Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Leaf Center

Here's a picture of a Leaf Center that my boys and girls are working with in my room this week! We're making leaf rubbings.  We're observing and exploring leaves with magnifying glasses and measuring leaves with unifix cubes. We're also writing about the leaves and the leaf rubbings that we've done. Next week I'll add other non-standard measurement items for the boys and girls to use, such as paper clips and color tiles.  

The kiddies love working with leaves!  I love seeing them write and engage in math activities! 

Have fun in your centers this week!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Apps for Creating Online Portfolios

I'm participating in a #TeacherFriends Twitter Chat this week and I thought it would be fun and helpful to research some apps for creating online portfolios. I like the free ones!

So, here goes!

I've had some experience with:

1. Evernote:  A free app that's easy to learn and easy for students to use.  You can add photos, take some notes, add some audio recordings and link to other apps.

2.  Voice Thread:  This is also a free app that's fairly easy for teachers and students to use.  You can add images, video, work samples, documents or files.

There are lots of others as well and I think popularity of an app depends on your level of expertise, available time and experience level of your students.
Have you tried:
1. Easy Portfolios - This is not a free app, but is easy for teachers and students to use.
2. Three Ring - A free app
3. Wikispaces - A free app
4. Weebly - A free app
5. Google Drive - A free app with extra storage available
6. Paper - Another free app
7. Kidblog - A free app

Hope this list is helpful to you when you think about creating online digital portfolios for or with the kiddies in your classroom!

Enjoy your week!

Researched sites:

Teaching With Themes in the Classroom

So by now you're well into the school year and most of the kiddies are getting better at following the schedule as well as the structure and routine of the room!  It's starting to feel like Fall and you're so glad to feel the cooler weather, see the leaves begin to change and realize that we still have about 140 days of school left!  In those 20 weeks of school until the next summer break, are you teaching with themes in your room?

What is "Teaching With Themes?"  Thematic teaching is something that teachers have been doing for many years.  It's a way to organize how we teach the curriculum.  We choose a central idea, one that makes sense to the boys and girls that we are working with, grade level or classroom, and then gear our lessons around and including that broader subject theme.

For example, in my classroom this month, we're learning about Fall. Last week our theme was "Leaves, Leaves" and this week it's "Pumpkins" and then next week it will be "Bats and Halloween" and we'll follow the curriculum using these themes.

According to the website, Funderstanding, a great definition of Thematic Teaching is, "the organization of a curriculum around macro “themes.” Thematic instruction integrates basic disciplines like reading, math, and science with the exploration of a broad subject, such as communities, rain forests, river basins, the use of energy, and so on.

I think that's a helpful definition!

Do you like to teach with themes in your classroom or grade level?  Let me know what themes you're teaching with this month!

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Heading Back to the World of K!

Here we are almost ready to head back to school! I've had a very busy summer this year!  I decided this was the summer to downsize all my junk!  The Mr. and I spent about a month working to get rid of more than about 35 years of stuff we've accumulated, saved and stored.  Almost 4 truckloads later, I'm beginning to think I could get rid of 4 more!  Where does all this stuff come from?
Oh yeah, not just me but also a couple of sweet girls!

The last few days I've been back to my classroom, trying to get things out, set up and ready to go.  Here's a little peek into the beginnings of my 2015-2016 classroom!

I'll be headed over to continue set up on Tuesday!  Hopefully the final touches will be put into place by Wednesday or Thursday! I'll share some additional photos as I go!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Work It Wednesday - Free Weights!

Work it Wednesday

Welcome to this Work Out Wednesday Post!  I didn't know about this Link Up until today, but I thought I would join in anyway!  Thanks to Katie King for motivating me to post!

 Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Today's workout is free weights

 I usually pick 2 or 3 muscle groups to work on when I work with free weights.  I'm trying to do weight work twice a week.  Today I picked out exercises from this book that I really like to work arms, shoulders and back muscles. The workouts are listed according to muscle groups, with detailed pictures, suggestions for routines and sets. 

I have several pairs of free weights ranging from 2 lbs. up to 25 lbs. but today I used the 15's, the 10's and the 5 lbs. weights.  
Image result for spinning images

I usually work out 5 or 6 days a week.  Spinning is my aerobic workout of choice!  I teach Spinning three days a week.  I try to lift weights two days a week and on Day 6 I do a different activity like Pilates, Yoga or neighborhood walking.

When I'm at home I love to do Pilates!  I have many DVD's that star Ana Coban.  She is an excellent instructor with Gaiam. Here's one of her beginning DVD's and it's a good one!
Pilates - Beginning Mat Workout

I like to work out for about an hour each time but sometimes it's a little longer. It took me many, many years to find an exercise activity that I really love but I finally did. I could Spin everyday.  The thing is, we have to cross train.  It keeps things fresh and it keeps us healthy.  Mixing things up builds strong muscles and muscle burns fat!

I really want to be HEALTHY AND STRONG.  All the other good things that come from doing exercise are fabulous, but being healthy is the top priority.  

My best advice is that it is very important to be consistent and don't give up!  It's not always easy to find the time or the motivation.  Yada, yada, yada, just do it.  Get it done.
Think about and focus on how GREAT you'll feel when it's finished!    

Slip on your favorite gym shoes and get started.  
Get moving!  It's all worth it when you feel healthy and strong! 

Good Luck this week and work hard!      

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Personal Side - Favorite Cup Link Up!

What a fun Linky!  This one is hosted by Classroom Confections!  Yay!!  I think it's always fun to find out about the "Friend behind the Blog!" 

Here's a little picture of my current favorite mug!  It's, "Oo-la-la lovely!"  I love the little owls!  Look at them in their sweet berets!  It's so cute!  I do love to have coffee in the morning.  I have about a 40 minute commute to school so it's nice to have something warm to drink on the drive in.  My favorite is Millstone Hazelnut Cream but I also like Starbucks once in a while.  

I haven't always been a coffee drinker because I much prefer a Diet Coke any time of the day!  I'm trying to give up the DC but every now and then I have to get a fountain DC.  Target is a great place to have a DC while I'm shopping.  Way fun!  When I was on vacation I found that Circle K has a VERY large fountain drink cup that I filled with the drink of choice!!  

Yes, it was fabulous!  

Thanks for taking the time to find out a little bit about "My Personal Side!" 
How about you?

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tell All Tuesday Summer Linky Party

Summer is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some time to reflect on the previous school year.  It also gives teachers time to daydream and think to the future.  In honor of summer and the time time off we're giving ourselves from our teacher reality we want to know your dreams for your teaching career.  For this Tell All Tuesday we'd love for you to share your "Teacher Bucket List."  What hopes and dreams do you have for your teaching career?  Do you want to go back to school to become a reading specialist?  One day become principal of your school?  Or something else in the realm of teaching?  Dream big and don't hold back!  Share your Teacher Bucket List with us today!

 Tell All Tuesday Linky Party

Here's how to join in on the fun:
1. Grab the picture and banner above and use it to link back to this post on your blog.
2. Save the Teacher Bucket list picture to your computer.  Using a tool of your choice (I used Power Point) write your Teacher bucket list and upload it to your blog post.  
2. Write a post about the topic of the week.  
This week is: Teacher Bucket List
3. Add your link below.
4. Advertise your post using any social media of your choice.  

Grow My TpT Store, Blog and Fan Page:  I really enjoy working on my TpT store items and I love to write but the problem I run into is available TIME!  This year I hope to be able to structure my available time a little better.  I have a full time Kindergarten classroom, a part-time job and with all the other things, it's a bit hectic at times.  My plan is to set aside specific times dedicated to working on my store, blog and fan page because I'm going back to school in the fall!

Complete My Principal's License:  This summer I have applied to attend an elementary Principal's license program.  I love being a Kindergarten teacher and I also love mentoring, guiding and helping new teachers!  I am looking forward to going back to school when we go back to school!

PhD in Early Childhood Education:  Someday, I want to finish my PhD.  It's a long term goal but every step I take leads me closer to that goal.  Over the years I have obtained my Masters and enough additional credit hours to probably have another Masters!  It just shows that I am a life long learner!  I learn something new every single day and certainly enjoy gaining knowledge in our field!

Presenting Workshops In The Future:  Presenting at the ITeachK! National Kindergarten Teachers Conference in 2013 was AWESOME!  It was interesting and I certainly learned so much!  It's my dream to continue to present at workshops and conferences all over the country!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post!  I hope you'll take the time to link up so that I can read yours too!  

Thank you to Diana at My Day In K! for creating this fun Linky Party!