Thursday, January 26, 2017

Classroom Organization: Portfolios


Our portfolios look a little different then some other preschool/ kindergarten ones. 

Since I have some of my kiddos for up to 3 years I mark a manila folder with their name and whether they are in the am or pm class and if it is their first, second, or third year. At the start of the school year I print all of our report card assessments and place them in the folders. 





For some students, they require a lot of extra documentation (tally charts, anecdotal notes, behavior calendars, etc.) if they are going to be getting placed into a different program or need extra services when they go to gen. ed. If this is the case I have a separate folder with all of these notes regularly available. 




During the school year I keep documentation on a lot of students (everything from behavior, new words they have said or positive progression or regression I see, favorite items, things students would for or did not work, interventions tried). I start this almost as soon as I meet the children. I keep these all in a word document. There name is at the top and I date it for when I made the observation. When the child moves on to the next program or grade, I print all of my anecdotal notes out and put them in their file. 


I also keep IEP progress monitoring notes on activities we do daily (circle time saying their names and other personal info) and what activities we did at my center and how they did.



All of these notes are kept as checklists. Many of the activities done correspond to their IEP goals or are on the report card rubric so I can look back if needed. I have a check plus for got it, check for needed some help, and check minus they did not understand the skill at all. 


Last, but not least I have IEP Goal Monitoring Binder.


In this I have the students IEP goals written out and I document how they did each month. 


Behind my notes I have the actual fine motor drawings they did. 



When the child leaves I keep all of these pieces of info in their portfolios. It is a lot, but I have had people ask me two years later about a child and I will have to pull out interventions tried, work they did, etc. so it is all important to have. 





Saturday, January 21, 2017

Five for Friday

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Here are some activities we have been up to in the classroom!

1. We have started our post office dramatic play. The kiddos LOVE writing letters to each other, putting them in the mailbox and delivering the mail!


2. We made these cut polar bears. We sprinkled oatmeal on them to give them a more realistic fur look.

3. I have been prepping Valentine activities and have rotated out the winter sensory bin for this Valentine one. The kiddos are loving it!
You can find these activities here.





We are going to work on lacing hearts. 




 4. We also practiced our snowman shape identification and matching. You can find this activity and more fun shape activities here in my Snowman Shape Activities.


5. We have also added some Valentine activities to our sensory room. Students can hop, march, or gallop around the hearts. We also have the same hearts to identify and match colors.  


At the Target Dollar Spot I found these fun road decals. I put them on a low magnetic board and the kids drive the cars around the track. This is great for tracking and hand eye coordination. 


Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Classroom Organization: Digital Files



I will be honest this is one area that I am still working on organizing better!

I have some folders by year of activities done. I do the same on my home computer. 



On my home computer I save my newsletters by the month and date (that Monday) and I save my lesson plans by year, month, date.


For the next school year I edit the previous year's and resave it as the date for the new year, month, date and I do the same with the newsletters.

I should probably save the activities done by month as my themes do not change too much, but I just have them all in one folder and I have a hard copy and I look that up in my school year folders to find the activities.



Check out more great digital file organization ideas from PreK Partner and Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers.




Sunday, January 15, 2017

Five for Sunday

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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!