Sunday, October 6, 2013

Long Time No See...and a little Currently (with a FREEBIE)!

It's been a long time since I have posted.  Beginning kindergarten has been a little say the least! By Friday, I find it hard to do anything, let alone get on the computer.  Not to mention my cold, sinus infection, migraine (probably from lack of discipline taking my sinus meds.) fiasco I have been in lately.  

But, my excuses are done and I am back! I hope someone was missing me! ;) 
I have joined up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for October's Currently!

Listening - to the hum of the computer! I can't tell you how much I enjoy silence! Seriously! I have been a teacher for 11 years now and every grade I taught, whether it be primary, juniors, or seniors can get very loud at times! Yet, at the end of the day, the silence bothered me. I thought I was just used to noise and so I would put on music while I planned and prepped at school. Oh how things have changed since I entered the world of three- (yes some are still 3-years-old) to five-year-olds. It is not that they are naughty, or crazy, or louder than the other kids, it is just different. Now, when the bell goes and all the kiddies are gone, I look around the room, take a deep breath and enjoy the subtle sounds of the computer humming and the clock ticking! No more after-school music for me! 

Loving - my sweet new kitty Bentley! Introducing the newest member of our little family - 4 month old kitten that we lovingly named Bentley (our other cat's name is Porsche). It all started when we were puppy sitting for my friend.  She had two female Shorkies that Hayden quickly fell in love with. Well, my poor boy went through some withdrawl when his puppy-friends had to go home. So much that I was almost convinced to take my friend's "family discount" and get the puppy. However, my rational husband convinced me that we were away from home too much and it wouldn't be fair.  Alas, we are "cat people" merely because you can leave a cat alone for longer than a dog. So, when I saw that a family friend was giving away a kitten, I jumped at the chance.  

Thinking - I need to get going with assessments... My school started right after the Labour Day weekend. I managed to assess 2 children. Actually, I did one and my teaching partner did the other...guess what I will be focusing on this week?

Wanting - My Own Personal Secretary... I am sure many of you can relate. My list is a mile long, and I figure if I just had a personal secretary to type out my newsletters, respond to e-mails, fight with the photocopier, etc. I would have hours more time in my day to accomplish the things that continually get pushed down to the bottom of my "To Do" list.  Then if I had a cook, and a maid, I would be all set! :) 

Needing - more hours in the day! This is explained above, but let me add that since I have started kindergarten I have been going to bed with my son at 8:30ish each night, making it even more difficult to tackle the "To Do" list!

Trick-or-Treat? Treat!!!! I prepared a poster for my classroom, to help teach my students the difference between "Tattling" and "Reporting."  I know what you are thinking, the kids are tattling, but it is quite the opposite.  We have had situations between kindergartens where there was physical fighting and the "victims" were running away but running right by teachers, not wanting to tell on the other boys. I have been trying to reinforce the importance of every child feeling safe at school. I know my students can't read the poster, but I can continue to refer to it! Hope this poster will be useful to you as well. 

Click on picture to get your own copy FREE! ;) 
I was shocked that this was occurring at this young age.  Some children kicking and punching kids with no sign of remorse, even after being caught!   Any thoughts on this? How would you deal with it?

It is raining and cold here, a perfect day to catch-up on house cleaning!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Five for Friday...late into Saturday!

It is Saturday (in fact it will officially be Sunday before I complete this post) but nonetheless, I have decided to join the Five for Friday.  I have a good great excuse for being late. I am recovering from my first week in kindergarten.  Keep in mind, this is not just my first week of the school year, it is my FIRST back to school week in kindergarten EVER!!!  

It has been an adjustment, but I am here to say, I think I am loving it! It is reassuring that the chaos will subside (maybe later than sooner) and eventually I will not be so exhausted by dinner time, and maybe I will not feel so anxious during dismissal time! But, other than that, I have really enjoyed them. I am excited for a great year!

That being said, I have given myself this weekend to rest and allow my body time to rejuvinete in preparation for the second week (and first 5 day week) of the school year!

Now, on to my Five for Friday...

1) First Day of Kindergarten...X2
Tuesday was the first day of Senior Kindergarten for myself and for my son. Needless to say, we both had the 1st day jitters, but we both survived and had a good day. In fact, as I pulled the car in my driveway, he was yelling and waving, "My 1st day as a senior was awesome!" Bless his heart, I love that little guy of mine! 

2) No child lost!
My biggest fear, coming into kindergarten was losing a child. I mean, we all know, not every child is going to come to the door first day wanting to be there. My little guy loves school, yet "grandma" says that he still put the brakes on as the approached his entry door, reluctant to go in!  With nearly 100 kindergarten kidlets registered at our school, we came up with a plan to help us ensure that they all ended up where they belong. This was especially important on Thursday, when our brand-new JKs began. We colour-coded our rooms, linked each room with a symbol and created kindergarten star tags. 

These "Kindergarten Tags" were put on at recess
and one of the little guys in the blue room wears his
so proudly; coming back in to get it, even after the routine was established

3) Hi, my name is Jackie and I am a Melonheadz Hoarder!

I am proud to say that I love, love, love Melonheadz Illustrating and am thrilled to become friends with Nikki. She says she laughed aloud when I told her she was like a celebrity, but how many of you would agree?

What do you think? Is it true? Take a look through my blog posts for confirmation! :)

4) Appreciation and Special Relationships
I am very happy that my little man has such a special bond with his teacher (and also that he was able to be in her class for a second year). She is so kind, so dedicated, so knowledgeable and an all-around-amazing-woman!
This week, I received this note from her!

 5) Moving Date...postponed!
I have been wanted to go see The Butler! I think Forest Whitaker is a phenomenal actor and think it will be a powerful movie! So, the plan, to celebrate "Surviving Week 1 of Kindergarten" was to go see the movie with my good friend, and teaching partner. I was worried I would be too tired by Friday, but we made it out, after all! Unfortunately, after chatting over dinner I looked at my phone and realized, there was no way we would make it to the theater on the other side of town to see the final showing of "The Butler" in time. And so we wait...the good news is, I already have plans to celebrate "Surviving Week 2 of Kindergarten!" ;)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...what is left of it! Don't forget to check out others week at Doodle Bugs Five for Friday!

Monday, September 2, 2013

One Day for Me!

Well, my post heading isn't entirely true! I am still working away on my never-ending to-do list, but I am doing it from home, and I am making sure that some of the list includes time with my family! 

I have got in cuddles with my little man, and we have made plans to head out to Walmart (yes we are crazy) for some last minute essentials for school! We always get his teacher a "gift" (of sorts) for September Start-Up. Hayden brings along a bag of paper towel, soap, baby wipes...the essentials! ;) 

Today, as part of my "me time" I am blogging (because it makes me happy)! I am joining up with Farley for Currently and I am also adding a sneak peek of my keep reading till the end!!!

A little explanation...I have been at school for 7 days straight, many nights until 10 p.m. With the classroom still a construction zone, there was only so much we could do at a time, and some of the regular things took longer than anticipated! The hardest parts were the uncertainty of where you would be at the end of each day and what you would be able to do the next day, and also I felt all over the place (I still do). 

Good news though! I have a great team to work with and many, many supportive friends and colleagues! I can't thank you all enough! Seriously!!!!! Without you, I would not have been ready and feeling so, SO, SO much better today!!! 

Thanks to all my fantastic helpers, my room went from this:

To this:

A huge weight off my shoulders! It isn't perfect but it is kid-friendly and welcoming! Now, I can focus on getting to know my little kidlets, and not worry about them being safe!

I will continue to plug away, and maybe I will have a classroom reveal by...Christmas? Until then, I will be back soon with details of my first week. My first day is tomorrow!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Beginning the Year with Chaos

Hello friends! I hope all of you are settled in nicely at school or feeling put together enough for the beginning of the year! Not so much for me! The kindergarten rooms are still under construction and school starts Tuesday! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

This is how my room looked earlier this week.
Picture it the same way, but instead of cabinets on the floor
(they are installed) the middle of the room is full of books!
I have tried not to be panicky but the closer to the day it feels the more my anxiety rises! The good news is that I have some fantastic friends and coworkers to lean on and I know we are going to be fine! We have sat down together to prepared the first couple of days and laid out the first couple of weeks. I just wanted to share a couple of books that we are going to be using. I love, love, love picture books but both of this are new to be and I am excited to get my own copies to add to my collection! 

First of all, the veteran kindy-teachers rotate back and forth between using "The Kissing Hand" and "Owen" for the start up. Last year they started with "The Kissing Hand" so this year, we will be starting our first day with the juniors with "Owen" (that will be Thursday because the juniors start two days after the seniors). 

Click on the cover picture to go to Amazon to purchase your own,
or other Kevin Henkes favourites like "Wemberly Worried." 
Owen is a sweet story about a little mouse, named Owen who loves his fuzzy yellow blanket and takes it everywhere. On the first day of school, Owen's mom has an idea to get Owen to school without dragging his blanket along, and she cuts it into a small, manageable square, that he can keep in his pocket! 

After reading this story, the little kidlets will all receive a square of fuzzy blanket to help make them feel safe on their first year of school. One of my colleagues, said some of her little kidlets brought it every day last year. 

The second story that we will be using the second week back, is a new one for all of us, but is something that fits nicely with something I now many teachers do, and that is the hunt around the school for the gingerbread man. 
So, this year, we have a variety of activities planned to go with this great book!

Click on the cover picture above to go to Amazon and purchase your own.
You can also find "The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Firetruck."
We have a whole week of activities to go with this story, but I will go into further detail next week. This week we will be sharing lots of other favourites with the kindies, including these fun stories:

What are some of your favourite reads to kick off the school year?

Monday, August 26, 2013

In the Spirit of Good Deeds...

How fitting it is to write this today, after Nikki at Melonheadz wrote about doing Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) to celebrate her birthday week (she even offered a freebie for her birthday, so make sure you go check it out). 

Here is my first RAK - Remember Mason and his family (see original post by Nikki here or my post here). Well, I e-mailed Nikki with an idea to do more. 

I have decided to sell the products I have been working on for my class (since I can't get into my classroom until it is no longer a construction zone) and ALL of the proceeds will go to Mason and his family.

So here are the items I have to offer.  Keep in mind that almost all of these files are editable, as I know you are not all going to teach kindergarten, or wish to use them the same way as me. 

1) When I Grow Up {inspired by Mason himself ;)}
A Writing Activity for K-6 (not editable)

 This writing activity could be done from Kindergarten through to grade 6, with altered expectations. The pack includes a variety of writing pages, with primary and regular lines. There are some with illustration blocks and ones without. I even included some coloured labels for display and one for a picture or photograph only! 

 I used the circle planner to draw ideas with my grade 3 class and then had them write about their future in paragraphs. Each circle was a stage in their life (as a junior student, intermediate student, in high school and as an adult). They had a lot of fun with this and both pieces went into their scrapbooks for the end of the year!

2) Hello, Goodbye Book
This idea originated from a visit to a kindergarten class at the end of last year. The class had created a hello and goodbye book so the kids could take the attendance and learn each others names. 

All files are editable, but I also included the printable version so photographs could be glued in and names written (it even looks good in grayscale on some coloured paper) if you prefer. As you can see, I also created nameplates (perhaps for a word wall). These would also be great for a writing center or for choosing groups/calling names (can be printed smaller if you print 2 slides at a time).

3) Teacher Attendance Book Companion
This file was created as a companion to the Hello/Goodbye Book. It is a class set of photographs and names (all editable) for the teacher's binder and/or a Supply Teacher binder. I also included a file for notetaking (e.g. listing allergies, helpers, early pick-up, etc.), a Student Information page and a note from supply teacher (just for fun). 

4) Back to School Pack
I am still in the midst of tweaking this one, but it will be complete by tomorrow. This back includes editable files to welcome families back to school and introduce some of the procedures and expectations (especially for the start of the year). It also includes a 1st Day sign for pictures, a poem to send home with parents and an award to sends with students, as well as teacher business cards (see the second picture for the list). 

Some errors, will correct! Should be: gift idea for parents, a poem to send home with students!

You can have all 4 for a donation of $10 or more. 

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and will go towards helping Mason and his family. Remember, every cent you donate will go to Mason! 

Here is all you have to do:

1. Drop your donation of $10.00 into Jamie's paypal. Here's the address for it:

2. Email Jamie at the same email address with your 
confirmation/transaction number for your order, and then she will forward me
 the e-mails and I will send you the files:)

Please allow 48 hours for files to be sent. If you do not receive your files after that, or there are any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me! 

Don't forget to head on over to Melonheadz and tell Nikki about your random acts of kindness. It is her birthday week after all! 

Thank you in advance for your compassion 
and generosity! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Coming Soon

After posting the other day about the fundraiser that my new friend Nikki was having over at Melonheadz, I wanted to be able to help more. Since I have been creating with her work, I wrote to her to see if I could put my items up for sale, and donate any proceeds for the month to Mason and his family. 

Well, she was delighted and even sent me a couple more of her bundles to work on. I have been having a lot of fun creating with these different bundles and so hope you will enjoy them to. Most of the files are editable, because I know that you can find a variety of creative ways to use them. I have even created a file using the mini bundle for Mason and I tell you, it is sweet.  I am not done yet, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek!

Stay tuned! I plan to post by tomorrow and so hope you will like these products and find them useful. Even better, ALL of the money is going to a good cause! Please come back and take a look tomorrow (evening) and see what we can do to help out Mason and his family!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Printing Instructions...if needed!

Hello friends!

As promised, I am providing printing instructions to you for the postcard freebie that I posted the other day. I am not assuming that you don't know how to do this, but I do like instructions to refer back to before printing class sets (and I have to admit that I still messed it up a little) but hopefully these instructions can save you from the same!

You will find the instructions below, but before that, I have some very exciting news to share!  I just received this message from Nikki of Melonheadz Illustrating.  If you don't know her work (I am not sure there is anyone who doesn't because it is everywhere - including everything I make) you have to check her out! Anyway, I feel like I just bumped into a celebrity and she left a message for me!!!!!!  Me!!! Check it out!

I am so excited! Unfortunately for me, it is very late and everyone else is asleep and I don't think they would appreciate a wake-up call to find out Nikki commented on my blog! Thank goodness I have all of you to tell!

Now, doesn't it make you want to print out a set of postcards for your students and share the love? Well here are the printing instructions!  Keep in mind that every printer is different, but this should give you a good basis! 

I printed on cardstock, in order to send these in the mail as postcards! I suggest using a paper cut to cut the postcards evenly in half (mine is packed up at school) and you may wish to trim the border, although it looks fine without trimming as well!

The border around the address section fits around regular Avery Mailing Labels (5160) and looks quite put together. And, as always, it is important to have a good helper with you! I was lucky enough to have this little lady helping me! ;)

Happy Printing!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Please help!

I have been working on my printing instructions for the postcards freebies (see here). My social butterfly (yes, at age 4) received an unexpected sleepover invitation from our past neighbours. They were going to the drive-in to see Smurfs 2 and he was thrilled! 

After getting him together it was time for me to head off to my friend's Hula-Hooping Party. It was a lot of fun but no pictures, because there was nothing graceful about my thrusting moves. It wasn't pretty but it was a workout!

Before heading off to bed, I had to check out some of my favourite blogs and found this important post from Nikki at Melonheadz Illustrating. She is featuring this exclusive bundle for one week to raise funds for Mason.

Mason is 6 months old and in need of a kidney treatment. Please head over to Melonheadz to make a $7.00 donations and receive this exclusive bundle. Remember, you have only one week! I will be back tomorrow to get back to my editing and printing of my postcards post!

When I grow up...I think I want to be a superhero! ;)

"Happy Donating,"

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