Sunday, July 31, 2011

D.O.G.'s & Deals

I am really excited to be trying some things this year!!! I have heard SOOO many teachers comment on using binders instead of regular 'take-home' folders. I decided that I am obviously missing out on something! I have heard them called M.O.O.S.E folders, B.E.E. folders, etc... Well, our school mascot is a bulldog. So we are going to have D.O.G. folders. D.O.G. standing for Daily Organizational Guide. I will post all of my labels and print outs for the inside later this week (hopefully!)

I knew I would have to pay for these out of pocket. I bought the binders at Sam's Club (I think it was around $7.50 for 6 1-inch binders). I bought clear pencil pouches at Walmart ($0.76 each). My tabs came from the Dollar Tree- $1 for 10 tabs. I needed 4 per child- so... I bought 8 packs. I will be honest. I really should have spent the extra $5 on the tabs and bought them from Walmart. They will serve their purpose. Let's just hope they last a month. Ha! I think I did pretty good budgeting for the binders. I usually pay at least $0.50 each for the take-home folders and I think this will be a better system once the year gets going.

Here is my HUGE mess!

After a lot of clicking, sore finger tips, and a few puppy prints (I had to put my doggie out in the yard! He was trying to be a little TOO much help!), I had a finished product that I was more than proud of:

I hope my classroom parents are too!

I did a little bit of rearranging this summer. I am not really sure what the inspiration was behind it. This will be my fifth year teaching and I am in my 3rd classroom. I have taught Kindergarten all 5 years. Year 1- I started as the Tabs (our equivalent of in-school suspension) aid and was moved to Kindergarten six weeks after school started (when we added a 9th unit). That is definitely a story for another day- but that was my first (Tabs) classroom and then my (2nd) Kindergarten classroom. Our school is pretty new, but Kindergarten has 8 classroom in its 'pods' and my classroom was with first grade. I moved to another room when we dropped to 8 units and a room was available last summer. I think I just didn't know what to do because I wasn't moving rooms this summer! I had to move furniture instead. When I moved my shelves, I ended up with a huge wall without anything on it. I have been wanting one of the divided shelves to store some additional center manipulatives. I haven't been able to find one under about $80 though. (Yikes!)

At Walmart the other night, as I was making my last $100 trip... which is what I said last week... I found THIS shelf:

Price tag?????

I think I did one of those heel-clicking leprechaun jumps right there on the aisle!

It only came in black and most of my other shelves are white. But I have a lot of red and black in my room and I bought some red baskets to go on it. If I can talk my sweet husband into putting it together tonight- because for $25 you know it's in 647 pieces- then I might have pictures tomorrow!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kindergarteners Do Kandinsky

One of my FAVORITE things is teaching art. I know, I know- WHEN do I have time to teach art? I don't! But I MAKE time- because I feel like it is REALLY, REALLY important to my students. There are kids who may NEVER be the best at reading- but they may have something special when it comes to art. Even my worst behaved students follow the rules when it's art time! I know I don't make as much time for it as I need to, but I try to to at least squeeze in a few pieces each year. My favorite from last year was "Kindergarteners Do Kandinsky". I did this on the day that we did letter "K". I always tell them a little info about the artist. I showed them some artwork. We did not have LCD's last year, so I had to call everyone to my personal computer to show them. Thanks to a grant, I now have an LCD and a laptop. Donorschoose gave me a screen, but I haven't been able to get it yet because of the summer. Maybe I will have it soon!!!!

For this project, I decided to do the famous "circles". It was a great lesson to review shapes and colors as well as art history!

I picked a few primary colors and quickly sketched the circle outlines. I let the kids choose which colors to use and where to use the colors. After they dried, I laminated them, quickly arranged them according to color, and made them into one large piece. I thought the end result was fabulous!

I thought it was SO fabulous that I kept it in my classroom and I intend for it to stay there forever! :)

The year before I did "V is for Van Gogh". We did these Van Gogh paintings, which were a little more time consuming, but the end result was STUNNING! I can honestly say that I did help with the vases (they were cut out) but the flowers were different sponges that kids used by themselves. Every parent in the class had a fit over these!

Got any GREAT art lessons to share???


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Look Who's Been Spotted

I'm so excited that after so many months of my addition to teaching blogs- I'm going to start one of my own. It is true that I can barely keep up with my personal blog. But maybe I will at least be able to share a few ideas! I have gained SO much from reading the inspiring blogs of other teachers. I can't wait to share some ideas that are my own, as well as some that I have borrowed.

This year, we are doing a "Welcome to KinderGARDEN" theme. We all chose a different bug or garden animal. I am doing ladybugs.

Here is the outside of my door and hallway. And YES- It is is SUPPOSED to say 'Look Who's Been SpotteD in Kindergarten'. I cut all the letters out with my Cricut and lost the "D" somewhere between my house and school. I had to cut another one out and take it back the next day. Ha ha!!!

I drew the lady bugs off and painted them- I am not really a fan of pre-made bulletin board sets. I always like to add something 3-D like the grass and flowers. As for the door... I thought about writing the names of my students on there, but I think I will leave it. Our lists change so much, I will probably just post a print off by the door. I MAY add a sign over the door that says something like, "Kindergarten is the SPOT to be" or something fun like that. Any ideas? :)

Thank you Leslie at Kindergarten Works for the wonderful blog design!!! I don't thing anything could have fit my personality any better!!!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Kindergarten Cupcake Crumbs