KookyKinders is Thankful for...


There are so many things that I am thankful for in my classroom. I teach with five amazing teachers (yes 5) we have about 132 kindergarteners. I love that we are able to collaborate and work together.

I am very thankful for DonorsChoose, without their help my classroom would not have some of the awesome things we have.
Through DC my classroom has received tablets, sensory bins, books and various educational games.
I think that all teachers should check out DonorsChoose, you can even help another classroom in need.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Teaching Ideas We Are Thankful For {Mrs. Thompson's Treasures}

One teaching idea that I love is using individual student whiteboards. They can be used for a variety of subjects and skills, and it is a great way to mix things up so students stay more engaged.

Here are a few ways I like to use them:

1. Spelling Words - Call out a word and have students write it on their board, then hold it up for you to see. This is a great way to do a pre-test, or a mid-week review. For younger students (PreK-K), you can use the same concept, but just call out a letter and have them write it.

2. Math Facts - Whatever skill you are working on, you can call out a problem and have students write it down on the whiteboard, then solve the problem. For younger students, call out a number and have them draw that amount of a certain shape, or make tally marks.

3. Review/Check Comprehension - This can work with any subject! Just call out a question and have each student write the answer on their board, then hold it up for you to check. This is a great way to make sure each student is participating instead of just calling on one student to answer each question.

If a white board for each student isn't in your budget, there are some cheaper alternatives that still work great! You can put a piece of white paper in a plastic page protector for each student, or I've heard that plastic disposable plates work too, although I haven't tried that myself. Students can use tissues, or even a clean sock as their eraser.

There are so many more ways to use student white boards in your classroom - just be creative and give it a try!
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Enchanted Kinder Garden is THANKFUL for...

Happy THANKSGIVING and BLACK FRIDAY shopping! Did you find any good sales?

Well, I'm here with what I'm thankful for... I had a REALLY REALLY hard time with this.

However, I finally figured it out. I am extremely thankful for  two things. The first is my VERY awesome teaching partners. We were blessed this year with an extra teacher so there is four of us. WHOO-HOO. We have between 15-17 kiddos each. PTL!

The actual teaching idea that I am thankful for is the way that teaching is changing into being interactive. It doesn't HAVE to be a notebook. I love the way it makes students think. They manipulate the pieces and it help kinders with sorting, classifying, and categorizing. This is a really hard skill for some and the extra practice only strengthens all of these skills. LOVE. I love any kind.

I use Alphabet/Letter INBs.

I use Reading INBs.

I use Math INBs.

I use themed INBs. These are by far my absolute FAVORITE! Seriously. I use these to help me teach the current theme that we're covering. My team plans out our entire year at the end of the school year. I know ahead of time what theme we'll be teaching. I decided to make this year totally themed and tie everything into that current theme. My life is SO much easier this year.

Here's a few pictures of some interactive notebooks in action.

What are you thankful for this school year?

Teaching Ideas we are THANKFUL for!

Hello Friends~

Today you are getting 2 for 1! Amber from The Sunny Side of Second Grade and Dianna from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching are here today to share with you what we are thankful for!

[click on the buttons above for a direct link to our blogs] 

I guess some of our readers would like a little background on the two of us... Well as many of you know we are both USMC wives who moved to Jacksonville, NC in the summer of 2013. We didn't know each other then or that we would be working together until a week prior to our year-round school started. We met during a county new employee training. From there, we ended up sharing a few students. Amber is a second grade teacher & Dianna was a part time Title I second grade teacher. From there, a professional and personal relationship was established.
Well the rest is history you could say! So our first idea so to speak that we are thankful for is having the opportunity to move & teach in new places. This is when you get the opportunity to meet people you never knew you would. Here's a photo of us at work together:

Teaching Idea Amber is THANKFUL for:

When I first heard about this post I was so excited. I knew exactly what I was thankful for. The problem was that Dianna thought I shouldn't be thankful for her. :-) Love ya, D! In spite of what she says she is the most amazing person you could ask to work with and she is such a valuable friend. She is always there for you professionally and personally and will do anything for you. And resources?! Forget about it!!! She goes above and beyond to make sure her teacher friends are set up for success. I mean, she recently took time out of her own schedule to conduct a professional development class over several days surrounding a book study on close reading. I am sure you have read about it on her blog. Really cool stuff she did for our staff! So, D...I am thankful for you! Since I am sure Dianna will not be satisfied with that, I will tell you one more thing I am thankful for...

Ummmm, thank you Pinterest and, once again, Dianna! Last year Dianna told all of us about something she read on a blog where a teacher covered her reading table with the Go Write Dry Erase Adhesive Roll. This was genius!!! I decided it would work best for me if I cut individual squares for my table, so I found some decorative duct tape that went with my color scheme in my room, did some measuring, and hoped for the best. I'd say that it is working nicely! Working math problems is a breeze! When I call my reading groups over, I have their names written on their square so there is no room for arguing on who sits where. We all get started right away and my life is easier! If you haven't tried this, you definitely should. I have even considered covering my student desks or making individual squares on the desks. This would help with assessing on the fly while we are doing whole group activities. Right now, we just write on the desks! :-O
Teaching Idea Dianna is THANKFUL for:

The idea of products that make teacher's daily job easier is fantastic, but for me the idea of products that make my day to day job manageable and organized is what really matters. The smallest things matter the most. So as I was going through a regular day at work I made a conscious effort of the things I used most during the day, like one of these items is in my hand at every minute. They are the smallest things but I wouldn't get my job done without them. I have over 30 teachers in my building and I have to keep it together for them as best I can. I think everyone can relate to the feeling of a bad stapler, chart paper markers that are awful, generic sticky notes, or junky pens. They drive me CRAZY! I have to have my most valuable supplies daily, it's just the way I operate. Colored sticky notes are very important to me as I color code notes from each team that way. 

So I am thankful for the geniuses who made these simple products to keep me on top of my day to day jobs:


Mrs. Grooms' Room is very thankful for....DROPBOX!

Hey y'all!!  This is Shana from Mrs. Groom's Room!

I am so excited to be posting about things that I am thankful for this season in the classroom!   There are so many ideas that I am thankful for in the classroom but this year??????   The one thing that I am thankful for this season (in the classroom) is DROPBOX!!!    

Long story short...my external hard drive pooped out.  The one that made me believe that I would never need another one ever again?  The one with my lesson plans and activities?   The one I used to store EVERYTHING (wedding pictures included!) on it?  All lies!!!  All lies!!!  (Still feeling the sting...sniff.)
The culprit...arrrggghh!!  
What in the world is a teacher to do NOW??  
Shaking my head!
My solution? DROPBOX!!  BUT upgraded!!!  

Here is the plan I bought:

Here is my reasoning and what I told my hubby...   :)

My fancy external hard drive died in 6 months and it cost me $60.00!!!
Dropbox is ten dollars a month or $99.00 a year.  Definitely, more than my external hard drive but I lost my hard drive in less than a year and the money I invested in it.  I probably will not lose everything with Dropbox. 


So...here is what Dropbox looks like on the inside:

Not too scary...

And I can share things that I need to share with just a link to the actual file or the entire folder if I need to.  Instead of emailing the actual slideshow to my co-workers, I can just send-a-link.  Plus, emailing lesson plans, memos, and photos uses a lot of memory and causes stuffed email accounts!!  Big pet peeve!!  

 I love it when all of my technology devices hold hands!!!  So sweet!! 

I can also connect everything together!!  My iPad, my iPhone and my laptop are all in sync.  This makes me feel quite peaceful...ahhhh.  :)   Finally, we are all working together!   If I want to work on Dropbox, while on my computer and I don't have wireless around, there are no worries!! I can still work offline.  The whole syncing thing will happen later when I am in wifi land!  SO THANKFUL!!!   Cause no matter what...you have to have your stuff!  Even the kitchen sink!!  

And yes, believe it not...there is one more thing!!! I can un-sync certain files to save space on my iPhone, iPad, or laptop!!!   Not really using those photos from Christmas five years ago?  It's okay.  You can un-sync them.  They will still be there...uhhh hummm....unlike a certain other external hard drive!!  

Was it worth it?  Is it worth it?  Absolutely!   I LOVE DROPBOX!!  I use it everyday!!!
Want to try it?  You can always try it for free!  Nervous?  It's okay...I was too.  But now I am feeling a lot better and I am very THANKFUL to have a dependable very external hard drive/cloud for my classroom!!  


Interested?  Just go to dropbox.com!  That totally is not a plug. Ha!   

How do you keep your techy life peaceful and in order??  Do you use Dropbox?

The Primary Gal is Thankful for......My Daily Bins!

I'll warn you.....I am extremely organized and have a system for everything!  There should probably be a support group to help me relax once in a while and not be quite as meticulous as I am.  So when I learned that the theme for this post would be over Teaching Ideas that I'm Thankful for, I knew that my daily math bins would definitely be my "I-would-totally-lose-my-mind-if-I-didn't-have" topic to post about.

We all have our own style and system.  Don't ask me where or why I decided to make this mine....but it works!  I have a bin for each day of the week.  If these bins are ever empty or the rest of the week is not laid out....you better check to make sure that I haven't been abducted.  These are ALWAYS ready by Friday afternoon {or likely before} for the following week.

Each bin starts out empty and I go through and fill them with the math necessities of that particular day.  I always begin by placing the Exit Ticket that I will be using to kick off the instruction.  This is the most critical because it will be what determines the course of the instruction for the student.  These also are used to remind me what the daily skill will be for that day.  For example, in the image above, the students were working on measuring lines to the nearest centimeter or millimeter.

After I have the entire week's Exit Tickets in place, I add a Math Journal prompt that complements the skill.  I have a student who is assigned to be my Center Manager.  At the end of the day, while my students are completing classroom jobs, she goes to the bin for the following day and switches out my Math Journal prompt as well as several other things that I have already placed in the bin.

Next, comes our daily word problem.  I bought these from The Teacher Studio.  They are absolutely amazing and provide my students with rigorous practice with solving word problems.  This is also something that my Center Manager switches out.  As long as I have it in the basket, she puts it where it belongs for the following day.

I also add a computation activity to the bin.  Since this bin is my "Monday Bin", I have division practice.  My students practice this every Monday.  I have the same skills repeatedly practiced in my computation center, covering skills such as subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals.  I like this because it allows my students to continually use the skills that are often difficult.  Many times, my kids will do extremely well while working on a particular skill and then totally lose it when we come back to it at a later time.

Ahhh.  Finally.  A complete basket.  The world is at peace.  Well maybe not the whole world....my corner of the world is anyway.  I also add things such as task cards, homework, or other in class activities to the baskets as needed.  I know this is such a simple concept, however it keeps me incredibly sane.  What I enjoy about using these is the fact that if I prep them ahead of time, my Center Manager can do the majority of the work without my assistance.  It takes me less than five minutes after I have my Exit Tickets and Math Journals copied.

So, what organization quirks do you have to keep you sane {and thankful}?

Teaching Ideas We Are Thankful For {Amna from Teach Two Reach}

Finding time to run centers in my room with the amount of (really- lack of), time I have in my Language Arts block has been a yearly struggle for me. I have 80 minutes a day to teach everything related to Language Arts - reading, writing, spelling, grammar, centers..etc. Even having another 20 minutes would be so helpful! 

This year I am thankful for buying these 10 drawer rolling carts. One of them has helped me manage my center time for word work. 

I have two spelling lists a week- regular and challenge. I make copies of the lists and put them in the top drawer. Students know which list they are supposed to get. 

When they are at the word work station, they take out their spelling list from the drawer, and choose one of the centers I have in each drawer. I laminated the directions for each activity and put it on the top. Underneath I have a file folder for recording sheets. 

Next to the rolling cart is the shelf station where I have items that may be needed for some of the word work such as keyboards (Thank goodness for dads who keep the keyboards to all the computers they've ever owned), stamp pads, stamps, letter tiles, dry erase boards, etc. 

Everything has a place and when the rotation ends, students know how and where to put everything back. If they are working on a recording sheet, they keep that in their center folders. Students mark down the word work activity on a sheet in their folder so I can keep track and make sure they don't keep on doing the same ones every time. They have to do a variety of the activities whenever they go to the station. 

Having everything in one place, where students can just pull out what they need, has helped me tons this year with time management and trying to move through centers pretty quick so we can get in all the rotations. 

The other cart I have is for math centers. I'm thinking of getting another one for regular literacy centers too. 

Do you have an amazing organization strategy for word work centers? 

Thanks for stopping by and I would love for you to visit my on my personal blog as well!