Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Currently.....AND I'm Back (Hopefully)

I know...I know!!!
It has been a looooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg time since I've done a new post. I think it was September when I last posted something. (It's been so long, I actually forgot my blogger password!)

Things have just been extremely hectic and I just couldn't devote that much time towards my blog.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to update more frequently. You'll definitely see more of me during the Christmas/Holiday Break.

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's currently.

Here's mine:

I've been watching the news lately since school started. Just keeping up with current events.

 My countdown started as soon as Thanksgiving Break ended....I'm not ashamed of this.  13 more days until a 2 week vacation. Our kindergarten team makes sure that this particular month is jammed packed with festivities, so hopefully the days will go by fairly quickly.

Tomorrow, I'm introducing paint to my kiddos as we're creating a "Star of David" for our Christmas Around the World unit. I didn't prep as much as I should have before I left today. Oh well....

I'm headed to the Presidential Inaguration this January (insert high pitched scream here____). I'm beyond excited and I get to experience the trip with some great family members. Luckily I have family in D.C., so no need for a hotel, but I definitely need to purchase my tickets sooner rather than later.

I am so ready for this 2 week break! I LOVE this time of year and I can't wait until I can sleep in and watch the Holiday movies that will come on this season. (The Polar Express is my FAVE)

RAK: I've had a few students that have just been through the wringer and back this school year and their families are really suffering. So as I was typing this....my mom and I decided that we would choose a student and make sure they have a decent Christmas this year. I normally give to my entire class, as I will this year, I'm just going to do a little more for a particular student (anonymously).

That's it for now. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesnt take me 3 months to come back and update!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Few Updates

Whew!!! We've only been in school 3 weeks and I am soooooo worn out! But, I'm loving it!
I feel like a bad blogger since I haven't been posting as much, but I'm sure everyone understands that the beginning of the school year is just plain hectic. I'm starting to get into a routine now, so hopefully my posts will start on a regular basis!

A few updates:

I'm still at 26 students...and they just keep coming! Our little neighborhood school has the highest numbers ever this year since it opened 51 years ago (970 students currently)! Rumor has it that our regular ed kindergarten team is getting another teacher, which would bring us up to 5 reg ed teachers. However, our bilingual team is already at 5 teachers and they have 26+ students as well. :-(

My class is still going strong with routines and procedures. I don't want to get too in depth with my classroom activities, lessons, and etc until I know for SURE that we're getting another teacher. I would hate to do ALL of that work (making and preparing RR journals, writers workshop journals, science journals....the list goes on) and get my babies settled into a strict routine and then have 5-6 switch classes. (well, I wouldn't hate it, I would just be bummed). So for right now, it's still just basic management techniques to keep me sane.

I have started "Daily 5"! Yay!! The kids are up to 8 minutes of Read to Self and a full 10 minutes of Read to Someone/Buddy Reading!!!!!! It takes so long to get Daily 5 procedures into place, I didn't have a choice on waiting to begin them. We started the 2nd day of school.

I think that's all of the updates I have. I do plan on opening a TPT store and possibly a Teachers Notebook store as well. I just need a good "nothing to do" weekend where I can sit down and get everything up and running.  So, start looking for that within the next couple of weeks!

Happy Blogging!

Monday, September 3, 2012


It's that time again! I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's currently!
Here's my currently:

I started watching Switched at Birth when it first premiered. I slacked off quite a bit, but now I'm catching up!
I am absolutely LOVING this 3 day weekend!! We've only been in school a week, but this break was much needed. It's bittersweet because I won't have another day off (besides weekends) until Thanksgiving break........yeah. That sends me to Debbie Downer mode, so I try not to think about it.
Lesson Plans...they need to be done...but I don't wanna. So I'm not. Until later.
(The first two weeks of school my team does their own plans, but starting next week, we will collaborate and share plans and they have to be in on Friday's before we leave so we can enjoy our weekend. I think I'm gonna have a love/hate relationship with this idea. EEEKK!)
Still looking for that professional series camera. Haven't found it yet, but Deal of the Day has great flash sales, so I'll keep looking there until I find the one I want/need.
My very good friend and coworker let me borrow her personal laminator ALL summer. (She became our librarian, so she really didn't need it). Well........another coworker and I went laminating crazy and we broke it. It now jams in the most unusual way. So. I have to go in half and replace that laminator, plus...I need one of my own. When payday hits, I'm off to Wal*Mart or Target to get 2 laminators. Yay me...
Finally, I am loving my iPad! It's not new. It's actually almost a year old, but it's keeping me sane in sooooooooo many ways. I can't wait to introduce it to my 26 students. Which....I hope it's still 26! My school was still registering a minimum of 25 students per day last week.....and we ALL know that parents will sometimes wait until Labor Day to withdraw and register their students at a new school.
Anywho....that's what I'm doing "Currently". How about you?
~Happy Blogging

Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Day Jitters!....and some updated pics!

Warning: This post may be a little long and definitely pic heavy!

The first day of school has come and gone......and I couldn't be more TIRED! I don't know why I forgot how draining the first couple of days of school are.
I'm happy to report that I have NO behavior students in my class (well...at this point). I have a few busy bodies, but nothing I can't handle. My group of kiddoes are a talkative bunch! Really talkative! Like, allllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day long talkative (yeah, it's that bad). But again, NO behavior students!!!
We're starting to get into the groove of things. I've started the Jennifer Jacobson model of "Writer's Workshop" and we're up to 3 1/2 minutes of "Read to Self" in the Daily 5. I also forgot how hard it is to build stamina for "Read to Self" the first few days. Go figure.
I haven't done any of the fun things that I planned for the first couple of days (Jitter Juice, marshmellow fingers/toes, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Name Tree--just to name of few), but we've survived.

--------------------------------------------------Brain Break---------------------------------------------------------
  • Oh yeah...I have 26 kindergarteners. My teammates have 25+ as well and there are 9 kindergarten teachers (including me). Sooooooo, you do the math on that one.
  • Oh yeah....we still have a minimum of 25 students registering each day.
--------------------------------------------------End Break-----------------------------------------------------------

I promised to upload pics of my finished classroom last weekend. That didn't happen, so I'm doing it today. Students have been in my room for 4 days, so it may not be as clean as it was before they came.
Here it is:
A view from the door

Mailboxes for each student...that I don't have enough of
Seats for Read to self/buddy reading
 Classroom Calendar

"A Safe Place" spot for those students who need extra time to follow directions :-)
Small Group area with my crate seats. LUV them! I've gotten sooo many compliments on them.
Extra Supplies
Manipulatives and Decodable Readers
Colors and numbers...a color fell evidently
Word Wall
26 desks and chairs
Behavior Chart
Daily 5 chart
We've started Read to Self
My teacher board with important info...not too much info right now
Teacher Desk
 More manipulatives and Independent Learning Centers

Student Computers
Classroom sink area

Back Bulletin Board
And there you have it! My completed classroom! I'm very proud of it!!
Now....I'm ready for my 3 day weekend! Whoo-hoo for Labor Day! It's bittersweet though because we don't have another day off until Thanksgiving Break...11 weeks later. So there's that.
Anywho...Happy Blogging!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

To-do list, Trainings, & Students.....Oh My!!

I feel like I've been such a bad blogger! But with staff developments going on, school starting up, my to-do list that is STILL a mile long....there's just no time!

I did have a few minutes today because we have "Meet The Teacher" tonight. Since faculty is required to stay 2 additional hours for MTT, we have 2 hours of our day that we can do as we please. I elected to come in later ;-).

My classroom is mostly complete. Just a few things here and there and a good cleaning is all it needs.
I will be posting pictures of my completed classroom after MTT tonight. So look forward to that post by the weekend.

I'm excited to meet some new faces tonight and get a little glimpse into some of my students! This is also my first year that I haven't had a student come to me with a behavior intervention plan (BIP)!
So I'm very excited for that.

I'm off to start getting ready for my day, but as I leave, I want to ask a question:
Evidently, Office Depot has followed suit like Staples and started limiting teachers to the number of sale items they could purchase. Teachers were allowed to buy 30 of the penny deals and the 0.25 deals, etc. Now from what I understand the teachers can buy 2 extra of the items with a limit. (Spirals are .01 limit 3, teachers can get 5)
This change was just made within the last week or so. From what I've heard, parents and other customers were very upset that there were no supplies left for them to purchase by the time they came to shop because teachers had wiped the stores out. I even heard there was a fight between a parent and a teacher! Yikes!
So, with all that being said.....are we teachers REALLY that ruthless? To the point that a store has to change their policy in the middle of BTS season?? I know we always say "the supplies are not for us, they're for our students", but I really think we need to self reflect. Hearing all of this has been eye opening for me. I know what I'm guilty of when it comes to shopping for my students. I always have things left over at the end of each year and I always stock up at the beginning. And it's not necessary. Some parents actually buy supplies for their child.
I want to hear your thoughts on this. How do you feel about this change? Is it warranted because of complaints? Or is it just another store not supporting teachers?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Made It #2 & Classroom Update

Yay!! My 2nd "Monday Made It". It's coming a little late though. I woke up early this a.m. with a stomach bug and I am JUST now feeling better. :-/
Now...on to my made it!
I'm linking up again with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics !

They're finally done!!!!! I have put this craft off for WEEKS and now I'm beyond thrilled that they're done.
My crate seats!
I only took one picture, because for the life of me I cannot find my camera and I only have my iphone.

But, I made 6 of these seats for my crates that I currently have. The students will sit on these while they're at the small group table with me.

Now for updated classroom pictures.

I worked really hard last week and in 4 days time, I was able to get a lot accomplished.

In a few of my previous posts I uploaded a few of my before pictures. You can see them here and here.

This is what's going on in my room currently:
The view from my door, looking into the room.

My bulletin board on the center wall at the back of my room. It's cuurently unfinished because there is no brown butcher paper to make my tree.

My teacher area/desk. My computer will be hooked up later this week.
Back shelf with manipulatives and independent learning centers.
Computer area and file cabinet.

1/2 of my shelf housing more manipulatives.

Small group area and another bulletin board. I have no idea what I'm going to put on that bulletin board! Seriously, no ideas whatsoever.....also, my listening center is to the right of this pic

I am going to update these pictures (with a much better quality) once my room fully completed. I still have a few things to finish, and I hope to get it done this week.

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Deals & Steals....part 2!

I know I've been M.I.A for a few days, but I'm still on summer vacation and trying to milk it for every last drop!! Thursday I report back, but for now I'm relaxing.

A quick post today to let you know about a few deals.
Office Depot has rulers, plastic pencil pouches (say that 3 times fast), and 1 subject spiral notebooks all for .01!!!!! Limit 30 for teachers. I asked a manager today how they were able to allow teachers to get so many and not run out or change their policy, and he explained it as:

"In order for teachers to get 30, they have to have a STAR teachers reward card and scan it at the time of purchase. We track your purchase through your card. You are limited to 30 each day. So you can't go to another store and buy 30 at the sale price the same day, it's going to be the regular price."

Hmmm...why couldn't Staples other well known stores use this process, instead of changing their policy and subsequently losing business in the process??


JoAnn fabrics is also having teacher appreciation, but it ends today! (Sorry!) They are offering 25% off your total purchase. I was able to get fabric and some storage stuff for less than the cost of what the fabric would have been!

That's all for now!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

....And so it begins!

Well.....began is what I should say!

Yesterday was the first day that teachers could enter their classrooms at my school. Honestly, I expected shock and awe. Our custodians (such AWESOME people by the way) are notorious for leaving our classrooms in disarray once they've been cleaned. Which, I get. As I mentioned in a previous post, they take everything out of every room on a hallway and just go through to clean each room. Then they put everything back. Our custodians are not focused on where each item is supposed to be, they just want to get the stuff in a room and move on to their next task.

So needless to say, I expected furniture to be everywhere, broken items, and anything else imaginable.

Here's what my room looked like when I left:
Here's what it looked like when I arrived:
From the door, looking left.
From the door, looking straight ahead.
From a corner of the room, looking towards the entire room

Ignore the poor picture quality. I forgot my camera and I only had my cell phone. Plus the a/c hadn't been turned on, so I left the lights off to stay cool while working.

I'd forgotten that I got rid of a lot of stuff, you know "less is more." I was very surprised when I walked in. All of the small furniture was in the middle of the room, and all of my big furniture had been put BACK IN ITS PLACE!!! Our custodians did a wonderful job. I'll have to make sure to bring them something to say "Thanks" before school starts.

So here's what I'm working with.

I moved all of the furniture Monday and I was able to start decorating today. I was also able to clean out my closets with my manipulatives and put them on their respective shelves.

Look for more classroom updates coming soon!

Happy Blogging!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Made It Monday! -My very first one!

I'm still fairly new to blogging, so I hadn't had a chance to actually participate in some of the cool "linky" parties that have been going on during the summer.

This week though, I am able to participate in the Made It Monday link party! I'm linking up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics to display a few things that I have made this summer.

So here's what I've made so far:
I made a teacher binder using Teaching in Flip Flop's template from Teacher's Notebook.
I don't have anything in there just yet. I normally don't get school calendars until I go back for Staff Dev. and my district hasn't uploaded our TEKS or Focus Calendars yet. We just switched to 9 week reports from 6 week reports, so that may have something to do with it.

I made these cans to house my sharpies, extra pencils, pens, scissors, etc. I think I want to label them, but i'm not sure what type of letters/stickers to use just yet.

This picture isn't that great, but I've seen this idea a few times on pinterest. I went to Dollar Tree and bought 5 cheap picture frames and some letter stickers from Target. I gave each frame a different color of paper and used the stickers to display the subject. I had a frame for ELA/Reading, Sci/S.Stud, Writing, Math, and Daily 5. I hot glued the frames together in the style and shape that I wanted.

 Then this happened......
The frame for Daily 5 completely broke away from the top. (It was hot glued on the very bottom, and part of it is still attached.)
The good news: The frame was only $1, the paper was free because I have plenty at home, and I have plenty of stickers left over.
The bad news: I don't have such high hopes for the other four that are still together. They're already super "bendy" and I'm about 85% sure that I will be replacing these frames before they make it to my classroom. If they do break, I will keep them separated this time.
In other news, today was the first day that teachers were able to get into their classrooms at my school. So hopefully, as this posts, I'm working hard at trying to get my room together. That or I'm staring in disbelief at the current state of my room. I just hope I'm in my room!

Here's what my room looked like when I left on June 1st.

There was a class in my room for summer school for 4 weeks. I only taught summer school for 2 weeks, so I'm not sure what the state of my room will look like when I enter. I'm just hoping the teacher was courteous enough to put things back where they were. 
Everything in our room has to be labeled. When the custodians come to clean, they take EVERYTHING out to the hallway, clean the room & shine the floor, and just throw whatever is in the hallway into a room. It doesn't matter if it's the right room, the items just need to go into a room.
So we label our stuff with our room number in the hopes that it will get put in the right place, if not then the teacher knows where it goes and returns it to its rightful owners. Sometimes. (C'mon...we all have those teachers..you know the ones!)

I'll make sure to document the progress I make with my room this week in a couple of posts. I plan to work in my room every day from 8:00-4:30, so that I can get it DONE! However, I am going to do another "stay"cation before I have to officially report back, so after Thursday, you may not see posts for a couple of days. Just FYI.

Happy Blogging!

Friday, August 3, 2012


My very first "Currently."
I'm linking up with Oh'Boy Fourth Grade... for this month's currently.

I have olympic fever (like most of the world) and Gabby Douglas is pulling at my heartstrings! I absolutely LOVE her and everything she represents!

I seriously have found awesome deals on school supplies.
~Crayola 24 pack crayons 4 for $1 @ Toys R Us (with NO limit)
~Penny deals at Office Depot (limit 30 of each item for teachers)
and of course
~Target Dollar Spot for pocket charts, buckets, and more!

Sooooo, my "to-do" list is 2 miles long. Seriously. I kinda don't wanna talk about it. It's that bad.

I'm kind of excited to get back in my classroom, but I don't want summer to end just yet. This lounging/relaxing/not waking up until noon lifestyle really suits me.

Crate seats are ALL the rage on pinterest and I can't wait to add mine to my classroom decor! If only I could stop procrastinating and get them done. They were supposed to be done by this weekend....
that's NOT going to happen. At all. So maybe by next week.

I have been wanting a professional series camera for a few months now. I plan on using pictures of my students in several crafts throughout the year, as well as in their day to day routine (weekly jobs, Daily 5 choices, etc). I've heard great things about the Canon Ti Rebel series, but I'm also looking at a few Nikons. Any tips or thoughts, please share them with me!

So that's where I am currently....how about you?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


...and in the blink of an eye, it's August.

Seriously, WHERE has the time gone?? My summer vacation is slipping away from me.

  •  I only have 15 days before I'm back at work for 36 weeks. 
  • My "to-do" list is 2 miles long and I'm no where near finished with all of the back to school shopping I need to do. 
  • I still have to make my crate seats!! (Note to self: that craft MUST get completed this weekend)

Excuse me while I go sulk under the covers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Great Deals & Under Construction

Quick post today:

I came across a few great deals that I thought I'd share with you!
Currently, Office Depot has pocket folders for .01! I've heard that teachers are able to get up to 30 of the sale items (without a $5 purchase....hint, hint), but be sure to ask the manager on duty just in case, this limit may vary from store to store.
Office Depot also has composition books for .25. This price is the lowest I've seen thus far, so I'll be sure to pick up a few of these. I plan on getting them cut in half to make Math Journals and Reading Response Journals (more on that later).

Toys R US has Crayola Crayons 4 for $1. Supposedly there is NO limit, but again, ask just to be sure.

For all of my "crafty" teachers, check with your local JoAnn Fabrics for their Teacher Appreciation weekend. My local store is offering extra savings for teachers this Friday and Saturday. This will definitely come in handy for those crate seats I have yet to make.

In other news: I'm finally getting the hang of "blogging" and KrazyKuteKinders is under construction! I'm still playing around with a few things, but I love my current theme/template! There'll be more to come soon!
Happy Shopping!

EDIT: ALL JoAnn Fabric stores will be hosting "Teacher Appreciation" next Saturday and Sunday August 11th and 12th with 25% off!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exciting News...

......which I will definitely tell you about once my mini-vacation ends! Plus, the news isn't set in stone and I probably won't know anything until after I report back in mid-August. I'm excited and I hope everything follows thru!! I'll check back in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mini Vacation

I know that I JUST started blogging so there's no need for me to take a vacation right?? But, alas, I am. As my summer vacation is winding down, I find myself wanting to rest a little more and take care of some things that I have neglected all summer. I can't imagine how some of the other bloggers are feeling when they have to report back to work on Monday! Yep, you read it right. Some teachers/bloggers are reporting to work this Monday, July 30th. So, with that said, my posts will be few and far between. That is, at least until I head back into my classroom and begin all the fun stuff that comes with starting a new school year. I'll try to post if I see great deals and steals or if something dramatic happens in my school life. (I received a text from my principal earlier today. I've been on edge ever since) Feel free to check out some "Blogs That I Love" located on the left sidebar of my blog. I'll see you in a few weeks. Adios....for now!

Monday, July 23, 2012

All for 1, or 1 for all?

Greetings! It's been 4 days since my last post, and I have to say...I've missed being around the blogosphere. However, I needed a vacation in the worst possible way! So, I took one. Granted, it was a mini-vacation, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm not a swimmer, but I spent more time under water this weekend than I ever have in my entire life. A great time was had by myself as well as the other 12 people who were also there. Yes, 13 people (including myself) split between 2 lodge homes. Great times.

Now....on to the teaching stuff.
Every school year brings about new beginnings. As a teacher, we are constantly adjusting to provide the best possible environment for our students. One constant that ALWAYS remains the same in my classroom are school supplies.

Typically with supplies, I take the "community" route. Meaning when students bring in their supplies, either individually or in the school pack, I separate them myself and then as a class, we distribute all the items evenly so that each student has what they need.
 I usually ask that parents do NOT put their child's name on the supplies. This makes it easier for me to distribute. Supplies that have the students' name on them or character supplies (Spiderman, Hannah Montana, etc) are sent home.

For me and my classroom, it's always been easier to do community supplies because it ensures that each child has what they need. Our supply list usually has an abundance of each item and many items are left over. Honestly, no kindergartener needs 10 folders. 3 or 4 are enough to last the entire year. I also buy supplies that I need for my students as well, so we always have more than enough.

Last year, I had several parents disapprove my system of community supplies. The main objection I had to my community procedure was the fact that parents spent their hard earned money for THEIR child's supplies, not to supply the entire classroom. And I get it, I really really do. I teach in a low income area. Not only is our school Title 1, but so is our district. Many families receive assistance and can barely put together the funds for food and clothes, much less supplies. So they make an extra effort to ensure that their child is prepared for the school year. I can definitely understand not wanting to share supplies.

However, there are families in the same situation that simply cannot afford supplies. Their extra efforts only cover food and clothing, which means no $$ for supplies. If you have never seen the look on a 5 year olds face because they don't have supplies and their classmates do....believe me, it's heartbreaking. I buy what I can, but I also count on the students that bring supplies so that I know there's enough. Plus, sharing is caring, right??
I still plan to do the community supplies this year. Unless 99% of my parents object and complain to my administration, then for now, that's the best possible solution I have for my class.
Now for your input. How do you distribute supplies to your class? Is it all for one or one for all?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Very Very PINteresting!

Pinterest is my new favorite hobby!! I literally cannot go more than a couple of hours without checking out or searching for new ideas. Of course, the boards that I visit the most are related to classroom ideas and themes. I've gotten so many new ideas for this upcoming school year, that I probably won't have time to finish them all. Pinterest has a smorgasbord of ideas for almost anything a person can think of. Simply type in what interests you or any craft ideas you want to try and the pins will pop up! I suggest you head on over to pinterest.com and check it out. If you're already a member of pinterest, what boards or ideas capture your attention? Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deals and Steals

 I may get some mean looks for posting this....but the infamous "Back to School" season is upon us.

I know, I know. It's still July and some of us have only been out a few weeks because we taught summer school. I'm one of them, in fact. However, now is the perfect time to start stocking up on some of the great deals and steals that we all love.

I have been frequenting many "big box" stores to begin stocking up on some essentials and a few other things that I've been eyeing. Pinterest has given me a plethora of ideas, so I've also become a DIY-er.

A few things that I have picked up so far:

Dollar Tree

These 3 dimensional shapes will come in handy during math.
Great to use for counting and when we begin our lessons on 3D shapes.
Bought 6 packages

Pop-out letters (uppercase and lowercase) and some magnetic numbers.
Can never have too many.

I plan on having 6 groups, so I bought 3 of these so that 2 groups can share.
With all the cutting and pasting in Kindergarten, the 2 we have don't do us justice.

My Target has been really sllllloooowww about stocking their "Back to School" aisle, but I was
able to pick up a few things. A couple of pocket charts, some magnets, mini dry erase markers and erasers.
8 primary color cards for reference with my students and incentive stickers
and charts.

Judas ahem...Staples
These were purchased before I found out about the change in rewards. I just bought the bare minimum and
left it at that. No sense in spending ALL of my hard earned money.
Check out my post here if you haven't heard about the new policy.

These are just a few of the deals that that I've found so far. I'm sure the sales and goodies will increase as we get closer and closer the the beginning of school. Also, if you're an Office Depot teacher rewards member check out the website www.mystarteacher.com to see when your local store is hosting their "Teacher Appreciation Day". Lots of great deals then. Leave a comment to let me know where you do most of your shopping and where you find the best deals.
Happy shopping!