Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Welcome To Preschool and The Kissing Hand

I am pretty pumped! I have completed my first 2 lesson plans and am currently working on week 3's lesson plan! I hadn't really gotten the hang of making up my lessons last school year whilst adding in Jobs (more on those later) so I wasn't exactly happy with my first few lessons which is why I am redoing a few things. 
I can't wait to share! 

Our first 3 days of school in preschool are staggered days meaning only a few students will attend school each day and they will leave at 11:30 each day meaning we will be doing the exact same lesson 3 days in a row. Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy in the words of a little friend from last year!

We will start our week by reading The Kissing Hand. Last year I wanted to get a Chester puppet, but couldn't justify spending $30-$40 for a raccoon puppet so I decided to make my own. I think he is even cuter then the original. He is od course made out of my favorite craft medium felt. 

After reading the story each student will draw a picture of what they think their first day of school will be like. While the students are coloring Mrs. Ann and I will paint each students hand to add to their picture later. 
I pinned this from Pinterest and of course the link led to nowhere so I can't give anyone credit which is sad. If anyone know where this idea comes from please let me know. 

What's the first week of school without a special treat and what's more special then  a hand cookie with a Hershey's kiss in the middle except this year I might switch the kiss for a red iced heart. I pinned this Pin, but this is not where I originally came up with the idea. I have actually been doing this Lesson for years now and have always given my students little hand cookies. Maybe I am the original person who came up with this idea!  I always wonder about all of the lessons and crafts that get passed around from teacher to teacher. I wonder how many people who are selling all of their ideas actually came up with those ideas. Thankfully for me there are super duper smart people coming up with so many amazing ideas because I sure as heck couldn't come up with all of the amazing ideas I use!

We will make a hand anchor chart to record each student's first day of school feelings 

We will make a few Chester crafts 

I thought it would be fun at the end of the week to make Friendship necklaces.

On Friday I will have the student follow our recipe for a successful year to enjoy at snack time after P.E.

So there you have it. Our first week in a nut shell. 
I am so excited to get started and get to know all of the little poeple I will spend the next 180 days with!

-Love Roxanne

Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's A Polka Dot Party!

When I describe my classroom to people I like to say it looks like a unicorn barfed a rainbow all over it!

Unicorn Barfing a Rainbow

I LOVE color and this year I am bring in even more color with Polka Dots! I have already purchased a few Polka dot bulletin board borders and I am planning on purchasing a few packages from Teacher Pay Teacher to use throughout the room. Basically I am redoing everything and starting fresh.

I have spent most of my summer pinning ideas on Pinterest of course. Here's a sneak peak at what I am going for

1. Center Signs
2. Desk
3. Where we are sign
4. Cabinet
5. Classroom Labels
6. Desk
7. Art caddies and Bulletin board border (Purchased from Michael's)
8. Teacher name sign
9. Desk
10. Reminder board 
11. Alphabet signs
12. Behavior buckets
13. Word wall
14. Classroom rules
15. Desk

I also want to add something cute and colorful in a frame.

1, 2, 3

All of this is why I will be heading up to school before In service week to start printing and cutting everything out. I hope Mrs. Ann is ready to do lots of cutting, laminating, and hanging.

- Love Roxanne

Best Layed Plans

I will be organized!  I will be organized!  I will be organized!  I will be organized!  I will be organized! 


Are you noticing a theme here? 

My goal this year is to be super duper organized! Even more so then last year. I will not let a lack of storage space get in my way and I will not stack papers to be forgotten! Least year I was really organizes when it came to my lesson planning. I was always at least a week to 2 weeks ahead with everything by implementing what we call "Jobs". Mrs. Nicole my fellow 4K teacher used this technique in her classroom , but I only really discovered how it worked last year. Basically Jobs are 4 or 5 weekly rotating activities and skills that each student completes. I will do a full post a little later with pictures so you can get a good idea of how they work and rotate. I spent each week last year putting together the next weeks lesson and jobs which was a lot of work but totally worth it. That means this year everything is completed and ready to go. That is unless I want to change something which I know I will do because some activities didn't work as well as I had hoped and others i will probably add more to. The good thing is the majority of my work is done which is huge! You may not think teaching preschool is a lot of work, but I dare anyone to come do what I do for 1 week then come talk to me! most people would probably run out the door screaming and crying! I still have a lot of work to do, just not as much. 

I have already started my pre planning process by mapping out our entire year in my calendar (Don't be fooled into buying a "Teacher" planner which will run you close to $15. I snagged this calendar that can go into my Teacher Keeper in the student section for $5!) I already know when I will start my assessments and when we will start all of our big projects for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mother's Day. I always feel like I am scrambling to get these projects complete so I want them done weeks ahead of time to be sent home. I don't want any surprises this year. I want to be ready for anything the world can throw at me! Preparation is a teacher's best weapon.

Speaking of being organized I am also planning on shaking things up with our centers. I am moving things around and I have big plans for changing out some of our centers throughout the year according to the seasons and our themes. One major change I am going to test out this year is having a mobile writing center. Instead of having a table for the children to sit at I will use lap desks and the floor to allow for more freedom for those students who need a different writing environment. 

Here is a link to The Good Life from last year and our classroom setup. A lot will be changing and I can't wait to document it all right here. 

For reference here is a look back at what my classroom looked like at the end of last year after everything was put away for summer camp.

I hope everyone enjoys there last few weeks of summer break and for my friends starting at the beginning of August I will soon be joining you and good luck on your first days.

-Love Roxanne

Friday, July 19, 2013

Double Duty

Welcome to my newest piece of real estate in the blogasphere!!

 I have decided to split up my blogging between my personal blogging and my school blogging. Things were just getting to jumbled up  over at The Good Life and I figured since there were so many other changes happening in my school life that I may as well give it it's own little space to shine.

One of the biggest changes some of you may not know about is my change in teaching partners. Last year my friend and co teacher Cathy was sadly leaving our happy little classroom to fulfill her dream of teaching in our ANGEL program. We had cried and laughed and hugged a million times and promised to still have inappropriate nap time conversations about her wild side back in the day. I had come to terms with my friend transferring classrooms and even though she was leaving me I still loved her. Sadly before she got a chance to fulfill her dream she was taken from us very quickly and suddenly. I will never forget that day and I will never forget my friend. I am still having a difficult time dealing with this loss and it weighs heavy on my heart everyday. I am so thankful to my family especially my school and church family for helping me get through such a difficult time.

Through out this difficult time in my life and teaching career a little blond ray of sunshine named Ann was thrown into my life and she helped pull me back from the brink of insanity. Poor sweet Ann showed up ready to help and help she did. She was my counselor, my shoulder, my co teacher and so much more. Thankfully for her we finished up the school year strong and then the waiting started. I never wanted to make Ann uncomfortable because I had no clue who would be working with me the next school year. I knew that I would have a new partner in crime because Cathy was moving classes I just had no clue who it would be, but I prayed every night that it would be Ann. One day after an extremely emotional chat with my assistant principal I just threw it out there that if anyone came into my classroom I wanted it to be Ann. Right at that moment Mr. Mullis our principal walked in and Ann (our assistant principal not Ann my co teacher) told him what I had said and they just laughed and played it off. Little did I know they had already had the same idea from the beginning. So we waited and wondered until the last day of school when we got the good news. Ann and I would be teaching together next year!!!! I think from the moment they asked Cathy if she wanted the ANGEL position they already had Ann in mind.

Now begins my internal battle with my brain. I am still reeling from the loss of my friend, but I am so so excited about working with Ann. I know once we get back to school my anxiety will pass and my babies will keep me so busy that I won't even have time to dwell. 

I am so happy and so excited about what the future holds and now I have a new place to share it. I will probably mostly post from my phone because I can snap quick picture and write a short blurb about our daily activities. My goal this year is to be more organized and prepared then ever and to teach my teacher to my fullest potential. I am so glad I spent so much time working on my lessons because that means this year I can tweak those things that need tweaking and spend the majority of my time tootie tahing with my friends. If you don't know what the Tootie Tah is I will take a video of it some day to share.

I am so excited about this school year!  We will be busy, but we will have fun!
I am already working on my Parent Orientation power point and my lesson plan for the first week is almost complete.

I leave you now with a few pictures so you can get a feel for what will go on around here.

 Sniffing hand lotion at naptime to combat the baby farts

 I miss you my dear friend. You will forever be in my heart and I know you will be there with us August 19 and everyday after. I can't wait to look outside my window each day and see your tree looking back at me. I hope it has blooms this spring.

Sadly she knows what she is getting herself into and she is still sticking around. You are an amazing person, friend, and teacher! I can not wait to teach with you Mrs. Ann! We are going to have an AMAZING year!

And last, but not least I am thinking about adding this into my Parent Orientation power point for an ice breaker. I think it will get a good laugh since I have already had half of parents in my class before.

Don't forget a bottle of wine and a cupcake (in my case a gluten free cupcake) 
at the end of the day makes everything better.