Monday, August 22, 2011

What would your buddy do?

Well, the first full week of school is behind me. And let me tell you, I was EXHAUSTED!! I have a room full of 20, very energetic, very talkative kiddos. They are sweet and hilarious, but it is very hard trying to rangle them all together and get them to learn the school rules. Finally by Wednesday, I had to get creative. I went to one of the 5th grade teachers, and asked if her class would want to be "buddies" with mine. She agreed, so her kids came downstairs and walked my kids through the school.

I talked to the 5th graders before about how they are the leaders of the school, they set the example, etc. We also talked about how they could help their Kindergarten buddy. Here's what I got:

How sweet is that? They were so precious walking through the halls of the school. The big kids helped my littles tie their shoes, reminded them to be quiet, helped show them how to navigate the stairwell, etc. Eventually we plan on having them come read to my class and vice versa. But for now, I'll take walking in the hallway! And it helps to remind my kids when they are acting up in the hallway, "What would your buddy do? Would your buddy crawl on the floor and make cow noises? I don't think so!" (and yes, that actually happens)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School!

Hello everyone! Well, we are officially back to school and the year has already taken off. Today was a half day (just for Kindergarten, everyone else had a full day!) but tomorrow we'll be jumping into the deep end. My classroom is all set up, thanks in large part to some awesome friends. I love how it is set up this year and the kids seem to like it too. Here's what I have going on:

our "policeman" to control the noise level:

calendar/circle time area. The books in the basket will change with the season/unit. Right now it has all my back-t0-school favorites.

Here's bookshelf #1:

And bookshelf #2. The books are labeled and organized according to author/type. It was a TON of work, but totally worth it.

And because I haven't taught the kids how to "use" these bookshelves yet, here's what they look like right now:
.Once they learn the rules, how to put the books away, etc. they'll get to "unwrap" the bookshelves. Until then, they are "under construction."

Have you started back to school? How did it go?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another giveaway!

Teacher Tam over at is hosting a giveaway. Every person who enters automatically wins a product from her TpT store worth $5. AND you're entered for a chance to win her entire store! Head on over and check it out!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Twas the Night Before Kindergarten...

In honor of school starting tomorrow, I wanted to share this poem with you. Happy reading! And for those who are starting back to school, I wish you a happy and wonderful school year!

Twas the night before kindergarten and as they prepared,
kids were excited and a little bit scared.
They tossed and they turned about in their beds,
while visions of school supplies danced in their heads.
Erasers and crayons and pencils galore
were stuffed in their backpacks and set by the door.
Outfits were hung in closets with care,
knowing that kindergarten soon would be there.
In the morning it came, school starts today!
Would the teacher be nice? Would they still get to play?
Faces were washed, and teeth were brushed white;
Kids posed for pictures with eyes sparkling bright.

Parents packed snacks and kids hopped in cars
As if they were boarding a spaceship to Mars.
Some kids brought blankets or their favorite stuffed bear;
in hopes they could nap like they did in day care.
Their parents exclaimed: "You're big kids. WOW!
Let us hold your bears and blankies for now."
The parents were worried their children would cry
if they left them at school with just a good-bye.
So they told their darlings, "If you want, we can stay
and make sure that everything will be A-okay."

The teacher then greeted each one with a smile,
and invited the students to stay for a while.
The room was all filled with toys, books, and maps,
but where were the beds for midmorning naps?
They colored and painted and played Simon Says,
then tumbled and skipped and stood on their heads.
They sang silly songs from beginning to end.
Within just a minute, each kid had a friend.
The children were happy. They loved Miss Clare
It was she who would show them a great deal of care.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear
but sad moms and dads who were holding back tears!
Their noses so sniffly! Their eyes red and wet!
This was the saddest good-bye Miss Clare had seen yet!
She gathered the grown-ups on the magical rug,
then sent them away after one final hug.
The children all waved from the door of the school.
"Don't cry Mom and Dad; kindergarten is cool!"

**not sure of the origin of this poem, but I know there is a book out there by Natasha Wing that is very similar. I did change the teacher's name to personalize it!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tax Free Weekend!!

This weekend in TN it is "Tax Free Weekend". That means that all school supplies, clothes up to $100 and computers up to $1500 are tax free. If you're a teacher, that makes a big difference! Especially when tax is almost 10%.

Normally for TFW I wake up super early and hit up Wal-Mart first thing Friday morning before the crowds get too crazy. But I was out of town so I had to settle for going at 4:30pm on a Saturday. It was nuts!! I found most of what I needed for my class, as you can see:

The sweetest part of the trip, however, was helping all the families decipher the school supply lists. Looking at my cart, it was pretty obvious I am a teacher (or some crazy person who buys 50 green folders and 16 pencil boxes). So people kept asking me questions. I was more than glad to help. I even abandoned my quest for green 3 brad folders to help a super sweet Hispanic family find the certain type of folder their list required. I had some nice conversations with grandmothers, fathers, and even a few kids. It was great! Once again, an experience that solidified the idea that teaching is what is meant for me. So thankful for my job! Can't wait for the kids to come on Thursday!!

p.s. stay tuned, pictures of my classroom are coming soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Books, books, everywhere!

**this is a guest post I wrote a few weeks ago and just realized I never published it here!

Hello everyone! This is Clare from A Day in the Life. For my guest post I wanted to share with you how I organize my classroom library. Even though it's only my 3rd year teaching (is that all? feels like much longer!), I have a TON of books! I've been collecting them for years- picking them up at garage sales, rummage sales, used books from the library, etc. And for the past 2 years that hasn't really been any rhyme or reason as to how they were organized. They were just flung on a shelf and I had to sift through them all when I needed a certain book.

At the end of last school year, my long term sub (I was out on medical leave) packed up my ENTIRE classroom. So when I opened all the boxes with books and saw they were all jumbled up, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to reorganize. Here's what I came up with!

These 4 tubs have my science/social studies books for our four "modules"- Community Helpers, World Cultures (USA for my class), Weather/Seasons and Animals.

This is a bookshelf I got last year through Donor's Choose. It's hard to see the labels, but the books are all sorted into categories: rhyming books, math books, ABC books, various Lang. Arts books, school books, books about feelings, and fairy tales/fables.

And here's my last bookshelf! It has all my author tubs as well as other categories.

Here's a close up of the labels I made. You can find some of them HERE on my Google Docs. Sorry I don't have them all to share, I can't find the other file (I made some 2 years ago and I guess I didn't save that file!).

The first day of school, the kids won't be able to see any of the books. The shelves will be "wrapped" in butcher paper, and as we learn classroom rules and procedures they'll gain book privileges. Last year I had to limit their access because they kept putting the books back in the wrong place, but I think this year with plenty of practice it'll work great!

Looking forward to a great school year and no more searching for lost books!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Secret Addiction

So first I'm a hoarder (see previous post) and now I'm an addict. A font addict. My name is Clare and I'm addicted to cute teacher fonts.

This has prompted a pretty funny (and long!) facebook thread on fun fonts. So I thought I would compile a list of my favorites to share. Keep in mind that this is as of 8:01pm August 1, 2011. I'm sure there will be many more added to this list! The best part is that these are all FREE! You can just Google them and download them in a snap.
What are your favorite fonts? I would love to add some more to this list!