Saturday, August 30, 2014

Five for Friday and Funny Kid Friday - Last for August!

Linking up (late again - seriously, by Friday, I am wiped!) for Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday!  Here are five things about my week!



This week, my hubby and I started a Fit for Fall Challenge through our Beachbody Coach.  We just finished the Alpha round (the first round) but we really wanted to participate for the accountability and support piece.  Ya'll, I have ZERO upper body strength.  Never have.  I am actually starting to get biceps!  Baby biceps, yes.  But biceps!  Watch out world!  I'm getting fit!  ;)



We are working really hard this week on sight words.  In our district we have a list of sight words students start working on during the first full week of school.  CRAZY!!!!  So far, we have covered the, see, I & a.  It's so important for students to have multiple experiences with sight words and in a variety of ways.  Here some ways we worked on sight words this week!

Kiddos had to cut apart letters in boxes, arrange them to spell our words, glue them down and paint them.  So much fun!


A little sight word practice during math centers?  Yes, please!


Working on the word 'a' with my Sight Word Practice Made Easy (& FUN!) books!



We are also learning the basics of word to word matching, taking turns, and being a friend.  To practice this, we did our first buddy reading session.  The kiddos had to read their shared reading book to a friend back and forth.  They were so great!



These two.  They CRACK.  ME.  UP.  I have missed them so much since going back to school!  




Finally, I have to share this sweet and funny story for my Funny Kid Friday post.  I seriously love my job!


So I'm always telling my kiddos the 'why'. Why are we doing this activity? Why do I make you practice this skill? etc. Recently we have been talking about why we take brain breaks and why we get our bodies moving during the day through dance and song. I tell them that when we move while learning, it helps our brain and we can learn more, and that when our brain works really hard, it needs a break. Well....today was one of those days I just couldn't think straight. Messed up my words, forgot our schedule, etc. Once I messed up for the billionth time I said, "Oh man! My brain is just not working right today!" (Which they thought was hilariously funny.) One of my sweet kiddos raised her hand and said, "Maybe you haven't moved enough today to get your brain working! You need to take a brain break!"  Love them!

So that's it!  My week!  How was your week?

XOXO,

Racheal

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sight Word Book FRENZY!!!

Happy Thursday!  Can I just start off my saying how thankful I am for amazing friends?!  This is the email I received from a super sweet friend yesterday morning.  

"Teachers who love to teach, teach children to love learning!"
You are so good at what you do! :)

Love you, friend. Have a great day!!!! 


I mean, you guys.  I am so blessed.  Such a perfect way to start my day!

Speaking of friends....I recently had a friend ask if I could make my Sight Word Practice Made Easy (& FUN!) for first grade words.  My response?  OF COURSE!!!!  I blogged about these books over the summer if you want to check out the initial post.  


Anyway, since I accepted the challenge, that got me thinking.  I know I like a lot of options when looking at a product.  Can I get it separate if I want it separate?  Can I get it bundled if I want it bundled?  Is the price right?  Will I be able to use it multiple times?  These are all questions I considered when diving into this next project.  Saying that, I am happy with the results so far.  I totally revamped the look of my two Sight Word Practice Made Easy (& FUN!) bundles.  I then started uploading each book individually for more options for buyers.  (I mean, what if you only need one book?  Who wants to buy the whole thing?)  I haven't completely finished uploading each individual book (it is a process!) but I will hopefully be finishing that soon!  

Since I believe in these books so much and truly feel they will benefit you and your students in the classroom, I also made them SUPER affordable.  Since a bundle (10 books) is only $5, I made each individual book only $0.75.  UNDER A $1 PEOPLE!  CRAZY!  I also uploaded my Sight Word Practice Made Easy (& FUN!) - A Book for FREE!  Who doesn't want to test run something?  :)  Download it and let me know what you think!

Besides the 'a' book, here are the individual books I have so far!  (Click on the picture below to go to my TPT store.)


I also have two bundles available if you are looking for more bang for your buck!  I am close to a third bundle so keep an eye out!  Click on each picture below to check them out!



I had a chance to sit with a few of my kiddos today and use these books. What I love most about these books?  They are reusable!  Hardly any color ink!  Hands on!  I can easily target specific words for different children for differentiation.  Everyone is using the same materials (play dough, buttons, dry erase markers, etc.), but everyone is working on the words they need to practice.  The kids had a BLAST and are already learning so much!






To celebrate my 'revamping', I am discounting all sight word books and bundles 10% until Saturday morning!  Enjoy!

XOXO,

Racheal

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GoNoodle, Silent Stones and some MESSY FUN!

It's only Tuesday and I am EXHAUSTED!!!  My kinders are sweet, but WHEW, they wear me out!  

Today we had a lot of fun!  This week, I finally jumped onto the GoNoodle bandwagon and let me just tell you.  We are in LOVE! For those of you who don't know GoNoodle.  It's a FREE website that has a variety of brain break videos for you and your students.   We even got to choose our own mascot!  Too fun!  Meet Freckles Sinclair!  Isn't he ADORABLE?!  My kiddos love to earn points for Freckles every time we take a brain break.

I haven't fully explored the GoNoodle site and everything that is involved but my class approves so far!

We are fully into our learning goals this week.  The vast majority of my class is coming in this year without a lot of letter or word knowledge.  I am working extra hard to give them a good solid foundation.  This week we are completely our Early Literacy Assessment so we can gain a clear picture of where each student is.  Next week I am *hopefully* going to start pulling small groups here and there for some reteaching and reinforcement.  We are still working on centers and expectations but I REALLY want to start working more one on one!

One way I am trying to help my students gain a firm foundation in literacy is by using a multi-sensory approach.  We have been manipulating a variety of materials including pocket chart letters, magnetic letters, beads, etc.  We also take a musical/kinesthetic approach by singing our Heidi's Songs Sight Word Songs.  These are AMAZING!!!  My kid's love them!  You can check out her DVDs here!  Here we are doing the 'the' video!


video

For a tactile approach, we worked on this little project today.  The kiddos cut apart the letters, arranged them into our sight words, glued them down and then painted them!!! Soooo much fun and we hit a lot of skills. Some of my kiddos need a TON more practice cutting and following directions (fine motor control is a problem in general in my classroom) but with more activities like these I think we'll get there!!!









Finally, we are still working on classroom rules and expectations.  It's Kindergarten, we will be do this ALLLLL year right?  :)  Well, like I said before my kiddos are very sweet!  However, we are SUPER talkative.  (I can hear my mom saying 'Well they got the right teacher then!')  We are working on having a quiet voice when working at our tables.  Today I tried a twist on Quiet Critters - mainly because I don't have a lot of pom poms leftover from last year!  I used these little stones I've had for years.  I think they are meant to be at the bottom of a fish tank or flower vase?  


We called them Silent Stones.  Here's the deal.  Every child got one.  If they weren't following direction (i.e. talking) I walked by and picked up their stone and put it in my pocket.  When they were back on track, I gave it back.  If a student had their Silent Stone still at the end of the lesson - they got a treat!  They loved it and it was sooooo much quieter!  When you have 26 kiddos it's so important to get control over the talking before it gets out of hand!  


Well, that's our week so far!  I am working on some new things to provide more hands on practice for sight words.  I am very excited about them and I can't wait to share them with you!  Stay posted!

XOXO,

Racheal

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Plans and a FREEBIE!

Linking up again with Deedee Wills from Mrs. Will's Kindergarten for the Peek at My Week link up! 


Here are our weekly learning goals:

Theme – Colors
Reading, Writing, Language – I can capitalize, write and spell my first name. I can ask and answer questions about key details in a text.  I can describe familiar people, places, things, and events. 
Handwriting – I know the wood pieces.
Math – I can count, compare and write numbers 0-5.
Science – I can identify the sounds and their source of vibrations in everyday life.
Social Studies – I can recite the Pledge of Allegiance and recognize the flag as a symbol of our country.
Letter of the Week – Bb
Word(s) of the Week – I, a, see
PBIS – I can be SAFE in the cafeteria.

We didn't get to everything last week so there is some carry over into this week.  We will get a little more accomplished this week, I can feel it!!!

Click on the pictures below to download my plans.  Then, you can click on any photos in my plans to be taken to that product!!!

 And here is my FREEBIE!  We are really working on identifying letters and sight words, while also coloring and fine motor control!  This freebie should do just that!  :)


Have a great week!

XOXO,

Racheal


Friday, August 22, 2014

Five for Friday - August 22

I'm linking up late tonight with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly Five for Friday linky!  It's been a BUSY week!  Here's what I've been up to!



This week was our first full week of school.  I am really getting to know my kinders and they are sweet!  They are also reminding me why I went into teaching - to help making learning fun for young children!  I have a feeling my creativity will be tested this year!


With all of the coverage on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I knew I would eventually be challenged.  Little did I know it would be by two of my former Kindergarteners - now 2nd graders!  My Madi got in on the challenge too!  Boy, daddy made that water cold!  Here's how we felt about that!



The hubby and I FINALLY got caught up on Big Brother this week (my summer obsession) and I am dying!  It's so good this year!  If you watch it, who's your favorite?


We have been working really hard this week on our names and what letter they begin with.  We read A My Name is Alice.  We talked about the beginning letters and letter sounds.  We then made our own class book!


If you would like to make your own class book, you can grab the template from clicking on the picture above!


We started shared reading this week!  My kiddos have LOVED the pocket chart games and activities.  We have practiced building the sight word 'the' and identifying letters!  So much fun!



These activities are from my Beginning of the Year Shared Reading Week 1 set.  Check it out by clicking here!

Have a great weekend y'all!

XOXO,

Racheal

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet the Teacher LINKY

I am FINALLY linking up with Stephanie over at Falling Into First for her Meet the Teacher Linky!  What a FAB idea!


Hi!   My name is Racheal and I am 29 years old!  I have been married to my husband for 7 years (together for 12!) and we have the two most beautiful and spunky little girls - Madilynn (4) and Lila (17 months).  They are my WORLD!  


I have been teaching kindergarten for three years and I previously taught Early Childhood for about five years before that.  I was really nervous about teaching kindergarten.  I mean, NERVOUS.  But the truth is, I love it!  Like, a lot!


 THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...

Diet Root Beer. Starbucks. Chocolate.  Caramel.  Chocolate and caramel mixed together. Target. Shopping for my classroom.  My family.  My amazing friends.  Seuss.  Yoga pants.  Statement necklaces.  Meeting new people.  Creating.  Sharpies. 

 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?


A stay at home momma!  Or a college professor.

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.

Organized.  Driven.  Loving.

FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"

"I'd really love to sit in another meeting, SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!!" 


Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?

Audrey Hepburn.  Love her!!!


Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?

Watch Her Go


 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
Get things done in a snap.  Literally.

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?

God promised to give you your daily bread, he didn't say it would be buttered. 

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

Anything Taylor Swift.

 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

Truthfully, NEITHER!  I am a girl that likes her sleep!!!! But lately, I have been staying up late and have been rather productive!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?

 Hmmmmm.  I really like my Shared Reading Sets!  This is something I have been doing for what seems like forever!  Making books and activities to help students learn sight words and other literacy skills!  

Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!

The summer after my senior year of high school I bit a hole in my bottom lip.  We were on the lake tubing and I flipped off.  The next thing I remember is being pulled into the boat (I must have passed out) and my friend Emily telling me "I doesn't look so bad!" - meanwhile she can't even look at me!  I ended up having a hole straight through my lip.   We drove like crazy to the hospital and met my parents and I ended up having a plastic surgeon sew me up to minimize scarring.  I still have a little scar to prove it!   It was scary at the time, but we were able to find the humor in it later.  We joked that I wouldn't even need a straw if I kept the hole!  :)

To meet some other fun bloggers click on my picture above!

XOXO,

Racheal

Peek at My Week!

We have officially started our first FULL week of school!  Wow!  My kiddos have already come SO FAR!  It's amazing the progress they have already made!  I am so hopeful for this year!

Today I am linking up with the lovely Deedee Wills to share my lesson plans for the week!  


This is my very first visual lesson plan link up!  EEEEK!  I'm super excited!  Disclosure - I don't have my center plans for the week-we are SLOOOOOOOOOWLY going to start introducing centers and then I will have my plans ready to post!  Just click on the pages below to download my plans.  Once you are in their, you can click on the different picture to go to the link! 


Enjoy!

XOXO,

Racheal