Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week Day 3 - Organization

Welcome back here to Kindergarten Hugs, I am Carie Ramirez, the author of this blog! If you don't already follow me on Bloglovin, head on over there and follow me!

 This week, I am linking up to Blog Hoppin' to share some wonderful things with you this week!

Hmmmm. How do I stay organized?? I actually wrote a blog Fall talking explaining how I do this. To check out that post click here. Don't worry, if you want to finished reading this blog first and then hop over to my blog from last year, I will add the link at the end too!

I haven't changed much up since then but I will share a couple new things that I have added this year..or just forgot to put in that blog!

How many of you have papers without names on them at the end of the day?? I know I used to have SEVERAL!! Now, I have a tip to help you, help your students remember that VERY IMPORTANT step! Below you will see a trapezoid table with two baskets on it and hiding behind those pointers is a container with highlighters in it. When students go to turn in their work, they must highlight their name with ONE swipe of the highlighter ( I had to make that rule because students would spend 5 minutes up there "coloring" their name). They highlight their name as a way of self-checking...making sure they wrote their name on the top of their paper. If their name is not their, they can't highlight, so they have to go back to their seat, write their name and come back.
Once their name is highlighted, they put their paper in the white basket if their work in NOT finished and put their paper in the BLACK basket if their work IS finished.

Last year I used this shelf for something else and it became messy and cluttered so I decided to use it more wisely this year. This shelf will hold student work supply baskets and pencil boxes. In the baskets I have community supplies such as bottled glue and markers. Then in the open space on the shelf, students will put their pencil boxes away when they are not in use. This will help keep the tables from being so cluttered  (especially with class sizes constantly growing). Next to the shelf is the 3-drawer storage unit. This storage unit is actually my "Creative Center". The top drawer holds all different types of scissors and tape for students to make their masterpieces. The next drawer holds different types and colors of paper and the 3rd drawer holds all different kinds of stickers. Student's take what they need from the drawers, go back to their seats and start getting CREATIVE! They are located next to the supply shelf so that students can easily access their glue and markers as well!

Last thing I will share today is how I organize worksheets and lessons for each day. Next to my desk, I have an organizing pocket chart. It has ten pockets that hold file folders perfectly. I have a file folder for each day and then a few for extra things that I have or do within my classroom. The top one is where I keep copies of my morning work that students do each day. Then in each day of the week folder, I put all copies of any worksheet, game, poem, or book that we will do in that folder. This way, when a sub comes in, all she has to do is grab the folder and he/she is good to go for the day. You will also notice a green hanging folder under my calendar. This is my sub-folder. Again, easy to find and access. Lastly, one the desk, next to the hanging pocket chart is a black magazine holder. This holds any copies that are ready to go for next week. That way, I can just grab and stuff in the folders on Friday.

These were just a few organizatial tips for you, to see more from my blog post from last year click on the link below!

Join me tomorrow as I share all about Classroom Management in my classroom!

Don't forget to hop on over to Blog Hoppin' today though to see more organizational tips from other bloggers!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teacher Week 2013 Day 2 - Check out my Classroom!

Ok, so it is Day two and you get to tour my classroom! I am excited about my theme this year! If you read my post from yesterday, All About Me, you would remember that I am HUGE NIU Huskies fan! Last year, I started with one bulletin board and a name wall with the Huskies theme. This year, I have added much more! The only thing I am missing is my border on a couple of my bulletin boards because my order hasn't come in yet! I am getting a little nervous because school starts on Monday!! YIKES!!!
So here it is ...your tour of my ALMOST complete classroom!

Welcome to room 34! 

My door...on it you will see my lunch count pocket chart. Attached to the top is where I write the lunch choices each day. Above that is our "Where are we" poster. This tells students and staff where our class is, if we are not in the classroom. 

Here is a closer look at the "Where are we" poster. You can grab this FREE at my TpT store by clicking the picture below!

Next, as you walk in the door, to the right is my Huskie Helpers...classroom jobs. This project is not complete either. I was so bummed when I opened the package of "RED" letters, only to find that they were multicolored, so I didn't have enough red letters to complete the project! I am waiting for my red letters to come in as well! But you will get the gist of it!

Here is a closer look at the can find these at my TpT store by clicking on the picture as well!

We continue on to my writing center that sits in front of our word wall. 
 Must have's at the writing center: plenty of paper, several types of writing utensils, and seasonal word cards! 

 Following around the wall is our guided reading/small group area. This is where the MAGIC of reading happens...the place where I get to see the LIGHT BULB turn on when a child finally realizes that they can read on their own! 

On the wall, next to the window, you will see I have a special poster hanging up! It is from a very special friend of mine who got me started blogging and eventually on TpT. I am sure many of you have heard of her...Debbie Clement who writes her own blog, Rainbows Within Reach.

Here is a closer look at the poster of her picture book, You're Wonderful

And turning to the left, you will find my Library center, Comfy chairs, lots of books and even some reading buddies.

Just past the library center is the computer center. I have four student terminals that work MOST of the time. I can only hope that we will get iPads soon or even small laptops. But these get the job done for now. Next to the computer center is the storage shelf for the marker/glue tubs and student pencil boxes.

Turning left, we will see the "back of the room".  The back counter, which can sometimes turn into the "collect-all" holds my stereo, picture books that help to teach the Six-Traits and Social skills and a storage unit. 

This is the bulletin board that I will use for posting school rules, unit vocabulary and student work. As you can see, as mentioned earlier, I am missing my border. Once it arrives, it will be put up right away!

The storage unit I mentioned holds extra markers, crayons, glue, pencils and erasers. It also houses my "quiet shelf" activities. These are activities that students can choose if they finish early. They are activities that students do quietly and by themselves (i.e. puzzles, whiteboards, coloring books, etc) On the top of the shelf is a timer. I use this timer for nearly every activity. It helps keep me and the students on track throughout the day.

Follow me around the corner again to my dry erase board and desk area. Please do not mind the mess on my desk...just a few things I have to put away yet. You will notice the pocket chart next to my desk, it holds the activities for each day and each subject area. Then below that, sitting on my desk, there is a magazine holder that holds items for next week.

Finally, we are at the last part of my classroom, the meeting area. This is where my carpet, Smartboard, and calendar are located. Below the Smartboard is my new shelf that will hold center activities. To the left of that, you will see a table with the Huskie on it. That table is where students will turn in their work. One basket is for finished work and the other is for unfinished work. I also have a container of highlighters sitting there. Student's highlight their name before they turn in their work...this is to make sure that they have written their name on top of their paper.

 And there you have it! A tour of my classroom! I hope this gave you a couple of new ideas for your own classroom!
I am looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for Day number 3 of Teacher Week 2013 brought to you by Blog Hoppin'

Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:

Now hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to check out more classrooms! Just click on the button below!

Teacher Week 2013- Day 1: All About ME!!

It's teacher week 2013 over at Blog Hoppin   and you get to join in the fun by linking up with us every day this week!And I just about missed Day 1, Ahhh! But here it is anyway with a tiny time to spare here on August 12!

Here is the schedule for the week!

So let's get this party started with Day number one!!!  and you can learn a little bit about me! 

1. I have been married for 9 years to Sam who hosts his own morning show on the radio. He works at a country music station, the same station where we met 16 years ago. I have been lucky enough to meet several country music stars throughout the years thanks to the radio station and my husband :) 

Here are a few:

Luke Bryan
 Miranda Lambert

 Dirks Bentley

Justin Moore

 Rascal Flatts

Random fact #2:

I LOVE NIU football and have and will travel all over to watch them play! Thus, my Huskies themed classroom. 
My husband and I have been to several different stadiums throughout the years...We even went out to Maryland to watch the Huskies on our Honeymoon. But, the best experience (even though we lost) was getting a chance to go to watch them play in the Orange Bowl this past year. My husband, sister-in-law and I drove down to Florida to watch the game and spend time with some family that I have along the way! 

Here are some pictures from the trip! 

My husband, Sam - Sister-in-law, Jacey, and myself getting ready for the long trek to Florida! 

Random Fact #3:
 I was in the Army for 9 years before I became a teacher. I joined when I was 17 and still in high school! I spent 15 months away from home right after I got married in 2004 when I got deployed to Iraq. You can read that whole story here

Here is a picture of my battle buddy and myself in full battle rattle...minus our kevlars. 

Random fact #4: 
I LOVE cheese...I eat it with most everything! When I can, I usually get EXTRA cheese but the funny thing is...I do not like cheese pizza! Weird I know! But I do LOVE Macaroni and Cheese pizza! If you have never tried definitely need to!

Random Fact #5:
I gave up caffeine for Lent 2 years ago and haven't gone back! But once in a great while, I will give in and have a Mt. Dew...but oherwise no more caffeine for me! I also gave up coffee...even decaf coffee! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE coffee and I miss it dearly but I gave it up because of the sweetener I used...sweetener is like putting  formaldehyde in my body and I didn't like the thought of that so I gave up coffee all together :( It was a sad day but I am so glad to not be hooked on caffeine or coffee anymore! 

Random Fact #6: 
I hate to work out! I don't enjoy it one bit! I even got a membership to the YMCA this year...which I have used a lot but I still do not enjoy working out at all! Working out to me is boring...When I walk/jog/run on a treadmill all I can do is count the seconds. Even listening to my iPod, I think "oh man, that was only a 3 minute song, I still have about 10 songs to go." It's bad! Same thing when I lift weights...BORING! It is not that I don't like the results...just don't enjoy the journey there. The atmosphere is too stale for me.

Random Fact #7: 
I play softball 5-6 days a week in the summer. Softball is my favorite sport to play and can't imagine not being able to play! I play on a women's league, 3 co-ed leagues and a vintage baseball league. My husband plays with me on 2 of the co-ed leagues and the vintage league (well he didn't this year because he broke his leg! Yep...broke it playing softball!! Check out that whole story here.) I have played softball since I was 5 years old. I was just an average player growing up but enjoyed the experience so much that I have continued to play the game and honestly, I think I am better than I was in high school. Or maybe I just put more heart and soul into it now. I guess you could kind of call it my hobby.

Here is a picture of our Vintage Baseball team...The Oregon Ganymedes

Random Fact #7: 
Despite all of the softball I love to play, I have terrible knees! It runs in my dad's family, and something I was lucky enough to be blessed with! ha! I have had surgery once and I am trying not to have it again but I know I should. I need to have both of my knee's taken care of before I am unable to do the things I love. Stubbornness runs in my dad's family too...another trait I was blessed with! I say this because every 2-3 years I blow my knee out, self diagnose, stay off it for a week or too and am back at the bump and grind of things. Then, I ran my first 5K since I got out of the Army back in 2006 and then for 3 weeks after the knee's were stiff and very achy. I could barely walk up and down stairs. Needless to say, I should have gone to the Dr. after that whole episode, but I didn't. I continued to run on my own and the stiffness and soreness only continued. Well, still haven't been to the Dr but I will say, I have resorted back to just  walking again. Now I only run when I play softball. I know one day these bad knees will catch up with me.

Random Fact #8:
I do not have any children but I do have a sweet nephew and niece. My nephew's name is Ty and he will turn 4 on Thursday. My niece's name is Briley and she just turned two. I can only imagine the love parent's feel for their children because I know the love I have for these two sweeties. I never knew how much I could love one person until my nephew and niece came into this world! I love them with all my heart and try not to spoil them too much :) 

Random Fact #9:
My husband and I just took over our Church's High School Youth Group. We are very excited to take on this new adventure and look forward the spending time with the youth of our church! Last year, I went on the youth mission trip (click to read more) to St. Louis as an adult leader. I got to become very close with some of the youth as a result of it. This year, I talked my husband into going on the mission trip to Memphis and he finally agreed! But then, he broke his leg and so we were unable to attend. 
 I know that the good Lord has called us to make a difference in the lives of these youth and we are looking forward to a great year ahead!

Random Fact #10:
My favorite day of the whole school year is WACKY WEDNESDAY! I am still that wild and crazy girl I was when I was younger (just a little more mature) and love having fun, being silly, dressing wacky and making people laugh. If my superintendent or principal would let me dress this way EVERY DAY... I would!

BONUS Random Fact #1:
I got a chance to see Mumford and Sons in concert last summer! They came to the town I teach in (15 minutes away from my house)! It was an AMAZING concert! They only did 6 concerts in the United States and he little town of Dixon was lucky enough to host them!!

Below is a view from the stage taken on my husband's phone.

Here is a picture of the entrance to the venue

BONUS Random Fact #2:
I love love love Christmas Carols! I love to listen to them and to sing them any time of the year! My favorite Christmas carol is the Christmas Eve on Sesame Street version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (not the Bert and Ernie version but the one on the actual soundtrack record I used to have) and True Blue Miracle. Actually I love that whole soundtrack! I have a lot of other Christmas carols that come in a close second but I don't think I could do a top 10 of favorite ones because I wouldn't be able to narrow them down!! Speaking of music and singing, I also make a great "car star"...meaning I can sure sing like a true rock star while I'm driving my car! Yep, that's me, the girl you see singing away driving down the highway! haha!

That my friends are 10 random facts about two bonus facts :) I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me!

Please link up at Blog Hoppin' to see what is new for tomorrow and throughout the week! And to check out other blogs that have joined in the fun!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kindergarten Office

Every year my students use a kindergarten office AKA privacy folders. I make these offices so they have a dual purpose. Not only do they give the students privacy from others but they also help give them writing resources right at their seat.
Here is what my kindergarten offices look like this year. I take two file folders and tape them together so that they barely overlap. Cut out the charts and list, glue them in place and laminate!

 On the front is the Kindergarten Office cover and on the back is some writing prompts for students. It reminds them of the different things they can write about.  

now we open up the office ...

Inside there are hands that remind students which is left and which is right. There are words that students use in their daily vocabulary such as Days of the Week, Months of the year, number words, family, color words and sight words. I also have a letter sound and action chart in there for students. We use Jolly Phonics at our school and so that is the chart that I have included in our offices.
Here are some close ups to the side panels and the center of the offices.

The good news...I just uploaded this to my TpT store!!! So, go check it out by clicking the picture below!

I hope you enjoy! Have a great week!