Sunday, September 22, 2013

Name Game and Sight Words

Hello blogging friends!!  I must apologize for my sporadic posts lately.  Things just haven't been right in my world since my mom died!  I had so many plans and ideas to start the year off, so many things I wanted to get started and try!  Then life smacked me upside the head and I've been trying to recover ever since!!  I would like to give a huge thank you to all of the people who still check my lil' blog and read my posts!  I am going to continue to try and do better!!

This past week we have been doing a lot of work with our names.  My students completed a cute name activity during their Independent Group Time this week.  They were given a typed outline of their name, which I made simply by choosing my favorite font in PowerPoint, making it large enough to cover the entire page (without going off the edges), and then choosing the 'text outline' feature to create an outline of their name.  I gave them choices of tissue paper they could use to fill the letters of their names, and they each chose a different way to fill in their letters.  Here are a few pictures of the activity that we did!
I used one of my favorite fonts, called 'Doctor Soos Bold'.  I found it as a freebie onine a while ago, and a sweet teaching partner pointed out it was spelled wrong.  I'm thinking it's spelled that way so it doesn't violate copyright laws.  

 Here are the buckets of tissue paper that I had available for my littles to use.

This is a sample of some of their completed work.  It was interesting to see the different styles and methods my kiddos used to fill in their names with tissue paper!

On to a freebie!!  In my room, we are working hard to learn our sight words.  I have created a few coloring pages where my littles must follow the code to color in the pictures.  I'm working on getting them together as a pack and adding it to my TPT store, but for now I only have a few done.  I'm sharing one as a freebie!!

Please leave me a comment or two to tell me your favorite ways to teach sight words!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Room Set-up

Thanks so much to my followers who have stayed with me through this process they call grieving!!  It's still really hard for me to deal with, but I'm working on it.  My mom was one of my 3 official followers, and I remember the week before she died she told me how proud she was of the fact that I started a blog.  So, in the spirit of my mom, I'm going to try to get back into the world of daily blogging.  I know that's what she would want!
   I'd like to share with you some pictures of my finished (almost) classroom.  Since mom died two days before school started, I missed the entire first week with my Littles.  I'm still in the process of catching up!
This is my Environmental Print ABC wall, located on the wall right inside my classroom door.  This is NOT my idea!  I first read about it on the Growing Kinders blog and just had to try it out for myself!  I had a hard time having parents send in labels, so I recruited members of my family.  My mom was a big help with this project, and I'm glad I get to remember her every time I walk through my classroom door!  I also found a great resource to add labels, since I was having a hard time finding them.  Joey Barnes has a great Environmental Print ABCs Freebie over on TPT, and I used that freebie to fill in some of my letters.  If you look closely, you can see that some letters (like I,U,V) really needed the help of Joey's freebie, so thanks a zillion Joey!!!
This is my Art Center next to my Sensory Table.  My easels are covered with cheapo plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Tree, which helps to keep the chalkboards under the cloth free of paint.  My Sensory Table has two sides, and currently it is full of paper scraps and scissors so my Littles can practice their cutting skills.  My amazing teaching partner Heather thought of that idea, and I LOVE it!!  (So do my kinders!!)
This is the front of my room, where the SMART Board is located.  After my first year in kindergarten, I asked to have the Board lowered since it was installed WAY TOO HIGH for my Littles to reach the top, and I was nervous about having them stand on stools while they tried to use the Board!  On the top of the wall are the number cards for 0-20 (which is our focus for the first marking period) and they contain the number word with a matching numeral and set of dots.  I hot-glued the number cards in the order they would appear in a ten-frame instead of a straight line.  We do  A LOT of work with ten-frames in kindergarten, and having them displayed in this way helps my kinders to remember the formation.  My bulletin boards are covered with fabric.  I have found that fabric fades A LOT less than butcher-style paper.  I have used the same pieces of fabric for at least four years now, and they are still as bright and crisp as the day I put them up!  The green board is my Math board, and right now has the 2D and 3D shapes we are focusing on, as well as a poster of rhymes for writing the digits 1-9 and a Touch Math poster that shows the digits 1-9.  There is also a spot for a Math Word Wall which we will add to throughout the year.  The yellow board is my Language Arts board and contains the short/long vowel posters as well as a Word of the Day poster where we display various sight words we are working on.  Next to the LA board is a color words display.  The blue kidney table is where my little do their Independent work.  My Computer Center is located in front of the Math board, and up in the corner is where our TV is mounted.  We watch our 5th Grade Friends perform the daily announcements every morning.
Here's a shot of the front right corner of my room.  Behind the blue dividing wall are the lockers where my littles keep their things.  In this picture you can see most of my ELA Centers, including the Reading Center, Interactive Pocket Chart, and Listening Center.  Right now we are using the Pocket Chart Center to play the Name Game that I blogged about a few weeks ago.
This is a shot of the back left corner of my room.  You can see the Dramatic Play Center, as well as a bulletin board I'll use to display our Star of the Week's poster.  You can see the other half of the Sensory Table as well as the filing cabinet that contains our Behavior Clip Chart.  My desk doubles as the Magnet Letters Center, and the door behind my desk leads to one of the other kindergarten classrooms.  The blue table you can kind of see in this picture is where my littles do Art Center projects that don't require the easel.  For example, this week we studied the letter P so my kiddos made a piggy craft using the letter P.  The chalkboard is usually where I put our objectives for the day, including our daily schedule.
This is the back right corner of my room.  On the chalkboard is the small calendar I display in order to meet our State Validation requirements, but all of our Calendar Routine and Activities are completed on the SMART Board during Morning Circle Time.  Above the chalkboard on the wall is our classroom birthday display.  The blue bulletin board is our Sight Word Wall, and I'm still searching for ways to make it more interactive for my kinders!  The star burst next to the Word Wall is our Job Chart, and underneath that is our BLURT! Board.  Behind the stacks of chairs are the Blocks Center and the Science/SS Center.  The brown trapezoid tables are used for the Writing, Phonics, and Math Centers (during different times of the day).  Our Write the Room supplies are found there too.  My littles LOVE LOVE LOVE the Write the Room Center, do yours??  That door leads out to the playground that all three kindergarten classes use, as well as our morning and afternoon pre-k class.
This is a closer shot of the Science/SS Center, and the shelves that hold many of our manipulatives and interactive learning games.
Here are our classroom mailboxes, where my littles put their folders every morning and I can easily pass out papers.  The empty white wall space underneath the clock will eventually contain our Sight Word Rainbow displays.

Due to everything that has happened in my life lately, I TOTALLY missed posting pictures of the awesome package I received from my Mystery Blogger for the Back to School Blogger exchange.  My AMAZING partner was Kelly Brown, a kindergartner teacher from NC and fellow blogger!  She did a superfantabulous job of finding items to go with my theme of Dr. Seuss and dragons!!  Thanks so much Kelly!  

  Thanks again for bearing with me through this process!  I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into Room 130, and I will be adding more pictures as the room changes.  I'd like to leave you with a shot of my furbaby Isis, who was spayed on Monday.  She definitely does not like the Cone of Shame!!

Monday, September 2, 2013


Sorry blogging friends, I haven't been able to get on and post much about anything lately.  My mom died very unexpectedly on Saturday the 24th, and ever since then it's been a crazy and sucky week for me.  I was not at school for the first day or even the first week of my littles, and I haven't had time to even think about school before today.  I head back to the classroom tomorrow and am hopeful that the hustle and bustle of a new school year will allow me to focus my energies on something besides my grief.  I do apologize for leaving any of my followers hanging over the past week.  I will attempt to do much better!!