Thursday, August 25, 2011

Still working on my room...

WOW!  Can we say overwhelmed?  OVERWHELMED.  I never knew how much work it took to clear out a classroom that someone has had for over 25 years.  I start school next week and I don't even feel prepared.  I have books all over the floor (TONS of BOOKS) as I am weeding through them.  Going through boxes and boxes of "sample" material.  Although I so appreciate her leaving all this to me, I am finding a lot of "goodies" that are copies from 1979-1990's.  Times have changed and so must the room!  Here is what I worked on today.  Since I cannot paint any of the walls or doors, I used bulletin board to cover the door before I added the curtain.  I just LOVE my curtain.  Since I do not and I mean DO NOT sew, I made a "No Sew" curtain by stapling it to a yard stick and adding some ribbon for an instant roman shade!  My phone is not taking very good pictures but thought I would share anyways.  Also, I broke down and made a couple of the "Cute Crate Seats"  They are so cute.  Now I want to make one for each of my students (I have 8) so they can keep them at Circle Time and store all their white boards, markers, etc....  Thank you to all of you that have shared these wonderful ideas!  I am LOVING them!




This is a sign to place above my song board.  I have a song board that the students can choose from during circle time.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/18WMLukEmLEmvIaoQPYWPg--tph9MxTTX3wcmnpRxsJE/edit?hl=en_US


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Classroom Library Labels Freebie

I have a polka dot theme going on in my room along with stripes so wanted some cute library labels so made my own.  I wanted to share with any one who would like them.  Enjoy!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HdpoF4gpJl2ngLy1eau0oz4Wl9aLI1XceV8hg4WKQaA/edit?hl=en_US

Sorry, but for some reason I cannot get my documents to show the picture, just getting the link only!

Monday, August 22, 2011

DonorsChoose.org

I am doing my "happy feet" dance!  Whoo hoo!!!  My project was fully funded today with only 11 days to go.  I am so, so excited.  I will finally have a dramatic play area in my classroom.  Time to teach my class (all boys I might add) how to cook, clean and set the table!  No that's what I am talkin' about!  Teaching them young!!  No, really on a serious note, I truly was blessed to have this large amount funded and can't wait to help facilitate the social learning process that goes along with dramatic play.  My special ed kinders need to be taught how to play and understand certain social ques so using the dramatic play unit is a great way for them to "ask" their friends "what they would like to eat" or "can you make cookies with me"?  So a BIG THANK YOU to all my supporters and donors for funding this project.  Words cannot express my gratitude.  :-)

http://www.kaplanco.com/store/trans/productDetailForm.asp?CatID=2|DP1000|0&PID=19690

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday!

I am so excited to be a part of a new blogging adventure that is called Blog Hoppin!  I found this link from Growing Kinders by Abby.  HOP on over to http://imbloghoppin.blogspot.com and add your post about you!


Tell us a little something about you...


This is my 2nd year teaching special education Kindergarten as a teacher and I was a paraprofessional in the preK program for 3 years.  I started out 19 years ago (yes, I am showing my age now) in the K-8 credential program, went through all the classes and was in my 5th month of student teaching when tragedy/miracle struck our lives and I ended up having to be on complete bed rest for 6 months.  That day changed my life's path for 14 years and I wouldn't trade it for any thing!  I did not find special education, it found me and I am so thankful that it did.  It really is my true passion and I absolutely LOVE teaching my special ed kinders!  I eat, breathe and sleep teaching now (ok, I have become addicted to the teacher blogging too) and can't wait to learn the next new thing.  I am a forever learner!


I have been married for 29 years to my best friend in the whole world.  If he can put up with me for all these years, trust me ladies, he is a "One of a Kind"!  We met in college at WSU (Go Cougs!) when I was 18 and he was 22.  An older man!! Whoo Hoo!  We met in May, he asked me to marry him in September and we got married in December.  Yes, a real May to December romance.  And did I mention he was a blind date?  We have 2 beautiful children.  A daughter who is 25 (and in nursing school) and a son who just turned 20 (who is studying Graphic Design).  They are the other "Loves of my life".  


How long have you been teaching?


This is my 2nd year teaching special education Kindergarten as a teacher and I was a paraprofessional in the preK program for 3 years.  I was chosen as a long term sub in a Developmentally Disabled PreK class but before the teacher was due back, I was very blessed to have been asked to take a permanent position as a DD (Developmentally Disabled) Kindergarten class teacher.  It was bitter-sweet as I didn't want to leave my temporary PreK class but knew I just had to take the permanent Kinder class.  Best decision I ever made.  I LOVE my classroom and ALL the staff at my school.. again, so BLESSED! 



What are you looking most forward to this school year?


To actually starting off the new school year as a teacher in my own classroom with an entirely new batch of kiddo's!  I have subbed for another teacher, I took over my Kinder class last year after Christmas break because the former teacher decided to retire so yeah, I am really excited to start out fresh and new and to implement ALL the wonderful ideas and lessons I have been learning this summer from ALL the great bloggers I have met.  So thank you ladies.  You are a godsend!


What do you need to improve?


I need to improve on confidence.  I feel so over whelmed half the time that I feel like I have not given it my all (I am my worst critic).  Hopefully this will come with time and more experience.


Secondly, I REALLY NEED to improve my circle times.  So, if anyone wants to give me some GREAT advice or even how they run their circle times, I am ALL eyes and ears! :-)


I would have to say I need to be aware of implementing more Math into my daily teachings.  I have never been a lover of math but with all these new ideas I have stumbled across this summer, I cannot wait to use them in my Math Station.


What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?


1.  My laminator.  I am so attached to it that I have one in my classroom and one at home.  Love this machine.  Did I mention I love this machine?


2.  My daily coffee from McDonald's (I love Starbucks but on a teachers budget, daily coffee has to be somewhat reasonable) and my CASE of Diet Coke in my class fridge.  No further comment needed! (I know, I need to go to a Diet Coke-a-holics meeting).


3.  My wonderful Assistant.  Couldn't do it without her.  Thank you Barbara!


4.  ALL my art supplies.  I am a total art fanatic.  We do a project for everything!


5.  My bulletin board supplies!  (Ok, I admit, I have an addiction to those too and cannot turn down a cute border!).


So, now, it's time to link up your bio over at Blog Hoppin’.  Click on the image below to take you there!  You can use the questions above or write anything else you would like as long as it pertains to the topic of the day : YOU! 
http://imbloghoppin.blogspot.com/2011/08/meet-teacher-monday.html





Little Monster's Hip, Hip Hooray Cheer

I have seen this cheer somewhere before and wanted to add a little color to it so made this sheet for myself to use and keep posted at circle time so we can do our "Morning Cheer".  Thought I would share with anyone who would like to see/use it.

Go Team Go!


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MNT63vFQNfvawrQVWNK68pJcn8kAm7OwYEfkRNKmaOs/edit?hl=en_US


Welcome cards to my Kinders

I am sending out a little "Welcome to Our Class" post card to my students just to let them know I am awaiting their arrival on Sept. 6th.  Hopefully this will make them, and when I say "them" of course I mean the parents, feel comfortable leaving their babies with me!  I found these great cards at T.J. Maxx (a box of 100 cards and envelopes) for $7.99 then I embellished them with some clip art (by ScrappinDoodles), then took a brown paper bag, cut it to 81/2 x 11 so it would fit into my printer and then printed Welcome to "Our Class" on it then taped all of it onto the front of the card.  On the back of the card I just typed the saying on cardstock, printed it and cut it out and glued onto the back of the card.  I think they turned out kinda cute! :-)  Hope my families will like them!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

I WON! I WON!

I cannot believe it but I won the beautiful READ banner from "Stepping into First Grade".  I am so excited.  I just don't win stuff.  Have never had that luck but I checked my email THREE times just to make sure and sure enough I truly was the winner.  Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!  Yes, I did my "happy dance" (won't mention that I pulled my back out while doing this) and it feels like Christmas in August!  Thank you so much Stepping into First Grade.  Can't wait to get the awesome banner!

steppingintofirstgrade.blogspot.com

Friday, August 19, 2011

Still in Progress

Wow.. I am wondering if I am ever going to get this room done?  I am trying to get ready for Sept. 6th when my kiddos arrive but purging 25+ years of the previous teachers "stuff" is very time consuming.  I am going through it one piece at a time but wondering if I should just pitch everything and tell myself, "what you don't know won't matter" or "outta sight, outta mind".  If I don't get through all this by next week, I think I will just close my eyes and take it all to the recycle bin!  Did manage to get a couple of the bulletin boards up.  How come they always look cuter when they are in the room but as soon as you take a picture of them they look so blah?  Would love any suggestions, comments... like I said, still in progress and need to add my finishing touches (like ribbon, curtains etc...)

                                                            Making of my word wall


                                                    Word Wall up... Kinda bright colors....

                                                               My Imagination Station



                       Class Library.  I love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.. I will leave this up year round.


                                      Pop Art that I made... Need to add the hanging ribbons still.

                                                        Sign in Table/Home work bins.

                                                                       Cubby area

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Classroom Makeover in Progress

I went to my classroom AGAIN yesterday to work on my "Makeover" but every time I leave there it is more of a mess than when I started. The problem is we only have limited time to be at the school (although I do have access to it all summer) BUT I live 45 minutes away from my school. So by the time I get there I only have about 3 hours to work in my classroom. Boy, this is starting to sound like a complaint form!! Sorry.... Ok, this is what I have so far. Remember this is just the beginning stages, it is by all means not even close to being finished. I would love any comments, suggestions and even a little criticism (be gentle though!).

                                                          Front of my class - Circle Time
                                             (I do not like the mats but can't afford a rug right now)

                                                          Still looks a little BLAH...

                                                                             My desk

Imagination Station in progress.. Yep, I have a Fire Extinguisher smack in the middle of my board.


This is the decal that will go on the Imagination Station.  I found this idea on another blogspot but for the life of me cannot remember "Whoo's"..  If you are the creator of this idea, PLEASE let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.. Plus, I would love to see yours again!

       My "Target Treasure".  I got this lamp on clearance for $14 bucks!  Regularly $30!  YAY!!!  Love it..

                            Another Target find.  Didn't get it on sale though. :-(    But couldn't resist!

               Dollar spot @ Target about 2 years ago!  Still love them and yes, I do wear those slippers!!

Found these at a WalMart this month while on a family reunion in Oregon.  Saw them and just knew I had to have them for my imagination station.  They are JUMBO push pins.  I am just hoping the kids don't poke themselves with them!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ikea Trip

I am still working on gathering items for my classroom so I can get it all put together before school starts next month.  Problem is I have too many ideas swirling away in my brain and every time I see something cute on a blog or in a store or online, my brain swirls some more as I want to do everything I see.  Funny thing is, I teach special needs children and now I am thoroughly convinced that I am the one with ADHD!  I hear myself saying, "Focus. Focus. Focus."  I went to Ikea today and Oh My!  My cart runnith over.. Yes, I believe I might be a shop-a-holic.  A shopaholic with ADHD.  Not a good combination I might add.  BUT... I did come out of the store with what I had intended on getting, so that is a good thing.  I needed some cute little chairs to go in my listening center and I found these lime green ones.  They are so cute.  Made of plastic (so easy to clean) and lightweight.  I also purchased the cutest lime green Owl lamp at target to put on my desk.  It was on clearance for $14.99.  Did I say 'Cute"?  My classroom is very old so it needs A LOT of cuteness in it.  (At least that is my story and I am sticking to it!  And it works really well with the hubby!)  Well here is a picture of my cute lime green chairs that I wanted to share.  Can't wait to go to my classroom this week to start putting things together!

Here is the fancy border to go with my cute chairs!

Here is the other side of the border.  Not sure what side I will use.

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Day Scavenger Hunt

I have been away from my blog for several days due to a trip to Oregon for a Family Reunion.  It was absolutely a very memorable 5 days and so wonderful to see family members that I have not seen in 15+ years.  Lots of pictures were taken and many memories made... with that being said, I am back to reality and back on the trail of blog stocking for more wonderful ideas!  I must say, I am one of the luckier ones as we do not start back to school until a day after labor day so I get the pleasure of sitting home for another month to "look" at more great ideas before returning to my classroom.  I saw this idea on http://wildaboutk.blogspot.com and thought what a great idea for me to use in my classroom as I teach special education kinders and we are constantly redirecting the students to certain areas of the classroom so I thought if I made this a first day scavenger hunt, made a little game out of it with a "reward" at the end then perhaps my kiddos would learn the areas quicker.  Of course we might have to modify it and make it a weekly scavenger hunt for the first few months!  So thank you Wild about K for the wonderful inspiration!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oWgwRX8n0zdfhcuRJcsgy7xhUuu715He-JPnDj36X5w/edit?hl=en_US