New Year, New Look

I am finally getting around to updating some of my older units. One of my goals this year has been to update all of my RTI units. Now......don't get excited! :) I've only done the letter Aa. I'm slowly but surely working on them. I'm almost embarrassed at how sad my first cover looked. I feel like I have really grown as a TPT seller and teacher. Check out the before and after!

  
I have used these in my classroom for 3 years now. At this point, we have learned all letters and sounds in my classroom and are working on short word families. As we all know, that won't work for everybody. I have one or two who need to slowly work through the alphabet. I am able to pull these units for classroom use, homework, or just extra review. I also have these units bundled. I hope to get these all done in the next month or so, but for now Aa is ready to go! :) 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Letter-Aa-Practice-RTI-366382

Doesn't it just make you happy when your things get a makeover? They make me kind-of giddy! Have a great week!
 

Currently January

Well, hello! I'm been very much not present. But I love Farley's Currently series and what better way to get my back in the game. I have some changes coming up so I hope to blog more and update you on what's happening in my life and classroom!


Listening: The UK wildcats are killing it right now!!!

Loving: This has been one of the best holidays! I've thoroughly enjoyed the time off!

Thinking: I've enjoyed it so much I'm a wee bit down that I have to return to a schedule. I love my school babies but it is so hard to get back into a schedule!

Wanting: Nothing. Seriously. Nothing.

Needing: To get on the ball. I found out 2 days before break that I am going 1:1 with ipads in my classroom. EEK! So excited! I've been doing some research but more to go!

One Little Word: Grateful. I am so grateful. I have a wonderful family. Everyone is healthy. We are blessed. Truly blessed.

I hope you will join Farley and link up!

Elephant and Piggie

Now that my daughter is reading, she wants to read all.the.time. No complaining here. I thought I would share with you some of her favorite books. We both love the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. If you haven't heard of these...you must check them out. Our public library has all of them and we have officially finished and AR tested on them. Scholastic had them in the last book order the year, so I purchased some to keep at home.


Not only are these book hilarious.....they are so great at teaching students about how to use their voice in reading. Here is an example. 


The whole book is speech bubbles. She knows to raise her voice when the letters are big and in all caps and to lower it when they are small. 
 

We also love to each choose a character and read the parts. So fun!

If you do not have these books in your classroom, you must get them! They are perfect for end of the year kindergarteners as well as first and second graders! I'll be back soon with another series we just found and love!

Makeover Madness

I'm so excited to have FINALLY finished a small HUGE makeover on one of my oldest products. Let me begin by saying that I have been wanting to makeover this product for quite a while, but the file was corrupt and wouldn't open. So...this week I tackled it. And by tackled it I mean started ALL over!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Beginning-Sounds-266502

This unit is perfect for beginning of the year Kindergarten. The picture cards can be used all year long for beginning sounds in small group (or ending sounds). This product will be on sale until Monday!!! Click on the picture below to grab it:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Beginning-Sounds-266502

Check back next week to see what the TPT Seller Challenge has in store for me!

TPT {Seller} Challenge

I'm taking on a challenge and SUPER excited about it! I'm joining the TPT {Seller} Challenge!

http://sparklinginsecondgrade.blogspot.com/2015/06/tpt-seller-challenge.html

Let's be honest...I hadn't posted in 4 months until last week. I need something to get me in gear! :) Here is a look at my stats:


Now...let's chat about my stats:
Facebook - I was in a Fourth of July hop a few years ago and my FB page blew up. I'm very thankful for that. Since then...FB has changed and I notice not as many people see my posts. I also need to be more interactive with my followers.
Instagram: I have a personal instagram...but not one for my blog. That is about to CHANGE!
Twitter: I signed up a few years ago...but I'm a little scared of twitter! :)
Pinterest: I use pinterest DAILY...but both my personal and blog are on the same account and I'm okay with that.
Bloglovin': I remember being SO excited that I finally had 1000 followers on Google...only to find out they were no longer going to do google. I was so upset! I love Bloglovin' so much more! :) Change is good!
TPT: I love my store...but I need to a pay more attention to it! :)

I'm super excited about the changes that will occur! I hope you will join too!!!

Reading Around the Rainbow - Sight Words

I have been teaching "rainbow words" for about 8 years now...revamping as I go along. I found that if I have some sort of reward system...the kids TAKE OFF. This year was so exception. I use this unit to help teach sight words in my classroom.

My school system uses the Journey's reading series...so this unit is aligned with that reading series. I also added color words and number words to 10 at the beginning. I posted about using rainbow words here....but here is a recap.

The first set of words we learned are called our "red words". Each color set of words has about 15-20 words.
 Here is the "prep" work we do before school starts so that the entire system is set up and ready to go. First I print and laminate each set of polka dot words.


I place a magnet on the back so that I can add them to my word wall (which has magnetic paint) as we learn each set of words.


To prep for student's, we run each set of words on their color construction paper, along with the Congratulation card and staple them. That way as soon as they have learned one set, we can send home the next set immediately.

We also create a folder with a check list for each student. Each folder gets a checklist with each set of words: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.


All students receive a set of "red words" in the summer before school starts. We encourage parents to start working on them over the summer. At the beginning of school we start checking students on their words. As they pass the words, we celebrate it in class (claps all around with a few "woo hoos") and then the students get to place their name on the color they just passed.


I cannot even begin to tell you how much the kids love this. They come in begging to "test" on words because they practiced last night! It is so much fun. All but 2 children in my whole class knew ALL of their words before I had even introduced the blue words yet! SO EXCITING! It seems like a lot of prep work, but in the end...it pays off! If you are interested in using this unit in your classroom and use Kindergarten Journeys , just click on the picture below.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Words-Around-the-Rainbow-Journeys-763723


Kindergarten Tips

First and foremost...Hi! Really? Has it been 4 months since I have blogged? Apparently so. I am so sorry. But...I am on summer break and have been for 2 weeks so....hopefully I am back. I am so excited my friend Mary from Sharing Kindergarten is having a linky party. What an easy way to get back into the swing of things!

http://www.sharingkindergarten.com/2015/06/are-you-teaching-kindergarten-next-year.html 

I am by no means an expert, but I have been teaching Kindergarten for 13 years. Here are a few things I wish I had known from day 1!
 


 I began doing this 2 years ago. I get on my knees (to be at their eye level) and greet them daily with a hug first thing in the morning as they walk in the door. I start this on day 1. It takes some kids a little while to hug me back, but they all do. It is the best way to start the day. Some kids don't get hugs at home. I want them to know they are safe with me and that I love them. I feel this little step has changed the dynamics in my classroom. They know they are loved by me.  Their hugs and get tighter and tighter as the years go on. Trust me....this is a game changer guys!



I know you have TONS of standards to teach. You have so many assessments to give. You are held accountable. I do know that...but they are 5. Let them be little. Let them giggle, laugh, and play. It is easy to incorporate it in your centers. They have no idea they are learning. Brain breaks are my favorite way to let them dance and laugh!


This is one of my favorites. I have been creating a hard copy scrapbook for each kiddo since my first year. I take several pictures each month and keep several of their writing pieces and art pieces. I (my assistant does a lot of the work) puts it together throughout the year and then binds it together. This year I also created a digital scrapbook. There are TONS of great tutorials on this. (Mary has one!) I am SO happy I did this. I cannot tell you how many parents come back and thank me and tell me their high school student got their scrapbook out and was looking through it. I know I will enjoy looking back at the digital scrapbook many years from now!


Lordy. This one is important. The first month is ROUGH. Like dead-dog tired rough. BUT...it does get easier. We start the first week of August. I always remind myself that if I can make it to Labor Day...I'm all good. They are learning the routine and learning the ropes. Just reinforce the rules and routines consistently and they will get it. Listen...I still have to remind myself of this rule after 13 years!!!!

There are TONS of awesome K teachers in the blogging world and we are all here for each other. I hope you gain a lot from these tips!