Sunday, June 30, 2013

We Have A Winner!!

I had a tremendous response to my 100 followers giveaway!  I really was overwhelmed--almost 3,000 entries! 
Congratulations, Julie! Check your email for more info!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five for Friday-Pre-Vacation Edition!

It's Friday again and that means linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!  As you read this, I will probably be heading south for a week at the beach!  I can already picture next week's Five for Friday--Beach Edition! Be ready!
1.  Bloglovin'
I know we all sound like broken records this week, but you really can't put it off any longer!  If you haven't already, head over to Bloglovin' to transfer all your blogs.  It's really easy and I actually really like reading my blogs over there.  I love that I can mark them as read or "like" them to make a particular post easier to find later.  There are so many times I'm reading on my iPad, but want to come back to a post when I'm on my laptop to download something, but can't remember what it was!  Now I just "like" it and then go back through my "liked" posts when I'm back to my computer.
Click HERE to go to Bloglovin' and follow me.
2.  My In-laws' School House
If you follow me on instagram (@alwaysanadventureink), you saw this earlier this week.  My in-laws own this little one room school house.  In the summer, I mow the large yard around it.  I just think it's so cute I wanted to share it with  you all!
3.  High Five Sight Words

I uploaded a new product to my TpT store called High Five Sight words.  You can read about how I use it HERE.  I really just wanted to share this picture again because that's my 9 year old modeling for me.  He walked up to those words like Mr. Big Shot and in his most "this is so lame" voice high fived the hand and shouted "arm" and walked away.  I said, "UM, excuse me Mr. Big Shot, do you need to go back to Kindergarten??"  See the word--it's AM!  He was a little embarrassed, but we all had a good laugh!
4.  Ocean Breeze-Here I Come!
This will be our view for the next week.  Can't wait!
5.  100 Followers Giveaway
There is one more day left to enter my giveaway.  I'm overwhelmed by the response I've had!  Welcome to all my new followers out there.  I hope I don't disappoint you!  If you haven't entered yet, you can find the original post HERE at last week's Five for Friday post!  You won't be sorry that you did--there are a few names I think you might recognize!
Now head on over to Doodle Bugs and link up so I can see what you've all be up to this week!  I'll be reading over them leisurely with my toes in the sand!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Just a few housekeeping things!

I'm linking up today with Tori's Teacher Tips.  With the inevitable demise of Google Reader looming in a few days, she's created a linky for all bloggers to list their bloglovin' account.  Hop on over and you may find some new blogs!  She also has a great tutorial on how to get the blogs you follow transferred to bloglovin'.  It's super easy! If you don't do it before July 1st, all the blogs you follow will be lost. Poof!  GONE!  Run now and do it!
Today is also my day to post over at Teaching Blog Roundup.  I kinda cheated and used a previous post (this girl is packing for vacation, remember?!), but I did add a new product to it! 
Teaching Blog Roundup
Click HERE to head over to TBR to check it out!
And just another reminder to check out my 100 follower giveaway if you haven't already!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Double Linky! Planning and Workin' It!

I'm linking this post to two linkies linkys linky's  what is the plural of linky anyway??!!  I'll let you decide!  None of them look right!

First, I'm linking with Primary Possibilities to share a little bit about how I plan.

Last year, I created a template on line for each day, then printed them out each week and filled them in.  It was my first year in Kindergarten and at the beginning of the year, I was really overwhelmed with it all.  This allowed me to actually carry my plans with me everywhere I went because they weren't in a binder or plan book.  At the end of each day, I three-hole punched them and stuck them in a binder.  That system seemed to work pretty well for me.
Then I discovered this.
Sorry I can't get the picture to rotate!
My Erin Condren planner.  I plan to use this for this coming year and I'm super excited about it.  I love how everything will be all in one place.  I'm still not sure whether I'll use the lesson plan pages for my actual lesson plans.  I'm thinking I may use them to plan my small groups and still keep my digital template format from last year.  I've been trying to come up with a form for my small groups, but haven't been able to create exactly what I want.  Maybe this plan book will work!
I also am going to use these.
They are ERASABLE!  I'm planning to use a different color pen for different things so my plans and calendar will be color coded. 
Here's how I lay out my "stuff" for each week.  I have one of these.
Staples® Black Wire Mesh Super Sorter
The one I have has 5 slots so I have a file folder for each day of the week.  At the beginning of the week, I just file everything I'm going to need for each day.
Nothing too exciting there, but that's how I do it.  So far, it's been a work in progress to find what works best for me. 
And now onto Workin' It Wednesday with Surfin' Through Second
A few weeks ago, I linked with Corinna and talked about the DVD workouts my husband and I were starting.  I wanted to update.  We've been very faithful and only missed a few days over the last three weeks.  And IT'S WORKING!!  One thing I've always been frustrated with is those dreaded "butt dimples."   No matter what workout I did, nothing seemed to get rid of those dimples on my thighs.  Is this TMI??  I know you all get me on this one.  Well, I have discovered that they are disappearing!  I'm finally getting the legs that I had in high school back! 
Here's that workouts that we are doing . . . 30 minutes a day.  That's very do-able for us!
Now we are headed to the beach in a few days and when we get back, I'm thinking I'm going to start one of those squat challenges or "sexy leg" challenges I've seen floating around out there. If you've done one of those do you have any suggestions??
Now I've got to go finish packing for the beach!  Yay! 
Oh, and don't forget to go check out my amazing 100 followers giveaway.  Items up for grabs from many fabulous bloggers!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guided Reading Book Study-Chapter 1

OK, so I know I'm a little late to this party and most of you are already working on chapter 2, but I'm trying to catch up!  Better late than never, right?

I was very excited when I saw that the Freebielicious Gals had decided to do this book study this summer.  I've heard great things about this book so I ordered mine right away. 
I am a Daily 5 girl through and through and I wouldn't teach any other way.  That's why I was so encouraged when so much of Chapter 1 really sounded like Daily 5 and fit so nicely into that structure.
It is SO important to build a structured routine and build stamina in you kiddos. I pretty much follow the Daily 5 book to the letter as far as establishing routines and teaching the stations.  The minute one student is off task, we come back to the carpet and discuss what happened and go back and try again.  It can be so time consuming sometimes, but it is SO worth it when you have the class humming like a well oiled machine in a few weeks!
How do you get everything in?
I have a picture schedule posted in my classroom.  I'm so sorry that I don't have a picture of it.  Basically I just took a section of bulletin board border and put Velcro dots on it.  I can hang pictures that show our schedule for the day and they can easily be switched from day to day.  Then I just take a clothespin and move it from picture to picture as we move through our day.  It shows the kids when we are doing mini-lessons, when we are doing Daily's, when restroom breaks are, when lunch is, etc.  Once it's on that schedule for the day it is written in stone according to my kids so it forces me to stick to it!  And I never ever here "Is it almost time for lunch??" because they can see exactly how many things we have to do before it's lunch time!
I also have a visual timer.  It's really supposed to be for the kids, but it keeps me on track, too! 
Time Timer® 12
The kids can easily see how much time is left in their Daily activity and I can easily see how much time is left with my reading group.  The only hard part is remembering to set it before we get started!
How do you keep the children from interrupting?
OK, I must say I was SO glad to read that she actually tells us to ignore students who are trying to talk to us when we are with a group.  It feels like such a horrible thing to do! It does work though.  They will eventually quit trying to engage you.  I had one child last year, thought that took forever to figure it out.  When I'd ignore him, he'd actually get a little closer and say, "Hello?? Mrs. Feikert?? Can you hear me?!"  It was so hard not to laugh!
 I have taught my kids a hand signal for when they need to go to the restroom and that made SUCH a difference.  They just come up and show me crossed fingers and I can nod my head and never miss a beat with my reading group. 
I had seen an idea on Pinterest that I think I'm going to try this year.  I'm going to get a touch light and keep it at my reading table.  When the light is on, I'm busy and can't be interrupted.  Hey--I think I need one of those lights at home, too!
How do you know they are actually reading their self-selected reading?
Well, in Kindergarten they aren't always "reading."  But they should be engaged in their books.  I can tell that by a quick sweep of the room while they are reading.  When they are reading and many of them are when they first come to kindergarten, I conference with them once a week and we read out of their book boxes.  I can usually get a pretty good idea from those conferences whether or not they are reading or page turning!  If I feel they aren't reading, I make a list of kids that I need to either  conference with more often or touch base with after their Read to Self time each day. 
And this is totally off topic, but I reached 100 followers and I'm hosting a fabulous giveaway.  Head over HERE to my Five for Friday post to enter and see what's been keeping me so busy that I'm just now linking up to the book study!
OK--I'm going to go link up at Kreative in Kinder and catch up on everyone's posts from Chapter 1.  Then I'm going to get busy reading Chapter 2! 
Kreative in Kinder

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Five for Friday 100 Follower Edition! Woot!

Yes, folks, I know I'm posting a belated Five for Friday, but I have good reasons and you'll see why! Basically each of my five things are also excuses for not blogging sooner! Be sure to stick with me until the end because I'm saving the best for last!


1.  I've been creating!  I got my first big TpT product of the summer up this week.  It's a clip chart with a Rock Start theme!  I'm really excited to use it with my kiddos.  You can find it in my TpT store  HERE.

2.  I've been shopping!  We are headed to the beach this Friday for our vacation and of course a girl needs a new suit.  Well, this girl found a deal at Old Navy and got more than one!  Besides shopping, I've just been trying to get things organized for our trip.  I hate packing at the last minute.

3.  More shopping!  I had to go on the hunt for the erasable pens everyone was talking about on instagram.  I found them at Staples, but they didn't have the pretty colors.  I got these to get me through and ordered the pretty ones from Amazon!  They even have highlighters and they do work!  Totally erasable without a mark left on the page.  They are going to be perfect for keeping my Erin Condren planner looking spiffy!

4.  It's hay season!  My husband's family owns and operates a farm.  My father-in-law and brother-in-law are the only full time employees so when it's time to get the hay in, we all pitch in.  This week there was lots of hay to do so that kept me away from my computer! During the week, we stacked square bales. On Saturday, we were in the field from about 10am until 8pm hauling round bales but we got it all in!
That's me and the hubby waiting on another load to come in.  Sorry for the poor picture, but it gets pretty dusty up there in that loft!
Yep!  That's me pulling that wagon!
5.  I told you I saved the best for last! I've been putting together a spectacular giveaway to celebrate 100 followers!
OK, the other day, I realized I was getting close to 100 followers so I started thinking about a giveaway because that's what we bloggers do, right?  My idea was to put together a giveaway pack that contained items from the bloggers that have inspired me and helped me get to 100 followers.  I thought I'd send out some "fan" emails to some of the superstar bloggers out there thinking that they might not respond to little old me.  Well, what do you know?!  I had a tremendous response and I'm BEYOND excited about the giveaway I was able to put together.  I mean, really.  You see an email from Deanna Jump in your inbox and you don't squeal a little bit??  She's been on CNN people!? And she e-mailed ME!  And so did all these other fabulously awesome bloggers! I was overwhelmed!  I kept telling my husband and kids, "I just got an email from (fill in the blank)!!!!" And they were all like "That's great!  Who's (fill in the blank)??"  They just don't get it . . .
 But I know you all will!
If I may get "mushy" for a minute, every one of these bloggers has inspired me.  Some of them are what I call my "go-to" bloggers.  They are the ones that I first started following last summer when I first got hooked on teacher blogs.  Among them are bloggers who included me in their giveaways, gave me my first opportunity to guest blog, inspired me to even start a blog and even puts up with constant texts from me and is one of my BFFs both in and out of the bloggy world (The Phonics Phenomenon).
OK.  Enough of the sap.  Onto the giveaway!  Here's what you can win, people!

Your choice of two items from my TpT Store.
Play Dough Learning Mats from Kindergarten Lifestyle
Mini Alphabet Set from The School Supply Addict
Sum Fall Fun from Queen of the First Grade Jungle
Whimsy Doodle Frames from Surfin' Through Second
Hands On Common Core Math Centers from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits
Blends and Digraphs Phonics Mania from The Phonics Phenomenon
Your choice of one item from Elizabeth's Store
Your choice of one item from Sara's Store
Alphabet-Tastic Learning from Kreative in Kinder
Citing Evidence Posters from Head Over Heels For Teaching

Hand Signals and Voice Levels Pack from A Cupcake for the Teacher
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Isn't that quite a list?!  I'm very excited and I hope you will be, too.  Thank you all so much for following my blog and helping me get to 100!  Sorry for the long post--I hope you thought it was worth the read!
Now I'm off to Doodle Bugs to catch up on everyone else's Five for Friday that I missed while I was MIA!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rockin' Behavior and an Organization Tip

I feel like this should be a grand unveiling!  I have been working really hard on my Rock Star behavior clip chart and I'm finally ready to blog about it and post it!  This is really my first "big" item that I've made myself for my classroom and I'm excited to share it with you!

If you haven't considered using a clip chart for behavior in your classroom, you really should think about it this summer!  They are fabulous!  I love that I can not only stop inappropriate behavior, but that I can also reward those that are doing the right thing.  Most times, rewarding the ones making the right choices is much more effective at stopping the wrong behavior!  True?! 
I've included charts to track students' behavior for each month, notes for home when someone moves to the bottom of the chart and mini charts that can be laminated and sent home.  I'm thinking about putting magnets on the back of them so that parents can stick them on the fridge and always have a reference when their child talks about the behavior chart.   I know from this past school year, that my students talk about the clip chart at home ALL. THE. TIME.  I even had one parent tell me that her child thought the clip chart was THE LAW!  Ha!  I love it! One of my favorite parts of this system is the "Rock Star Hall of Fame!" I've included a poster to hang in the room so you can display clips that have been moved to the top of the chart.  In my classroom, you get a sticky gem each time you get to the top.  Earn 5 gems and that clip gets moved to the Hall of Fame!  They loved this! I must say that I had very few major behavior problems last year and I attribute much of that to using this system for behavior!
I've seen many posts about teachers incorporating tickets into this system that can be traded for prizes.  I'm really thinking about that!  I love the idea, but not sure I'm ready to manage it! (Or spend all the moo-lah on the prizes!)
You can head over HERE to get this ROCK STAR BEHAVIOR CLIP CHART!  And if you're interested, I'll email it to the first two people to leave a comment and tell me you'd like to use it next year!
I'm also linking up with Primary Possibilities today for Wisdom Wednesdays.  I love this idea because, let's face it--it's hard to come up with something educational to blog about in the summer sometimes.  It's much for fun to talk about swimming and vacations and what we are reading and what we are eating and how late we are sleeping . . .
Now, we have a specific topic to blog about every Wednesday.  First up--ORGANIZATION!
Now I don't really have anything earth shattering to post about.  I'm not the best at organization.  Here's my tip.  My tables happen to be primary colors.  I have a red, blue, green, and yellow table.  Now I don't totally LOVE the primary colors with my rock star neons that I like to use, but it works.  I also have one of these from Really Good Stuff.
 Durable Book &...
Each student has a folder that goes back and forth every day.  Each morning, they put their folder in the bin that is the same color as the table they sit at.  It just makes it easy for me to quickly see how hasn't turned their folder in and they don't have to dig through everyone's folders to find theirs at the end of the day.
I also color code my math centers according to the table colors.  Everything for each center goes in a colored tub that matches the table.  Most of them look like this. Well, not exactly this, but you get the idea.
Classroom Stacking...
Some of my math games are stored in something like this.
Snap-Tight Clear Activity Storage Boxes - Small
If they are already in tubs like this, I don't switch them into the colored tubs.  I just put a colored piece of paper inside the tub so the kids know which table to put the activity.  I use my SMARTboard to rotate kids through math centers each week.  Each activity goes in a colored rectangle.  That way, the kids just look at the SMARTboard and know which table to go to.  They can also very easily get the activities set up themselves since they are color coded. 
In this example, the Penny Nickel Exchange game was in a green tub and was at the green table.  Get it?!  Then each day, I just pulled this file up on the SMARTboard, switched the groups to the next center and we were ready to start math centers!
So I always toy with covering my tables with contact paper to make them "cuter," but in the end the ease of being able to organize by color always wins out!  I hope this maybe gives you some ideas!
Oh, and one more thing--I hope you stuck it out this long!  Today I reached 100 FOLLOWERS!!  I have a fabulous giveaway in the works and you're not going to want to miss it!  I'm hoping to have it ready to go tomorrow so stay tuned!  Now I'm off to sit poolside with my laptop and get the giveaway together while my kiddos swim!