Monday, October 10, 2016

Classroom Management in the Early Years of School

Kindergarten is truly my passion and I love to help children grow and learn, but recently I was able to tap into my second passion of helping teachers teach their kids using high expectations, urgency, intention and engaging methods.  I went to Rupert Idaho with Jen Jones and Kami Butterfield, and was able to help teachers in the Minidoka School District!  We had a blast, the teachers learned alot and many teachers were begging for more, so now they are following us all on social media and are excited to continue learning.  I shared my management strategies in Rupert, so I figured I would share them here also!

I wanted to share how I manage my classroom with success. I will be the first to tell you, IT ISN'T EASY! and it takes a lot of time, energy and patience, but students in kindergarten CAN complete independent activities, they CAN complete project based learning on the iPads, they CAN reach high expectations and they CAN leave my classroom reaching benchmarks, knowing their success and being proud of their growth! 

I use three different call and response strategies in my classroom.  We practice them starting on the first day of school.  I always start with the Mac and Cheese, Stop and Freeze next I say "where should your eyes be?" and my kids say "on you."  This is my favorite strategy because honestly.... mac and cheese is my favorite food! haha. 

I just started using "zip it, lock it" "put it in your pocket" this year as a strategy to use if the classroom is getting a little noisy in the classroom.  

And this year I also added a magical word.  For some reason this year, I would be in the middle of giving directions and half of my class would be walking off the carpet ready to get started..... on what, I have no idea, because I hadn't finished giving directions! haha. So I created the word SHABAM, and when I say it, the kids can leave the carpet and begin working.  

If you're looking for a video on how this works in my classroom?  I recorded for the iteachtvnetwork, click the link and you can enjoy the video! 





Saturday, April 23, 2016

2 Hands On Earth Day Experiences

This year I really encouraged my students to get excited about Earth Day. We watched so many different videos and did different activities in the short week that we had this week. We came back to school on Wednesday from a three week track out because we are a year-round school and the kids were so excited to come back and have activity-based learning during literacy.

                             

1.  The first thing I want to be able to share with everyone is get yourselves soil, grass seeds, small Pots and small watering cans from your local store maybe target or something!  It cost me only $14 to get all of the supplies I needed! After talking about a plant life cycle and watching different recycling videos the students got to plant their own seeds in recycled pots and are now responsible for making them grow. The best thing about grass seed is that it only takes about seven days to actually start growing so it's a lot faster than many of the flowers that you'll see.  My students had a blast planting the grass seed and are now going to have the responsibility to keep the grass alive so that we can make Mother's Day gifts. We are going to make cute pots with the students picture on it and the grass is going to be their hair! (pictures to come!)

                

                

2.  The second activity really taps into having students create and show you proficiency through each student creating a product. After teaching the mini lesson of all the parts of a plant and what to plant needs to grow, the students got to make mini anchor charts themselves. They were given crayons, half of a sheet of paper and labels to cut and glue onto their poster! The product of their learning has lasting effects compared to giving them a worksheet and just labeling it!

                


                

Allowing students to really take control of their learning is what it's all about!!! 

What did you do to celebrate Earth Day? 


Monday, April 11, 2016

3 Take Aways from the North Eastern TpT Meet Up

This past weekend I met up with some amazing TPT sellers and phenomenal key speakers and excellent business women in their niche market.  The northeastern TPT meet up had absolutely amazing professional development that was provided along with a great opportunity to network with other TPT sellers was an experience I will never forget.


1. First impressions are crucial and often permanent.  This was explained in one of the professional development sessions where they talked about different images and ways to create covers on products and resources. But it also has to do with when you're first introducing yourself to someone or meeting someone for the first time. First impressions will change how someone sees you and what opportunities are provided to you in the future.  I had the opportunity to speak with Jillian from the TPT New York offices and it was an absolute blast. Jen Jones was the one to introduce me to her and now she is coming down to my kindergarten classroom to visit.  My first impression of her was that she is a down-to-earth girl that just wants to provide an amazing experience for teacher sellers and entrepreneurs.  I can't wait to meet up with her again!

2. 
My second take away from this conference is that even being a seller you need to help your customers and colleagues solve a problem.  Working to solve a problem for others, you really need to remember to treat them with kindness and see things from their perspective.   Always listen and begin to understand their point of view.  Repeat customers will come when you are consistently solving a problem for them and making them feel heard.  I'm going to  leave off number two with a quote that my mom told me every day before I left for school "be a good friend, and a good listener".

3. Everyone has an expertise and everyone has their journey. Just because your journey is different from another's does not mean you're not on the right track for you. Do what's best for you and your family, continue your journey and become successful in your own time.  Allow others to help you and teacherpreneurs are the most helpful kind and willing to help people. It's all about your journey; be you, and true to yourself!

The northeastern TPT meet up was an absolutely amazing weekend. I thank all of the organizers and presenters. I learned so much and had a blast meeting new people. I can't wait for next year!!!! 

Maybe I will have to create a meet up in North Carolina for next year... That would be a blast!!!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Parent Communication Log

Parent Communication is crucial in the success off students in your classroom! When parents and teachers are on the same page it creates an environment for success for the child. 

Teachers should document conversations with parents in order to stay professional, hold themselves accountable, and remind themselves of past conversations.  

This log will help you stay organized.  Print one for each child, and start documenting! 

This Dropbox Link will bring you right to my parent communication log.