Welcome to a New School Year!

This is technically my third week…but I feel like it takes this long to begin feeling like a community.  We had a really great first week, it was a little crazy last week, and then everyone lost their minds when they came back on Tuesday, BUT today was really great!  I think they are finally syncing with each other and helping each other out.  Don’t get me wrong, it is still a little crazy…but I think we will be wonderful!

I started something new this year and I am wondering if you do the same thing, do you have your students line up in ‘line order’?  I have never done this before and I was hesitant, BUT….last year was so crazy with the kinders fighting and shoving in line. I wanted everyone to move through the line and get a chance to stand in different positions.  For example, I didn’t  want someone to always be fourth in line.  So I put my kinders in alphabetic order by their first name and then numbered them them 1-20.  I have 20 kinders.  And as my line leader and door holder changes, I rotate them to the back.  So for the first day my line was in order from 1-20 and the second day my door holder moved to the front to be the line leader and the previous line leader moved to the back to be the caboose.  Clear as mud?  Eventually they did get the hang of it.  A few did not…and I didn’t memorize and the names with the corresponding number so I printed up cards 1-20 and laminated them and then wrote the child’s name on the bottom right corner as a cheat for me when lining them up or checking their line.  I make sure that I always call their name even if I don’t say their number because on my kinders was telling me about another student and called him ’10’.  I quickly reminded him of his real name and not the number 10.  lol  If you would like to use my cards just click on the picture below.  I hope you have a wonderful week!






I am Blessed

As I sit here in the quiet morning before my family gets up, I think about how blessed I am.  Sure, I still worry about how I will get everything done…but you know what?  Does it really matter?  If the dishes get put away today or tomorrow?  If the laundry gets fluffed in the dryer AGAIN, or if the floor doesn’t get mopped today?  It’s okay because I am making memories with my family and that is what will be important if that is all that is left.

My life is starting to become more ‘normal’ again.  The last three years have been hard and I have been surviving.  I decided this year that is just not good enough.  I thought I was living again, but I wasn’t, not really.  I have so much to be thankful for—my family and friends are amazing and have been there for us the whole time.  Things like this usually tear apart a family, but we are sticking together.  Don’t get me wrong, we have had a fair share of tough times, but we always lean on each other.  My first grandchild was born this summer and he is perfect.  He was born a little early and it was scary for his mama and him, but everything is perfect now.  I have also reconnected with a good friend from high school—many many moons ago—and he is wonderful.

School has been a little difficult this year.  Moral is down and the kiddos are somewhat challenging.  So what do we do?  We boost up moral in our classroom and tried to be positive everyday.  Some of the more challenging ones in my class need the most love from me.  The other students pick up on my clues so we build a community of people who work hard to build others up.  This has not been as easy this year as it has been in years past.  I am beginning to see more kindness and caring gestures, even if they are few and far between, and this is cause for celebration!  They are learning to be giving and helpful to each other.  I gave up the kiddo gift change a few years back and I think it was an awesome decision.  We will be giving donated items to our adopted soldier, we will be giving food to the local pantry, we will be giving pj’s to the needy kiddos thru scholastic, and we will be giving ornaments to our families that we created.  Giving of yourself is so important and needs to be taught to our babies.

What will you be giving of yourself during this Christmas season?

Baby Shower update…

I didn’t do a great job of getting pictures because I was enjoying the shower too much.  Everything went smoothly and we had a great time!  Here are some pics of the decorations…

the cupcake table,

 the diaper cakes (they didn’t have the animal label on the ribbon yet) I was so excited about how they were turning out!
I used a giraffe swimming pool to hold her gifts.  The head kept deflating so we added a ‘bag of grass’ to make it look like it was eating.  Always improvising!
The giraffe was so hungry, lol!

 The sign in table with the late night diaper funnies and prize bags,

silverware bow ties,

and all the tables were decorated with a diaper cake, stuffed animals, and books.
We had so much fun! 

Friday Night Fun

What are you doing on this Friday night?  I am getting things ready for my daughter-in-law’s shower!  I can’t post pictures just yet because she might see them.  They decided to go with a safari/jungle theme and I was so excited because that is the theme in my kinder room!  Is makes decorating so much fun and so easy!  I can’t wait to post pictures next week.  Her shower is Sunday.

Happy Saturday and a Freebie!

Do you send family projects home for your students and their families to complete? Students love sharing what they are doing in their classroom, and sometimes it is hard for them to remember when they get home.  I like to send books home that we have created together as a class.  Students can share their picture and their classmates pictures and talk about the activity with their parents.  I also like to send home books that we read in the classroom with an activity or two.   My students really enjoyed this book,
Click on the book to purchase through Amazon

and they love to make lists, so I created a packet that they could take home and share with their parents.
You can get it for free at my store.  I hope you and your students enjoy it!
click on the pic to get it at my store

How do I package this and send it home?  I place my papers in a folder; putting the directions and sign out sheet in the middle and the handouts in a pocket.  
 I then place the folder and the book in a bag. 
 The bags are labeled with a number so I can recycle and use for a different book next month.  I have a pocket chart with my kinders pictures and the correlating number beside their picture.  What do you do in your classroom to create a positive relationship with parents?

A Sale for You!

Teachers work so hard and we spend a lot of our money in our own classrooms.  You are appreciated, so now is your time to save!  Head over to Tpt and save on your purchases today and tomorrow!  I have a lot of items on my wish list and I am headed over to start shopping.  You can too—here is the code!

click on the image above to go to my store!

Student Achievments

Are you a cheerleader for your students?  Do you have a special wall the lets them ‘shout out’ their accomplishments?  Do you have little celebrations for skills that are met?  I would love to hear how you celebrate with your students.

My students and I cheer when skills are met in our classroom.  It only takes a few seconds, but the feeling the student has and the memory from this short time will last a very long time.  The students in my classroom who master these skills are considered ‘experts’ and the other students go to them if they need help.  For example, if a shoe needs to be tied, I could easily do it–but the rewards are much greater when a child helps this student.  The same goes for the computer expert–the only child who seems to know more than me about computers–which isn’t that hard to do!  Or maybe the word speller because they know all they sight words or they can really listen well to the sounds of each word.  This doesn’t mean they don’t come to me for help anymore, but during the 3rd and 4th quarter it does help to free up a little time so I can listen to students read or help them stretch words apart when writing.  But, you know what?  My students also volunteer to be the listener of a story if another child didn’t get their reading homework completed the night before.  They are so eager to help each other out!
I decided to make an expert wall and I used my zoo/jungle theme.  I have a picture of an animal cracker box that I created stapled to the bulletin board (next time I will staple to a snack bag).  
All the animal cookies would be stored inside the baggie and would be easier to transport home!
I am able to give them this as a treasure from our time together in kindergarten!  Love it!!
Each time a student masters a particular skill, I give them a construction paper animal cracker to put in their animal box.
I have this product listed in my TpT store if you would like to purchase it—and it is editable!  Let me know what you think about it!