Friday, October 11, 2013

My First Five for Friday Linky!

I love reading other people's Five For Friday posts. A lot of times they involved something funny happening and I love funny classroom stories! So today, I am finally linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five For Friday Linky Party!
We have been learning about apples all week. We made torn paper apples and I am in love with them! I love how different they all look. They also had to cut the sentence apart, put it back together and read it to me while pointing to each word. Great concept of word activity!

We also talked a lot about Johnny Appleseed this week. During inside recess (because it has been raining here 2 days straight!) one of my students decided to draw a picture of Johhny Appleseed on the chalkboard! Don't you just love when students really get into what you are teaching??? I love that feeling!
Another thing about that rain...I think it's messing with my kids'ears! They stopped working completely today! Don't ya just love saying the same thing 2, 3, 4, 5 times?! too...
I found this poem and thought it was hilarous! Pretty much describes how I felt today...
 But it's at that exact moment when I think I'm going crazy when one of my students comes up to me and gives me a big hug and says "I love you Mrs. Cogdell!" And then they all start giving me hugs and telling me they love me and even though they are still not really doing what they are supposed to do, it's so darn sweet I can't help but hug them all back. It doesn't get better than that :)
My last thing doesn't have anything to do with teaching...My mom came in town to visit me from Tennessee! I am so excited to spend the weekend with my family!

Monday, October 7, 2013

What a "Shapely" Start to the Year!

One of the first units I teach every year is a shapes unit and my kids always love it. Something about how shapes are so simple and yet they can be put together to make so many things is such an intriguing idea.

I always read Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh as an introduction to this lesson. If you haven't ever read it, you should! It is an adorable and funny story about how these little mice used lots of different shapes to create pictures to scare away the big cat! Then I give my students black paper and lots of different shapes and encourage them to use the shapes to create a picture of their own, just like the mice did! This is one of my favorite things that we do all year. I love how creative little Kindergarteners can be.


I also teach Bus Safety at the same time which is perfect because we get to make these super cute shape buses!

Another shape activity I did was have my students trace different shapes on a piece of paper and then they have to count and write how many of each shape. This was difficult for them but such a great fine motor activity and also a great assessment to see who really knows their shapes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Classroom Tour

I finally took pictures of my classroom this year. I made a lot of changes from last year and I wanted to wait until I had everything the way I wanted it before posting pictures. I absolutely love my classroom this year. It is so important to make your classroom a place you love to be...especially since we spend SO much of our time there! I have a frog themed classroom, but I also incorporated a color scheme. Green of course, as well as yellow, pink, purple, and turquoise.

Here we go! The first few pictures are whole classroom views from different angles.

This is the view from the door into my classroom. I love how my fabulous pink and green curtains paired with my word wall and Dr. Seuss quote are the first things you see when you walk into my room.

This is the same side of the room, it just wouldn't all fit in the first picture.

This is the view of the other side of my classroom.

Again, same side, just wouldn't all fit in the picture.

Now for some close ups!

I did all of my bulletin boards with the same color paper and same border to be consistent and create unity. I love the way they turned out!

I also used the same border on this wall to create a place to hang our "TOAD-ally Terrific Work"! I simply hot glued the border to the wall and then hot glued frogs with each student's name on it to the clothespins and then hot glued those to the border! A lot of hot glue but it is holding up so far!

Next, I love to decorate some of the empty space on my walls with quotes from my favorite children's books. This quote is right next to my classroom library which is perfect!

And this is my all-time favorite quote from my all-time favorite children's book, "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon". I drew that Molly Lou Melon myself :)

This is my classroom library which I spent a lot of time re-organizing this year. I do not put all of my books out at once because I just don't have room so I switch them out depending on season/theme. 

This is my desk which I love and I actually do spend a lot of time working here so I have to keep it clutter free!

Next are a few random photos from around the room of some little details in my room that I love and that help make it what it is :)

My teacher toolbox which I posted about earlier this summer and I LOVE it! I don't know how I lived without it.

One of my many little frog friends I have sitting around the room and my craft book on display! 
My "No Name" clips which I must say have papers hanging from it way too often!

That is the end of my classroom tour! I hope you enjoyed looking at it and maybe even got some ideas you can use in your classroom!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beginning of the Year Activities

We have been back in school for a month now and I have been so busy getting back into the swing of things. Between getting my classroom ready, completing beginning of the year paperwork, working on lesson plans, preparing materials, TEACHING, and trying to have some kind of life outside of school, I have completely neglected my blog...But it's okay! I am back into a routine and I have things under control again. I am so happy to be back!

I am very excited to share what we have been so busy working on in my Kindergarten classroom! I have chosen a few of my favorite beginning of the year activities to share. The first one is an activity we completed after reading "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". They had to write their name then color and decorate the first letter of their name. It made such a cute display!

We also made Chicka Chicka Boom Boom trees! They had to cut and glue the tree together. Then I had their names written on sentence strips and they had to cut the letters apart and glue their name back together correctly on the tree. I love this for the beginning of the year...what a great way to teach that you put letters together to make a word!

During the 2nd and 3rd weeks of school our theme is All About Me and Family. Each student made a family tree, drew a picture of their family, and wrote how many people are in their family.
We have also been making a lot of graphs in our class. We made graphs for the letters in our name, the month our birthday is in, and how many people are in our family! My kiddos are getting good at reading graphs!
As much as I love the beginning of the year and all the fun activities, I am glad that the first month is over. It's so exciting to see how much progress they have already made in such a short time! They already know the procedures and routines, they are all friends with each other, I have formed a connection with each child, and most importantly they are learning! I feel so blessed to be their teacher and to be able to learn with them and love them all year!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Monday Made It- Classroom Name Display and Color Words!

Here I go again posting my "Monday" Made it on Tuesday!!! Oh well, at least I'm making things! Better late than never right? I am linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics to share what I've made this week!

Okay so the first thing I made this week was a display to put on the wall outside my classroom door. I think it turned out super cute and it was oh so easy! I just made the lily pad on PowerPoint, printed it out using a poster maker and die cute these super cute frogs! They don't have names on them yet because I don't know my kiddos names yet! I'm one of the few I feel like who don't start school until September...
The next thing I made were these super cute color word crayons! I got them from Miss Kindergarten and I can't wait to hang them in my classroom!
 Okay and clearly I didn't make these...but I couldn't resist sharing my newest Target finds! I couldn't love them more! I am a HUGE list maker...I make lists for absolutely everything so the polka dotted book is my list book. The chevron one is an adorable planner that is just the right size to carry in my purse so I have it at all times!
I can't wait to see what everyone else has made! I am loving seeing the pictures of everyone's classrooms. I can't wait to start putting mine together!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It Linky- Teacher Planner and Sticker Organizer

I have been so busy these last few weeks! I went to Memphis to visit my family and then since I have been home I have been hard at work getting things ready for school...okay and going to the pool! I am super excited to share two things I have been hard at work on. The first is my teacher planner. I really wanted to use one of the super cute ones I had found on TPT but none of them fit my needs exactly so of course I had to do it the hard way and make my own. I'm very happy with it though because it is perfect for me and it is still pretty cute if I do say so myself!

I found these super cute chevron binder covers on Pinterest and they are free on TPT from A Year of Many Firsts ! They are editable and they are my favorite thing I've pinned this summer! So cute!
Here is a close-up of my teacher binder this year:
I bought these fabulous dividers at Target that match perfectly!
Okay so inside the planner we go! My first tab is "Class Info". This is where I keep my class lists, birthdays, parent communication log, and username and password list ( I can't keep track of all that!) I made the parent communication and passwords forms but I got the cute birthday paper from the Teaching Fashionista.

My next tab is my calendar. I also downloaded this for free on TPT from Teaching in a Small Town.
My next tab is for my To Do lists. I LOVE lists. They keep my brain organized and there is nothing I love more than checking off something on my to do list!! Along with my daily/weekly to do list, I have also made a monthly refection sheet where I look back on who needs to be retaught, if the whole class needs to be retaught something, if a conference needs to be scheduled, and if there are any supplies I ran out of or need. I did not have this last year and I SO needed it!
Next are my Staff Meeting and Team Meeting notes. I used regular notebook paper last year but this year I made note pages that match the rest of the sheets in my binder :)

Finally I have tabs for my SOL's and report card information. At the very back I put a folder that happens to match my dividers and it opens so there are 3 places to put papers in! I was so excited when I found this at Target as well!
Okay the next thing I made this week is a sticker organizer! I SO wish I could take credit for this amazing idea but I can't. I got the idea from Miss Kindergarten a looooong time ago and it seemed like such a daunting task so I kept putting it off. Well that was silly because it was really easy! The teacher before me left MANY stickers...all jammed into this one bag! Eeek!
So I went through every single sheet of stickers, decided if I wanted to keep it or throw it out. I put them in piles and labeled them with post-its.
Then I put each stack into a sleeve in this over-the-door shoe organizer (now sticker organizer)!
Next I made, printed, and laminated labels. Then I punched a hole in the label as well as at the top of each sleeve and tied the labels on with ribbon! Done!
The first two rows are all organized by month/theme.
 The next two rows are just any categories that didn't really fit into the themes like smiley faces, cartoons, etc...
So there you have my Monday Made Its! I can't wait to see what everyone else made!