Thursday, July 25, 2013

Classroom set up

I have been thinking a lot lately about the best way to set up a kindergarten classroom. I know there is really no right or wrong way, and many factors must be considered. I was able to get a sneak peek of my classroom when I moved my things there at the end of the year from my old school. It is quite different....I actually have doors and windows you can see out of!!!! Here are a couple pictures.
Most of the things shown in this picture are not mine. Another teacher was moving out of this classroom, and everything except the desk and tables will be gone. The back section where the white board is will be my morning meeting/whole group lesson area.

I am thinking about putting a dramatic play area in the left corner of this picture. I can change the scenery in the dramatic play based on what the theme is. I am going to leave the computers where they are. I believe I will also move the table to the from of the classroom, so I can have my small groups. 
I am excited for the large, blank space on the wooden wall. There are color posters up there, but they are going to be removed. I am going to make that space into a first theme with owls on the tree branches. Each owl will have a child's name on it,and their work can be displayed. My whole classroom theme is owls. That's what I was known for in my first and second grade classrooms, so I am continuing on. Plus, I love owls :) the corner where the yellow bulletin board is will be where I put my small groups, and hang out word wall. I am also going to put a rug in front of the black cubbies and section off an area for the library. I want to put bean bags and comfy mats down for reading! 
Well, that is about it for now. I am itching to get into the classroom to start setting up! I don't want to rush summer too much though.

I will leave you all with one question

Do you have access to your classroom all year, or does your school open up sometime before the start of school for classroom set up?


Friday, July 19, 2013


It seems as though my adventure is changing, yet again. I am off to kindergarten in September! I am extremely excited because this is the grade I have always wanted to teach. I am also ready to be fully dedicated to blogging....I hope. Haha. I always have a hard time keeping up with it, but I am going to try my best. I am working now (well, after I finish this post) on collecting some kindergarten ideas!! Ok, I am off to explore. -Amanda

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why I had to change my blog's title...

Hi everyone! I know it has been a very, very long time. Things have been insane in my life, both professionally and personally. But, now, I am back and ready to roll. If you happened to notice, I changed my blog title. Why, you ask? Because, like my students, I am moving on up to second grade!!!!!!!! It was a total shock at first, but I get to have *most* of the same kids next year. I am so excited to see their growth. I am also a bit nervous, because I haven't taught second grade before. However, it is going to be worth it, and it will be a brand new adventure. I have already started reading my common core standards for grade 2 (we are in full implementation next year, and yes, I am a big nerd.) I am just so excited to do things in a better and more effective way, to really promote my student's growth. AND I get to see them really shine next year! So pumped! The kids were also super excited when they found out! Well, I am off to search for grade 2 blogs! I will keep you posted on all of my crazy ideas for next year!!! -Amanda

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February vacation is over---already?!?

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted. Things kind of got a bit overwhelming, and stressful, so I kind of strayed away from all things teaching while I was on vacation. To make matters worse, the Monday before vacation, I got my pink slip. I know, every new year teacher gets one (for the most part) but it was still an unsettling experience. I truly do not know if I am going to have a job next year, and that very much bothers me. Add that to the fact that I have to move out of my rented house by the end of May and find somewhere ele to live, it's crazy-stressful-ness. But, I have learned to keep on keeping on. Taking it day by day knowing that things will work themselves out, as long as I am prepared.

I decided to take the test to become certified in Massachusetts. Hopefully, this will open some more doors for me, should I need them.

I can't believe it is the last day of vacation. Boo. I was able to get so many things I wanted to do done, like sewing, painting, and other creative projects. I feel like I found myself again during this vacation, and I am so glad I did what I wanted to do.

I did have to get my pet bunny spayed over vacation, actually two days ago, and thankfully she is doing ok now. I was kind of a mess haha.

Unfortunately, I left all of my schoolwork until today. Actually, that may have been a good thing. Now I can convince myself that is really IS time to go back, and I need to get my head back into the game!

Everyone keeps telling me that after February vacation, time flies. I am not sure how I feel about this. I am excited to see my students progress. Before I left on Friday, I did some running records on students, and I now only have 3 students reading below grade level, as opposed to 7. I had 3 students in particular who really took off, and are now above grade level. I was so proud of them, I could have cried, but that probably would have been embarrassing for them, so i kept the waterworks to myself (which is another thing I should be proud of!). I am holding that moment in my head, so if I become overwhelmed or unmotivated in the next few months (which is bound to happen) I can see that I am doing things right and I am making a difference.

Well, I better go start this work!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The craziness of testing

This week has started off pretty good. The kids were a bit of yesterday because of the Super Bowl, but today has been calm (so far). My only issue is I have a new student and I am trying to find the time to test her (DIBELS, Running Records, Dolch, CBM, blahblahblahhhh). Yesterday slipped by without a chance to do anything except one running record. I am hoping at some point today I will be able to finish at least her DIBELS. I feel like the days are just flying by, and there is not enough time to get everything done!

We started our kindness boxes yesterday. The kids love it. They pick someones nameout of the box and then they have to write something kind about that person. It worked really well yesterday and I am hoping it continues to work well.

My reading groups have been doing really well. I have a couple of students who I am really concerned about. They are still struggling with words on the preprimer dolch list. I am trying everything I can to get them caught up to speed, but it is difficult. I wuold love to see them just skyrocket over the next four months, but I think it is going to take a lot more work to get there. there really only about four months left? Did I just say that? Holy cow, I can't believe I am already more than halfway through my first year of teaching. What a bumpy road it has been. I can't wait to see the end result in June, though. hopefully I will have brought these kids where they need to be!

Well, I need to go pick them up from library!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What do you Love?

I'm sitting here, the superbowl is on, I'm at my boyfriends parents, and I am doing schoolwork. I'm also listening to my boyfriend yell at the Patriots. Fun times.

So I came across this linky party, and wanted to join! (couldn't open the document, so I am typing mine!)

What do you love...

I love to watch movies, blankets, and pillows

I love to read books...on the couch when the house is quiet!

I love to shop for...clothes!

I love to collect...owl jewelry and Buddha figurines

I love to listen to...a lot of things, it depends on my mood

I love to eat...cheese and chocolate (but not together, haha)

I love to talk about...teaching

I love to make...paintings, frames, and clothes

I love to travel to....Paris (hopefully one day)

I love to teach....reading!!!

So there you have it! Now I am off to finish my school work and scarf down some pizza! Go Patriots!!! :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Crazy Friday, Relaxing Saturday

Ahhh I am SO happy that it is the weekend! I finally have the chance to unwind! I have literally been sitting on the couch reading all morning. I am almost done with the Hunger Games. It is such a good book, I can't wait for the movie to come out!

Yesterday at school was quite the eventful day. During morning meeting, I smelled a gross smell (like vomit) near one of my kiddos desk (who's desk is on a corner of the rug). I looked in his desk, and there were two full cartons of rancid milk. DISGUSTING! I don't even know how he smuggled it in there! He must have taken them from lunch!!! I made him throw them out in the boys room, then I had to lysol spray the desk and rug around it to try and mask the smell. It didn't quite go away so I hd to open the windows (which the kids complained about, but hey, would you rather be a little chilly or feel like your going to throw up because it smells so bad?) Thankfully, it only took about an hour for the smell to go away.

The rest of the day was good, up until I was doing math and wrote on the whiteboard. My Principal had given me BRAND NEW dry erase markers. Well, I went to erase them, and they stained my board. No sponge or spray would clean it off. It is still there. I need to buy magic erasers tomorrow so I can try to get rid of the writing on Monday. I hope it goes away, because we use that board all the time! I also tried putting up another white board on top of it to keep going with math, and it fell on my foot. Lemme tell you, it was NOT light! I had to bite my tongue hard not to curse in front of the kids! My kids were so sweet about it, though, they were genuinely concerned for my toe. haha.

After that fiasco, we had some fun! We did some Football writing that I found via "The clutter-free classroom"'s blog. We also made a version of her football player craft to hold their writing. The kids LOVED it! I also love being able to do fun things with them. They work so hard and deserve some crafty time among the massive amounts of testing! Here are some pictures of their awesome work!

I wish I could have taken pictures of them all, but we were rushing around at the end of the day!

Next week we are going to start our 100th day projects (which I have to create this weekend) and also start our valentines day Kindness unit. I am excited about that! I am also excited for vacation in two weeks!

Well, I am off to read some blogs, do some zumba, and clean my house. Which probably means I will just be finishing the Hunger Games. haha

Happy weekend!