Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Adventures of Pete the Cat

I bought my Pete the Cat doll after I discovered the cute little guy and Mr.Eric's awesome books! I decided I will post Pete's adventures here! (Just for fun!)
Here is Pete sitting in my teacher's chair! (You could say that he's "sitting in his school shoes!")
 Here is me with Pete! (We're smiling in our school shoes!)
 Pete loves his white shoes and his book!
 Pete and Rocking in My School Shoes!
 My class loves Pete the Cat as much as I do and we made our own book!
 Here is one page from our book: It says: Oh no! Pete the Cat stepped in  a large pile of snakes! Did Pete cry? Goodness no! He kept walking along and singing his song. I love my green shoes! I love my green shoes! I love my green shoes! I love my green shoes!" (They were really creative!)
I do not take credit for this page. I found it on Pinterest and here is the link: Pete Book Page

One of my girls brought Pete a new friend!  

May 1, 2012
Pete's Latest Adventure!
For Hawaiian Day, Pete got his own lei!

Pete got to go to a marina! What fun! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Classroom Organization Ideas

Have I mentioned that I am addicted to Pinterest? I have been getting all kinds of ideas from fellow teachers' boards. Here is one idea I saw on there - using a Lazy Susan turn table with buckets for supplies. I decided to use this idea for my art center. My art center was always so messy after my little ones were hard at work creating - and the mess drove me crazy! :) So, I got this idea from Pinterest and here it is:

I had each student bring a 3-ring binder to keep at school at the beginning of the year. I use these as scrapbooks for their school year. Any "Super Star" work, photos, etc goes in their scrapbook and they will have a ready-made memory book for when they graduate kindergarten! 
 My school uses these phoneme posters each week and I found this chart hanger in a spare room. I have found that this is a MUCH easier way to store my posters.  I can flip through them easily and they are out of the way. In years before, the posters would be in the way on the floor or on the board held by magnets. This keeps them together and the whole thing can be moved to any spot in the classroom. 
Yet another Pinterest idea - using a dish drying rack to store writing center supplies. I got the rack for about $8 at Walmart and the white boards fit perfectly! The rack fits just right on the shelf (and again it cuts down on the mess in the center!).
This hangs near the door to the classroom. It is purely decoration. We don't have a real need for hall passes in kindergarten!
 Our class rules are the 4 Be's. 
 We hang this outside the classroom door when we have perfect attendance! This way anyone walking by can see that we have everyone present that day!
 Martian Fingers! I purchased these from Oriental Trading Co. and they make my guided reading groups so much fun!

 My assistant I have found over the years that having small group time (guided reading, testing, etc) works best during centers time. We each have a group, so only half the class is in centers at a time. This helps with noise; and we rotate, so the students in groups Monday get to play Tuesday, etc. with "free" centers on Fridays, meaning everyone gets to play in centers on Fridays. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Color Days

At the beginning of every year, we spend about two weeks learning colors. We do this with our Color Days. We send home a paper letting families know what colors we are learning about on what days: 

On the following days wear the color indicated as we learn all about colors!

Tuesday, Sept. 6 -- Blue
Wednesday, Sept 7 -- Green
Thursday, Sept 8 -- Red
Friday, Spet 9 -- Orange

Monday, Sept 12 --Purple
Tuesday, Sept 13 -- Yellow
Wednesday, Sept 14 -- Pink
Thursday, Sept 15 -- Brown
Friday, Sept 16 -- Black

Monday, Sept 19 -- White
Tuesday, Spet 20 -- Favorite Color

It's really neat to see 100 + kids all wearing the same color playing on the playground! 
Next year I am going to use Pete the Cat to assist me in teaching the colors!

Here are a few things I plan to use:  (You can click on the picture or the link below)

Teachers Pay Teachers is a FANTASTIC site with TONS of ideas: Here are the Pete the Cat ideas

My Pinterest Board: 

Kids Talk

Kids Talk! 2011-2012

In this space, I will share with you some of the funny things that your kids say! See below for last year's edition of Kids Talk!
~ Student: "I'm glad it's Friday. We've been learning a lot this week."
   Teacher: "What are you going to do this weekend?"
   Student: "I'm not learning anything!"
~While lining up to go to PE today, this happened:
   Kid 1: "Are you going with us?"
   Me: "No, the PE teacher's in there, though."
   Kid 2: (looking at my sandals) "She don't got the right shoes on!"
~"He-llooo Watermelon!" (said to his watermelon)

Kids Talk!

As a teacher, I hear a lot of silly things that kids say! I wanted a place to share with you all of these funny things! These are some things from the 2010-11 school year:
~"Mrs. Helicopter!" (my name is Mrs. Hathcock)
~During our apples unit, many students called Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Applesauce!
~"Mrs. Hathcock, do your parents call you Mrs. Hathcock?" 
~"Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream! Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily like a spider dream!"
~During recess -- Teacher: "Go play!"
   Kid: "I'm not a player-kid, I'm a helper-kid!"

~Another one during recess: Question: "Why are you over here all by yourself?" Answer: "I needed peace."
~"She called me a cry-berry!"
~ Kindergarten spent several days reading "The Polar Express" and Friday we all watched the movie and each child received a bell. One child went up to his teacher and asked "Is this a taco bell?"
~ The child brings three ketchup packets to me at lunch and says "These won't let me open them!" 
~Teacher: "Good job today!" Student: "You, too!"
~While reading Dr. Seuss books, one students asked: "Does he get paid to write that way?"

~On the playground, one child was pretending to be a policeman and said "You're under arrest!" to another child. That child said "I'm innocent!" [Does a 6 year old know what that means? :) ]
~Teacher (as a reading comprehension question): "Can you tell me who was in that story?"
Student: "The dog. And the people."
Teacher: "Tell me about the people. Who were they?"
Student: "They were humans."


The 4 B's 

*Be a good listener
*Be kind to everyone
*Be safe
*Be the best you can be
These rules are posted near the door to the classroom and are easily see from anywhere in the room, especially the carpet area.


Students should always respect the teachers, each other, and themselves, not only in the classroom, but all the time. Respect is an underlying theme in the 4 B's rules. It is respectful to listen when others are speaking, it is respectful to be kind to others, it shows respect to yourself to be safe and to be the best you can be.
These rules are very general and therefore imply a lot. To be a good listener, students must understand the importance of others' thoughts and ideas; raise their hands to add a thought or ask a question; and be patient and wait their turn. This classroom will always be as fair a place as possible for everyone involved. 


Discipline Plan

Behavior Calendar:
Displayed in the classroom will be a pocket chart with a pocket for each student. All pockets will display a 
greencard to begin with.
If rules are broken (after an appropriate number of warnings):
The student will have to change their card to 
yellow and they lose 5 minutes of play time.
The second offense will result in changing their card to
orange and they lose all of their play time.
The third offense changes the card to 
red and parents will receive a phone call. 

I also believe in rewarding for good behavior, so if a student does something above and beyond, they can change their card to purple. This means that they have done something  really spectacular. Purple is the best color a card can be! Purple is also special because it can cancel out a yellow (which can help out on prize box day!).
Each Friday, students who remained on green all week will get to choose a prize from the prize box at the end of the day. 
In the back of the daily folder, there will be a behavior calendar. This will be marked daily so that you can see exactly what color your child was on at school that day. (If it was not green, you may need to find out why from your child! Children can learn a great lesson in taking responsibility for their actions here.) 
If you ever have any questions, please feel free to "contact us" on the left sidebar. 

Classroom Set up

I love my classroom this year so I thought I would share my layout and the thought process. 

This is my teacher area. I hold my guided reading groups and other small groups here. Everything I need is on the red shelf behind the table. The small cabinet to the right holds Mailbox magazines and math workbooks, etc. I also keep some testing supplies in there for easy access. The placement is perfect: I can see the door and all the tables and it is also right next to the carpet area so my plans are easy-access! (I keep my notebook with my plans on that right hand corner.) 

My lesson plan book: 

The book, Day-by-Day Kindergarten Plans, is from The Mailbox, is AMAZING, and can be bought Here.

 The front of my lesson plan notebook has our grade level's Long Term Plans.

The rest of the notebook holds my weekly plans.
You can grab My Lesson Plan Template here.

These are my centers:
Dramatic Play (Housekeeping, as the kids call it). we set it up near the classroom kitchen and it also acts as a barrier between the room and the bathroom, which is nice.

This is the listening center which is right beside the reading center. I have also added some Leap Frog Leappads to this center, which the kids LOVE. They have a difficult time with cassette tapes, I need to upgrade my listening library to CDs! :)

Here is the view from the doorway. You can see the calendar on the back of the cubbies shelf. It works well there for Calendar Time in the mornings when students are sitting on the rug. I have enough jobs for every student this year and one of those jobs is "Calendar Helper." 

Here is our word wall. It's right at the front of the classroom where everyone can see it from their seats. Underneath the word wall are the puzzles and blocks centers. I keep them covered so there are no distractions during "carpet times."

 This is my writing center (I am in the process of changing some things around via Pinterest ideas, I will update as soon as that is complete.) There are white boards and markers; stamps, stamp pads, and paper; pencils, crayons, and colored pencils. I also keep students' journals and Everyday Math  workbooks in those colored bins (from Really Good Stuff). They are labeled by table number and students are responsible for getting their books or journals and returning them to the correct bin. 

This is what I use to organize my week. There is a pocket for each day of the week and I also keep an "Absent" folder (that's the one with polka dots) and an "Extra Work" folder or two. This hangs on the side of our huge (unattractive) AC unit, which is right beside the teacher table. Easy access and really self-explanatory for a sub!
You can get one of these nifty file organizer pocket charts at amazon.com for $14.99 (a little cheaper than a teacher store!)!