Be the Sunshine

Hello sunshines! I moved from kindergarten to first grade! I am so excited to be back in first grade after a long stretch in kindergarten. I am loving how my first graders can do so much!!  Such a fun age! Since I moved into a new room, I decided to change up my classroom theme- Be the sunshine! Here are a few pics giving a glimpse of my current classroom.

Class hallway bulletin board
 I only have one small bulletin board in my classroom, so I used the wall space above the cubbies to make a clothesline bulletin board. I hot glued a laminated sunshine face on each black clothespin. It is working beautifully to display their work.

I saved some of my owl stuff to decorate my classroom library area. Here's part of the library with the one bulletin board in the room.

I created some decorations for my whiteboard. A set of rules: Be the sunshine, Be safe, Be kind, Try your best, and Lead with Love. Underneath those rules is a space designated for sunshine notes written by me and classmates.

Our favorite time of the day is Read to Self time! They are already reading 15+ minutes! Here are some empty baskets before the students came. Then a close up with some books in the baskets.

Our cubbies are not the prettiest. So I laminated some cardstock with clipart to make them a little more appealing. The suns on their STAR binders make me smile!

I took their self portraits off the hallway bulletin board and posted them next to the cubbies around one of our weekly quotes.

Outside my class door, I put up weekly quotes. I started with sunshine themed ones this year! This is more for me, but my students enjoy reading them too! Shine bright!

Ready for SMORE fun in kindergarten?

Time to start thinking about the new school year! My start of the school year has to do with s'mores. It all began with my s'more obsession at the end of last school year. I went on a s,more kick- drinking Dunkin Donuts S'mores Iced Coffee and eating S'mores pop tarts. (I don't even eat pop tarts!) I was so excited to find out that National S'mores Day is Thursday, August 10th. Which is the first day of school in my district!!!

I made these tags to go on some treats for the first day of school. Click on the picture to get to the freebie.

Since I am at a Leader in Me school, I made a back to school s'mores board. At the end of the last school year, I had my kindergarten students write a tip about being a leader for my new students. At the beginning of this school year, I plan to have my new kindergartners brainstorm ways to be a kindergarten leader and make their own s'mores for this bulletin board.

Talking about last year's group, I gave them a summer reading challenge. I made some bookworm tags to go with their prizes of reaching their goal of 50 books read over the summer. Click on the picture to get that tag freebie.

 Life has been a little bit more joyful with this little puppy! Meet Daisy, our Shihtzu. We got her late April and she has stolen our hearts! I am busy making different little bows for her to wear. I opened up an Etsy shop- TturtleTimeCreations. Below are some bows I made for my aunt's pups, Cherie and Caleb.

I have one week of summer left before I go back to CGI training and then Pre-planning! Enjoy the summer!

Do You Bee Bot?

We do! This is the first school year that my county has initiated coding in kindergarten. My kinders and I are having fun with it! They are completely engaged and excited about learning with our bee bots. After a few lessons about coding, directional words, and algorithms, they were ready to work in small groups.

First, before splitting them into groups, we discussed how we could synergize and communicate with our teams. Each child was given a job: Coder, Card Handler, Algorithm Reader, Beebot Programmer, and Supervisor. The job cards were made into necklaces so that each child remembered his job.
Supervisor: decides where Beebot goes and makes sure everyone is doing what they are suppose to
Coder: creates algorithm for Beebot to get to the specified area
Card Handler: puts directions cards down for the algorithm created by the coder
Algorithm Reader: read the algorithm to the programmer
Beebot Programmer: push buttons on Beebot and make sure Beebot stays safe

They switched jobs after a round of trying to get Beebot to the specified area. This way, each child got a turn at all the jobs.

In math, my kindergartners used Beebots to describe and identify shapes.

 During our literacy block, some groups reviewed letters and sounds.

 Another group worked on reviewing sight words.

Yesterday, we used retelling pictures on the mat to help retell a story using Beebot. It is so easy to use whatever cards I have and place them under the transparent cover to teach whatever skill I need to. Where has Beebot been all my teaching career??

Another Monday Made It!

Summer flies by too quickly! Last week, I spent time with my family visiting from out of town. This week, I am at workshops and pre-planning. I will meet my new students next week!

For My 1st Monday Made It: I usually like to make something for my team for the first day of school. I wanted to make a first day survival kit for them. My friend Tina and I made pencils out of Pringles cans. They are not quite done, but I think they turned out so cute! I filled them up with all sorts of goodies. I still need to add the tags, but that will be later! I will be making one for myself as a box top collector.

Pinterest Inspired Craft

My 2nd Monday Made It project is for my littles when they come to Meet the Teacher night. Typically I make homemade cookies, but just didn't feel like baking and icing the cookies this summer. I found some adorable owl pops on Sue's The Very Busy Kindergarten. I had to make my own! These were definitely easier and timely! 

 Linking up with

B2S Book Favorites: Robert Munsch

I go back to work on Monday- for workshops and preplanning. The children will be starting in 2 weeks! I have done a few things to get ready for back to school, but it seems I have a serious issue- a scattered brain!! While working on an alphabet center, I got distracted when I saw Brenda and Ciera's Back to School Book Linky.

I love books! One of my favorite authors is Robert Munsch. Children can relate to and laugh at his stories. During that first week of school, I like to use three of his books. The first one is Moira's Birthday. I found a youtube video! However, I like reading the book better. This story is about Moira who invites Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and Kindergarten to her birthday party! She is quite the problem solver. I love how my kindergarteners react to this book and their facial expressions are priceless!

 I typically use this book during math before making a class graph about our birthdays. I use a classroom door to post the months of the year. Then I give each of my students a die-cut circle. They decorate the circles to look like themselves. We add them to the door with a tag stating their first name and birthdate. We use this birthday graph throughout the school year. Wish I had a picture to show. I couldn't find one easily accessible.

Another story I read for math time is Purple, Green, and Yellow. This story is about a little girl who loves to color with different markers. This story is a great lead in to a class graph about our favorite colors.

In kindergarten, my students color paper crayons and we make a floor graph about our favorite colors. When I taught first grade, I did it a little differently. I had my first graders bring their favorite colored crayon over to the circle. They sat together in a circle with same colors together. I stood in the middle and used masking tape to show the piece of the pie for blues, and then to the next color. I also took a picture and put it into a classbook of graphs. We discussed what we noticed and added that information to the classbook of graphs. So sad, no picture easily accessible for me to post!

Another Robert Munsch book, I enjoy using in kindergarten is We Share Everything. This is a great story about two kindergarten kids who learn to share everything. It is a great lead in to how we share many things in kindergarten, but there are some things we do not share (kisses, lunch, snack...). Robert Munsch has his own website with auditory downloads to go along with his books. I have downloaded many to go along with the books I already have in my classroom library to use at the listening center. Many of his books are also found in ebook format on Tumblebooks.,204,203,200_.jpg

Using Robert Munsch books helps my kindergarteners love listening to stories for enjoyment. His books easily captures my students' attention during that first week of school. If you have not read any of his books, you should check them out, especially if you love humorous stories. 

If you are still here with me, then click HERE to get a little freebie to go along with these 3 stories. Maybe I will eventually get back to that alphabet center that I keep going back to these past 2 weeks!

Destination Vacation

I love to travel! So this linky hopefully will inspire me to discover some new place to explore. I especially love places that have seasons. Being in Florida, does not give me many opportunities to see a blustery fall day or a snowy winter white one.

It has been a while since I have been to Hendersonville, North Carolina. It is one of my favorite hidden places. My sister and her family lived there for a little while, and I stayed with them two times: once in the winter and once in the summer. Hendersonville has one main downtown street with yummy restaurants and cute shops. One restaurant in particular stood out. I don't remember its name, but the restaurant got their food locally and served seasonal deliciousness. I was surprised at the sushi place, Umi's. It is the only place I have seen soy wrapped sushi. I have been to many sushi restaurants, and this was a new concept to me. Amazing to find it in such a small town! Before my summer visit, I had never liked peaches. They were watery and mealy- yucky in my opinion. I changed my mind once I tried some at the market stands. Deliciousness!! I also discovered heirloom tomatoes. Food there just taste so magnificent! Besides yummies, there are plenty of outdoorsy things to do. My favorite was visiting Hooker Falls, a cute little waterfall swimming area. Last summer, while visiting family in Asheville, I didn't get to make it up to Hendersonville. I really want to see it in the fall and go apple picking!

Soy wrapped sushi

Heirloom tomatoes- yummy!

Hooker Falls

The second place is Washington, D.C. I have been a few times, but usually for a day trip. My hubby and I went in 2013 to see the cherry blossoms, but it was a long winter, and I almost missed it. The trees had not bloomed yet... just blossoms. :0( They have a great zoo there- I loved how the monkeys could go up their towers and travel between the two monkey homes. We walked everywhere, taking the train only to the zoo. So many free places to visit. The last full day, we happened upon 3-4 little cherry blossom trees. So pretty! Made me happy to see them! During our last night, it snowed a bit, and left an inch on the branches.

Hubby's ears were frozen... he had to wear my owl hat!

Monkeys traveling up on top across the zoo! Be careful not to stand under!

A glimpse of cherry blossoms in full bloom!

The third place is my favorite city: Seattle, Washington. I don't have any pictures to share, as they were from a while back. I went in October to see fall, and I loved it! I loved Pike's Market, the great coffee, art museums, Space Needle, etc. It was fun just walking around and discovering the city. I almost moved there because I loved it so much.

On a side note, on my bucket list there are at least 3 places new I would like to visit...
1. Macchu Picchu (better start running again, so I can be in better shape for that hike)
2. Antarctica (on a cruise and take an excursion to walk with the penguins, certainly not for the marathon that is held there!)
3. Africa (go on a safari and say I have visited all the continents!)

What about you? Where have you been that you just love to visit?

All About This Kindergarten Teacher

A new collaboration blog has been popping all over on my Blogger feed- Kinder Tribe. I am super excited to find some new kinder blogs for me to follow! I joined in on their first linky. Click the button below to find out more and join in on the linky fun.

It took me a while to figure out how many years I have taught kindergarten. I have also taught 1st and 2nd grade... looping up with classes and going back. Next year will be my 20th year of teaching and 10th year in kindergarten!

Besides the people who surround me, I cannot live without my flash drive. This may be due to me being somewhat nomadic. I moved classrooms for the first 14 years of my career. Then I stayed 3 years in one kindergarten classroom, and then off to moving again. I am hoping to stay in my current room for the 2nd year. So I keep all my digital files, music, videos, pictures, ideas, etc on my flash drive! This helps keep me sane, rather than hunting for a CD or idea in one of my many boxes that I do not remember where I put or placed.

I love books! I have books all over my classroom. I especially am fond of Pete the Cat books. Love the positive messages in them. What did we do before Pete the Cat was created??

There are so many great blogs out there. One of my favorite blogs is Differentiated Kindergarten. I have learned so much from Marsha McGuire and how to organize my own differentiated centers.

I adore kindergarten. Kindergarteners are naturally curious, brutally honest, and genuine. They make me laugh and keep me in the moment. They keep me young! Well I am off to learn about some other kindergarten teachers.

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