Friday, August 31, 2012

Help Wanted...

Hello Bloggy Friends!  I need your help, please! I know you are beyond busy, back to school, copies, collating, binding books, lesson planning, etc. etc. etc.

However, I have been asked to present at SUECON it is a technology conference for educators held in Southern Utah.  I attended last year and it was great.  I am beyond excited to present but a little overwhelmed I don't know if I am qualified to teach teachers... scary stuff.  That is where you come in.  You are all incredible, smart, techie teachers.  I am looking for any and all advice... my presentation is called Blogging Basics and Teacher Created Products.  What would you find valuable?  What tips and tricks have you found along the way?  Spread the word, link-up, help me out!

So it's a party...  What program do you love to use to make your units/lessons?  What programs could you not live without?  Share your knowledge.... and to say "thank you" here is a freebie. (my CENTER SIGNS I have had a LOT of you asking for them... I thought I would share and link up).
Freebie Fridays

Friday, August 24, 2012

Teacher, Teacher, Teacher!

We made it through our first week.  I have lost my voice.  I forget how much talking is required during the first week of kindergarten.  I forget how much I will repeat myself.  I forget my name is "teacher" apparently I answer to it.  Apparently I need to teach my classes how to pronounce 'Mrs. Sumens'.  Apparently I forget many things over the course of a year as my current class grows and changes into the big first graders that they soon will be.

 I remember perfectly however how cute, excited, and eager these little kidlets are to be in school.  I love kindergarten.  Even without my voice.  Even when I am known as 'Teacher'.  Even when I say the same thing over and over and over again!  We are learning our routines and procedures, we are getting to know each other, and we are going to have an amazing year!!!

Here are some pictures of our first day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Techie Tuesday

Despite the fact that it was the first day of Kindergarten today, and I am beyond exhausted... anyone else ALWAYS up the night before the first day??? I can NEVER sleep!  I also made the mistake of wearing heels... ReAlLy?!?!  What was I thinking... that was a rookie mistake and I am NOT a rookie!

I HAVE to link up for Technology Tip Tuesday at Blog Hoppin'

You see I have this secret techie weapon... it is called The E-Beam

You see I wanted an interactive whiteboard... BADLY... but the money was NOT in the technology budget.  My principal was able to get her hands on a bunch of these last year for a FRACTION of the cost of a SMART or Promethean Board.  FRACTION.  We are talking less than $500 people.  It works with either ActiveInspire or SMART software and it is AWESOME.   You see because it is just this teeny tiny little gizmo at the top of my whiteboard I still have my whiteboard.  That is right, I still have my whiteboard!  I don't know about you but there are times when I just need to take out and EXPO and write... with those other pricey boards, you can't expo on that surface... no way!  I feel like I have the best of both worlds... love.

See it there at the top of my board.  Tiny.  It interacts with my projector and works with the pen (or you can even get a tablet) and it turns your whiteboard into an interactive surface.  

So write a grant, start a Donor's Choose project, or bug your administrator about your tech budget.  If you order enough I am sure you will get a discount, we did.  Interactive Boards for everyone!  I really don't know how I ever taught without it.  Happy Teaching.

Okay now I have to go put my feet up, beg hubsters to rub them, pull out the foot spa... something.  I really cannot believe what wearing heels all day did to my poor feet, so sad.  Tomorrow I may try and teach in slippers, I am sure no one will notice.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Freebie, Freebie, Freebie!!!

It is late... the house is silent.  All three kiddos and the hubby are sleeping.  I tried to join them, I really did but my mind is racing... so much to do!!!  So I crept out of bed and got to work.  I needed nameplates, I need to get them printed PRONTO and laminated so I can stick them on my kidlets pencil boxes... yep that's right pencil boxes.  (I got them for $.54/each at Walmart)

You see with 2 sessions of Kinder I HATE sticking nameplates to the tables... for some kiddos it confuses them, to have so many names adhered to one table... and it gets kinda cluttered.  Plus when they move around during centers they can't see their name, which so many of them need to see so that they can write it on their papers at the beginning of the year.  Solution?  Pencil boxes.  I stick their name on their pencil box.  they take it with them everywhere.  At the end of the day they put it in their cubby and we repeat the process again in the afternoon.  I love it.

So what am I doing at midnight?  I am stressing about my nameplates because my kinder classes start Tuesday, I am testing my last 2 kiddos on Monday... I will have my final class lists as soon as I am done testing and I can FINALLY put their names on things, finally.  Just in time for them to walk in the door.

I made them in yellow and green, since that is how I divide my classes.  Yellow for AM and Green for PM.  I hope you can use them.  I am loading them to my Google Docs.  Feel free to download HERE.
Now maybe I should try and get some sleep, otherwise I may be snoring through church tomorrow... or today rather.... but my house is so quiet, it is hard to not just sit here and enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Day (and classroom reveal)

Warning: Picture overload. 

We had our first day with kidlets today... whew!  I was only testing but still... I am exhausted.  I know I promised the big classroom reveal over the weekend but I haven't had a minute to even log onto my computer let alone post pictures... eek!  I love my new little kinder kids though it is going to be a GREAT year!

So without further ado here is my room.... sorry about all the pics, just stop NOW if you are not up for the overload.  I am linking up:

My center chart with cards at the top for grouping the kiddo into their center rotations.

Our book nook and listening center

book storage.  picture-word journals, missing: zero the hero books, math books.  

Math Manipulatives

Student Computers

View from outside door.

View from outside door (facing hallway door).

School Pledge, Class Rules, Alphabet Line

My little corner

Easel, Art Table, Dramatic Play Center

Below Whiteboard

View facing whiteboard

My ABC chart (it is a freebie at my TpT store)

Behavior Charts, File Cabinets

Sharp/Not Sharp

One of my sweet kinder kidlets from last year gave me this quote on the last day of school.  I was so glad I could keep it to take to my new room with me.  Love.

What did I do before pinterest??

My Number Cards (they are only $1 check them out at my TpT store)

Math Wall

View from inside door facing  outside door

View of my little corner of the world.  Desk, small group table, files, etc.

Puzzle table: extra puzzles are stored under the table I had intentions of making a table skirt to hide the mess, didn't happen.  Hiding behind my shelf curtains are more math supplies.

Writing Table: we will be adding to this as the year progresses.

That little corner with the green curtain is where I hide all my copies to be made and waiting to be used.

Notice my blank space on the back wall... that is for our anchor charts we will be making.

Hope you enjoyed your tour... if you lasted that long and didn't close the browser half way through.  I am excited to share this bright space with my kiddos.  Ready or not... they have come!  Whew.  Now I have to go eat, cuddle with my babies (who I missed TERRIBLY) and put my feet up.

Oh and check me out at Teaching Madness, I am being featured over there today as a budding blogger!  Thanks Amanda!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How do you plan...


I am linking up... let's be honest I am hoping to be a giveaway winner, who doesn't love Erin Condren?  Sign me up.... {{swoon}} I am a planner, and I LOVE MY  PLANNER but an Erin Condren planner, that is beyond love, and beyond the teaching budget... enter giveaway.

Head over to Jessica's blog to link up with how you plan and enter her great giveaway to win a $25 giveaway to Erin Condren... me, me, me!!!

Okay... planning.

I am a binder kind of girl.  I have tried so many pre-made plan books, binders, etc. over the past 9 years... so many.  The awful planner you get from  the school, an adorable planner from CTP, that I had to write the exact same things in every week, over and over and over... It wasn't until I became a Reading Recovery teacher that I fell in love with the binder.  Something about keeping all my lessons in a binder, being able to add pages, etc. etc. etc.

Fast Forward to today.

I make my own planning pages.  I hate having my guided reading and weekly planning in separate places.  I have been teaching long enough now my plans are more like reminder notes, I don't need a lot of space.  (The first few years of teaching my plans were.... detailed... very, very, very detailed.  This system would not have worked then.)

Here are a few snippets of my planning system.
Above: Pictures of my planner.  I chose to print in black/white (just to save some ink) but if you click on my planning labels to the side or just out my TpT store you can find lots of my planning pages for FREE!  Happy Planning.

Sidenote: I go back to school on Monday, eek.  So much to do.  I am hoping to post a classroom tour over the weekend of the finished room.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

You've Got Mail...

I am linking up with Monday Made it with my very first Vistaprint project.  I know I didn't hand craft these babies but I did make them on Vistaprint's website  (which was super easy) and they arrived in the mail TODAY!   I was gleeful, truly.  I bounced over to my custodian's office to show her my fabulous package and she feigned excitement for me!  Haha.  THEN I realized... something horrible, truly catastrophic... SPECIAL is spelled WRONG!  I have 100 postcards, 100!  I have 100 Thank You cards with 'special' spelled wrong **SPEICIAL* rEaLlY!!!  Deflated.  AND I couldn't even find a coupon code when I purchased these babies, so I paid full price, FULL PRICE  $40!!!!  Ouch.

So the question is.... do I send them anyway???  Try to cover it up???  Explain my error on the back of EACH ONE????  Ideas please...  but I made it, apparently didn't spell check, but I made it!  So I am linking up and hoping for your advice... please.

However thankfully my magnets are perfect!  They will be great to hand out to parents at back to school night, all my contact info right on their fridge.