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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Our First Centers

OUR FIRST CENTERS...So, I begin training my students to do "center work" the very first full week of school (we go half days for the first week).  As you know it can be really overwhelming to train your kiddos so early in the school year, but I must say it seems like my kids surprise me every year at just how fast they start picking up our daily routines.  I start out with SIMPLE centers that mainly consist of rolling cubes, using bingo dotters, and spinners (for my sanity).  Here are some examples of centers that we did the first week.
 color word practice
 letter tracing
 letter roll
You can download this letter roll 
activity for FREE in my TPT store!
build a color word
You can find these in my 
girl Julie's brown bear unit.

I also begin introducing their choices for after center work is complete.

I use the interactive games from Lakeshore in my Promethean Board center.  These games are FABULOUS.  They are so engaging and purposeful.  

We take it SUPER slow in our writing center.  After all we have only been in school for one week HALF days.  :)  Here is a sample of what we did. 

Thanks for sticking around for this 

super long post and WAR EAGLE.  :)  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Classroom Reveal 2014-2015

I know I am a little late to the game posting my classroom reveal but school happens right!?!  :)  I LOVED my new set up/classroom that I moved to last year but there is ALWAYS something I want to change or improve.
I am seriously DYING over my new chair for whole group.  It is the perfect size so that my short legs can actually touch the floor plus it is the CUTEST!  :)
I seriously don't know where in the world I stored my guided reading materials before I got this bad boy.  It is PERFECT for keeping everything I need when I am teaching my groups.  
 I started using book boxes so I fixed this little shelf up with tons of leveled readers.  More on exactly what book boxes are and how I use them later.  :)
Once again, I am not sure how I survived before I started making these little dots.  Seriously friends...if you have not tried this you MUST.  It only takes a day or two to train my kiddos and once I do it is so easy to just say "find your dot".  This cuts down on the fussing, pushing, shoving stuff because everybody knows EXACTLY where they stand.  If you are interested and want to read more you can check out my post HERE.

 I love how these turned out.  I assign every student a number and they use the same one for pretty much everything (line up dots, mailboxes, book boxes, etc.)
Hope you enjoyed and maybe saw something that is useful.  Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Days of School

I can not even express how excited I am about this school year.  I have the sweetest group of kiddos this year and the lowest number that I have EVER had since I have been teaching (16).  Here is a little recap of how we started off our school year and some of the first activities that we did (and why).

We started our first day with the book First Day Jitters and we drank Jitter Juice (from the lovely Abbie Mullins from  The Inspired Apple).
I also introduced our rules and procedures for our class.  One of my favorite ways to do this is using Mr. Potato Head.  I put all of the pieces in my "mystery bag" and we build Mr. Potato Head together as we talk about what it means to be a good listener.  This good listener chart is from the fabulous Deanna Jump's All Set? You Bet! unit.
We then read David Goes to School.  For the last couple of years I have used the David books to introduce how to be a peacemaker.  Our course these books are precious but they also create great discussions about making good choices.  We also make these CUTE David's (you can find them Here in Julie Lee's store).
Finally, we read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  If you have never read this book it is absolutely PRECIOUS and a great way to ease those first few days of nerves.  After reading the book we make these darling Chester Racoon's.  This is a collaborative project that Julie and I worked on.  You can find it in her store HERE.  
You might be wondering what in the world is the point in making all of these crafts...is it just because they are cute?  Well, YES they are adorable, but NO that is not the only reason we make them.  ;)  Both of these crafts are pre-cut so the main point in these activities is to see who can follow directions.  We do them whole group so it gives me a good idea of who can do what as far as listening, following directions, using glue, etc.  :)

And last but no least...we danced out booties off this week.  You can't start the school year off without singing the Tooty Ta like 50 times right?!?  :)
Hope you enjoyed this rather lenghty post.  Stay tuned for my classroom reveal.  It's coming up soon with a few new ideas and pointers.  :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back to School Sale 2014

Hey guys!  Have you heard the big news?  TPT's back to school sale begins tomorrow and you can save up to 28% on EVERYTHING!  
Be sure to fill up your cart and take advange of this fantastic sale...I know that i am.  :)
Here are a few of my favorite things to start the school year with...



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