Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 Reflection {a link up}

2015 has been full of big changes, but this has been a fantastic year.  I can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for me!

I am linking up with A Teeny Tiny Teacher, Dragonflies in First, and Miss Kindergarten to share my 2015 with you!

My friend Maddie, from middle school, had her baby shower for her baby boy.  It has been fun watching all of us grow the past 10+ years.

I visited 2 of my sorority sisters in Dayton.  So fun to catch up!

I celebrated 4th of July in Cincinnati with my college roommates.

I attended #EdCampLDR in Raleigh, North Carolina and Columbus, Ohio.  I love this form of Professional Development because it is personalized and everyone has the opportunity to share their experiences.

I traveled to Florida for a family vacation and had all you can eat crab legs.  Best dinner ever!

I moved from Ohio to North Carolina.  I lived at home the first few years of my teaching career so this was my first apartment.  Can't beat this view. I love everything about my apartment.

I obtained a new teaching position- full day Kindergarten teacher.

My high school friends visited me during Halloween weekend.  I was Minnie Mouse.

My cousin visited in December.

My family is going to Phoenix, Arizona for a week as our family vacation.  After that I am flying to Ohio to see my friends.  This will be a memorable winter break.

Thanks to everyone that supported me along the way and made this year so positive!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2015 Reflection

These are canvases that I have hung up around my apartment.  Each quote guides me in my personal and professional life.  Do what makes you happy and never give up on your dream.

For Compelled Tribe this week, we are reflecting on 2015.  It is already December, which means the 2015 calendar year is coming to a close as well as the halfway mark for the school year.  Time is really flying by!  A few thoughts on the 2015 calendar year:
  • I took a leap of faith and moved 8 hours away from home to North Carolina.  I am not married and have no children so this is the perfect time for me to experience something new.  I lived in Ohio for over 20 years so this was a big adjustment for me.  I am very close with my family so it was hard at first. However, I am enjoying the experience of living in North Carolina.  I met some great friends and the weather is pretty nice too!  Through this move I learned that I adapt well to new situations and still maintain a positive attitude.  Change is all about how you react to it and I continue to encourage myself to go out of my comfort zone.  I am a lifelong learner.
  • This year I became a big advocate for the growth and fixed mindset.  I read Carol Dweck's book and am now on my school's mindset committee.  I believe this is a huge life skill for my students.  Yes, this can be done with Kindergarten students.  I do not believe they are too young for this concept.  I have read many picture books to help model that it is ok to make mistakes as long as we see the lesson.
  • This school year I really worked on maintaining balance.  I make time for family and friends.  Yes, I still take work home, but I am better at prioritizing.  I am a better teacher when I take care of myself and continue to do things I love outside of the classroom.
Thanks for reading!  How has your 2015 been?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mindset in the Classroom

In the past year I have become increasingly passionate about mindset in my personal life as well as in the classroom.  As a Kindergarten teacher, it is the perfect time to incorporate this topic as we are building the foundation for our students' education.  I want to give students the tools to succeed, but also teach them that with their language they can change their mindset.  You are in control!  

Why mindset in the classroom?
  • Model struggle as an opportunity to learn
  • Kids can control effort and how they persevere
  • Teachers can re direct negative talk into positive
This school year I am on the Mindset committee.  So far we began our book study with Mindsets in the Classroom.  I am SO excited to be involved in this committee and see how this topic transforms our learning.

Before implementing this into your classroom, I highly recommend reading both books pictured below.
LEFT: Mindset by Carol Dweck
This will give you background knowledge on mindset and how it can become a part of your life.  
RIGHT: Mindsets in the Classroom

Lesson Ideas
Font: KG

I found this on Pinterest and modified it to fit my needs.  Instead of writing phrases on the paper, I typed each statement and as a class we determined if the statement illustrates a growth or fixed mindset.  The sort was very helpful for my students.

Self Talk
This anchor chart has been all over social media within the past year.  In order to implement mindset into your classroom, it is critical that the teacher models appropriate language.  

Bulletin Board
Credit: Darlin' Little Learners
{not available for sale yet}
I saw this on her Facebook page and just love it!

Get the growth and fixed mindset posters HERE

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to use mindset in your classroom.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

BOOing Staff Members

For any teacher, fall is incredibly busy with getting to know our students, establishing a routine, building a classroom community, and keeping up with the general demands with the beginning of a new school year.  October is a great time to pay it forward to staff members.

This year one staff member decided to start BOOing teachers in the school.  All it takes is 1 person to start this. The 1st person will BOO 2 staff members, then each person they BOO has to BOO 2 staff members.  This continues until all staff members have been BOOed.  When you get BOOed, be sure to check who has been BOOed to avoid duplicates.

These are the goodies that I received.
-Peanut and Peanut Butter M & Ms
-Wire pumpkin
-Fuzzy socks
-Binder clips
-Post It notes
These are the goodies I gave:
-Decorative socks
-Mini M & Ms
-Pumpkin Spice lollipop
-Halloween pencils
-Owl cookie
*Everything I purchased was from Target
Once you have been BOOed, place the paper on the LEFT on your classroom door so other teachers know you have already been BOOed.  The paper on the right has directions for BOOing other staff members.  When you are BOOed, make 2 copies of each paper to give to the people you BOO.

However you decide to implement this, your staff will love it!  Everyone loves a random gift!

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Five for Friday.. on Saturday {September 26}

It has been a few weeks since I posted.  Between getting adjusted to living in a new state and the beginning of school, I have been busy!  Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky.

My principal ordered classroom rugs for us and they finally came in this week.  This rug is perfect for  my Kindergarten students.  Each student has as assigned spot next to their thinking partner, which eliminated students arguing over where to sit.  I just LOVE it!
I don't have much open wall space for anchor charts so I had to get creative.  I finally put up my be a good listener chart.  I laminated it so I can reuse each year.
The books I got for FREE from Scholastic Bonus Points this month.
We started retelling this week and I made this story map poster to help my students have a visual.  The pink categories are: title, setting, characters, problems, and solutions.  The blue sections are used for students to place post it notes.

On Tuesday my dad was in town.  I haven't seen my family since I moved here in August.  It was great to catch up.

Next week I will post all about our apple unit!  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Classroom Tour 2015-2016

Today I am linking up with Ashley and Angie for their #2getherwearebetter monthly linky and blog hoppin' as part of their meet the teacher week.


As I was setting up my Kindergarten classroom I was asked consistently what my classroom theme is.  Although I love bright colors and chevron, my priority is always the students and the learning experiences I provide for them.

My theme is students.  My theme is growth mindset.  My theme is fun.  My theme is flexible.  My theme is collaboration.  My theme is creativity.  My theme is risk taking.  My theme is for any student who walks into my classroom to make it their home away from home.  {Inspired by Pernille Ripp HERE}

Here is my Kindergarten classroom.  This is our first week so there are still things I need to add such as birthdays and name wall.  Not completely finished, but enjoy!
                                                       View when you first walk in
View from my kidney table at the back of the classroom
Student cubby
Each cubby has a student label (every 5 students has a different color) and a book box for Daily 5
Shelves above are used to store teacher materials
Student check in area.  
Snack/folder/notes to the teacher/pencils
The shelf in the back is for word work materials
The 2 shelves pushes together are used for community supplies and recess games.
Find out what the pink bin is used for tomorrow :)
Word Work Shelf
I planned on labeling each bin, but couldn't find any I liked with word and picture.  So, I plan on making my own this weekend.
Front of classroom.  My principal ordered rugs for us so I don't have the front of the classroom fully set up.
ABOVE the board: inspirational quotes 
LEFT of board: learning targets, class brownie points, and voice level chart
RIGHT side: calendar area, how many days have we been in school, yesterday/today/tomorrow, weather, daily schedule, and visual direction cards for my ELL students
On the easel is my SHINE visual for how to sit at the carpet
Dismissal Clip Chart (left)/Writing Center 
In the blue pocket chart, I change the words every month.  They are theme words; usually holidays and seasons.
What Do Writer's Write Pencil: Freebie from The Teacher's Wife
Vocabulary: Purchase HERE
These topic cards are HUGE in my writing center.  The cards are divided by topics to assist students in coming up with a writing topic.
Purchase HERE
CAFE and Daily Five area
{Once Daily 5 is fully implemented I plan on using that area below the bulletin board for students to check in}
{Large table will be used to store mini iPads}
I also have color words posted above

CAFE cards: FREEBIE from Sweet Kindergarten
Daily Five cards: FREEBIE from Going Strong in 2nd Grade
Guided Reading area.  
LEFT of bookshelf: 10 drawer cart to organize daily lesson plans and copy/file/grade organizer is on top of it
RIGHT of bookshelf: printer, teacher toolbox to store all my supplies
Underneath my table I also have a 31 tote to store all of my guided reading lessons.  I have them categorized by skill (phoneme segmentation, 1 to 1 correspondence, etc)
I store all of my leveled books and guided reading materials on the bookshelf.
Math area
The blue pocket chart is for math vocabulary that I will update each week.
TOP LEFT of bookshelf: math picture books
TOP RIGHT of bookshelf: math games
*At the beginning of the year I have pattern block puzzles to practice 1-20 number formation, play doh mats for 1-20 number formation, and counting games.  
My classroom library!  
RUG: Sam's Club 2 years ago
READ banner:
The shelf on the far right will be used for leveled books (my school does Daily 5)
BACK RIGHT: I place any books I read during a unit on this shelf so students can read them during read to self or read to someone.
BACK SHELF:  Books students can select.  I am only leaving a few bins out to start the year.  Gotta build the excitement and also teach students how to use the library responsibly.
I posted multiple intelligence posters on the cabinets near our sink.  My school is a creative arts and science magnet school that focuses on incorporating Gardner's multiple intelligences into our instruction.  
Purchase HERE

Come back tomorrow to read about my sanity savers in the classroom.  Many organization tips :)
Thanks for reading!