Thursday, June 30, 2011

Transitions

Transitions are a tricky thing to master! My first year of teaching, my principal had me really focus on transitions, and I must say as hard as this was at the time, it's been a great help to my teaching! With smooth transitions and clear expectations, I am much more able to utilize the short 2 hour and 20 minutes I have each day with my kinders.

Here are some of the transitions I use

1. Morning routine

  • Music- when the song comes on, it is time to clean up. When the song ends, if everyone is seated on the carpet, we get a "gumball" (incentive chart reward towards earning a party). I use Sing and Spell volume 1 and 2 from heidisongs. This is an AWESOME tool for practicing sight words as well. my kids LOVE them!
2. Carpet transitions
  • Magic word- when I say the word of the day, it is time to walk quietly to our desks.
3. Lining up
  • I either excuse the kiddo''s by table group, color they are wearing, or age. Sometimes I also throw in a letter in their name (all kiddo's whose name starts with A)
  • We sing the song before we walk in the hall
 My hands are glued behind my back, 
I'm standing straight and tall
my eyes are looking straight ahead
I'm ready for the hall. 
4. Clean up from play time
  • when I chime the bell  (i give a few reminders before I chime the bell), if everything is cleaned up, I will pick a magic piece of garbage. the kiddo who finds it will get a small prize (usually a candy heart) Great way to clean at the end of the day!!
I also use these various tools
  • clapping a rhythm.
  • Give me 5 (eyes, hands, bodies, mouths quiet, ears listening) If they are really good at this, we get a gumball.
Sounds like a lot, but the transitions really work well when taught and practiced! The hardest part is in the beginning, making sure to keep them accountable to doing exactly what you expect before you move on. 

What do you do? Join in on Little Miss Kindergarten's transitions linky party and share your ideas!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

scholastic books

Have you ever heard of the scholastic warehouse sale? I went and it was PHENOMENAL!! everything was at least 50% off and I got some killer deals! I went to round out my leveled library, and found more than enough to fill it up! Scholastic has always been my favorite place to find inexpensive classroom books, but this sale takes the cake!!

Best part? With the sale prices and the 25$ fast pass coupon, I only spent $165!! Sounds like a lot, but here's a glimpse into SOME of the books I got! :)





Now i'm busy labeling and covering them all, not as fun of a job! :)

Where do you like to shop? Check out Ladybug's linky party and share your best finds!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Donors Choose


Times's Running out...Can you help??

I am requesting science materials that will allow my students to explore by hands on learning to make their own discoveries about science. With the materials I have requested, my students will be able to examine magnified bugs, experiment with magnetism, explore what kinds of items sink and float, learn about the life cycles with 3-D models, and be active learners in the process of discovery. With a 2 hour and 20 minute half day kindergarten program, there is not enough time for formal science instruction. My students will greatly benefit from science materials that can be available for them during our learning labs time.
With a strict focus on reading, writing and math in kindergarten our students are missing out on a big piece of the learning puzzle through science exploration. Please consider donating to this project to help foster the excitement and discovery that can be found through hands-on science.

If you would like to donate, please go Here

Check out these awesome giveaways!

There are so many awesome giveaways going on today, I thought I would let you know about them, too! Check these out!

Yearn to Learn is hosting a LAKESHORE giveaway! Awesome! This would get me some of the cute bee themed stuff for my classroom :) Click on the button below to enter!



First Grade Blue Skies is hosting a target or amazon giftcard giveaway! Check it out!

Bee Theme

I have decided to have a bee theme in my classroom next year. SHOCKED??? :) Mr. Bee was pretty surprised when he found out I didn't already. I think this is mainly due to the fact that the first few years I was just trying to get teaching under my belt, and now I feel the creativity flowing! (a lot thanks to the wonderful blogs I read!)


So far I am planning on making:
1. A bee hive incentive chart (like the gumball machine I have used in the past. fill in a honeycomb instead of a gumball)
2. Bee nameplates (saw these at lakeshore)

I'm also looking to buy
1. A busy bee helper chart (haven't found one I like yet!)
2. any bee decor


So, here's where I could use your help. 
What kind of ideas do you have for a bee themed classroom??
I am planning on using a combination of teacher-created decorations and store-bought.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

State Shout-Out

I've joined a state shout-out at Primary Connections. c'mon over and represent your state!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Need help leveling books

Ok, so I'm in the final stages of creating my (1st version :) ) guided reading leveled library. I have separated all of my books that fall in the Fountas and Pinnell A-L reading levels and am now labeling them individually to go in corresponding leveled boxes (Leveled Library)

Now I'm stuck with a few books that I know will fit in the system somewhere, but am having a ridiculously hard time figuring out where! I bought them at the scholastic warehouse sale. I originally thought they would be more at the beginner level, but upon reading them have noticed they are definitely more advanced (think sight words and a mix of long vowels). My guess is they belong somewhere in the k-l category. Thoughts?


I'm also trying to level a few beginners books from our Treasure's curriculum. They are given a lexile but no guided reading. Is there a way to correspond the two types of leveling? Any thoughts would be appreciated! :) 










Saturday, June 18, 2011

Favorite TV shows!

Okay, so in my favorites list I have reality tv...I LOVE reality tv! So, in honor of that, I will list my top 5 for Primary Connections linky party!

1. The Hills...oh how I miss you :)
2. So You Think You Can Dance...I cry and text with my dad during the entire show!
3. Biggest Loser...another tear jerker and dad texter! :)
4. Jersey Shore (enough said.)
5. Real Housewives

What's on your faves???

Fishing Trip

Have you ever taken 100+ kindergartners fishing?? Well, it takes 2 buses, coolers, 3 teachers and LOTS of parents!

This years trip started out a little rocky, and I was worried the day would continue on the same trend. You see, as we were lining up the classes to load the buses, an accident happened in the parking lot. The bus, while trying to get passed a few cars parked in the bus lane, hit the curb and with that another parent car that was parked illegally. poor bus driver and parent, the whole front bumper was taken off. luckily, no one was hurt but it did cause quite a backup while the transportation department came and assessed the damage, along with a few police officers. We ended up being delayed about 30 minutes and not knowing how long it would take we ended up just sitting 2 of the classes in the hallway/breezeway waiting to be able to load. oh my gosh. my class was luckily still lined up in our room, so we had my wonderful high school helper read them a couple stories to keep them occupied.

Once this was over and we could load the buses, we then drove our kids out to the "Country" on a 45 minutes bus ride to a trout farm where the kids learned to fish and got to catch and keep their very own rainbow trout. It is so much fun! We got the kids in groups of 3 with at least 1 adult. From there, we gave the "Speech" about fishing rules and the day's schedule. Then they were off to fish! As a teacher, this can be scary to let the children roam without you, but with a lot of parents involvement (we are blessed!) It went very smoothly!

By not having our own group, the 3 teachers are free to circle the lake, take pictures and pass out snacks. Here are so pictures of what we saw


Then, we camp out by the coolers and cleaning station where the kids come to have their fish cleaned (yes, they get to watch!) and then keep it on ice until they are ready to go home. Once their group is done fishing, they can play on the play structure and wait until lunch. When everyone is finished (this year we had to cut fishing off early in order to have time for lunch) we all meed at the covered picnic area, have lunch together, and then families are free to check out and leave. The ride home is so peaceful because so many of the kids go home with their families (I only had 3 parents not come!) We did have a few more ride the bus, because their parents rode there with us as chaperones. Once we got back to school there was 20 minutes left so my kids (who would normally be home hours ago) watched a movie with the full day kinders and then rode the afternoon buses home.

It's a lot to coordinate, but SO worth it!! Have you ever taken your class fishing?? I'd love to hear about your field trips!

First Summer Post!

Phew! It's summer! and I finally feel like things are calm. Today I woke up to a phone call at, yes, 1:40 pm. Wow! and I went to bed at 11pm last night. Can you tell I've been tired?? Let me tell you, that sleep felt soo good! by this time Mr. Bee has been to an appointment and played 18 holes. haha. I love it! Today I'd planned on cleaning up the side of our house for a gravel load coming in, but since it was pouring out (summer??) at least that will be put on the back burner.

The last few days of school was super fun filled and packed with many activities. I can't even remember if I blogged about fishing. If I didn't that's coming soon! Monday was a regular schedule, tuesday we went fishing, and Wednesday was the last day! Parents came and after A LOT of technical difficulty surrounding my slideshow, we finally watched it and I could tell the parents loved it. I miss my kids already!! The rest of the week of finishing report cards and cleaning up my room.

Now that I am done with that, I am focusing on my leveled library. Last week I went to the scholastic wearhouse sale (awesome!!!) and spent WAY too much, but my library is much more stocked for each guided reading level. and at 2 dollars a book, I didn't feel too guilty. The biggest task was leveling the books, but now that I am done with that, I am putting on the labels (I got them fromLadybug Teacher Files, she rocks!) and beginning to set up the library. It's finally coming along! I'll post pics as soon as I can :) The only frustration I've hit is leveling the small phonics books I got. They should be in the a-d levels, but not sure where exactly and I can't find any information on that....

Anyways, my brain is a little scattered, but it feels good to be back! How is your summer going so far??

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Last Day

Can you tell I'm going to miss them?
This has been such a great year! yesterday was the last day for 1/2 day, so I am in my classroom doing report cards and cleaning while the rest of the school is finishing up their last day. I'm just about to head out to the buses to wave off the big kids, but wanted to say hi :) Happy last day! I'll write a bigger update later!

PS. A Big GOOD LUCK!! to my friend and teammate Mrs. Sneaker who is defending her core paper for her doctorate today!! You rock, girl!

p.s.s can you say "end of the year life is crazy??" I can! No time for blogging(or cleaning my house, you can ask Mr. Bee!)!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fishing

video
Today we went fishing. Lots of fun and excitement...this is what happens on the ride home :) Keep in mind the 45 minute bus ride home AND being a half day kinder on a full day field trip :) How cute is this??

Thursday, June 9, 2011

awesome giveaway


I'm planning new labs for next year, this would be an awesome addition! Check it out :)

Love Days Like This!

The sun is shining and the weather is 72, can't get much better than this! I love Oregon Spring/Summers when the sun actually visits us. This has been an abnormally cold and wet spring, so I am rejoicing in the gift of warmth and going for a run! Before I do that, I want to update you on the day!

As much as I feel rushed to get everything in before the last day (next wednesday), I made a point to stop and enjoy smelling the roses. Today I watched my kiddos write a four square rough draft of our letters for Father's day and almost cried. really! We did this for mothers day, and I can't tell you how many times the kids asked for help and I heard "I'm done" when there were 2 squares left. the concept just had not hit home. Well, today I am so happy to say not one kiddo needed more than a quick tip on spelling. I LOVE watching my kids become writers! I can't wait to show you some of the work, but for now I'm leave you with this tidbit from one little girl, "I love you because you are reely hansum." AWW! Dad is going to love that!


We also read a book one child brought in about a fat cat. I <3 fat cats!! lol. Meet the reason why:
This is Tank. He was our 30 lb cat I rescued from a local no-kill shelter when he was 8 years old. He passed last spring and I was heartbroken. He was an amazing companion, super cuddly and more like a dog than anything. Such a love. I still miss him bunches, but LOVE talking about him and telling stories about how crazy he was. After years of tests and expensive diet foods, he was on thyroid meds and lost about 6 lbs. We are not sure why he was so large, and he had many health problems because of it, which ultimately lead to him passing at the age of 12. 
Needless to say, I love fat kitties now! (not that I would EVER encourage this, we care about the health of animals as well!)

So when little Fefe brought the book I was in heaven!! Such an adorable read and the kids loved it! Highly reccomended :) I loved that it was a lot like Dr. Suess with rhyming patterns, but a little funnier (In my humble opinion)
Now I need to get a copy for myself!

Happy Thursday! (last thursday of our 1/2 day kinder school year!!!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer To Do List Linky Party

As if I really needed to start thinking about this list (It runs my mind already!) 6 more days!
I'm joining Littlest Learners linky party. Hop on!

Before the school year ends:
1. start/finish gift buckets
2. bind alphabet books
3. Classroom field trip FISHING!!

Classroom To-Do
1. Organize library- thanks to Ladybug's teacher files I will be creating my leveled library this summer! I have already started leveling my bookshelves, and have found that a lot of my books do not have a Scholastic level...hmm...not sure, might end up having 2 library systems? I want to have the leveled library for the class to be more involved in quiet reading time vs. random book look. We'll see how it works! This weekend I'm off to the Scholastic Wearhouse sale with the fabulous Mrs. Sneaker and hoping we can snag some good deals on beginning leveled readers!

2. Create a more structured learning labs. The past 3 years there has been little structure to learning labs (aka play) besides having only 2 kids per play area (sign up board regulated) But, with only 2 hours and 20 minutes a day, I'm leaning towards having more standards driven games instead of free time (maybe the free time will be once a week instead) This will include sight word games, themed labs in math, listening stations, etc. Thanks to Teachers Pay Teachers and Extra Special Teaching I've already got a bunch of ideas started!

3. Invest in a new rug. I want one like this:
anyone know of a good place to find this at a good price? My teammate is going to get one, too! We've had the oval shaped alphabet one for year, which is great, but there tends to be a lot of chaos around sitting in your own space. I've been doing tape spots for awhile now, and it's finally time to give in! :)

4. Die-cut over 30,000 (I think that's the number we came up with last year) alphabet letters. We do ALL of our word wall letters over the summer so that all we have to do is pull them when we need them throughout the year. It's a BIG task during the summer, but well worth the work! Check out our word wall words here. Last summer I did this while planning a wedding...maybe not the best project to take on, haha. This summer should I much better!

I'm sure there's more, but I'm content with just these HUGE projects for now! haha. 

Fun To-Do List :)
1. READ! I've got the new sookie book and another book I've had on the back burner between school, bible study and book club. I'm so excited to read for fun!

2. Take care of the garden/hopefully have some grass growing soon! :) I am a newly converted OCD gardener and loving it!

3. Go camping! I <3 camping

4. Lay by the pool/lake/ocean/just plain outside as much as possible

Ahh..This sounds good!
What's your summer looking like?



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Leveled Library

I'm thinking of taking on the task of leveling my library this summer...I have a mish-mash of books that I was given/have collected since starting kinder 3 years ago, and there is not much method to my library madness. Right now they are organized by size (kind of) and soft cover/magazine/hard cover. I don't feel like it is very conducive for the kiddos to find books at their level, but am not sure where to start.

I'm planning on going to the dollar store and buying shoe boxes to organize. Should I do the guided a-l leveled reading system like Ladybug? Or maybe a color coding system like our kinder reading library is already set up in the hallway? (a little harder to organize in my opinion). Or should I just go by genre? Ugh, I'm torn in so many directions!

What have you seen or done in kindergarten?? Help!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Busy Day!

 Exciting day in kindergarten!! Our Class had 3 butterflies hatch out of their chrysalis’ AND we got to watch 2 of them while it happened! So cool!!

We also won the school-wide golden award for the month of may in computers! This means our class was the “best” class in the computer lab at following directions and working quietly! Awesome job, Kindergarten!!

Hope you have a fantastic and sunny weekend :)
Mrs. Bee

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Slap the Sight word

Speaking of sightings :)

We played a new game today called slap the sight word! Super cute idea I got from

Check it out! The kids love playing games with the fly swatters (purchased at the dollar store)

Bear Sighting??

A bear sighting by my house closed a local elementary school today! So crazy! We live in suburbia, not a normal place to see a bear! When I drove by on my way to work this morning, this is what I saw: