Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard First Day Hat!

It's here.  The day has arrived.  Tomorrow.  Just over 12 hours from NOW.  I meet my 11 (so far!) little 'staches for the first time.  Tomorrow is the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

I decided that we must kick off the year with a silly hat.  DUH!  So here it is.  There are 3 versions!  Mustaches (DUH!), bears (our school mascot) and pencils for school.  I hope to see some of your kiddos sporting silly hats for the first day of Kindergarten!

I also whipped up some calendar numbers for us to use on our calendar.  Pencils for back to school!  They can be used for lots of fun Common Core math learning too!  I hope you can use them!

OK, now Mr. Greg is going to curl up and have his annual back to school melt down.  True story.  It's coming in 3.....2.....1.....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard of Blogger Meet Ups!

Day 2 of in-service is complete!  One more day of in-service.  Then it's the first day of school!  YIKES!

I love blogging.  I love getting to connect with people who become my friends.  I love getting to share ideas and experiences and my teaching journey with others.  I love hearing your thoughts and ideas.  I can honestly say you have all made me a better teacher!  I seriously love all of the friends I've made through this little manly blog!

I get really excited when I get to meet my blog friends in person!  This summer I've had the chance to meet lots of my blog friends!  And that makes me very happy!!!  But it makes my sister a nervous wreck.  She is convinced I'm going to get cut up into little pieces by a serial killer!  I assure her it's OK because we're all teachers!  She ain't buying it!

First, I hit the road to the ATL to meet up with a bunch of my Georgia blog friends!  Can I just tell you how excited I was to meet these ladies?!  We had a great lunch (with questionable service...I mean who spills dressing on a customer?!?!)  with lots of laughs and fun!  After lunch, we headed to Ikea.  Yes.  IKEA!  I'm not sure they knew what hit them when a group of 10 teachers stormed in!  We had a blast at Ikea and we all got some good deals.  Head over to Teaching With Grace and ask Jennifer about her timer disaster!

Of course, if Mr. Greg is involved, there must be a silly hat.  Or two.  And yes, I'm riding a stick horse!!

Can I just say how excited I was to meet Nicole from Lanier's Lions?!  She was one of my first blog friends!!!!  

IKEA purchases!  I lugged that desk home and the mister and I assembled that thing.  And we only had to take it apart once and fix it!  

Question:  how many teachers fit inside the kids circus tent?!  We got 3 in before it get really hot in there!

What a day it was!  3.5 hour drive to ATL.  Spending the day with my teacher pals.  3.5 hour drive home.  And worth every minute of it!

And then I got to meet some more blog friends when I was home visiting my family!  The Kentucky Girls were so kind to let me crash their meet up last week!  

How cute are these?!  Crystal Fox made these custom graphics for each person at the Kentucky meet up!   

People, I got to meet one of my FAVORITES!  Seriously, I have stalked this talented clip artist for a year.  She is super talented and I just love her work!  I am also excited that she's going to be teaching Kindergarten this year!  And seriously, she's even more beautiful in person!  Yes, I met Ashley Hughes.  And yes it was amazing.  Seriously.  It was like a celebrity moment for me.  Almost an Oprah moment.  

And I have one more meet up to share.  This one was totally cool and unexpected!  I got an email from a follower of this little blog and she said she was going to be in Nashville to spend some time with her son before he deployed to Afghanistan. She was looking for some ideas for things to do.  I shared some of my favorite touristy things to do.  I then mentioned we should meet for lunch or dinner!  So I met Robin and Kevin and they treated to be a fantastic lunch!  It was so much fun being able to put a face with the person leaving all the sweet comments and make a face to face connection with someone who reads my blog.  Her son was also a lot of fun and a total good sport for sharing his mom with me and listening to all of our crazy teacher stories!  Kevin is now in Afghanistan so keep him and his family in your thoughts!  Thank you for your service, Kevin!  Stay safe!

Again, a huge thank you to everyone who reads my insanity and ramblings and leaves great comments and feedback!  Ya'll are the best.  And I truly consider you each a friend.  Ya'll inspire me to be better everyday!  Now, come to Nashville and let's party Kindergarten Smorgasboard style!

AND check out my newest feature... over there -------------> I'm flashing you!  True story.  I'm flashing you my Instagram photos on the right side of the page!  You should check me out on Instagram and join yourself!  It's so fun!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Monday Made It: TOILET TIME!

No I did not make a toilet...but my Monday Made It has to do with the toilet!   More on that in a minute...

So today was my first teacher in-service at my new school.  Lemme just say, Mr. Greg always gets nervous for back to school.  The first day of school when those little ones come down hallway for the first time totally terrifies me.  Like hyperventilating type fear.  I mean, all that pressure.  What if I mess up and screw them up for life?  Have you met me?!  It could happen...

But now I have the added fear of a whole new school and all new teachers.  Today I met all of the new teachers at my fabulous new school...holy cow was I scared.  Terrified.  I mean what if they don't like me?  What if they don't like mustaches?!  What if they don't like glitter?!  But what if they don't like ME?!?!    Well, I survived day one.  After meeting the faculty I am even more excited about my new school!  Everyone was so friendly and excited and ready to start a new year!  Day one sure did make me feel great!  T-minus 2 days until the 'staches arrive!

So, about that MMI you've probably heard me talk about the spider in toilet trick to get the little boys for the toilet.  True story.  Draw a little spider or happy face or mustache or something on the toilet just above the water line (TIPS:  Wear gloves.  Use a Sharpie.  Do it before the kids come to school!!!!!! And to make it even more accurate, get on your knees to get the perspective of a 5 year old boy...again BEFORE the kids come...) and BAM you'll cut down on a lot of the toilet issues our little boys have.  Seriously, peeing on that spider is magic.

Well, I wanted to add a little to our bathroom procedures so I asked my friend Crystal at The Library Fox if she could whip me up some clean up clip art.  Well, of course she did an amazing job so I was able to create a set of task cards for the potty.  Yep.  Toilet Task Cards!  True story!  Get em' while they're hot folks!

Tomorrow I will post these in the bathroom IN ORDER so the 'staches will have a visual reminder of what to do!  The hanitizer card will be placed beside the hanitizer bottle which is located near our cubbies in our classroom!   My thinking (wish/hope/prayer) is that these little pictures will spur the little minds to remember to do the right thing so we can keep our bathroom clean.  

Click on the picture to get your free set of toilet time task cards!

And yes, I named them Toilet Time Task Cards!  Would you expect anything less from the kindergarten smorgasboard?!  

Be sure to visit my friend Tara and check out all of the other great Monday Made It projects!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Schedulin' Sunday!

It's BAAAACK!  That's right!  It's that time of year again!  Schedulin' Sunday is back because we start back to school this week!    August 1st is the first day for our students but teachers report back tomorrow!  So I'm kicking off the year with my 1st day plans and some great freebies!  And then I'm going to curl up in the corner and have a meltdown.  Back to school always makes me a hot mess...add on the pressure of a new school and I'm gonna lose it big time!

Our first day is always a half day so our day is from 7:45-11:30!  So here is what I have planned for the first day!

7:45-8:15-Arrival, greet students, assist them in finding their seats.  Speak to parents (comfort parents and children, clean up vomit from distraught happens...3 times last year on the first day!) I also get parents to fill out a form for how their child gets home so I the information handy for our first dismissal!

As they arrive, they put away their backpack.  At their seat they have 2 coloring sheets and a box of crayons.

8:15-8:30 Morning Meeting 
This is when I introduce and model how to push in our chair and walk to the carpet.  This is also when I introduce our clean up song.  This year I am using the song "Mustache" from the Funky Monkeys!  It's HILARIOUS!  I also model how to sit on the carpet.

(Our carpet procedures are criss-cross applesauce, hands in your lap and bubble in your mouth looking at Mr. Greg!)

After modeling, the 'staches practice walking to the carpet and sitting down for Morning Meeting.  If we need to, we practice it again but usually the first day we just do it once.

I introduce myself to the class.  I tell them a little about what we do in Kindergarten.  Then we go around the circle and everyone introduces themselves with a simple sentence:  "My name is..."

After our greeting I talk about how we sing a lot in our class!  Then we learn our first two songs:

Little Hands (Jack Hartmann)
Alien Alphabet (Intellitunes)

We will practice these 2 or 3 times depending on our attention span!

Now is when I read "Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come" and we talk about kindergarten.  I ask them how they feel and what they want to do in kindergarten!  It's always so funny to hear them talk about what they think we'll be doing!

After we sing we visit the class restroom and discuss the restroom rules.

I talk to the boys about peeing on the mustache.  (Yes, I use a Sharpie and draw a mustache on the toilet for the boys to aim at!  Trust me, it works!)  We will talk about hand sanitizer or hanitizer and making sure we flush after we're finished.

This year our bathroom is used for storage so we will have to discuss not touching anything in the restroom!

We then return to our seats and each child gets a pencil and 1 piece of blank paper.  I ask them to practice writing their names.  I do this so I have a benchmark to use to track their progress.  After we practice our names, we get to trace our names.

BRUNCH!  This means we get to practice lining up and facing forward with duck tails and bubbles!  We get to practice walking in a straight line in the hallway.  We also get to practice going through the cafeteria line!  

After our brunch, we practice more line and hallway procedures as we journey back to our classroom!

Once we get back to our room we are introduced to our document camera!  I always play with the camera so they get used to seeing my hands on the screen and I even aim the camera at the class so they can see themselves!  

I then introduce our first school supply:  CRAYONS!  I ask the 'staches what they crayons are for and how we use them.  We discuss that they are only for our paper and not our table or other furniture.  We also discuss that we don't eat crayons or break them.  Mr. Greg even breaks a crayon to show them that it's bad.  We will introduce our crayon boxes and discuss sharing.  

After we've had our crayon discussion, Mr. Greg shows a picture of a soccer ball.  Why a soccer ball?  It has several sections so it's great for practicing coloring!  Mr. Greg starts to scribble all over the paper.  Of course, the 'staches make sure I know that I can do better!  I then model how to color each section with different colors.    After I have modeled coloring, the students get their own soccer ball paper to color.  

Click the picture to download your free soccer ball coloring page!

And somewhere in all of this madness, we take pictures to use for our clip chart and class name chart!  And this we're all going to sport mustaches for our pictures!

11:15-clean up, pack up and head outside for dismissal!

And that's our first half day of kindergarten in Mustache Land!

And now a couple of freebies!

This fun mustache shape set is FREE in my TPT shop until I go to bed tonight!  Check it out!  (If you download, leave me some love!)

These fun rock and roll days and months cards were created for a friend!  Click the picture to download your free set!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Mustache Birthday Fun!

Happy Thursday!  I am at the t-minus ONE WEEK from the first day of school.  That's right people. One week.  I am now officially in the one week to school panic mode.  There's glitter flying everywhere.  Mustaches are scattered about.  Mr. Greg is starting to look frazzled.  One week.  One week.

Today I mustache to have a happy birthday!  When we celebrate birthdays in my class I give each child a pencil and a book.  Sometimes parents bring cupcakes or cookies or cake.  We sing Happy Birthday to the birthday 'stache during morning meeting and that person is our line leader for the day.  Nothing grand and elaborate but enough to make my little 'stache feel special!

Now, I don't give just any pencil.  This year the pencils are the best yet.    They're glitter pencils!  I made these cute little mustache birthday signs and taped them to the pencils!  It's a glittery mustache-y birthday gift!

If you would like the mustache birthday tags, click the picture for your free download!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Monday Made It: The Classroom Reveal!

It's Monday so it's time for Monday Made It with my friend Tara at 4th Grade Frolics!

I decided to do this Monday Made It up big!  What can I say?  I like making a splash!

There have been lots of teasers pictures on Instagram but now it's time for the big reveal!  Are ya ready?  Here is Mustache Land!  Our new (tiny) kindergarten classroom!

Here are the before and after pictures!  The room feels so much bigger with some of that big furniture removed!

Of course, there are mustaches everywhere!

Classroom library!  The chandelier, chairs and green rugs all came from IKEA!  The white book bins are ice bins from Wal-Mart!  The library labels are a freebie on the freebie page!

I am sad that I don't have a SmartBoard to use for our calendar time but I love that we have a mustache calendar!  This will be an interactive calendar where the 'staches will be writing and filling in the calendar as the year goes on!

Here is our word wall, alphabet and number line!  Green, blue and lots of mustaches!

The top picture is taken from one of the students chairs so you can see that they have a good view of the word wall from their seats!

We use community supplies in Mustache Land!  Here is our supply area!  Including our famous glue sponges!  (See the video here!)

Here is our daily schedule.  The missing pieces are for morning meeting and RTI but I forgot to print those off.  OOPS!

Our dismissal board!

Math manipualtives!  I created this teacher toolbox for our math manipulatives so the students can grab a drawer of manipulatives and go work on math centers!  

Mustache behavior clip chart!  I Mustache You About Your Behavior!

These are the storage cabinets in the back of the room.  I put dry erase paper on the cabinets to make a work work area!  I also put our color words on the cabinets!  The cabinets are full of....wait for it....GLITTER!  And other art supplies!

This is the large AC unit in the room.  It just screamed mustache!  So I made it a large glittery mustache to adorn the AC unit!  Do your recognize the sillouhette at the bottom?

(It's me when I was in Kindergarten!)

And of course, there's a video!  Here is the video tour of the room!

Click here to visit my YouTube page!

My classroom was decorated with these fun mustache themed class decor packs!

And now a huge freebie!  

One of my teammates asked me to make her an alphabet set with rainbows and stars!  So here it is!  

AND IT'S free for now!  Head over to my TPT store to get your freebie!  It will be free through tonight...sometime!

Click the picture to check it out!  If you missed the freebie, I hear that there might be another rocking freebie in the next day or two...stay tuned!

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