Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Back to School: All About Me QR Code Videos with Seesaw!

Every year we make our All About Me posters.  They are a great hallway decoration before Back To School Night.  This year I added a few elements of technology to jazz them up.

Students first use a pre-cut circle to make their face.  We gently encourage our friends to choose a skin color that matches our own - it doesn't always work.  HA.  They make their eyes, nose, mouth, etc.  You get to see right away who hasn't had opportunities to draw and color.  We are going to be working on fine motor A LOT this year.

Students decorate a t-shirt, like this one, with things they love.  I modeled drawing the things that make me happy like flowers, elephants, and books.  I saw a lot of flowers, elephants and books on their t-shirts.  Oh well!

My assistant and I glued the t-shirts and faces onto large paper so that students can add hair and arms and backgrounds.

While they are working I take them out in the hallway to take a video using Seesaw.  If you haven't heard of Seesaw, it is my favorite app of all time.

My parents LOVED seeing the videos.  Often I would have comments on seesaw within minutes of posting the videos.

A new, and awesome feature of Seesaw is the QR code generator.  Click on any entry (picture, video, etc.) and you can make it into a QR code.  I glued the QR code onto their posters and voila! So easy.

If you haven't already signed up for Seesaw, you really need to.  It will change your life.

Click Here to Learn More

Go Fund Me: Fine motor skills in Kindergarten!

My name is Kristen, Mrs. Wabuge to my kids. I teach Kindergarten in Springfield, Virginia. My students are a diverse group of learners with a variety of cultures, languages, socioeconomic levels, and previous school experiences. One area most of my students struggle with is Fine Motor (using their hands and fingers to manipulate small objects and write/draw).
In this technologically rich time, children spend less time playing with toys like Lego. Less time coloring. Less time playing with puzzles. Which all means they are spenidng less time building those vital fine motor skills.

In order to help my students improve their fine motor ability, I am requesting $125 to purchase fun items from Amazon for my new Fine Motor morning activities. These items include pop beads, nuts and bolts, hole punches, and a variety of tweezers and chopsticks. All of these resources will allow the students to practice using those important muscles in a really fun and engaging way.

As a teacher, I spend hundreds of dollars on my students and my classroom. It is September 16th and I have spent $300 getting things ready for the new school year. Having these Fine Motor activities funded would be so wonderful, and would impact Kindergarten students for years afterwards.  

Thank you for your support!

Please Donate or Share

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reasons why 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

My NEW Kindergarten 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!!