Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wait Cards for Easy Transitions

Oh summer, why don't you last forever?
Just when I was getting used to my carefree schedule, I'm back to work. 

This is my 13th year teaching and EVERY year I feel nervous, anxious, and slightly depressed about back to school. We had Orientation tonight and about half of my class came to meet their new teacher. I wish it had been more, but half is better than a third. As always, I had many of my former students come by, too {which I LOVE!}

Along with my new role of being the reading teacher for K's and 1's, my partner and I are also the inclusion teachers. This is very new to me, too. I've had learning disabled students before but never the title. No training either, so I will be learning the tricks of the trade along the way {which seems to be the case with everything in education right now - sink or swim.}

Our wonderful OT therapist gave me this great idea for my littles who don't finish their work in a timely manner and need to transition. It's called the "WAIT" card. You tell them that it is time for (whatever) and they need to leave their work for later. You lay the "WAIT" card on top of their work, and it is a visual reminder to help them move on.

Apparently, this is a management tip the Self-Contained classrooms use all the time successfully with their students. I am all about management tips, so I whipped up some "Wait" cards for my team teacher and myself.

Click on the picture to download the file!

I could have used these with my perfectionists!

Well, I have to make this post brief because we are curriculum mapping tomorrow, and I need to study up! Due to our switch to the Common Core standards, we are moving away from the reading series and bringing on that informational text. But what? and when? Those are the questions!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Made It

I am so sad. This was my last care-free weekend... AND I took total advantage of it. 

The husband and I spent a lot of time together. We spent so much time together, he'll be happy that I am back to school this week!

I really hope this isn't my last Monday Made It for a while, but I am afraid it might be.
I've been hearing some nasty rumors about new curriculum requirements this year.
Requirements that will likely eat-up most of my free time. Boo!

Venting Alert--->WHY do we pay money hand over fist to publishing companies, if I have to spend my hours supplementing???<---Sorry, I needed to let that out.

Anyway, I'm just a little nervous about the expectations that are surrounded by Common Core. I've been to two workshops regarding Common Core already, and they were NOT helpful at all. They just reminded me of how much more work I'm going to have to do.
We shall see...

Enough of that boring stuff and on to my "Made It's"

1) First, I found a bunch of really cool stuff to spruce up my classroom. I spent a lot of time printing, cutting, laminating, and cutting again, but it was well worth it!
My pile of laminating to cut.
After about three hours, all of it was cut and organized. Ya!
 Here's a list of what is what:
*Binder Covers from the WONDERFUL Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants. They are editable, so I was able to make covers for everything! Yee-haw
*Welcome Pennant from Vickie at Mrs. Plant's Press. It's free and totally cute! Love it!
*CAFE headers for my bulletin board from Rachel at The Tattooed Teacher. I don't have a Wizard of Oz theme but these are so darlin' I couldn't pass them up. Plus, The Wizard of Oz is on the list of Exemplar Texts, that makes it totally relevant. :)
*Visual Directions cue cards for my little guys from Tiffani at Time 4 Kindergarten. These will be good to refer to while they are working.
*Fabulous Firsties Mega Word Work cards - Mrs. Mabe has created a fantastic set of Word Work cards. These will be great for myself and my part-time aid (if I actually get one - Lord help me!) who will be working with my inclusion students. Thanks!
*Abby's Ready to Read unit is fabulous for beginning of the year activities that will carry over throughout the year.
*Writing Station Starter Kit from Teri at A Cupcake For the Teacher. I was so happy to pick this up. It is perfect for independent writing time.

I put together my Writing Station board, and I am so pleased with how it turned out.
I hope my kiddos like it as much as I do!

I hung my Welcome Pennant above my Daily 5 I-Charts.
I've redone my I-Charts so they will be ready for me to fill in with my students responses.

We will complete the   I-charts on large chart paper, and then I'll convert the responses over to these smaller charts. We'll refer to these charts throughout the year. {Especially around the holidays!}

My new CAFE headers

The Visual Directions Cue Cards

Since I will be the reading teacher for a class of Kinders and Firsties, I will need two sets of Daily 5 pocket charts for our three daily rounds. When I first started the Daily 5 about six years ago, I had purchased the Target Dollar Spot pocket charts and used these choice cards. This system works really well for me, so I went out to Target and got some more charts. I hung them under my first set of charts and learned that they are made much smaller then my old charts! Oh no, my cards won't fit. Nothing is easy!
I had to make a new set of smaller cards.
First three rows are the smaller set for my Kinders and the last three rows are the normal sized cards for my Firsties. Click on the picture to pick up the smaller set of cards. 

Also, I had a request for a smaller sized 'Brainstorm Vocabulary' poster printable to fit on a file folder and here it is...

Click on the picture to get the document.
The first part is the large poster board version and the second part is the file folder version.
You'll need to use wittle Post-its.

My sister, Jill, has been very busy, too. She redid her classroom theme and has been working hard at hunting down anything in teal and brown.

She made an adorable frame for pictures.
(Please excuse the cell phone pictures, I had to steal these from her texts to me!)
interchangeable labels for our special days
our wonderful SEVENTH grade model, Molly
She made me a frame, too. I'm so lucky :)

We have also added Kristin's Quiet Creature. I think he looks like a llama.

Can I tell you how much I'm loving TPT's sale? 
I love it this much <------------------------------------------------------------------------>!

My wishlist has gotten a lot smaller with my new purchases. Yippers!

I may not have my own TPT store to promote for the sale, but Jill does. :)
She has some awesome science fair projects available for super cheap.

Here's a link to her store. Click {HERE}

Please go and check out everyone else's Made It"s while you still have time!

Thanks again, Tara!

Y'all have a great week!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Made It

It's Monday.
Which means we have another entry for Tara's Awesome Linky Party, Monday Made It.

Holy Guacamole!
Alright, so school has not officially started and I'm already knee-deep and a week behind.
Busy, busy, busy, I was with workshops, meetings, and Kindergarten Camp.

Oh ya, we had a big 'ol Kinder Camp last week, and I got to meet a handful of my soon-to-be babies. All I have to say about it is... I was T-I-R-E-D by three o'clock!

Also, I'm going to apologize to y'all now, too, because I have been a terrible blogger and follower. I have so many unread posts on my Google Reader that I am officially afraid to open it. Yikes! Didn't somebody have a Resolution Linky Party going on right now?
Well, I've already FAILED at the whole "Time Management" resolution I always make.

In order to feel like I have accomplished something for last week, I was on a project making marathon yesterday.

Of course, almost all of my projects were courtesy of you awesome bloggers out there!
Thank you!!!

1. 'How Do We Get Home' Clip Chart by Krista Carlson from The Second Grade Superkids blog.
*Maybe this will help me keep track of my students better {fingers crossed.}

 2. Five Finger Hand Signals by Run! Miss Neslon's Got the Camera blog.
*I love these! They are so bright and cheery. Need to find a spot for them...hmmm....

3. Whole Brain Teaching's Super Improvers Wall Headers by Little Minds at Work blog.

*I can't wait to hang this up in my room. It is so cute!
As you know, I use W.B.T. in my classroom and the Super Improvers Wall will be a new addition for me. It is a great way to reinforce positive behavior.

4. Brain Breaks Cards and Sticks by The Sweet Life of Third Grade blog and Keep Calm and Teach On blog.

*I've included Harry Kindergarten sticks because my kids LOVE Harry Kindergarten!
They are over the moon to dance to one of his YouTube videos.

5. Reading Comprehension Posters courtesy of Kim Adsit's website.
I just love these, too. I've been meaning to make some of these for some time now. They'll be great to use during guided reading groups.

*Use Post-Its to complete the charts again and again!

6. A little chevron art for the wall.

*I started quilling {paper rolling.} Not great, but it was fun and I could do it! However, taping off the canvas was really flipping difficult. Don't look too closely at it!

7. Last, two little elves left me four seat crate covers at my front door. Merry Christmas to me! Okay, it was my sister and my dad who made them for me. I didn't even know about it. What a nice surprise. :)

*Here are some 'before they were crate seats' pics courtesy of an elf:

Well, it's late and I still have a ton more to do before my Common Core workshops this week.
More time tick-tick-ticking away...
Happy Monday!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Currently August!

Hello August!
It's that time....  Linking up with Farley
 ... and I happen to be on the road 
<<insert fabulous sister, aka ghost blogger to save the day, holla>>  

A few things about B2S
1. The Bee Books are the Organizational Home school Connection Tool.  Can't live without them.  
2. WBT  is AWESOME!  Join Coach B and learn a dynamic, interactive, effective teaching strategy to engage everyone in your class.  My sister and I both do this.  We went to an in-service a few years ago and we are HOOKED!  We are happy to share more about WBT.

3. Cute and Turquoise, a fun room re-do
I would love to insert a bunch of cute stuff here,but Andi hasn't taught me that yet!!! 
I'm really lucky to change font size, but I did insert a video (wahoo)
She will have great stuff next post ;)

Well, That's all for now~ Thanks, Farley!
Andi and Jill
holy cow-oly, I linked to the mustache instead of Currently, Must edit before Andi finds out!!!  
Add lots of comments so I don't get fired <3 Jill