Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Use Shapes to Make Pete the Cat

So, you may know that I LOVE Pete the Cat! I (and many others at my school) used a great Pete the Cat tour of the school - found on Pinterest, of course! 

I also use Pete the Cat to teach colors - ideas galore on Pinterest! (I'm sorry, I don't make my own things, I am huge believer in "no need to re-invent the wheel!") This week, I also used Pete help me teach shapes. We learned a new shape a day (circle on Monday, square  on Tuesday, triangle on Wednesday, and we will do rectangle on Thursday, and Hexagon on Friday.) My class really has a handle on shapes and it rained today and I was really excited to try this out, so we did it early! :)  
This pic is a link to the site I pinned.
I pre-cut the shapes because (I'll be honest) I was afraid of what might happen letting my little ones cut that much this early on....

Here's what I did...I used my document camera and went through making Pete step-by-step. I had the shapes already cut and in sandwich bags (with an extra set for my example). I called out shapes and gave directions and you know what? They did GREAT! I should have trusted that my kiddos could handle cutting. (Then again, it may not have gone as smoo...nah, I'll leave it alone.) 

So here they are! My ADORABLE little Pete the Cats!

And this is where Pete lives in the classroom. I move him around every now and then, but he's been on the book shelf this week! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School Gifts for my Team

I have been busy this summer, but I always have time to think about (shop for, pin about, etc) school! I don't always ONLY think of my students, though. My team is a HUGE part of the reason I get through the year. I need them to bounce ideas off of, give me ideas, vent to, listen to, hug on a tough day, hug on a great day, etc. I LOVE my kindergarten team: Angela, Nancy, Elizabeth, Janie, and now, Anna! (We will miss Lynn, but know she is enjoying retirement!!)

I saw a list on Pinterest (which I did not pin in order to keep the girls from seeing it! Go me - if you know me, you know that shows great restraint!) and tweaked it slightly. I got these adorable "teacher journals" and most of this stuff at the Dollar Tree!
So, in the caddies (I figured the teachers could use these as lunch caddies - maybe I'll personalize them! - or whatever if they so choose!) each of my friends will find:
a journal, lotion, vitamin c drops, back and body pain relief pills, a nail file, lip balm, a mirror, hand sanitizer, mints, and a slap bracelet for fun! 

 I wanted the basket to contain USEFUL, but not strictly SCHOOLY things. Does that make sense? We all get enough tissue boxes in the beginning, so I left that kind of thing off the list. I added their names to the baskets with metallic sharpies and gave my gifts to each of the ladies on the first official workday before school started back. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to School Time!

Felt Footies for my chairs! It makes the chairs practically silent when they move! I decided to use different colors for each table. I got the idea here:

So easy and cute!

My friend Brent painted my new reading center table for me!

We got a brand new literacy pack this year! Journeys came in these neat tubs that are separated into units, but they are SO BIG! It took some creative thinking to end up in the back of my read-aloud book stand.

I am going to give these to the kids at Open House. 

My new window treatment! A friend asked me over the summer what my classroom theme was. I was sad to say I didn't really have one. And I still don't, but I do have a lot of RED! :)

My word wall:

I used the left over fabric from my new curtains! I hot glued it on first and then used red electrical-type tape to trim the edges:

Read Aloud area (those are all my "first week" books!):

The window to the office - all dressed up!:

Reading center: 
 ...with my AWESOME table that my daddy built for me!
 Books and reading buddies!

Journals and ABC booklets: (and yes, these bins match the footies for the tables!)

 Back to school packets and pencil boxes are ready to go!

This area will be the math center and on Fridays, we can set up the easel right there for painting!

Orange folders for homework and green daily folders! I thought is was cute how the little monster tissue box matched them! :) 
My lanterns make quiet time very pretty! 

I'm not completely done here, but I will be by Monday - Open House night! I always get nervous! Any tips on how to not be so nervous when meeting new parents!?