Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tonight's Project

Since summer school starts tomorrow, tonight's project will be...cutting out tons and tons of laminating! I have gone crazy printing out everyone's awesome math games and last week I snuck up to school to laminate it all. Now comes the not so fun part..cutting it all out.

I am actually starting to get really excited about teaching summer school since I can test out implementing math work stations. Hopefully I can get all of the organization and management issues worked out so that everything goes smoothly starting up math work stations with my new group of kinders in the fall. Check back later this week for an update on how the summer math stations are going!

If you'd like to download some cool (and free!) math games of your own, head over to Ocean's of First Grade Fun because she's hosting this week's chapter of the math work station's blog party.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bargain Shopping!

With summer school starting on Monday, I figured it was about time I hit up my local Dollar Tree and Target stores to see if they had anything fun for my classroom. I found some great stuff - and you can't beat the price - just $1.

I found these great dry erase boards at Target in their dollar spot section. 4 Boards come in a pack and they have 2 handwriting lines on them (perfect for just writing a sentence or two). I think I'll give each student one to keep in their chair pocket. I can imagine pulling these out when we have a few minutes to spare and practicing sight words or even math facts on them.

I also found these neat packs of lacing beads in Target's dollar section-great for practicing fine motor skills. Heidi at Swamp Frog First Graders posted some great task cards on her blog for using these beads in math work stations to practice all sorts of skills (patterning, addition, subtraction). So be sure to check that out!
Here is a cute game called "Poison Frogs" that I made for my students out of a little box from Target and a package of frogs from Dollar Tree. This great idea also came from Heidi at Swamp Frog First Graders - head on over to her blog for the directions on how to play!
My last find of the day was this bug catcher kit from Dollar Tree. Instead of using it to catch bugs, I thought I'd make some activities for my students to do using the neat tongs in the kit (they seem great for working on fine motor skills). I'm thinking of filling my discovery table with some different colored pom poms (you can get these at Dollar Tree too) and having the kids use the tongs to sort the pom poms by color. Or, you could label cups with different numbers and have students pick up cotton balls with the tongs making sure to count out the right number to put in each cup.

I hope I've given you a few fun ideas for your classroom-I know all teachers love a good bargain! Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know about any neat bargains you've found or any fun games you're making for your students!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Organizing My Classroom Library

 I absolutely love children's books - what kindergarten teacher doesn't! As a result my classroom library is overflowing with books. A few years ago I got them all sorted into categories and put them into colorful baskets on my bookshelves. Here are some photos of what my classroom library looked like last year.

 It took so much energy to organize the books that I got lazy when it came to making labels. I just took out a sharpie and a stack of notecards and slapped a quick handwritten label onto each basket. Well, now that it's summer break, I've finally gotten around to making much nicer labels on the computer. The best part is that each label has a picture on it to help my kinders that are still learning to read. I can't wait to get into my classroom and add these labels to spruce up my classroom library.

Click here to grab my book basket labels from google docs. I'm interested in hearing what types of classroom organizing projects you're working on this summer. Please share!

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Post

Hi! I've had such fun reading all of the neat teaching blogs other teachers have created that I figured it was time to start a blog of my own. Thank you Leslie at KindergartenWorks for designing this cute blog for me! I can't wait to start sharing about what's happening in my kindergarten classroom! More posts coming soon- I'm off to read up on the basics of blogging- like how to post photos and google docs!

Keen On Kindergarten