Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kindergarten Themes

Thursdays are dedicated to the themes/units that are being taught in the classroom.

I think themes are SO important in kindergarten, but are sometimes put on the back burner. This is because of the huge demand on reading and math skills. I try my best to incorporate themes into our daily schedule so that it enhances our reading and math. I'm sure all of you kinder teachers do..right?!

What themes do you do each year? Do you keep the same or do you change it up? Are your themes set by the district or can you do your own?

Our county gives us a pacing guide each year, but we are able to modify. I showed you our curriculum in this post HERE.  I am so lucky that we are able do what we want with our schedule as long as we teach the skills .

This year, I've changed my themes up just a little bit. I've added a couple that I've never done before, but have found TONS of ideas on other blogs and Pinterest and they look like a lot of fun to teach. Here are my themes for the 2012-2013 year.

So what do you think? I'm pretty happy with it. The new themes for me are Monsters, Pirates, Manners and Dinosaurs. This is also the first time that I have combined animals (Farm will have Mammals added to it). I'm also doing a full week of Bears, but for some reason, it got left off my list. This is also the first time that I will be cramming Body/Health/Senses all in one, so that should be interesting.

The pacing for my units are one week each. It's a lot, but we get it done! Now for the organization part.  You all know that I'm a teensy bit obsessed with Pinterest. Okay, maybe more than a teensy bit!
I found this from Mrs. Terhune's First Grade (she is SOOOO much more organized than I will ever be!). Click the picture to go to her site.

I have made some labels to make my own binders this year as I go along. I'm hoping this will help me keep my themes straight. If you are interested, please feel free to click both pics to download the 2 sets. They are big files, so beware.


If you like these awesome! If you are looking for something a little bit smaller, click on Jennifer's button. She's got a freebie with her themes.



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I'm Pinning Wednesday

Yay! for the first full week of summer! I've been pinning like a woman gone M-A-D! And I know some of y'all have been too! My boards  have been going crazy too!

So here are my Top 5 Pins so far this summer:

1. 1 Minute Fluency Checks from Emily at Playground Duty (do you follow her? she's a little preoccupied right now with the cutest baby...but she's got some great stuff going on at her blog)


2. My next biggest pin this week is from my Behavior Mgmt. board. The link has been deleted, but you get the idea - Mystery Hero - put the kiddos names in, pull one out each day but don't say who it is. Instead, say that you've chosen your MH for the day and you'll be watching them. At the end of the day say who it is and if they've had a good day, they get rewarded!


3. Guided Reading Management from Classroom Freebies (uploaded by Melissa @Plug & Plan)


4. Shapes Song Book. I did a search for shapes on Pinterest the other day and I found this pin of MY book! I had no idea it was out there in the pinning world. This pin is directly linked to my Scribd account. It goes with Dr. Jeans Shape Song and I added to verses to complete our shape list.

Source: scribd.com via Laura on Pinterest

5. This one was not highly pinned but it should be! If you know anything of Whole Brain Teaching, this is a pretty awesome video to watch. She has some neat tricks that I've not heard of before, but I do use the Class/Yes, Teach/Okay and Switch. Love it!!!

Source: youtube.com via Laura on Pinterest

What have you been pinning while you're out for the summer? Come link up with us.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Totally Reading Tuesday







I thought today I might focus on what I'll be reading this summer. We all know that a teacher's job is never done, not even in the summer. We try to take a few breaks, but we still plan, create, and read new things that we can implement to make next year a little better.

So here is what I plan on reading this summer:

1. I started reading this one a couple months ago, but put it on hold because of school and work.
 It's all about fostering independent writing in grades K-2. I've really liked what I've read so far.

2. I am planning on joining Mrs. Wills in her book study with this book.
This is another book about writing. Can you tell what I'm really wanting to work on next year.

3. Lastly, I'm joining Tammy at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten with her book study.
I've been seeing a lot with the Daily 5, but haven't really looked into it. I figured a book study would be a good way to get involved with it.

So, I'm headed to the library sometime this week to get the second and third book.

Now you know what I'm reading this summer...what are you reading?  Come link up with Clutter-Free Classroom and share it with us!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Math Mondays

One of my summer goals is to stay on track with my blog schedule, so Math Mondays are back! 

I'm slowly putting together my stuff for next year.

I know, I know...it's my first full week off of work and I'm at the computer putting together my copies, stations and lessons for next year. I'm actually trying to get as much done this week as I can. That way, I can enjoy the rest of my summer =)

Our first week is dedicated to shapes. We are also reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, so I made this cutesy spinner game with shapes! Yay!


My graphics are from Scrappin' Doodles & The 3am Teacher.

It's your basic, spin the spinner, color in the shape on the recording sheet that matches. The kiddos color them brown because they are coconuts from the coconut tree. =) Cute right??

Here's another shape activity I came up with last year. I actually forgot about it, until I went back to look at some of my old Math Monday posts.
I did a sensory tub with rice and put shapes in it. The kiddos had to find them, sort them and then record how many they found of each shape. I've updated the recording sheet from last year.


You can click on both images for an auto download.

In other news...Holy Guacamole! My Pinterest boards have blown UP since my Saturday post! I've got some awesome followers =)  I now have over 500 followers on Pinterest!!!  I had no idea that would happen.

Makes me feel so special =)

Enjoy your Memorial Day and all of the goodie TpT sales going on!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Someone New Sunday



This week, I want you to meet Jen
She blogs over at


Grade you teach: 
I teach kindergarten & LOVE it!!
 
How long have you been teaching? 
I have been teaching for 8 years, 2 years in first & 6 years in kindergarten.
 
Town/State: 
Monroe, North Carolina :)
 
What is your teaching "style"? 
My style is VERY hands on & age appropriate activities. It makes me sad that many states are asking us to teach the kids things that they are developmentally not ready for. I try to make all of my lessons fun & engaging, but I also incorporate TONS of repetition! I am a firm believer of the addage "Repetition is the mother of invention".
 
What is your most memorable teaching moment? 
I had a VERY small kindergartener in my second year of teaching K. He was a little quirky & well, for lack of a better word, weird. One day I could not find him ANYWHERE! I was getting nervous & anxious. I had called the office thinking that he somehow had left the room without me OR my assistant noticing. I had everyone looking for the little guy! I did not know what to do! I was freaking out I tell ya! Then, we heard giggles & where did I find him????...Inside of his backpack!!! I told you~ he was a tiny guy! We ended up cracking up laughing, and it is still a joke that is told all around my school!
 
Why do you blog? 
I started as a way to reflect & remember the good, the bad, & the ugly of what is going on in my classroom. Then, I started to branch out and read (& follow) other blogs & I realized that the blogging community is awesome & is actually making me a better teacher. I get ideas & inspiration from so many of the terrific bloggers out there. I have also been blown away from the support & kindness that I have found with so many people!

Where else can we find you? 

 
Click the Teachers pay Teachers link to get a freebie from Jen.
And make sure to become a follower!
 
If you would like to participate in Someone New Sunday,
Email me! 
laurastarnes@ymail.com

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pinteresting News


I was off for 1/2 a day yesterday. I did NOTHING! Well, almost nothing. I did sit with my laptop in my lap for a couple of hours and do you know what I did?

I reorganized my School Pinterest board!

When I started Pinterest, almost a year ago, I had no clue how big it would be and what a great resource it would be. I had just ONE board dedicated to ALL of my school findings..not anymore!

Here are my new boards. Make sure you follow each one (you can click on each pic and it will take you to my boards) or you won't get some of my great finds. And if you don't follow me on Pinterest...you should!  Also, I'm continuing my What I'm Pinning Wednesdays, so jump on board and show off your, well, boards!











Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm SO Excited!!!!

My dear sweet neighbor across the hall, who has been here a little longer than me, went to our principal and literally got on her knees and asked for SMART boards from retiring teachers rooms and guess what??!!!!


She said Yes!!!  So I am getting a SMART Board and now I need ideas..help..suggestions?!!  Whatever you got =)  I've seen tons of stuff out there, but never really paid attention to them because I don't have one.

Now I do!!! 

Today is my last day of school. No kiddos today, so I'm sitting in a room chatting with my co-workers. We are all done with our rooms, our stuff is turned in, we are ready to go...but we have to wait.

I know I've not blogged much lately, but I have some exciting stuff lined up for the summer.  I am now on a Behavior Support team for our school and we will be working on a behavior plan to implement throughout the entire school. I am excited for it and that's where most of my time has been spent instead of here.

But it's summer and I am dedicated to my followers now. =) 

Everyone have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I'm Pinning Wednesday



It's time for the Summer Edition of What I'm Pinning Wednesday! These are some projects that I want to work on over the summer. Some of them may be repeat pins. =)

1. I want to repaint my bathroom and do something like this on my wall. How cute!
Source: vityvity.com via Laura on Pinterest



2. Work on a few new stations for next year. Including this cute file folder game for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom from OopseyDaisy



3. Work on some new Anchor Charts like this one from Zeke's Zoo.



4. Lose MORE weight! Continue my WW plan and sticking to it over the summer!



5. Work on our schools new SWPBS committee and get things set and rolling for next year.



So I've got a busy summer ahead of me.  How is yours?  Everyone have a great week!  I've just got today and 1/2 the day Thursday with my kiddos!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Someone New Sunday


Meet Maria
She runs the blog

Here's a few things about Maria and her awesome blog.
 
Grade you teach:  
Kindergarten
 
How long have you been teaching? 
7 Years
  
Town/State (optional): 
Michigan
  
What is your teaching "style"?  
I want my students to feel valued and knowledgeable. When I teach, I usually take the tone and approach of "leveling' with my kids. I say a lot of things like "I have something important to share with you." or "We have a problem, let me tell you what it is and then we have to talk about how to fix it"  
 
What is your most memorable teaching moment? 
Last year we had an assembly about music for the Pre,K, and 1st grade students. Like most assemblies, some students were invited to the front of the gym to participate and make music. A girl from my classroom was called up to help. Most children in that situation forget about whoever may be watching and just start to rock out on the instruments. Not this girl- she spent the entire time beaming and waving to me. Her mom (a wonderful, helpful parent) was on the other side of the gym that day as well, but the kindergartner only wanted me to have her attention. It served as a sweet reminder to me about the impact I make on the lives of my students. I'm not just the adult who supervises them all day. I am someone they admire and cherish, and I strive to not take that gift for granted.
  
Why do you blog?   
For the past few years, I've felt a desire to share my ideas. I wasn't really one to Google classroom activities or projects; they always just sort of popped into my head (before I became a Pinterest addict). I knew I had the creativity, drive, and passion to enhance my classroom and share my ideas with others. I'm also a bit of a technology junkie and blogging seemed to be the most effective way to use my talents.
 

Where else can we find you? {i.e. twitter, facebook, pinterest, etsy}

Here is a freebie from Maria
 
Please stop by and check her out. You will not be disappointed!