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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Classroom Set UP 2014-Your Questions Answered Here!

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WOW, just WOW! Andy and I just spent a week seeing a very tiny part of our largest state, Alaska! I went kicking and screaming, not a fan of cold weather, but it was worth every shake and shiver! Soooooo, beautiful. Be sure and put it on your bucket list!
So while I was gone, I had scheduled the posts on classroom set up. I came home to quite a few questions about how we make it all happen in Megan’s room. I decided to just do a separate post and answer the questions.
The most popular question….What is on your tables and how do you do it?Slide3
We use the vinyl tablecloths that you can pick up in almost any retail store. Some of our favorites: Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Big Lots! These are usually the cheapest with the largest selection, but you can also find them in places like Target and Wal Mart. They usually run in price from $2-$6.
Since we change them seasonally, we are always looking AFTER the season to buy the ones for the next year. This way we can get them cheaper on clearance.
To attach them to the tables, here’s what we do:
Square tables:
*For square tables we use the double sided carpet tape.
*You can get this at places like Home Depot or anywhere that sells carpet.
*Peel off the paper from one side of the tape and stick it directly to the table.
*We run a strip along both of the long sides of the table.
*Now peel off the paper from the other side of the tape.
*It works best if you have help for this part: Each of you hold one side of the tablecloth and lower it to the table, pulling it tightly.
*It will stick to the tape.
Non Square Tables:
*These take a little more work!
*Be sure and buy the longest rectangular table cloths, I can’t remember the length!
*Lay the tablecloth on the table and trim around the cloth leaving enough over hang to tape the cloth UNDER the table.
*Then, just cut and tape as you move around the table.
*If a hole is torn in the cloth, and it will, simply cover with a piece of clear tape.
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The next most popular question: Where do you get those foam squares?
You can actually get them in lots of places. They sell packs of them at Lowes, Sam’s, and several other places like that. The only problem with those places is the color selection. Since Megan wanted to have purple and green squares, (I had used the red, yellow and green that were in Lowes), she found a place on line where you can order by the color. The good thing about this…you can order a few or as many as you need. So now she can replace a few squares each year that might have been damaged.
Here is the place where she ordered them: https://www.wondermat.com/cart/index.html
We also had some questions about Reader’s Workshop:
“How long do students keep their books and do you have them shop on a certain day of the week?”
“And, are the initial books not from your classroom library that is so beautifully organized?”
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So first of all, here is the organization that she is referring to. We divide our library into 5 libraries and have them divided around the room. You can read more about it on our centers post (here).
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Here is how we start the year with book shopping. After a series of mini lessons from our Blasting Off with Reader’s Workshop using the anchor chart above, we are ready to shop for books.  We use the collection of books that were used for the active engagement portion of the mini lessons for our first book shopping session. We lay out the books from each of the 3 mini lessons, reminding the children of how we can “read” those books, and allow them to select a few.
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1. So each child will have a baggie of 6-10 books that they have selected. They are stored in the green tubs that you see above unless it is Reader’s Workshop time.
2. Once a child reaches an independent A level, 95% accuracy, we also start adding leveled books from our leveled library. See the picture above.
3. We change the books every few weeks. You will know if you have waited too long to change their collection if their stamina decreases! To change the collection, we simply remove the books from the baggies and allow them to select 6-10 new books.
4. As far as shopping in the classroom library….we usually wait until they are “all set” in the process. It usually takes about a month or so before we open up the library.
5. We open the class library gradually, to a few children at a time. Opening it to the whole class is chaos! How do I know that? How do you think!? Winking smile
6. All of the detailed mini lessons are included in our Reader’s Workshop Unit 1.
Here’s another question:
“Please share how you use your 'reading buddies' and share how you introduce this (and when). To your Ks. I've always wanted to use this idea but haven't tried it yet.”
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1. We introduce working with a partner in month 2 during our Powerful Partnership Unit.
2. It takes us a WHOLE month to really teach children how to read, talk, and share books with partners.
3. Each bullet from each chart is a separate mini lessons.
4. We change partners about every 2 weeks. Again, if their partner stamina decreases, you have probably waited too long to change partners. We use the reading buddy chart and attach their pictures with velcro.
5. Partners have the same, or close to the same, reading ability.
6. Their partner working time is usually half as long as the stamina they are built working independently.  So if they have a 6 minute stamina of working by themselves, now add on 3 more minutes of partner time. They will now have a 9 minute stamina.
6. Detailed Mini Lessons and and the anchor charts are included in our Reader’s Workshop Unit 2.

The last question is one that I hear all the time? “Just how big is that room?” To tell you the truth, I have never measured. So I sent Megan a text and told her to measure and here’s what we found out. It is: Oops....sorry we forgot to take the measuring tape.  Look back later for the answer!

The main reason it looks so big is the absence of  a “table spot” for each child. We assign our kids a carpet spot and do all of our large group teaching from there.  Be sure and check back to some of the other posts on classroom set up and I think that it will all make sense on how we make that work.
Thanks guys for all of your questions. As always, blogs are interactive. So it is great to hear your comments and questions!
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Peek At My Week-Week 3-Family Fun

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This week we are starting our unit on Family, diving deeper into Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, and developing more independence during our center times.
In the morning we have almost finished introducing everything for the carpet bag, but we still have a few things to go. Slow and steady….
Reader’s Workshop finds us having children see that we are all reader’s, just in different ways.
Writer’s Workshop time is spent introducing some of the tools that writer’s use. It is hard to not get inpatient, and rush with introducing each thing.  There are so many things I want to tell them and show them…just remember slow and steady.
Do you see a pattern here? I keep trying to remind myself to not get in too big of a hurry.There is plenty of time to teach everything. At the beginning it is most important for me to set those routines and procedures, have everyone understand how to do things independently, and get the schedule going.
During our foundational skills time, I am playing some games that will become “staple” games in that we will use the same format, just change the clip art and the standard during the year. I am also introducing one of the music books. These books will be added to our music center.
Here’s how:
  • I purchased the song from Shari Sloane. It is on her Get Ready! CD You can get it from her website www.kidscount1234.com or you can find her on itunes. 
  • I made the little music book to go with the song. (I did get her permission Smile)
  • I took a blank CD and burned just this one song on the CD.
  • I purchased some sticky back CD pockets from Office Depot.
  • Now, stick the CD pocket onto the back of the book and insert the CD.
  • Kids can now put the CD into the player all by themselves!
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Starting this week, we only have our play centers opened during free choice last thing of the day. So now we are going to using the spreadsheet that you see. You can find a copy of it below if you want to see a larger copy. I have blacked out the ones that we haven’t introduced yet.
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We are starting our Unit on Shapes in Math. We waited a few weeks to start a unit so that we could introduce some of the basic games that we want the kids to be able to do in the “can do” tubs and the “have to” tubs. These activities have to be ones that the kids can do on their own with just a sample.
During our large group time, we will make a chart for a different shape each day. While I am making the big chart, the kids can also make their little books (not in the picture, but are included in the unit).
We are also starting our first Small Group DI Unit. I am super excited to use these. Megan is too! She is so excited that we have laid out what to do with each group. Not only can she do it, but it is something she can hand to another adult and they can easily follow along with what to do using the scripted lessons.
You can download your own copy of the peek at my week here.

Be sure and head over to Deedee's blog and see what others are doing this week.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

When? Schedules, Management, and Plans

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Today over at Blog Hoppin we are sharing the When? of teaching. When do you do things…like schedules, plans, and management?
Last week I did a post on the classroom management system that Megan uses in her classroom. You can read about that (here).
You may also want to check out these posts on how we manage and operate our:
Literacy Centers
Math Centers
Writer’s Workshop
Reader’s Workshop
So what about our daily schedule? When I am out presenting to teachers, I get two questions almost every time.
1. Where do you keep all of this stuff? So here is a picture of MY garage. We have a 3 car garage and I had the build put a wall to segment off one of the garages. This is where Megan and I both keep our teaching stuff. This is an older picture when just MY stuff was in there. So you can only image what it looks like now that I share the space with Megan!
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2. How do you fit everything in? Here is our daily schedule so that you can see where everything goes. You can get the schedule (here) as a free download. You might already have it. It is from our Ultimate Open House Scavenger Hunt Pack that has other forms to help you get things organized at the beginning of the year.
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As far as lesson plans, be sure and watch for us to link up to Deedee Wills’ weekly post, Peek at my Week, on Sundays. Since it’s a linky, lots of other bloggers share their plans, too!
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Does Organization Matter?

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So before we talk organization....Have ya'll heard...TPT is having another back to school sale! It's called BOOST! So why another sale? Here are two reasons I can think of....
1. Only southern states, where it is 100 degrees in August, have  been in school for nearly a month. Our northern friends still start in late August or after Labor Day. So while we were getting ready for back to school, they were still thinking summer!
2. Now that school has been back in session for several weeks in the south, you know what you still need and can get it on sale!
So click here, http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kim-Adsit, to head over to my store where everything is on sale.

Over the last few weeks I posted a series called “Classroom Set Up 2014”.  Well over at Blog Hoppin today we are sharing the Why of teaching. Why does organization matter?
How easy for me to do todays post, I already did it! Click on this link and it will take you right to my post on organization that I wrote earlier this month!
http://kindergals.blogspot.com/2014/08/classroom-set-up-2014-are-you-organized.html
Then, hop on over to Blog Hoppin to see what great organization tips you can get from some other bloggers!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Where do we Teach?



Hey this is Kim and Megan and we want to show you where we teach!
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Megan teaches kindergarten at Alexander II Math and Science Magnet School in Macon, GA. It’s a really sweet little school k-5 in an historic building. A magnet school is a neat concept. Although it is a public school, parents have to apply for their children to go there. So, it is a very diverse population!
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Megan has a great team of teachers! Megan has been there for 7 years and is the senior member of her team! Yep! She’s been there longer than anyone else!
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Here are some pictures from Megan’s room. Be sure and check back to other posts that we have done about Megan’s room during our Classroom Set Up 2014.
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Now, where does Kim teach?
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After 30 years as a public school teacher, Kim works around the country sharing tips with other teachers. What a job, right? She gets to meet lots of teachers, work with lots of kids, and visit some pretty cool places! She works with groups as few as a couple dozen to groups as large as 750! You can check out Kim’s schedule (here) to see if she is going to be in your area!Slide8Slide9
One of the bonus of Kim’s job is getting to meet up with other presenters and blogging buddies! Kim has made some pretty great friends this way!Slide7
Now, some days this is Kim’s classroom:
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When not on the road, Kim shares her time between working in her office, taking care of her grandbabies (her favorite thing to do), and working in Megan’s and Ginny’s classrooms.
Hope you enjoyed this little peek into the places where we work!
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet Megan and Kim

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Hi! It’s Megan and Kim with a little peek inside of who we are!
So here’s what I love…grandbabies, family, warm places, diet coke, popcorn, and anything outside!Slide1
Yes, that’s me. I come from a military family of 5 girls. (My baby sister is MUCH younger than the rest of us, so she isn’t in this picture.  She is only a few years older than Megan.) My poor dad, he wanted a boy so badly…He loved and spoiled us and tried to teach us how to play softball, but to no avail. No athletes in this group!
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I have a very strong group of women in my family, we outnumber the boys BIG time! Matthew, our oldest grandson, was the first boy since my son Tyler! By the way, that’s my baby sister—far left.
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I am married to Andy, the love of my life for 30 years. We meet in March, were engaged in April and married that same July. People thought I shouldn’t marry him because I couldn’t possibly know him! But, ask anyone who knows us and they will tell you he is perfect for me.  We really do compliment each other..I’m loud, he’s quiet; I’m an extrovert, he’s an introvert; he likes to cook, I hate to cook; I like to work in the yard, he hates it. But, we both enjoy our family, spending time with them and each other. Retirement has brought us some extra time to spend off on some pretty wonderful trips together!
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Did we really raise these two? I am so incredibly proud of them.
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I love to go on trips with just Andy, but there is nothing like a family trip to build some strong relationships. Andy and I both are truly committed to our children growing as adults, as friends. Now, not every minute of every trip is drama free, let’s just keep it real, but when we look back those are the times that we laugh about the most!
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This is Megan’s family---Megan, Nick and Matthew! They love baseball, movies, and anything Matthew!
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This is Tyler’s family…Tyler, Ginny and the newest member-Brody! The love camping, boating, biking (Ginny is the best cheerleader), and right now I think they would love a little sleep! Babies are hard work!
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Now I love my kids. Like love them more than life itself. But.there.is.nothing.like.being.a.grandma.!!!! These two boys are the most wonderful gift that my kids could have given me! I can’t believe I get to be their Gam! The best part is, I get to stay home with them when I am not traveling. I don’t get a lot done on those days, like most days I am still in my pj’s when they all get home from work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. No teaching, no blogging, no presenting, and no tpting will every compare to the time I get with them.
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Some people were born into your family, they have no choice but to call you family. But others, are picked! I really do have the best friends—from high school friends, to teaching buddies, to presenting buddies, to blogging buddies, to people you meet because you share the same passion in life—these are the people I get to call my friends.
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peek At My Week Back to School Week 2

It’s Sunday, once again, and I am linking up with my good friend Deedee Wills over at Mrs. Wills’ Kindergarten for a peek at our week.Slide1
So we are still spending our mornings introducing how to do things. We are going to read David Goes to School to review our rules and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten to help us write our list of school supplies. Want to read more about interactive writing? Go (here)!
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We are also introducing our word family books and our abc charts for the first time.
Love our “target rule” strategy. Basically, we put the five kids on a cookie sheet with a magnet. We decide what we are working on—raising our hands, sitting on our bottom, etc. Pick one! Then, when the children are showing the rule, leave the kids on the cookie sheet. When someone doesn’t follow the rule instead of saying something, just remove one of the kids! Works every time!
We are continuing on with our reader’s and writer’s workshop.
During the reading foundational time you will notice we are playing three of the same games we played last week. I want my kids to “KNOW” how to play these games. These are staple games that can be used all year. I want to be able to put these as “can-dos” so they need to be able to play without an adult direction.Slide2
Sometimes I think we try to do just too much and end up running around like chickens with our heads cut off! So we decided to take our time on making the paper doll books. It takes quite a while to make the book so we are dividing it into two days and then making the paper doll on the 3rd.
Not sure what I’m cooking on Friday yet….
We are going to read Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse and talk about things that start with p. Here’s a lunch bag that I found and made into a purse to pull the items from.
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We are also reading Go Away Big Green Monster and listing the color words. Here is a sample from last year of our interactive writing.
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We are also reading Chrysanthemum to talk about our names!
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You will notice that during our large group time we are introducing some math games. Then, the next day we play the same game again as a small group. Again, we are wanting our kids to know the framework of these games so that we can use it again with another standard and different clip art as our can do centers!
You can download the plans (here).
Now hop on over to Deedee’s blog to see what other teachers are doing this week.
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