Peek at my Week

Can you say SLUMP?  I've been in such a slump, or shall we say FUNK lately that I don't feel like I have time for ANYTHING.  
I have all those stupid (yes I said stupid) little forms that need to be filled out and copied and sent to recipient A,B, and C and yet another stack of "Don't Forget ME" papers that are killing me.  I don't know if I've ever felt so behind in my 10 years of teaching.  Sigh.   I feel a bit better after complaining.  Thanks for listening. 

Planning?  Oh my lanta.  I plan....just not very well to share.  Sorry.  Bare bones here this week.  I have 2 bright rays of sunshine to share before I get down to the nitty gritty.  
My beautiful daughters went to prom this weekend.  It was a 3 day event for my oldest and atleast a 2 day event for my little.  I don't remember prom being so much work......they did look beautiful though.  I spent Saturday taking pictures, serving dinner, and then sitting at home waiting for updates.  They all had a good time! 

Here's a peek at Kindergarten this week! 

We are wrapping up a six week unit in so many different ways!  It's hard to get a handle on everything we have going on.  This week our reading unit will focus on transportation (how we get to school), I have a science unit I am squeezing into any spare second we have on balance and motion (that the kids are LOVING) and in writing we are writing "How To" books and focusing on our science component this week.  Oh my.....I didn't do a good job putting this all on paper but it's happening.  I promise. 

A little fun with spinners last week.....
How To books on our own topic last week.  This week we will pick a topic that involves motion (our science topic).  

And last but not least.....this happens sometimes. 

I had 10 extra minutes on Friday (yes...just 10).  I took my afternoon group out for a quick recess and my 2 most energetic boys sat down and worked together to dig a hole to China.  They didn't throw sand, bother their neighbors, or screech uncontrollably.  

They just sat down and started digging.  
Working together to solve a problem. 

Sometimes amazing things happen in Kindergarten when you sit back.....and do nothing.  Ok....not nothing, but sit back and let it happen :) 

Have a great week friends! 

March Blogger Match-Up!

Have you seen this fun Match-Up popping up around blogger land?

Here's how it works:
Each participant has been randomly paired with a 2015 NCAA bracket team. We cheer on our teams and hope they win each round! If our team loses, we share a product from our TpT with the blogger we competed against. Here's how YOU benefit though! When we lose, we also have to run a giveaway on our blog of our product!! SO, make sure you are following all of us involved so you can enter ALL of the awesome giveaways!

Watch for this image on our blogs and Instagram so you can enter!

Ok, I lost in the first round :(  
That's OK though because you can benefit!  I'll be sending my product to my partner but you have a chance to win it here!

Here is a list of great bloggers to follow and more chances to win!  Everyone participating is giving away a product, so scoot around and visit some awesome teacher bloggers out there. 
Learning with Mrs. Langley cheering on Belmont
Second Grade Stories cheering on Indiana
The Neat and Tidy Classroom cheering on UC Irvine
Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten cheering on Coastal Car.
Miss Johnston's Journey cheering on Maryland
The Creative Classroom cheering on San Diego State
Fifth in the Middle cheering on Wichita State
Lessons with Coffee cheering on Arkansas
The Kinder Garden cheering on Notre Dame
Exploring Elementary cheering on NC State
Inspired Owl's Corner cheering on Oregon
Frampton's Fundamentals cheering on New Mexico State
Learning in the Little Apple cheering on Michigan State
NC Teacher Chick cheering on Utah State
A Tall Drink of Water cheering on Baylor
Sara J Creations cheering on Oklahoma
ELA Everyday cheering on Duke
The Blessed Teacher cheering on Lafayette
Mrs. 3rd Grade cheering on VCU
Rock & Teach cheering on Albany
Create Teach Share cheering on North Dakota State
One Happy Teacher cheering on Gonzaga
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas! cheering on Iowa State
First Grade Roars! cheering on SF Austin
The Learning Chambers cheering on Hampton
Teaching is Sweet cheering on Eastern Washington
Sounds Like Fun cheering on Louisville
Confessions of a Teaching Junkie cheering on Cincinatti
Year2tastic cheering on Kansas
Sparkling in Second cheering on Wyoming
Making Meaning with Melissa cheering on Purdue
One Sassy Teacher cheering on Villanova
Brittay Kiser cheering on Texas
Coach and Teach 24/7 cheering on St. John's
Hardcore Teacher Resources cheering on LSU
The Whole Wheat Class cheering on Oklahoma
Mixing It Up in the Middle! cheering on Mississippi
Teaching Maddeness cheering on UAB
Its Elementary My Dear cheering on Ohio State
Live Love Serve Teach cheering on Providence
Education Kingdom cheering on North Carolina
A Dab of Glue Will Do cheering on Dayton
Learning to be Awesome cheering on Kentucky
Technology Timeout cheering on Harvard
Kovescence on the Mind cheering on Butler
Blossoms of Blue in 2 cheering on North Eastern
Mrs. D's Corner cheering on Robert Morris
Where the Wild Things Learn cheering on Buffalo
Bright Concepts 4 Teachers cheering on North Iowa (UNI)
A Trendy Teacher cheering on Valparasio
Lucky to Be in First cheering on Wisconsin
Tales of Teaching with Tech cheering on Woffard
Very Perry Classroom cheering on Arizona
A Kindergarten Life for Me cheering on Georgia
First Grade Buddies cheering on Iowa
Miss Case's Classroom cheering on Georgetown
A Grace-Filled Classroom cheering on West Virginia
 Third Grade Cupcakes cheering on SMU
The Class Couple cheering on Xavier

More Time 2 Teach cheering on Georgia State
Owl-ways Learning cheering on UCLA

Good luck!

Peek at my Week: The Little Engine That Could

Well Spring's been fun.  It's time to get back to work tomorrow and while I really missed my kiddos I'm REALLY going to miss you.  Our friend summer vacation is right around the corner though, so I'm sure I won't be missing you for long. 

Now that the snarkism is out of the is my peek at my week!

Our story for the week is The Little Engine That Could.  I read this to my kiddos every year to teach them about the IB Attitude of Commitment, so this will be a fun week for me.  I've put this off for awhile because I knew it was coming. 

Here are a few products that go along with my week:
 This unit contains all of my word work, listening station response sheets, CVC word practice, posters, and extras for the week.
 Morning Work gets us started out the right way!  I'm happy to report almost ALL of my kiddos know their required sight words for the year.  I think Heidi Songs and they daily practice pages have something to do with it!
I'm excited to be starting Unit 6 of Guiding Kinders by Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills.  It looks like a fun one.  We are moving on to bigger and better numbers and there are some fun lessons involved.  I'm just a little short on egg cartons for tomorrow.....don't know how I'm going to fix that before 8 am but I'm sure I will find a way!

I'm also pulling out one of my favorite Lucy Calkins units to teach How To Writing.  I love this unit!  I book has so many sticky notes and dog ears it's hardly recognizable as a book anymore.  The kiddos love getting to become teachers as they write to teach others.  It should be fun! 

Ok, last but not least.  I have a science observation lesson on Wednesday and NO TIME and NO PLAN.  I guess I have a couple of days to think about that and I'm sure something marvelous will come to me.  And St. Patrick's Day?  I'm sure I'll find something to throw in there Tuesday.  
Cut me a break....I've been on vacation!

That's it!  Link up with Deedee HERE for Peek at my Week!

My 10 Truths About Teaching Kindergarten

 I'm ready to share my truths about teaching Kindergarten!  My friends all think I'm crazy, my mom thinks I should get a raise, and my husband wishes I would spend less time in my classroom.  Here is the real deal....

It might sound like a job where you get to play with play dough, color, and build sandcastles all day. I am here to tell you it's not.  We do many of those things on a daily basis but there are a lot of things people don't tell you about.  Those moments when you have to have a talk to your kinder friends about keeping their hands to themselves, not stealing, and keeping those naughty words out of school.  It isn't easy to look into those sweet little eyes and let them know they didn't exactly make the best decision.  I've seen a lot of tears over the years, but you just have to stand your ground and make sure they understand the importance of your little talks. 
I have a little boy that moves ALL the time.  He never stops.  He especially doesn't stop during calendar time, mini-lessons, or when I'm giving directions.  I've finally learned that if I give him a "project" (that's what he likes to call them) he can happily move around the room, clean up trash or whatever the project may be, and still listen to EVERY SINGLE WORD I am saying.  That's what he needs, so that's what I give him.  Guess what?  I need the same thing.  I may be doing 10 other things when you are trying to have a conversation with me, but I hear (almost) every word! 
 Transitions require songs.  Lots of songs.  YouTube is my best friend and we have lots of transition songs that help us clean up, go to the rug, hand out writing journals, and get the picture.  We sing to learn our alphabet and sight words and we LOVE to sing to count by 1's, 5's, and 10's.  It amazes me how growing up drains the singing and dancing out of people.  When you are 5, every day is a dance party!
 Internet down?  Phone rings?  You have a splitting headache and need to take an aspirin?  They're gone!  Kinders don't sit and wait for a phone call to be finished.  If your eyes aren't on them or they get the feeling you are not paying attention PANDEMONIUM erupts.  Every. Time.
 When I taught 5th grade a few years ago I always had those moments when I could get the class working, shuffle through a few papers to get them organized (so I could take them home and grade them) or just put a few things away to get ready for the next lesson.  My classroom wasn't a mess at the end of the day, because I maintained it all day long.  Kindergarten?  Forget it. It's like being in an onstage production of The Sound of Music all day every day.
 I really wanted to say, yes...that is pee on the floor.  No kidding.  It happens a lot.  We have one rule about the bathroom in our classroom.  If you need to go.....go.  Isn't that simple?  Well do you remember when your kids were little (or maybe they still are) and they start that little dance that tells you they need to go.  And they have to be TOLD to go.  That's almost impossible with 23 5 year olds in one room.  That little dance doesn't always get noticed.  Yes, we pee on the floor sometimes but we don't always tell the teacher we did it.  And yes, that was a booger.  It happens. 
Ok, this is the real reason I teach Kindergarten.  As a teacher we dream about those moments when a student says, "Oh, I get it!" or "I did it!".  There is an entire class in college dedicated to celebrating "aha" moments (just kidding) but seriously, isn't that why we all became teachers?  That moment you finally reached a child after months of trying?  It happens all the time in Kinder.  Like every single day.  The growth that happens from August to May floors me every time.  
Ok, I admitted that you always have to be "on" in a Kinder class but sometimes right before I start calling kids over for small groups I just sit and watch them read during Read to Self time.  It's so lovely to watch an entire group of kids sit down with a book and read.  It's my 30 seconds of therapy a day. :) 
 It's no secret we cry in Kindergarten.  We still cry in the morning, and sometimes at lunchtime, and we have been known to cry on the way out the door.  However, if you think back to the first day of school we cry a lot less than we used to!  I had little ones that didn't want to let go of mom's shirt on the first day of school and now they are reading books all on their own.  Now that is amazing.  I just had my Spring Parent/Teacher conferences and the most common comment was, "They are reading everything!".  At the store, in the car, or when mom and dad are spelling things out loud so they can keep something a secret.  Yes, it's a whole new world out there!
I left Kinder for about 5 years and I didn't realize how much I missed it.  It really is my home.  I loved first grade and I do miss it sometimes but Kindergarten is my home...boogers and all.  

Now it's your turn! If you teach Kinder, link up with your truths.  If you don't teach Kindergarten and you just want to read some honest blogs about teaching Kinder, head over to the Kindergarten Connection.

Thanks for visiting!

Sox Day and a Little Alphabet Hero

We had a tongue twister kind of a morning....

If you have ever read Fox in know what I mean! 
This book gets me every year! 
However, it's fun all the same, and who can resist crazy socks? 

It's been a lot of fun celebrating Read Across America this week.  Here is our schedule: 

Monday: Wear green for Green Eggs and Ham
Tuesday: Wear red and white for Cat in the Hat
Wednesday: Wear crazy socks for Fox in Sox
Thursday: Wear a fun hat for The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
Friday: Wear blue for Horton Hears a Who

(I told them to hide their faces behind their books, and they all hid.  Gotta love a kinder!)

My goal for Read Across America week is to add in A LOT of reading but not take away from our regular schedule.  With half day Kinder you have to use every single second the best way possible!  My FAVORITE part of the week is reading the book of the day together.  Everyone that has it brings it in and it's just a lovely little reading time we share together.  Kind of like a bedtime story at school with a bunch of best friends. :)

We are on our final countdown for Spring Break.  This quarter FLEW by!  I'm excited to rest a little, enjoy my family, finish up some really big projects and enjoy a little Spring Training baseball.  The project I am most excited about is my new Alphabet Superhero Packets.  I was looking for hands on engaging activities for my Kinders as I introduce each new letter.  For now I'm going to use this for my kiddos that are still having trouble with letter recognition, but next year it will be used A LOT in the first quarter.  Each set includes handwriting (which we still are getting a handle on), craftivities, posters, and flash cards. Plus the bonus of darling superheroes!
 Just a little sample of what is included!
Half way there!

Enjoy the rest of your week!  We will enjoy some crazy hats tomorrow and a little Horton on Friday.  Then it's all about that break!   

Manic Monday, Read Across America, and RAIN!

Let's start with the rain.  
I live in the "desert".  
It doesn't rain all the time here. 
I don't own rain boots.  
No recess is no bueno in Kindergarten.  

Ok.  Now that I got that out I can get to the subject at hand.  READING!  I love Read Across America week.  I absolutely love it!  I don't go crazy with crafts or a bunch of activities but we do read.  We read to ourselves, we read to our friends, we read get the picture. I reminded my kiddos today that on the first day of school I told them they would learn to read in Kindergarten.  They didn't believe me then, but now they do! 

I didn't take any pictures (cause I was busy reading)....but we read Green Eggs and Ham today as a group.  I invited students to bring the book with them if they owned it so they could follow along.  We read it as a group and it was just one of those magical moments that you love being a teacher.  Tomorrow we will read Cat in the Hat and we will do the same thing.  I'll take a picture...maybe. 

Our resource officer came in and read One Fish, Two Fish.  I love that we have community members that love reading to my kiddos as much as I do! 

We have also been focusing on our sight words and I saw this on Heidisongs Facebook page the other day so we gave it a try.  My kiddos were totally engaged the whole time, they loved it.  We watched the videos and wrote the words on our white boards.  Reading and writing, what is better?
And then it rained some more....

I will share all of our fun that will come the rest of the week.  I will be better about taking pictures this week!

Currently MARCH!

Leave it to Farley to get me blogging again.  February was a tough month!  I'm more than ready to say SEE YA February, hello MARCH!
*The hubs has a new favorite show, it makes him laugh which makes me smile.
*Loving that I went out on a limb and drove an hour and a half by myself to go to a blogger meet up this weekend.  We have some super fun stuff coming soon, and I'm really excited about it!
You'll have to stay tuned to hear more about our big news!

*Just keep swimming!  We've gone through some changes at work that have made my life SO MUCH BETTER, however I am feeling exhausted after a long 3rd quarter.  1 more week (BIG WEEK...Read Across America) and we get a much needed break.  Just. Keep. Swimming.
*I started a huge alphabet project which has me working nightly.  I'm excited about it, but now that I'm about half way done it's starting to feel like work (ewwww).  My favorite part about creating things is that it is not like work, it's a way to get my creative side a work out.  So I'm wanting this one to be DONE so I can get something else started!
*Needing Spring Break.....duh!
*We will be going to a Spring Training game (Dodgers!) and I will be relaxing! That's it!  Maybe it will be warm and we can get some hiking in, but I'm not holding my breath!

Now it's your turn.  Click to see Farley and all the other Currently link ups out there!