Sunday, September 25

Freebie, Coupon Code, & Thanks!

Thank you to Jennifer at Kinderpond for a very sweet Saturday Shout Out! She made my day yesterday. Today I stumbled on a shout out of Jennifer's shout out at Kinders on the Block...another happy surprise. I have also discovered today that I am at 250 followers...a humble thank you to everyone who reads Just Love Teaching. I'm posting a freebie below as a thank you as well as removing shipping charges from my apron sales on Etsy (just type "SHIP4FREE" in the coupon codes at check-out to redeem)!

I have been using my own apron daily at school and loving it, though I do get a lot of the "what are in all those pockets?" It has been so nice to have my highlighter (for scaffolding name writing), dry erase markers, bandaids, reading timer, incentive stickers, and post-it notes right on hand when I need them. No more "Now where did I put that???" or crossing the room and wasting valuable time to get things. I feel a wee bit like a waitress, but consider it my "kinder-goddess" uniform.

On the school front things are calming down some. The kids are getting the hang of my expectations, practicing being bucket fillers, and expanding their reading stamina daily. RTI starts tomorrow and assessments are nearly complete...so groups/rotations will be able to start pretty soon. That is when everything will finally feel like clockwork again. My plan this week is to set the timer as I would for D5 rotations and push their stamina as far as I can. Their behaviors are surprisingly good so far. Everybody seems pretty motivated to be able to start making learning choices...one more week (two max) of stamina building and I think we will be golden.

The best news I have had in a while came late Friday...I'm finally getting a projector and document camera! I have taught for the last three years with zero technology in my room aside from my desktop computer. While the projector on its way to my room is an outdated relic...it will hopefully still open up numerous possibilities for us! I'm beyond excited!

Alright friends, here is the freebie I promised. Be sure to visit my Etsy link to see the aprons I am busily completing to add to my shop (coming soon...peace signs, zebra, more "pick me", and more "abc123"...and I have some other fun new fabrics to get to sewing as well)!

Enjoy this freebie...I hope you all can use it! Have a fabulous week!

ABC Stomp

Sunday, September 18

the last two weeks

I've been way out of the blogging groove the last two weeks. I feel pretty out of sync still even with two weeks of school under my belt. Wow...the first month of kindergarten takes it out me! I am so whooped each and every day that I am barely logging on to even read everyone else's posts. Whew! 

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. I am loving the behavior rainbow clip chart, loving the immediate effects of whole brain responsive teaching (call and response, scoreboard), and I love that out of my 24 new kinders that I have no major behavior issues to deal with. It is so nice to merely have to remind the kids of my expectations and have no outbursts, screaming, defiance, or anything. It has made the beginning of the year easier than some years...(thank goodness)...and I think we will be into our school groove soon and then be off and running.

 Stamina for read to self is slowly coming along. We are only at a minute, but they are excited to beat their record each time. I am hoping to get our Daily 5 routine running full-gear by mid-October...we'll see how it goes. Intervention groups begin next week...some semblance of our Daily 5 schedule would be nice by then. Hmmm.

 Thursday is Open House. It's only an hour and most parents have other rooms to hit, so I'm not stressing over it. I will hang our Chicka Trees and probably our Chrysanthemum name work with our first self-portraits. The only thing I have to really consider and prep is my volunteer sign ups...I would love to hear any suggestions out there for systems that work well. I have generally just asked for available days, but I'm thinking I want to set up "jobs" such as readers, reading group game leaders, publishing helpers, etc. I know I read some ideas out there this summer...

I found some fun responsive teaching "brain/body break" ideas surfing the web this weekend. They come from Responsiveclassroom.org and I love that there are videos to help me learn how they each go. Responsive Classroom calls them "energizers" and oh my goodness they look like a really fun way to re-engage students. I can't wait to try some out this week! Enjoy watching...here's a link: http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/energizers

 Until next time... Angela

Thursday, September 1

First Impressions, Excitement, and a Funny Video

I met my kinders today! I was had knots in my tummy like I was the kinder just starting school...what's up with that? I guess I was just nervous to meet 24 new sets of parents and hoping (fingers crossed) that this was my "dream class" and that everyone would love me...

Well...19 of my 24 came through in a fluster of activity and conversations. Not too bad. I had a nice time chatting with parents and meeting my new little ones...I just wish it wasn't such an overwhelming hour...it's so hard to remember who was who afterwards! But, I feel so good about this year already...parent support is going to be up from last year...and the kinders were all so sweet today. It makes me wish we were starting school tomorrow (did I just say that???)...in all reality of course I will be putting the thousand finishing touches on the room from tomorrow until school starts next Wednesday!

I already have a room mom volunteer. I had a mom ask me "How can you use me to help?" EVERY supply that I said to throw on the back counter was totally sorted into beautiful piles. What can I say...I'm in love already! One little man sang his ABC's to me...so proud. One mom gushed over my moodle site and said her son is loving playing the learning games on there...and that they already printed out the sight words to practice with him! I heard, "I was hoping it would be you!" (...first time I've ever been told that!) In short, I am in teacher heaven tonight...budget whoas be da**ed!  I was emotionally a mess all week listening to the harbingers of economic doom...the whisperings of the huge RIF to come this spring...no money for this...no money for that...  How does one start the year with a positive attitude (energy, excitement, creativity, etc) knowing that she is second from the bottom of the seniority list and that no matter how small (or big) an impending RIF is...she is done come June????? Well...give her the class of her dreams seems to be the answer. I am on cloud nine and soooooooo thankful.

Before closing (btw...pictures of the room in completion will be posted this weekend...hopefully) I wanted to share the funniest thing I have watched in a long time...all day PD workshops might be grueling...but humor always saves the day. Click HERE and enjoy!