Wednesday, July 25, 2012

24 Hours and Counting...

I can get my room key on Friday (We start school on August 6th).  It's really late getting our key this year because the district is holding summer classes on our campus.  Even though my room is not being used, I can't get in until Friday at 12:30.  I spent yesterday working on some last minute projects that I needed to get done, but were very time consuming.  Here's what I was up to...

Sharing Bags:  For Meet the Teacher Night, I always have the kiddos go on a hunt around the room looking for important things- the bathroom, their cubbies, their nametag, etc...  One of the items they will find in their cubbies is a sharing bag.  Not a new idea by any means, but I thought I would share mine here.  Last year I made the mistake of not giving students a day to share these bags- it was whenever they brought it back.  So, one day we had 15 bags to share.  Well, you can't disappoint those eager faces ready to share their treasures, so I sat through way too many sharing bags in one day (spread out over several sessions of course because no one could sit still longer than 5 minutes LOL).  So this year, the tag on the bag says what day to bring the bag. Except, in this freebie I took out the date and just put in a line in case your start date isn't the same as mine.  Sharing Bag

Meet the teacher paperwork:  Like I said above, students go on a little hunt through the room with help from their parents.  I do it this way for a couple of reasons. 1)  It gives parents and kinders a focus.  It's not a free for all, let's take everything off the shelves and just play, although there will be at least one who does that. 2)  I am not bombarded all at once by parents and kinders.  Of course, I have a couple of things I need to tell them but I would rather do that at the end on their way out so we don't get bogged down in a parent conference type situation.  3)  It's fun for the kinders- searching for their name in 3 places, finding their cubby by themselves.  Of course, it doesn't always work.  There will be parents who skip the hunt and just come directly to me, but at least there is supposed to be a structure to the evening.  Meet the teacher

Common Core Standards/Objectives:  Does your district require that your daily or weekly standards/objectives are visible somewhere in the room?  Mine does and I hate it- but not because I don't want to be accountable for my instruction.  It's because it's so time consuming and a waste of valuable space.  I purchased Deanna Jump's Common Core Standards document Common Core Standards Posters for Kindergarten and I made the cute hanging thing she shows in that document.  However, my principal didn't really like it. She said it was too small.  So, I spent most of last year using an entire white board to write the weekly standards.  YUCK!  It was ugly, it took a lot of space AND a lot of time writing it each Monday morning (and I had lots of other things to do Monday morning besides that....)  So, this year I am trying it again, but in a different way.  This time I made headings for each subject and I am using Deanna Jump's standards.  I attached magnet tape to the back of everything and I am going to stick it on the board that way.  It will be more visible (I hope) and it gets me out of writing them each week.  I am still using a huge chunk of white board space, but it will be less than last year because I am not writing it. Hopefully it will work for my principal. Standards Headers

Common Core Questioning Jars:  To go along with the common core standards, I recently purchased Tara West's Common Core Questioning Jars for ELA and Math.  I LOVE THEM!  Common-Core-Questioning-ELA-Math-Jar-Kindergarten-Bundle  It's a great way to review skills we are learning.  But I had to find jars/containers that would work.  I couldn't find anything that I liked that wasn't glass at my local Target (and I didn't have time/energy to go searching for cute jars) until I was in the checkout line.  Then I saw these Ziploc storage containers-designer edition.  The cute thing about them is that they have a design on the top that has some of the same colors as the labels in her unit!  It was meant to be!  They are a little small, but hopefully it will work.  So, I spent a LOT of time printing these, cutting them out, folding them and putting them in the jars.

Whew!  It was a busy, busy day.  I wonder what fabulous things today will bring.  It's my last day with no school commitments!


  1. LOVE the sharing bag! I too use Deanna Jumps posters and I liked the questioning jar! I cant believe how early you start! We don't start till the 27th but I still dont know if I am in 1st or K!!!!! Have a great your ideas!
    Amy Burton

  2. You found me and I found you. Love it. Happy Friday. Sorry you are starting so soon! We start the Wednesday after Labor Day. Love your ideas. Hang in there.


  3. P.S. Love that you refer to your students as "Kinders" and not "Kiddos."