Controlling the Volume in the Classroom

12/01/2016 / Leave a Comment
I am not a silent person, pretty much ever. I have always been a bit of a chatterbox, and that is probably the reason why I do not mind a chatty classroom. I could not make it through the day without talking to the people in my life, and I certainly do not expect them to be silent throughout the majority of the day.

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Kindergarten Morning Routine

11/06/2016 / Leave a Comment
Our mornings, like most classrooms, is a bit hectic! Our kids arrive between 8:15-8:45, depending on how they are dropped off in the morning. I like to change up our morning routine each day, just to keep it interesting for everyone - including myself!

One staple in our routine is the Would You Rather questions.
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No Work Weekends Planning Schedule

10/09/2016 / 2 comments

It took about a year to figure my system out, but I now have a planning schedule that allows me to take each weekend off from school completely.

While I adore teaching and my class, the amount of time I used to work everyday was overwhelming. After my first full year of teaching I already felt burnt out. I knew something needed to change, but I did not want to sacrifice what was best for my class. I had to try out a lot of different methods, but I finally made a schedule for myself.

When I stick to it, I am done working by 8 pm each school night and I never work on weekends!
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Using a TV in the Classroom - ELA and Math

8/11/2016 / Leave a Comment

Having a TV in your classroom can seem overwhelming at first, but it really is an amazing way to increase learning. Click here to read about how I incorporate it into our morning meeting.

While I love how it enhances our morning meeting, I think what it does for my teaching in ELA and Math is what causes me to love it the most!

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Building Number Sense in Kindergarten

8/02/2016 / Leave a Comment
Number sense and mastering the 100's chart are such important skills. When I taught 5th grade, I was amazed by how many of my students were unable to jump ahead 10 or 20 without using a 100's chart. I knew I wanted to make understanding the patterns of the 100's chart a focus as a Kindergarten teacher.

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Teaching Sight Words in Kindergarten

7/29/2016 / Leave a Comment
Our Kindergarten students are required to learn 50 sight words. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to incorporate them in my routine. I knew I wanted a sight word of the day. However, my first year I went overboard!

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An Unconventional Kindergarten Word Wall

7/28/2016 / Leave a Comment

When I found out 3 years ago that I was headed to Kindergarten I had an idea. I knew that I wanted my students to have access to all the words that would help them to decode and write with ease.

I also wanted these signs to be in one central area where they could gather during reading and writing times. I didn't want them to have to wander the room in order to find the sign that they needed.

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Using Contact Paper in the Classroom

7/22/2016 / 2 comments
I love my classroom, but my tables are horrible. I have 3 white circular tables that are so old, any pencil, crayon or marker stains it. Stains it so much that even Magic Eraser can't remove it!

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Time Saving Tips - Organizing Copies and Originals

7/19/2016 / 4 comments
Any teacher knows that copy time is precious. My first year I was a disaster, I never had what I needed when I got to the copier, which by the way is quite aways from my room! I've gotten a bit more organized over the years and it really paid off last year.

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Using a TV in the Classroom - Morning Meeting

6/14/2016 / Leave a Comment
Last year our amazing PTG bought us all a TV for our classroom. I decided to purchase an Apple Tv to use with mine and it was the best decision I ever made!

At first I was a bit overwhelmed with how I would incorporate the TV into our routine, but it was actually quite easy! These days it stays on for pretty much the entire time we are in our classroom. In morning meeting alone, it allows me to incorporate math and science!

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Cookie Monster Subtraction Craft

4/17/2016 / Leave a Comment
We have been focusing on subtraction this month, so I knew the time had come for a math art project to show what they have learned.

Subtraction is always harder to demonstrate visually. I spent a lot of time thinking about how we could do this and then it occurred to me...Cookie Monster! Who doesn't love Cookie Monster? And he is the perfect subtracting tool!

I hopped over to Sesame Street's website and found a directed drawing. He was actually a lot easier to draw that I expected!

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Kindergarten Math Centers - 100's Activities Tuesdays Part 3

3/12/2016 / Leave a Comment
When I returned to Kindergarten last  year, I knew that I wanted to focus on mastering the 100's. Not just counting to 100, but truly understanding the 100's chart and how it works.

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Kindergarten Math Centers - Motor Skills Monday Part 2

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When I created the names for our math centers, I never anticipated how much my class would embrace them. I was so surprised back in October when they would come in on Monday morning and tell each other "It is Motor Skills Monday today!"

I knew that I wanted to have a entire  math day each week with the focus being on motor skills. My class last year really struggled with pencil grip and cutting. I used a lot of the components I use now, but having them all one day really stresses the importance of the skill. 

We spent a lot of time talking in the fall about how the muscles in our hands need to have exercise just like our bodies. I would tell them stories about my 5th grade students  and how they struggled with handwriting and cutting.  This helped them to understand how it important it was for them to work hard to build these muscles.

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Kindergarten Math Centers - Part 1

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Our whole day is centered around workshops, so I kept the trend going for Math as well. We start off our math workshop at the rug. Everyone grabs a dry ease marker and a whiteboard, I love these whiteboard paddles. They are are the perfect size for writing and small enough so we don't feel overcrowded at our rug area!

First up is the Problem of the Day which consists of four skills; comparing numbers, counting on, adding and subtracting with ten frames and money.

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St. Patrick's Day Craft Addition Rainbows

3/06/2016 / Leave a Comment
Winter is endless in New England, and even though we have a had a mild one, I am over it! The numerous snowmen projects that have been adorning our hallway need to go. I wanted a colorful St. Patrick's Day display that would help us all to feel springy - what is better than a rainbow with a bit of gold at the end?

I saw Kwik Stix Tempera Paint on KinderKids instagram and I was intrigued - painting fun without the hassle of cleaning brushes? That is a must have in any Kindergarten!

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Kindergarten Math Centers - Exploration Thursdays Part 5

3/03/2016 / 4 comments
Exploration Thursday came about after watching my class explore all the new materials in the beginning of the year.

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Kindergarten Math Centers - Buddy Games Wednesdays Part 4

3/02/2016 / Leave a Comment
I decided to include Buddy Games Wednesday into my math centers to increase teamwork.

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Sensory Bins

2/22/2016 / Leave a Comment
I had every intention of creating sensory bins last year but sadly never got around to it. This year I was determined to make them for my class!

I had already tried to dye rice last year, but it was just not for me! Instead, I found this rice. Two bags was the perfect amount for these containers.

While I was looking for the rice, I stumbled across colored pasta! I only needed one bag of pasta for the bin.

I wanted my bins to be an independent activity, so I went with the shoebox sized Sterilite containers.

At first the bins simply had the rice or pasta, magnifying glasses and some tools for exploring: shovels, scoops, sifters and measuring cups.

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