Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I've posted a lot about the things I have been doing in my classroom. One thing I haven't posted about is the Adopt A Classroom.org website that I've started using and have already been blessed by having a few people adopt my classroom and donate some money. I've been able to buy new headphones, glue sticks (a huge must have in any Kindergarten classroom), and now for the new year some new games and building materials that I'm really looking forward to doing some STEM things with. Being a teacher, I am constantly spending money on my classroom; this year I feel like I have been doing it more so because I'm trying to save money in the long run with copies and other things by laminating a lot more so students can re-use papers over and over. So far this has been going pretty well.

One thing that I have noticed by doing this, is so many of my students have improved their skills quicker than in years past because they aren't just doing it once and then being done. They go over and over the pages a few days a week. Many of the things my class seem to love so much that they'll choose to do the pages during free choice time.

I have one student who has been struggling with their fine motor skills ever since school started. Cutting and writing are very difficult, but bring in the whiteboard and laminated pages, and he isn't getting nearly as frustrated because it is much easier to erase if he makes a mistake and his favorite color is black :) Since the start of the year, I have seen a lot of improvement in his fine motor, especially with his name; he's not writing it as big as usual but is now starting to write it to fit on the "name" line. So I really think that having these expo markers and even the dry erase crayons have been a huge hit with my class and especially with those that tend to need a little more help with their writing because starting over isn't as big of a deal.

I wouldn't have been able to do a lot of the things I'm doing now this year without the support of donors helping out my classroom. I'm very blessed and fortunate to have any and all help. I appreciate it and I know my kids do as well.
Adopt A Classroom Profile

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What To Do Over Christmas Break?

Well to answer that question, blog on my new computer of course! What a whirlwind of adventures I've had over the last few months. Fill time is amazing and yes after 66 days of school, the kids are still getting used to being there all day. I've changed my schedule two or three times since I initially made it in August, and now I think it's ok. Mainly after specials, which all happen at the same time everyday which is amazing, I've put writing and art time. But I'm still surprised that even at the end of the day, the kids are still almost too tired to even do art! I hope by 100 days, we're all on the same page and not as tired at the end of the day.

My class this year is full of very helpful and kind kiddos. They love to help each other and help me, we're just working on the correct times to be helpful to each other and to me. :) We have also been REALLY enjoying GoNoodle this year. Oh my goodness I knew it was a lifesaver last year at times, but this year it is REALLY a lifesaver. We're up to almost 1,000 minutes of GoNoodle time and have grown about half the Champs. The kids wanted to earn a GoNoodle party day, so I bought wristbands for each of them to wear and keep, which they totally flipped over. It was lots of fun that day and we earned lots of XP for our Champ.

I have also been using my new laminator SO much already. It is the best thing I have gotten through Donors Choose. This year our school is really cracking down on laminating and copies. I had to make a price list spreadsheet going over everything I could think of that I would need copies of for the rest of the year, which helped with my case of what and why I needed to make certain things for my classroom. One thing I have started doing this year is instead of regular morning work packets or worksheets, I have taken Deedee Wills idea of "dessert" tubs and turned the idea into morning work tubs. I put in a lot of past math and literacy games that we've done before and then the kids can just play them over and over; continuing to work on those skills. Lots of them they love to keep playing. Roll and record (roll the dice, write the number), all of the buddy game cards from the BUILD series Elizabeth Hall created for math, and also Miss Kindergartens letter cards to make words or just say the sounds. Since I have my laminator, I laminate lots of worksheets that the kids can use expo markers with and use over and over. This is especially useful for Write the Room since I have kids who just love to do this station over and over again. Just being able to have kids re-do games and worksheets is not only helpful to me since I can use my copies for projects and crafts, but then the kids can also practice those skills over and over and not have it be a one and done thing.
I also changed up my literacy and math stations a bit this year. As many of you know I gush over Deedee Wills and all of her amazing ideas. She has station cards for FREE, and I just love how they are set up. There are blue ones and yellow ones. I think because of this, my kids have been able to learn to read the rotation board quicker than in years past. The labels match perfectly and are so easy to put up. If I had a picture I would include it here, but it'll have to wait till I get back. I also love that she just as Word Study A-E and I can put whatever in these and the kids don't fuss that it changes. C and D are pretty consistent with the same activities but all the others can have different skills I want the kids to work on and certain kids get assigned the different Word Studies depending on their level.

Well since it is break, I am going to go off and enjoy it with a little spa day (that's also what to do over Christmas break). :)