Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cubby Storage

As I enter my 13th year of teaching, I am finding myself more limited by restrictions as to what I can and can't do.  Many of the "fun" things I have done in the past are no longer fit our daily lesson expectations.  This has left me feeling less creativity and excited about my teaching.  That in turn made me feel like I had nothing worthwhile to blog about.  I realize that maybe if I strive to find the things I can still do, it will bring my enthusiasm back.  Blogging about my ideas will help me look for those things.

So without further ado, I thought I would shown some Dollar Tree and Target finds for organization.  I have these cubby spaces above my students coat hooks.  In the past, I had cheap plastic tubs from Walmart in these but they only went partially up for height.  I wanted the nice collapsible cloth containers but at $5 a pop, there was no way that was happening with 26 cubbies to fill.

While browsing at Dollar Tree, I found these in the Spring that are finally full size.  At only $1, this was definitely my sign!  When I got mine they only had blue, orange, green, and pink (and some tan and grey).  So I stocked up on those colors.  Now they appear to have more at least!

Then I needed a way to label them because I am very OCD and can't handle it to NOT be labeled.  I tried my normal labels and taping them on.  Fortunately they kept falling off.  I thought about pinning them on but didn't love that idea.  When perusing the "Dollar Spot" at Target, I found these mini clothespin chalkboard tags.  It took me a couple of tries at a couple of Targets to find enough but I was finally successful. (I added the UPC in case that helps you track them down.)

Using a Silver Sharpie, I added the names to the chalkboards and viola!  I am happy with how my new cubby area looks and it was much cheaper than it would have been in the past!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Teaching Kindness

There has been so much going on.  I now have a 3rd grader and and Kindergartener!  Where has time gone.  Between dance, piano, taekwondo, Girls on the Run, and other activities we have been beyond busy.

With everything going on, we wanted to bring our kiddos back to thinking about others.  After some thinking and a LOT of googling, I found this great idea over at TeachMama.  It is a 25 day countdown about the true meaning of the holiday.

I am giving my kiddos the same challenge of the day.  I remind them about their challenge if I see them during the day.  They tape it to their desk at school to remind themselves.  At dinner, we are talking about what all of us did to meet that challenge and think about others for the day.  They are LOVING this!

I am also doing this in the classroom.  I am introducing the challenge of the day in the morning and we are talking about them at the end of the day to see how we did.  I am hoping this gets us all thinking a little more about other people around us.

I highly recommend heading over to TeachMama to grab this FREEBIE to enjoy with your students!

So what have you done for someone else today??

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Currently September

So it's not technically September here but I've been reading the Currently linky for a long time so I thought I might as well try it out.  I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade. a thunderstorm.  It came on really fast and has been going on for over an hour now.  I do love the sound of rain. extra day at home.  That's right.  I will actually get to sleep on a Sunday without having a million things running through my head that I need to worry about for the next day.  Plus I get to hang out with my own kids for an extra day and with them you never know what will happen.

Thinking...about the lesson plans I should be doing rather than this : ) hubby to be back home.  He's off in Minnesota at a Rennaisance Faire.  He's a pirate in a band.  Yep, it's for real.

Needing...motivation to do the lesson plans that I am avoiding.  Including sub plans for Tuesday.  Yep, sub plans...after a three day Kindergarten...on day 14 of school.  Thankfully I have an awesome sub to leave them with while I do a math training.

3 trips...Ireland, Australia, real reasons behind any of them.  Just places I haven't been and seem like they would be neat to visit and say I have seen.

So that's me currently.  Hop over to Farley's to see what everyone else is up to.  And hopefully I will be back soon!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Day of School

It's that stressful time of year.  Tomorrow is our first day back.  I get to meet everyone and run around like crazy  But it is so worth it.

I don't know about you but we will be reading Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes and watching the video.  We will also go on a scavenger hunt around our school to get to know where everything is that is Pete the Cat theme. 

With all of our Pete the Cat fun, I was so excited to find this freebie from Live Love Laugh Kindergarten.  It has a cute first day certificate and a hat for the kids to make!  I LOVE IT!!  Please go check it out.  You won't be disappointed!

Hopefully I will be back to share some more soon!  Enjoy your first days!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday

So it's been a long time.  Hopefully I will get better about sharing on here this year.

Have you seen the link up over at Mrs. Jump's Class?  I LOVE finding new books so I have been watching this link up all summer.

I wanted to share one my favorite books to use.

Chalk by Bill Thomson is an amazing wordless picture book.  The quick version of the story is that a group of children find a bag of chalk at a playground.  When they start to draw with it, their chalk drawings become real.  It is a lot of fun until someone draws a dinosaur.  Then they get creative on how to get rid of it.  I enjoy talking about how these kids were really using their imaginations and problem solving skills.

The illustrations are breathtaking.  I use this book a lot when we do our in depth illustration study.  I love to show how Bill Thomson made the pictures look as real as possible.  

We talk about all of the details that are included in the picture (the background, the weather, etc.)  

I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the emotions shown through the pictures in this book.

If you have never seen this book, you should check it out.  You will not be disappointed.

What are your favorite children's books?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Look Back

My "little" girl turned 6 today.  Of course, it was a fun filled birthday weekend!

It's hard to believe she started out like this...
2 months early and terrifying us for 2 weeks while having to be in the NICU.

In honor of my beautiful baby girl, I'm going to share one of her favorite things I ever made up for her during "Mommy school" when we was little.  In my first blogging adventure that did not last long : )  

It was the simplest color matching game ever that I made.  It was a classic moment of looking at something and realizing what I could do with it.  In the years since I've seen them pop up on blogs and Pinterest and it makes me smile to remember my little cutie that tested it out soooo long ago.

Feel free to hop over and see the simple idea and my then tiny tot  : )

*Thanks for indulging my family side : )

Monday, September 9, 2013

Focus on Alphabet Centers Part 2

I wanted to highlight some other alphabet centers that my kiddos have been using.  Please click over to the original idea to check out their tips!

from Golden Gang Kindergarten

Pattern Block Alphabet
from Confessions of  a Homeschooler

Tactile Letters that I picked up at a random little outlet/thrift store

Sandy Letters Game I made up
Put letters (could use foam, magnet, tiles, whatever) in a sand pail.  The students scoop, say the letters they get, and then color them in on their recording sheet.  Unfortunately I can't post the recording sheet due to the fonts terms of use.   : (  But you can easily make your own!

Now on to a cute story that is still alphabet center related.  I wanted to make a set of alphabet mats that have circles on them to change out easily.  Like using cheerios, little cookies, daubers and more.  I put one circle on the top of the A and had to go do something else.  I came back to this.
My almost 6 year old did the A (notice the little "v"s in the outline from using command v incorrectly). My 3 year old did the a (using the command v a little too well).  I think my daughter will be ready to help me in a few years!

Hope you found some ideas you can use and please so the original posts so love!