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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September is the WORST

We are finishing up day 7 and I am so DONE.  

Day 7.  SEVEN.  Why do I do this to myself every year?? Kindergarten teachers should get hazard pay for September.  

24 wiggly, wild kids who act like they haven't ever been inside a school before.  OH RIGHT, they haven't!!  

So far in the last 7 days I have taught them how to...




hold their hand up




use the bathroom

drink water

lay down

walk (again and again and again)



glue (again)

I have come home hoarse and unable to talk.  Exhausted and unable to cook dinner to get off the couch.  

whhyyyyyyy do I do this???  I have decided I block September out of my mind, just like I did with childbirth.  It is the only explanation for why I have come back the last 10 years.  

After every September I ask myself why...

and every October I see how much they have grown in that month, and I see their endless potential and I know why I come back.  

I'll still take that hazard pay though. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Classroom Tour

The Old room

This was my classroom last year.  It was fine.  Old, but fine.  Old furniture, old carpet, old faded paint, old AC that didn't work half the time.  I think you get the point.  It was past time for a makeover.  

So we have been dealing with a whole school renovation since then.  It wasn't fun, but it was worth it.  Check out my NEW ROOM!

Big, new, beautiful room!

New construction means new problems, but my only real problem is the large rug that has not been delivered yet.  I'll take new pictures when it comes!  BUT look at how bright and clean it is??  I love it.

Communication station, big book easel, and interactive white board!

Here is my entrance.  In that large white space should be a rug.  So it looks a bit cold and white.  But I love  how everything turned out.  I set up my communication station near the door, with my big book easel and calendar flanking the new interactive whiteboard.  It is mounted from above, so no more cords or weird shadows.  It even projects wirelessly!! Amazing.

The Blue table and my rainbow guided reading table!

We had a small snafu with furniture.  They ordered the wrong sized tables.  So instead of 4 tables that can seat up to 30 students we have 4 (or in my case - 3!) tables that seat 20.  So we had to get creative.  The Blue table is supposed to be a teacher work table.  But desperate times!

I love how my guided reading table has a rainbow of chairs, so cute!

Built in cubbies, no more coat closet!

I'm super happy with all of that storage.  Now I have a place to store all my literacy and math station supplies!! And the students have a great place to keep their things.  Win, Win!

Yellow, Green, and *new* Rainbow table

Here is the new rainbow table.  I wasn't anticipating 5 tables, and my table with blue trim (should be the blue table!) never arrived.  So another teacher work table has been turned into a student table.  I didn't have a 5th color, so this table is now a rainbow!  We are being flexible here, people!

Communication Station

I love this bookshelf.  I bought it at Ikea for $35 and the bins at Dollar General or Target.  I will have students drop off paperwork into the baskets and their snack in the bins above.  Notice the Rainbow Snack bin.  I need to add some washi tape to make that a legit rainbow :).

Reading Area

Here is my crowning glory.  So many people commented on it today at open house.  I bought the rug at Ikea. The bookshelf/bench can be found, HERE.  And then I had a genius idea - instead of a  cushion I could do chair pads to make seats!  That way each student knows where their space is.  Check out these cool Ikea chair pads, HERE.

Cars and Lego Rug

 I have never had a dedicated shelf/space for cars/lego/etc.  Now I do!  I bought an inexpensive play rug at Ikea for $15.  Check it out HERE.

Guided Reading table all set up for Open House

This was a big hit today!  First I made and put out fridge magnets with my contact info on it.  I found them HERE from Teaching with Heart.  Then I found these adorable welcome tags, and the colors and theme fit so well!  They are found HERE from Primarily Speaking.  

The last item we call, "Can you give me a hand?" where we put labels of extra supplies on our table  for parents to pick up.  It saves me from having to purchase 1000000 things to start off the year.  

I hope you enjoyed my brief tour!  Once the rug comes in I'll take more pictures, but I am so happy with how it looks now!!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Open House Parent Info using a Google Form

One of the most important parts of Open House (or meet the teacher day) is getting the vital parent info.  In the past I've had paper the parents sit and fill out.  Then I type their names, emails, phone numbers, etc. into my own spreadsheet.  SO. MUCH. TIME.

Then I wondered, how can I let a computer do this work for me?  (Isn't that the reason we have technology? lol) Then I made a Google Form.  It is so easy.

But you won't have to do that, you can just use mine!

Here is the link:  Click Here.

Step 1:  click the crayon/pencil in the upper corner to edit the form.


Step 2: click the 3 dots in the corner and click Make a Copy.  VERY IMPORTANT!! This creates a copy of the form onto your google drive.  You don't want parents filling out information on my form, you want it to go to you.

Step 3: Go to your google drive and find the copy of the form.  Rename it.  Then click into the form to start making your changes.  The form is editable, from the titles to the descriptions and the types of questions.  Do what works for you!  Google saves it as you work, so no worries about that.

FYI- If you don't like the flowers, you'll need to change the theme.  Click the small Question Mark in the bottom right corner to return to the Old google forms.  There is a button clearly marked, "Change Theme" at the top.  

Step 4: Time to make the spreadsheet.  Click the Responses tab.  

Then create a new spreadsheet.  All of the parent responses will be sent to the spreadsheet automatically!  Afterwards, you can easily find the parent contact info you need.  

Step 5:  Now to share the form.  Click SEND.  Copy the link and go to your favorite QR code generator.  Paste the link and download the QR code.  

 I like to put a note with the QR code at all the tables so parents can use the class iPads (or their iPhone) to scan the code.  Find my QR note HERE.  To make it easier for you, download the word document and right click on the QR code to change picture to your QR code.  You may want to test it out to make sure you are linking to the right form!!

I hope this makes your open house a little easier!  I loved getting the spreadsheet afterwards so I could quickly send mass emails to all the parents.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It is that time of year....

WHY?!  What have I done to deserve this??? 

Seriously, we have all had that kid.  Usually in Kinder we don't know much about them coming in.  But, every so often, we get a sibling we have heard ALLLLL about.  

Pray for me.  It is going to be an interesting year.