Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lunch count and Calendar Addition Complete!!

Summer is coming to an end, my friends!  I have been trying to finish up a couple of projects I've been wanting to add/change to my classroom.

In the past, I had used popsicle craft sticks for my lunch count.  I have put each students' name on the sticks and then they can sign in for what they want Choice A, B, C or Cold Lunch.

I wanted to shake it up and get a bit "CRAZY" this year and use magnets instead.  The lunch sticks take up valuable shelf space.  The front part of my desk and the small filing cabinet next to my desk are both magnetic.  In the past I have used that space for various things, but this year that is where my lunch count sign in will be!  It looks cute and I put student numbers instead of names on each magnet so they can be re-used each year.

Like what you see?  Here it is!  If you do choose to download it, please leave a comment below on this blog!  I love hearing feedback and ideas on how you set up lunch choices in your room!

Secondly, I saw this idea from Mothering with Creativity  on Pinterest and thought it was an awesome idea!  I thought that if I added that piece to my calendar then it would be one more way to incorporate math skills, like addition, into our daily practice.

I could've been cutesy and created the "Addition Machine" sign on my computer but it was just wanting it to be completed for the day and it's okay if not everything is cutesy :).  One day I may change it but for now, I am happy!  I added that because I think it is important for my kids to practice writing out an addition sentence.

I used TP rolls instead of paper towel rolls.  I also covered the rolls with patterned duct tape.  I am excited for my littles to use it this year!!!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Smelly, Smelly, Who Wants a Smelly?!?

Are you a lover of smellies??  You might be asking yourself what the heck is a smelly.  Let me explain, my friend!

A smelly is a positive behavior strategy that I try to implement as often as possible. It is basically good smelling chapstick or lotion!  THATS IT!  And let me tell works like a charm!  I love smellies!  Kindergarteners love smellies!  We are obsessed with smellies in my classroom.

We all want to catch our kids doing the RIGHT thing and praise them for it instead of always harping on the negative.  Often times if I see certain students not making the correct choices, then I will purposely look for someone who is exhibiting wonderful work skills and I will make a HUGE deal about how impressed I am with their behavior and they can come and get a smelly.  They come up to my table and I put a "smelly" (a rub of chapstick/lotion) on their wrists and they are in heaven!  They smell it and smile and get so excited.  Soon, everyone in the class is working hard for a smelly!  Often times, students will run up to other teachers (or administrators) and ask them if they want to smell their smelly!!  I have gotten a few strange looks for that one! :)  Never a dull moment in teaching!

On that same note, I also have a portable smelly "quiet spray".  Whenever I see a certain table or station buddies or ANYONE working hard and making great choices, I will quietly walk over to them and spritz a few sprays of one of my million bottles of body spray and walk away.  They love it!  I have seen a lot of other teachers put water into a spray bottle from the dollar store and use it for the same concept!

These are just a couple ways that I can praise my littles for working hard and making great choices!
How do you motivate your students ?

My husband's high school class makes lots of different flavors of chapstick for $1 a piece so I stocked up! Pictured:  Bubble gum, Citrus Blast and Fiery Cinnamon! My all-time favorite is Mustang Melon! :)

I used one of my many coupons to BBW and am excited to integrate  this AWESOME smelling lotion into my smelly collection!

Quiet spray!

Two of my boys earned a smelly!  They got to choose which one they wanted.
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Workstation Signs

Let's Talk Workstations, people!
I love making/thinking/adding new workstations for my kiddos to do!  I also love calling them workstations because that sounds more like a "work time"!  That is just my opinion, though!

I just finished a new pack of station signs including small station signs for the pocket chart/ bulletin board, baskets/bins and areas of the room for organizational purposes!

I find that changing stations every two weeks works best for me and for my kids!  I run around 10 different stations at a time.  Students go to two different stations a day.  On the pocket chart (picture to come soon) sometimes I have a station just once and for other stations I have it on their pocket chart twice.  They are all grouped homogeneously - meaning same levels work with each other.  That way, higher ability students aren't doing all the work for students who need a little extra support!

Here are the stations in my classroom:
Buddy Beach
Lovely Listeners
Best-Selling Big Books
World Famous Writers
Magic Magnets
Read and Write the Room
Polished Poets
Brainy Book Bin
Pocket Chart
Game Garden
Wacky Word Building
Snazzy Smartboard
Handsome Handwriting

I have very high expectations during Station time and each child knows what is expected of them.  It takes a lot of time at the beginning of the year setting up expectations but the pay off is worth it!  I model, model, model...good and bad behavior!  So do the students....and then we critique each other and have a discussion.  We make "I can" lists for stations and "Looks like...Sounds like" charts as well!

What are some of your favorite stations in your classroom?
I LOVE World Famous Writers and Lovely Listeners!

Check out my station signs!  I love hearing feedback!
 Click on the pictures below!  I used clipart from My Cute Graphics!  Check 'em out!

More to come on Workstations in the future!  Organization, planning, procedures to come soon!!

Mrs. Bowder :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Star Word" Puzzles

I came across this idea on Pinterest...and when I followed the link I couldn't find the original post but it was pinned under SchoolHouseGB !  Anywho...I picked up some supplies and got busy!

Got my items!  Sharpies and colored craft sticks! (Who has time to color their own craft sticks?!?)
 I thought the silver colored marker looked the best!  So I started to write out all my high-frequency words for Kindergarten which we call "Star Words"!  In our Kindergarten Curriculum, we have around 30 HFW.  In addition to those words, I also introduce extra words from another HFW list for a challenger because I feel like it is important for my littles to get introduced to as many words as possible while they are with me!  Here is a list of sample words I add to our curriculum!

 My mind got to thinking after I completed each Unit's HFW (of course my good ideas come AFTER I am finished) that maybe I should have colored coded all my Unit HFW's for organizational purposes!  For example:  Unit 1 HFW are "I, can" I could have made them red.  Unit 2 HFW could be blue.  Unit 3 HFW green, etc...

I also got to thinking about how I could use this at the beginning of the school year, when most of my students wouldn't be able to read all these words!  I added color words that we study at the beginning of the year and I also added each kids' name and thought it would be good practice finding their OWN name as well as their classmates name.  They could also match each stick puzzle to a student picture.
Optional for the beginning of the year!  Use names on popsicle sticks.

I also made a complementary sheet that goes with this Language Arts Station!  It allows students to record words they made at this station and it helps them to be held accountable for their work and allows me to see if they need further direction on what to do!  Grab your own copy of the recording sheet HERE!  Graphics are compliments of My Cute Graphics!  Check them out! :)
I would appreciate your feedback if you download it!  Thanks!

Leave a comment below sharing your favorite HFW activities!

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where my followers at?!?, I feel like it is Mrs. Bowder's Bunch:  party of one! :)  I am just getting my feet wet with this whole blog thing!  I plan on writing about some continuing Summer projects for the beginning of this school year, which is RIGHT around the corner it seems!

Until then....let's become friends! :)

How do you follow your favorite blogs?  I used to use Google Reader...but as of July, it is now extinct!  I have done a little looking around and many people talked about how they are using Blog Lovin'!  I downloaded the app on my phone to check it out, and I think it's a keeper!  You can also log on from a computer as well!  Then all you do is search for your favorite blogs and there is a list of your blogs and new posts etc...

Soooo...... feeling like the high-tech blogger that I have now become, I added a "button" (as they say) to my blog on the right column so you can follow me on Blog Lovin'!  You can also input your email and follow me that way or add me to one of you Goggle + circles!

I'd love to hear from you all about how you follow your favorite blogs!!  Comment below and tell me some of your favorite blogs because I am always looking to add some to my list!  You can see my favorites I follow on the left column of this blog! :)

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<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

First Day of School project

Good evening!
My goal for the next month is to share some of my Summer projects that I have been working on for school!

I saw this cute post from Mrs. Berg:  First Grade School Box  and that got me to thinking about making one for my own classroom!  I love the idea because she used velcro for the star so 1st and 100th are interchangeable so I can use this cute frame throughout the year!

What do you think?

Check one thing off my to-do list!  Ahhh...feels good!
I can just imagine my little cuties coming into the room at the beginning of the year and getting to capture their photo using this frame!

Stay tuned, my friends!

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

There have been many changes in my blog in the past few days!  I feel like I am becoming an official blogger!  I have been learning the tricks of the trade. :)  I have been a blog/tutorial reading fool!  I have many people to thank for helping me understand "blog world language".

Here are some tutorials that really helped me get on my feet!

House and Hone
I Gotta Create
Sew Many Ways
and last but not least....
Cutest Blog on the Block for the cute header and background!

Ahhhh, I'm starting to feel a little established!  A true beginner?  YES!  But nonetheless, excited for what is to come!
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

New Blogger on the Block!!!

Good evening!  

WOOT WOOT!  Who's getting techy in the 21st century?!?!  This is my first official blog!  I am excited about this new challenge in my life!  I plan on using this blog to update everyone on our Kindergarten happenings!  I know nothing about blogging but I am trying to teach myself something new each day!!  So please bear with me!  I can't wait to share our world of Kindergarten!

Stay Tuned! 
My next goal is to learn how to add a customized signature to my posts and a customized header!  Sometimes I feel like I am reading a WHOLE other language....but I appreciate all the tutorials out there!

- Mrs. Bowder :)