31 August 2013

Classroom Ready...and a few freebies!

Hi Y'all,

I'm so sorry I've been MIA for a few weeks...
I've just been so very focused on my classroom...

My school adopted a new reading program and I've been trying my very best to make sure I am ready and organized in order to do my very best this year.

So I've got tons of pictures and freebies to share.  I'm also working on my Pacing Guide for this year.  It will be available very soon.

But first...here's a little taste of some of my wedding news.

In 99 days I will be a MRS.! WHAT!!
It's all happening so quickly.  My veil came in this week...and I LOVE it...here's a little peek...

You can't even see the best part of it...I'm so in love!!

Here are a couple before pictures...

So here's my classroom. I'll start with first steps into my room.
This is the door to my room.  I used butcher paper and crumbled it up into long strips to make a rainbow.  I wrote my little ones names on clouds and taped them onto the rainbow.  
I have 23 kids this year!  Underneath, I kept my How will you start the day? poster up.  Kids choose a hug, handshake, high five, or hollywood kiss.  Here's the link for that freebie.

This the view as soon as you step into the room.  Kids will drop their lunches in the bucket on the right.  Straight ahead are the coat cubbies.  Kids place their backpacks and coats in these cubbies.  The cubbies to the right are for papers that need to go home.

Here are a few more close up pictures of the wall on the right.

This is how kids will mark their choices for lunch each day.  On top of the cubbies are some clothespins.  Kids mark their choice and I record it on our daily lunch sheet.  If you'd like the sign, "What's for Lunch?", click here.  The pictures for the lunch choices were from TpT.

The sign says, Welcome to Kindergarten.  More on the pennant signs later.

Here's a close up of the kids coat cubbies.  In the book boxes (which I found at IKEA for super cheap) are the journals and folders the kiddos will need for the year.

These are pics of my supply closet (I know I died last year when I found out I had a closet!)  There's tons of stuff in there but it works.

When the door to the supply closet is closed...this is hanging on the door.  This is for the kiddos to use throughout the day.  They mostly use the supplies when they are at the creation station (art center) but it holds extra scissors, glue sticks and other daily used supplies.

Here's a close up shot. I found the labels on TpT.

This is the door to the bathroom.  I decided to use it as our birthday door as well.  I hope it stays nice and neat...and germ free all year.  On each cupcake is a candle for each child's birthday.  
Here's how I made each candle.

I drew some rectangles then covered them with washi tape.

Then, I drew some flames (this is where I'll place the number date of each kiddos' birthday).  On each candle is a label of each kiddos' name.

This is my center chart.  After reading Jan Richardson's book this summer, I decided to try a new way to post my centers.  I needed a few more pocket charts in order to make it work.  The pennant says centers...more on those later.

This is my writing center.  The sign says, "Writer's Wall". I took a cue from Mrs. Wills and posted my monthly/theme vocabulary words on a string with clothespins.  They will be changed out as our units change.  I have Back to School words posted.  

This is another part of the writing center.  It's hard to see...but on top are various activities for kids to choose from.  I also have writing tools available on the top shelf.  The next shelf holds different kinds of paper for the kiddos to choose from.  The second shelf has an organizer bin that holds envelopes, index cards and post-it notes.  This row also has our class set of dry erase boards and makers.  The last shelf has our classroom clipboards.

This is the back of the writing center shelf.  It's my science wall.  The pennant says, "science".  More on those later.  On the left, are the steps of the scientific method.

This is my area.  I got rid of my teacher desk last year so I just use the computer/tv desk for my teacher desk. It helps cut down on build up if I have a very small area to work in.  It also helps create more student space.  

This is my small group area.  Right now, I have goodies for the first day sprawled across the top.  I know it's super tiny...but I don't like jellybean/kidney tables.  I can easily fit 3-4 kiddos here.  I might need to change it out for a larger rectangular table but...we will see.

This is right next to my area and my small group table.  The bins on the right hold my small group binders.  I was able to fit 3 in each bin.  The cart also holds my leveled readers.  I need to organize them a little more but I like having everything in one place.  The binders hold my RtI paperwork.  The rainbow bins on the left hold all the stuff I need for small groups.  I was able to fit a few small dry erase boards and markers in a bin.  They also are organized by skill.  So I have a drawer with rhyming games, another with phoneme segmentation games, and so on.  

This is my calendar space.  Last year I had more space for calendar stuff...but I had to cut it down to this space so I had plenty of room for Fundations.  To the left are my classroom jobs.  These are a freebie on my TpT site.  Click here for your copy.  To the right is my Teacher, can I chart.

Here is a close up of how I set up my Teacher, can I? signs.  I got rid of the Yes/No choice and printed out some thumbs up/down pictures.  Now, kiddos will know exactly what their options are! I really like this new change.  And...I made sure to add the thumbs up/down option to the download which is free on TpT.  Click here to get yourself a copy.

This is my Fundations wall.  I had to devote a lot of space to the posters we use in Fundations.  I like the set up because it's in the center of my classroom so the kids have enough space to see each lesson.  It's also in a great place so if kiddos need to work on the carpet or in their seats, they can still see everything with ease.  The pennant at the top says, "Fundations".  More on those later..

This is going to be my poetry center.  The pennant says, "poetry".  

These are my organization bins for different colored markers, color pencils, or crayons.  I'm hoping that when I hear, "I need an orange."  Kiddos will head over to these bins and grab what they need.  If you'd like a copy of the little crayon color signs, click here.

This is my listening center.  Last year, I had the signs printed out on larger sized paper...but this year I sized down and just taped the steps on to the table.  

This is my classroom library.  The bucket holds tons of pillow choices for the kiddos.  They love to lay out and read.  The bags on the wall are take home bags that feature an activity and a book.  Kids take home one bag each week.

Here's my word wall...I need a little something up at top...It looks a little boring. But I'm sure anchor charts and kids work will fill up that empty space in no time. 

That was intense!! Lots of pictures...but I'm really excited for my new set up this year.  I'm hoping that I'm organized enough to have a smooth year (fingers crossed).

If you are interested in the pennant signs that were up around my classroom 
you can get yourself a copy here.
BUT! I made these specifically for my classroom using a rainbow theme and for the particular centers 
I have in my room.  Here are a couple of warnings before you download.
1.  I made it so that each page could be printed in the ROYGBIV pattern.
2.  I had to organize the pages in a different way so the letters are a little mixed up.
3.  There are 49 pages of letters.
4.  Here are the signs featured in that download: (in no particular order)
Science, Word Wall, Writer's Wall, Centers, Welcome to Kindergarten, Fundations, and Math
5.  Lastly, unfortunately due to time constraints I can't personalize this freebie. 
I hope it works for you!!

15 August 2013

Surprise and Small Binders (again)

Hi Y'all.

I have been busy toiling away at the favors for my wedding.
I'm about halfway done...but OMG it takes forever.

I'm sure many of you have already heard the news...
This Sunday is the big Back to School sale on TpT.  Everything in my store is already marked down 20% and you can save a little more by typing in the code BTS13!

I made this image all by myself!! 

I wanted to revisit the whole Small Binder idea.
I have never implemented this in my classroom before so things are still a little fuzzy...

The binders are mini binders.  They are about half the height of a regular binder.  If you fold a piece of paper "taco" or "hamburger" style, it would fit nicely in these binders.  Here's another pic.
That's my steering wheel in the background so you can get a perspective on size.  When I bought these I had NO IDEA what I was going to do with them...It all slowly started to come together. However, I think you can accomplish the same goal with a regular size binder or a normal 3 prong folder.  I'll make the binder pages in the larger size...

Now...where will I store these little gems?  My kids have cubby areas. In that area, they have a magazine box...or these...

I typically have the kids store their folders and journals in these and I think that's what I'll do this year.  Their individual S.M.A.L.L. binders will go in there as well.

Each student will have their very own S.M.A.L.L. binder.  They came in 3 different colors.  White, green and yellow.  I'm hoping that the color can coordinate with  a particular group.  White, pre-emergent, green-emergent and so on.  I'm not 100% sure I want to set it up like that but...

SO..when a group of students comes to meet with me during their time with Ms. Corbett, they will bring their individual binders with them.

What I'm really excited about with these (and part of the reason I went ahead and bought a class set) is that I will have documented progress for each of my students within their own binder.  So..if I have to go to a RtI meeting for a little one, I can simply grab his/her binder to show their progress (along with any other additional information).

Here's a refresher on what is included in the S.M.A.L.L. binder...
 This is the cover page.  It's located in the very front of the binder and I will write each students name on a laminated copy...
 This is the first inside pocket.  It will hold each student's sight word cards.

 This is the first page of the binder.  It is a "do these things until Ms. Corbett is completely ready to work with you" checklist.  I have two versions.  One for pre-emergent and another for emergent and guided reading group.
 This is their resource page.  It is an alphabet chart. It will probably be used more often by my pre-emergent and emergent group...but is always good to have.  Laminated!!!

This is new!  I added a page for reading strategies.  
This is perfect for the emergent and guided reading group.

These are my letter sound and sight word checklists.  These are going to be in the very back of the binder.  As students master a letter sound or sight word they will color in the appropriate square.  I'm hoping to have them use a particular color for different times of the school year 
(green in the fall, blue in the winter and so on). 

These are the sentence dictation pages.  I'll make multiple copies of this page.  
Students will be writing a dictated sentence at the end of every small group lesson.

This is the back pocket...with a coupon book shoved in it.  This pocket will hold their readers.

PHEW!! I know I went through this a second time...but I think I was a little more clear with my expectations and intentions.  

I've put everything together as a packet.  I made two versions all in one packet.  If you don't have mini binders and want to use folders or regular size binders...I changed the setup so you can use this packet with your kiddos.  I even changed the wording so you can have a binder or a folder.  
Here are a couple of pictures for you.

Let me know if you have any questions about My SMALL binder.  
I'll keep you updated on the progress during the school year.

I'm so excited to use these in my classroom this year. 


12 August 2013

About Me


I decided to link up with this really fun Back to School linky party.
Today, Monday, is all about me.

And...since I'm an only child...this is the perfect blog topic.

Here's a little bit about me.

1.  I'm getting married in 4 months. 4 months! I never really dreamed of my wedding day.  And right before I met Mr. Roboto, I had given up...and totally thought I'd die alone (which I was totally fine with). Then he came along and...well the rest is history.
I love him, and I can't wait to be a Mrs.

2.  I have a great family.  I was raised by my mom.  I grew up right down the street from my grandparents and for most of my life was the only grandchild who lived in Texas...can you say spoiled?
My grandparents truly treated me like their own child.  At my wedding, my grandparents will walk me half way, and my parents the other half...I wouldn't be who I am today without them.

3.  I also have amazing friends.  THE BEST. And if I could...I'd post pictures of all of them.  My heart aches for my friends and family back in Texas..but the great thing is..I know that whenever I come back, we will pick right up as if nothing ever happened.  They are my family, my sisters and brothers. I love them.

4.  I love to sing.  I'm not good at it at all. Well, I think I'm great...like American Idol great.  But, I've been told I ain't so hot...so....that doesn't stop me...EVER.  I love karaoke...and singing in the car...and in the shower...and busting a move in the parking lot.

5.  If you couldn't tell...I'm the tutu teacher.  I wear tutus at my school during any major holiday or big celebration.  I LOVE tutus. They are an instant picker upper.  I've pumped gas in a tutu and didn't think twice...I love it.

6.  I love my Ben.  My big love dog Ben.  We adopted him from a rescue group in Austin and he has been our lifesaver.  He is such a love nugget.

7.  I love shoes. And purses.  It's sick.  I have way too many of both and I don't care.  Mr. Roboto gives me so much heck about it but....I don't care.  He doesn't understand that shoes and purses were made to accent the adorable...I just keep buying them and not mentioning it.

8.  MUSIC. Music is my everything.  I guess that's why I love to sing so much. I love music.  I listened to punk and ska when I was younger...and I always listened to pop music because...you gotta get your dance on.  I truly listen to everything now...from show tunes to punk and country.  I try to see as many live shows as possible...that's part of why I miss Austin so much (it's the live music capital of the world). I have a few friends who are going to play She by Elvis Costello at my wedding...Elvis Costello is my everything...EVERYTHING.

9.  Tattoos.  I love them. I have tons of them. Most aren't visible while I teach but...they're there.

10.  The last fun thing about me is...I love life. I do.  I hate waking up in the morning ...because sleeping in is AWESOME...but I love life.  I love laughing and singing. Dancing and hugging. I love teaching and being an almost wife.  I love blogging and talking to my friends about being a mommy.  i love reading and eating.  I just love it all.  And sometimes it gets hard and frustrating and stressful...and sometimes a kid in the car driving next to you rolls his window down and dances with you to a song on the radio (this really happened to me and totally made my day).  I love it all.

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