Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aha! I "Idea Hacked" Calendar Numbers

I found the cutest "calendar" numbers at my local Learning Palace store. They're black circles with a ring of white polka dots and they have a white numeral on them. I designed this in power point to show you an image of them. I didn't have time to snap a picture. But this is what the numbers look like.

I planned on using them to number my classroom library book bins, but they were too small - a little bigger than a 50 cent piece. And then I had an "Ah - HA!" moment. I decided that they would be the perfect way to help my kinders line up. I busted out my packing tape and taped them down on my tile floor. I do "number spots" in my room so we don't fight over where to stand - everyone has an assigned number. I spaced them out far enough apart so that kids don't squish and bump. I also was able to form my line in a "L" shape to go around my furniture as needed.

So, if you have a spare set of calendar numbers - you can repurpose them just like this. This was so much cuter and easier than designing my own, printing, and cutting them out. They look professionally made and are really cute.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Printable Sight Words

I created these sight word cards for my word wall. I think it's important in kindergarten to show the size of the letter with regard to its height (tall, small, or it falls). The sight words I used are from the Houghton Mifflin Kindergarten series that we are required to use in my district. If you just want to print them as is:


If you want to edit them to change their background color or use different words here is the editable Power Point verson:


Friday, August 24, 2012

Class Tour Part 1: New and Improved Word Wall

Join in the word wall linky party by going to The Teacher's Cauldron. Then read on to see how I've set up my word wall for my Kindergarten class. 

First, I revamped my word wall. I used painters tape to divide up my white board (in the front of my class) and I labeled it with letters. I bought a poster at the teacher store that had abc pictures (that I cut up) and I posted them up with sticky putty. I tried to do all of this as linear as possible. I was disappointed when I opened my package of punch out letters to find that they were only uppercase. My bad! I guess I didn't read the package closely enough.  Doh! If I were to do it again I'd really like upper and lowercase in the big blue letters. 

Here is a close-up view of part of the board. When school starts I'm going to try to add kid's names and pictures under the board according to their first letter. Also, in our school we teach 22 high frequency words (from our Houghton Mifflin curriculum). I add some other commonly misspelled words to the board too. Each word that I post goes on a different color of background paper. For example, when I post the words TO and THE, I would make TO go on red paper, and THE go on yellow paper. This helps kids distinguish between the words. This year I'm also planning on cutting around the words so that students can see the letter height (tall, small, or fall).

Here are the sight word cards I'll be using - they align with Houghton Mifflin Kindergarten Sight Words. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5-Day Lesson Plan Template

When I write up lesson plans I love being able to see my whole week at a glance. I've tried writing up more thorough plans that are day by day, but it didn't ever work for me. At school we're usually given a separate checklist of our standards for our grade and as we teach them, we date-mark when we hit the standard.

My small group reading plans are on a different form in another binder.

Here is my lesson plan outline in Excel. The pale gray lines won't print. I don't use these to type in, rather I print them and then write my plans in pencil. My lesson plans are like a vertical list,  going down the page rather than across. In my mind it works sort of like a checklist.

If you want to pick up a copy of these, click HERE.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Under Construction

I've been working on redesigning my blog and am finding that some of my freebies give an error message. If you find something that won't click, please comment and I'll email it to you. I'll try to have the links all fixed soon.
Thanks! Laura

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kindergarten Systems and Routines for ELLs

Click HERE to download for your personal use.

This summer I spent a lot of time developing my "thesis" or masters seminar project. I decided to focus it on Kindergarten Systems and Routines for English Language Learners. I work with a very high ELL population (last year I had 88% ELL). I have developed a lot of routines and systems to help my students know what to do in the classroom and be successful. If you teach upper grades and have ELL students, this is for you too! I have cited resources at the back and do not claim to be the originator of all of the ideas, rather it is a compilation of what I have found to work in my practice. I do have 10 years of teaching experience and have been using many of these systems for a long time.

My strategies are based on giving students visual and audio cues to understand the content of their day. There are a lot of ideas that I have gathered over the years including:
*attention signal
*daily schedule
*preparing name tags
*check in procedures
*morning work
*choice time routines
... and much more

There was so much more that I wanted to write, but I had to keep my focus narrowed for this report. If you would like to download it for your personal use you have my permission. I would appreciate it if you link back to my blog if you pin or post. If you find that your original idea has been included in this piece, please let me know and I would love to give you credit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lesson Plan Cover Freebie

Click HERE to grab this freebie.

I made these lesson planning book covers to match my new binders. I use one binder for weekly lesson plans and one for guided reading. I made them in powerpoint using the font Pea Hollee from Kevin and Amanda. I designed the chevron print myself. Feel free to edit the background to whatever color you like. To do that in powerpoint go to Format>Slide background>Solid>choose your color. In powerpoint you can edit the text. When it's time to print just "save as" a .pdf file and print. 

The inside (white frame) is courtesy of Michelle @ 
She has many other great freebie frames that you can use in personal products. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2D & 3D Shape Table Signs

Grab your shape sign freebie here!

I created these colored table signs for my kindergarten tables. The shapes match the kindergarten common core standard for geometry (to identify 2D and 3D shapes). I plan on making tissue paper pom poms like Nicole from Teaching With Style suggests. I will print 2 copies and mount them on matching paper so they are double sided. Then hang the shape label under the pom. I have always used shapes to label my tables, but adding the pom will add a cute, colorful touch to liven up the classroom. For directions on how to make the pom poms click the picture below for a great tutorial.