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Thursday, August 21, 2014

When? Schedules, Management, and Plans

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Today over at Blog Hoppin we are sharing the When? of teaching. When do you do things…like schedules, plans, and management?
Last week I did a post on the classroom management system that Megan uses in her classroom. You can read about that (here).
You may also want to check out these posts on how we manage and operate our:
Literacy Centers
Math Centers
Writer’s Workshop
Reader’s Workshop
So what about our daily schedule? When I am out presenting to teachers, I get two questions almost every time.
1. Where do you keep all of this stuff? So here is a picture of MY garage. We have a 3 car garage and I had the build put a wall to segment off one of the garages. This is where Megan and I both keep our teaching stuff. This is an older picture when just MY stuff was in there. So you can only image what it looks like now that I share the space with Megan!
2. How do you fit everything in? Here is our daily schedule so that you can see where everything goes. You can get the schedule (here) as a free download. You might already have it. It is from our Ultimate Open House Scavenger Hunt Pack that has other forms to help you get things organized at the beginning of the year.
As far as lesson plans, be sure and watch for us to link up to Deedee Wills’ weekly post, Peek at my Week, on Sundays. Since it’s a linky, lots of other bloggers share their plans, too!
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Does Organization Matter?

So before we talk organization....Have ya'll heard...TPT is having another back to school sale! It's called BOOST! So why another sale? Here are two reasons I can think of....
1. Only southern states, where it is 100 degrees in August, have  been in school for nearly a month. Our northern friends still start in late August or after Labor Day. So while we were getting ready for back to school, they were still thinking summer!
2. Now that school has been back in session for several weeks in the south, you know what you still need and can get it on sale!
So click here,, to head over to my store where everything is on sale.

Over the last few weeks I posted a series called “Classroom Set Up 2014”.  Well over at Blog Hoppin today we are sharing the Why of teaching. Why does organization matter?
How easy for me to do todays post, I already did it! Click on this link and it will take you right to my post on organization that I wrote earlier this month!
Then, hop on over to Blog Hoppin to see what great organization tips you can get from some other bloggers!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Where do we Teach?

Hey this is Kim and Megan and we want to show you where we teach!
Megan teaches kindergarten at Alexander II Math and Science Magnet School in Macon, GA. It’s a really sweet little school k-5 in an historic building. A magnet school is a neat concept. Although it is a public school, parents have to apply for their children to go there. So, it is a very diverse population!
Megan has a great team of teachers! Megan has been there for 7 years and is the senior member of her team! Yep! She’s been there longer than anyone else!
Here are some pictures from Megan’s room. Be sure and check back to other posts that we have done about Megan’s room during our Classroom Set Up 2014.
Now, where does Kim teach?
After 30 years as a public school teacher, Kim works around the country sharing tips with other teachers. What a job, right? She gets to meet lots of teachers, work with lots of kids, and visit some pretty cool places! She works with groups as few as a couple dozen to groups as large as 750! You can check out Kim’s schedule (here) to see if she is going to be in your area!Slide8Slide9
One of the bonus of Kim’s job is getting to meet up with other presenters and blogging buddies! Kim has made some pretty great friends this way!Slide7
Now, some days this is Kim’s classroom:
When not on the road, Kim shares her time between working in her office, taking care of her grandbabies (her favorite thing to do), and working in Megan’s and Ginny’s classrooms.
Hope you enjoyed this little peek into the places where we work!
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet Megan and Kim

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Hi! It’s Megan and Kim with a little peek inside of who we are!
So here’s what I love…grandbabies, family, warm places, diet coke, popcorn, and anything outside!Slide1
Yes, that’s me. I come from a military family of 5 girls. (My baby sister is MUCH younger than the rest of us, so she isn’t in this picture.  She is only a few years older than Megan.) My poor dad, he wanted a boy so badly…He loved and spoiled us and tried to teach us how to play softball, but to no avail. No athletes in this group!
I have a very strong group of women in my family, we outnumber the boys BIG time! Matthew, our oldest grandson, was the first boy since my son Tyler! By the way, that’s my baby sister—far left.
I am married to Andy, the love of my life for 30 years. We meet in March, were engaged in April and married that same July. People thought I shouldn’t marry him because I couldn’t possibly know him! But, ask anyone who knows us and they will tell you he is perfect for me.  We really do compliment each other..I’m loud, he’s quiet; I’m an extrovert, he’s an introvert; he likes to cook, I hate to cook; I like to work in the yard, he hates it. But, we both enjoy our family, spending time with them and each other. Retirement has brought us some extra time to spend off on some pretty wonderful trips together!
Did we really raise these two? I am so incredibly proud of them.
I love to go on trips with just Andy, but there is nothing like a family trip to build some strong relationships. Andy and I both are truly committed to our children growing as adults, as friends. Now, not every minute of every trip is drama free, let’s just keep it real, but when we look back those are the times that we laugh about the most!
This is Megan’s family---Megan, Nick and Matthew! They love baseball, movies, and anything Matthew!
This is Tyler’s family…Tyler, Ginny and the newest member-Brody! The love camping, boating, biking (Ginny is the best cheerleader), and right now I think they would love a little sleep! Babies are hard work!
Now I love my kids. Like love them more than life itself.!!!! These two boys are the most wonderful gift that my kids could have given me! I can’t believe I get to be their Gam! The best part is, I get to stay home with them when I am not traveling. I don’t get a lot done on those days, like most days I am still in my pj’s when they all get home from work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. No teaching, no blogging, no presenting, and no tpting will every compare to the time I get with them.
Some people were born into your family, they have no choice but to call you family. But others, are picked! I really do have the best friends—from high school friends, to teaching buddies, to presenting buddies, to blogging buddies, to people you meet because you share the same passion in life—these are the people I get to call my friends.
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peek At My Week Back to School Week 2

It’s Sunday, once again, and I am linking up with my good friend Deedee Wills over at Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten for a peek at our week.Slide1
So we are still spending our mornings introducing how to do things. We are going to read David Goes to School to review our rules and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten to help us write our list of school supplies. Want to read more about interactive writing? Go (here)!
We are also introducing our word family books and our abc charts for the first time.
Love our “target rule” strategy. Basically, we put the five kids on a cookie sheet with a magnet. We decide what we are working on—raising our hands, sitting on our bottom, etc. Pick one! Then, when the children are showing the rule, leave the kids on the cookie sheet. When someone doesn’t follow the rule instead of saying something, just remove one of the kids! Works every time!
We are continuing on with our reader’s and writer’s workshop.
During the reading foundational time you will notice we are playing three of the same games we played last week. I want my kids to “KNOW” how to play these games. These are staple games that can be used all year. I want to be able to put these as “can-dos” so they need to be able to play without an adult direction.Slide2
Sometimes I think we try to do just too much and end up running around like chickens with our heads cut off! So we decided to take our time on making the paper doll books. It takes quite a while to make the book so we are dividing it into two days and then making the paper doll on the 3rd.
Not sure what I’m cooking on Friday yet….
We are going to read Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse and talk about things that start with p. Here’s a lunch bag that I found and made into a purse to pull the items from.
We are also reading Go Away Big Green Monster and listing the color words. Here is a sample from last year of our interactive writing.
We are also reading Chrysanthemum to talk about our names!
You will notice that during our large group time we are introducing some math games. Then, the next day we play the same game again as a small group. Again, we are wanting our kids to know the framework of these games so that we can use it again with another standard and different clip art as our can do centers!
You can download the plans (here).
Now hop on over to Deedee’s blog to see what other teachers are doing this week.
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Classroom Set Up—It’s a Wrap

So here’s where we started…
And here’s the end result.
Hope you enjoyed reading all the posts over the last few weeks of how we get ready for school. Here is a list of all the posts in case you missed any of them:
Where are the Tables?
What’s on the Walls?
Reader’s Workshop
Writer’s Workshop
Behavior Plans
Math Centers
Literacy Centers
Organization Tips
Organizing the Large Group Area
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Where’s Your Large Group Meeting Area? Classroom Set Up 2014

Classroom Set Up 2014 continues…Large Group Area. I’m sure we all have a large group area. I’m going to share a few tips that Megan and I use to make the most of that area and the things that occur there…
First of all, we love those foam squares! Take about easy to clean up. No more “smells”! We assign each child a square. We want to be sure that each child has that special place that is just theirs. A place so that they know they don’t have to knock people over trying to get to the carpet. A place where they won’t be distracted by those sitting around them. A place where I can be sure I can give them just the right amount of help. Get the picture? We sit those that we could put in a china shop and who we are pretty sure are going to stay on task, the furthest away from us. Right up close…those that are going to need our every attention for one reason or another. Bless their hearts!
We don’t really love the GIANT easel. It takes up way too much room, but will have to do until we can find another one in the school or we can convince her dad to make her a new one! If you look closely in the picture you will see a green clip on the back. That green clip is holding a baby shoe hanging bag that we picked up at the dollar store. It is perfect for holding teacher supplies such as pens, markers, glue, tape, etc. Think of all the supplies that you might need and put them there!
Now what about that shelf? It is our PANIC shelf! Or our “we don’t need to panic” shelf. This shelf holds everything we need to teach our large group.
What do we keep there:
*Calendar Supplies
*Ipod for music
*Show and Tell (kids know they have to put their show and tell in the bucket on their day)
*Birthday Supplies so you are always ready
*Transitional Activities such as puppets that relate to our unit
*Our Class Happy Rocks for Compliments
*Any items that we are going to use that day during large group
*A set of magnetic letters arranged in abc order on a cookie sheet (with extra vowels)
*Our new sight word apron that we got in Vegas! Love it!
Right now our calendar bulletin board is basic. Instead of having everything on it right from the beginning, we only put up the parts we have introduced. Then, as we introduce more parts of the calendar, we add them. Our kids use a student calendar notebook and we just love them. Talk about active engagement! They keep their notebooks in their carpet bags.
The bulletin board has:
*A place to hang the standards for each of our mini lessons.
*A place to hang the standards for our 5 centers for literacy and math.
*The sight word parking lot. This is where we put our new words on Monday. Then on Friday we move them to the word wall.
(Those three items are in Megan’s classroom d├ęcor pack.)
*The calendar grid.
*A place to keep up with how many days we have been in school so far.
Pretty simple set up for an area where so much occurs! We do most of our teaching from the rug. We like to be able to see what everyone is doing. It keeps the pace of the lesson moving along quickly. It builds a sense of community.
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