Thursday, August 29, 2013

Almost One Week Down!

Boy oh boy has this week given me a run for my money.

Coming from first grade land, kindergarten land is all "GO GO GO!"

I plan as though I'm going to get through everything.  And for as "GO GO GO" as kinder is, it's not the right kind of "GO GO GO".

Learning curve.

I have to say though, I am LOVING kindergarten.  The kiddos are so tiny, so cute, so innocent and they really do say the darndest things.  One of my moms told me today that her son informed her at dinner last night, "Mami, estoy bien contento con la maestra.  Pero no se su name!"

So cute.

My little 5 year olds now also know that they need to get a drink of water and use the restroom when they're out at recess.  One of my little girls walks in today and says to me, in her cutest little voice (which I'm sure she has practiced) "Maestra, can I PLEASE have a drink of water?  If I don't get one, I'll melt!"

Again, so cute.

The cuteness factor is too much to handle.

I really like my front wall, so I wanted to post a picture of it again.
My alphabet is from our reading program Estrellita.  It's an amazing reading program in Spanish that teaches kids how to read through syllables.  I also have my language board and my math board up.  I have another "Capitanes" poster that I made and it sits front and center.  I need to take a picture of that and post it.

My calendar area is pretty stinken cute too.  All Dr. Seuss'ed out!  And the BEST part?

MY DONORS CHOOSE PROJECT WAS FUNDED YESTERDAY!!!  That means that the little carpet that is currently in my calendar area will be moving to the front (near the language and math boards) and my new, bright, colorful rug will go here!  SO EXCITED!

Thank you to EVERYONE who helped spread the word, donated or even just looked at my page.  I am truly blessed.

How is your first week(s) of school going?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

So Close

Hi everyone!

I, as I'm sure many of you out there in cyber land as well, have been working like a mad woman on and in my classroom.  Everyday has been a race against the clock to get as much done in my classroom as possible.  And finally, it feels like I'm almost done!

Of course, that means that if you open up my closets I still have a big box of "to-file" kinder stuff (that I figure I'll be going through throughout the year, so no rush to get that filed away RIGHT now) and a box or two of random things that I don't anticipate needing this year.  Other than that, all I have left to do tomorrow is sort through books, put up a conflict resolution corner, student labels and I'll be done!  Which is good, because the kinders come tomorrow for our Kindergarten Ice Cream Social!

So here is what it looks like right now (don't mind the minor messes in the corners of the room).

Ok, when you walk in the door and look to your left, this is what you see!  My calendar USED to be on yellow paper, but that whiteboard isn't magnetic so my board fell down 5 TIMES before I decided to just take the paper down and stick it directly to the whiteboard.  The corner is my focus wall corner.

Those closet doors will be where I hang my student writing work.  I don't have many bulletin board spaces, so I fancied up the doors and will be using those.  I LOVE how they turned out!  The wall right above my cubbies will also display students work (probably math, or social studies, or science, something along those lines.)

This is just another view of the cubby wall.

That is my back closet and my cabinets with my birthday cupcakes!  The book bins above are books that I will pull for specific units or once I can gauge my students' reading levels.  They are books geared more for second grade level reading, so I'll pull them down when I need them!

Ok, it's time to get this tired maestra in bed.  It's been a loooong couple of weeks and I want to be nice and rested for the Ice Cream Social tomorrow!  I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Help us out, please!

Here it is, my Donors Choose project. As I mentioned before, I don't have a classroom rug at the moment and want something colorful, practical, and fun! So I chose a rug, went on Donors Choose and set up my project. 

They approved it this morning.

To read more about my project, just click on this link and it will take you directly to my project page:

The best part? If you decide to contribute, enter the code word INSPIRE at checkout and Donors Choose will MATCH YOUR DONATION!! So if you give $50, they will also give me $50 for a grand total of $100 donated to my project!

Remember, I do not expect everyone, or really anyone for that matter, to donate. But please do spread the word and the link for my project. The more people that know about it, the more likely this project will be fulfilled.

The goal is to have it fulfilled by mid next week. A stretch, I know, but a teacher can dream. 

Thank you so much!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sneak Peek...

My classroom is NOWHERE NEAR being done, but I couldn't resist posting a sneak peek of my totally seusstastic room!
This is my calendar wall! That bulletin board is just about done, although I think some other sound-letter cards will be going up in this area.

The beginning of my reading nook.  I can't wait to finish it!

I did a little reconstructive surgery in The Cat in the Hat so that I could post him up on my closet doors. I love how he turned out!

Now it's on to more organizing, more decorating, more planning and more pictures. ¡Aye chihuahua el año está a punto de empezar!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Snug on a Rug!

Boy oh boy do I have some updates for you guys!

Ok, first thing first, husband and I got a kitten!!  She's so snuggly and so cute, I can't contain myself.  I will admit that I really, really, really  like cats.  So I am over the moon having a kitten in the house!  She keeps me on my toes, snuggles, sits on my lap, gives me the crazy, frisky, time-to-play eye and is very well behaved.

She does, however, enjoy climbing UP my leg.  She has made it all the way to my shoulders a few times (my back has the scratches and future scars to prove it.)  So a spray bottle is in her very near future.

Oh, her name is Oreo.
She looks a lot bigger here than she is, but I assure you, she's 3 months old and a tiny, little brat.

The next news is I got into my classroom and have started decorating and putting things away!  And oh boy am I going to need a lot of help getting it done.  But I have a week and a half before Kinder Meet and Greet, so I should be good to go by then.  I'll post pictures as soon as my room doesn't look like a Lakeshore explosion.

Lastly, as I mentioned in another post, I don't have a classroom rug.  So tonight I went on my Donors Choose account and created a project for a rug.  I'm really hoping to have it fulfilled by mid-week next week, but I'm thinking that's a stretch.  So that's where YOU come in.

I know it's a lot to ask for people to donate, and I am not expecting every person who reads my blog to donate.  Not by any means.  But spreading the word about my project makes just as big of an impact as making a donation.  The more people who stumble across my project, the bigger the probability is of it being fulfilled.

As soon as I have that link, I will post it.  EVERYWHERE.  I'm being super hopeful here.  I guess we'll have to wait and see how it turns out!

I can't believe school starts in a little under 2 weeks!  Where did the summer go???

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Recognize Your Numbers!

If there is one thing more than anything else that is a challenge for me, it's teaching math.  At any level. I struggle with making it meaningful, but am getting much better at it the more time I get to practice it.  Anyways, that got me thinking and I remembered these cool math number recognition manipulatives that one of my most awesomest, closest friends (Maestra R) made:  they were pipe cleaners with a number on top that the kids have to match with pony beads they thread on the pipe cleaner.

Glad it makes sense to you too.

You really just need to see it.

All you need is a hot glue gun, a stapler, pipe cleaners, pony beads, calendar numbers and a laminator (if the calendar numbers aren't thick enough, which mine weren't.)  So, I laminated the numbers, hot glued them to the pipe cleaner and then stapled it there just to make it extra secure.  I think the kinders will handle them rather roughly.

Cute, right?  But I realized the stems were too long, so I lined them all up and cut them to make it easier to store.

In a Dr. Seuss Target $1 spot cup.  Hehe.

Yeah.  They're cute.  I'm excited.  Killing two birds with one stone: fine motor skills and number recognition.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I made these letters with my Cricut today and had to share!

I'm Late!

I'm a couple of days late, or several days early, for Made-It Monday.  But that's ok, it was worth the wait!

As I'm sure you know, my classroom is going to be Dr. Seuss themed again this year.  My first and second graders liked it last year which leads me to believe that my kinders will LOVE it this year.  It should be right up their, and my, alley.

I already have a Dr. Seuss upholstered chair that I use for calendar time (thanks to an amazing mom from my school last year), posters, cut outs, books, bulletin boards, calendar, clocks, even a DRAPE for my reading corner, a rocking chair and other little knick knacks.

What I didn't have was wall art.  Not just the punch out Eureka decorations, but something a little more substantial.

Ok, back story.  Last year I went to Target and bought, from the $1 spot, those cute little canvas Dr. Seuss bags.  I didn't use them at all last year and thusly semi reluctantly bought the 4 new ones they had this year thinking I would find some use for them.  I thought about using them as New Student bags (but I want the bag back!), reading book bags (they would fight over which character bag they got), center bags (center stuff almost always is destroyed), and finally gave up.

UNTIL the brilliant idea to glue them to art canvasses came to me!  Turns out, it's not an original idea (click here to see another example).  Oh well, great minds think alike!
The first thing I did was cut the bags in half.  I tried to cut along the seams as much as possible.  I cut off the handles and hot glued them to canvas (with lots of tricksy folding involved.)  The canvas size I used was 8x10.  I LOVE them!

I also went to Lakeshore yesterday.  That store is a dangerous place.  But I picked up some cool Dr. Seuss stuff and an awesome plastic mailbox that I'll have my kiddos use to turn in their morning work!

How are YOU decorating your room?