Sunday, September 30, 2012

Five Little Monkeys

Hi all!

Letter Mm was filled with a lot of monkeying around in Room 8.

Here are some pics.

 This is my storytelling center.  I like to have out several items for them to use when retelling stories.  The items go out at this center once I have modeled how to use them.  This seems to cut out on too much monkeying around (If you know what I mean).

 This is a magnetic storyboard that I printed out and laminated from Making Learning Fun.  The children can manipulate the pieces as they retell the story.

 These are the paper plates that I found at the Dollar Tree over the summer .  I loved them so much that I bought 3 packs of them (If I see them again, I am going to have to stock up for the next 10 years).  I had enough for each child to make their own to take home and then I still had extras to use year after year.  They just loved acting out our innovation:  18 Little Monkey's Jumping on the Bed.  Oh, and the look on our AP's face was priceless when he walked in on the middle of our innovation with his little tablet thing-a-ma-giggy.  

 This is my Monkey Mitt (no pun intended).  I took a brown gardening glove bought at the Dollar Tree and used E6000 to glue the monkeys to the mitt.  They will never come off!  They will never get lost!  I just love that I solved that problem (Thank you Kimberly Jordano for introducing me to E6000 years ago.)  Also, there is a picture of the book that I used for shared reading this week.   I have a big book copy that I use as well.  By the end of the week, they can read it to me (I just love that Common Core allows us to go back to more of those "Whole Language" ways of, did I just show my age with that comment.).

Here is the cute little craft we made during the Letter Mm week.  Each one turned out so cute.  They are hanging in our window with the words to our 18 Little Monkeys innovation words for the kids to read during read around the classroom.

Lastly, here is a cute pocket chart set that I purchased from Teacher's Pay Teachers.  It is by Betty B. and it is titled Five Little Monkeys Pocket Chart Poem.  Look it up and check it out!  My kids just loved manipulating the number words and the monkeys.  

So now that we are done Monkeying around we will be moving on to the letter Aa.  We will be having an apple-icious time in Kindergarten next week.  I am sure there will be a lot of apple tasting going on.   YUMMY!  YUMMY!  I just wish that we had apple orchards in Florida.  Bummer!

Do you ever "monkey around" in your classroom?

Until next time, happy blogging!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting All My Ducks in Order

I can officially say...I believe I have gotten all of my ducks in row.  

SHHHHHHHHHHH!  Don't tell anyone I said that!  It might jinx it!

How long did that take?  

Seriously?  It only took 5 weeks this year!

Bam!  That's a record! (Insert applause here)

Is it just me or do you feel this way too at the beginning of the school year?  

It never fails!  Every year I am an eager beaver to get my room all set up and meet my new littles.  I can't sleep because I just want to get the ball rolling.

Then all those cutie patooties show up and all that anticipation is totally deflated and I resort to being OVERWHELMED AND EXHAUSTED!

Then after a few more weeks of teaching and preaching morning you wake up and all your littles know EXACTLY what to do!

Everything amazingly falls into place.

That is what happened to me today!

I guess maybe it helped that we got another kindergarten teacher due to overcrowding which made my class go from 23 cuties to only 18.  

Wow!  I didn't think 5 kids could make that much of a difference but I could seriously hear myself think today.

And when the AP did a walkthrough with his little tablet thing-a-ma-jiggy, I didn't even fret.  Amazingly, all was under control and the decibels were set an exceptionally on-task level.  

Okay, that's enough talk about herding my ducks (especially because I don't want to jinx it).

Now that all is returning to a normal status, I look forward to sharing more with my blogging friends.
I have been taking lots of pictures of the fun learning taking place in my classroom and look forward to sharing some with you.

Until then...Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Currently...Feeling a bit STRESSED!

It's link up time!

Farley is inviting us to link up with her for the September Currently Linky Party.

As usual, I am a few days late.

But, as they say, better late than never.

First of all, does anyone else feel as overwhelmed as me regarding these Common Core Standards?

The amazing thing is that I have gone to ALOT of Common Core training over the past year and REALLY felt good about everything until our district threw in this new grading system that is linked to the Common Core Standards.  Nothing like trying to come up with three formative and one summative assessments for each standard.  Say what?

Oh!  And by the way, let's just sprinkle in a new teacher evaluation system while were at it!  Our teachers can handle it.  Nothing like driving us to _______ (fill in the blank with your imagination).

At least the good thing about all this is....I LOVE MY CLASS!  If it weren't for those beautiful 23 little faces looking up at me each day, I think I would have to throw in the towel.

They still think that I am all that and a bag of chips and that makes me keep on plugging away.

Enough about my frustrations (THANKS FOR LETTING ME VENT).

Now, let me tell you about my favorites.

First, HOW DID I LIVE WITHOUT A SCOTCH THERMAL LAMINATOR?  I use this little contraption every night.  It has been my savior so far this year.  If you don't have one yet...GET IT!  Maybe the Scotch company can come up with a contraption to help classroom teachers implement the common core more easily.  They seemed to have handled the lamination industry so effectively.

Second, I know it is crazy, but I LOVE ICE!  It has been that way since I was preggers with my second child.  I don't like to drink water, but I like to chew on ice.  I am sure my dentist doesn't appreciate this, but OH WELL.

Third, did you know that I wear SLIPPERS while I teach.  Yes, you heard me right...SLIPPERS.

No, they are not the fuzzy pink kind.

And I don't wear characters on my feet either...that would be too distracting to my littles and ADHD ME.

They are simple black "ballet" style slippers.  I honestly believe they make me teach better.

My motto:  Happy Feet Equals A Happy Teacher.

As I place them on my feet each morning, I get this sudden urge to start singing the song that Mr. Rogers would sing.  You know the one!  Sing along with me...

"It's a good feeling, a beautiful feeling..."

Although the song was about being a friendly neighbor, I do believe he was actually singing about how comfortable his feet were in those shoes.

So that it!  I have done my once-a-month link up.  I do have to say, it was fun and I feel less "common core" stress.  Thanks, Farley!

So go link up...and relieve some stress!

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Five Little Monsters Came to School

Wow!  We are already 10 days into our school year.  Amazing!

It has been a busy start for me; especially since I am up to 23 littles.  I know that number doesn't seem large (especially when I compare it to years ago when I would have 30) but it is more than I am use to.

You see, the state of Florida implemented a law a few years ago that said by 2011 all primary classrooms had to have no more than 18 students.

So I have been spoiled for the past 5 years with low class sizes.

Now, although the law still exists, our district, due to budget constraints, has implemented larger class sizes.  Not sure what is going to happen with this, but I guess they know what they are doing.

Anyway, it has made for a hectic start.  However, things are beginning to calm down now, so I thought I would share another interactive chart that I made for this year.

I am sure you have seen this poem circulating around Pinterest.  I just took it and made it into an interactive chart.

The monsters have velcro on the back of them so the students can add or remove them as they interact with it.  The line at the top is where they use a dry erase marker to write the number of monsters.

I modeled using this with my students for their entire first week of school during math time.  Now they can read and use it independently at my interactive chart center.

Through observation, I can see who can really identify a number set up to five already.  And the best part, they are having fun doing it!

Now if I can just get 23 littles to bring their voices down so it sounds more like 18 littles in the classroom.  When that happens, then I will be ready to start implementing guided reading groups.

Wish me luck!

Happy Blogging!