Sunday, January 15, 2017

Five for Sunday

I meant to post this on Friday and it just didn't happen and now it Sunday! Time flies!
Anyways, here was my very long, crazy week!
1. So this past week was definitely not one of the best for me! Madi has been sick since the first week of December with multiple things and Monday was her first day back to school since before break. Well, at 1:30pm I got a call and she was running a high fever. Fortunately my principal was able to grab someone to cover my room and I was able to pick her up. I took her to the dr and by the time we got there her fever was 103.3 and she had the flu and we had gotten the flu shot! Ugh! So all this week she had to stay home and fortunately between my husband and my dad I only had to take one day off. So much for a calm week! 
Then, on Tuesday this is what my morning drive looked like...

3.5 inches of snow and because we were going to get rain the same day there was no snow plows to be seen. So my normal 25 min. drive turned into an hour and fifteen minutes. On the way home it was sleeting and once again was over an hour home. 

2. On a happier note because we did have snow we got to paint it with watercolors and pipettes! 

3. We also had fun using the core vocab boards to ask for help. We had a container that they couldn't open and they would have to show us help on their core vocab board and then we would help them open it. Inside there were little change purses with small items that they also needed help opening. Great way to reinforce the word help on the core vocab board!

4. I joined Simple Living Mama's Declutter challenge. I have been trying to declutter and have a more minimalistic outlook. We have a small house and definitely will not be moving anytime soon and it is amazing how much comes with having two kiddos! Less stuff has also really helped decrease my  anxiety at work and home! If interested check it out here. 

5. Happy MLK Day off! We have an eye appt. for Ethan, but other than that it should be a relaxing day!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Classroom Organization:Teacher Desk

Organizing your teacher desk can be a HUGE undertaking! After battling with years of trying to figure out the organization system that works to keep it organized I decided to get rid of it. I was scared that I was going to miss not having a desk, but I never really sat at it and I just was stacking piles on it. 

So this is what my new teacher work area looks like:

I have my computer desk. 

Here is one of my book shelves: I have a three-drawer sterlite for to be graded, to be files, and extra copies. The blue tub has all of my core vocabulary books and activities ready to go. 
The green tub below that are my new student folders, extra report cards, etc. the binders next to it are some of my restructured notes. 

When I first started teaching I found this great 20 shelf organizer. My lesson plan book is all on top and the first shelf below it is the theme books for that week/s. Copies that are made in advance are kept in all the shelves below that. 

In front of that I keep two weeks worth of activities in each daily folder. Pull the folder and go and if I have a sub suddenly my aid know where the activities for that day are. At the very back I keep some easy everyday go to items if needed.

Our writing folders I keep in these cardboard magazine holders from IKEA. I have the AM and PM ones. 

So where did all my pens, pencils, tape, etc. that was in the drawer go? I made this teacher supply toolkit. I love it! It keeps everything right where it should be vs. me just throwing items in the drawers. 

This shelf is under my computer desk and all my binders and stickies are kept. 

I feel like this is a much easier way to keep myself organized. My items tend to go back in the place they are supposed to go vs. just being thrown in a drawer to be lost for awhile. What are your best tips for organizing your teacher desk?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Core Vocabulary Work Box Tasks

So you have taught most of the words on the core vocabulary board and your kiddos are using the core vocabulary well, but not great. Now what?! Practice the vocab words with work boxes!

For this particular work box you put like and not on two containers and have the students practice sorting the foods they like and do not. 

This work box focuses on the key words put in. You can use small erasers or pom-poms and have students count the number and then place in the tray. You can work on fine motor by using tongs to move the pom-poms. 

For this work box, the focus words are go and stop. Students drive the car on the green arrow to stop!

The focus words are I see. For this task they are matching color bears. I also have a version for letters. 

The key words are a lot or some. Students sort the baggies of fish by a lot or some. 

Last, but not least the key words here are open, close, put in, and again. Students will pick up a picture or small item, open the box, put in the item, close the box, and do it again with a new item.

I cannot wait to start these this week at table time and then move them into the work boxes for my kiddos. It will be great reinforcement for words we have been working on throughout the year. Also, for some of my students still struggling with the board this will be an activity that is more isolated on a couple of  words instead of the whole board. 

I have more ideas coming soon too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five for Friday


Kacey is back with five for Friday so here is what I have been up to the last couple of weeks! 

1. My in-laws were in for winter break and this is what sums up my break...lots of take out and messes from four kiddos running around everywhere! It was fun, but I am happy to be back to my boring, routine life! 

2. We played with animals in the water. All the kids loved it!

We also played in shaving cream and practiced drawing shapes, letters, and numbers. 

3. I finally had the chance to do some work and made this fun monster sensory bin activities. Check them out here. 

 I also made these color and counting snow cone mats. You can grab this freebie here
4. I also am in the process of making core vocab work boxes. Those will be coming soon! 

5. We reviewed our core vocab boards by requesting "I do". The question would be posed "Who wants to put (piece) on Mr. Potato Head? and the kiddos would have to point to "I do". They loved building the potato head!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking Forward 2017

With the new year quickly approaching here are some things I will be doing in the classroom at the start of this year. 

2 Things I am going to try in my room: shared writing daily activities and sensory room rotations for those kiddos that are too overwhelmed and can't figure out what to do.

1 Thing I will do better is my vocabulary core board time. It have been very inconsistent with using it and want to make sure I am setting aside 10-15 min. daily to do it.

With new kiddos coming in January the sensory room time split into the start and end of the day have been great for my kiddos!

7 Tips
1. classroom management- make sure to enforce it and revisit often!
2. Have a set routine for transitions- whether it be a sound, make it visible to the kiddos
3. have a defined calm down area- my kiddos know where their safe place is and they know they can go to it at anytime.
4. Get your kiddos up and moving with songs, GoNoodle, or some yoga. It re-energizes them and gets them ready to focus!
5. with my own kiddos home have easily accessible sub plans available and easy to read and use! You never know when you may have to be out.
6 and 7. Have fidgets and flexible seating available to all students! Again it helps with focus. 

Find more tips from PreK Partner

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Stress Free Holiday Party Planning

 The holidays are a crazy time for teachers and students alike. With Santa approaching and lots of special activities in December planned at school and home the kiddos seem to be bouncing off the walls and ready for a break. Then, you have to plan for your holiday party, which also adds to the chaos!
Here are some tips to make it a little easier!

When we have parties I keep my schedule the same as much as possible. We usually sing a few songs until most parents arrive and then we start centers. I still run three centers and the parents rotate around with the students. This is also a great opportunity for parents to see what the kiddos do everyday. It also keeps the students calmer because they know what is next.

I keep just three centers just like we normally have. We have a snack activity, a fine motor craft, and a play center (this may be play-doh or cars and trucks). 

Here are some of our past party activities:

We made walking S'mores and holiday sensory bottles. 

We made reindeer hats and reindeer snack mix. 

If you allow parents to send in treats for the class ask them to send it in right away. That way you can put one or have the children put one in each of the students mailboxes and then they can go straight into the backpacks. It helps eliminate some of the chaos when all the adults are in the classroom.

Good luck with your parties and have fun!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Five for Friday

Although, Doodle Bugs Teaching is on Christmas Vacation I thought I would share five random things about this week.

1. On Monday we had a snow day! We got outside and built a snowman and went sledding. It was a fun, relaxing day!

2. Santa visited us on Tuesday and read a story to us. 

 3. We practiced I like and I do not like with the vocabulary board with

4. I am trying to get prepped for when we return in January. When we come back in January we are going to be starting our Dramatic Play Post Office! 

5. The kids have been loving I Spy Color Adapted Books. Check them out here. 

Also, make sure to check out tpt for #8daysofchristmas Dollar Deals.

We are on day #6
Here is what is $1 in my store today. Great for working on shapes with your little ones!