August 31, 2014

Peek at Our Week

Can I start out by saying THANK GOODNESS for a three day weekend?!?!  

I have been hit by the back to school crud full-force.  On Wednesday, I FINALLY went to the doctor at the urging of my sweet kindergarten teacher friend from across the hall.  I'm sure it was for my well-being and not because she was sick of hearing me hack my head off throughout the day. :)

After sitting in the exam room for about an hour (and only nodding off twice), I was diagnosed with bronchitis.  Guess what I say to that???

It's been four days, and the cough just won't go away.  I'm looking forward to having one more day just to rest and try to kick it.  Otherwise, it's back to the doctor I go!

I'm linking up with the amazing Deedee Wills for 

This week, we will be celebrating family.  It's our first unit that ends with a huge celebration, GRANDPARENT'S DAY!  We will make our family trees, do some cute craftivities, and read one of my favorite picture books, Koala Lou.  

We will also be starting the Meet with Me station.  I'm fortunate to have my amazing Title 1 tutor in the room during station time.  When I say she's amazing, that's not even doing her justice!  As students get adjusted to stations, we each run a group during each rotation.  I'm excited to use some fantastic resources during our small group time.

Guided Reading pack from Deanna Jump

RTI Intervention pack from Babbling Abby

RTI Letter Confusion pack from Holly Ehle

We have also completed our first math unit (numbers 1-5), and are moving on to sorting and classifying.  I can't wait to do some really fun, engaging activities to teach this concept. 

Of course, we will be using the iPads for lots of fun learning as well.  We will be utilizing PicCollage for math to show same and different, Counting Caterpillar in math stations, and Reading Eggs in literacy stations.  We have also been using the iPads during seat work time on Tuesday-Thursday.  On Mondays and Fridays, we do name practice using pencil and paper.

Oh, and don't forget to tune into Sheila Jane Teaching on Friday at 4 pm PST (that's 7 pm to us in the east).  I'll be talking about my passions... Technology integration and PBL!

August 30, 2014

Dog Days of Summer Sale

Since starting back to school, I've become a hater of hot weather.

Where was this ridiculously hot weather in July?  Every afternoon, I have the honor of working the car rider line with a few of my colleagues.  To put it bluntly, every part of my body sweats from 3:00-3:18 Monday through Friday.

I'm over it.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for tall boots, sweaters, and pumpkin spice lattes.  Well, pumpkin scented/flavored everything.  

Since the dog days of summer are surely wrapping up (fingers crossed), how about a $1 sale?!?!

Some of my favorite Indiana bloggers and I have picked our favorite products to share with you this weekend for only $1.

Here's what you can check out from me:

We are currently planning our community helpers unit in kindergarten land!  This pack is the perfect addition for your station time!

This pack is absolutely full of activities for spelling in kindergarten!  Your kids will love it!

This is just my most favorite product ever!  This pack is full of activities to teach sight words.  It's useful, and for the next two days, it's cheap!

It's not to early to get ready for Thanksgiving!  It will be here before you know it, and you better be ready!  This pack is humongous.  It includes anything and everything you could possibly need for Thanksgiving!  You won't be sorry you bought it!

Here are some more great products from Indiana sellers.  Stock up before it's too late!

August 29, 2014

Five for Friday and ONE WEEK from Today!

Well, hello there...  It's been a while!

School is back in full swing, and boy... Am I tired!  You forget how draining the first few weeks of school (especially kindergarten) can be.

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching in what seems like the first time in forever for Five for Friday.

It seems as if we just finished up a school year, and here we are again!  We've done so much already that there's no way possible for me to fit it all into one blog post!

On the second day of school, we were given our class sets of iPads.  Excitement doesn't begin to describe it!

Although I have wanted to jump in and get right to it, I realize that slow and steady wins the race.  We have been introduced to many practice apps, including my favorites Starfall ABC, Counting Caterpillar, and Reading Eggs.  We have started creating a number book using DoodleBuddy, and will make it into a book using Book Creator.  We have used the camera to take pictures of things of certain colors, and used those images to make a collage using PicCollage.  The kids have learned how to use their pass codes to unlock their devices, log into the programs our district provides, and use the App Portal to download teacher-approved apps.

Although it feels like we are dragging our feet, I know without a doubt that it will be in the best interest of the kids to take it slow and learn it the right way.

One of my favorite things about having devices for each student is incorporating it into our morning routine.  I don't know about you, but morning work makes my blood pressure go through the roof.  It's hard to give the kids anything that is new or out of routine, and even if you give them something that they've done every. single. day., they tend become unengaged at times.  

Using the iPads for specific apps has proven to be a sanity saver.  

As you can see in the above image, I communicate with my students the apps I want them to use for morning work on our projector.  This picture was taken right after I had sent in my attendance.  Every single student is on task.  Would that be happening if I had laid out an amazing worksheet for them to do?  I highly doubt it.  Are they learning beneficial concepts?  Of course!

If you are fortunate enough to be 1:1 with devices, this little trick has been awesome!

Pete the Cat joined our class this week!  I Love My White Shoes is my absolute favorite picture book, so Pete the Cat week is one of my favorite ways to kick off the school year.  This little craftivity was from Deanna Jump's Colorful Cats pack.

Our first project has come to life!  My goal was for us to finish the project by today, but that just didn't happen.  We should finish it up next week!  

As you can see on our PBL wall, the project's focus is learning about our new friends.  Each kid has a partner and will learn more about each other over the course of the project.  The product will be a digital representation of each child.  The kids can use PicCollage, DoodleBuddy, or a good, old fashioned paper book.  I'm excited for them to dip their toes into the PBL waters while learning about their classmates.

I'm so excited about this!  Next Friday, I will be interviewed by Sheila Jane Teaching!  Make sure to tune into the show to hear all about EdTech and PBL!  

August 18, 2014


I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' and Falling Into First for Meet the Teacher!

Nothing like killing to birds with one stone, right? :)

Anyway...  I'm Brittany from Mrs. Banister's Kindergarten Kids.  I live in Southern Indiana, known for it's cornfields, knobs, and basketball.  I have taught kindergarten for eight years in the same classroom I started in my first year of teaching.  In those eight years, I have had approximately 150 students, all of whom hold a very special place in my heart.

This is my family.

My husband, Eric, is the art director at one of the biggest monument companies in the midwest, which happens to be in our little town.  He is also an author.  His second book will be published next month, and I couldn't be more proud of him.  You should check it out.

We stay busy with the two little boogers you see in that picture.  Porter is our five year old son.  He's in kindergarten this year, and he is loving every minute.  Our daughter, Claire, is three going on thirteen.  To say she's a sassy pants is the understatement of the year.  Between baseball, soccer, and dance, we are running every minute of our lives it seems.

Now that you know just a smidgen about me, let's move onto the fun stuff. :)

Jesus.  My family.  McDonald's tea, half cut (meaning half sweet, half unsweet) with no ice.  Tervis Tumblers.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Peanut butter M&Ms.  Hooded sweatshirts.  Fall.  Fleece leggings.  Strawberries.  Shopping.  Having money to spend while shopping.  Cincinnati Reds baseball.  Indiana Hoosiers basketball.

When I was little, I really wanted to be a lawyer.  I don't know why.  Maybe because I watched To Kill a Mockingbird at a young age.  Now, if I had to pick a different profession, I think I would enjoy getting my MBA and being a shark.  Like on Shark Tank.  Look out, Mark Cuban.

Driven.  Passionate.  Compassionate.
I'd love to test my kids every time I turn around!!!

I would want my entire family to get together.  We always have lots of fun!

That's What She Said

Mind reading.  I'd love to know what people really think!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"Jolene" by Dolly Parton.  Love that song!
I'm a firm believer that nothing in life should start before 9 am.  

I love my Sight Word Palooza pack!  I literally use it every day in my classroom.  It's a great resource for teaching sight words!

My husband and I are twelve years apart age wise.  His brother was my youth minister in high school, and I had met Eric on several occasions, but didn't know him well.  Several years after I graduated, I ran into him again, and it was instant love.  I failed to realize those several years ago that he was that much older than me... He had fit right in with the youngsters!  No one believes he is as old as he is!

If you're linking up with Blog Hoppin' here's the schedule for the week:

Make sure to check back tomorrow to check out my classroom.  It's a definite labor of love!

August 17, 2014

Peek At My Week

Is it really Sunday already?!?!  Didn't I just link up with Deedee yesterday???

Week 1 is in the books!  It was an insanely busy week with lots of learning about classroom rules and routines, establishing relationships, getting our IPADS(!!!), and having fun.  

This week, it gets real, folks.  We are getting into our curriculum, and having fun doing it. 

In case you didn't know, my district is going 1:1 with devices this year.  Our kindergarten classes have iPad minis.  When I came into school on Wednesday morning, there was a lovely brown box with 17 of the cutest little iPads you have ever seen.  I couldn't wait to get my students' hands on them, but I know that to make anything good successful, you must take the appropriate steps necessary to get it started.

Slow and steady was the name of the game.  Wednesday afternoon, my kindergarten team got together with our classes to present on digital citizenship and proper iPad use and care.  Then, we set up pass codes.  

I won't mention that setting up 4-digit pass codes for kids who don't yet have number recognition is a tad difficult. :)  

Anyway... It is finished.

Thursday, we broke out the iPads to practice on the DoodleBuddy app.  DoodleBuddy is a whiteboard app with stamps, stencils, paintbrush options, and crazy-fun backgrounds.  Totally appropriate for kindergarten.  We use it A LOT.  Did I mention it's free?

On Friday, we learned the art of taking pictures and videos.  We will be using the camera on our iPads a lot.  From scavenger hunts to research projects, it's one of my favorite tools.  During the lesson, the kids had to take a "selfie" and set it as their home screen picture.  It was ADORABLE!!!  I wish I could share some of them with you, because I seriously busted a gut laughing so hard at their silly faces.  If you are in a 1:1 environment, I highly recommend doing this little lesson with your kiddos.

This week, we will introduce QR codes.  QR codes is probably the simplest way to get information to your littlest learners.  Simply scan the code, and voila!  They have what they need at their fingertips.  This week, since we are learning about the letter Ll, I have created a QR code that links to a bundle of fun videos with songs and stories about the lovely letter.

We will also (if the Good Lord's willing...) begin our first project.  I will pair each student with a new friend to interview, photograph, and present on each other.  By Friday, each student should have completed a PicCollage and an oral report on their partner.  We will present to our peers, and display the PicCollages around the room.  I'm hopeful it will go exactly as I have it planned, but anyone who has taught kindergarten is probably chuckling right now. :)

I am using tons of great resources this week to give my littles the best learning experience possible.  You can click on the resource picture in my visual plans to head straight to that product.  I'm definitely getting by with a little help from my friends this week!

Click the images to head to my lesson plans.

I'd love to see what you are up to this week!  Link up to Deedee!

August 12, 2014

A Creative Teaching Press Giveaway

Back in the spring, I got a huge box delivered to my classroom door.  I was so excited to open it.  In fact, I opened it in front of my students.

I couldn't believe my eyes, and by the looks on my students' faces, they couldn't either.  

Creative Teaching Press has some fantastic items in their latest catalog.  

As you can tell, I love chevron.  Their borders are amazing, and come in every color you could possibly imagine.

The inspirational posters are great for any school counselor to use.  The ones in this picture now grace the halls of our school to remind students of positive behavior.

I'm so excited to give you the chance to win some CTP swag for your classroom!  

Four people will win one of the following packs.

Pack 1:  Apple Fun!

This pack includes a fun bulletin board set, green chevron border, and apple cut out accents.

Pack 2:  Happy birthday!

Isn't this precious?!?!  This would go with pretty much any theme.

Pack 3:  Numbers, Anyone?
Pennants are all the rage right now.  Why not jazz up your number line?!?!

Pack 4:  GNOMe Mega Pack

Included in this giveaway is a Math GNOMe Common Core book, which would be perfect for kindergarten teachers who want to "gnome" up their math instruction!  It also includes a bulletin board set for your math focus wall!

Enter to win each giveaway below!