Thursday, June 5, 2014

End of Year Student Gifts...

So today was my little man's last day of kindergarten!  Bitter sweet!  We are now on SUMMER VACATION people! 

So this post is VERY short...

I didn't have much time to prepare an end of year gift for his class so this is what I made...
Here is the tag if you're interested...



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday in the Sun...

Good Sunday Morning Y'all!

Today is supposed to be a sunny, gorgeous day...and it's our LAST.WEEK.OF.SCHOOL for the year!  
If you're anything like me than you'll spend a few weeks relaxing, but then quickly fill your days with getting ready for back to school errands/shopping/preparing!

So I just wanted to quickly post my FAVORITE kindergarten Back To School math FREEBIES on TpT! 

To go and grab these just click on the picture and it will link you to the teacher's TpT store! 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/School-Labels-Freebies-209058

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Brown-Bear-Counting-Sets-Independent-Practice-for-Kindergarten-276698

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-it-to-the-Top-FREE-math-game-for-understanding-addition-303062

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fall-Patterns-Pack-FREE-142546

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Positional-Words-Back-Pack-Hunt-FREE-139451
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ten-Frame-Addition-Activity-FREEBIE-641205
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a great end of the year...and remember, these teachers would LOVE and APPRECIATE it if you leave positive feedback on their FREEBIES!

See ya later!
Brandy

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Top 10 Things I Want To Do This Summer..Linky Party

I am so excited about this summer! I have so many new things planned for next year! So you know what that means as a teacher...I will be VERY.BUSY this summer gearing up and creating new things for next year! I have started designing my new "theme" for my classroom. I am going to go for a nautical, shabby chic theme! I am so excited to get it all finished! But until I do get it finished I can "pin" my dream classroom and all the new and exciting things that I have planned for next year! My area of concentration to find exciting things for is MATH! I would love to see any ideas you have or any units you've created on TpT! Let me just say that my basket on TpT is mighty full! 

I'm excited to link up with Mrs. Jump's Linky Party, so...

Here are my Top 10 Things I Want To Do This Summer... 

10. Get this Baby Out! Did I forget to mention on this lil' blog that I am preggo??That's right...I only have about 4 weeks left! We can't wait to meet our little girl! Brett is so excited to be a big brother! 
9. Go to Canton, TX Ok...I LOVE Canton! It is crazy fun y'all! It is the first "flea" market in the US and it is always a good time! The hubs and I went last summer and it was so much fun! I've started making a list of the things that I *need* for our home! 
8. Finish the house... So we moved into our newly built house in January and we still have a lot things to do! See my #10 as to why... 
7. Get my classroom super.mega.crazy organized! I love cleaning and organizing...so I can't wait to get all of my "stuff" out and start sorting and purging!  
6. Finish designing my new "theme" for the classroom... It'll be nautical/shabby chic. Think navy blue, lime green and white! Can't wait to show y'all pictures when I get it all done! 
5. Swim! We have a pool and I've only been in it once...'Nuff said!  
4. Go on a lil' family vaca... Not sure where but hopefully somewhere that we can be tech free! 
3. Read! 
2. Start running again... I haven't been able to run since I've been "preggo" because it's just too hard when I'm tired! But this summer I can't wait to get my run on! 
1. Relax!
Check out my math pinterest board...I really am looking to fill this board with exciting ideas! Brandy

Monday, April 21, 2014

Teaching Organization...

Teaching kiddos to internalize and take responsibility for organizational skills is probably the most important life lesson that we teach each day.

When you look into their little desks you know which kiddos know how to organize their materials and keep up with their work.  It seems that those sweet little babies who need help getting organized are also the same kiddos who need help "remembering" to turn their work in.

I came up with a simple solution that can grow with kiddos as they go through elementary and is very simple to create!  I simply took all the different strategies/modifications that we normally use and put them ALL.INTO.ONE.LOCATION! Crazy simple!  Y'all...hands down one of the simplest and efficient strategies I've ever done!

The front of the binder is simply what "reward" will they get for finishing all of their work.  Each time they complete an assignment than they earn four minutes of "play time" at the end of the day.  They can earn up to 20 minutes per day.  Half the picture represents only two minutes were earned...this is a cheat for me to calculate the time!  So on this binder the kiddo earned 18 minutes of dinosaur "free play"!
 
The inside of the front cover is where I store the pictures that are "to be earned"....


Inside the binder I have one folder for each subject area that I monitor for the student.  I put the work for the day on the inside pocket that is labeled "work to be completed" and they are responsible for moving the work over to the "finished" side.  When they finish one subject assignment I check the assignments on the "finished" side of the folder.  If they have finished the work in the allotted amount of time then they earn a "sticker" for the front cover.




At the end of the day I calculate their time and discuss with them all of the work they completed.  The VERY END OF THE DAY is when they earn their "free play time" activity.

I plan to put a zipper pouch in the very front of the binder.  If a student has a picture schedule as an accommodation/modification that requires a picture schedule I could/will also put it in the binder...the binder will STAY AT SCHOOL.  It will not be used as a communication log for school and home.  I want to think of it simply as a "portable desk"!  The front will have the materials that they will need FOR.THAT.DAY.ONLY!  Yes,this will require a little extra work...but I will have a check sheet for them to keep track of what they are supposed to have inside that pouch for that day.  It's a process that has to be taught! 

I'll post more pictures as I "perfect" the binder! 

The goal is for them to be INDEPENDENT LIFE LONG LEARNERS!  This will be a very beneficial skill for them for the rest of their life!  To me, that's a win!

What strategies do you use for teaching organizational skills to your kiddos??  I'd love to hear about them!

Lots of Love!
Brandy

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brett's Battle...

So for a few months I haven't had much interest with blogging...to be honest, I haven't had much desire to do anything.  I originally started blogging because of my graduate classes...shortly after I discovered that I really enjoyed it and that I was able to meet some pretty amazing "friends" through blogging!

Before I start...I have to be honest, I've debated sharing this story with others.  My husband and I have prayed about it and prayed that it wasn't true.  I now feel that I am at a point where I can share this story.  I have accepted that it's happening and have decided to use this as an outlet. 

Usually, when I'm down or not wanting to do something I use the motto: Suck it up, Buttercup!

But my sweet, sweet angel has been having his own battles.  In March, we noticed our little angel's hair had "thinned" slightly.  So we took his little angel heart to the pediatrician...
 MARCH 2014
 The pediatrician did some lab work and sent us to a regular dermatologist. Nothing! They said his hair would stop falling out because it was at the end of the cycle. 
At the beginning of April his hair still hadn't stopped falling out! We were dumbfounded at this point and returned to the doctor. We told them other strange behaviors we notice...excessive thirst, EXTREME hair loss, constant complaining that he was hot, excessive irritability, easily tired...still they said he's fine!
 APRIL 2014
Mid April we went to a pediatric dermatologist...who is a saint in our eyes!  She immediately said this was NOT normal! She immediately told us that someone his age shouldn't not be having these symptoms and that these were signs of an autoimmune disease...she documented his hair loss and all the other symptoms.  Took photos and then sent us to get his head shaved (what little there was left)...so that she could document growth and changes in his hair growth cycle.  She was so sincere and honest...even when what she had to tell us wasn't the best of news to deliver.  We are now working with a pediatric dermatologist and a pediatric endocrinologist...hopefully soon we will have answers.  Until then all we can do is pray!  We are so blessed to have this little man in our lives! 
IS THIS NOT THE FACE OF AN ANGEL???

Thank you to all of you who have continued to follow my lil' blog and to those of you who have joined while I've been on my hiatus.  I am so grateful for all of you!  Hopefully, now that we are working with such amazing specialists we will have answers and I can continue to blog!  

Lots of Love!
Brandy


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Freebie Story Bird...Have Ya Heard??

Have you heard of a digital story telling site called Story Bird?? Well...you need to go there (after you read this post :o))! It is a site that allows you to create your own "books" using photos they have. It was soooo EASY! Seriously! You can create your own projectable books on topics of your units of study! What a great way to teach "writing across pages" at this point in the year with your littles!?! Seriously! Check mine out... Here is a free short book that I created for projection on teaching colors to young learners using Story Bird. Please check it out! What other great digital story telling products do you use?? I'd love to hear about 'em! Brandy

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Goin' Batty and Just a Workin' on Our Numbers...

We are busy studying nocturnal animals in our room.  I am really trying to differentiate the work because I am working with PPCD kiddos and Kindergarten Resource...all on different levels and with different needs. I've also realized that my students LOVE all things fall/Halloween...which is great because I do too!  

We have read bat books, made a bat poster (that corresponds with our bat emergent reader) and made precious bat crafts!  We are just going "batty" in my room! Ha! Love it!



If you are interested in my bat emergent reader or bat craft they are available on TpT...
Numbers
We have also been working extremely hard on numbers 1-10 by creating ten frames and using a number line...
These precious little numbers came from the number cards in Cara Carroll's Don't Forget My Number packet...I just cut out the numbers from the Anchor Chart poster pages! Super cute!

I also wanted to make a large ten frame that I could have out at all times...so I made one on the floor using some of that adorable duct tape that is out!  I have decided that I can change out the manipulatives that I am using in it to match each thematic unit!


CHALKBOARD ART
A few of my teacher friends at school and I have developed a serious LOVE for chalkboard art...some might say we've developed an obsession with it!  I am so in love with it I purchased a HUGE chalkboard at a trade days and the darn thing wouldn't fit in my suv (this might be have something to do with the fact that it was already loaded down with goodies that may or may not have been purchased by myself and another sweet teacher friend) !  One of the other sweet teachers had to carry it back to town in her car!  Thank goodness for sweet friends who also have a love for chalkboards!  
Speaking of chalkboards, the sweet friend of mine who kindly brought my chalkboard back also taught me how to "cure" a chalkboard!  Did you know you had to cure those darn things??? Yeah, me neither!  According to Cara Carroll, (I don't want to take credit for this but I do want others to know this fabulous advice!!) you should take a piece of chalk and lay it on it's side.  Then you rub the chalk all over the chalkboard...kind of like doing a crayon rubbing!  This will help you avoid ruining your chalkboard by having lil' remnants of your first drawing remaining on your precious chalkboard!
This board was drawn by my precious friend Lori!  She is awesome!

Sight Words
My lil' man also gave me an AHA moment the other day at school...I don't know about you but I am always looking for new ways to work on sight words!  Well my sweet lil' man was playing with the large foam blocks in my room and said to me "Mama, tell me if you can read this word?"...he likes to play like he's the teacher and I'm the student...

Isn't that so clever?? Sometimes our best ideas come from kiddos! Love it!

What fun things are you doing for the autumn season?  Do you have any tips on sight word instruction?? I would love to hear them!
Have a great week!
Brandy K.

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