Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday made it on Tuesday!

I go back to work 2 weeks from today and I don't know where the summer went. I've been at school a little bit each week for the past month and I don't know what I've been doing. I am starting to feel like I need to get it in gear. I have a slight problem in that I need a couple more bookshelves. I have used all my bookshelves for my classroom library and now I'm trying to figure out how to make a math corner. And what to do with all the random knick knacks the kids have given me over the years. I used to use a tall bookshelf to keep all these things and my teacher's books but I'm trying to give my kids more of the room.I'm trying to put into practice some of the reading I've been doing in Daily 5, Debbie Diller, and Reading Workshop. I'm trying to make my classroom more about my students and less about me. But I do like having all the knick knacks. They remind me of the students I've taught and the impact that they've had on me and me on them. So I guess I just need to get creative. Since my last Monday Made it, I've worked on two craft projects. Here is the first one:

It isn't as cute as some of the ones I've seen on pinterest. But I found this frame at Hobby Lobby, and had another craft I wanted to make with it. I'm wanting to turn this into an earring holder by putting window screen in it. So I just hot glued the letters on there and hope it will work for the first day of school.The second project is below.  I covered these letters in scrapbook paper and added some ribbon. I wanted to make the read letters that I've seen all over pinterest, but I could never find the letters. So I thought I'd try it with Math. It would go well with the math corner I'm working on putting in my class this year.
So I uploaded those pictures using my blogger app on my phone and they are not cooperating with me so let me tell you about them. The first one is my author's corner. I'm focusing on one author a month as an author study and hope to do a take home bag of this author as well. (Look for some upcoming posts on this topic). First up is Kevin Henkes. I'm pretty excited about it. I need to do the research part to find a picture of the author, some facts, and then make a list of the titles to let the students vote.Sorry these pictures are really terrible. The second picture is my word wall all done. It already has words on it because those are the words from Kindergarten and their names. We put those on last year when the kids were in kindergarten and we'll add to it in first grade. I used the word wall letters from Holly at Crisscross applesauce in First Grade. It looks great with my theme. I wish I had thought to put black paper behind them before laminated but oh well. I'll be reviewing another one of her products tomorrow as part of the product swap. I'm excited.
The last picture is my super work board. It really looks good in person. I added clothespins I had hot glued thumbtacks to. The last touch will be their names on stars. I'll be sure to show a picture when I do a classroom tour.
So that's what I've been making. Check out other Monday Made it's by heading over to Tara's blog.
And before I've got another random question for all my friends out there. I'm working on making a new play list of music for my students to start the day off. I want it to be energetic not necessarily typical kid music. So give me some suggestions please.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New blog design and reading workshop

In case you haven't noticed, I have a beautiful new blog design that I love. Thanks to Erika and Misty at Honey Bunch Blog Design! They are wonderful to work with. I thought it would take much longer to get together than it did. They sent me a variety of choices on Monday and I had the new design up by Saturday. I love it and think it fits me perfectly. Chris calls me his little bookworm all the time. I am changing the name of my blog to Ms. Kerri and Her Krazy Klass since I switch back and forth between kindergarten and first grade. I would love it if you would replace my old button with the new one, if you have my button on your blog.

Ok. So I'm finally going to post about something actually school related. I finished read Daily 5 week before last and have been super excited to start this come the new school year. But my interest has also been really piqued in reader's workshop. Kindergarten Kindergarten has had several posts here lately about reader's workshop and how she does it in her classroom. (You can check out the first of the series here) Inspired by her, I ordered the book, Growing Readers by Kathy Collins. I was excited to see they had it for the kindle and I got it about half price and I didn't have to wait to start reading it. The joys of reading on my kindle. (or maybe it's dangerous. I'm not saying.)
I'm only 18% through the book but I've already been inspired. I really like Kathy Collins' style of writing. She offers great insight and shows how it works on the classroom. Here are a few things that I have learned already:

The structure of readers' workshop is:
  • Minilesson - 10 minutes 
  • Send students to go read for 20 minutes. During this time the teacher is offering indivdualized reading instruction
  • Partner reading - 10 minutes - Teacher confers with small groups of partners
  • Share time - 10 minutes - This share time is the teacher sharing what she observed as opposed to the kids sharing.
As I read this, I saw how this fits with Daily 5 and how they could work together. There are some differences. If I followed a readers' workshop structure, I probably wouldn't allow for as much choice in what the kids are doing like in Daily 5. Not sure yet, how I would do this.

Another structure I liked was the reading conference. This is something I experimented with last year. I like how Collins outlined the conference.
  • They should last 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Observe the students as they read and jot notes.
  • Start by offering a compliment on something the student did well.
  • Teach one skill or strategy, demonstrate it and then let the student try it out.
Collins suggests keeping notes on these conferences. You keep track of the compliment you gave the student, the teaching point and what you need to work on with the students. I've made a little sheet to help me keep track of the conferences. It's just the first of a project I've started to get my reading notebook together. You can download it if you would like to use it.

One other interesting idea, she offered was switching up the order of your day sometimes. By teaching math in the morning and literacy in the afternoon every once in a while, you offer your students who might not be as successful in literacy the chance the to be successful right of the bat. I like this idea. I'm not sure how it would work out with my schedule but it's something I'm going to think about it.
As I read more of the book, I'll keep sharing some ideas and share some more freebies. Thanks so much for all of you that answered my questions yesterday. I got some great feedback and it was nice to hear what other people do. I'm still on the hunt for the spelling program that will work for me. I've gotten a few ideas. Thanks for sharing. If you do readers' workshop, leave me a comment and let me know how it is in your room. Hopefully, I'll be back on track with offering some more educational posts this week.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blogiversary winner, flash freebie, and some random questions

So I promised yesterday that there would be some educational value today, not sure how much I'm going to fulfill the promise. But first things, first. I have a winner of my giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So congratulations to Janine from Faithful in First.  
Next order of business is my flash freebie. I hope that you've enjoyed these flash freebies I've been offering this week in honor of my blogiversary. I've enjoyed giving them to you. I just am constantly amazed at the generosity of teachers out there in blogland. It means so much to have this supportive community in my life. I've been thinking a lot about why I blog and why I make things. I love this community. I love sharing my ideas and hoping that I'm helping someone along the way. I've gotten some really sweet comments from followers about how I've inspired them and they hope they can create things like I do. That means so much and makes me feel so good. I've been concerned here lately with my numbers. The number of people following me, the number of things that I've sold on TPT, the number of followers I have on TPT. This summer I have been a part of a wonderful Bible study.
It's a great Bible study for a group of women if you are looking for one. Most of the group of women are employed by the school system in some way. It's been nice to be a part of this group. I've made some new friends at church and also been forced to examine some things in my life. One of these, is why I do what I do. This past year, there were times that I felt like people didn't know about all I was doing and I got all upset about. This summer, I've been discouraged by my lack of sales on TPT. Well, yesterday, I realized my focus was all off. I needed to be focused on serving the Lord. If I focus on pleasing him, then I will be doing all the other things I want to do. Like help people and sharing what I love to do. So all that said to say, I'm going to start offering a flash freebie from my store once a week in hopes that I will help someone. I'm still going to try to offer freebies once or twice a week of things that are always free. I'm still going to try to sell things on TPT because I'm making things for my own classroom anyway and I gotta find a way to keep up with my habit of cute clip art and units. But I want my focus to be on helping other teachers and sharing what I've done in my classroom. I need to stop focusing on the numbers and remember that even if just one person reads my blog I've helped one person. Even if it's just a laugh for the day. Ok so now that I've rambled on. On to the flash freebie.
This flash freebie was available from 7/28 at 9:50 AM until 9:18 PM
Today's flash freebie is the Monster Mapping set. This contains a variety of story maps to use with students after reading a story or book. My kids enjoy these story maps and thinking maps mainly because of the monster graphics. The freebie will up for most of the day so be sure to check it out. I would love it if you would leave me some feedback and a comment.
Now the last part of this of this post, random questions.
I thought about starting a linky party to answer some questions about school. I enjoyed reading everyone's Tell me more posts and finding about people personally. Maybe that's just the nosy part of me. So I was curious about some school things. So here are some random questions I would love to hear your answer to:
  • Do you have a dress code at school for teachers? Can you wear jeans when you want to or flip flops? We don't have a very strict dress code at school. It's pretty casual. We can't wear flip flops though. I find myself not dressing very professionally. I go back and forth about it. I read Ron Clark's The End of Molasses Classes last summer and he talks about the importance of dressing professionally. I would like to dress more like a grown up but at the same time, I spend a lot of time on the floor with my kids and I seem to wind up with paint and other things all over me.(I've had mayonnaise in my hair and fruit roll up all over me before.) So I'm curious about others.
  • Do you do your lesson plans weekly or at a chunk at a time? I do my plans a week a time because I seem to need to make changes as I go. But it might be more effective to do it a chunk at a time. 
  • Do you use daily 5, literacy workstations, reading workshops or something else? I'm going to implement Daily 5 this coming school year but I've been reading a reading workshop book and I'm thinking of doing a combo. Just not sure how that will all work.
  • Do you number your students? I did this when I taught 3rd grade but I've never done it kindergarten or first. If you teach those grades and number your students, can they remember the number?
  • What do you do for spelling? I would love to try out words their way but I just don't have the money for the book. I might be able to get our librarian to order it but I'm not sure. So other than words their way, do you have any suggestions for differentiating spelling instruction? I read someone's blog post about taking their spelling from their writing. I'm interested in that but I need a little more information. 
  • If you've moved to common core this year, are you still teaching money in kindergarten and first grade? 
Ok so I think those are the only random questions you have. I hope you'll offer me your answers in comments or even blog about it. If you think it would be a good linky party let me know.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flash Freebie

Click Here to get the freebie! 
THis was free from July 27 2012 at 12:14 until July 28 at 9:00 AM.
I had every intention of posting a good post today with some educational and teaching related, but I just got home from Bible study and next up is a picnic with my dad. Yesterday was his birthday and we're having lunch today. I offered to take him out but he wanted to go to the National park for a picnic and card game. I thought I better at least post my flash freebie. I'm offering my word work tools activity for free today for probably most of of the day. This picture below is from an old post. It's been pinned a ton. It's a picture of my kids playing this game. I found the hammers in the Target dollar spot and this game was born. My kids love it! So be sure to download it today while it's free. Leave me some feedback and a comment. Thanks to all my bloggy friends who were so encouraging after my negative feedback. This is why I love blogging so much. The positive and encouraging environment I choose to be a part of!
Today's flash freebie is my word work tools activity.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monday Made it, just a little late plus a flash freebie

So I've been meaning to link up with this party all week long but I still had finishing touches to put on a few projects. I still have 3 weeks until school starts back. I've been slowly working on getting my room together and I'm making progress. I try not to put a lot of pressure on myself until August. I made all these things to go with my black, red, and blue them, like a voice level chart, transportation chart, scheduling cards, and clock numbers. Well when I went to print them out on Tuesday with my new ink cartridge from Amazon, all the red printed out yellow. So while it isn't what I was going for, it doesn't look bad. So here's a peek and what what I've been working on.
I made these tags and used ribbon to attach them to bubbles. I have one small problem. I only have 12 things of these bubbles. I'm still on the hunt for more of them.
Here's my version of the transportation ribbons. I have boys and girls club, car and bus. These were suppose to be different colors but thanks to my printer, I have what I have.
I also got my Teacher's notebook all set up so I'm ready for school start. Again, the yellow was suppose to be red. You can get all these freebies, by going to this post.  If you download these freebies, please leave me some comment love.
This is a recycled crystal light container. I saw this on What the Teacher Wants blog. Check out the post here. I bought her Journals through the year pack last week and I'm excited to use it. It's going to be what my students do when they come in the room each morning. She put her prompts on Popsicle sticks. I just printed mine on cardstock and laminated them. They are to be used when the kids can't come up with anything. I've found a variety of prompts from other blogs that I will add to this collection.

Here's another freebie that I've been working on. This will go on the top of my work bulletin board. I had big plans of getting all this put up before posting but I decided I didn't want to go into school today. I just wanted to hang out at home. This freebie can be found here.
 These are some schedule cards I made. They were suppose to be red, blue and teal instead of mustard yellow, teal and blue. They don't look bad but they weren't what I wanted. I also realized I left some things out of the line up like lunch and our special classes. So I'll be adding those.
I'm really excited about this project. I have had a voice level chart pinned forever and I'm finally gotten around to making one of my own. I printed them out on cardstock, then lamintated, cut them out and attached them together using ribbon. Again, these were suppose to be red and black, not yellow and black. Now, imagine these numbers around a clock. I'm excited about this one too. I have had some apples I made like 7 years ago surrounding my clock. So these will be a nice change and they printed the right color.
I've made a few other things to go with this theme but they will be shared better put up. I made some objective signs and signs for an author corner. I'm thinking about bundling all these projects together and selling them. Would anyone be interested?

Ok on to the flash freebie portion of this post. In honor of my one year blogiversary extravaganza, I'm offering a flash freebie each day until Saturday. So check it out. I'm a little discouraged. The freebie I offered yesterday was downloaded over 100 times and only got 3 feed backs. One of the feedback was not so positive. It hurts to hear sometimes that your product isn't what people want. I took the feedback and made a few changes. So if that person happens to read my blog and wants the updated copy, please let me know. I printed the numbers off and hung them up in my classroom. They look good to me.
Click here to get my Puppy Ten Frame Scoot game for free at TPT. I would love it if you would follow me on TPT and leave me some feedback or at least a comment. This product will be free until this evening, most likely. Hope you enjoy it!
This item was free from July 26th 2012 at 11:59 until July 26th 2012 at 5:15 pm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flash Freebie

I hope you got your freebie while it was free. It was free from 8:39 pm on 7/25/12 until 7:52 AM on 7/26/12. Be sure to check back later today for another flash freebie. 

So I know I've already posted today but I had planned on offering a flash freebie as part of my Blogiversary Extravaganza. But TPT was down all day. Hence the 2 postings.
 I'm offering my black and white number poster for free for a short amount of time. I'm thinking until I get up in the morning. So be sure to head to my store and get these numbers! While you're there check out my sale I'm having as part of the extravaganza!
Here are a couple of picture of them all printed out. I wish I had thought to take a picture of them after I put them up at school yesterday. They look good with the alphabet I bought from Annie Moffat. Anyway, be on the look out for tomorrow's flash freebie.

Tell me more, tell me more linky

I'm a little late to the party. When I just clicked on to Mrs. Lemon's blog, there were 179 links on this party already. I had planned on linking up with Made it Monday, but I haven't finished my projects yet and I forgot to take a picture of some that I had at school. So hopefully tomorrow.
I think I probably share a lot about me on my blog as it is so I've been trying to think of a few things that I haven't shared yet. And then I remembered that I haven't shared any wedding pictures. I got married on June 16th of this year. If you follow me than you know all about that already. I was lucky enough to have our art teacher at school be my photographer. I'm not that photogenic and it was nice having someone I knew take my pictures. I also had a very small wedding and it was nice having a friend there.
So I'm going to share some wedding pictures and along the way share some other things about me.
This is me before getting in my dress. My sister did my hair and make up. Hair and make up aren't really my thing. My mom bought me all new make up for the wedding and made me promise to use. I do pretty well during school time but this summer I only wear make up maybe once a week.
Here is my sister lacing me up. I loved my dress. I really wanted a short dress but they were a lot harder to find than I thought they would be. This dress is a high-low dress. My sister is one of my best friends. We're only 2 years apart and have always been pretty close. Not to say that we didn't fight because we did. We even lived together for 2 years in college in a condo.
This is my brother in law and niece. I love my niece, Sophie, more than I ever thought I could love anyone. She's hilarious and a lot like me. I've been lucky enough to keep her on Mondays this summer. I like this picture because she was determined she was going to wear her one cookie monster sock to the wedding. She's a little on the stubborn side and likes to have her way. My sister thinks that comes from me.
This is where we got married at. The view was amazing. My mom and her friend made did all our flowers. My parents own a florist for a few years when I was in college. I had to skip class on valentine's day to help my parents deliver flowers one year.
I got to ride a golf cart from our cabin at the bed and breakfast to the wedding site. Here's my dad and I right before the ceremony. He told me a funny story about growing up and riding in the back of a truck while we were riding to the site. We had to wait a few minutes before we could go to the site because my in laws who are in Africa were trying to set up skype so they could see the ceremony.

Chris has a sister and niece too. I love Kaley as much as I love Sophie. I feel priviledge to be the aunt of two sweet and spunky little girls that I have known since they were born. We had our sisters stand with us during the wedding and then our nieces were our flower girls. I hadn't planned on them actually having baskets with petals but Chris wanted it. So we did. They were so good during the ceremony.

Chris's parents couldn't be at the wedding because they are missionaries in Zambia, Africa. His dad and step mom both wrote letters to us to be read at the wedding. It was a tear jerker. Our pastor at our church married us. He's known Chris since he was in high school. He was the perfect person to marry us.

We did a sand ceremony which was really neat. Our pastor put white sand down first and last to symbolize Christ in our lives. That's probably one of the best things about my relationship with Chris. I worked with the youth group at my church before we got together and so did he. Now we do it together and I love it. We also try to read a devotion each night before we go to bed. We try to keep Christ center in our lives. We also had a  candle lit for Chris's mom. She passed away right before his senior year. We wanted to honor those who couldn't be with us. So we had a picture of his mom and then a picture with his dad and step mom. I also got to wear some of Chris's mom's jewelry for the wedding which was pretty special. I wish I had the chance to know her.
This is my favorite picture from the wedding. I want to have an 8x10 made of it to hang up in the house. I think it sums up Chris and I. He handled all the music for our wedding and he was singing to me after the ceremony was over.
I've said we had a small wedding but I'm not sure people really know how small it was. This is a picture of everyone that was there. I think there were 17 adults and 2 toddlers. I have always wanted a small wedding and I'm glad we spent wedding money on a honeymoon instead of a large wedding.
I also love this picture of me and Soph. We were hoping she would do something funny during the ceremony but she didn't. We thought she might yell "No KK" or "No Ris" when we kissed. She doesn't like displays of affection unless they involve her. But she didn't. I think Chris was disappointed.
 This sums Chris and I up pretty well. He's seriously the funniest person I know. I love him so much and can't believe I'm lucky enough to marry my best friend. Funny thing. He's a vet and I'm not a pet person.

 This is me and my grandmother. She's one of my favorite people in the whole world. I call her Ama. I was always told it was because I couldn't say grandma or maybe I just thought that. But the truth is she didn't want to be a grandmother at 40 when I was born. My parents were young when they got married and had me. When I lived in Nashville, she came and volunteered in my classroom. She tutored 2 of my boys that didn't speak any English.
 Here's me and Kaley. She wasn't in the best mood during the wedding. But she's a sweetheart.
 Here's me and my sisters. I'm so excited to have a new sister. Chris and Michelle are really close and they just live down the road from us.

Last but not least, here's me and Amanda. She did an amazing job with the pictures. It was perfect.
So in sharing my wedding pictures, hopefully you learned a little bit more about me. But I thought I would share a few random things about me:
1. I love Elvis Presley. Like I have to watch his movies if they are on tv and I know most of his songs by heart. I also have an ornament on my tree that my dad got me one year for Christmas.
2. I like things to be even. I like for the volume if it has a number to be an even number. I really like for my class to have even numbers and don't mind when I get a new student if it makes me have an even number.
3. I love to read. I use to sleep with 1 or 2 books in my bed. Now that I'm married, I sleep with a boy. Which is just now getting to be not weird.
4. I cried when I finished reading the Harry Potter series because I felt like I was saying goodbye to old friends. I am so excited they are available on the kindle now for free with Amazon Prime. I'm starting to read them all over again.
5. I love love love purple. But my wedding colors weren't purple at all. They were blue and red. Which now that I'm typing that I realize that blue and red make purple. Interesting.

So I was going to post a flash freebie but TPT is still down. So, I'll be back with a post later tonight offering a flash freebie.
In the meantime, be sure to check out Mrs. Lemon's Step into 2nd Grade party and find out more about your fellow bloggers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Year Blogiversary Extravaganza!

As of today, I have been blogging for one year. I am amazed by this journey I have been on this past year. (that sounds so cliche). I have met so many great friends in person and through the blogs. I have grown so much as a teacher. I had a personal blog before starting this teacher one. I enjoyed posting on it but I didn't really have much of a readership. I wrote a blog post on that blog  that got a lot of attention from my teacher friends. This led me to doing a search of kindergarten blogs. I found April Larramore's blog Chalk Talk and Fran Kramer's blog Kindergarten Crayons. I was hooked. I found all kinds of ideas and books to read and resources. I just kept clicking away. From there I found so many blogs for all grade levels. I also discovered all these great resources and I was inspired to start creating some of my own. One of the best thing about blogging is all the friends I have made. I have had so many people help me along the way and inspire and encourage me. There are friends that I have never met but they leave me sweet comments on my blog and help me to feel inspired. There are also some fabulous friends that I have actually met. This great state of Tennessee has some fabulous bloggers. Especially my bloggy BFF Laura at Kinder Kraziness. She organized an awesome get together back in April and then started a facebook group for us Tennessee bloggers. I also had the pleasure of meeting Natalie from Teachery Tidbits in person. I'm sure that all this seems a little nutty to those that are not a part of this amazing community. We send presents to people we don't know (thanks to the bloggy exchanges). We spend hours talking at restaurants with people that we've just met but feel like we've known forever. I love this community. It makes me feel like I'm normal instead of some weirdo who gets excited about school supplies or can't turn the teacher brain off. I also can't believe that over 400 people read what I have to say on a regular basis. In honor of all this sappy stuff and my excitement of having over 400 followers I'm have a blogiversary extravaganza this week. It kicks off today with a giveaway.
I also have put all my items on my Teachers Pay Teachers store on sale until July 28th. You want to make sure you're following me and keeping up this week. I plan of having a flash freebie Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday on my TPT store. So be sure to check back.
Here are some things you can win:
My entire TPT store

2 Items from Markeeta at A Teacher and A Blog's TPT store

A Teacher and a Blog

An item from Laura at Kinder Kraziness's TPT store 

An item of your choice from Holly at Crisscross Applesauce in First's Grade's TPT store

Your choice of items from Mary Lirrette at Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives' TPT store

Owls on Dots Classroom Theme from Natalie at Teachery Tidbits 
Splish Splash Splat Unit from Mrs. Castro's Class

Mrs. Castro's Class
Any item from Jennifer at Herding Kats in Kindergarten's TPT store

An item of your choice from Erin at Eberhart's Explorer's TPT store

Enter below at the Rafflecopter. You have until July 28th to enter. I'll announce the winner on Sunday July 29th. Be sure to check back at my blog this week for all the goodies. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway