Friday, January 9, 2015

Hibernation!



I seriously wish I could hibernate right now!
It is SO stinkin' cold outside and my bed just seems like the best place to be. I'm also pretty sure I've stored up enough fat to get me through the winter! =)


Hibernation is one of my favorite units of study! I usually do it in December before school is out, but my schedule got moved around this year and so did my unit. 

We've been talking about what animals hibernate, why they do it and for how long.

We read Bear Snores On! by Karma Wilson


We watched a great Brainpop Jr. video that my kids loved to watch! If you don't have an account, I would definitely talk to your administrator. They have a video for almost every unit I do and they are only about 6 minutes long. There is also a quiz afterward.

We made a chart about hibernating animals to help us write about our bears. My chart isn't the prettiest, but it worked.

The most exciting thing is that my kiddos are actually understanding how to follow the chart and are writing their own sentences!  Yay!

Every year, I ask my students to bring a stuffed bear from home. I find a place somewhere in the room and we turn it into a cave! Here is our cave this year.

It's not the best one I've made, but the kids love it. All of their bears are tucked in tight for the rest of winter. They will come out when we return from our Spring Break. 
This is a great way to show them how long hibernating animals actually sleep.

What else do you do with Hibernation? I'd love to hear some new ideas!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Currently...

I'm going to attempt to do these every month!
I love them and don't know why I stopped.

So here is month one!


Listening - Mason loves Curious George and loves the iPad. He can work it better than I can and he's not even 2 yet!

Loving - I was surprised when Mason came and jumped on me and said, "wake up mommy!" and it was 11 a.m.!  I never sleep that late. Thanks to my awesome husband who let me!  He even had breakfast cooking when he sent Mason to wake me up.

Thinking - I always love my days at home with Mason and hate how much I miss during work. I really don't want to go back. Maybe this will be the year to get my act together and start making money elsewhere so that I can retire or at least move to subbing.

Wanting - An organization fairy would be the best person in the world! Just someone to come in to my house and clean it and get me jump started. I am the worst at cleaning and organizing!

Needing - seriously, wouldn't that be awesome. Just get my office/craft room in order and I'll be good to go.

YES - I will blog more this year! No slacking, no excuses!

MAYBE - If that fairy shows up I can create more. Create for TPT and get my Little Boy Store back off the ground.

I WISH - I really do wish I could stay home more. I'd love to be a SAHM!



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!



2015 - A new year with new resolutions goals to set. 
Taking small steps toward a bigger goal is key. 

My BIG Goals:
1 - Better my relationship with God - become a better Christian, a better example for my family.

2 - Better my relationship with Family - less tech time, more play time, less eating out, more cooking at home, less bringing work home, more bringing love home!

3 - Better my organization skills - at home, in the kitchen, at work, everything!

4 - Better financial skills - be a better saver!

5 - Be a better, more fit ME!



Sometimes I feel like I make the same goals every year. And each year the results are the same. Actually, last year I said - no resolutions, no goals.
Last year is gone, it wasn't my best, it wasn't my worst...sometimes, it just WAS. 

Last year I celebrated joy: 
Mason survived his first year on earth - he continues to amaze me every day! 
My husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage - Five wonderful years with a man who knows and loves me more than I know and love myself. 
I got the chance to work for my State Dept. of Educ - working with teachers from all over our state and training other teachers in my area. 
I also moved to a new school district and new school which I love.
God works in mysterious ways - he brings joy to us when we least expect it.

Last year I suffered sorrow:
In May, we found out I was pregnant with baby number 2 - On July 24, my sweet angel went to be my guardian at only 10 weeks.
We laid to rest 2 of Clint's Great Grandparents - a sweet man who lived to see 100 years and that's all he wanted to see, then his lovely wife followed only a month after. 
So much has happened in our country that makes me sad. 

This year, I'm sure the same will happen - joy and sorrow. How I handle those situations this year will be different. My goals have been set - goals that I hope will help me in the new year.  I'm just glad I still have followers to go along this journey with me.

Here's to the first day of my 365 page book!

Day 1 is being spent with family and playing with this guy. 


Bring It On 2015!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Syllables

School has been going strong for FIVE weeks now! I can't believe it.

My kiddos are super awesome <----sure that's grammatically correct.

We just finished our study on syllables and I wanted something for my kiddos to do in Word Work.  We have clapped and clapped and clapped until our hands were red. So I figured, why not continue the agony (not really) in a center.

I came up with this little diddy (Who now has Jack & Diane by Mellenkamp in your head?)

Kids can look at the picture and clap the sound. Then they put a paper clip on the number that they clapped. I did the paper clip so that they can remember what number they clapped. If they can hold it in their head, then you don't need the clip. Then they find the letter in the top left corner and find the corresponding letter on the recording sheet and write the number.

I am using the dry erase covers so they can be used over and over. You could also make several copies and have students fill them out and turn them in so you can check. I also made a few copies so that more than one student can use this center at a time.

I put smiley stickers on one set and rainbow stickers on another so that I can keep all supplies together.

You can check it out here:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Counting-Syllables-for-Word-Work-1433820

They are loving this one. It's super simple and they learned how to play it fairly quickly. I hope your kiddos can have fun with it too.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Floor

I did something different with my carpet this year and I am loving it!

I am also kicking myself for never thinking of it before. 

I've always used duct tape to tape spaces on the floor and I never like my arrangement or the tape gets totally stuck to the floor and I'm having to scrape it off and it's just a mess.

Well, this year I used duct tape, but I didn't do little pieces to mark spaces. I made a GRID!


No, I did not live on the floor and mark out the squares to make them even. I'm not THAT OCD. I just needed a space for them to sit in. 
The best thing about this is that everyone has a square and they can turn in their square as needed. They can face the wall when we are using my projector, they can turn to the left to see my calendar, they can turn and face their partner for Turn and Talk. Anyway they turn, they never leave their square.
When we do GoNoodle or other activities (like playing Sight Word BOOM! <--- their absolute favorite game right now) they stand in their square and keep their feet and hands inside it.

This is working perfectly. My kids are in their number order. I was going to put numbers in their square, but they learned their places quickly so I'm not going to. 

I figured, later on, it can be use as a ten frame for practice. 

Cheapest "RUG" ever - since I can't have a rug in my room (I can't afford it if I could or not).

Have you used a grid before?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet The Teacher

I'm a little tardy to the party, but here is my Meet The Teacher linky!


Hi All! I'm Laura and I'm the author here at Kinder Kraziness. I used to be pretty good at this blogging thing and would do it on the daily <---do people still say that?

But now, I come and go as a please. My time has been given over to my family.  
These two are my loves and my life and I know some of my readers miss me, but this is what's important.


You may also see the cat up there. That is Libby. She is mean and ornery and has a love/hate relationship with EVERYONE in the house. This includes my dog.


This is Jack. He's our Pit Bull and our big baby. Sometimes he's a bigger baby THAN the baby. 

If you follow me on INSTAGRAM  then you see these family faces more than you see my classroom. 

I have been teaching Kindergarten for 12 years and never thought that would happen. When I first started teaching, I DID NOT want to teach these young kiddos. Now I wouldn't trade it for any other grade in the world. That is unless my boss tells me to move grades (then I might FREAK a little)

So here's a little Q&A about me!

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...

My Husband, My Kid, My Family
Church, My Friends, Taking Pictures, Memphis Tigers, Starbucks Coffee, My Cell Phone, Adult Music (this is in opposition to Disney Jr and Kindermusik cds being played in the car ALL THE TIME), Outlander, My Nook, Pizza, Steak, Sushi, Movies,  I could go on


 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
A singer. I LOVE TO SING. And I'm not too shabby. I sing in a local cover band here in town. I tried out for Nashville Star when I was younger and though I didn't make it, I loved the experience. I was going to try out for The Voice, but the year they came to Memphis for auditions I found out I was pregnant a week before auditions.


THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Faithful. Optimistic. Hopeful.  

 
FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"

"I'd really love to tie your shoes...said no teacher EVER!!"
 

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?

My Family and friends - which suddenly includes Hugh Jackman, Sam Heughan, Alison Krauss and Olaf the Snowman

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?

 Mom and her Men 


 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
 
 The power to change anyone's mood. Then we'd all be one big happy family and my kiddos wouldn't drive me batty with the whining and tattling - you know what I'm talking about =)

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?

"You're Killing Me, Smalls!" 
 

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

Take Me For Longing by Alison Krauss and Union Station
I'm in a Bluegrass mood right now and she's one of my favorites. This song is pretty awesome. I love the fiddle and the bass booms in the back...not your normal bass, mind you but the great beat of the Upright Bass. HEART!

 
 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

Night Owl! I honestly go to bed pretty early now. I never know when the kid will wake up so I sleep when he sleeps...luckily he's a good sleeper. If I didn't have to do that, I'd be up until 1 or 2. Sometimes I still am =)  

 
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?

My Multiple Meaning Pack is my Favorite! I love that I used real pictures with it so that the kiddos can have real life connections with them. Yes there is clip art on the main page but once you look inside, you'll love it too.


Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!

My husband and I met when I was a waitress at a karaoke bar (my night job while still teaching...talk about tired). He was a tattoo artist at the shop in front of the bar. We were friends for 3 years. Started dating in the summer of 2008 and got married in March of 2009. I have 5 tattoos that he did before quitting.

So if you haven't linked up yet - and I'm sure you all have because there are TONS of peeps over there - Click the pic below to go see who else has linked up!




Saturday, August 2, 2014

2014 Classroom Reveal

Almost 2 weeks ago I posted this photo of my classroom on Facebook.

I moved to a new school this year. My room looked a lot smaller than my old one, but after coming up with a plan, things finally came together and it feels bigger now.

I loved the comments I got, especially about the t.v. cart! Yes, I had a flashback to 1995 when we first got those in our room with a computer underneath and we thought they were the coolest thing EVER! Well, that t.v. is gone. It didn't have a computer on it otherwise I would have kept it. 

Also, my new school is very strict with the Fire Marshall code. Only 20% of the wall should be covered. So it may still seem kind of bare, but I was able to bring some color to it to make it feel inviting.

So here we go.
 This is the entry view of my classroom. My tables are in a U shape with the white board in front. I've done U shapes before, but they don't usually last long so we'll see what happens this year.


 This is the board at the front. The monkeys are on clothespins and I plan to put student work here. The cart underneath will house the listening center. The white board in the middle was not there at first. I got this from my grandfather in law and my husband came and put it up for me. I prefer white boards over chalkboards. The chalkboard at the end will hold our Objectives and Standards for the day/week.


 These are on each table for supplies. I put a sight word at each table and call the table by that sight word. When I change it out the words go on the Word Wall.


 This is my calendar wall. I'm having to revert from my Smart Board and it's kiiiind of killing me, but not really. After my writing training this summer, I learned that now, more than ever, writing in front of the kids is very important and a great way for them to learn the mechanics of writing. Calendar is one way to do that, along with Morning Messages.


 This is a rolling chart cart. It may stay here, it may not. My Secret Stories are at eye level with the kids so when we talk about one or a secret comes up in conversation, I can get to it easier to talk about it. On the cart is a story map that I like to use each week with our new stories. This is also the wall that my projector will go on. Yes, I do have a projector, so I'm not completely without technology.


This is one of my shelves that I love! These are all of my books that have a beanie or character to go with them. I plan to use these for Read to Someone before letting my students read to each other.


 This is the back wall that I turned in to my Literacy Wall. On the left, there is my writing area. I will show a close up in a minute. The middle has my word wall and the right has Reading Strategies. Underneath the board, are my books for my library. I did my system a little bit differently this year. And my small group table.


 Here are the Reading Strategies...I'm missing Tryin' Lion. I can't find him after my move and haven't bought a new one yet. If you'll look at the boxes underneath, they each have a number label and each book is tagged with that number. This way, when kids choose their books for D5, they'll be able to put them up on their own.


 My writing board...look familiar?  It's from A Cupcake for the Teacher. I plan on using the space underneath to add either student samples or more lists as we go over them.

This is my desk area. I may change a few things with it, but not sure yet. I need to respray my toolbox. The red does not match the blue and green. I've not had a desk for the past 2 years but I couldn't get rid of it. Oh well =)

So, that's the tour. I did the best I could. There still may be some things added here and there. But that's all for now =)

Here are some of the products I used.