Monday, August 26, 2013

Classroom Tour!


Hello, all! I'm happy to report that my classroom is officially set up and my home computer is fixed! {insert standing ovation to my computer expert, Kevin} I really thought my computer and all my pics were gone forever! But thankfully, my computer just had some corrupt memory cards. :)

This week, I'm joining Swimming into Second's linky party,show off your space and Flying High in First Grade's Classroom Tour Linky.  If you have a blog, check out these fabulous bloggers, their respective linky parties and join us!
Loads of stuff!
My almost classroom
Now, for my new readers out there. I taught 3rd grade last year, but I asked my principal if I could move to Pre-k the following school year. So at the end of the school year, I moved all of my personal belongings into the Pre-K trailer. Then I was offered an amazing opportunity with a new district.  This is what I arrived to when I saw my classroom full of ALL of the Pre-K materials.  We have four Pre-K classrooms in a brand new wing of the existing building. 

So after sorting through all the materials, I began arranging my room.My daughter and husband helped me several days.  Inspired by my roomie teacher to use an old chest of drawers, my daughter painted the door pulls black which instantly gave this little beaut a make-over.  Then I turned it into our parent sign in area.  Every morning, our students' parents need to walk them into their classroom and sign them in.  This lets me talk to almost every parent at the beginning and end of class. 

Old Block Center
I made changes the third day of school (we are on our second week now) because the students needed more room in the block center.  Well, you know how it is with room arrangement. You move one center and then you need to move everything else to make it work.  Yeah, it was like that!  So here is our old block area which sounds weird considering that we've only been in school for 2 weeks now. Part of the issue was that hot mess of blocks after clean up.  My students helped brain storm what would make our block area easier to clean.
1. We needed a bigger block area.

New Block Center
2. We needed to move the train and doll house (which you can't see from this angle) to a separate area.
3. We needed to label where everything goes!
So...drumroll please.  Here is a pic of my students enjoying the rearranged block center.  As you can see, they are enjoying a variety of non-traditional materials, right along side those trustie unifix cubes (I swear, those unifix cubes breed in my teacher cabinet). 

When I moved the block area by the front door of my classroom, some of art materials were stored on the back of the block cabinet.  Thus, when I moved the block area, I had to move the art materials.  On the back of that block cabinet, I put the light table materials which I will talk about in a few. 

In the original atelier, I had a table by the art materials which I envisioned students sitting and creating collages with the natural materials provided. 

The wooden stools are for students to sit and paint on the stand up easels.  Of course, they could still choose to stand as well.
 So now the students can do collage, paint and create all in the same area.  As you can see, our big easel needs some repair. 

Next area of our class is the light table.  With the old arrangement, the light table was on the right.

This is side view of the white cabinet by the light table.  Now, here's what that area looks like.

 What you see behind my students is the back of the block cabinet, where I store all the light table materials. 
As you can see, this light table is more inviting!  During our first week, we read "Butterfly Alphabet" and my wonderful assistant brought in a butterfly for students to find letters in the wings.  In the picture above, the students are looking for letters in the wings of the butterfly.
Well, friends, I will post more later this week...I am just worn out tonight!  Please leave a comment or any questions below. :) I <3 comments!!
See you soon,

Monday, August 19, 2013

What I'm Loving Today

Ok, ya'll I'm trying to stay positive tonight. Last night, I got ready to post my Monday made it linky and my computer monitor turned on like normal, but then the image went all blinky and basically died right in front of me. I was kind of a mess and I'm still in denial (I wanna believe the computer dude will be able to retrieve pictures). However, I'm super thankful that I can use my tablet to talk to you about the first day of school!

It went fast and it went a little off plan, but it was great!  I'm so lucky to have a great assistant teacher AND a great team of pre-k teachers!

As soon as my computer is fixed, I will post pictures. So keep checking back. I can't figure out how to post pictures with my tablet. It has a forward facing camera.  If you have any tips, let me know. :)

See you soon!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made It~Baa Baa Color Sheep & Blog Signature

I'm joining another linky party called Monday Made It.  For my readers out there, that are like...hmm Cowan does a lot of linky parties.  I do them for two reasons.  One, I get to peek into other teachers' classrooms, ideas and prep work.  Two, I might get some new followers to my blog. (Yay, me!)

This time, I'm linking with 4th Grade Frolics for her infamous linky party Monday Made It.  I love seeing everyone's craftiness and it inspires me every week, but this is my first contribution.

I'm starting at a new school this year as a Pre-K teacher in a Reggio inspired school.  This has created a conundrum for me in that all the things I've done to prep for school, like bulletin boards and the like are not required at Reggio school.  In fact, I think they are strongly discouraged.  No worries, I was never a huge Carson Delosa fan myself.  In fact, my college professors told us, "You are doing something wrong if it looks like Carson Delosa threw up in your classroom." 

So, I made a class book in preparation for our first week {eek--did I just say that, where did our summer go?}.  I made a book that I modeled off a teacher I worked with over 10 years ago when we both worked in daycare.  I've found this book is helpful to teach colors and the classic nursery rhyme, "Baa Baa Black Sheep".  On each page, I write "Baa, baa, {insert color word here} have you any wool.  Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full."  Now, I'd love to show you a completed laminated book, but my printer was not cooperating with me this evening.  So, you get to see my work in progress.

I like to alternate their faces and make different ones each time.  When I read/sing this book with students, they LOVE it!  It's generally the most popular book in the library, because the little pre-k guys can "read" every page. 

Have you ever heard of Mrs. Stanford?  Well, let me tell you about my new favorite you tube channel.  Mrs. Stanford has all kinds of how-to videos up about how to bling your blog.  Today, I made my own signature that you should see at the end of my page down there...If you'd like to make your own blog signature, check out her how-to video on youtube. She also has a happening blog at Mrs. Stanford's Class, so check that out too! 

What did you make for your classroom today?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Snapshots

I'm joining Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera blog for her installment of:  Saturday Snapshots. 

I don't know about you, but I'm constantly taking pictures of everything.  I think this is in part that I'm a visually learner and after I leave a workshop/classroom I can't quite put it right in my head unless I have a picture.  Do you do this too or am I the only weirdo out there snapping pics at Wal-Mart and teacher conferences?

Anyway, back on I was happy to participate in this linky party!  Saturday was great because it was tax free weekend!  Alexandra and I were on the search for uniform skirts and shirts.  She has some from last year that still fit and work, but I like to have 7 tops and 7 bottoms for her.  So we were on the look out for 2 more tops and bottoms.  We finally found 2 tops that she deemed cool enough to wear to school (Did I mention she's a teenager?) only to discover the top she wanted was 5 times more expensive than the polos that our budget allows.  So after a brief conversation, she decided to spend her own money to get the shirt she wanted.

Then after a brief nap, we went to my parents house and did a little swimming!  I'm on weight watchers and I'm trying to do a little exercise everyday.  I ran in the pool for 20 minutes and then Alexandra and I had free style races. 

I'd like to say I did some work on something for my classroom, but I plan on finishing up a color recognition book for Monday Made It tomorrow.

What did you do this last weekend before school? 


Friday, August 2, 2013

Currently 5 for Fri~Linky Postie Partay

Hello, my fellow blog-o-philes!  I am just busting with happiness!  WHY?  Well, I saw my classroom for the first time yesterday.  I've started with a new district this school year and the whole Pre-K is getting brand spanking new classrooms!  I'm completely geeked out.

Now, I can't reveal a pic in this post because the moment I saw the new classrooms, my phone battery was dead. :(  However, I solemnly pledge to post a pic in my next few posts, so like me/follow me/stalk me and come back. 

Ok, so here's my latest Currently pic.  If you'd like to participate in Farley's infamous linky party click here.

Listening to my favorite boy group, well technically MEN, of all time.  Something about that harmony and I must confess, "Mama" gets me everytime!

LOVING tax free weekend here in Oklahoma!  I'm a mama that likes to save money and I raked in some deals at a local plus size consignment store called Jamie's Exclusively Plus.  I picked 4 shirts, a jacket and 3 pairs of slacks for $35!  Not only was it tax free, but the store is having a 50% off sale all weekend.  Not too shabby and my husband was THRILLED with the deals.  When I showed him the slacks, he said, "Thirty a piece?"  When I told him the price, he said, "Those pants retail for $50 each at Lane Bryant."  (He's right, btw)  I'm so happy, he understood how big of a deal this was!

Thinking about new teacher induction with my new district.  I found out that my teacher co-hort is doing some of the curriculum training and I'm thrilled.  I had a feeling she was a super star, but now I know for sure!  Also, I get to move all my boxes into my new classroom on Wednesday!  Did I tell you that I'm excited??

Wanting a maid.  It's nice to have a nice, clean, organized house...a maid sure would make my day!  If I won the lottery tomorrow (which I won't because I don't play), I would hire a maid and perhaps a professional organizer.  I would come back home each day knowing my house was pristine.  {Sigh} 

Needing to sort through the things I thought I couldn't live without...I have boxes of materials.  My daughter says that teachers make the best hoarders.  So I try to use the rule, if I haven't used it in a year that I need to gift it on. 

Back to School (B2s) I love colorful pens.  I don't anticipate grading a lot of papers, I just love colorful pens.  Also, a fresh new outfit with some new kicks just screams back to school!  If I look good, I feel good. :)

Ok,  here's my Five for Friday linky entry hosted by Doodle Bugs Teaching. 

#1.  I'm starting at a school that is Reggio Inspired.  I've always loved reggio, but the things I'm used to doing before school aren't applicable.  When I toured the building, I noticed that there weren't bulletin boards or art hanging on those bulletin boards.  Everything was made out of materials that aren't traditionally thought of as 4 year old art supplies.  So, the question is...what do I do to prepare?  I'll be figuring this out and more in the coming week.  Our meet the teacher night is August 15th.  So if you have any tips for me, please leave a comment below...

#2.  I've had a busy week, running around town, finishing up paperwork and learning how to move boxes really quickly.

#3. According to Mrs. Allen's Teaching Files, who has so humorously posted a teacher's year in gifs.  I am here...

I think we all are...Mrs. Allen says, "I'm confident and full of fresh ideas..."

#4.  Ok, this link is going to take you to the funniest blog about inservice meetings by Marvelous Teacher Musings.  Now, this isn't every class for me, but I've had them before.  Also, for the record...I HATE it when people read the powerpoint word for word!!!  I learned in college that if people can read your powerpoint and know what you were going to say~then you've failed as a presenter.  So, beware this post will have you sneezing your drink as you laugh and nod at its honest raw humor!

#5.  Laundry.  Does it ever stop?  Well, I'm off to do that now!

Happy Friday friends!