Thursday, August 25, 2011

Minutia...

How many of you are full of it right now?  If I see one more handout that needs to be filled out by families or receive one more calendar change, I might scream! :)  But seriously, all those little things start to add up, and the stress begins to build as the new year approaches.

Tomorrow is my 1st offical day back!  District meetings + working in my room + it being Friday = a relatively easy start back to school.  Today, on my last official day of summer vacation... instead of dealing with all the minutia that is scattered on my tables, I shopped and decorated my bulletin board!  It's amazing how an hour and a half of border, hot glue guns, straw, and faux flowers can awaken you from all the little things that get piled on in the end.

Here's what I created for our western themed back to school event...



While at the teacher store, I happened upon these retro-looking Carson Dellosa star crowns.  I didn't have any birthday crowns.  (Oops, I forgot to order them!)  Thus, I found these on clearance and love how they remind me of when I was in kindergarten!  Has anyone else seen these?

I will write "Happy Birthday, _______!"  in the big star on the front.  I usually use the birthday cake ones, but with it being only $5.50 on clearance for 30 crowns, I couldn't pass up the deal! 

Also, I have a question... is anyone else OBSESSED with these? 

Wish me luck as I attempt to wake up at 6:30 AM for the first time in two and a half months!  There will be Starbucks in my hand and a smile on my face... I'm sure of it!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Open House!

Soooo, I worked in my classroom today, and I feel like I didn't accomplish anything.  Ha ha ha!  I start oodles of  things, but flit from one thing to another.  Does anyone else do that?!  The one thing I did finish was some  Open House items... most importantly, my "favors" and my helping hands board.

We are doing a western themed back to school in my kindergarten building.  I lucked out at Walmart and found sidewalk chalk for 50 cents a 12 pack!  And, I found, get this... GOOGLY BANDS for 10 cents a pack!  Seriously!  I sat on the floor in Walmart and pilfered through 2 huge tubs.  I'm sure I looked like a loon!  I ended up with 50 + packs!

To make these packs, I put 2 pieces of chalk, 2 horse shaped silly bands, and one train shaped silly band in a jewelry baggie.  I used Avery label maker to make cute labels and picked up some gingham ribbon for $1.97/spool at Walmart today.  Ta da!

Also, I worked on my annual helping hands bulletin board.  I have a note and different items (extras) that families may donate to the classroom.


Here are some close ups of the hands I found at Walmart for 98 cents!  (Yes, I was too lazy to use the Ellison!)  Ha ha ha ha!  Am I forgetting anything?


How do you get families to help you with things in your classroom?  Best to all who are already teaching and getting ready for a new year!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A fresh start!

With a new school year about to begin, I'm always looking for new ways to engage my students and myself in the educational process.  My sis-in-law at http://mrswheelerfirst.blogspot.com/ has been blogging for a while, and now I'm following suit.  I constantly peruse blogs and Pinterest for new teaching ideas, and I want to get more involved in the sharing process. 

One of the areas I'm working on this school year is Writers Workshop.  Our kindergarten standards continue to increase in difficulty, so I want to make sure my kiddos are ready!  I've been inspired by Mrs. Meacham to create a kid friendly writing area.  Here's my work in progress...

The pencil on the table will be for my kiddos to track their writing progress. (It will be hung up with my students' names on clothespins.)  The blank types of writing will be filled with examples as we go over each kind.  I'm still collecting fun types of pencils, pens, markers, and whatnot to intrigue my little ones into writing!   

So, how do you engage little ones in writing?  I'd love to get some more ideas as I prepare for another school year!