Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not enough time? AND stations update

So is this you? Your plans are beautifully drawn up, but by the end of the day you find you just couldn't find the time to get to everything on your schedule?

I had a few days like this ~ but plans are not my wish, it is what I am striving for.

So this week I added a timer to each section of my day.  Morning work~timer, calendar~ timer, word work~timer and so forth.  THEN, I added a timer for transitions.  I told my students we were going to do "Minute to Win It!"  Oh my goodness, they were pumped! Example:  They had 2 minutes to "neatly and completely" clean up their stations, put their station work in the station work bins, and meet me on the carpet.  It only took them 1 1/2 minutes."Winners" got 1 Smartie (not a whole pack, just one).

Flash forward to the end of my day.  I was able to check everything off my list, I had 20 minutes to spare, AND I did not have to motivate kids to get moving... Color me HAPPY!

Speaking of happy... Lovin' my stations again this week.  Here is a look:
They giggled when they landed on RECESS!  I love how this familiar game never gets old!

They did a great job comparing numbers!

I was nervous about how independent they would be on this one.  But gosh darn it!  They were great!  I sat with them to get them started and they just took off!

Reading about Math~ This was cute, he was being the teacher to his partner.

Most coveted math station this week. 

Another great comparison station.  I had to add a large jar to hold the cards.  There was wasted time getting  the cards all in order.  The jar worked like a charm.  They spent time comparing numbers, not fussing with cards.  Yay!

Ok... Not sure why my images load up sideways.

What are some of the ways you shave minutes off of your day?  How to you keep on schedule?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Peek at My Week

Howdy!  Happy Sunday!

Here are my planned stations for this upcoming week.  You will notice that I have kept some of my stations the same... and added a few more.

Click on any page and it should take you to my Google Docs.  I think I embedded the hyperlinks correctly.

I got one of these Big Daddys
And I am trying to make the conversion from PC to MAC.  Send your prayers PLEASE!  

I will check back in with you all mid-next week to let you know how they went and if I needed to make any adjustments.

Enjoy your week!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Free For All Friday

Ok... I realize Friday has come and gone, but I had the stomach flu!  Seriously??? on the 8th day of school?  What a nightmare!  Anyhow, I'm feeling human again and wanted to post my FREEBIE.

This is ALL about word walls!

click on the image to grab it from Google docs

click on the image to grab it from Google docs
click on the image to grab it from Google docs
These words align with my assessments on TpT.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So... How are my stations going?

Howdy friends!  I promised to check in with an update on my Peek at My Week post (click here to get my literacy and math station plans for this week).  Today was our 6th day of school and although I feel a bit like a goat herder, I am happy to report that my stations are going REALLY well.   I am a bit surprised to be honest.  

Check it out!

Literacy Stations
Click on the image to find the source.
Oh my goodness!  I was a little worried because not all of my students know their letters.  They did such a great job of helping each other.  Yay!
Click on the image to find the source.

This was the coveted station this week.  Leslie's Playdough Word Work is one that I plan to keep going for weeks and weeks and weeks.
This is from a Learn to Draw book.  I will try to link this up tomorrow.

Overhead station rocks.  A little handwriting practice with old  skool technology!

Click on the image to find the source.
Click on the image to find the source.

Math Stations
Click on the image to find the source.

 Yep, we are still exploring some math manipulatives.  Notice I have the station work area designated?  This was station #5.  I love that I added these work area designations this year.  Thank you Debbie Diller!
Click on the image to find the source.

Click on the image to find the source.
Click on the image to find the source.
So I am officially excited!  I think things are going great!  Some of the management tools we learned about during our work stations book study are in motion and it is almost like I know what I am doing... LOL!

I'll be back in a few days with next week's Peek at my Week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

I'm linking up with Teacher Talk Tuesday!

What advice do I have for new teachers?

 Make your expectations clear.  Establish your expectations with your class and reinforce them until your students are independent.

Here are a few examples of some of my daily routine anchor charts.
This is how I want them to come in and get ready for their day.  #2 is smile at Miss Theodora Pig!

I have them pack-up about 40 minutes before the day is over (it is just how our schedule fits it in).  We then can work until the end of the day.
We also co-created an illustration rubric that we use to "grade" our station work.  We grade the papers together during the first few weeks of school (using our document camera).  This quickly helps reduce my scribblers.  We vote if each piece of work is a 1, 2 or 3 star paper.

I border my anchor charts.
The brain likes to have borders (a Debbie Diller tid-bit).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher

Mr. W, me, and Baby Matthew...Ok... 3 weeks away from 16!  YIKES!

Dexter... Everyday is a POOL day!
Emmett... the finder of all random bones in Maries County!

My Girls!!!  They promise beautiful brown eggs in about 2 more months.

The calves... My husband reminds me that they are NOT pets... but they are so darn cute!
How long have I been teaching?
This is my 9th year in teaching.  I taught 2nd grade for four years and was our district's K-2 literacy coach for two. This will be my third year in kindergarten... I L.O.V.E it!!

What am I looking forward to this year?
I have to say Math Stations.  I learned so much this summer from our book study.  I can't wait to see it in action!

What do I need to improve?
Being a more efficient planner!  I am confident in what I am teaching, but it just seems to take me so long to put it together.  I think I get distracted in my planning time... Must remain focused!

What can I not live without?
Teaching blogs!  You guys are so smart and inspiring!  Ok... it is not a supply, but it supplies me with ideas... Does that count?

My laminator!  Love it!
My document camera!  I use it throughout the day, but I love it for Writer's Workshop.

Mr. Sketch Smelly Markers... Oh, they are called "Scented" markers~ oops!!!
Gotta have them!
Hop over to meet more blog hoppers!

Apples Math Work Stations

I was so excited to find a wonderful "Teacher Friendly" Clip Artist that I made my Apples Math Work Stations yesterday.

Click on the image to go to my TpT store

It is also available on Teachers Notebook.

This packet includes:

  • counting
  • numeral recognition
  • numeral writing
  • coin recognition
  • skip counting
  • and TONS of apple fun!
I combined my Beginning Math Stations and Coin Collector packs for a reduced price!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Teacher Friendly Clipart FOUND!

Woo Hoo!  Look how awesome this Etsy clip art shop!!!
Click on her picture to hop to her Etsy shop!

What do I love about it?
1.  She is a teacher too!
2.  She is very helpful!
3.  She is teacher friendly.  You can use her stuff for FREEBIES, TpT items, and Teacher's Notebook
4.  She offers a 10% discount with the code: TEACHER
5.  Her stuff is REALLY cute!

Send her some love and let her know I sent you... ok, you don't have to tell her I sent you... Just send her some love!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Peek at My Week-Stations

Speaking of diving in...   I have included my math and literacy stations.  Please keep in mind... these are my PLANNED stations~ I'll let you know how they went.

I plan on using various sources besides my own:  Kindergarten Works, Fran Kramer, and Deanna Jump's stations are included.

If you click on the image it will take you to my Google Docs where I have embedded the hyperlinks for each activity.  Let me know if you have any questions!!!

You will notice that students will continue to explore some math manipulatives.  I plan to keep myself available to help my students who may need assistance in their more academic math stations.  Once the students are familiar with these types activities, I can switch them out without much drama... I mean trauma... I mean problem.

3 Days of Kindergarten Math Stations DONE!

Oh my gosh!  What a great 3 days I had with my new sweeties!!!  I was excited to start math stations with them.  Of course I "did" math stations last year with my kiddos, but I had not implemented Debbie Diller's format until mid-February.  I must admit, I was a little nervous.  However, I jumped into the deep end anyway.

I displayed and discussed my math stations work board.
Right now my students are heterogeneously paired up.  I will homogeneously pair them within the next few weeks.  

 I had my bins all labeled and labeled the spots where the students were suppose to take that bin to work.

This week my goal work stations goals:

  1. How to read the board.
  2. How to find their bin and work place.
  3. How to work with their partner (sharing, quiet voices, stay in one place).
  4. How to clean up and return their bins.
I am happy to report, by Day 3 they were semi-independent... Woo Hoo!

I did not have "academic" work stations in the bins... they just explored the math manipulatives (Debbie Diller's suggestion)

As you can see, they explored Geometric Shapes, Teddy Bears, and Snap Cubes.  They also learned to use the work mat under their materials.  I picked these work mats (shelf liners) up at Target.  This will keep their materials in a smaller area and cut down on the noise of the materials against the tables or floors.  I will appreciate this especially when we start using dice.

I was able to walk around and reinforce the great behaviors I saw and also do a little informal assessing. 

I will be back tomorrow to  blog about my upcoming work stations (both literacy and math) for next week. 
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