Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Oriental Trading Teacher Wish List

Did you know that Oriental Trading has a wish list feature for teachers?  

They do!  You can put educational items you want for your classroom on your list and parents or friends/family can purchase these items for your classroom.  How cool is that?  Each year I have a parent, PTO, or a family member or friend who ask what we need in our classroom.  I am excited to be able to share my Oriental Trading Wish List.

To do this, first create an account on Oriental Trading (or use one you already have).  Next, click on the Wish List underneath where it says "Hello, ____ Your Account".

Simply add items to your wish list by clicking "Add to Wish List".  When you're ready to share your list with parents, your principal, family/friends...just click share and you have options on how to share the link.

My box came in last week with some exciting resources to use in my classroom.  Below I'll show you some of the things I had on my teacher wish list.

In kindergarten we do lots of ten frame counting.  I love how the trays can help ten frame practice be hands on and how small objects/counters can fit inside.

My kindergartners can now PLAY at a play center time!  Wahoo for small victories.  I was lacking in building sets and was happy to snag up these snap into place builders.  Many possibilities for building!

This pack comes with LOTS of different community helper books.

These shark counters fit perfectly in my ten frame trays for math small groups.

I love these! Can't wait to read them to my class when I introduce Silent E/Sneaky E to my students.

I did not have any word shape activities.  Students can build the words at our word work station.

I'm so excited for my students to use these new resources in our classroom.  I was in need of some math activities, play center activities, and word practice!  Thanks Oriental Trading.  

Happy wish list shopping everyone!

**These items were given to me by Oriental Trading for a review.  This blog post is my own opinion of the products received.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

My 9 Favorite Back to School Books for Kindergarten

Today I want to share with you my favorite back to school books for kindergarten students.

I read all 9 of these books within the first couple of weeks of school each year.  Below (in no particular order) I'll provide the book and a short blurb about each.  Also in the link of each book title, I provide a cheap place to purchase the book (Amazon or Scholastic).

1. Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by: Laura Murray.  Gingerbread thinks his class abandoned him after they made him.  He goes on a search throughout the entire school to find his class.  This is a great book for introducing to kindergartners about the nurse, principal, library, gym, and other people/locations in your school.

2. Chu's First Day of School by: Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex.  Chu is ready for his first day of school.  All of the other animals have special talents and we have to wait till the end to find out Chu's talent.  Shows students that we all are unique.

3. David Goes to School by: David Shannon.  David is an ornery boy who learns that school comes with rules.  Students will laugh and giggle at David's antics at school.  

4. On the First Day of Kindergarten by: Tish Rabe.  A kindergarten version of the "12 Days of Christmas".  The repetition of the words allow students to help you read and chant along.

5. Manners in Kindergarten by: Carrie Finn.  A must read when teaching students about how to use manners in a school setting.  

6. Monstergarten by: Daniel J. Mahoney.  Patrick the monster is scared to go to school.  This book is great to talk about trying new things and about how sometimes we can be scared.

7. Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes by: Eric Litwin.  Pete the Cat is always a must read in kindergarten.  This book is great because it shows Pete going to different places in his school during the day.  Students will love singing the song with you!

8. The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by: Deborah Diesen. Mr. Fish is scared about going to school and wonders if he can do all the things they do in school.  This story is great to show students that everyone gets nervous sometimes but not to worry because we will learn everything we need to know.

9. The Rainbow Fish by: Marcus Pfister.  Rainbow Fish learns that being kind to others makes other people happy and can also make yourself happy.  That having it all, may not mean you are happy!

I hope you enjoy your first weeks with your students and read some wonderful books together!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Back to School Giveaway!

Can you believe it?  It is almost August.  This is the time of year where we are all filling up our carts on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Today I'd like to help with that by giving away a $10.00 TPT gift card + 1 Miss Kate's Desk resource of your choice.

It's simple.  Do the things below on the Rafflecopter to enter!  Giveaway ends on 8/2/16 at 12:00am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Alphabet on Display

Today I want to talk about the alphabet.  More importantly how the alphabet looks to your students.

Displaying the alphabet
Students need to see the alphabet in your classroom.  For many kindergarten students, they are great at singing the ABC song, but they need practice being able to recognize letters and learn their sounds.  When you display the alphabet through posters, word walls, and classroom labels...students learning is reinforced and letters are easily accessible.

Alphabet posters are a great way for students to see the alphabet stretched out into a long line of posters.  Placement of alphabet posters should be in a spot where students can see the posters easily.  I catch many of my students using these posters as a reference when playing a word work game, during writing, and other classroom activities where they need to find a letter or sound.

Click on the examples above!

Word Wall
Word walls are a great resource in your classroom if students know the purpose, you add words with your students throughout the year, and you model how to use the word wall during your writing minilesssons. Since the word wall is a great reference for young writers, it should be be easy to read and easy to identify the letters.  Check and make sure that students can see the word wall from where they work at their table or in a flexible seating spot.

I like word wall headers that have the letter (upper and lower case) and a graphic that matches the letter.  Word walls are great with cute graphics that match your classroom theme, but if the graphic doesn't match the letter displayed, it is not helpful for young readers and writers.

These word wall headers show clearly the letter and a large graphic that matches the sound of the letter.  These are new headers I just posted this week!  There is also a D'Nealian set too.

I believe alphabet posters and word wall cards should be cohesive in your classroom.  If we want our students who are learning letters and sounds to remember, it helps to have alphabet posters and word wall headers that match.  Let's not make it harder on our little writers and readers who are making sense of the alphabet.  Matching alphabet posters and word wall headers are an easy way to reinforce letter knowledge.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Play in K

I am so excited!


At an end of the year quick meeting the K teachers were told we can bring back a little time of play in our classrooms.

*cue huge grin*

Whether you are allowed to have the old-school center time or not, we all know the benefits of play.

  • Social- kids need time to interact, practice sharing, using manners, and time to talk and interact with their peers on their terms.
  • Behavior- we've all seen a rise in what's expected in kindergarten and a rise in behavior problems...that is not a coincidence.
  • Literacy/Math- when students play they are using and learning vocabulary, building math skills, and sometimes writing while playing.
I will have a 15-20 minute chunk to have a free centers time this coming school year.  I am still trying to figure out how I want to do it.  I will have the students choose what they do but will probably have to put parameters on how many students in the different areas.  

For the rest of the summer I would like to share things I have found or ideas I have about play in kindergarten.  Once a week I will post an idea.

Here is my new Market Place!  I have play money, ordered some play food, I am making some felt food, and just need some chalk.

Today I'd love to share with you some cards that I made as a forever *FREEBIE*.  These world structure cards are a great addition to your classroom blocks.  You can print and laminate the cards and have students try to build the structures.  Each card has the sentence: Can you build ____ ? (with the structure name where the blank is).  Also, each card is labeled with the location.  I saw this idea on a blog but hers were a bit different and she didn't have a digital version unfortunately.  I loved this idea and so I used photographs I bought from TPT and created these cards!  Go check out Can You Build It? World Structures.  Click on the name or underneath on the picture.


I can't wait to see what they build!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Goals

Hey everyone!  Things have been crazy town lately.  You know the drill, end of the year crazy.  Now that I've been settled into summer I thought I would let you all know what has been happening and tell you my goals for the summer (both professionally and personally).

What's Been Happening:
* I survived my first two semesters of grad school.  I'm going for my Master's in Reading- Reading Specialist.  Currently almost finished with one of my summer classes.  I have another in July.  Man oh man is it tough balancing classes and teaching, but I did it.  I'd rather do it now than when I have little ones running around.
* I am soon to be Mrs. Hadley!  I got engaged on the last day of school at the end of our school-wide talent show.  I had zero idea it was coming.  My mom acted weird in February pretending to see if I wanted a ring she got for her work anniversary and making me try it on...but other than that, I did not know when, where, or how.  I was completely shocked!

* I am getting married in early August!  I am just crazy enough to plan a wedding in 2 1/2 months.  I just got the dress yesterday!  Everything is mostly good to go other than one bridesmaid dress and catering.  Those are the biggies left.

* I want to read 5 professional development books this summer.  I currently have almost 2 completed.
* Print and prep all my KinderMath & KinderLiteracy units by the amazing Tara West over at Little Minds at Work.  I have almost all of the math units printed and binded into unit books.
* Update my back to school information for Open House and first week of school.

* GET MARRIED!  :)  My mom and Mr. Hadley have been amazing help!
* Read 10 just for fun books.

* Plan a honeymoon for Christmas break.
* Relax and enjoy the summer!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Where I've Been

Hello friends!

This school year has been a wonderful year but I have definitely slacked with blogging.  I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.  Since I'm thinking of new ideas to share with you I decided to tell and show you what's been going since I've been gone.

1.  Master's Program
I am now in my second semester of grad school.  My degree is MS in Reading with an emphasis in Reading Specialist.  I'm taking classes online through a nearby college in Kansas.  Since August I'm finally starting to get into the groove of being a student again.  Methods of Research though I have decided it solely there to taunt me and get under my skin.  My action research project is being typed up into parts the next few weeks then I can wash my hands of it all.

2. Fourth year
My fourth year of teaching is winding down.  Granted it feels more like spinning.  Our events calendar is incredibly full with tons of events during the day and after school.  I have had a very small class this year...only 15!  I have come to realize that 15 a wonderful number for kindergarten.  I've had 27, 24, 22, and now 15.

We celebrated 100 days of school with 100 day stations.

We've been enjoying learning about nonfiction books and their text features during the winter.  We did a penguin and a polar bear unit and learned about blubber.

3. Flexible/Alternative Seating
In late February I slowly started to introduce flexible seating to my students.  I'll do a post about this soon but in the meantime, here is a teaser...

4.  Spring Break
I had a very refreshing Spring Break this year.  I spent some time redecorating my mom's house with her.  Last Wednesday-Saturday my boyfriend and I took a little road trip down to Texas.  We went to Waco for a day and Dallas for a few days.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE Fixer Upper.  I'm somewhat of an HGTV junkie and Fixer Upper is just amazing!




My boyfriend and I visited Magnolia Silos (of course) right when they opened last Thursday.  Afterwards we decided to go to Harp Design Co. (the custom furniture guy's store) and as we were leaving we saw Chip's truck pull up.  I immediately recognized the huge black 4 door truck as his when it pulled up next to the store/shop in Clint Harp's driveway.  Sure enough we circled the block a few times and it was Chip!  He got out and was talking to a family so we waited a few feet away and then he came over and introduced himself to us and we shook his hand.  He asked how Joplin has been doing post-tornado and thanked us for being fans and watching the show.  He then asked if we wanted a picture and afterwards went back behind the store to Clint's wood shop to film a snippet for season 4.

It's been a wonderful year and I'm excited to start devoting more time for blogging and creating some new things!