Sunday, August 10, 2014

It's Almost Time....

Howdy all!!  I hope you have been enjoying this weekend, for many of you this is the last weekend of summer.  For others, you've already started back!!  I head back to work on the 18th and my kinders come on the 26th, so this week I've been trying to get a lot of work done for my classroom this year.  If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen pictures of the various things I've been working on for my classroom.  I am making progress, and even better my county has this AMAZING department called Print & Distribution.  The incredibly wonderful folks who work here print out my creations in color, on cardstock, AND laminate them.  WHAT!?!?!  I told you it was AMAZING!!!  :-)  Here are some of the things I have sent them so far!!

Classroom Decor
Since I am going through an Extreme Classroom Makeover this year and going with a theme of dragons, I have had to start FROM SCRATCH.  While this has been incredibly time consuming, it has also been amazing to be able to create things exactly how I wanted them to look!!  Here are a few several pictures of what I've done so far for my room!!
An alphabet line, with the vowels in red and consonants in black.  Also, each vowel as a picture that represents the long and short sound.  In addition, the C and G posters each have a picture that represents the hard and soft sounds.

I've made a year's worth of monthly behavior calendars.  My kinders will color in the box to show which color on our behavior chart they ended up on at the end of the day.

I created labels for my Daily 5 Book Bins.  The borders of the colors match the colors of the boxes (the blue card isn't shown in this picture).

Tags for our schedule board.  I use real pictures as often as possible to help my kinders understand what each one means.  These are still a bit of a work in progress because I'm waiting on some new clipart from one of my FAVE designers...more to follow!!

These are the tags I'm going to use on my Word Wall.  This year I am totally changing how I use my Word Wall, including its location in the room.  I am moving it to a much larger space, and am creating new word cards too.  I can't wait to share the pictures with you!!!  <I haven't set it up yet.>

My brand new number line, which features dragons along with the numerals 0-20 as well as the word, and the amount represented by gems inside of ten-frames.

These tags will go out in the hallway and be used to display student work throughout the year.

These tags will go on their individual lockers.  Their picture goes into the frame, and their name will be on the tag underneath.  

These are going inside of the stand-up book bins I use as their mailboxes.  Their last names are underneath the rectangle.

These are going on the outside of the front door to my classroom.

Dragon eggs to attach to clothespins to create the clips for our behavior chart.  Super cute, right??

Job wall tags.  I tried to include a picture to represent each job in order to help my kinders understand what each one was for.  Also, I will be putting Velcro into the white boxes to attach their dragon tags.  I realized I have A LOT of jobs...may need to rethink how I handle classroom jobs.  Just not this year!!  :-)

I will be attaching this little guys to the job wall tags.  This will show me who has which job, since they practically ALWAYS forget...and I do too!!

Prepping for Entry Conferences
Besides getting everything ready I will need for my classroom decor, I have had to prepare for the Kindergarten Parent/Teacher Entry Conferences.  In our district, Early Childhood students start school a full three days after grades 1-12.  During this time, Early Childhood teachers have a chance to schedule a brief meeting with the incoming students and their parents.  This is when we learn what our kinders are capable of as well as where they are coming from.  We are VERY LUCKY to have these days, and I am SUPER GRATEFUL for them!!  Here are some of the forms I have created for these conferences.
This is the front of the checklist I created to help keep me on track during each conference.  Ideally, they are only supposed to last 15 minutes.  I have learned to talk REALLY fast!!  There is a lot of information to go over in those minutes, so I wanted an outline of sorts to help remind me of what I needed to tell them.  
Here is the back of the form.  I'm not going to have a form for every child, just one that I'll keep out on the table to help me stay on track.

Here is the front of the Parent/Guardian information sheet I ask each family to fill out.  Once upon a time, I was able to just say 'Mom' and 'Dad', but times they are a-changing!!  Sometimes my kinders are being raised by grandparents, aunts or uncles, one parent, two men/women, or even foster parents.  I wanted to create a form that was generic enough to be used by anyone who might be taking care of and raising my little dragons.  There is a space for the parent/guardian's name as well as a space for their relationship to the kinder.  Also are spaces for their email, cell, work and home phone numbers.  I use the circles to have parents rank the way in which they would prefer to be contacted.
The back of the form is more specific.  I ask how their child will be traveling to and from school each day, if they can have their pictures taken and displayed through various forms of social media, as well as ask if they may want to help out this year.

My student information forms are a bit longer.  I ask for important information like allergies, medical concerns, family members at the school,
I ask parents to share with me what their littles are excited or nervous about, what they enjoy doing, how they feel about books and reading,
what their littles favorites are, as well as how they as PARENTS feel about their babies going to school.  I ask them to share their excitement and concerns with me.  I feel that having this information allows me to get a more well-rounded picture of where my kinders are coming from.

Finally, I created a Classroom Volunteer Form.  Each of the families that indicate an interest in helping out with the classroom this year will receive one of these forms.  It asks if they are able to help from home or able to come into school and help out, as well as a schedule of when they are available.
The back of the form lists different ways they can help support the classroom projects and celebrations, as well as a section where they can indicate an interest to participate in our school's Career Day.

SSHHEEWW!!!  I made more than I had realized!!  Thanks for sticking through and checking everything out!  Even though I did so much, I still feel as if my To Do List is still so long....  I have some more work to do before I am able to get into my classroom, which I hope to be able to do this week!   On the 18th I will officially be back in school!!

How did your classroom set up go?  If you haven't set up yet, do you know what theme you'll be using this year?  I would LOVE to hear all about it!!!


  1. Wow, Erin this all looks amazing. I love your little Crayola dragons and I'm sure your students will love their classroom decor. Enjoy your last week of vacation you deserve it :-)
    Special Teaching at Pempi's Palace

    1. Thank you so much!! I'm really liking how things are coming together, and I hope it makes my kinders and their grown-ups feel excited to be in my classroom!! I hope things are going well for you!!!