Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Houston we have a problem...




I LOVE when my kids are engaged, eager, and want to speak and participate.  My little eager kiddos can't stop blurting and it is really becoming an issue.  I have thought about implementing a blurting chart after reading the book, "My Mouth is a Volcano."  I took to Pinterest and found these awesome ideas from Mrs. Prince and Co. and The Kindergarten Center. I wasn't sure if the blurt chart is the way to go.  How do you reward students who don't blurt? I was thinking a trip to the treasure box but then again I may end up broke!  What have you tried that has helped?



Monday, October 7, 2013

Teaching...You Laugh...You Cry...Memories are made

With any profession we have our PEAKS and we have our valleys.  Today was a PEAK day.  My students were having fun learning, working together, singing, and dancing their way through our day. There is no doubt that this is the hardest profession but it is days like today that makes everything worth it.  You know, the day you wait for at the beginning of every school year...when you feel that the bond between you and your class has finally been formed.  They worked together, cheered each other on and didn't give up all day.  Heres to 140 more days just like today.  


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Currently October...I'M BACK!

Hello! 

I apologize for the lack of posting.  This whole new public school thing has been quite the adjustment to say the least.  It is already October and I have had an informal observation, walk-throughs, district principal observations, and my formal observation.  It all went smoothly but it has been a ton of prep work.  

I thought I would get back into the swing of things with the Currently link up with Farley from Oh Boy! 4th Grade
Currently

Listening....Dear Luke Bryan, 
How have I gone this long without listening to your gorgeous voice? 

Loving...Ladies and Gentleman it has been a whirlwind but it's official I do not have another formal observation until 3rd quarter.  This Marzano method is quite different then my previous observation method. Are any of you observed based on the Marzano method?

Thinking...A giveaway is in the works.  Follow me on Instagram @KruzinThroughKinder

Wanting...These beauties...


Tory Burch

Needing...Fall weather to arrive.  I definitely will not miss walking my students to their parents at the end of the day and sweating buckets.  Plus, I dream of rocking this look complete with my G.S.V.L. from Starbucks! Of course I can't wear the jeans to work but I can wear some cords!

JCREW
Trick or Treat...I love all things chocolate, halloween, and pumpkins.  I've been known to rock pumpkin carving contests...literally...


Well friends I am officially back! I hope I can keep this up! Have a great week!



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Classroom Reveal

Sorry friends! It has been a whirlwind since we have begun school.  I am loving my class and we are working hard on setting procedures.  For many it is their first experience in school so it's important to remember that.  I also have to learn procedures since I am new as well to the school! 

It's finally time for my classroom reveal.  I am linking up with Swimming into Second for the classroom reveal linky! 
Just to keep a few things in mind we can not alter the furniture given to us or bring in outside furniture.  We also can't hang anything from the ceiling and our walls can only be 20% covered.  I will however be asking for permission to bring in my own chairs for small group and my computer.  

This is the view of my classroom looking in from the doorway.  How lucky am I that our school purchased seats sacks for us?  These are the large ones from Lakeshore.  

This is the view of my student cubbies and part of my word wall.  The yellow bins hold 3 different types of whiteboards.  The turquoise and pink bins are where the students put their folders, completed work, and I place paper in the 2nd turquoise bin that need to be placed in their folders to go home. The blue paper holder holds various paper for writing station.  The orange and yellow frames are student work display frames from www.Lakeshorelearning.com  I have since added to them.  They hold directions of what to put in each bin.  The students and I make these charts together and then I display them.


 This picture is a little dark of my computer area and one area to display student work.  I couldn't make a large display board as the last portion of my wall would be covered so I used this area and my back cabinets as a way to display student work.  
 This is my calendar area.  My math program asks that we use a pocket calendar chart.  This will come in handy when we begin to learn patterns through our calendar.  I have since moved all the months of the year and placed them in binder rings.  We flip through them as we sing our songs and as the months change. 
 This is my small group area and my word wall.  I am working on permission to change the chair. 
 This is where I will display our amazing words.  Our county adopted the Reading Street Common Core Series and vocabulary words are now referred to amazing words.  The drawers are for my small group materials.  The little science sign will be where I place my science vocabulary words.  
 This is my area where all my math manipulatives are stored.  The purple bins are also for math work stations.  Our math curriculum has math work stations built in.  It is actually amazing and I am so happy with the program. 
 This is my clip chart that I changed this weekend.  The owls are where I will display pictures of them holding the day of their birthday.  Each owl is a different month.


 This is a full view of my word wall.  I made it myself with scrapbook paper and the wooden cutouts that you can find in Michaels or Joanne's.  I LOVE how it came it. 
This is looking onto my carpet from my student tables.  Each table I stocked with crayons, pencils, markers, scissors and glue.  The drawers are all labeled.  


This is a picture of my classroom library.  Do not mind the randomly placed green blue and yellow bins.  Those bins the school places in our classroom for our 100 book challenge.  I am dying to add something HUGE above those windows but I am not trying to go against the school rules! I love my huge Pete the Cat. We have used him so much in the classroom already.  The kids LOVE to hold Pete when they are sharing.  The ice cream cones are for our ice cream words.  This is a little way we encourage the students to memorize high-frequency words.  Every time they memorize a list they add a scoop and get ice cream or a popsicle.  


I am happy the way my classroom turned out.  It wasn't my original vision but I have received comments on how inviting and functional the space is.  As long as my students are comfortable and learning that is all that matters to me. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Let's Talk About Me!- Meet the Teacher




I'm linking up with the blog hoppin girls for Teacher Week '13.  I'm so excited to share a little bit about me.





1. I graduated with a degree in business and realized the day I was walking down the aisle to graduate that I probably should go back to school for teaching.  Therefore I quit my corporate job 6 months after I started and pursued my dream by attending graduate school and beginning my career as a kindergarten teacher in a small Christian school. 

2. I am obsessed with animals.  SEE? I will even hold an alligator :-)

3. I have a dog named Chloe that has a tongue that hangs out at all times. 

4. I am a sucker for sunsets and luckily they are BEAUTIFUL here in SW Florida.


5. I have an amazing boyfriend that makes me breakfast every morning and packs my lunch every day. He truly cares about what I am teaching in the classroom and we frequently can be found talking about math and science lessons.


6. I'm afraid of sharks but I will swim out to all depths of the ocean if it means that I will get the opportunity to hold a sand dollar or sea star. I was actually saving this one because it was nearly in the sand dunes and would have never made it back out to the gulf.

7.  It's very hard for me to not start my day with a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks :-)

8.  I really do have a little convertible and we love to drive around with the top down and Chloe loves when the wind hits her hair.

9. I enjoy working out and I make sure I do so at least 6 times a week.


10. I just began fulfilling my childhood dream of horseback riding.  It is my happy place and I am in love with horseback riding!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Currently

I'm linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade today for the August Currently edition.  Jump onto the linky as it continues throughout the year! 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Passionate Teacher

This week my principal showed this video.  I think it sums up the way I feel as I embark on my new journey.  I am so grateful to be working at a school with an amazing staff and administration. 

Grab the tissues...



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What's Important in a Classroom?

I just read a very interesting blog article written by Debbie Clement from Rainbows Within Reach.  It seems like there is quite the controversy brewing in Blogland.  Should a classroom be cute? How important is it for a classroom to be cute?

This brings me to my theory.  I feel that a classroom needs to be organized, visually appealing, neat, and functional.  But I also feel as if Pinterest has kind of become the new Face*ook.  People are scouring it thinking, "If only I had a nicer classroom. If only my bulletin boards were as pretty.  If only my reading area was more amazing." I think it is an wonderful source of inspiration but we need to make sure that we don't beat ourselves up over it.  


Your students are going to love you whether or not your classroom has the most amazing bulletin boards or if they are just plain jane with some basic borders.  You got this job because YOU know what to do.  YOU know how to make a difference.  Remember this classroom is for the students to learn and for us to transfer knowledge to them.  After that first day of school the bulletin boards will be covered with anchor charts, the book baskets will be out of place, and the puzzles pieces will be missing.   So don't get caught up on all the photos of the catalogue worthy classrooms. All that matters is that we enter and exit our classroom with the same frame of mind...to make a difference. Lets foster a love of learning within our students.  Lets show the world that teachers are the most important people out there.




What are your thoughts?



Monday, August 5, 2013

New Blog Design and Monday Made it Link Up

Yay! For a new blog design! I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.  I owe a huge thank you to Christi from Design By Christi who designed my page and Crystal at The Library Fox who created my custom blog button and "mini me."  I highly recommend both of these lovely ladies if you are in need of a blog design or custom clip art.


Monday Made It!


Let's kick off Monday Made it with Tara from Fourth Grade Frolics.  I have been very busy today. With only 1 more day left of my summer vacation, I have been running around to Walmart, Target, Joanne's and Michaels gathering up last minute items.  

MADE IT #1



After seeing the student toolboxes that The Ladybug Teacher Files created, I knew I had to change up my original plan.  I originally planned to do the table caddies but knew that in 1 week I would get frustrated when the markers, pencils, and crayons were scattered about inside the caddies leaving the caddies dirty and just plain...gross.  To ease my mind I created these beauties...


Goodbye dirty caddies, hello hidden dirt!




MADE IT #2

This weekend while on vacation in Chicago I decided I hated my word wall that I previously made.  I mean REALLY...hated it.  I thought about it  A LOT and I came up with another idea. I wanted to create a word wall that had items attached to it that began with each letter of the alphabet.  I didn't just want clipart so I decided to use the wooden cutouts that can be found at Michaels or Joanne Fabrics.  I adhered everything to chevron scrapbook paper and made the letters on the computer.




Stay tuned for pictures of it once I hang it in my classroom.  That's all for now! Make sure to jump on over to Tara's blog and see all the Monday Made Its!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Super School Shopping Saturday!





Smart Kids
Today I am linking up with Smart kids for Super School Shopping Saturday.  This whole summer I have been scouring all the local stores for the best deals in town.  I was lucky enough that our local teacher store celebrated its 9th Anniversary and had an AMAZING sale earlier in the summer.  I grabbed most of my decorative items and big things during that sale.  

Yesterday, I stopped by Target to see what all the fuss was about in the Dollar Spot.  As usual, Target didn't disappoint.  

Check out my haul! 



Some of the items definitely weren't in the Dollar Spot such as the chevron bulletin board or owl art line however, I am going all out for my desk area this year.  I am coming from a school that didn't allow us to decorate at all.  My desk had to be relatively clear, I couldn't have a bulletin board or really personalize my space.  While I respected their beliefs I am just ready to make my desk area more functional and personalized.  Therefore, those two items will be used in that area.

Under all those items is my border holder.  I have always wanted to get one but I couldn't get myself to pay $19.99 for the brand name ones.  I also saw various storage options on Pinterest for bulletin borders but the only problem was it was using food containers such as icing and peanut butter.  That is where my problem lies, I do not eat icing or peanut butter and I certainly am not going to just buy it to use as a storage container.  Target has now solved my dilemma and if they fall apart and don't work well so be it, they were 3 bucks! 

The next items were the tin buckets.  I will use the tin buckets to house supplies such as scissors, pencils, markers etc. 

The alphabet stickers will find their home in my word work station and or writing station.  The students will use these for letter recognition, letter matching, and making words in word work.  In writing they are used for making signs and cards. 

The clocks I use to display important times such as lunch, specials and dismissal. 

The Alphabet cards will be used in the word work station.  

The other miscellaneous items such as pencils, push pins, giant cassette eraser will just be for personal use in my classroom. 

This is my Target haul! I look forward to seeing what you all purchased.  


xoxo 

Renessa

P.S. Sorry my blog isn't so appealing right now it will be undergoing a design transformation this week! 



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Teachers Have More Fun!

They always say blondes have more fun but obviously whoever came up with that saying never met a teacher!  Check out these fun videos.  If these don't get the kids moving and excited to learn, I don't know what will!


The fabulous Daina Roberts from Sticky Notes & Glitter and Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room rocked it out "Gangnam Style" to help their kids remember the vowel sounds! Click on the video below to watch.






Next, I present the 5 Little Piggies Rap by Debbie Clement.  I am so sad I missed the I Teach K! conference in Vegas due to my move and grade change but I will be there next year no matter what! Click on the video to see these teachers rockin' out.




I am so thankful to be in a profession that is so much fun.  Yes, it is challenging, demanding, and exhausting but I wouldn't change it for anything.  There is no where I rather be then in my classroom with the tiniest of learners. 




xoxo

Renessa

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted: Advice for New Teacher's Link Up!

Happy Sunday! Two more Sundays and I am officially back to school! I love when I say that and people look at me as if I am crazy and ask me what grade I am in.  

Today I am linking up with Flying Into First for her weekly series Let's Get Acquainted.  Today's topic is new teacher advice.  Without further adieu...


ALWAYS...

love what you do.  This goes for anything in life.  If you don't love what you do you will not be happy.  Your emotions, thoughts, and feelings transfer to your students so always arrive each day with a clean slate.

FIND...

a mentor teacher.  I didn't have a mentor my first year because I was in a VERY small Christian school and was the only Kindergarten teacher.  This is when I became in love with blogging and searching the Internet for the latest and greatest.  I took to the blogs and the web and used it as sort of my way of mentoring myself. We might have never spoke but there are some people that truly helped me establish my first year Dr. JeanDeanna JumpClutter Free ClassroomDebbie Diller and many more. 

INVEST...

in your classroom for years to come by starting a classroom library.  Even if your budget is super tight skip the cutesy borders and bulletin board sets and head straight over to Ebay, Amazon, or Craigslist and search for "Lots" of books.  If you are gasping at the thought of not having a fully themed classroom this year I can promise you that the Monkeys you are dying to hang from your bulletin boards today will be the Monkeys you will want to tear off your bulletin boards come June.  Just look at Mrs. Tab's classroom.  She decorated it for cheap and it is exactly what you need!

READ...

I know you might have just graduated and reading is the last thing you want to do but try to always stay ahead of the learning curve and know the teaching methods that are out there and could eventually be thrown your way. 

ENJOY...

your first year.  Each child you will make a lasting imprint in their heart.  Be the teacher that they will always remember.  Be the teacher that makes a difference.



That my dear is my advice.  Thank you for reading my FIRST linky ever! Thanks for stopping by and be on the lookout for my new blog design that Christi Fultz is creating!  


Keep Learning,

Renessa



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Organizing for Common Core

As the school year approaches more and more schools are switching over to Common Core.  I myself am quite excited to be working with the Common Core Standards.  I rather work with the Common Core versus the 1,000,899,000 standards attached to the NGSSS...ya' know what I mean? 


This will be my 2nd year implementing the Common Core but my first year implementing it in a Kindergarten classroom.  As I have been gathering materials and buying more and more items on TPT, I knew I had to get my act together and start organizing my materials.  

This was my first step...



On the left hand side you have my Mathematics Common Core Organization Chart.  This chart I think will be my lifesaver when I begin to plan.  I listed each standard on the left and activities I have in my possession to meet the standards on the right.  If I haven't printed out the activities I simply put the pathway that it can be found on my computer's hard drive.  Now onto the photograph on the right.  

The photograph on the right are labels and if you keep reading you will understand why I did this.  

I scored these amazing Small Group Instruction Learning Mats from Mailbox Magazine during a Buy 1 Get 3 Free Sale Event.  Yes, BUY 1 GET 3 FREE! This is a teacher's dream...FREEBIES.   Call me cheap but I just love me some Freebies.  I picked up the Learning Mats for Math and Literacy.  



My next plan was to cut and organize these puppies.  I took their idea of organizing them into a binder. I then decided I wanted to be able to have all my CCS's written for me so I can just grab and plan.  I went through each activity within the book and aligned them to a standard.  I then took Avery Labels and wrote the standard name and description along with the activity.  I printed the labels and adhered them to the front of a 3-ring binder.  I then made a label for the spine of the binder that simply has the standard name written on it.  I am pretty happy with how it turned out and think that this will make my planning and preparation efficient during the school year.  





This organizational idea is something you can use with all your activities.  Simply type your standard onto labels and place them on your binders, in your plan book, or wherever you have it so you know what standards are attached to the activities that you plan on implementing.

How are you organizing for the school year?