Monday, July 30, 2012

Teacher Binder Organization

Holy July!! Where has my Summer gone? I report back to school next Wednesday...tear! Now, don't get me wrong...I love my job and always get excited for my new kiddos, but I absolutely adore my Summers! Don't you?!

I have been so busy this month, but I am not really sure what I did! LOL! I feel like I have neglected this little blog 'o' mine! Over the next few weeks I will be posting pictures of my classroom. I am going TOMORROW for the first time. I have to make room in the storage closet for a new teacher...YIKES! Where am I going to put my stuff. I can tell you for sure...tomorrow it will be on the floor in my room. I HAVE to go through some things and throw away. I have been at this school for 7 years and have a feeling some of those things haven't seen the light of day in 7 years! LOL! Please tell me that you need to do the same too. If not, then lie to me!! :-) Here is my first in a series of 3

Binder Ultimate Binder collections!! You can get your teacher binder from my TpT store. Simply click the cover below.
Here is the cover and spine inserts. I included 1", 2" and 3". I will be using a 1" binder. I also made tabs that you can laminate and attach to the binder inserts.

Here are the binder inserts that I have included. I printed these on cardstock. I wanted them to be a little sturdier. I also put them in page protectors. My district provides us with standards and a pacing guide. I will simply hole punch those and put them in the binder as soon as I get them. I made a year at a glance page, a separate month calendar AND a page for you to write out special days, meetings, curriculum and themes for the month.

These are some various pages...a to do list, year at a glance page, contact info, schedule, roster, birthdays, and student transportation form.

Here are the calendar pages! I love how they turned out!! 

Here are the pages that I will copy front to back. They are lesson plan pages, meeting notes, and planning notes. I hope to get this loaded to TpT TONIGHT!!

I will also be putting together "The Ultimate Student Binder"
and "The Ultimate Sub Binder"

I also need to apologize about the Daily 5 book study. I was at my parents' this last week. I swear they live in the boonies!! LOL! Their internet was terrible. So, our book study is a little behind. I will be wrapping up the final linky on Wednesday! I will include direct links to all of the past chapters. I am so excited to start D5 this year! How about you??

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I-Spy Differentiated Instruction AND A Freebie!!

Hello everyone. I'm Marsha from A Differentiated Kindergarten, and I'm tickled green (pink isn't my color) about being Tammy's guest blogger today.  I want to talk to you about a little tool I use to differentiate my instruction . . . it's the amazing, the magnificent . . . MAGNIFYING GLASS.

I know you're thinking . . . "Seriously? I magnifying glass is going to allow me to differentiate?Those little plastic things I never use except for at my science table."  I am here to tell you "YES."

Differentiating is about meeting your students learning needs in regards to their readiness, interest and learning profiles. 

A magnifying glass and an I-Spy activity appeals to most kinders but it is an especially appropriate activity for your students who are visual and who hold logical multiple intelligence tendency.  They just can't get enough of figuring out where everything is located!

 Likewise, a magnifying glass can DEFINITELY hook a kinder by appealing to their interests.  I mean, really, what kinder doesn't love to play with a magnifying glass.  Face it.  It's fun.  Then when you throw in something that interests your little ones in particular . . . for example . . .


Sea Creatures

Jungle Friends

Farm Animals

or even Leprechauns, they become a tried and true classroom favorite activity. 

So what about readiness . . when we differentiate based on readiness, we don't just give some students more work and other less, nor do we make some work more tedious and other work more engaging.  All tiers should be equally engaging and that can happen when all students are doing some kind of I-spy activity. 

For a math I-spy for addition, one tier may focus on adding numbers 0-5, another 0-10 and another 0-15 and so on like the one below.

 For literacy, one I-spy tier might focus on CVC words, another on CVCC words and another tier CVCe words but all students are working on the same I-spy packet. 

Who knew that a little magnifying glass could be so helpful in differentiating?  Never tried and I-spy with your kiddos?  Here's a little free sample to wet your taste buds.  I like most teachers simply laminate everything and hand them a magnifying glass to get them going, but I recently had a teacher blogging friend (thanks Cheryl) tell me she projects them from her computer and has it done as a whole class activity.  I WISH I had one of those projection camera thingies to do that.  How will you use it ?

Anyway, this letter recognition I-Spy will give you a little taste of how much fun this activity can be.

If you'd like to learn more about differentiating your classroom, stop on over and please check out my blog, leave me a note and follow me.  You can also find out more about any of the above products just by clicking on the pictures. 

Now get out there and grab yourself some magnifying glasses and get differentiating.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gues Post by Mary (Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives)

Hi there! I'm Mary from Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives.  I am so excited to be guest blogging for Tammy today! LOVE her! :)
Is anyone else revamping their literacy stations this year?  I've been participating in Tammy's Daily 5 and Deedee's In Pictures and In Words book studies this summer.  As a writing station and writer's workshop routine have really been on my mind.  I've gotten some incredible ideas this summer and can't wait to try out some of the new things I've learned!

One of the things that has worked well for me in the past are my kids' writing folders.  I've used spirals for journaling, but folders seem to work best for my classroom for writer's workshop.
I combine folders with brads and folders without brads to make a 4-pocket folder for each child.  I like for all of my folders to be uniform so I usually go out and purchase them myself when they get cheap enough at back to school time.  That way, I can have them assembled and ready at the beginning of school.  I label each section of the folder so my kids can organize their writing tools, ideas, "work in progress" items, and finished products that are ready for the author's chair.
You can grab a copy of my labels and instructions on assembling the folder {here} or by clicking the picture below. {Free}

Do you have a designated area for "authors" to present their work?  This is a definite motivator in my room!  There's something about that proud moment of feeling accomplished and sharing your completed work with others.  I just have a slipcover that transforms one of our chairs.  The mom of one of my former students made it for me!  Isn't it adorable?  I usually slip it on the afternoon before or the morning of- when I know that one of my students will be ready to present.  The kiddos are usually bursting at the seams with anticipation and it becomes a huge guessing game of who is ready to present their work!  I just love that buzz of excitement.  :)

The last thing I want to share with you today is a book I found that will be released next Tuesday, July 24th!  It is about a little dog named Rocket who struggles to find something to write about.  With the help of a little bird, he learns to look more closely at the world around him and ends up finding great inspiration for his story writing.  Doesn't this book sound perfect for writer's workshop?  I have pre-ordered it and can't wait to read it from cover to cover when it arrives on Tuesday.  You can click on the picture below to read the description and pre-order your copy too if you think it is something you might like to incorporate in your classroom.

Thanks to Tammy for letting me share on her blog today!  Stop by and say hi at my blog when you get the chance! :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

KD5 Chapter 4 Read To Self

I am so late with this. I am sorry! I have been consumed with creating Back To School things! :-) It has been soooo hot here that I am trying to stay inside. Staying inside means working on the computer....WOO HOO!!

I am linking up with my bloggin' buddy Krissy this week! She is hosting Chapter 4.

I think that when hearing "Read To Self" most Kinder teachers are thinking...SAY WHAT!? Our kids can't read on the first day of school! I will be honest, I think that I was one of those say what'rs (not a real word I know) AND probably louder than anyone else. When I was thinking of starting this study, I knew that I was going in with an open mind and and I CAN attitude! Are you with me? Here we go!

Now, I start school on Wedenesday and our Wednesdays are short days (don't hate me.) The first day goes by soooo fast. Thursday and Friday seem to go by just as quick. I am going to launch RTS on Monday! YES, I AM! :-) Think about the sisters "Three ways to read a book." Our kids CAN do that!

A few things that I want to do this year! First, I want to have a "Big Book of the Week." We will read the same big book every morning during our morning meeting. Hopefully, I will be able to create retelling pieces to go with each book. Think of how many books you will have that your kiddos can retell in the first 2 months of school?! I would love to hear some of your favorite big books and activities to go with them! I am thinking that I will start with Brown Bear, Brown Bear!'

Second, I am going to make some easy readers myself. Books that have pictures and one word on each page. They can "read" these on the first day. I plan on making all different themes/seasons for these. I already have a school theme one done! CHECK! You can get it by clicking on the title page.

I will make sure I post about our progress on Day #4 as we launch Read To Self!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teaching Smart

Smart Teaching

Smart Teaching
I am here to share the best things I have learned or do in my classroom. Today I am going to share how I introduce the alphabet to my Kinders.

"Letter Land Alphabet Pack!" I use this for the first 52 days of school. OK, well maybe not the first 52 days, but I start the second week of school.

The first round of the Letter Land Party! I introduce a new letter/sound each day. I have all of the kids' names written on a sentence strip. I always try to put the girls and boys on a different color. I place all of the names in a pocket chart. We then go through the names. Anyone that has the letter in their name, then they go to the top of the pocket chart. If they do not, then they go at the bottom. IF their name begins with that letter, then they are the King/Queen of the day.
 If they have the letter of the day in their name, then they take their name tag back to their desk and either trace it, circle it, or put a sticker under the letter. We then place it back in the pocket chart.
The first round of our letter party is simply an introduction to the letters and the sounds. After we put the names back in the pocket chart, then we complete a page in our Alphabet Book.

Here is a FREEBIE from this unit. The ABC chart. Click on the picture to get your copy!!

We refer back to these posters and ABC chart all year long. We start each morning meeting by going through the alphabet. We say the letter name and then say the sound (with the action that we made up to go along with the poster.)This is so helpful for the kiddos that need something visual to remember the letter name and sound. In the great movie, "The Wizard Of Oz," The great Oz gives the Scarecrow....who needs a brain if you aren't familiar with honorary degree of ThD. A ThD? A degree in thinkology! I think we all deserve honorary ThD's. We come up with amazing ways to teach our kiddos. I hope that you will link up and share how you teach smart! :-) Make sure you grab the scarecrow button and code (at the top of this post)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Follow The Yellow Brick Road!

Thursday, July 5th is International Blog Hopping Day! There will be NINE linky parties scheduled with everything from why we each blog to what shoes are we wearing. All grade levels, teachers, administrators, homeschoolers, and parents are invited to join in the celebration. There should be something for everyone! We hope all bloggers will participate in one of the parties and hop until you drop!
Follow The Famous Yellow Road