Monday, August 14, 2017

My New Room and a little Update

This fall I start my new position at my same school as the Primary Resource Teacher.  Basically I am doing the same thing as last year however I now have a little room to work in, instead of the hallway or the principal's conference room. He was very patience and kind to share his space, however sometimes my little four years would get a bit loud when they were excited about learning the alphabet.  

I am now responsible for keeping track of all the guided reading materials as well.  

The room is nothing exciting.  It is down in the basement next to the library.  I'm  sure it was the library storage room at one time but our school is so strapped for space that in recent years this is where our resource teacher carved out a place for herself.  
There are no windows and the light seems a bit limited.  However I am just happy to have a space because when there were a lot of meetings and speech going on in the school, I had to work in the hallways or cafeteria.  Generally not a problem but I always needed to carry everything I needed around with me.  I felt like a bag person.
I am excited to make this my new home.  I hope I will be here for a long time so I want to make this space as pleasant as possible.  Also I want the children to be excited to come to this space to learn.
 I know I can not buy everything right away, however I have a must have list for this year:

  • carpet for floor
  • two or three lamps
  • teaching easel
  • one bookcase
  • Computer to log books/modernize a checkout system for teachers



I cannot start at my school until Thursday because I have so many cute grand-babies to babysit for so I am trying to do little projects at home. 
One of the things I received in my back to school box from Oriental Trading was some Eric Carle stickers.  The theme for my resource room is going to be Eric Carle.  Anyways I took these colorful square stickers I found in the Target $1 section and the Eric Carle stickers from O.T. and labeled my teacher carousel

Before
After
I am very excited to share the Eric Carle bookmarks and pencils that came in the box as well.  I go through so many bookmarks throughout the year.  I think the kids say they need them and then share with their other friends in the classroom.  I don't care....if it keeps them excited about reading....great!   

Pencils are always a problem when I work with kids.  They always come out to me with unsharpen, broken, and worse yet...half eaten pencils.  Sharing a new pencil with them is like giving them a mini reward.  Bookmarks, pencils and erasers are the types of things I reward children with so I am thankful to Oriental Trading for providing me with those wonderful gifts.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Back to School Teacher Gifts


First I want to start this post letting you know I received all the materials for this project free from Oriental Trading in exchange for this post. I want to Thank Katie from OT for the wonderful gift of supplies.  As a teacher I appreciate every little gift that helps make the school year run smoothly.   

Each year I make little gifts for the primary teachers on our staff.  I find my ideas on Pinterest and put them together the best I can.  This year I came across the opportunity to partner with Oriental Trading to create these gifts.  I saw something similar to this on Pinterest and I thought cute idea I can do this.   

I found most of the supplies I needed at Oriental Trading Learn 365:
 Then I laid all the tiles out with the teachers names and erasers and measured the length of each one.  
 My husband purchased a long piece of trim and cut the trim at the different lengths for the names.
 Then I used my hot glue gun to glue all the letters, erasers and pencils on the trim board.  
 Now I have name plates for each of the teachers at the primary level at my school.  I think they are super cute and I cannot wait to give these little gifts out.   

If you want to see the gifts I made in the past check out the links below:
2016  Sunshine in a Jar
2015  Pencils in an apple jar
2011 Flowers for the Teachers
I started an Instagram account if you are interested in following allow:  @theverybusykindergartenblog

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Author Robert Munsch Listening Center QR Codes

Boys and girls just love Robert Munsch books they are extremely humorous.  Robert's books are excellent examples of story telling.  
I love to use his stories for a variety of reading and writing lessons.  I am not going to pretend to reinvent the wheel when it comes to these lessons.  There are some excellent lessons on Pinterest.  I put some links on my teaching website with some suggestions.  

This year I plan on printing out the book covers and QR codes and will hang them up on the back of the classroom door. That way the students can walk up to the door and scan the codes and begin the listening to the stories.  The book covers, codes and reading response sheets are free at my TPT store.   


Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 Home Reading Logs

I know there are pros and cons to Home Reading Logs, the biggest con is correcting them all.  However I know my students will read at home IF it is assigned homework.  So I go through the hassle each week because I believe that reading is the most important thing my students need to do each night for review.  

Most school days I send home a guided reading book for the students to practice at home and I let them pick one book for enjoyment that a parent can read to them.  If I am not sending home a guided reading book then they can pick a level book from the basket.  I have lots of books for the children to pick from in my classroom to take home. I have been teaching for lots of years so I have enough books to change monthly. 
As the school year goes on I introduce the story elements during shared reading and the students look for these on these classroom logs as well as there homework logs.  These are the home reading logs I used in my first grade classroom.  I updated them for the new school year.
TPT Store
This is the Second Grade Home Reading Logs I created for one of the teachers at my school.  She wanted a fun way for her students to review what she was working on in class.  Second grade readers read longer books so her expectation is that they read one book a night. 
TPT Store

Monday, June 19, 2017

Oriental Trading's Updated Website Learn 365

Oriental Trading Company Learn 365
 Oriental Trading Company is rolling out their new teacher website this week Learn 365 and asked me to write a post about a couple of their products that will be useful in my teaching.  I am so grateful for the wonderful resources.  I found some amazing products for teaching young children.  I am impressed with the selection and quality of the products they offer.  I love that they offer Melissa and Doug products and Learning Resource products on their site. 

  One of the things I noticed with the little four year olds I was working with is that they also needed to work on some colors as well as alphabet the number awareness skills.

So when I found these alphabet bean bags I was super excited that they were in different colors.  I can use them for two activities color sorting/basic counting and of course alphabet games.  I also plan on using them for some spelling activities with the first and second graders as well.  I think these bean bags will be a wonderful addition to my teaching resource bag. 
Alphabet Bean Bags
I was so excited to get this Alphabet Phonics books.  What I like about these books are two fold:  1.  The books are not just the beginning sounds.  They have ending sounds as well.  The vowel books have short and long sound words.  2.  You get the entire alphabet for $10.  That is an amazing deal!  They are nice small square books for little hands.  I plan on using these books with the K5 and First Graders who are struggling with their sounds.  
ABC Phonics Books
I just love these color boxes.  I picked these out with my little grand daughter in mind.  She is learning new vocabulary and color words and this activity fits the bill perfectly!  The little vocabulary cards have wonderful simple photos on them.  The cards are well made and easy for little hands to handle.  My grand daughter loves the pictures, and the objects are things she recognizes from her environment. She loves putting the cards in the little slots on the boxes.  Right now we are only using two boxes at a time however you can change up the activity and tailor it towards each students learning needs.   
Color Sorting Boxes
This is another open-ended activity that you can change and adapt to the student's needs as well.  The game comes with a color dice and two number dice so you can play all kinds of games: colors, patterns, number awareness, basic counting, and early addition and subtraction.  So many possibilities and I know little boys are going to love the "race car" format.  I picked this game because I thought I could lots of different things with it.  
Learning Resources Mini Motor Math Activity Set
These number duckies are adorable....and what child does not like to play and learn in the water.  It is going to be so much fun picking up the ducks and looking at the numbers to identify.  However my grand daughter is not ready for number identification yet so we are using the colorful ducks to learn our colors.  You can really use this activity for two different purposes.  It was a lot of fun.  
1,2,3 Number Rubber Duckies
This MAGNETIC shape sorting activity is very open ended.  You can do so many different sorts.  I can not wait to try this out with my students.  I love that it is magnetic, my students love working on a magnetic board.  
Shape Sorting Magnets
Thank you to Oriental Trading Company for the above products.  I was given the products in exchange for this post.  All the opinions and thoughts are my own.  
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