Friday, February 28, 2014

Five for Friday

Friday is here again... & I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!
On Tuesday, teachers had a faculty meeting and were told that next year, a school-wide goal will be to use the flipped classroom model. We will be given a book soon to help us to better understand the concept and we will also receive training before September. Although I see the wonderful value in this model, I am a little concerned due to the very little information/ videos out there for early childhood. I tend to watch youtube videos, when learning about new teaching strategies, but I found roughly 5 videos of flipped classroom ideas for younger learners. I teach Pre-K4, and would love any ideas or advice! I think a flipped classroom is really beneficial for the students, so I am eager to jump in and learn before we have to implement it in September! 
We started a Dr. Seuss author study and the students practice counting skills with these Cat in the Hat inspired math station activities from my Count Ten Frames with the Crazy Cat, Hats, and Things Pack.

On Wednesday I read the students The Cat in the Hat and they watched The Cat in the Hat on Thursday. Today, they watched The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. They absolutely love Dr. Seuss books and appreciate them more now that they know about the author and the joy he had when writing silly rhyming books. Students also "read" a variety of Dr. Seuss books and will continue to learn more about Dr. Seuss and other great books of his throughout the month of March. 
This week we covered the letter F. Students met Ms. F from the Land of the Letter People Program, listened to the story Follow My Funny Feet by Lynell Johnson, and colored her puppet. They sang several songs about the letter F: The Letter F Song, The Letter F Song (ABC Mouse), and The F Song (KidsTV123). They cut, pasted, and glued fish on an Ff template and they colored, cut, pasted, and circled pictures that begin with /f/. We also did a handwriting activity each day, with the use of a variety of handwriting worksheets, where students traced and printed the letter Ff. 

For the Pre-Kers who know most/all their letter sounds, we have been working on blending and segmenting CVC words. We are working on the _at family for the next couple of weeks. The Word Machine Game is from Starfall and the worksheet is from Miss Kindergarten's Word Builders (_at Family Freebie).

How was your week? I'd love to hear about it... link up with Doodle Bugs to share with others!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

3 MILLION!! TpT Sale

Wahoo! Teachers Pay Teachers has reached 3 MILLION teacher members! To celebrate, I am joining in on throwing a sale at my TpT Store. In addition, Tpt is offering buyers 10% off using promo code TpT3.  This means you will get a combined total discount of 28%! How could you resist?!

Now, is a great time to purchase some of those wish-list items you have had sitting in your cart! Here are some of my MUST HAVE products: 
These “Read it! Trace it! Cut it! Paste it! Write it! Draw it!” sentences provide students with color word practice of 11 common color words (listed below), as well as the opportunity to practice CVC words and improve their reading, tracing, writing, illustrating, cutting and gluing skills. The rebus helps your most emergent readers feel successful. These sentences can be used for morning work, center activities, handwriting, homework, or independent practice.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

30 in 30 Giveaway!

I am turning 30 years old in 30 days {gasp} and to celebrate the big three "O", I would love to give away this beautiful new scarf to one lucky winner! I don't know about you, but I absolutely love to wear scarfs to dress up my teaching outfits and to add color! What a great accessory to transition out your Winter outfits and bring some Spring into your life!

Enter below and good luck on winning this great addition to your teaching wardrobe! The giveaway ends on March 27th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five for Friday

This week was a SLOW week... but here we are and it's Friday! I'm excited to relax on the couch and enjoy a glass of wine with my fiancé, but before then I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

One of my favorite ways to help my Pre-Kers learn is by using videos that are catchy... This "Days of the Week" song is sung to the tune of the Addam's Family. Here is another fabulous song to help your students learn the days of the week: Day-O! We use the SMART board often for songs and chants, in addition to activities and games that the children "play" during math, literacy, science, and social studies. I apologize for the quality of the video, I recorded it on my iPhone and this is my first time uploading a video to blogger. If you have any suggestions on clarity and uploading videos, I'd love the input!
This week we covered the letter Dd! After the calendar/weather, we talked about Mr. D from The Land of the Letter People Program,  his special feature (he is a dazzling dancer), the letter formations, and words that begin with /d/ (we add some to our word wall).  We then listen to Mr. D's song and read his big book Dinosaurs Dance! By the end of the week we chorally read it together. We finish up our morning circle with one of the many letter D songs. Here are some: Letter D Song (Have Fun Teaching), Letter D Song (ABC Mouse), The Dd Song (KidsTV123). During language art stations, students are color the Mr. D puppet, cutting & sorting /d/ pictures, making dots on a Dd pattern, filling in a Dd tangram pattern, and rolling play-dough into Dd shapes. During our handwriting block, we talk about letter formation and students color, trace, and print Dd's. 
On Sunday, I went to The Limited, one of my favorite stores, and bought these two adorable tops for my future sister-in-laws... it was her birthday! I wanted them both for myself too, but I decide to just get the silky tank to wear under cardigans and blazers at school. It reminds me so much of my blog colors and design- navy & green :) I'm in love! I don't know about you, but I am ready for Spring fashion! 
I made another trip to Costco this week because I needed more binders and page protectors {and other goodies too} and I haven't found them cheaper anywhere else. The picture at the bottom right, is my progress of filing and organizing. If you've noticed, March through June are empty. Today I took home the March binder along with a binder I made for phonics and sight-words, so that I can file all my papers and activities this weekend.  
I wasn't expecting a delivery, so when I saw a package at my door I was excited! I love packages, especially when I don't know what's in them! My fiancé and I received these delicious sugar 'key' cookies from our photographer just because! How sweet is that?! 

How was your week? I'd love to hear about it... link up with Doodle Bugs to share with others!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Liebster Award!

I feel very honored and am giddy that I have been nominated for the Liebster award by Elyse over at Proud to be Primary. This is an award given to new and up-coming blogs. Liebster, in German, means sweetheart, beloved person, darling, lovely, cute... isn't that the so kind?! I think Elyse's blog is absolutely adorable & I also love her TpT products! I am looking forward to getting to know her more and gain more friends through the blogging community!

The rules to accepting the nomination of the Liebster Award are to:
1. Link back to the blog(s) that nominated you
 2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers (I did this through Bloglovin')
 3. Answer the questions posted for you by the nominator(s)  
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself 
5. Create 11 questions for your 5-11 nominees 
6. Contact your nominees and let them know that you nominated them

My Nominees 
Bonnie over at Bonnie Kathryn Kinders & Beyond has an adorable blog, which is not only appealing to the eye but she also has wonderful ideas and products! I also teach at a private Christian school, so we share something in common. She has great ideas and I am her newest follow! I am looking forward to reading her future posts!
Karry over at Yay for PreK! has a cute blog name and also great products and ideas! In her About Me sections, she stated, "I have found SOOOO many great PreK blogs, but sometimes the ideas and materials are too simple for my PreKers. So, I decided to start my own blog to keep track of my lessons and connect with other PreK teachers!" I agree with this statement and find that although there are tons of wonderful kindergarten blogs, I would like to see more Pre-K4 blogs!
Jamie over at Play to Learn Preschool has such a cute blog! I love her posts about her five favorite books, according to the theme the children are working on! I love visiting her blog to see what's happening in her classroom. Each post is well written and inspiring! You would never guess that the adorable classroom was in her house!
 Mrs. O'Donnell over at The Crazy Pre-K Classroom has a variety of posts to inspire Pre-K teachers. She also is a Christian Pre-K teacher, which I already feel an immediate connection with! I am her newest follower!
Paula over at Learn + Play = PreK has a wonderful hands-on approach to teaching! Her classroom looks like a lot of fun! She also has wonderful products geared toward Pre-K students and young learners. 

11 Random Facts About Myself
1. I am engaged & getting married on 12/12/14.
2. My favorite color is green.
3. My favorite season is summer because I love to be at the beach and boating on lakes!
4. I have 2 younger sisters.
5. I was a premature baby- weighing 2lbs. 3oz.
6. I am a dog lover. I want a chocolate lab someday soon!
7. I babysit part-time 3 days a week, in addition to being a full-time teacher. 
8. My favorite stores are: Marshalls, The Loft, & The Limited.
9. I love dark chocolate covered almonds!
10. I was in Girl Scouts during my elementary years, with my mom being the Girl Scout Leader.
11. I play softball in elementary school, middle school, and high school. 

11 Questions From Elyse

1: When did you know you wanted to become a teacher? I knew I wanted to be a teacher in elementary school. My favorite after school and summer activity was to play school with the day care children my mom watched. In my 6th grade yearbook, under each students name it listed what we wanted to be when we grew up, and it says "teacher". It's a neat keepsake to see that after all these years, I never changed my mind. 

2: How long have you been teaching and in what grades? This is my eight years teacher and I have taught Pre-K4 all eight years. 

3: What is your favorite grade level and subject to teach? Right now, Pre-K is my favorite, although I would love to teacher Kindergarten or 1st.  I also loved 4th grade when I was student teaching. My favorite subject is math- it was when I was in school and is my favorite to teach! 

4: Do you make products for TpT or TN? If so, which is your favorite product you have made and why? Yes, I made products for TpT. Picking my favorite product it tough, but I think my favorite product is: February Simply Print Pre-K & Kindergarten Math & Literacy Printables

5: How long have you been blogging and what got you started/motivated? I started to build my blog and started blogging on December 10, 2013. Being a teacher, is not only my profession but it is my passion and career, so naturally it is a joy and hobby of mine to create educational resources for my students, share my lesson ideas with others, connect with others and get inspiration from their ideas and experiences in the classroom. With this being said, I wanted to create a bigger outlet where I can share, inspire, and connect with others and that's how my blog "I is for Inspire" came about. 

6: What is your favorite blog post that either you've written or someone else wrote that inspired you? One of my favorite posts were by Rachel from The Tattooed Teacher, about how to fix being a no-reply blogger. Amanda from Collaboration Cuties, informed me that I was a no-reply blogger and when someone comments on your blog, and you reply, they don't know it. So, unless someone remembers to go back to your blog, they won't see it.  If you're a no-reply blogger they can't reply to your comment through e-mail and strike up a conversation. This was HUGE to me, because I of course wanted to be able to communicate back and forth with other bloggers! I also wrote a post on fixing this problem too, since what I viewed on blogger was a tad different than what I saw in Rachel's tutorial. 

7: What is your favorite part of the day? Noon- When I feel most productive and if it is the weekend, I love to be outside or out & about at this time. 

8: What are your favorite get-me-through-the-day items (food, drinks, supplies, etc.)? Coffee, dark chocolate, my laptop, my iPhone, and my papermonster laminator. 
9: How do you and your students have fun each day? I try to make my students laugh, especially during a greats story! I also love to play great educational songs from youtube & other website, where I encourage my students dance, move, and sing!

10: What do you do for fun outside of school (hobbies, entertainment, etc.)? I love to shop, go out to eat, blog, be with my fiancé, friends and family. In the summer I love to be by water everyday, whether it is the ocean, a pool, or a lake! I also snowboard and play softball here and there. 

11: Tell us about one of your all-time favorite teaching stories! A favorite story is tough because I feel that I have wonderful stories each week in ways that my students touch my heart, but I do have a story about a student who touched my heart in so many ways. I had {insert student's name} for two years and I saw him grow so much within those two years. He had motor difficulties and attention difficulties, and while I closely worked with his parents, I watched him make progress each and every week. He also had such a wealth of knowledge about a variety of topics, and my aide and I would love listening to him share his experiences and stories. Although he didn't like to do activities that required 'work' with fine-motor skills (i.e. cutting, tracing, writing), he absolutely loved to learn! I can still hear his adorable laugh in my head! He also had a smile that lights up the room, and when I get a chance to see him in the hallway, he still does!  He is now in 1st grade and doing wonderful. Without a doubt, I walk away with a piece of each of my students when they move onto kindergarten, but this boy helped me grow as a teacher and currently stands out in my mind. 

11 Questions for My Nominees
1. Who inspired you to be a teacher and/or when did you know you wanted to be a teacher? 
2. Why did you decide to start blogging?
3. What are your 3 favorite online shopping websites?
4. How did you learn how to blog/ set-up your own page?
5.  What is your favorite post you’ve ever written? (Please provide a link!)
6. What is one thing you want to accomplish by this time next year?
7. If you had an unlimited budget, what would you purchase for your classroom?
8. How did you get your first teaching position and in what grade/subject? (i.e. applying by paper, online, knowing someone...)
9. What is your favorite place to buy school clothes? 
10. What are your hobbies other than blogging? 
11. What is your favorite book(s) to read to your students in the beginning of the school year? 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lucky in Love!

I'm linking up tonight with Molly from Lucky to Be in First for her adorable Lucky in Love linky!

Here are some things that I'm loving right now!
Some of my other loves are: the color green, Loft, Marshall's, TpT, the summer, and of course blogging!

Five for Friday

I can't believe it's already Friday... this week flew by for me! I didn't link up last week because I was out of town at the Great American Outdoor Show in PA... so this week I'm excited to be linking up with Doodle Bugs again for Five for Friday!

About a month ago I stumbled upon a post from Erica from Erica's Ed-Ventures about Class Dojo and then last week we had an in-service about using technology in the classroom. The presenter discussed several apps that she felt were worth sharing and Class Dojo was one of them! I was unsure about implementing this behavior system in the middle of the school year, but with some encouragement from some of my co-workers, I thought that I would try it out in addition to my clip chart behavior system. Needless to say, my students LOVE it and I LOVE it! What I like best about this behavior system is that you can edit the behaviors to meet the needs of these young learners. I also like that I can use my tablet while I am walking around the room or picking my students up from a special, and it will synch it so that it shows up wherever it's opened- for me I usually keep it up on the SMART board for a larger display for my students. Another MAJOR pro to Class Dojo is that parents can either log on with special password or be e-mailed their child's report (analysis of student's behavior). I haven't taken this step yet, because I wanted to be sure my class would take to this additional behavior system and also that I fully felt comfortable with using this behavior system tool. Next year, I will likely be using Class Dojo and reward for points earned instead of the current clip chart I use now. I will also send the reports to the parents, instead of having the behavior log that I color each afternoon and send home in each student's communication folder. 
This week my students were immersed in valentine themed activities! They counted hearts and then recorder their answers on the ten frame recording page from my Love is in the Air Pack. They also completed a similar activity from this pack {no picture} by counting hearts and writing the number the number on the recording page. They practicing counting ten frames and then using these Dollar Tree hearts to count on these adorable counting mats (please let me know if this is your freebie, I would love to give you credit, but can't seem to find it in the TpT store). They also practiced letter formation and letter sequence by completing this too-cute Valentine Write the Room activity from Live, Laugh, I Love Kindergarten
As I said above, we were immersed in valentine, hearts, love, all of the above themed activities this week, as I am sure classes all over were. My kiddos made this go-to valentine heart craftivity and cards for loved ones.
Our classroom parents came in to help make these adorable 'Bee Mine' bags with the little ones, so that they had a 'mailbox' and an easy way to take home their valentines from their friends and I. Aren't they soo cute?! I think they are my favorite v-day mailbox yet!

Another snow day yesterday... I think this marks five for my school. I don't remember the last time NJ had this much snow in a year, but I love that it reminds me of my childhood and of course I enjoy the days off too{although having holidays or summer break days taken away, isn't something to look forward to}. Here is a pic of the road at 7a.m. before my hunny left to go plow for MANY hours. I am proud of him though, he puts in a lot of hours while I'm sitting in sweats all day, sipping coffee, eating yummy snacks, watching tv, "Spring" cleaning, and blogging :). Also, tomorrow marks 7 years with this handsome man! Our first date was on valentine's day {I know.. who goes out on a first date on valentine's?!}, so it is an extra special hallmark holiday for us! Next time this year, I will be married!! Okay, ok I will get off my soap box!

Did you have a {heart} filled week? I'd love to hear about it... link up with Doodle Bugs to share with others!