Thursday, July 25, 2013

Best from the Midwest!

Being from the Midwest, I like to read blogs by other Midwest teachers.  It is amazing how different teaching is around out nation, so it is often nice to see what people in your own back yard is doing! That being said, these Awesome Minnesota Bloggers got together, had a great time, and are hosting an awesome Midwestern style blog hop & giveaway! Click on the image for more details!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Jumping on the Bandwagon-Fan Freeibes

I am jumping on the fan freebie bandwagon!

I wanted to try it out and see how everyone liked it!  Like my blog and get a fan freebie!  The freebie this time is available for purchase on the TpT store, but free to facebook Fans!  Check it out!

Apple a Day-Data Collection

I am linking up again with The Applicious Teacher in her An Apple a Day Series! (click on the image).

Since I started teaching I have been struggling with ways to do data collection in an early childhood setting that really was authentic and gave me a good idea of what my students could and could not do.  

I have been refining this through out last year and I think I have something I plan on using for next year.  

I originally had a note taking system I really liked.  This is where I would jot observations down in an direct location that would help me to authentically view my students.   Click here for my folded paper anecdotal notes post.

I then tried a portfolio method in which I kept a project they worked on and then had a check list in which I wrote how they did on it (for these kids it was a :) :| or :( ) in a checklist after looking at all of them.  This worked great, except I would collect things, put them on a checklist form, and then have to put all that checklist information into the report card at a later time.

Then I realized, having notes was great, but what section on the report card does that go into?  How to I make sure I observe each specific learning goal?  How do I know I can fill out the report card for each student and not have to have them stand there and "hop on one foot for me, good, now the other."  The check list was great, but what learning goal did this assignment address again?  Ok this one addressed size order, where is that on the report card again?  That is when I came up with my Assessment Binder.

In this binder I keep all my checklist observational assessment forms.  Each student has one and they are in alphabetical order.  I used tabs made form post it notes for each child's name.  I then put an Observational Assessment form, available TpT in each tab. This is all the areas on our report cards/progress reports in a 4 quarter check list form.  If I observe a student doing something I do a check mark in that area.  That way, at the end of a quarter, I only need to 1:1 assess the things I did not observe "in their natural environment."  If they master something in a quarter, I also know that it does not need to be assessed again, and I can clearly see when they mastered it based on when it was checked off (more than once) on a specific quarter.

Some things, you just need to sit down and ask them if they know: Letter names/sounds, number recognition for all numbers, etc.    I keep a simple checklist to make sure I get to everyone.  In the back, I keep my abc reading chart, colors chart, etc.  That I need to show students in a formal assessment.  I put this in a clear page protector and mark the results with a dry erase marker so I can use it for each student with out having to waste paper (quarters 2 & 3).  I do give each child a copy of their own in the fall and the spring for parents to see progress. 

Our staff is currently working on rewriting our report card, and then our assessment tool (the tool we use for formal assessment, see image above on right.)  Look for the assessment tool to come available on TpT soon (I will be the one creating it for the team). UPDATE!  THE ASSESSMENT TOOL IS DONE! Click HERE.

Since all of our learning goals are going to then change (or even change order), for stream lined assessment filling out, I am going to create a new observational assessment form to make sure they are in the same order as the report card/progress report for streamlined completion. 

Keep an eye out!

I also plan on doing something similar with my new KINDERGARTEN Math Common Core, Science Next Generation Science Standards, Social Studies State Standards, and the social/emotional areas.  As I fit myself into the new position, I will share my creations!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Apple a Day-Classroom Organization

I am linking up with The Applicious Teacher, and showing off my classroom organization.  I am pretty proud of my room and feel it is pretty accessible and organized.

I have a page dedicated to my classroom.  Click here to visit.

I have Labeled my whole room for the students and for myself.
My art supply closet is all of the supplies students bring in and a few supplies I use regularly.  In this photo, they are labeled with a run of the mill label maker.  Since this photo,  have gotten into my classroom (we have summer access, YAY!) and made some ADORABLE chevron labels for everything to help it match.  I have also organized it more. I didn't take a picture the day I did it because there was no air, I'd been there a while, and they have begun waxing the floor.  I will post updated photos when the waxing is done and I am not using my closet to store all the things to get them off the floor.

These are all of my thematic books I use for read alouds and putting on my seasonal shelf in my classroom library.  Each one is labeled with the theme and they are in chronological order in which I teach them.  The top boxes are huge poster board boxes that hold posters and decorations for each of the seasons.
I label these drawers for all of MY materials.  The chevron drawers are for each of the days of that weeks materials  These drawers are deep enough to put paint bottles, copies, and other supplies.  The drawers on the right are for the many forms that come in as well as my "to do" drawers.

I have a birthday/calendar binder.  The numbers correspond with the month.  In each number I have 2 page protectors.  The first page protector holds all the birthday cards and badges pre-made.  That way, during that month I pull them out and give to the student and they are ready to go!  The second page protector holds the month label that goes on the calendar and then the calendar numbers for that month. It makes a new month in the classroom very organized!

My students (at age 4/5) are notorious for not quite knowing how to line up, fighting over who was there first, budding, and fighting in line.  My solution was to put all the classroom jobs on the floor with contact paper (all students have a job in my room according to Conscious Discipline) and they stand on their job in line.  No discussion of where, doesn't matter who was there first, etc.  I love it.

Class materials are all labeled with an image and a word label.  This way students can put toys away on their own as well as build literacy and work on reading these words.

Cha, Cha, Changes!

Hello Friends,

I have been busy teaching summer school (Getting Ready for Kindergarten) with 11 adorable little ones, attending weddings, doing wedding videography (I do it as a gift to my friends), Camping, and more!  I have also been prepping for the changes I have up ahead for this coming year.

This coming year I am going to continue teaching my 1/2 day 4 year old kindergarten program in the morning, but I will also be teaching the afternoon portion of a full day kindergarten class (I will be teaching the math, science, social studies, and art portion of the day, the AM teacher will do the literacy and religion).

It is going to be a big change learning common core and working with common core AS WELL as my Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards for the 4k program.  I will be working on 2 report card, two programs (technically my 4k is public school, my 5k will be Catholic School) and much more, but I still plan on blogging and creating more this year!

A blogger friend Fun in Prek-1 is also up for a big change!  She is moving from PreK to Kindergarten. She is giving away her preK store and making room for her K store!  Click on the image below for details!

This summer yet,  I am working with our 4k team to create our report card/progress reports, out district wide 4k assessment (keep an eye out for it), trainings on 5k math and science, the start of the new national science standards research/trainings, SMART Board training, iPAD training, AND I am leading the, and blogger training for our school as our principal is requiring our staff to use planbook and blogger/a website for next year. I will also be teaching the staff how to use the iPad/iPhone as a document camera.  

Stay tuned!