Monday, July 22, 2013

FREE Borders and Stationary

What a Kindergarten Teacher Does in the Summer - part 4
Learn to make png files?  Here are some borders and frames I made.  Try them out. You can use them to make you handouts and practice sheets more interesting? attractive? fun? individual? I keep my stationary and frames in my iphoto so I can get to them easily when I make materials. These are png files so they should be transparent.  That's what I'm trying for anyway. ah

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Blogs to Read

Thanks to Linda at Kindergarten Doddle for this "award" nomination! Fun way to try new blogs.  I already got one new idea to make for stations. Check out Linda's french fries sight word idea.
I'm supposed to start with 11 random things about me - and everything about me seems pretty random.
1. I always wanted to be a lawyer - until I started studying to be one.
2. I like to swing on school swings.
3. I am learning to use Adobe Illustrator - so look for some graphic improvements?
4. My husband and I sing together all the time.
5. I have short feet. (I love shoes.)
6. I have a dog themed classroom, I was afraid of dogs most of my life but we had one dog and I loved him.
7. I love making slideshows of my students - each week.
8. I have a place for everything and nearly everything out of place. Organized but messy.
9. I bring an unsweet iced tea with extra ice in a styrofoam cup from McDonald's to school every day.
10. I really like fabrics. I use them a lot in my classroom.
11. I love musical theater!!

Now to answer Linda's questions:

1.    What grade do you teach?  Kindergarten. Full Day Inclusive.
2.    What do you enjoy about your grade level?  What do you find to be frustrating?
I love the students at this age, so eager and curious. I love teaching kids to READ and do MATH. Every student truly believes that he/she is an artist, scientist, musician, etc. I say it - they believe it! I get frustrated when others have unrealistic expectations for kindergarteners. As my husband says repeatedly "They're five!"
3.    What is an average class size for your school? I think it is going down this year but 26 - 28?
I have had 26 - 27 the last few years but should only have 22 this year (fingers crossed) .
4.    How late do you stay at school once the students have left?  Well, I stay from 1 - 3 hours and almost always spend a few hours on the computer at home each night.  Don't ask about the weekends.
5.    If you weren't a teacher, what would you like to do? 
Realistically: Graphic Designer     Fantasy: Broadway Star
6.    Does your classroom have a theme? My classroom has a DOG theme with some RAINBOW thrown in for organizing.
7.   Do you have a Teachers pay Teachers store? Yes. 
8.   What prompted you to start a blog? I'm going to look back at my first post and see:) I like technology and I love sharing ideas so I thought I'd give it a try.
9.   What do you like to do that is not school related? Do anything with my granddaughter,  perform in theater, talk to husband and friends, explore Chicago, . . .
10. What would you do with $1,000,000? Let my husband retire with a big party for all our friends.
11.  What are you going to do once you are finished with this posting? Listen to some more of my Illustrator lessons or eat cinnamon toast.
Here are some new blogs to check out for some different ideas and viewpoints. You'll also might get to read their answers to my questions below.
Kinder Owls
the constant kindergartener.
Kinder Karla
maggies kinder corner
t is for teacher
The rules of the award:
So here is the scoop about this award: The rules for receiving the award are as follows:

- Link back to the original nominator's website
- You must post 11 random things about yourself
- Answer the questions the nominator set for you
- Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate
- Nominate 5 - 11 blogs (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post

Okay bloggers from above, here are the questions for you to answer and post on your blog. 
1. Do you entertain friends with kindergarten (or other school kid) stories? Got a quick one to share?
2. What do you usually have for lunch at school?
3.  Does your school district include high school?
4. How often and for how long do your students have recess?
5. Do you take a vacation at spring break? If you do where is your favorite place to go?
6. When do your students start school this year?
7. When do you go back to the school to start setting up your classroom?  How long does it take?
8. What is your favorite theme or unit during the school year?
9. What do you remember about your kindergarten teacher?
10. What was your favorite subject in high school?
11. What do you like blogging about most?

Phew, I hope I did this right.

What a Kindergarten Teacher Does in the Summer part 3 READ

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What a Kindergarten Teacher Does in the Summer part 2 GARAGE SALES

Dog purse for my Dog themed classroom.  What should it hold? Name sticks? Magnet clips, pets for recess, Dinosaur Dominoes, veggies for Imagination Stations, fence pieces for block play, and a CD player for the reading corner.

I love to go to Garage Sales!  Not only can I buy stuff CHEAP - and who doesn't love that? - but I get my creative juices flowing.  "What could I do with a bag of starfish?"
I use the Polly Pockets items for ABC sort/write activity, the wooden acorns will be perfect for when the Oak falls on the Goat (Jolly Phonics /oa/), and I know those starfish will come in handy during the Ocean Unit.
Here's my basic plan.

*Pick a day to go. In my area sales usually start on Thursday or Friday or Saturday.  Whatever day I go I start with the sales that start on the day I go. Huh?  Say I'm going to sales on Friday, I make a list of sales that start Friday. There is always more (and better?) stuff on the first day. I am not an early bird.
Puzzles are easy to find. I got these for $2

Great way to pick up non-fiction books to meet CCS.

*I mostly check the newspaper listings. I don't pay much attention to the description of the sales - you never know what you might find! I've tried Craigslist, but in my area it is not very helpful.  One town next to where I live requires permits and I check those on the town's website. Google can work too.

One of my favorite finds. These are light up magnifiers. Won't the FDKers love reading tiny little sight words with these?
 *Here's where I get a little umm involved? I put the listings onto Driving Route Planner    This puts the sales in the best driving order. How cool is that?  It gives directions too. If my husband goes along he puts them into the GPS but that is not necessary.
A nice BIG basket for $2.  Hmm, think it's big enough for headphones.

*I wear something with pockets for change and small bills (I got 100 singles from my class this year - perfect for garage sales). I get a big McD unsweet iced tea with extra ice and I'm ready to shop!

Native American blanket? Safety pins. Paper sized basket. Egg beaters are perfect for water exploration!
*Yes, I might mention that I'm a teacher as I shop - people do wonder at my shopping choices. Once in a while (not very often) I'll get a deal or even a freebie. My granddaughter tends to get the freebies and deals - she's way cuter than me. (By the way, kids can get a whole lotta stuff for very little money. If they leave it outside and it gets ruined - oh, well- it was a quarter.) If I buy a number of things from one person I will say "Will you take ? for all of this?" If I think something is over-priced I will ask for a lower price. If I think it is a fair price I just pay it. I make little rules for myself. I won't spend over $2 for a basket, $1 for a hard cover book. I'm a sucker for kids selling lemonade or their own belongings.

That hat was too good to pass up.

Play fruit, need I say more.

*I try to take the haul to school as soon as possible. I wash stuffed toys - right in the machine. I have gotten some fabulous stuff over the years and going to garage sales keeps me out of Nordstroms (for a while anyway).
Barely used and Brand New Lakeshore games (even dog themed) $5 total.  SCORE!!