Sunday, August 26, 2012

Moooving Into Kindergarten

Moooo!!! Or should I say WHEEEEW!!!! We just finished our FIRST week of Kindergarten with our students. I think overall it was a WILD but good start to our school year. I say this every year- but God has GOT to give Kindergarten teachers a special brain that forgets the first week of school. No matter what I do or how many years I do it- I am NEVER EVER EVER mentally prepared for the first day of school. Is it just me???? I hope not!

Our school has 10 Kindergarten classes this year- the most we have ever had and we all have between 17 and 18 students. Our district has been WONDERFUL about capping our K classes at around 18. Ten classes may not seem like much to some of you- but our town probably only has a population of around 8 or 9,000. We are a small town, so 10 Kindergarten classes is A LOT for the size of our area. We are a city system and the county system has several rural schools- they all have above normal enrollment for Kindergarten as well. We traced it back and we THINK it was the year Hurricane Ivan came through and people had NOTHING else to do while their power was out. Ha!

We had a big award given to us by the USDA last year and we had to do a hall display. My wing did a farm type theme- so I decided to save the barn we put up and use it for our back to school theme. I have to admit- it was GREAT having half of the hallway decor ready before summer!!! I did a "Mooving Into Kindergarten" wall and the barn went back up between my room and my neighbor's room. Here is what it looked like:


I thought it turned out great! This week we did a cow glyph to hang beside the wall display. I have seen several cow glyph ideas. I combined some ideas together and added a couple of my own. When we do this kind of project the first week of school, I keep it simple and easy. I cut the spots, cow heads, legs, horns, mouths, and bells out and put them in baggies. The students glued the items together (one at a time) while we went through each piece of information. I thought they turned out really cute!

I love glyphs! The Thursday before we started school was our orientation for parents. I did a PowerPoint slide show this year and it turned out great!!! I used the apple tag like I did last year.

This is actually the picture from last year. My picture from this year didn't turn out as cute! These are on another post- but the teacher tags are FREE. You can download them by clicking here and going to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. They are blank- you can add your name and print! If you want a personalized set of tags, it is $2.00. Let me know if you do and I will be glad to add your name.

I also made my "Giving Tree". I just draw the tree on my board and tape Cricut cut apples. The apples have things like- printer cartridges, Mr. Clean Sponges, ITunes gift cards... I even put a classroom digital camera on there this year. I had someone take it too!!!! Woo hoo!!! Parents can take an apple if they wish. Normally, the tree is almost empty after orientation.

I did these again this year too:

I had several questions about them last year. These are magnets. I designed them and had them printed (business card size) on magnets. Somewhere like has this type of product available. I will design some custom ones for you and have them printed. Prices vary by size and number- if you are interested- email me at

I'm sure you've noticed throughout my posts that I have polka dots on almost everything. I think that is my trademark. I LOVE polka dots. I even got teased a little at orientation last week. I made these festive tags for my red baskets...
Everyone thinks I'm a little OCD about things like that anyway. I showed up in polka dots at orientation. This is the picture of me my assistant principal insisted on taking...

I guess now you see what the teasing was about. My room is full of polka dots. I was wearing polka dots. My slide show was even polka dot themed. Ha!

This is a good time to mention the new product I am uploading to my TPT store- because it polka dot themed. We started Math In Focus last week. It's our new program to align with Common Core. We have always done Saxon and I am pretty pumped about doing something new!!! I made red/white and black/white polka dot vocabulary words to go on a math word wall. These words align with the lessons of Math in Focus- Book A. Book B isn't ready yet, but will be soon! There are 71 words in all. They are in order. My TPT store was being REALLY slow uploading it. If you need them before I get them posted, let me know and I will do it through Paypal and Email. It's $4.00 for the set.

I am going to take some pictures this week of some new things I am doing in the classroom this year. I love seeing what everyone else does in their Kindergarten classes!!!

I did get my Peace, Love, and Kindergarten up on my classroom wall...
It has been SOOOO busy at home as well as school because my little girl started 3-year-old preschool. She goes 3 days a week this year, so it has been hectic having clothes ready, backpack and snack packed, and getting out the door on time. Dance clothes have to be packed on dance days. I feel like a REAL mom! Ha! She LOVES school! Here she is on her first day...

It wouldn't be fair not to mention my other "helper". I can always rely on Finley to help with whatever project I spread out on the living room floor. He adds his TLC- doggie slobber and paw prints- to everything I do. :)

The last thing and I promise this really long post with be over: I started a Facebook store about a week ago. It is called Polka Dot Pages and I am selling a lot of really cute personalized items, like Ipad Covers, cartags, towels, notepads cutting boards- you name it!!! Everything is 100% custom designed for you and personalized. Here are some examples of my items, including the Ipad cover for my school Ipad...

Click here to go directly to my Facebook site, or search for "Polka Dot Pages" on Facebook.

Well- I need to finish typing some pacing guides for next week. I will be back with some more classroom pictures next week! Hopefully it will be a smoother week and I am SOOOO excited about football season starting next weekend! Can't wait to yell ROOOOLLL TIDE! :)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Foot Long Receipt

You know it is that time of year again when you spend $71.82 in the Dollar Tree.
Yep, you are looking at a foot long receipt. Actually, it's 14 inches long- a little over a foot! Crazy!!! I found some really great deals and couldn't pass them by. I am constantly buying random things because I think I might need it one day. Some of this stuff I don't have an immediate use for- but I am sure that when I need it- I'll be glad I bought it. Here are some of the things I bought...
I am thinking about using some of them literacy centers, etc..
Tangram workmats... maybe for math centers.
You can always use letter tiles!
These were sorters. The front has a shape and a number. As you can see, they are also different colors. I was thinking of using them for grouping students. I also bought three of these magnetic containers.
I am going to add polka dots or something festive to dress them up. Don't worry! I'll show you when I am done.

I have been busy trying to get things ready in my classroom since they have finished cleaning the carpet and have put my tables and things back where they belong. We (teachers) begin inservice on August 13th and the students return on August 20th. Sometimes we have work days during inservice. HOPEFULLY we will this year since we have FIVE inservice days before school begins. I can't handle FIVE days of "informative and beneficial" meetings. Our Kindergarten orientation is the 16th, so I will need everything ready by then for sure. Our school district always waits until about 5 days (or even less) before the first day of school to give us our class lists. As you can imagine, it is WONDERFUL to get your class list and have to label everything in a couple of days. So... another reason why I need everything else ready early. Ideally, I will finish everything by the end of next week. I have a MUCH needed beach trip planned the week before inservice.

I have been in 3 different rooms at my school. I started Year 1 in TABS (In-school suspension), moved to Kindergarten 6 weeks into the year when the enrollment kept increasing and we added a class (Trust me, that is DEFINITELY another story for another day), and after Year 3, a Kindergarten room opened up in the Kindergarten section (I was in the first grade part) so I moved to my current room. I plan to be in Room 101 forever. I HATE changing rooms. Anyway, I've worked a little each year to get it decorated like I really want to be. I'm adding some new things this year and trying to really adhere to my color theme- mostly red, black, and white. I use a ton of polka dots too! I have other primary colors throughout the room- but I'm adding more black/white/red this year.

I came across chipboard letters at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents each. I bought the letters to spell "Kindergarten", a peace symbol, and a felt heart since I couldn't find a chipboard one. I picked out some coordinating scrapbook papers and came up with this...
Close up of the peace symbol and heart:
I can't wait to hang them on the wall!!!

When I went crazy in Dollar Tree, I bought a class set of binders to use for calendar notebooks. I decided to go ahead and number them with vinyl numbers. I wanted to add dots, but I decided not to. I thought the end result was neat and clean, so I left it that way...
The last project that I want to share is my table caddies. I bought these black ones at Walmart the other night for 99 cents each. I use these for pencils, scissors, and glue. Usually students keep crayons in separate containers. I used my cricut to cut some cute number tags. I added a festive bow and attached them with book rings. I LOVE them and cannot wait to put them on my tables!!!
I have several other things that are in the works, but I don't want to share just yet!

Just so you know- I'm not the only one at my house ready for school. This is what I found in my kitchen the other morning...
Isn't she the cutest 3-year-old teacher ever? Even if she has bed hair and is wearing something from the dress-up chest? :)

She even managed to get our poor doggie to come to school...
Doesn't he look thrilled to be there???

Thanks for all the kind thoughts on my new TPT page! I have some new stuff for it, but haven't had time to sit down and add it all. I am headed to bed tonight. I am throwing a baby shower on Saturday and a lingerie shower next Friday. In addition to school stuff, I also made a diaper cake and party banner today. I'm going to call it a night!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yay! I Did It!!!

I have been planning for months to start a TPT store and I finally set it up today! It is nothing impressive yet- but I wanted to quickly tell everyone about it because I added the back to school teacher tag from a previous post. It is FREE in my TPT store!!! I also added these two cute new things...
Click here to visit my new store!!! I ran out of time uploading tonight- but I have a super cute set of barnyard name tags for back to school to add later. I also have worked for weeks on our new math series- Math in Focus. I am SO pumped about some things I have put together for it. I hope to add several things this week! I have a lot of resources I will add as freebies later too. Just in case you are interested, I do custom printing. I can do the desk fairy notes as a sticky note pad and the sign as a large magnet. Sorry that was short and sweet- but I was so stinkin' excited about my new store that I couldn't sleep until I let everyone know!!! And if you do visit my store- I would love for you to be a follower! Sweet dreams!!!! Photobucket

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Farming Fun!!!

Almost the last post of the Make-up Series! :) This year, our school won an award for being a healthy school. We had USDA representatives that came to our school to present the award and they also were going to tour our school. We all made a huge deal out of it and as a school organized their visit into the "Tasty Travel Tour". It was really something! My pod (the group of 4 classrooms that face each other) did "Harvesting Healthy Habits". It happened to be the week after our farm petting zoo field trip- so it made a great mini-unit!!!! We talked about different types of produce, what part of the plant they were, and different uses for them.
I saw a similiar idea on another blog, but I have searched again and again trying to figure out where it came from!!!! I think some of the ideas are originally from Kinders by Kim, but I just cannot find the same blog that had done this in their room. I want to give them credit for the inspiration for it, so I am going to continue to look for it so I can come back and add their name. I loved the end result!
We were out of brown paper in our workroom and I don't live in a large town. So paper grocery sacks were the best I could do for the soil. The kids used paint dabbers for the corn....
They did these cute handprint carrots (and they painted the rest)...
My neighbor and I decided to make our doors into barn doors- but then it needed a barn. I never took a picture of the finished project. I added cow heads on our doors (looking out of the stable) and I added a polka dot chicken to the coop.
You wannna know what the BEST part is???? I SAVED the barn and we are doing a "MOOving into Kindergarten" theme next year!!! So I am half way done with my back to school decor! Woo hoo!!!!! At the other end of my wall, we did these cute pizza glyphs from Shari Sloane
I also let the kids write about their favorite food. We made these chef heads and attached them to their stories. I think it would have been really cute to do recipes instead... maybe next time!!! :) ...
I loved doing the farm unit! I am excited about putting the barn back up in August too! :) This will be my last make-up post for the day. We got out of school last Friday and this week has been FANTASIC!!!! Because of new legislation, we will have a looong summer! Almost 3 full months. Sadly, we will have very very few holidays when we start back. I am trying to focus on the long summer right now though. We have already had some pool days and took a day trip to the beach yesterday! I have been able to run in the mornings instead of when it is 95 degrees in the afternoons. I LOVE watching the sun come up during a morning run. I have also been able to start a 5:30 a.m. cycling class at our local gym- which is currently kicking my butt, but it is still fun. Most importantly, I have been able to spend all day with my sweet little girl!!!! :)