Monthly Archives: August 2008

Unique Experience

I was presented with a unique experience today and I thought I would share it with you!  Yesterday, we had our staff retreat and it was announced that we would have a Chinese Teacher in our building this year to teach the 1-5 children Mandrin Chinese–which I am thrilled about!  My principal also announced that he would need a place to stay–so after talking with my husband, we decided that we would offer to host him for 9 weeks in our home.  He arrives from DC on Saturday (this is Wednesday), so it’s a short time schedule!  I have to clean like crazy–you know the kind of cleaning you would do to make your home feel like the a 5 star hotel, kind of cleaning!!!  I’m so glad we didn’t get rid of our storage facility, because some things from our extra room will soon be making their way there!  We thought this was a unique opportunity that we were just too excited not to offer a place for him to stay.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!  I’m just a little stressed since it’s the beginning of the year and all, but I’m sure as always, everything will turn out just fine!

Kristen 🙂

Pages for AM skill folders

Upon request, from a former SM Bulldog, here are the pages I use for my morning skill binders.  I also include and change out several other pages at any given time.  For example, I might type the children’s names out in a handwriting trainer font, print them out and have them practice writing their first and last names on a daily basis.  I have also typed out my sight words list using the same font and had them practice matching words (draw a line to connect the words that match) or even have them practice writing them.  I also have put in pages from workbooks, making copies for each folder, depending upon what we are learning about.  If you have any other pages you would like me to make for you or that you have and want me to post for you to share, let me know!

I am unable to convert these to PDF (sorry!) because of the specific font I used–it doesn’t come out looking so pretty!





Just a note on how I make these (thanks to my dear friend and colleague Karen Berman for this idea!!)

I use a 3 prong pocket folder (assorted colors are fine, but when I did 1/2 day, I used a specific color for AM and one for PM) My friend Karen also attaches a short piece of sentence strip to the front and laminates the folder.  She then can write the students name on the front in permanent marker and the child will use the same folder all year.  I had their names seperate from the folders when I did 1/2 day, just so we could use any folder we wanted and it didn’t take a lot of time to find our exact one!

I put in no more than 10 sheet protectors (usually 5-6) because that would give you 20 possible pages (or 10-12).  We use dry erase markers in various colors (part of our school supply list this year!!) and use baby wipes or tissues to erase.

You could also use some of the pages I made for binders as well for different practice.  This would be great for addition practice, writing spelling words, tracing state outlines, KWL/OWL/TWL charts completed together, science labs, etc.

I use these to keep my Kinder. Kids busy and working while some of us eat breakfast, make our lunch choices, return our folders, library books, baggie books, and get unpacked for the day.

Kristen 🙂

More Pictures…

Here are some pictures that I took today, so enjoy and let me know if you have any questions/comments!

Kristen 😉

This is where I store my skill folders that the kids use each morning when they first come in.  The blue tub on top holds dry erase markers.  The folders are well loved! The folders contain pages that are protected by sheet protectors.  We use dry erase markers on them and clean them with baby wipes or tissues or even the occasional eraser! 🙂

My new reading work station, tucked away in a corner by the window where it’s sunny.  I have lots of comfy pillows, chairs, stuffed animals, etc.

My Big book stand, where we write Morning Message, getting to know you activities and cut up names (from Building Blocks)

My bench where I will sit during calendar, morning message, read alouds, writing mini lessons, special helper activities

My large easel with chart paper.  We use this for predictable charts, KWL charts, TWL/OWL charts.

The bottom of my calendar wall.  I bought this new calendar as a present for my self (pretty lame present??!).  We also have our weather circle, weather graph, and schedule chart.

The top of the calendar wall. Days/Months

The whole kit and caboodle! 🙂

My new Rainbow Words chart for learning sight words, our money pocket chart and the end of the dry erase board

Who could forget these?? My PVC pocket chart stands!

This is the beginning of the Word Work Station.  It is in front of the dry erase board where the interactive word wall will be.

Our beautiful new computers!  I moved them to this table so it was more kid friendly and so we didn’t have fights over the “rollie” chairs anymore!

The overhead-soon to become the overhead work station!

Writing Work Center complete with stamps, paper, markers, envelopes, stencils, and colored pencils.

The listening center.  The Kinder. Kids will sit at the table nearby to listen to tapes.

This mess will soon be my parent volunteer table.  Just as soon as I get it cleaned off!

Some of the Literacy games that my parent volunteers can play with the Kinder. Kids!

Math games in the parent volunteer area.

I hope this picture better defines this space.  This is the zoomed out version of the parent volunteer area. It will look so nice when it’s done!

The Kinder. kids will put their baggie books and red folders here when they come in each morning.  (on the right) The cart on the left will be used for the ABC Work Station.

This is how we find out who is bringing lunch, getting just milk or eating a hot lunch.  The Kinder. Kids use tounge depressors with their names on them to “vote”.  Eventually,  they will enter their “PIN” numbers into the dining room computer and not need to use them.

We take these notebooks into the cafe with us daily so the Kinder. Kids can write/draw when they are done with lunch and to stay out of trouble.

My Work Stations management chart.

How quickly my desk area went from clean to a disaster!

This is my awards wall.  I like to put up my awards to affirm that I do good work everyday in my classroom! 🙂

I love cows!! My sister painted the bottom painting for me and I got the one on top from Target a few years ago.

This is how we will organize our binders (on the top part) and our baby wipes, tissues, and writer’s workshop folders on the bottom.  Crayons and supply buckets are stored on top.

This is how I keep my assessment records for each Kinder. Kid.  They each have a red folder with their assessment data that goes inside a hanging file which holds their Writer’s Workshop pieces at the end of each month.

This is how I keep blank paper at each of the tables for Writer’s Workshop.  I’m having trouble with the round tables though!  I think I will put it in a regluar file basket and leave it in the center of the table for them.

This is how I store all my assessment masters, assessment booklets, and any other important papers that I will need to copy repeatdly.

A few panoramic views of the room!

This is one of three closets where the Kinder. Kids hang their backpacks and coats.  The upper part is for storage.

So, see, I told you it was coming along!! Still LOTS of work to be done yet, but it will get done–it always does!

Kristen 🙂

It’s coming along!

So I forgot to take pictures, but my room is really coming together!  I am going back in tomorrow (Monday) to begin meeting my new Kinder. kids and to do a quick assessment on them (letter identification, sound knowledge from DRA Word Analysis, and a quick math assessment based upon the Math Their Way assessment from long ago).

I promise to take some more pictures tomorrow when I go in so you can see the progress–I am not feeling so overwhelmed anymore!  It was a bottomless pit there for a few days!  I spent all day Thursday and Friday there and got most things to their new homes.  Am I the only crazy one who e-mails herself lists of things to do so she won’t forget to do them when she’s actually at school?

I will also be adding a new blog title picture, just as soon as I find a shot I like, so don’t be shocked if it’s different one day this week!

When do you start school?  We go back the 11th for our big township meeting and get kids the 13th and 14th for 1/2 days, then the 15th is our 1st full day!

Kristen 🙂

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