1. So, here is a product of my morning bins! This student came up to me and said, "Mrs. Thomas, look what I did! I even wrote the date, isn't it good?" So proud. I loved walking around listening to them all work together on what was in the bins. 

2. Here is another "bin" component I made last week for the next weeks bins. I am working very hard on CVC words with my kiddos. Some of them get it, others are having a hard time. So the more exposure you can give your kiddos, they come up on top! :) These are di-cut pumpkins I cut different ways to match up with the correct word family. 

3. This is another lesson I have learned this year as a first year teacher that I feel is very, very important to any teacher, new or experienced, that needs to be remembered year to year. 
When I got my class list there was a child on there that I had been "warned" about as soon as their name showed up on my list. Warned meaning; previous teachers told me how "terrible" this child was, I heard that this student was ALWAYS in ISS, never had any friends, didn't listen to instructions, there was no hope for this child they said. Basically, nothing from any direction was positive about this child. But let me tell you my teaching philosophy... I set HIGH goals and I have high expectations for my kiddos. I was not going to come in this year putting labels on any child. With that goal in my mind, this child is great. If I have any problems, I deal with them. This child understands and I can promise you anytime I have had this child step out of the classroom for a talk this child walks away with their last words as Yes ma'am, I understand. I'm sorry. The behavior doesn't happen again. Now, I know everyone is not perfect, but this child has seen how much I have cared and how with positive behavior comes positive praise. This specific child also just told me "I love you," immediately that afternoon I texted that child mother and her exact words were that this child doesn't tell many people that, and that you're an awesome teacher and I'm grateful he's in your class! -- If this doesn't justify that having high EQUAL goals and expectations for every child in your class, I'm not sure what will. Don't believe the labels set by others, these kiddos are in your hands for almost an entire year. You mold them into little individuals, please be careful in how you mold them.

4. I just dominated Dollar Tree. Found a lot more items for their bins next week. We are also starting action verbs so I love these sentences strips! Wish they had more sight word dices, but I will check other Dollar Trees. Can't live without enough whiteboards or magnetic numbers and letters :) 

5. I figured I should explain why I am not at school today, since I'm sure some of you are confused and judging. :) I have a dentist appointment this afternoon, went to the doctor this morning, changed my name on my social security card finally. This week like I said was review and would be an only time I felt comfortable missing for the doctor(s). Because this picture below is beyond the truth. I can plan better off the top of my head than writing a step by step plan down for someone who doesn't know my kiddos like I do. 
With that said, HAPPY FRIDAY! 
Well, I didn't post last night about the morning activity bins because I fell asleep on the couch at 7 and went to bed at 7:30. Much, much needed. 

As far as switching out morning work with bins, my kiddos LOVED it! They still loved it this morning. Walking around after I finished folders and listening to them made me squeal like a little girl on the inside. I was hearing them work together on puzzles, and matching activities, a table had a rhyming puzzle and I was hearing them say the words to match. They were making letters with the wikki sticks and writing all of our sight words on the white boards. Some kiddos can't read well right now, so they were reading the book to me via pictures. My this teachers heart OH SO HAPPY! 

I'm finishing up report cards this week and reviewing concepts I know my kiddos need a lot of help on, and introducing CVC word families. Finding so much on TpT I want to buy!!!! Still trying to learn how to make my own stuff, slowly but surely. Will post ideas I have for next weeks lessons! :) 

This week is "review week" since we send out report cards on Friday. Since I am not focusing on anything new I thought I would make a post about what my day consisted of. 
Monday mornings are absolutely CRAZY for me! I get to work usually an hour early, so most days that gives me about an hour and half to get a lot done (since I live an hour from work) but Mondays I have morning drop off duty and am usually having a typical "Monday morning." Today was unlike any other, so I stayed late until about 5:30. Which is rare for me since I live so far, I usually come home and work. 

In the picture it shows parts of what I was working on. I have read blog after blog, last week I read on two separate blogs (so sorry I honestly have no idea which blogs) but I read where one teacher stated about worksheets that aren't "assessments," if a child can do a worksheet quick and easy, they don't need it. If they can't do it, they need your teaching. That hit me hard, I don't like worksheets hardly, especially for Kindergarten. I know they are helpful, but a majority of the time the kids learn SO much more by doing, interacting, touching. I also read where a teacher was burnt out on doing morning work papers so she created tubs of activities that correlate with what they have/had been working on. I LOVED this idea! So I went to lakeshore on Saturday and picked up some tubs to match the table colors. I have loaded down the tubs with writing paper, a whiteboard, a few phonics sight word books, a few science first readers, a puzzle, a matching game of either AaBbCc's, numbers, patterns, matching, colors/color words, and also wikki sticks. The children are able to work on any of the above while we get settled in in the morning and I can get their folders checked before we start calendar. They are going to be so excited tomorrow. I can't wait to see their faces! 

Thing I have learned as a first year teacher:
Your children will tell you what they love and you will hear when they learn. For example: We have started sight word battles between the boys/girls, winners get to go to abcya.com when we go to computers that day. (huge incentive!) But my kiddos LOVE it, so much, and they make sure and ask me over and over if we can play the sight word game. Because of that my numbers went up dramatically in sight word tests on Friday. I had a few who knew below 12 and walked out of there on Friday knowing over 25 out of 41! 
I was a happy happy teacher! 
Mrs. Thomas 

It's November 10 and I am finally finding time to make a blog! I wanted to start this from the get go being my first year and all and document my experience as best as I could, but your first year is hard, and long, and exhausting and honestly I really have had ZERO time to fit in creating a blog... Yet, here I am trying to figure out the "blogging generation." 
I will start by showing you my room from the beginning... This is how my room ended up for Open House, but let me tell you... It has changed dramatically. 

I have come to the realization that your first year is nothing like what was taught in college. AT ALL. I have learned so much just from listening, trial and error, and being online researching for hours in the evening. 
I feel like the most important part of your first year is patience. It is not going to go the way you have envisioned at all normally. You have to be beyond flexible (this word I did remember hearing repeatedly in college, but I never appreciated it like I do now.) You also could have the cutest ideas and the way your classes personality is, it will not work. For example: I had the cutest classroom jobs set up, I had several. I have just changed almost all of them last week. There are certain things you don't need a job leader for and there are things that you DEFINITELY need a job leader for. So I bought that off TpT and ended up keeping about 4 of those jobs, but like I said, you live and learn your first year, as well as spend a lot of your own money. 

My plan is every day to post on here so that up and coming teachers can have someone to look at and know that when things aren't going right your first year, you aren't alone. I hear it daily, and I am also experiencing it by the minute! 
Mrs. T.