Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back to School Linky: Classroom Decor

Well hello there!! I have been very busy creating and trying to finish getting supplies for my room for next year! Which is something I'm very excited about sharing with you all! I have linked up again with Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bees for their 3rd week of the back to school link up! 

Now, I don't know about you all, but our campus does a campus wide theme every year. You don't HAVE to do what is being presented, but last year the theme was Dr. Seuss so you KNOW I joined in on that :) It was also my very first year setting up my classroom and I learned a LOT in that process. I'm going to share with you some photos from my room last year, tips I learned on what not to do and a few changes, as well as some sneak peaks into my classroom this year. 

Last years classroom: 






Alright, let me start these tips by telling you my room changed SO MUCH throughout the year. It almost ended up look nothing like this. Here are a few reasons why...


In my opinion, ditch the teachers desk. It looks cute at the beginning, yes. I also went into the year thinking I need my OWN space, I am having a desk. 
No. Worst idea ever.
I found myself being the teacher I didn't want to be. One who wanted to sit down and be at my desk, one who wanted the kids to come to my desk, and I hated it. I ditched it around Thanksgiving time and could not be happier. I had certain students I wanted to be closer to, so I just stuck myself behind the kidney table and made room for my junk. It got a little crazy, and messy, but it was still MY space, and I was getting to interact with the kiddos who needed me almost all day long when we were doing independent practice.  
I tried to find a picture, sadly, there's none of my "space" only my kiddos cute faces :) 


Here is a tip I am going into next year completely agreeing with.
Ditching the premade, store bought posters. The Dr. Seuss posters were cute, yes, but the face that we didn't make them together (anchor charts) my kids never looked at them! Ever.
Yes, I have made several posters this year for my classroom, but I don't intend to hang them up until we are talking about it and after we've created posters together. Also, I'm going into third grade, they can actually read the posters. My students learned more by doing and participating, especially when it came to being able to write on the anchor charts and hanging them up the rest of the year. 
My sweet sweet babies, you can kind of see the anchor charts in the back. Now the blend and digraph charts the kids helped me write on them. They gave me examples and they came up and write, and they referred back to those the rest of the year. I knew I had to continue that, and wish I had done it sooner.


SOFT TONES SOFT TONES SOFT TONES. 
The yellow in my room last year was AWFUL.
Awful.
I didn't have enough time to paint and then I stupidly still brought in bright chevron fabric for the bulletin boards. 

I have learned from some of my new bloggy friends, and from more research, that black backgrounds are soothing and actually hold the kids attention. So my plan for this next year, is black backgrounds and adding colors to that. 

Which brings me to my next preview, I want to show you all a little glimpse into what I have ready to take to my new room! :) I had the chance to win School Girl Styles Superhero theme set! So I have used some of her things from that and am bringing in my own! :) 
Isn't it FANTASTIC! You can find it here.
Here are a few peaks into my new theme. 
We can't get into our rooms yet, still unsure when, we got a text today. I'm semi-freaking out. Just have to remember....wine now, stress later ;) 

 
Aren't these signs FANTASTIC! I found them at Hobby Lobby! I was SO EXCITED! The rug above I got at Target!


Bins on bins on bins, now I know I won't use all of these, but I like to have options, and it never fails, I break things, okay? :) 

My camera is obviously my iPhone camera, don't judge how terrible these photos look. These are a few things going into my reading nook. I want to create a fun, feel good atmosphere. I have plans for chairs, big pillows, maybe a futon if I can figure it out. 

Like I said, I'm so ready to get in, but let me assure you, classroom decor is a learning process. I already have ideas for next year (I want to make a home-like feeling someday, browns, burlap...) I'm sure that idea will change ;) 

I hope you enjoyed my post!
Catch up with me on instagram - @mrs_cmt1489 I post the most on there!
Or find my classroom page on facebook here
Have a blessed day y'all! :) 






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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Assessment

WELCOME to week two of linking up with Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bees for Back 2 School Weekly! 

The dreaded word... assessment... I know, I know what you're thinking. BUT when I show you the progress my babies made in kindergarten last year, it makes the assessment part semi more enjoyable. 

So I am going to show you back to school assessments. When our kiddos came in we needed to know WHAT exactly they knew, which for some wasn't much, but I still needed to know where to start. 

Here are a few pictures of things created or given to me for our BOY assessments last year. 


Wow. 
As you can see the top two photos were kiddos who needed a lot more work to get started. I could take from these sheets and know that fine motor skills were definitely something needed. (These are also great to keep for portfolio purposes, I will show you why in just a minute)

Now, the bottom picture is a student who obviously came in with some prekinder skills. 

So, along with letters and numbers, I assessed in colors, shapes, one to one correspondence, rote counting, identifying parts of a book and their purposes, and knowing their name. 

Our report cards we want them leaving the first 6 weeks identifying as many letters, capital and lowercase, as possible, identifying as many numbers 1-20 that they can, and counting to 100 is our final goal. We also want them the identify first and last name, so to do this I would write their names 3 different ways with different spellings and then circle the one they said was their name, write their first name, and identify parts of a book, as well as knowing the difference between letters and words. For math, we want them knowing their 5 digit ID number for our school, identify their colors. We don't put a lot of pressure on them for the first 6 weeks because that is when behavior management is really pushed as well as routines. 

Here are some of the kiddos from the first two pictures work from the last week of school. 



So these photos are the whole reason I believe in assessment and the good that it does do. BUT - That does not mean I agree with a majority of assessments out there and the consistency that they are done. :) 

I have a whole pack of ideas for Kindergarten assessments in my store for 1/2 off for the rest of the week. Last year I did a lot of writing my own and I decided to type a bunch up for you all and making your life simple!


You can find it here: Kindergarten BOY Assessments




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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Few last weeks of freedom...



Good evening friends! 
It's Saturday night, andddd here I am... Sad. I know. It's been a long weekend, and sadly school is closing in sight. I can't say sadly, I am very excited to be going to 3rd grade. So excited I still feel like I have so much to do!!! So last night I get this bright idea I need parts of speech posters, at 1:30AM. So what do I do? I make posters. 

I am giving 2 away on my facebook page! I am seriously SO excited to print these off. I'll post pictures when I get all my printed started and hopefully done in the next two weeks.

I also created this forever freebie 
It's free in my store www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Cassie-Thomas forever. :) 

Then I ALSO just created a new fan freebie up on my facebook page! 

Please, check everything out! 

Are there any other important BOY posters I should have for 3rd grade? Even 2nd grade teachers can weight in :) 

Have a blessed night y'all!!



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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I am linking up today with Miss Decarbo at Sugar and Spice for: 


So, this is my life right now in my spare bedroom.

Since I am switching grades I have to go through and sort out all of this for what I can and will use and what I won't and get organized.

My question to all of you:
If you have switched grades, what are you best organizational tips?

If you haven't, how are you using your summer to get organized for the next year?

Second year teacher here! :)

Thanks!!! 






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Back To School: Behavior Management

Well, hello friends! Long time no talk ;) Things have been so busy around the Thomas household. Still will be. Then to add in to my life, I have surgery on my face on August 7 (2 days after my birthday, bummer) AND I just enrolled to my first two grad school classes! Time to educate myself get myself feeling healthier! Could NOT be more excited about the both of those.


Anyways, why I am here today is because I teamed up with Mrs. D over at Mrs. D's Corner and Ms. V over at Ms. V's Busy Bees for a Back to School blog link-up!!! Here is our weekly schedule 


So now, I am going to get to talk to you about my Behavior Management techniques and tricks. :) 



I started this year spending an entire week I feel like talking about expectations and rules. Which in the end I felt like it was the better thing to do. With kindergarten, they need to truly understand the rules and why they are there. So I read books, a lot of David talks, and we talked real life scenarios. 
I had them get up and act it out, over and over and over and then the others would get to discuss why it happened that way and alternatives to the "bad" behavior. 
I LOVED DOING THIS! I wish I had videos. :) 


I am such a firm believer in allowing them to create their own rules and then I have them sign it --- teachable moment --- discuss the Constitution and the laws you have to follow as a citizen and teacher. It really allows them to feel that you are trusting them in being independent. Sounds crazy, but just try it. What do you have to lose? 


My last tip for you - RELATIONSHIP. 
Build a bond with EVERY single one of your kids. Get to know them individually, not as a group. Do both, but get to know them personally on a deeper level. From Pre-K to senior year, kids need to feel that they can trust the adults in their life. If the kids feel that you will always have their back, they will respect you on a level you didn't even know existed. They would be DEVASTATED to upset you, and I learned this first hand last year and I will make it my goal for the rest of my life to touch each individual life. 



Have a great day y'all! Check it out next week for assessment! 



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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Currently



What's up friends!!!! Its July OMG! I can't believe it!!! I linked up with Farley for my Currently!! 


Listening:

It is summer school and it's really chaotic, so this music has surprisingly helped the kiddos be real quiet while working on name things! :) 

Loving: 

Mini-vacation coming up!!! OMG! I needed this so badly in my life right now! It's been so crazy!!

Thinking: 

I need to stop stressing and I need to get more sleep, my head is pounding!! Not fun with crazy children.

Wanting: 

To be on the road to Oklahoma...... OKKKKKLAHOMA!!!!!!

Needing: 

To go to bed earlier and to get The Longest Ride done, it just got so good and I HAD to put it down last night :( Tonight it's a date book, be ready!!!

4th Plans:

My family has a private lake on their property and they always have a huge fourth party and I am so ready to be there. I miss them and it's such a blast, then we are leaving Saturday and heading to Grand Lake so I can get on the lake with my best friend. Can. not. wait. I am such a water girl!!!!! 




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