Friday, August 1, 2014

IT'S HERE! The Back 2 School Bloghop and Giveaway!!!

IT'S HERE!!! The time has come for the Back 2 School Bloghop and Giveaway!

The other bloggers and I are SO pumped to be a part of this bloghop and giveaway! Listed below are all of the amazingly fantastic teacher bloggers that agreed to be involved!!






       grab button for First Grade is Fantabulous

During back to school time, any teacher can use new back to school advice and ideas right? 


So this bloghop/giveaway is going to benefit you in 2 ways:

1. You could win over $100 worth of TPT products from some amazing bloggers! Check out the rafflecopter below to enter. We will choose 5 winners at the end of the bloghop on August 13th! This gives you TONS of chances to enter.

2. Follow the bloghop each day to a new blog that will give you tons of advice and ideas, in addition to lots of FREEBIES!

Awesome right?

So it all starts with me! I LOVE LOVE LOVE back to school time! Maybe it is the OCD in me or the color-coordinator in me, but having all of my goodies nice and neat really makes my heart sing (classroom pictures to come)! 

It's a new year! So I'm going to be telling you about my typical day in the classroom. Watch out for freebies along the way :)

8:45-9:05 Arrival and Morning Meeting
I love the beginning of the day! My babies are all cute and sleepy and calm, and they are just happy to see each other!

My students have a quite a few jobs to take care of in the morning, but it is nothing that they cannot handle. When they come in, I ask them to:

*Hang up their backpack/coat
*Show me their folder (for notes, etc.), then put it in their mailbox
*Make their lunch choice
*Tap their name/picture (attendance)
*Sit down at their table and do morning work (usually an interactive worksheet/activity)

I love Mrs. Wills' Read, Trace, Glue and Draw activities. Handwriting practice, fine motor work, and coloring? What's better! I also love using Vickie Plant's I Can Sort from A to Z letter sorting activities. I love that these morning work options are interactive and make them think, but I don't have to give directions. Win-win!

Color and Number Words: Read, Trace, Glue, and Draw

I Can Sort From A-Z {Alphabet Sorting Activities}

My students are almost always able to complete all of these tasks each day and have this routine mastered in about a month!

9:05-9:20 Morning Meeting and Calendar
I am a big believer in transitions! It saves my voice and gives my kiddos the responsibility of knowing what they are supposed to do.

Our announcements start at 9:05 and generally last 2-3 minutes. After the announcements, I play a "good morning" song. My kids know to clean up and come up to the carpet. It's super motivating because the kids want to come up and sing and dance!

We greet each other, have our 4-5 "sharers" for the day, and then start calendar!

I am so excited to be using Miss Kindergarten's Interactive Calendar Notebook! I have been waiting for something like this for my kinder babies. 

Interactive Calendar Notebook {making the most out of cale

This way my calendar helper and my other kiddos are ALL involved in calendar!

(If you are looking for a more detailed calendar activity that I unfortunately just do not have time for anymore, check out my calendar journals in my TPT store!

9:25-10:25 Math Workshop

I LOVE teaching math :) My kiddos love it too! I am trying all kinds of new things this year and am so excited to use DeeDee Wills and Deanna Jump's Guided Kinders Math Units! My team and I splurged and got these amazing units!

 Guiding Kinders: Math Units COMPLETE BUNDLE Units 1-10

I am planning on following their daily schedule included in the units (fluency review, mini-lesson, whole group, independent practice), plus math stations.

 Math stations are one of my students favorite times of the day! I allow them to choose their own math stations, as long as I see they are making it around the all of the games. Some of the math stations that I use at the beginning of the year are from my Oh What Fun! K.CC.1 and Number Writing for Me K.CC.3 packs. This little guy is using playing a what number comes next game.  

As you can see from the picture, I set up my math stations as trays at each table and students choose which table to go to. We spend about 20 minutes at math stations each day. I have my kiddos try to go to two tables each day.

I assign my tables by colors, which makes it very easy for my kiddos to transition. I made new table signs this year that I attach from the ceiling above the table, and you can have them for free here!

10:25-10:50 Snack, Restroom Break, and Morning Recess

My team and I have this part of the day down to a science! Two classes go right out at 10:25. The other two eat snack and take our restroom break. At 10:35, the snack classes go outside. So all four classes are together for 5 minutes. Then at 10:40, the first two classes go in for snack and restroom. It is a perfect amount of time and gets in all the important stuff before that all important reading block!

10:50-11:50 Reading Workshop

Reading is so much fun with kindergartners! We have a packed schedule, but we work hard to get it all in!

We start with a mini-lesson and read-aloud. I try to make this time 10-15 minutes at the most. I always make my read-alouds super engaging, so my kiddos can usually last for 15 minutes to get in the book and the skill.

Then we have me-time (independent reading) and we-time (partner reading). We start at 5 minutes, and gradually make it to 20 by the end of the year. 

The love their independent reading time because they have their just-right books that they can be successful with. But their partner reading is definitely the favorite. I give them these talkers bookmarks to make sure they know how to talk about a book!

After me-time and we-time, we do some shared reading/poetry. I use Mrs. Wills poetry stations. They are created for children, and work on all kinds of early reading skills, such as beginning/middle/ending letter sounds, rhyming, syllables, and more. I LOVE them! 

Poetry Station and Shared Reading Complete Monthly Set-CC aligned

During this time we could also do predictable charts, shared writing, group games, and independent work.

We end our reading workshop with literacy stations. Although I let my kiddos choose math stations, I choose their literacy stations. If I didn't we would all be fighting over the computers and tablets!

We go to one literacy station a day for 15 minutes, because each station has multiple activities. Our stations are:
*Computer station
*Tablet station
*Listening station
*Sight word station
*ABC station
*Handwriting station (honestly it's a favorite!)
*Meet with Teacher (because if I pull them away from the station they are engaged and interested in, I'm in trouble!)

There are usually 2-4 kids at each station. Since I have 6 computers and 6 tablets (I know I'm a lucky girl!), they usually hit these stations twice a week.

11:50-12:50 Specials

This is my break time! My kiddos go to PE everyday, art twice a week, music twice a week, and library once a week!

12:50-1:20 Lunch

Lunch time!

1:20-1:50 Rest and Refuel

My kiddos and I take a quick restroom break and then we have our rest/refuel time. At the beginning of the year, this is truly nap time. The kids are tired and they need the rest. The others are reading or just relaxing with a fidget. No talking allowed!

I use this time for my individual assessments, small group work, character ed. groups, or really anything else!

Once the year goes on, it turns more into an extended math/literacy stations time.

1:50-2:20 Science/Social Studies

Our science and social studies units switch off. This is a really fun time of the day for my kinders because it is super hands-on! 

Our very first unit is about diversity and how we are all special! We talk about our beautiful skin colors and write our class promise!

2:20-2:35 Afternoon Recess

All 4 classes go out to recess together!

2:35-3:15 Writer's Workshop

Once again, my girls DeeDee and Deanna have made a wonderful writing resource, Writing Through the Year. I used it last year and could not believe the amazing progress that my students made! 

Writers Workshop :Writing Through the Year Bundle Complete

It really gives the kiddos a strong foundation for the skills they need to be writers! And it is also an awesome pack because it can be used as a resource or as your main writing curriculum. I use it more as a strong resource :)

We start with a 5-10 minute mini-lesson, where I practice using a writing skill and really strongly model my writing practices for them. Then, the kiddos go write independently, and I conference with 3-4 kids each day.

My writer's workshop block changes throughout the year. In the beginning, they only do independent writing for 5-7 minutes, and in the end, they can write for up to 25-30 minutes! They really can!

We always spend the last 5-10 minutes sharing. My kiddos work really hard on their books so they can have something special to share.

3:15-3:45 Learning Centers
This is, without a doubt, my kiddos favorite part of the day...learning centers! It is so important for kids to still have time to play, so we make sure we have at least 30 minutes of time for it everyday!

The math center is always fun! The kiddos love the opportunity to use the manipulatives in a silly way, or to just play math games! 

The home center is by far the most popular! My kiddos love dressing up, taking care of babies, and cooking in the kitchen. Unfortunately, we don't have too many kitchen toys to play with! If you are feeling generous, my project on Donor's Choose is working to get my students more things for dramatic play!

This is the blocks center! It's also a favorite!

As I said before, we have 6 computers and 6 tablets. They honestly are not super popular! The kiddos would much rather be playing house, building a bridge, or making a bracelet!

My sensory table is a lot of fun! We change in the materials in there every few months, and the kids just love filling and emptying the cups!

My art center is another favorite. I allow my kids to use anything they want, as long as it is meaningful...i.e., you cannot use 20 pipe cleaners to make a bracelet! My kids get so creative! 

Last is the writing center! I have calendars, notepads, dry erase boards and more for my kiddos to write to their heart's content!

3:45-4:00 Pack-Up and Dismissal

After cleaning up centers, my kiddos do their dismissal routine. Their jobs are to:

*Pack their folder neatly!
*Pack and put on their backpack/coat
*Stack their chair
*Pick up their floor
*Wait patiently on the carpet!

We usually end up having 5 minutes or so of extra time, so we usually do a fun song/dance or some fluency review! It's a lot of fun!

And HERE is the good part :) The giveaway! Enter below. You have TONS of chances for entries!! I will notify the winners on August 14th! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to stop by Live, Laugh, I Love Kindergarten for Day 2 of the bloghop! She is amazing :)


Sandy Welch said...

That was a wonderful post! I can't believe the length of your day!!!! Wow! You get tons done and I bet the kids love being in your classroom. Thanks for the detailed schedule.

Katie Smith said...

My B2S advice would be, be as prepared as possible so you can really focus on the kids, and let the kids get to know each other that first day. Sometimes I would finish a first day of school and realize I'd done all the talking. Yikes!
Thanks for the fun giveaway,
I Want to be a Super Teacher

Krystal said...

The B2S advice I would give other teachers is to not worry if everything is not perfect! Not everything has to get done before the students walk through the door!


dbednars said...

Start fresh - don't prejudge - be at the door smiling to greet every child by name.

Getting Healthy said...

Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas! It is hard to fit everything into a day but you seem to have it all worked out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great ideas! Your students are lucky to have a creative & organized teacher.

Leah said...

Back to school advice-plan ahead and go in confident!!

First Grade Carousel said...

Be calm and relaxed no matter how you really feel inside, or what is happening. The kids will follow your lead! Maria

Lori Raines said...

My advise would be to make sure you have plenty of things planned. You won't use them all but if something doesn't work you know you have another plan so you will be more relaxed. Establish a schedule with your kids and try to stick to it.

Garden Full of Knowledge said...

Try to relax and have fun! Model, model, model your classroom expectations!

Kim Chaiken said...

Usually there is never enough time for all that you have planned. Train you're little k kids right from the start.

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