Sunday, December 1, 2013

Amazing Giveaway at Keepin'It Kool...

I love Khrys at Keepin' It Kool in Kinderland.  She is a fellow Florida blogger and has the **best** ideas on her blog (I steal a whole bunch!!)
Khrys is having a super holiday giveaway - you've got to check it out (or don't, so I have a better chance of winning!!)
She uses her amazing ideas and creates awesome products - making a little easier for mere mortals like me to look like an awesome Kindergarten teacher. 
Be sure to check out her blog, you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Feeling the need to vent!

I want to do a good job. I try very hard. I go into work almost every Sat (and do work stuff at home - planning computer searches, etc - every night, Sundays too).  I can bet almost very one of you does the same (or close to it)
Today, at our PLC, in a continuation from last week, we talked about text marking.  And how by doing this now, it will make it so much easier for the teachers & kids in 4th grade.
Why do most of our PLCs and other really great ideas have to do with making the upper grade levels easier, later??  Why can't I teach the kindergarten kids I have in my room today and focus on what they are needing/working on???
Do upper grade level teachers need to deal with peeing in pants a few times a week - probably not.  Or re-packing folders and agendas when everything falls to the floor (times 18), um, no.  Somewhere people came up with the idea that if we present stuff to kids earlier and earlier to kids, they'll get it. 
Okay, so why don't I start teaching them how to drive, too??? It will make high school so much easier.
I am realizing that the more we ask kids to do, the more resistant they are becoming.  Little by little, they listen less, squirm more. Act like 5 year olds.
Why don't we all potty train 3 month olds newborns?  Oh, yeah. Because they're not ready.  You can put them on the potty all you want. But they are not toilet trained.
A kindergartener is not a 4th grader. I am not a fourth grade teacher.  I teacher 5 year olds.  Please let me.
Thanks for letting me rant :)
Have a happy hump day!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I'm still here`

wow - the last time I posted was in Aug-Sept.  Here it is nearly November and I'm still overwhelmed!!  In fact - I feel like I need a new word.  Overwhelmed doesn't really sum it all up.

Between the testing: holy cannoli, the amount of testing (state for both reading & math, then all over again for report card grades), the humungous amount of paperwork (oy vey!!), and let's be honest, the kids!  I am swimming in the sea of insanity.  I see my blog, but, I'd rather spend time reading what others are doing.
I have seen some amazing things - both posts that make me feel better; because other peoples kinder kids are loopy-do, or, sometimes a little worse when I see all that others are accomplishing (me, green with ENVY!)

Are we doing better than in Aug?  Of course.  Room for growth - absolutely!!

I was super lucky enough to **WIN** Vickie Plants Fall Unit.  This is filled with tons of awesome literacy & math games to keep anyone busy in November!  Thanks a bagillion, Vickie!!

I just finished buying and printing an amazing pack - Party Like a Pilgrim from The Printable Princess (on tpt).
If you teach k, BUY THIS NOW.  (no endorsements or anything, it's just that good!)
Thanks to all of you who keep posting amazing ideas - it keeps me on my toes.  Luckily I have an easy to edit lesson plan program on my computer ")

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kindergarten - days 1 and 2

Wow - I really believe the only way to continue to be a teacher each and every year (and maybe this is only for elementary) is to develop some sort of back to school amnesia.  You think you remember How tired you'll be.  How much talking you do.  How many times you call a name, looking at a child, pointing at said child, saying things like "that's you. I'm saying your name". 
But - even with all of this, day 2 was better than day 1.
I planned a ton, did about half.  Did a little more than half today.  Tomorrow will **hopefully** go even a little smoother and we can do a little more, building that stamina.
Haven't even really talked about centers yet, but we will be starting that really soon - planning to start on Monday at the latest.
I hope all of you who have started and getting it done.  Those who haven't started yet, enjoy the break, you know your time is coming!!
Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Busy Day

Today was the last day of summer VPK.  All the kids progressed from where they started - not all started in same place :)
1 week "off" and then on the 12th teachers go back for pre-school week - a week of mostly meetings, a little bit of worktime in classroom and open house on Thursday.

This past Monday, our school was rocked with shocking news. Due to another elementary school earning an F (first ever in our county), our principal, who I love on both a professional and personal  level - is being moved to "fix" the F.
Can she do it - well, if anyone can, she can.  I wish her all the best. She will have quite a challenge on her hands.
As for us - as of now, no principal named yet (next week, hopefully). I do worry for our direction/focus.  Our principal has such a clear vision - it helped keep us on track, always moving forward.
A bit nerve racking for me - one more thing to worry about as a new school year dawns.
My goal - keep teaching and carry on - guess it's time to print one of the signs of tpt :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

All about math

After a five year absence from kindergarten, I feel like I'm a brand new teacher - all over again!  When I left Kindergarten to go to prek, I thought I was close to the top of my game.  Now, its a climb.
I'm thinking a lot about math - specifically math centers. Math in my k class was mostly calendar activities (not just days/months, we did a lot!), math journals and the math lesson. Any math centers were an add-on for literacy centers. Fast forward to now. I am re-doing my math journals (found a great math journal set for our math series, Envision, on tpt) and a new common core and more "calendar" math (its so much more) - by Marta Almiron (tpt) - this is seriously amazing!!
That leaves my math centers - I was planning on having 5 main "areas" to practice, modeled after a conference presentation by Deanna Jump. Measurement, Number & Operations, Counting & Cardinality, Data & Sorting and Geometry.
Figured I'd start with "table" centers - exploring math manipulatives. 
How are you planning on doing math this year?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thinking about Centers

Summer vacation is not exactly the same for me as it is for most people.  For the past 8 years I have taught summer VPK, an 8 week voluntary prek program offered through our state (FL).  This gives kids one last chance to "practice" school before entering kindergarten.

But, while I am there, I am also ALWAYS thinking about my regular class.  Right now, I am thinking about literacy centers.  After 5 years in prek inclusion, I am so excited to go back to kindergarten.  I have done centers lots of different ways in the past.  I am now thinking of changing them up (yet again) and having 9-10 "basic" centers - and then having a variety of activities within each one.   
My kids go to one literacy center a day, which means I can leave centers set up for 2 weeks.
I would love to hear what you do in your classes.
Here are my center ideas so far

Poetry-Pocket chart (Deedee monthly poetry, Alessia pocket chart stories, Jamie Mayas pocket charts all year)
ABC/Word work 1 (magnet letters, ABC clip cards)
ABC/Word Work 2 (letter stamps, abc match-up)
Play dough
Names (beg of year)

I want to have enough planned to change up what is available in the centers but keep the area the same.

Til next time!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thinking about August already!!

School ended yesterday for the kids. I have been thinking and semi preparing for my switch back to kindergarten.  Attended the Reading Street training today in my district for K teachers.  Wow - there is a lot to do everyday.  Will definitely need to pick and choose, could never fit it all in, not with everything else I still want to do during the ELA black.
Anyway - thinking about literacy centers  - Beginning of the Year literacy Centers.  My team mates and I were chatting about them today after the training.  I usually start on day 1 with a short center time.  Other teachers on my team discuss and unveil centers for about a week before the kids actually do them (going over rules, what to do there, etc)
Anyway - I am trying to get about 10 different centers for the first couple of weeks of school. I usually start with more "play" centers and gradually add more "work" centers.
So far I'm thinking...
beads and string
colors and shapes pocket chart
mobilo (like legos  - rounded, lots of wheels)
stamping (limited number of stamps)

I'd love to hear what everyone else does - and to get a large selection of choices for my beginning of the year centers.  Thanks for chiming in!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's Official!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going back to Kindergarten!
I'm so excited - I have wanted to go back all year and was hoping the opportunity would be available. Today was the day all teachers were told of moves (or non-reappointments).  when my principal told me I literally jumped for joy - twice!!
I even got the double-bonus of my old room back.  I have spent 4 long years in tiny portables (boo-hoo), now I get to go back to the second largest room on the campus! (and boy do I need it, because I have a ton and a half of school stuff)

I am thrilled to rejoin the kindergarten team and can't wait for an awesome - (and tiring and paperwork filled) year.

I hope you all got your wish for the 2013-2014 school year :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013


For the last 2 days I have had the utmost thrill of being in the presence of the fabulous Kim Adsit. I happily paid my own registration fee (I had been with her Jan 2012 for DI for the Little Guy) for her newest training Destination Common Core.  This training was superb!! The amount of info was enormous - I would've loved to spend a whole week  listening and learning with Kim.
If you ever have the opportunity to see Kim, RUN - do not walk, to register, you will not be disappointed!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Update, kinda...

Wow - I haven't posted in a while.  
All in all things are good - kids are learning and are **almost** ready for kindergarten!!  
We have been practicing reading with our pointing fingers (I L-O-V-E the emergent readers made by Fran Kramer, kindergarten Crayons,  with the dots under each word for one to one pointing!!)
And seeing words all over the place has made them into readers!  Each day in our math journals they are finding words they know (and can read!).  Wow-zers!!

On a side note, I might have a pretty exciting (for me, anyway) announcement soon.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

So here's what we've been doing in pictures

I finally brought my camera home. Here are some pics.
 Ugh - pic is sideways. Anyway, we did a penguin and arctic animals unit in February.  We started with a schema chart of what they thought about penguins.  I accepted all answers, as the kids are 3-5.  Some made sense,some, not so much.  As we read non-fiction books, we added our new learning. 

Here are 2 of my kiddos using our sight word cards from our "word of the week".  They pulled out the cards after they realized they could make words with the leapfrog letters on the magnet board.  While there is no space between thego, One of my little guys was super psyched he could make 2 of our words!!
I was pretty psyched, too

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March Madness

March came - we are a week in already - and we are B-U-S-Y in prek.  We finished our arctic theme - they did so good!  The vocab, the semi-directed drawing lesson we tried (and they did amazing!!) all of it was wonderful.  I was always a fiction lover, but now - non-fiction is Fabulous!!  

We started our Community helpers theme this week. Probably one of my favorites (or it used to be, I'm loving the arctic theme we just finished).

I'm taking pics for my teacher eval next week, so I am going to try to attach photos (last time I tried, no luck).
On a side note - the reading adoption committee selected 2 curriculums for vote (by all k-5 teachers) Pearson Reading Street and Houghton Mifflin Journeys.  I really like the Pearson program for K and the prek program we would get if Pearson is selected would be OWL, which I like. Final vote in by March 21, up for school board adoption in May.  We'll see...

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Evaluation time!!

The time of year I still obsess about.
My principal likes me. She respects and frequently tells me she appreciates the work I do with the littlest guys on the campus.
And yet, I still get nervous. I am a competitive person by nature and it bothers me to think I am not "highly effective" (the top of the rating scale). My county uses the Charlotte Danielson method of teacher evaluation/effectiveness.  All in all, not a bad system.  I do have issue with the statewide plan of 51% of the teacher evaluation being based on student data (but - thats another story).
Anyways... what are some things you do for your eval?  I include lesson plans, RtI plans and data, info about trainings, work with colleagues, etc

Have a marvelous monday!!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tell me a little about yours...

So tomorrow is the big day!!
I get to go to our County Offices and be part of the team that selects the top 2 reading curricula for elementary.  I'm curious - what do you use and what's your opinion of it.
Thanks for your input!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Supershopping, con'td

So here's page 2...
Syllable and Sound CardsDucks Literacy Unit-Common Core    Fabulous Farm  Sight Word - Pre-Primer Read & Trace Booklets  Ducks Mathematics Centers-Common Core   Spring Stamp a Word and Write the Room Centers  Label the Alphabet  January Stamp a Word and Write the Room Centers  December Stamp a Word and Write the Room Centers  November Stamp a Word and Write the Room Centers  Label It! ABC & Beginning Sounds  Autumn / Fall Sight Word Cut & Paste Readers  Autumn / Fall Sight Word Flip Books  Poetry Journals for the Primary Classroom  "On the Farm" Emergent Reader  Fun With The Three Little Pigs {Math and Language Arts Act  Pets and Pigs Literacy Unit-Activities and Literacy Center  Roll a Letter A to Z   A Year of Poetry Pack   Year Long Projectable Predictable Chart Prompts  Who Lives at The Zoo? Unit  Spin-a-Sound ABC  Community Helpers What Do You See Kindergarten Shared Read  Community Helpers What Do You See Kindergarten Emergent Re  Pre-K and K Zoo Unit  Fire Safety Ten Frame and Base Ten Number Match  Overhead Station for 1st Qtr Farm Fun with Math and Literacy!     Adding Bunches of Carrots Scrambled Eggs: A Mini CVC Literacy Station  Zoo Fact Cards
Think I like to shop??? If only TPT had a deal on ink.  Oh well, the search is on.
Happy Hump Day!

SuperTPT Shopping!!

So here is the first page of my shopping expedition...
Kindergarten Math Journals (correspond to Envision Math)  Kindergarten Morning Work Bundled  Welcome to the Jungle Pre-K and Kindergarten Literacy and   Greater/Less Than Gator Tools  Class Book Template Pack {December and January Themes}- Co  Winter Success Kit  Great for RTI  December Success Kit  Great for RTI   November Success Kit:  Great for RTI   Whose Arctic Baby Am I Emergent Reader   Smores Valentine Craft  February Activities Bundle   Class Book Template Pack {February and March Themes}- Comm  Cut and Paste Sight Word Sorting (includes ALL Pre-Primer   Arctic Pals: Arctic Animal Craftivities  Ocean Animals Research Reading  Add em up!  What Will Grow And Change On The Farm? Early Reader   Borderz MEGA Pack {Creative Clips Digital Clipart}  Kindergarten Journeys Sight Word Practice Sheets  Composing and Decomposing Number - Activity mats using play dough  Sight Word Read Along pages  Rainbow Sight Words Fun  MOO! MOO! Middle Sounds  Just Ducky Syllables - Identifying Syllables in a Word  Addition & Subtraction Story Problems {Farm pack}  Zoo Animals Research Reading   Farm Animals Research Reading  Arctic Animals Research Reading  Clip Art: Page Borders - 20 Fun decorative borders  Counting Up Chickens - Identifying Numbers 1-30  Zoo Stamp A Word & Write the Room Centers  Polar Bear & Penguin Fun! Graphics From the Pond  Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Christmas {a mini book study}  ABC Sticker Book to Record Letter Recognition ZERO THE HERO Poster and Student Math Helper! Count by Tens  Comprehension Posters {Mega Set}   Common Core Kindergarten Math Bundle: Units 1-3   Community Helper Emergent Reader Book: WHO CAN HELP?  Zippity Zoo