Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Colors Week

Here is a sneak peek of our 2 week Colors Unit. Each day, my students have been asked to dress in the "color of the day."  
Every day we have webbed items to coordinate with our colors. Students are learning about bubble maps and circle maps. Here is what we came up with for blue
We've been making a page each day to insert in our Brown Bear, Brown Bear book. Students will underline the color of the day, glue on their di cut, and illustrate their page. We are engaging in beginning reading through memorization and print recognition. 
 Red Day!
 Our circle map for red. 
Here is our red bird page. I hope to post pictures of the final product. The parents RAVE about these books each year and they make a great keepsake. 
We also review colors by doing a color match on our pocket chart. Students chanted the spelling of the color words and helped me to match the word with the color. You can download these color words from Fran's site, {here}
Off to find something to wear for tomorrow's color - it is "pink day!"   ;-)
~Miss E

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday!

Hey teacher friends! It's Teacher Talk Tuesday over at Blog Hoppin'. Be sure to hop on over and join in on the fun. :) Today, we are focusing on advice for new teachers...so, I'm going to keep this short and sweet! Here is my prescription for "survival!"
1. COMMUNICATE! I suggest a weekly newsletter...a website or blog even? (wink wink) Parents want to know what is going on, so keep them in the loop.
2. DO NOT try to keep up with the other teachers. As much as you want to come in and be on the same page as the veteran teacher next door, it is impossible.  Remember, what works for him or her...may not work for you.  Do what YOU want to do and what works best for your class.
3. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT! Be firm and consistent with the rules. I use Power Teaching in my classroom aka "whole brain teaching." My students repeat our class rules every day during calendar time. This helps them when breaking a rule...I can ask them what they did and they'll simply reply, "I broke rule #3." Make sure your students understand what is expected of them and what the consequences are for rule breaking. However, it is vital that you remember to PRAISE your kiddos. Feedback (for parents and students) is sooo important. Check this video out for a kindergarten example of whole brain teaching:                
4. GET HELP! (ha ha that sounds funny....you may seek help after your 1st year of teaching) In all seriousness, do not be afraid to ask for help. Talk with mentor teachers, allow parent volunteers, delegate work to teacher assistants...it is tough to bear the load alone - collaborate! Some of my most valued friendships are my teacher friends!
5. REFLECT on your practices and be open for criticism. Things will not always go according to plan and you must allow for change. Ask yourself - Did it work? What would I have done differently? Always be willing to better yourself as an educator. Children change, so you must be willing to change, as well.
6. SING, DANCE, and HAVE FUN! I love little giggles, chit chat, and singing with my kinders. It is some of my most favorite times. Children learn through play and talking - give them the opportunity!

I hope this has helped.  Happy teaching! ~Miss E

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday

Hey friends. It's "Meet the teacher Monday"over at Blog Hoppin'. Hop on over to link up! To tell you a little about myself.....let's see...My name is Erin and I'm obsessed with blogging and blog stalking! I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from East Tennessee State University - a college in my home town. 

This is me and some of my kinders (from a few years ago) at our Thanksgiving breakfast. 
I've been teaching now for 5 years, 4 of those years being in Kindergarten. My first 2 years were spent teaching in Hamblen County...a school system an hour away.  I drove 68 miles ONE way every morning and every afternoon to teach because I was unable to land a job close to home. I would wake up at 4:30 in the morning...get ready...and meet 2 other women at McDonalds to carpool around 5:45 a.m. We would then begin our daily commute. *sigh* I'm not gonna lie, it was TOUGH! But I wouldn't of had it any other way...those 2 years made me a better and stronger teacher. 
I have an amazing family. Here is me with my Mom and sister. My sis and I are 12 months and 12 days apart and despite the fights and arguments we had growing up (even chasing each other with spatulas) my Mom was right - we grew up to be best friends. ha! Every time I look at this picture, I laugh. All I see is TEETH. bah ha ha 
Here is the rest of my motley crew - complete with brother in law and our crazy beagle, Boone - who doesn't know he is a dog. Please see below. 
My point exactly!
I paid for some of my college through pageantry. I was crowned Miss Historic Jonesborough in 2007 and went to Jackson to compete for the title of Miss Tennessee in 2008.  Had I won, you would've watched watched me compete for Miss America! I logged over 500 speaking hours promoting my literacy platform and enjoyed many parades, meet and greets, autograph signings, and ribbon cuttings. Every princess has to kiss a few frogs llamas.
I have a HUGE heart for Honduras and have been blessed to share 3 mission trips with my Dad!
Other random facts:
-I was born in Savannah, GA and came to Tennessee as quick as I could! (when I was 6 -ha ha)
-I own and run a home based business that specializes in printing and personalizing.
-I am writing my thesis and am literally 4 months away from a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Yeehaw!
-I love to travel and am anxious to add more stamps to my passports.
-I've been clogging since I was 6 years old AND still dance on a team. We do about 30 shows a summer and I've even performed on a cruise ship. 
-I love getting crafty and creative.
-I'm obsessed with sweet tea.  I WILL have some type of sweet tea fountain at my wedding and possibly Zaxby's to cater (another staple in my diet).
-Teaching is the best most wonderful thing in the world.  I am blessed, indeed!
~Miss E

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Room #111...making her debut!

Welcome to my new room! Despite the hectic move to a bigger classroom, ONE WEEK after school had started, I have finally finished and settled in. You can read that post {here}. Please, explore and look around! :) 
My carpet area...complete with calendar and listening station. 
Block center and student mailboxes. The pink boxes (above my blocks) are salvaged from my reading series and I turned them into student book bins. 
These shelves house puzzles, magnets, and other items for workstations. Above are the students' work station charts. They refer to these while making their transition through stations. This = less talking for ME! Yay!
Here is my little desk area. To the right of my desk is my small group table and a large white board. I'll use this for charting and recording answers during my meetings...it sets on a shelf that houses all of my guided reading materials!
The BEST part about this room...I have walk in closets!! SQUEAL! The left closet is for student mats and backpacks and the right is for teacher supplies. It even has a sink and mirror. You don't understand, this is a HUGE deal! ha In between the two, is my home living center and above, is the chart for student jobs!
 My library center!
My word wall and student computer station. 
The view from the back of the room. 
And the view from the front...
I LOVE it!  It is soo much bigger than my old room and makes more sense. I feel that it flows and my students have little "nook" areas for all of their stations.  Here is to a new room and a great year. Cheers! ~Miss E

Friday, August 12, 2011

Of all the things I've lost...I miss my mind the most!

So....guess who got 7 new students on Wednesday afternoon? ME! I'll be moving rooms this weekend, to a bigger classroom (with 2 walk-in closets), in order to accommodate all of my kinders. Say goodbye to this sweet {place} for me. I'll post pics of the weekend transformation asap. Prayers please!! I'm excited though!  :)  
~Miss E

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Run...run....as fast as you can!

You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man! During staggered enrollment, I take the opportunity to get my students as familiarized with the school, policies, and procedures as I can. One FUN way to do this is with the help of the gingerbread man. I start out by reading my kinders the story and chart who the gingerbread man meets during his "run." I then tell the students they are going to meet some important people that run our school. 
We set out in search of finding the gingerbread man and seeing where his clues lead us.  One clue said "he was hungry"...so we ended up in the lunch room. 
The clue that led us to Nurse Wendi was, "I have a tummy ache!"
Another clue said he likes to draw pictures, so we journeyed to the art room and met Mrs. Allen. 
We continued following the clues until we had visited and met all the special area teachers, toured the cafeteria, and seen our school's office. 
The last clue said, "Go back to your room for a treat!" He had run and run and he needed some rest...he thought our classroom would be best! When we made it back to our room, there were gingerbread pictures to color stating we had explored our school and gingerbread men to eat (chocolate teddy grahams). Note: The gingerbread debbie cakes are seasonal, so if you'd like to use those...stock up at Christmas and freeze them!

What a great 1st day in Kindergarten. (Yawn - I'm exhausted! I'm gonna RUN to bed) ~Miss E

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School!

Hello blog world - my apologies for being MIA this past week. As you can see in the pics, I've had a LOT of work to do in my room. This is how I returned from summer break to find my classroom. Things weren't exactly put back in their spots - ha! No worries though, I was more than thrilled to rearrange and get my room ready for a new year. Atleast the floors were waxed and cleaned!! Anyone else love the look of a newly polished floor? So SHINY!

This is my carpet area. We gather here for morning meeting, chit chats, calendar, and any other whole group lessons.
My library. Complete with my $1 garage sale chair. See it? It's the teal "director's chair." I had it cleaned up and monogrammed with my class name. I'm thinking I'll deem it my author's chair and let my students sit in it and read their finished pieces of writing to the class. 
 Computer Station and my management boards above it. 
I purged, organized, and labeled math stuff. Would Debbie Diller be proud or what?  This entire cabinet is now devoted to math stuff. I didn't even realize what I had. It was definitely worth my while to go through everything. I'm looking forward to implementing new math work stations this year, while utilizing more manipulatives. Squeal!!
I plan on doing some reading lessons here this year (verses on my carpet). I'll place my big books on my stand and take advantage of my dazzling new white board! 
 This should be filled with environmental print SOON!
My small group area - complete with my sucker tree. (Idea courtesy of Pinterest aka my new found obsession)
Our classroom pets - Buck and Sharkbait Hoo Ha ha. Funny and TRUE story - I asked our janitor to take care of them over the summer for me. Apparently I didn't leave enough food so he was forced to find alternatives. He fed my goldfish GOLDFISH crackers. Yes...that's right - goldfish crackers. They surprisingly lived and are much fatter! ;-) 
And last but not least, the front of my classroom door. I printed my new students' names on apples and let them fall from the tree. The sign reads, "Miss Eberhart's NEW Crop!"

Well before I leave you, I must share this - I met my little kinders at Open House yesterday and one of them is already referring to me as Miss Sweetheart...guess she cannot pronounce Miss Eberhart. What can be cuter than that? I certainly won't correct her on that one! ;-)Here is to a great year!  Happy back to school! ~Miss E

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Do you know where I saw this?

Blogger friends - can you point me in the right direction? A few weeks ago, while blog stalking, I ran across a cutesy blog that had a free printable for a popcorn label/attachment. She had taken bags of popcorn and stapled "Thanks for poppin' in" on them and was giving them to students for Open House gifts. Because I've slept since then...I don't remember what blog that was on and I have all these bags of popcorn with no sweet labels. Due to pressing time and the bajillion things I have to do, I'd rather print hers and attach them than make my own! Do you remember where I found this?  Any help would be great. Thanks! ~Miss E