Sunday, January 3, 2016

Print-N-Go Math Staions and FREEBIE

Happy New Year!! These last 2 weeks have gone by so fast, but have been AWESOME! I will be honest, I sort of ready to get back into a routine. Staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning is not a very good habit to get into and it might kick my rear end a bit this first week back! EEEKKKK!!! 
One thing that I really want to work on the rest of this year is to create materials easy to use and more importantly....EASY TO PREPARE. Color ink is expensive...can I get an AMEN!? Then once you spend the money to print in have to laminate it! I want stations that are cute (gotta have the cute) but I want to be able to just Print-N-Go! Hey, wait a of my new station products. BAM!
The first set that I have created are my Race To games. Included in this pack are race to 20, 50 and 100. You choose which one you use!! This is a fun and easy game to teach. This would even be a great game for parent volunteers to play with your students. All you need is a die or dice (that is up to you!) Each month has a sheet for 20, 50, and 100.
For example, February's theme is Valentine's Day.

I want to give you a FREEBIE to use with these games. Here are some Winter spinners.

Students can still roll a die, but the add the spinner to make the game a little more challenging. Once they roll the die, they spin and either subtract 1, or add 1 and simply color in that many boxes on their response sheet. You can print these on cardstock and teach your students how to use a paper clip and their pencil to spin! EASY CHEEZZZY!
Download your FREE Winter spinners by clicking the cover page below
FREE WInter Spinners

Monday, December 28, 2015

Digital Lesson Plans using Google

Hello friends! I hope everyone is enjoying their break! I love to take this time and not really stress about school, but I do like to reflect on my teaching. How am I planning? Am I planning effectively? How can I get the most bang for my buck? Are you still writing out your plans each week? I felt like that was such a waste of time for me and it was one more thing that I needed to tote around. My lesson planner, my calendar, and my notebook! I need to simplify!
My mission this year every year has been to get and stay organized.  I had great binders. I have a place for everything. Now, I am finding that I have too much stuff...can I get an AMEN!? I have a new rule...anything that I have an electronic copy of, pitch it! YUP...throw that puppy away! I don't need a hard copy. Why?! I do NOT! I have been working really hard at cleaning up all of my electronic files also. I want to make sure that I have them backed up! That is where Google Drive comes in. It is amazing. I can store my files there. I can access them from any computer. I can easily share them with my admin or team. 
Let's cut to the chase in my "move everything to an electronic version" state of mind...I decided that I would make my plans electronic too. I want to be able to keep them each year and simply give them an update, if needed. 

 Make sure you name it simple to start with. For example, I named mine Lee Lesson Plans. You want to be pretty generic on your first one. This way when you are ready, you can duplicate it and THEN name it more specifically.
 I always like to center my text also. It really is a personal preference.
 Changing the font, here again, all personal preference. If you don't mind the normal Arial font, then leave it. I do prefer other fonts...prettier to look at. It is a problem in my life. I accept it! LOL!
 I only fill the headers with a color.

 This part is tricky. I always choose the fit to data option. You could assign it a specific value if you would like. I sometimes have to go in a few times to fit to data for several columns.
 I don't put everything in my plans. For example, my morning work. I never write down what I am doing for morning work. I have a system that even the kids know. There is no need for me to put that in here. I only include things that change daily/weekly.
By entering these things first, it allows me to "duplicate" my plans for the following week. I don't have to keep retyping. 
 I do this step 4 times and name each one: week 1, week 2, week 3, and week 4. When I am ready to start planning for February, then I will duplicate my original plan format.
I can share the plans with my team or even my principal when I have to turn them in. We are very lucky. We don't have to turn in weekly plans. They can be very generic.
I hope that this helps you in some way. I tried to be as specific as I could, but if you have questions, or if you need help, then please email or even post it on my Facebook page!!
If you need some help getting started using Google, then I have found a couple of great resources for you!  This one starts at the beginning!
Sailing into Second
My friend Mary over at Sharing Kindergarten, always has some great tech posts!! She has a few on Google. Here is a post (with video) on Google Forms.
Sharing Kindergarten

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting Ready to Write!!

Writing in Kindergarten can be so hard! You want to start right away, but how are your kiddos ready?! This is where our Kindergarten expertise comes in! We need to make those that are not aware of what our Kinders can do! Now, I will be honest...I do not start Writer's Workshop right away. I have to spend so much time establishing good routines and a safe learning environment. I start Writer's Workshop week #3. I will talk about what I use later in the post. 

Let's go back a little....this Summer I worked really hard to get organized and get some things ready! Of course I didn't get everything done that I wanted to get done, but I made a really good dent! :-) This year I wanted to give my writers as many resources as a I could to help them become better and more independent writers.  Each of my students had a book box for their books. I thought why not give them a box for their writing!! So I did! I don't know about you, but I hate labeling everything with their name. That is just more work for me each year. So, I have everything labeled with their number. We start working on their student number day #1! They learn them quickly...actually, I have a few that learn everyone's number quickly! LOL Thank goodness, because I sometimes forget! 

Here is a picture of their Writer's Toolboxes! Notice...they are empty!! We will fill them TOGETHER!!

One of the first things that I will put in is their Writing Office! I wanted information that they could use! HOWEVER, I didn't want to include too much information (sight words/spelling words) because I will also use these as privacy offices when taking tests. 

To make these for each students you will need 3 file folders. I use rubber cement to glue them together. First, I take 2 folders and open them. I glue the left side of one to the right side of the other. Now, I take the third folder and attach it. MAKE SURE they are lined up that they will close ok. 

This is a picture of the front cover, with the office closed.
 This is the back of the office, with the office closed. 

This is the office half way opened and flipped over (front and back cover)
This is the office opened the same way, but flipped over (inside)
We are not finished yet! WHOA! This picture is with the right side flipped open (the ABC chart side)
This is with the left side flipped open (vowel sounds side)

This view is of the office completely open and standing up. This is how I use them for privacy! 

Some of the first writing lessons I do are all about details. We talk about a detailed picture. I want them to use at least 5 different colors and add 5 different details.

I have a pack that has some picture starters.  We always do a couple together. I talk about things that they might see. Is it inside? Is it outside? We also talk about using colors that make sense. You can get this packet by clicking the cover page below.

My writing office is also available in my TpT store!

You can also get the labels that I use for my Writer's Tool Boxes. You could use them for many other things too! :-)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Let's Play "I Have....! Who Has....?"

My kids LOVE the game I Have...Who Has? We pick a  game a month and try to play it everyday. We keep track of how long it takes us and try to beat our time each time. Have I mentioned the COMPETITION is my #1?!

Anywho...I am teaming up with my Freebielicious gals to play our own Back To School Edition!!

Well, that's me!! It's true! I am that person. I can NOT have my food touch! I won't eat it if it does! Now, I can eat things mixed that are supposed to be tacos, spaghetti, stuff like that! BUT if spaghetti sauce touched my veggies or bread...NO WAY! When we go out to eat, I ask for separate plates all of the time, but I tip VERY WELL!

If I could have a lunch tray for every meal...I would be one happy (picky) eater! You know what else makes me HAPPY!? A sale!!!There is a sale coming! You can get everything in my store for 28% off!!

 I also LOVE bright colors! You know, for all of you teachers out there that have super cute THEMES in your room: super heroes, nautical, safari, pirates, etc...I applaud you! I can NOT commit to something like that. My mind changes every time the wind blows! I know, I have issues, I admit it! The one thing that I know will never change is my love of bright colors! So, that's what I put in my room!!

I have an ALPHABET ZOO line of products. There is an animal to represent each letter of the alphabet. I use this to help my students make a connection between letters and sounds! I introduce a new letter each day. We talk about the animal, the letter, the sound that the letter makes and then come up with an action to put with the sound. This helps students remember letter sounds. We practice it everyday! Click on this image to see all of the items available in this line!

Now, let's keep playing I have...Who Has?! Here is your next clue! You want to hop along to see which Freebielicious gal is next!!