Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Full Week of FUN!

As I'm soaking up the end of my quick weekend, I wanted to get up a post about our fabulous first week of kindergarten. Just a warning....the MANY pictures will hopefully do a good job of explaining our week. :)

Every morning we started at the carpet and taught/reviewed how to unpack and where our things go. Then the kiddos played with my homemade play dough until we came back to the carpet to teach/review rules and procedures (that's a very basic overview of our morning before our specials). After specials, we had about an hour to do a guided discovery before recess and lunch. We learned how to use our crayons, scissors, glue, pencils, and dry erase markers. Here are the activities we did for our scissors and glue guided discoveries. 

 This cute idea is from Caitlin over at Kindergarten Smiles. The kiddos loved making small glue dots and covering them in glitter. They really turned out cute too! :)
After lunch, it was time for our daily story. We focused our afternoon activities on a different book each day. 

Day 1: Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes
We started day one off with a bang! If you've been reading or following me on Instagram, you may know that my back to school theme was all about this cool cat, Pete! We just had to do a school tour looking for Pete the Cat to kick off the school year. Pete left us a note in his book that we found after reading it and it took us on a tour of the school as we tried to find him. The kids were SOOOO excited, but maybe a little bummed when we came back to our classroom to find out Pete had already left to go back to his school.....BUT, did we worry?! GOODNESS, NO!! :)

 I forgot to take a picture of the note he left outside our classroom, but he left us a coloring sheet!

The cute tour idea I can't take full credit for. I tweaked the tour notes Michelle at Inspired by Kindergarten made to fit our school and schedule. 

Day 2: David Goes to School
 We talked about what makes a great student after reading the story. Then we each made a page to our classroom book about what we should and shouldn't do at school. This led into talking about our classroom rules as well. 

Day 3: The Kissing Hand
We made our own kissing hands at school and then sent home the construction paper and hearts for someone at home to make a kissing hand for their student to keep at school. We hung them up in their cubbies. Aren't they so cute?! We also did a cut and paste activity about how we felt on the first day of school. 

Day 4: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
 We had sticky notes on our bucket of examples that were bucket fillers and bucket dippers. Then we went through them and decided which ones were bucket filling examples and kept them on our bucket. We took off the bucket dipper comments and then added more ideas of bucket fillers. 

Day 5: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books
I didn't take pictures of all the activities with this book, but here is the emergent reader with school supplies and colors. This is one of the few items in my "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books and Other Back to School Activities" pack on TpT. 

It was quite the eventful week and I'm sure my poor kinder babies were exhausted after a full first week of full days. I know their teacher was tired! I laid down Friday night around 7:45 to take a short cat nap and told my hubby to wake me up at 8:30. Welllll....apparently he told me it was 8:30 and I was OUT because I don't remember him telling me that! I woke up around 10:30 and wondered why he didn't wake me up! Haha! Then I just went to bed! :)

Here's to a great week #2!!! 

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Monday, August 19, 2013

New Batch of Play Dough for a NEW Batch of Kinders!

Alrighty, I'm going to try to make this quick because, let's face it, I'm exhausted after my first day with my kinders today. It was a great day and I plan to blog about it later this week when I have more time. In the mean time, I wanted to share my successful recipe....PLAY DOUGH!!! I made play dough last year for the school year and it lasted most of the year, but I honestly don't remember which recipe I used. This time I found a Kool-Aid Play Dough recipe and it smells so good and it's super soft!

Here's the recipe:

- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 package of Kool-Aid drink mix (for color & smell!)
- Optional food coloring for lighter Kool-Aid flavors like lemonade

1. Pour all ingredients in medium saucepan 
2. Stir everything until it is mixed well
3. Heat mixture on medium heat and stir ingredients until it comes together to form a ball
4. Remove ball and when it is cooled enough, kneed mixture until color is uniform
5. Store in airtight container or baggie

All of the ingredients stirred well together.
 It will start to get clumpy as it heats up.
 This is what it looks like when it is done with the heat!
 And after it has been kneeded and put into a ball!

Like I said, super easy!! I made 5 different colors/flavors and two batches of each. For each batch, I got 3 really good sized balls of play dough out of it which means I have 6 baggies of each color! 

I used lemonade for yellow, grape for purple, blue raspberry for blue, *clear* watermelon kiwi with added food coloring for green, and strawberry for red. The lemonade and watermelon kiwi were the two flavors I had to add food coloring to. 

I know you're wondering....does the color come off on their hands? The answer is NO!!! I was so worried about that, but it doesn't! YAY!! They loved using it this morning on the first day of kindergarten! Look at some of the little smarties I have already on day 1! ;)

Okay, time for me to head to bed! My pillow is calling my name!!!! Good night all! 

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mrs. Berns' Classroom Tour!

Happy teacher week fellow teachers! Are you ready?! Our grade 1-5 kiddos start tomorrow with their first half day. I will be meeting with my kinders one on one to do our kindergarten screener the next three days and then start with a full day on Monday! I'm so excited to start my second year of teaching and after meeting 14 out of my 22 students last night at our back to school BBQ, I must say I'm even more excited!! I have a feeling it's going to be a great year! :)

I'm blogging today to give a tour of my room and linking up with Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week: Classroom Digs. So, once you're done checking out my room, be sure to hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to see the other classroom digs!

Here is my main bulletin board inside of my room where I decided to put my tree this year. My outside door is at the far right as well as my SMART board (which you can't see).

To help with those chatty kiddos, this Blurt Alert chart helped my class last year! We'll see if this new class needs it. When they blurt out, they put up a red velcro square next to their number. You can choose the consequences for each blurt.

The next couple pictures are prior to finishing my classroom this year, but I haven't taken all of my updated pictures yet so these will have to work! ;) 

You see the dramatic play area in the back left, the blocks carpet behind the mailboxes and next to my desk. 

This is taken from the library area in the back of my classroom (prior to decorating).

Now to the updated pictures. This one taken from the back of the classroom as well. 

My tables are labeled by color, so I have the colored caddies on the desks and tissues poms with a table label hanging above each table! They turned out super cute! :)

From left to right on the wall you will see, the calendar, daily schedule, objectives, math word wall, hundreds chart, number posters with ten frames, and the door to the hallway.

Another view straight into the hallway.

From left to right on the wall: the SMART board, classroom helpers, word wall, then the number line and SFA alphabet above the word wall. The rest is repeated from previous pictures! :)

Close up of my number posters.

Close up of the color posters.

The word wall with my word wall letters in chevron, stripes, and dots.

I'm going to post my objectives here and the math word wall is to the right. 

The library area at the back of my classroom. 

I moved my birthday wall to the back of the classroom this year above my counter and sink. I will take a picture of each student with them holding the date of their birthday. They LOVE it! 

I'm going to try voice levels this year. I think the visual will be nice and help some students.

Well there you have it, my classroom for the 2013-2014 school year! I wish I would've had time to take updated pictures today, but you get the idea with these! If you have any questions about anything, please let me know! Then be sure to link up with Blog Hoppin' so I can see all the hard work you've put into your classroom! 

Have a fantastic year!!! :)

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