Sunday, August 31, 2014

Apps for Teachers

I love apps that make my life easier.  Recently I found a few apps that make using my laptop with PPT presentations even easier.  I used to stand at my projector cart to scroll though my presentations.  I finally gave in and bought a remote that would synch with my macbook so I could stand up front and talk to my kids while showing them my presentation slides.  Well, good thing I didn't open that box.  No need for a $20 remote.  I have my iPhone and I now have an app that syncs with my macbook.  I tested it out at Back to School night and it worked perfectly.
Here are a few images of my PPT slides.
teacher apps, PPT presenter, Power Point remote
teacher apps, PPT presenter, Power Point remote
teacher apps, PPT presenter, Power Point remote
The app is called My Point Power Point Remote and it is FREE
teacher apps, PPT presenter, Power Point remote
There are a few others.  It is Free if you only have 15 slides or less.  For the extended version it is $9.99
teacher apps, PPT presenter, Power Point remote
This last App I haven't used, but I have seen my colleague use it. Rowmote is .99 and the Pro version is $4.99
teacher apps, PPT presenter, Power Point remote

Need to dictate something or too tired to type, why not try Dragon Dictation
dragon speak, teacher apps
Remind101
Use it to connect with your parents.  Send reminders for special school events, reminders about book orders and so much more.
remind101 teacher apps.
Last- it isn't an app, but it is my latest creation.  
class management cards, free choice, kindergarten centers
Hppy Teaching.  Hope you enjoy the extra long weekend.



Saturday, August 30, 2014

Working on Basic Fine Motor Skills

We just finished our 8th day of school and we are having a blast.  From the very first day, we learned how to use scissors and glue.  These are both skills that most of my students don't have.  Only a few have had experience using scissors.  We've also been practicing using a pencil to trace basic shapes and write our name.
tracing and scissor skills, kindergarten find motor skills

Last Week
I used markers to write their name in rainbow colors.  Then they glued on the bitty construction paper pieces to match.  This lesson told me a lot about my kids.  I immediatly knew who could follow directions and use a model to complete their work.  I used these trays I found at the Dollar Store to keep the papers seperated.
collage art, sorting tray
 We used our glue sponge tubs successfully
name art, rainbow names, collage art
name art, collage art, rainbow names, kindergarten art
Our Life Skill this week was Friendship. On the day we learned all about the letter F, we we made Friendship Fish.  Ater watching the Rainbow Fish from Storyonline.net the students worked with a partner to create their own rainbow fish.  All of my kids worked together so well.
rainbow fish, collage art, paper art, cooperative learning, kindergarten art, Like Skills, friendship
Thursday night was our Back-to School Night.  I had 11 out of 19 parents attend.  Not fabulous, but it was better than some of my colleagues had.

Enjoy the 3 day weekend.  I still need to plan and prep for next week, but i am taking a break from school work to spend time with my family.

Lastly, I'm joining the Linky for classroom reveals over at The Primary Gal.  If you missed mine you can see it http://www.time4kindergarten.com/2014/08/first-day-hooray-and-classroom-reveal.html.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day Hooray and a Classroom Reveal


Hip, Hip Hooray, I survived my first day.  Only a few kids shed tears, no one wet their pants and no one got lost.  I say it was a FABULOUS first day!  We even had indoor recess due to what seemed like rain but was a heavy wet fog that left our playground drenched and a plugged up rain gutter gushing water over my doorway.  I currently have 19 kids 11 boys, 8 girls. They are cute, excited and young.  I forget how young they are when they enter kindergarten.

Today we read the Kissing Hand, played with math manipulatives, sang songs, did a letter search for the Letter A from my Alphabet Sleuth packet and made our First Day of Kindergarten Crowns.  We were busy, busy, busy and I am TIRED!!!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few pics of my classroom.  Before the kids arrived, I snapped some photos.  I knew it would never look this way again.

The picture at the top was taken in my co-workers room.  Here is my room! I did take all my kids photos with them holding up the frame.  I used my projector screen as a backdrop.  They came out so ADORABLE!!!!

This is my class library.  I bought the tables, black stools and pillows at IKEA.  I can take the covers off the pillows and wash (pillow & cover) when they get dirty.
Two Posters I designed and had printed at Costco in a 16x20 print.  I mounted it to black foam core board from the Dollar tree to give it stability.
 The view from my desk.  The polka dot and chevron lantern are from Just Artifacts.
On the far left is my skinny teacher table where I keep my materials I will be using during the day. I added a skirt to my skinny table.  It is 18x60 it is perfect for keeping storage containers under.  I use my Thirty One Bags Organizing Utility Tote to hold a file box and a weeks worth of plans.  I can grab the bag and take it home for the weekend to organize if needed.  Next to it is my media cart that I added a cover to.  It hides all the cords and holds my projector, elmo, VCR and DVD player.  Next to the media cart is an old stool I repainted and recovered this summer. The table signs are a free download from my Facebook page.
 Another view from my desk towards my entry door.  Excuse the garbage can. Not sure why it is sitting there???  The open door on the right  is to my hallway where I have my cubbies and backpack hooks.  The other door that is slightly open is to the neighboring teachers room.  I have another door by my desk that leads to another teachers room and one more that leads to the playground.  Yes, that is four doors in my room.  I do however have 5 walls, only 2 of which are straight, the rest are slanted which makes it tricky  for room designs.
 More pictures of the rainbow reading table and word wall
 Clip Chart
 Calendar Wall
 Recovered a chair to match
 Put a skiĆ¢t ont he computer counter to hide things underneath and added some stools from IKEA
 Teacher phone area with calendar and message board.
 Table caddies nice and organized.
Well, that is it.  I didn't show you my desk, our play house area or our listening center area.  I'll have to snap those another day.


Want to see more great classroom ideas.  Head on over to The Primary Gal

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bright Ideas for Name Badge Holders

It's that time again for another Bright Ideas Blog Hop.  With school starting next week, I thought I'd share how I use these inexpensive ID Bandge/Name Tag holders in my classroom.  You can find these at office supply stores and at Walmart in the stationary department.  I buy mine at Walamrt 12/$1.88.

IDEA #1
Use for student name tags.  
kindergarten nametags
IDEA#2
Use to label individual student book boxes.  I found these boxes at IKEA 5/$1/49 and added some decorative ribbon to tie the badges to the box.
book box labels
IDEA #3
Use to label center or table baskets
IDEA #4
Make a mini student roster and hook to your whistle. 
You will always have a student roster with you in case of an emergency.
kindergarten emergency roster
IDEA #5
Make a student roster and clip it to your emergency back-pack.
nametag sleeves.  kindergarten emergency roster
IDEA #6 
Print out sight words and put into name nametag sleeves with a ring.  
sight word mini books,sight word flash cards

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Time to Go Back to School Sneak Peek

I've been MIA this past week due to preparing to go back to school.  Although  our official day is August 18th, I had two days this week of incoming kindergarten assessments and then worked in my classroom to get it set up for the new year. I'm not quite ready for the real classroom photo tour, but Ill give you a little sneak pen of behind the scenes prepping.

Every year I seem to move just a few things round.  I always feel like I'm paling Tetris with my room. There seems to always be one piece of furniture that just doesn't fit. This year I also wanted to add a little more decor to my room.  I bought some some tissue pompoms in white, black and red, and some chevron and polka dot lanterns.  You can find them here at

tissue pompoms, kindergarten classroomtissue pompoms, kindergarten classroomtissue pompoms, kindergarten classroom
chevron lanterns, kindergarten classroompolka dot lanterns, kindergarten classroom

I think I'm going to order a few more pompoms, They have them in polka dots too.

I also found these at Walmart in the party section.  They are 8" come in a 2-pack for .97¢ I added my table numbers to them and will be hanging them from the the light fixtures.
tissue fans, kindergarten classroom
 I had this old stool I had bought, and painted to look like a watermellon over 20 years ago.  This year I decided to make it blend into my classroom.   Alittle paint and some fabric is all it took.
recovered stool, kindergarten classroom, polka dot classroom
 I took an old chair and recovered it too.  It wan't as easy as I had hoped, as the back was held on with plastic pegs.  I broke two in the process of prying the back off, but luckily the other two pegs hold it together.
recovered classroom chair, polka dot chair, kindergarten classroom
 I needed a new book bag chart.  i had used labels on my old one ad didn't want to spend the time using goo gone to get them off.
book bag chart, take home readers, chevron library pockets
 I needed something to hold all my pointers.  I found this small waste basket at Target for $2.99.  I used my Cricut and some red vinyl to make the letters.
cricut, vinyl letters, kindergarten classroom
 I printed out my stars with the numbers and see clear contact paper to adhere them to the floor.  I know have a number line from 1-30 that winds through my classroom.
lining up, kindergarten lining stars
You can purchase my number line in my TpT store
lining up, kindergarten line up
 This year I am adding items to my calendar wall to use with my Calendar Notebooks.
calendar wall, math wall, calendar time, kindergarten math wall, calendar notebooks
I'm using the blackened white version, but It comes in other color options too.
calendar wall, math wall, calendar time, kindergarten math wallcalendar wall, math wall, calendar time, kindergarten math wall
calendar wall, math wall, calendar time, kindergarten math wallcalendar wall, math wall, calendar time, kindergarten math wall
calendar wall, math wall, calendar time, kindergarten math wall, ten framescalendar wall, math wall, calendar time, kindergarten math wall
calendar wall, calendar notebooks, kindergarten math clock numbers, temperatureclock numbers, calendar wall
I also made this attendance lunch board, I just need to find a place to hang it.  I really want it to be a part of our calendar wall, but I need to use nails and really didn't want to put nails through my fabric.
attendance boards, lunch count board, student check in, kindergarten lunch
I also made myself a new clip chart. I know there are different opinions on the use of these, but for me it really works.  I really try to focus on the positive aspects of student behavior and move my kids up the chart.  I wear their pins when the reach the top.  I also let them move back up the chart if they have had to clip down.  Once I see that they have modified their behavior.  When they clip down, we have a quick conference. I really stress to my students that they are great kids who made a poor choice and they can choose to do the right thing.  
clip chart, behavior chart
clip chart, behavior chart
Well that is all you will get for now.  Real classroom photos will come next week.I intend to stay away from school until Next Monday, when I officially must be back.  I thought I'd leave you with a little Back to School gift.  This is not in my calendar pack- it is just something I whipped up for myself and then decided to share.
calendar numbers, free, chalk numbers
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