Five for Friday: 1st Week of School

I feel it has been a whirlwind these past two weeks: preplanning, new classroom, new Reading Series, Kindergarten Parent Orientation Night, Meet the Teacher, First Week of Kindergarten, Gingerbread Man Hunt... oh, in addition on a personal note... my car is still in the shop (was rear ended at a traffic light 4 weeks ago) and my friend welcomed a baby girl!
1. Thanks to Amanda from A Very Curious Class for my blogger exchange gift! Love the magnetic board and owl goodies you found! I haven't used the smelly markers yet, but this coming week, I think they will come in handy.
2. On the first day, I introduced the multiple intelligences to my kinderkids. They rated themselves on what kind of smart they thought they were. It gave me insight to what they think about themselves. At the end, I gave each child this freebie note with Smarties attached. Links to the originals are below the photo.
The SMART lesson came from Falling From First's Back to School Bash unit.
The Smarties note was a FREEBIE from Technology Rocks.
3. I am starting earlier in teaching my kinderkids how to rate their understanding. My good friend Amy and I were talking about creating a pocket chart to hold popsicle sticks so our kinderkids could rate themselves. Here is a picture of what I will be using. Click on the photo to check it out at my TPT store.
Which reminds me that the big back to school sale at TPT starts tomorrow!! Use the promo code BTS13 at checkout to get an additional percentage off products!!
4. I loved how Greg from Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten put his first day in numerals. Here's my attempt...
 I was worried that I might have some real criers on Monday morning! Just 2 pairs of teary eyes... no bolting out the door! Phew! I have had my peers' children before in my classroom. Usually it is one or two at a time... not five of them! They are such a cute bunch... maybe I'm partial as they are my new class.I think we will have a wonderful year!
5. Here are some classroom pics:
Walking in the main door, in the cubby area, looking to the left of the classroom. I put up my CAFE letters on the 4 cabinets above my students' sink. The main storage closet is a bit full of my big bins... my neighbor's side looks very spacious. I need to find space for the bins! I didn't include a picture!
This is the meeting area of my classroom. The left side has a door to a smaller storage closet that I share with my teammate.
Just recently I put up the new word wall.... ready to add our names and sight words!
This is the view of my classroom looking from the word wall corner to the opposite corner.
The bulletin board is now decorated with my students' owls and my positive classroom management behavior chart (Filling Buckets). I forgot to take a picture of the cute little owls that came from Michelle Oakes's Back to School behavior unit.
Next to the classroom library and bulletin board is the real kitchen with a real stove and oven. So fun to actually bake a gingerbread man in the oven!
Next to the kitchen, there is a bathroom door. Inside is a HUGE bathroom!! I could do a cartwheel in there! It has a tub, changing table, and toilet. The toilet is in the far right corner- I choose not to take a picture of it! I will need to make it look more "home-y" in here. Recently, I stacked some bins and crates on top of the changing table. I will need to move them, because it looks not so good. I'm thinking the next move may be in the tub. :0)
I really love my classroom library area with my newly Monday Made It READ letters and the special homemade gift from a special room mom! Makes me smile every time I look at it.
These are the owl cookies I used this year to make for Meet the Teacher.


August Currently

Summer is over! Time to get busy. I wrote this last Thursday night, planning to take pics as I was in my new classroom. Too much going on, that I didn't think about it.
LISTENING: My husband has not ever really watched the X-Files series. Now we are watching them, and I get to see them in order. Brings back memories of when my roomie and I would record them on VHS and watch them on Sunday mornings.
LOVING: My two sweet pups are lying next to me on the couch. They are all curled up and sleeping.
THINKING: My mind is racing, as the first official teacher work day is on Monday. I would have gone into my classroom this past Wednesday and Thursday to organize my new classroom, but they weren't ready for us to come in yet. So Friday they are open, and I will try to accomplish the organization in one day. I am also thinking about the little sweet faces I will be meeting soon. I love the new school year... the tradition of buying new outfits and school supplies.
WANTING: At the end of last school year, my husband and some teacher friends helped me move my stuff to a smaller classroom next door. I didn't put things away... the room has a different set up and ways to store stuff. So I needed time to reflect upon that. Now that my husband has a new job, he won't be able to help until evenings. My teacher friends are all so busy. I may be able to bribe some stay at home mommies to come and help me out.
NEEDING: I was planning on casually losing some weight this summer... I gained 2! I thought eating less cupcakes and sweets would help. How did that happen? Well I found a new app... though it is not new... new to me- My Fitness Pal. I am loving it with the barcode scanner! I am also going to use the Nike app on my runs to motivate me to train for an upcoming half marathon.
Back to School Must Haves: Definitely water, as I will be thirsty as I am cleaning and moving things around. Clorox Wipes are going to be needed to clean up all that dust that has accumulated over the summer. I found a great lesson about teaching multiple intelligences to primary children. I always tell my students how they are each smart in their own ways. I think this lesson will help convey that message. Click below to see her post that inspired me to go buy her packet... (She has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade versions)
If you are a kindergarten teacher, and if you want some bus activities, check out my Thursday's post. I am offering a big FREEBIE packet to my followers. Just click on the picture below to see that post and how to get this 215 pages of a unit for FREE.
I'm linking up with Farley for her currently. Click her button below to link up your own or check out others.
Oh' boy fourth grade


Cooperative Learning #9 & Little Bus Flash Freebie

Today is my last day of summer break. I am going into my new classroom tomorrow to organize and put things where I need to. Next week is teacher planning week, and I have so much to do!

Storyboard is a cooperative learning structure that I have introduced earlier on my blog. For the Throwback Thursday part I'm focusing only on the Storyboard part of my post. Click HERE to see that full post.

Not sure if she is having this today? She joined others in a big giveaway for August 1-5th.

----- Below part was originally posted on April 5, 2013. -----

3. Last month, I went to a Kagan workshop, and learned a new strategy called Storyboards. I created my own Storyboard (not Kagan endorsed) for my Australia unit, G'day Mates. The week before spring break, we learned about Australia animals. We also talked about nouns and verbs. This song was on a pocket chart as we changed the nouns and verbs using Australian animals. This week, we continued learning about Australia with the Great Barrier Reef. This time, we used a Kagan Storyboard strategy. Each group got a storyboard, cards, and a pointer. One student from each group passes out the cards. As a whole group, we sang the song and put down the cards as we sang the words. This group didn't quite get it, as they missed putting two of the pictures down.
This activity came from my G'day Mates unit.

We continued throughout the week with this activity, and they got better with working together in placing down the word cards as they were sung.

This activity came from my G'day Mates unit.
Now back to the present...
After the first week of school, we will be following the new Reading Street Series in my county. I made a thematic unit to go along with the first story, The Little School Bus.
Link to TPT store will be added once it's there!
In it, I have included a storyboard structure with using the letters. I will first introduce this on a pocket chart during whole group activities. After a few days, I will give each group their parts to review one letter. We will do this activity in small groups, but still whole group. When they are ready, I will add more letters. After they are familiar with this structure, I will put the storyboards at a literacy center for students to practice their letter recognition and sounds. Here is a preview.


 This unit also includes:
1. Who Rides This Bus?- A letter and beginning sound sort for small groups or independent work. There are 4 different variations included: color or black and white in either Basic Print or D'Nealian.
 2. Letters on the Bus Pocket Chart & Storyboards- in Basic Print or D'Nealian.
3. Road Rally- Even though there is a free set of road letters at Making Learning Fun, I used Charlotte's Clips to create a learning center for my students.
4. Bus Stop: Write the Room- Just a simple write-the-room activity for copying words onto paper.
5. Bus & Letter Webs- These are to be printed out and used on class charts.

6. How Do We Go Home Graph- Parts to make a graph on how students go home. Use bulletin board paper to glue parts onto. Students write name and draw picture on sticky note to place on graph. Then collect data and write about it on the bulletin board paper. See example below:
7. Five on the Bus- Use counters, beans, or children pictures to make 0-5 on the bus mats.
8. Ordinal Numbers- Pocket Chart pieces to tell story of The Little School Bus (Reading Street story) and practice ordinal numbers.
9. Putting the Buses in Order- Students put buses in order and find number matches.
10. Shape Bus Craftivity- Students use shapes (rectangle, circle, square, octagon) to make a bus.
11. Little Yellow Bus Snack- Students make a little yellow bus out of a graham cracker, yellow icing, Oreos, and Chex cereal.
If you are interested in this packet, I am offering it as a FREEBIE to my followers until Sunday evening 6PM Eastern time. I am almost done with it, so Saturday I will start sending it out to you. Just leave me a comment to this post or email me at to let me know how you follow me and your follower name: Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin. Make sure you leave an email address too, so I can email you my newest digital packet.
If you would like to link up a post about cooperative learning, please do. I would love to hear how others are using these strategies in their classrooms. If you ever get a chance to go to a Kagan workshop, I highly recommend it. It has helped me to better manage my classroom, and get my students to interact and be engaged more often. I am not being paid for this statement. It is my opinion, and definitely worth an educator's time. I was fortunate to have my workshops paid for through school funds. :0) This is the last cooperative learning linky of this summer.


Back to Top