Sunday, April 26, 2015


Want to know how I spent my Saturday night? I can sum it up in three words: PINTEREST, ORGANIZING, PLANNING. (Or as I titled the post: P.O.P!!!)Surprise, surprise, a teacher that has a Pinterest addiction?! Crazy, right! The obsession is real and I am not afraid to admit it :)

I decided that I want to start next year off with amazing ideas that I get to see all the way through. My main goals as of right now are classroom organization, monthly units prepped and ready to go, and PBIS 'bootcamp' ideas. With all of these in mind, I headed over to Pinterest. One of my favorite things about Pinterest/instagram/blogging is the connections you can make and the ideas that spread like wildfire from amazing teachers. The teachers on these social media outlets are all dedicated, creative, and REAL people. They all have/or have had classrooms so they know exactly what to produce/share. It is truly amazing!!!

My room is not the largest by any means, but that does not mean I can make excuses for not utilizing all the space, omit areas such as computers and library, or avoid organization. I spent quite some time (and paper) outlining my room, keeping in mind the doors, outlets, and safety hazards. At this point, I am quite content with the general ideas that I have for the layout! I know where my key points are going to be as well as how I want to organize my word wall, my I Can Statements, calendar, and all other bulletin board areas. Now it is just making sure that I TAKE MY TIME with creating and finalizing them so that they last all year, are fun and friendly, and do their job!!

Besides classroom set up, one of the things that truly stumped me last year was THEME!! Everyone wants to have a theme for their room, owls, flowers, neon, chalkboard, Dr. Seuss. You name it, people love it! I wanted to think of a theme that is transitional and easily added to. If you know anything about Pinterest, you know that typing in one key search item can lead you to thousands of results. Just imagine an indecisive teacher looking through GORGEOUS, ORGANIZED, and FUN classroom themes. I had a new idea every second. I finally set my theme after finding some adoraaaaable and relatively cheap bins at Hobby Lobby (another safe haven for teachers). I love what I finally decided on because I can easily add colors to it and will be very versatile!!! Hold the suspense for a bit as I am waiting a little longer to reveal the theme :)

My goals with Pinterest are to add everything I see and like to a board. By the end of the school year, I want to go through that board and finalize what I WANT to do and scratch all the others. By cleaning up my Summer Board, I will be more organized and have the drive to get the things I want done! Ideally, I would love to have my year mapped out before school starts. Here is the thing, when I say ideally, it used to mean 'that would be cool if it happened' starting today it means 'that will be amazing WHEN it happens!!!' Because it WILL happen :)

I have my Summer Bucket List ready to go and am SO pumped to get my 2015-2016 school year planned!

Here's to finishing this school year successfully and kicking off the next :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I am writing this as on a gloomy and rainy day, so the title is too perfect! I am currently creating my visual lesson plans for this coming week! With a field trip one day and a sub another, this week is bound to bring some craziness. Teaching kindergarten, that is just part of the job, am I right?! Our weeks are getting longer as the anticipation for summer continues to build which means one thing: ENGAGING LESSONS NEEDED!!

&& I plan to deliver just that! This week we are tackling the Very Hungry Caterpillar, one of my all time favorites!!We are going to start the week off with reading the story (of course!!) and talking about caterpillars and their changes. As we go into the week, we will do a book summary to help the rays use their recall & retell skills. We will do a writing activity on what we would eat if we were hungry caterpillars, create our own sponge painted caterpillar and butterfly, as well as make a book entitled: The Very Hungry Kindergartener!!! We are also celebrating Earth Day!! We are going to do a writing craft on why we love our Earth and enjoying a yummy Earth Day snack :)
Thursday will be the kickoff to our ABC Countdown fun! Starting Thursday, we will countdown our last 26 days of school highlighting a letter of the alphabet each day! Starting with Z, we will head to the Peoria Zoo for a day of fun!! We will read books and do activities related to the animals at the zoo! Each day has a focus that we will be working on. With the help of our very generous PTO, we were able to get some awesome books to help us with our letter focuses and to bring even more literature into our days! Our ABC Countdown should be a huge hit and will give my rays something to look forward to each day! I cannot wait to kick it off!

I will give all the credit for my weeks being successful to my visual plans. I love sitting down and having the exact lesson/activity that I am using ready to go. I print my materials Monday and the week is all set! It makes me feel more relaxed and focused!!

Cheers to another week in paradise :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Paving a Way to SUCCESS!!

And we are back in full swing!!!! Coming back from Spring Break proved to be a not-so-easy transition for some little rays in room 103!! Tuesday and Wednesday were full of calm students who still seemed to be in their spring break slumber. We were successful in completing all of our work and had amazing behavior. Thankfully (maybe), I did not have to worry about them regaining their buzzing energy because when Thursday rolled around, they were back in action! And when I say back in action, I mean off of their rockers! Maybe it was the crazy, eery weather headed our way? Yeah, let's go with that! Thursday proved to be eventful as we started to take the kinders out for some chalk math and quickly retreated because of a TORNADO WARNING. Yes, you read that. We were in the process of taking our precious little babes outside as we were completely unaware of the weather reports. Thankfully we made it into our hallway and took to our tornado safety positions.

Not to brag, but I am mighty proud of how my rays did!! There was some readjusting and some booties that popped into the air a few times, but overall, they kept their bubbles in their mouth and were very mature about the situation! As soon as we were allowed to resume our day, I took my rays in and praised them for an exceptional job!! We celebrated ourselves and had a little treat. Friday, oh baby, friday. To keep it simple, let's just say we had a mini zoo in our room. Rambunctious and full of Freaky Friday symptoms, we got through what we could and decided to let our little friends run around and release some energy outside!

With less than 40 days left in the year, there are really only two modes to work on: survival and ambitious. Survival mode kicks into gear when you realize that you students have pretty much checked out of school. In their minds, it is summer. In survival mode, every day is just a day to get through hoping to accomplish a few things, but only setting the goal to get home alive. Ambitious mode (my personal preference) is the mode that kicks in at the same point, when students are checked out, but does something wonderful. In this mode, the teacher plans ENGAGING and EXCITING lessons and activities that pull the students out of their summer mindset and get them back into active learning. Now don't get me wrong, there will days where Miss K is just trying to survive, but those will be few and sparse compared to the ambitious mindset that I have activated. I sit down and outline the standards that we are working on, then I strive to work

Monday, April 6, 2015

Springing into Spring!

Feeling refreshed and ready to go after a relaxing spring break in Florida, this kindergarten teacher is MORE than ready to jump back into school (and no, that is not sarcasm)! Some may call me crazy, but a week is a long enough break for me! I have too many exciting and new things to introduce to my little rays and I have to admit, I miss them JUST a tad ;)!! With the countdown at 38 days left, I have packed our last few weeks with interactive and creative lessons to keep my rays engaged and active in their learning! I know spring fever will be spreading throughout their little bodies, but that is nothing this teacher is fearful of! I am fully prepared to tackle the dreaded disease with spring themes of weather, planting, and author studies!

This week we are going to start learning about planting seeds and spring weather! I purchased adorable little pots for each table to plant and grow in the classroom. We will be keeping an interactive notebook recording our plants growth! We will be learning about spring weather through nonfiction books, poetry, and activities! I am beyond excited to get my little rays up and learning and to keep their fires lit through the last few weeks!! I am the MOST excited about starting an author study on none other than ERIC CARLE! We are going to work on sequencing, comprehension, and the illustrations in the books and putting them into different activities that require the student to be actively engaged!!

One last way we are going to keep the spring fever at bay is through our ABC COUNTDOWN!! It is just what it sounds like! The last 26 days of school, we are going to countdown Z-A celebrating the particular letter and fill that day with activities that all relate to it! For example, on F day, we will be visiting the Farm Park and on Z day we will be going to the Zoo! We will have a pizza party on P day,  Luau on L day, and play outside on O!! Two field trips and countless activities will build students engagement and keep them excited for the rest of the days to follow!

I will continue to update on the survival status of Room 103 with Spring Fever!!