to read about what I do with my sweet little Kindergarten Kids.  I can't say enough about the importance of social media in education today.  Blogging is just one way to share the wealth.

Another important reason for this blog is to have a record of all of the wonderful things I do with my kiddos on a regular basis.  It's my own little filing cabinet of things I do with my kids, but online. :)

Even though I haven't been blogging that long, I still am going to link up with The First Grade Parade and her Throwback Thursday (#tbt) Linky!

Last year, in one of my very first blogs, I documented my community helpers unit.  Each September, we learn all about firefighters, doctors, nurses, police officers, veterinarians, teachers, mail carriers, etc.  We always have a police officer and firefighter visit our classrooms.

(Original Post 9-13-12)

This makes day number two of posting on my blog!  Yay for me! :)

As I mentioned yesterday, this week our kindergarten classes at my school are learning about community helpers.  To be honest, the first few weeks of school, our units consist of mostly reading about the topics.  Back to school time is chaotic insane, and our sweet babies just learning to come to school.  Our units tie into learning routines, procedures, how to be a good friend, getting to know you, etc.  Our first big unit is our apple unit, which is next week.  We have TONS of fun stuff planned for that...  But back to community helpers...

We have been focusing mainly on police officers and firefighters.  Today, the assistant chief from our local department came to talk to the three kindergarten classes on what he does in a day.  And the kids also...drum to see his police car.  Here are a couple of pictures:

My babies loved it! 

Funny story of the day though...  One of my sweeties was standing back from the police car with his hands covering his eyes.  I thought for sure that when Mr. Policeman set off the sirens that he had gotten scared.  I asked him what was wrong, and, in his deep, southern twang said, "I don't like that car.  It's a FORD!!!"  :)  Those kids crack me up! :)

I'll post some pictures of our apple activities starting next week.  I am really excited to share them with you!

So not necessarily Vintage Mrs. Banister, but it works!  

I am already gearing up for teaching about community helpers in September!  I have JUST added my Community Helpers activity pack to my TPT shop, and until Saturday (6-22-13), it will be HALF OFF!  Click the icon below to snag 79 pages of FUN!

June 10, 2013

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things {morning edition}

Let me preface this with a little known fact about me:  I am not a morning person.  If it were socially acceptable to be a mom of 2 and sleep until noon, I would do it every day.  I'm a firm believer that no function should begin prior to 9 am.  However, I chose a profession that, while I love it more than anything else I could do in the world, I have to be at work between 6:45-7:45 every day.  I am linking up with Across the Hall in 2nd to play along with her fun linky party!

Without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite things that help this grump get through until 9 am.  

1.  McDonald's Sweet(ish) Tea

Ahhh....  Just typing it makes me salivate. (Yes, I know I have a problem.)  I am very particular about how I order my drink of choice.  It has to be just a smidgen of ice, a splash of sweet tea, and top it off with unsweet tea.  To get my drug the way I like it, I have to go inside to order, but if I go through the drive through, ordering a half cut, light ice tea will get me through the day.  And no, I have never had anyone say, "I'll have what she's having." :)  And please don't judge me for being so high maintenance.  ;)

2.  Breakfast Choices


I love breakfast.  My family is known to have breakfast for dinner at least once a week.  We just can't get enough of omelets, French toast, and pancakes.  But here in the real world, we rush out of here in the actual mornings faster than you can say "junk food."

I always have fresh strawberries in my refrigerator, and unless I am in a break-my-neck kind of rush, I almost always eat a bowl of the sweet thangs while making the five minute drive to my school.  About 4 months ago, I was introduced to Fiber One 90 calorie brownie bars.  It was love at first bite.  Chocolate and strawberries.  Can't go wrong with that.

A few months ago, I purchased one of these handy things from Pampered Chef that makes eggs in the microwave in just a couple of minutes.  If I have leftover veggies from my salads in a jar (another post in and of itself), I add them to some egg whites, pop the mixture in the microwave, and nuke it for 2 minutes.  The result is a fluffy, perfect goop of eggs.  Realistically, I eat these maybe once every other week.  As I previously stated, sleep is just way too important to me.

3.  Aveda Air Control Hairspray

I might live in Indiana, but I am a true Southern girl.  I love my tea sweet, my heels high, and my hair big.  Well, not too big.  But I do believe you cannot finish off a hair do without spraying yourself down with some good ole' aerosol hairspray.  (Yes, I did use Aqua Net as a younger version of myself.)  This hairspray is light, not sticky, and smells like Heaven.  Or what I think Heaven will smell like to me.  It is just perfect for after I tease up my roots just enough to give my hair that extra oomph.  My lovely Secret Pal at work gave me my last bottle of it.  She knows me pretty well.  

4.  Bath and Body Works Dark Kiss anything
So last Black Friday (or Black Friday Eve, since we were out shopping at 6 pm Thanksgiving night), some great friends and I went on a marathon shopping spree.  It was the time of my life, I tell ya.  We had lots of fun and made many fun memories (such as walking through the drive thru at the DQ to eat a late night snack after hitting up the Target), but the highlight of my life evening/morning was stumbling upon this heavenly scent at Bath and Body Works.  One of my friends and I picked up a bottle of body splash and lotion and went on our ways.  Fast forward two weeks later to the Semi-Annual Sale, and the entire line is in the bargain bin because it is being discontinued!  Needless to say, I think the sweet ladies at BBW think I am a hoarder, because I bought every bottle of perfume, lotion, body splash, and quite a few bubble baths and body creams.  I slather on the lotion and drown myself in the perfume every morning.

5.  Pandora

I. Love. Music.  My husband, kids, and I are into so many kinds of music.  We love Johnny Cash.  We love The Lumineers.  We love Lyndard Skynard.  We love Carrie Underwood.  We love Rich Mullins.  We are very eclectic when it comes to music.  I have the Pandora app on my iPhone, which I listen to on my short drive to school.  My station of choice varies from day to day.  Most days I'm good with Miranda Lambert or Carrie Underwood, but sometimes I go with the Glee station, the Adele station, or the Third Day station.  I sing along like I am auditioning for The Voice (which I swear I will someday--don't laugh when you see me on the blooper real), and it instantly puts me in a better mood.  Once I get to school, the first thing I do is set up my laptopand turn Pandora on again, but this time for my sweet kindergarten babies.  Their station of choice is the Disney station.  It's really a win-win:  They get to listen to clean, fun music, and I get to belt out The Little Mermaid songs.  If your district allows you to use Pandora to stream music, I would highly recommend it!  

Check back next week for more of my favorite things--Beach/Pool Edition!

June 8, 2013

Five for Friday

School is out for summer!  It was a super busy last few days of school, and my family and I have been going non-stop since the last teacher day.  To sum up what's been going on this week, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to fill you in!

First of all, kindergarten graduation went off without a hitch.  The kids were little angels, and I *might* have shed a tear or two.  I can't believe these sweeties are firsties!

My classroom is coming together for next year, and it's only June!  Last year, I put up all of my bulletin boards and had things neatly packed away so August would be a breeze.  I am most definitely doing that again this year!  Here is a sneak peak at my math focus wall for next year:

I have done a TON more since then, but I was so busy that no pictures were taken.  The next step to this room is painting.  It will be a huge undertaking, but it will be worth it in the end!

Tuesday, after our teacher inservice day, my husband, kiddos, and I packed up our car for a roadtrip to Nashville, TN.  Nashville is easily my favorite city around.  Although I am and always will be a Hoosier girl, part of my heart belongs in Tennessee.  I don't know if it's because it's such a cool city, or if it's because I secretly wish I was a famous singer, but these two images make my heart happy every time. :)

{Nashville Skyline}

The CMA Fest is going on this weekend, so it was a madhouse down there, even two days before it's kickoff.  We got into our hotel so late on Tuesday night that we had just a little time to walk down to Broadway and scope it out.  

{My boy and I under the bright lights of the big city}

Our main reason for going to Nashville was to attend the Johnny Cash stamp unveiling ceremony at the Ryman.  My family loves Johnny Cash, so much so that my husband is writing a book on the Man in Black.  The USPS had so many neat things going on, including a Photo Booth.  I *will* be doing one of these on the first days of school with my kindergarten babies! :)

{My baby and me in the Photo Booth}

I have been working my tail off trying to finish up creating some fun things for my classroom decor.  I am so thankful to my district for purchasing MacBook Pros for teachers to use to create stuff!  Here is a peek at my word wall headers I made last night.  I plan on posting my items in my Teachers Pay Teachers store next week!

{Chevron and chalkboard}

Today I had to take my sweet boy to the ENT for an evaluation.  Looks like part of our summer will be spent recovering from having his adenoids and tonsils removed. :(  Poor guy.  

After the doctor, I got to spend some time with one of my sweet kindergarteners from last year.  She got me a gift card for a mani/pedi.  Not only did I get pampered, but she did as well!  It was a ton of fun and so good to get to see one of my kindergarten babies!

{Notice that we match!}

Hopefully next week I will post some pictures of my classroom BEFORE the paint hits the wall.  

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