Saturday, January 19, 2013

Newbie Blues

Teaching Kindergarten has been a great challenge for me this year.

I know some of you are like, "piece of cake, yo."

But, I am not one of those people.

Kindergartners are notorious rule breakers. 
They do their own thing all of the time.

Yelling "NO!" and running out of the classroom is part of their routine.
10-15 minutes dedicated to coming down from P.E. twice a week is a necessity.
Giving up your turn for a friend and then deciding 3 minutes later that you want your turn back - which leads to a major melt down.
 Only being able to share, read, or speak in front of your peers using a dinosaur puppet.

As you can tell, this is an adjustment for me.
Kinda crazy how different K and 1 can be?!?

Yes, my Firsties are unique as well, but it isn't the same as the Kindergartners.

So, I have my inclusion K kids for 105 minutes a day and I am in charge of teaching them all ELA standards plus social studies and some science.

105 minutes is not a lot of time to get in as much as I am supposed to get in.

I've been a nervous wreck about that fact.

During this ulcer-inducing time, I've been researching the best ways to reach my littles.

When I say researching, I mean reading blogs, scouring TPT, attending conferences, and picking up some CCSS resources.

Here are a few of my favorite gems I have been using that I LOVE, my kids LOVE, and makes my ulcer a little bit smaller (which my insides LOVE):

Anything, and I mean, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING by Deedee Wills.
She is a genius!

I have been using her Literacy Stations cardsTime Me! stations,  Read, Trace, Glue, and Draw work pages, Writing Work Stations Bundle, Stamping Word Fun, and many many more.

Currently, I am totally digging her Poetry Packs. These weekly poem packs are so perfect for my limited schedule. My Gen-Ed kids are practicing their fluency while my ESE students are hitting many of their IEP goals. SCORE!


Jennifer Jones at Hello Literacy has been the beacon I've been looking for. Her knowledge of the CCSS and her willingness to share with us is a Godsend.

The CCSS are so confusing for this K/1 teacher. I attend workshops where I hear front-loading is bad and close reading is good. Then, I read online that providing some background knowledge is important for our little readers and that doing close reads is for the upper grades not the primary.

I have been given so many mixed messages. Where do I fit in?????

Jennifer has great blog posts that help me figure out the ELA standards better.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still confused - but not as much as before!

I simply adore her Phonological Awareness Curriculum that she sells at her "Hello Two Peas in Pod" TPT store.

Bringing P.A. and tying it with real literature. What an idea!
The curriculum is awesome and my kids are doing so well.
The looks on their faces when they blended the word correctly or made a new word first before their peers is priceless. L-O-V-E!

Whenever I get an email from TPT stating that there are new products posted by my favorite sellers, I am giddy with anticipation. Hoping that I might find my next favorite thing.

For now, these are my favorite Kinder products.

My next post will be about my favorite First grade products, AND let me tell you I have found an AWESOME resource that I am stoked about using and my kids are absolutely soaring.

Happy MLK day!
Be kind and play nice.

Here's a quote I just read on Twitter:
Silence and smiling are two powerful tools. 
Smiling is the way to solve many problems and silence is the way to avoid many problems.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Currently January 2013

Happy New Year my friends!

You know, as much as I love the newness of fall and all of the fabulous holidays that it brings (plus college football), I really puffy heart this time of year. Typically, it is when I get myself the most organized, and I have that "light at the end of the tunnel" feeling.

Which is what I was doing right now, planning my units for the remainder of the year. When it occurred to me to check and see if the WiFi was deciding to play nice and work for me. (WiFi has been on the blink and it is REALLY annoying!)

And low and behold, Farley has her Currently up already. Yippee Skippy!

Here is my entry for the month of January:

1) I just love 9 to 5. I've watched it a million times and still enjoy it. 
Mr. Hart - what a jerk!

2) Since my internet has been down, I have been a cleaning fool. My office desk was a dumping ground for everything. I never used it because it was so messy. I would just leave the room and work somewhere else. There were papers I found from students I had last year. Yikes! Not any more, though. It is beautiful :)

3) I have learned so much from Jen's blog. Her teachers are so lucky to have her. I'm super jealous.

4) I really don't need to explain this one. I have SO MUCH to print and so little ink. It's like Sophie's Choice with TPT purchases at my house!

5) My little princess just loves to nap on our papers, magazines, books, laptops, desktops, and any surface we are working on. If only she would choose our empty laps!

6) Collaborate - This word is applicable to my professional and my personal life. There are so many times in my life where I really must depend on others regardless of how capable I am. This year has really tested me and without successful collaboration, I don't think I would have made it this far!!!

I hope I am not the last person to join this linky party!
Don't forget to follow the rule of 3.

Happy 2013!