Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who? Kathie from The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher.

All good things must come to and end and Back To School With Guess Who? is no exception.  Please help me welcome Kathie from The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher as she closes up this year's Back To School With Guess Who?

Hi everyone! My name is Kathie from The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher. I am excited to share my guest post with Marsha today. I hope you find my tips on creating a Back to School Time Capsule helpful! Teachers can do this with their students and parents can do this with their children. : )

What time of the year is better than “back to school” time? It is a time for a fresh start and new beginnings with a group new students. Many teachers spend months planning for this time; we want to get the most out of these first few weeks of school because we know that they will set the tone for the entire school year. One of the things I love to do during the first few weeks is to create a time capsule with my students. It is a great way to capture those new moments shared during the first month of school. It is even better when students can open them and see how much they have grown over the year(s).  Creating a time capsule is fairly easy. Here are some tips below:

  • Begin by choosing a date you would like to open the time capsule.
  • Decide where you are going to store them.
  • Give students ample time to collect the items that they will be adding to their capsules.
  • Choose the container that you will be using to serve as the capsule.

Items you can add to each time capsule:

  • Pictures of the student (with family, playing with their favorite toy, visiting their favorite place, etc.)
  • Label from their favorite snack or food
  • A list of 10 things under a dollar
  • The URL for their favorite website
  • An All About Me survey
  • Current newspaper article (i.e. an article about the 2012 Summer Olympics)
  • Current footprint and handprint
  • A self-portrait
  • A recent ticket stub (movie, concert, etc.)
  • A list of predictions (i.e I think__________________ will be elected for president in November 2012)

You can use one of the following items as a time capsule:
  • Potato chip container
  • Oatmeal container
  • Plastic/ cardboard pencil case
  • Coffee can
  • Any type of canister with a lid
Time capsules are great for preserving parts of the past and can be used as an authentic tool for measuring student growth. I hope you have a great school year! Check out my blog each week for more great back to school ideas, tips and activities! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who? Lidia from Kinder Alphabet

Please give my guest blogger today, Lidia from Kinder Alphabet, a warm welcome.  You are going to love love love the back to school goodies she brought with her today.

Hello friends! This is Lidia from Kinder Alphabet. I am happy to be guest blogging for Marsha today.   We are still trying to share Back to School resources to prepare you before your return to work.

I have some favorite books for the first week of school. One of them is the Kissing Hand. Many students come to school for the first time ever. They always seem to relate to the little raccoon who has his insecurities about going to school. We especially like the part where the raccoon places his hand on his cheek to feel his mother's love. After the story, we discuss how we feel on the first day of school. Then, we practice kissing our palms to represent our mom's love and then press it gently on our cheeks. I tell them to do this throughout the day when they are missing home. It is so precious to see students do this on their own during the day. It becomes like their security blanket:)  I would like to share this student book that you can incorporate after reading the Kissing Hand.

Another book that I love is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. The students love to read this alphabet book time and time again. You can read the story. You can chant the story. You can even sing the song that goes with along with it. It's too much fun. Here is a resource that you might like to add to your unit.

Finally, I have another resources that I just finished. You can use it to create a birthday graph on a bulletin board. It also includes birthday balloons that you can tape to pixy stix,  krazy straws or colorful pencils. You might be able to use this during your All About Me unit when students are learning more about themselves and becoming familiar with their birth dates. This is a google doc. Make sure to go to File and then Download so that you can see the pictures clearly. The doc seems to be showing the balloons without the colorful patterns. You should have no problem once you download it:)

It was fun sharing with you today. I hope that you find my resources useful. Feel free to stop by my blog sometime and see what other resources will be offered throughout the year:)
Make sure you take some time to visit Lidia's blog, you're sure to get some more great tips.
See you tomorrow for our last (sniff, sniff) day of Back To School with Guess Who?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who?

An apple a day is what I always say . . . Please welcome Michelle  from Apples and ABCs as she gives you some tips for organizing your classroom helpers. 

Hello everyone!  It's Michelle from Apples and ABC's!  I am so excited be blogging for Marsha today, so thanks for having me :).  

On staying with the theme "Back to School" (is it coming WAY too fast for anyone else?!?) I want to share with you how I do my "daily helpers" in class.  I get so jealous of the teachers that have 15 different class jobs, with clever titles, and that change daily.  I am SO not that teacher.  There are so many aspects to teaching and especially to keeping a classroom run smoothly.  For some reason, I have not been able to implement a detailed classroom helper system.  It seems like I have tried every year, and I end up forgetting whose job it is (and so do the kids)...  I wish I could have a structured system, and have the kids so well trained that the classroom helper jobs are running without me even needing to intervene.  But that is not my reality.  :/  The good news is, I have found a system that works well for me!  Maybe some of you haven't found the perfect classroom helper system yet either, so it could work for you too!

Here it is:  I have one helper a day.  Yep, just one...and that student gets to do EVERYTHING!  They are the line leader, light monitor, runner, paper passer, you name it, they do it.  Let me share some of the benefits.  Instead of only getting to turn the lights off 6 times a day, they get to be in charge of everything!  This makes them feel so special when it is their special day, and it's all about them!  There are always little things or opportunities to get the other kids involved in the day, but there is one person that is the main helper.  This keeps it simple and easy for me and all of the kids to remember whose day it is!

Let me show you how we keep track of who the helper is...

I have a long, skinny pocket chart by the door and each student has an apple with his/her name on it.  We call this "apple order."  Having this list of names is helpful to know whose day it is, we just go down the list and each person gets a turn.  This is also helpful when I need to make sure everyone gets a turn at something, or if students are being pulled out to be tested, or all need a turn to glitter something (a kinder life for me....), then I just go down the list of names and make sure each child gets a turn.

There is a clip that slides down the pocket chart and if it's your day the clip slides to your name.  If someone is absent, I might switch the apple with the one below it and it will be that next child's turn.  

I bought this pack of apples at Lakeshore, and wrote each child's name on it.  Then the apples go in the chart, and there we have it:  a classroom helper list!

I hope this way of doing class job's isn't too simple for you!  It surely keeps me organized!  One day I will have 27 class jobs, but until then, it will just be "an apple a day...."

Come visit me soon!  -Michelle Griffo

Check back tomorrow for more back to school ideas and activities from my next guest for Back To School with Guess Who?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who? Mary from Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives.

I'm soooo excited to have Mary from Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives here today.  She's moving back to kindergarten after being in 2nd grade and we are so glad she back with kinders.

Hi everyone!  It's Mary from Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives.  This has been an incredible week of back to school ideas, hasn't it?  I hope I can add to your collection of ideas for the classroom.  Thanks to Marsha for allowing me to share with you!

One of my favorite activities for the beginning of the year involves environmental print.  Bringing this type of print into the classroom is so important because it helps to create a "print rich" environment for your little learners.  You can boost your students' confidence by showing them that they have already taken that first step as readers.  This really helps bridge the gap between functional print of the outside world and what you will be teaching them in your classroom.

I love to get my parents involved right at the start of the school year.  This is a great first project to include them in!  After explaining what environmental print is and showing a few examples, I send a letter home with my kiddos asking for help.  I ask for each child to bring in a few labels, signs, or symbols of items around their house.  {Parents love this project because it is simple, FREE, and takes very little time!}
Once we have a pretty decent collection, my kids help me to create a class book with all of the items.  The book stays in our classroom library all year and is always a favorite.  You can download a copy of my parent letter along with several prompt page choices for a class book here.

Of course, you could use your collection to create a collage or other type of display instead of a class book.  It doesn't matter how it is displayed as long as the students are able to view it.  :)

I incorporate environmental print along with my initial overview of the letters at the beginning of the year.  This seems to be perfect timing because most children can identify with the signs and recognize the sounds even if they have not mastered the entire alphabet.  I am sharing my Environmental Spin and Graph activities on my blog today as well.  Click on the picture to head on over to download a free copy.

I hope you'll stop by and say hi!  I'd love to know how you use environmental print in your classroom!

She's BRILLIANT isn't she?  You have to get over to her blog and pick up that freebie and let her know how much you love it.  And, of course, stop back tomorrow for more back to school fun!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who? Ashley from The Teacher's Treasure Chest!

I hope you are all enjoying all these AMAZING bloggers who have stopped over to visit this week.  The fun continues today with Ashley form The Teacher's Treasure Chest.  Please give her a warm welcome as she gets you ready for you literacy centers this fall.

Hey Guys! I'm Ashley from The Teacher's Treasure Chest ! Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my guest post!

I wanted to chat a bit about Back To School Literacy Prepartions!  I don't know about you, but about one month before school starts, I like to go through my literacy plans and weed out what didn't work. I like to think about why that certain item didn't help my students. Or if it did help, what made it successful? For example, thinking back to my verrrrrry first year as a teacher, I used file folder games that I just downloaded from random places on the internet. Now, it got me through the year. But the biggest problem, was that I did not have enough stations for the particular skill I was teaching AND that the file folder games could be finished in a flash! This is why I became a TpT addict! Center packs can be purchased now with recording sheets! The centers also are engaging, and keep the students motivated to work their entire station time. The ole file folder games I used, lasted mmmmmmmmmmmmaybe five minutes! I put together a list of some of my FAVORITE Center packs to help you vamp up your guided reading program!

This packet focuses on  R Controlled Vowels . It's a great resource to go ahead and get NOW because R Controlled Vowels is a skill we know that we will teach, and will need extra reinforcements. A lot of reading basals do not provide a lot of materials on R Controlled Vowels...so this is a great resource!

Cara Carroll's Ready-Set-Learn-Back-To-School-Math-Literacy-Activities is a MUST! This packet is amazing for the beginning of the year! Cara ALWAYS produces amazing work and this one is NO different :)

Anna Brantley is another favorite seller of mine! I pretty much have every product in her store :) One of my favorite's is  her HOTS-Higher-Order-Reading-Response-Sheets ! Great for ALL year long!

Center packs that I LOVE  from Anna: Back-to-School-Math-and-Literacy-Center-Packet ,&  Applicious-Fun-Math-and-Literacy-Center-Packet

Another MUST HAVE!! This Guided-Reading-Resource-Kit-K-3! This kit contains assessments, tools, centers, signs, labels, printables, flash cards and MORE!!

Be sure to visit my post on Free Literacy Centers to prepare for next school year!

Happy Planning!!!

Make sure you check Ashley's blog out and be back here tomorrow for another episode of . . . .
Back To School with Guess Who?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who? Mary from Sharing Kindergarten

I know that you will love today's guest blogger, Mary, from Sharing Kindergarten.  She is one of the nicest bloggers you'll ever meet. REALLY! And she is so incredibly open about everything she does in her class. You just have to visit her blog and make sure you let her take you on a tour of her classroom when you're done here.  You'll absolutely love it. 

Hi ya'll!
This is Mary from Sharing Kindergarten
I am so excited about guest posting today for Marsha. I hope I can live up! 
I don't know why... but I am ALL about food ideas right now. I love using food with my students to help them learn, make a lesson memorable, or just to have some yummy fun!

Ready to hungry... hungry to LEARN...
Using a bag of Twizzlers Bites to create number sets in ten frames. You could also use math counters or manipulative, but someone using food makes it a little more fun!

One of my classroom activities for the letter Ll is using Twizzlers Pull and Peel Licorice to create L's. You could also create any letter, number, shape, or even word!

I use paper plates for letters and simple words or here is a copy of the simple (almost embarrassing simple) shape sheet my students are using, but a little updated for you guys.
(This one is NOT food related.)

Head over to my blog for some more teaching ideas and to grab your freebie!

Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten


 Mary Amoson is a teacher, mother, and an educational blogger. She believes that learning should be fun and natural, and is most often playing games with her students as they discover learning. She is so passionate about her dream job in education and her incredible students and families that she wants to share it all with you.  Visit her at http://sharingkindergarten.com/ or at her Teachers Pay Teachers site at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mary-Amoson/ where she has 10 free activities ready for you to download and enjoy.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back To School With Guess Who? Sharon from The Convenient Teacher.

I'm delighted to introduce you to Sharon from The Convenient Teacher today.  I PROMISE you . . . you are going to LOVE her.  When you are done ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over the goodies she brought you, please leave her a little thank you note and travel on over to her blog to check out all the great freebies she has there too.  I know that's where I'll be today!

Hello, everybody.  This is Sharon from The Convenient Teacher and I am happy to be here as a guest on Marsha's blog, A Differentiated Kindergarten. My blog focuses on early childhood, Pre-K-2.  Everything I do on my blog is convenient as the name state.  Today, for the Back to School with Guess Who? post, I will be bringing some of that convenience to you!  We all know back to school is a stressful time and having some convenient resources should help to make it better. 
The first convenient resource for you is to help you with classroom management.  Let's be honest, who doesn't need that?  By clicking below, you can download my popular resource, Seasonal Reward Cards. These are great because they are punch cards students can use to earn rewards!  I have included a card for each of the seasons as well as holidays, if that's your preference.
Next, to make your room bright and colorful, I have included my Editable Round and Square Frames.  You can add text to these and use them for baskets, labels, tags, and the like.  Just go in, type what you need, and print.  It's that easy! 
Yet another resource you will use to help with classroom management is my Classroom Tips for New and Seasoned Teachers.  This pack includes pictures and instructions for managing your classroom.  Topics covered are...attendance, how to use checklists, folders, managing small groups/centers, and more! This handy guide gives tips for making your year run smoothly from the start!
Because you just received tips in the resource above, I bet you wish you had one of the things I listed.  Well, don't worry, I am giving it to you now.  I have had lots of feedback on this item and even a request for the resource in different colors.  I know you are sure to LOVE the EDITABLE Colorful Bees and the EDITABLE Colorful Beehives to match
Finally, to pre-assess printing skills for those little learners, I am bringing you my Alphabet Printing and Sounds Book.  To use, you can give it as a pre-assessment daily.  You can also use it in clear sleeves or laminate it and leave it in your writing center.  This also makes a great homework sheet!  Use it however you wish to review printing and sounds!
Well, I hope you are prepared for your first week back to school!  Be sure to let me know if you liked them or not by commenting below.  To find more FREEBIES, visit my blog by clicking the button...
AND... believe it or not, there even MORE FREEBIES over at my TpT store...  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Convenient-Teacher
Thanks so much for having me and I would love to have you visit me at my blog!  If you follow it, you will have access to my Monday Freebies! :) 
Didn't I tell you she was AMAZING. Now don't forget to stop by again tomorrow to check out Thursday's guest blogger . . ..
(sorry, you'll just have to come back to find out)


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