Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Its Time....

1 day old
12 weeks old (tomorrow)
The time has officially come, it is time for me to return to work after 12 weeks maternity leave.  My amazing little boy, Nolan, was born right on his due date (after 12 weeks of modified bed rest from a early labor scare).  His due date, also happened to be our parent's back to school orientation night.  Talk about timing!  He has grown so much!

I had no idea how tricky it would be to go back to work after missing the beginning of the school year. I love teaching, and I do want to go back and be with students, but it is tricky to make yourself want to go back when you have never met them.  It is strange not having an attachment to the kids (yet) when it is already Thanksgiving time--and to leave your first born child to do it.  I know I will be fine and begin attaching as soon as I go, but getting out that door on Monday is going to be tricky!

Meeting new students is going to be really tough.  What is going to be tougher is going to meet new students 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, 3 weeks before the Christmas pageant, and 6 weeks before Christmas.  School will be chaos and I am just going to be the icing on the cake. 

I now begin the journey of reading my long term subs notes, creating lesson plans for these brand new faces, and cuddling my little boy tons before I go back on Monday. Since it is past bedtime, I guess I will settle for watching him on the monitor while blogging.

Our school is very small.  Our entire staff from principal, secretary, janitor, aides and teachers, we have 15 people.  17 people if you count our two priests. To say the least, we are all very close.  We spend a lot of time together and being a Catholic school in which we also love and pray for each other, we are a school family.  To add to the chaos and confusion of the holiday season and my coming back, we have some very scary news at our school.  Our principal's brother went missing on Monday.  We are in Wisconsin and he went missing from the Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR area.  She has flown out to help in the search for him.  We could use your prayers and good thoughts.  Also, I know my blog doesn't reach a real large number of people, but if you could pass it on that would be wonderful--especially if you are in the area of Vancouver/Portland.  Here are the images/flyers that have been made.

The facebook group is: (my principal is the one keeping up the page).  Please help us find Cory and bring him home--as well as bring our principal back with some great news and peace of mind.

Thank you,

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Long-Term Sub Binder

As stated in my original post, I am going to be starting my school year on maternity leave.  I am spending my summer prepping for the sub, making my sub binder, and breaking down all of my procedures in my room in a series of blog posts.

The binder is complete!  I have put the binder in my TpT store.  I have locked the background images together and added pages with text boxes for you to be able to edit/type your own information into the pages.  I do have a customizable option if Chevron is not your thing.  You can simply email me ( and for an addition $0.50, I can change the background for you.

I chose the font: Avenir book as it was a default one on my computer.  You do have the option to customize your font (I used Rowdy in Room 300's font: Rowdy Writing in the image above and in my whole binder), but I did not have the correct license to share that with you.

I hope you find this post and all that go with it beneficial.  Please let me know if there is any way I can help you.

Click {HERE} for TpT link to Sub Binder.

In celebration of my little one reaching full term, the complete sub binder-chevron-editable will be 20% off until his due date, August 21!  Don't miss out on this sale now!

Organizing the Summer to be ready for a beginning of the year maternity leave

As stated in my original post, I am going to be starting my school year on maternity leave.  I am spending my summer prepping for the sub, making my sub binder, and breaking down all of my procedures in my room in a series of blog posts.

This post is about the preparations made for a long term sub (at the start of the school year).

I have been doing a great deal of prepping for the long term sub. I teach in a 4k program that is play based.  It follows a weekly theme with a letter of the week.  The format is rather predictable, with changing of the theme (taught Monday & Wednesday) and the letter of the week (taught Tuesday & Thursday). There is no school on Fridays for these little ones.

I wanted the sub to have everything they needed and I wanted to start with the structure I was going to use and continue the structure through out so that it was the same when I returned.  I decided then, to plan all 12 weeks of my maternity leave...the first 12 weeks of school.

I created a folder for each week.  On the folder was the list of the theme, letter of the week, and what originals were in the folder as well as when/who they were for.  The letter of the week folder also went in this folder.

 This way, when the sub comes in, they take the correct week, bring it to the copy machine, copy it in this order, and put it in the days of the week drawer to use.

I then created all of the lesson plans that explain the material in more detail.  These plans are all available on  To view, click on "student view."  Teacher Email: Student Key: gloudemansplans

I will then print the plans for the sub and place in the sub binder.  I also put all the procedures I follow in the binder as well as other vital information the sub may need to know.

Finally, I kept in frequent contact with my janitor to find out when when the waxing would be done in my room and my room would be ready for set up. While waiting for him, I made a list of all the things I was going to do need to do to the room.  I made a list of all the things that the students would need their names on.  I then created all of these materials at home (cubby names, locker names, table spots, job chart names, etc).  The day I got the call that my room was ready, I headed over with my roll of contact paper and all my pre-made materials.  I contact papered all the names on, filed all my folders, and put the binder in an obvious location.

Finally, I took all the bins we would need for the locker night (parent night/orientation/supply drop off).  I laid them out around the room where they make the most sense and posted my checklist on the door.  All ready to go.

This process took about 3 weeks and was a lot of work, but I feel as ready as I can.  I hope that this information was able to help you plan and give you a structure in which to follow when making your own plans.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Classroom Jobs for All!

As stated in my original post, I am going to be starting my school year on maternity leave.  I am spending my summer prepping for the sub, making my sub binder, and breaking down all of my procedures in my room in a series of blog posts.

This post is about classroom jobs.

We use conscious discipline.  The thought is, if all students have a job and they are all part of the classroom team, they will be intrinsically motivated to help the team succeed.

My class maxes out at 20 students due to the amount of room available.  This means I need 20 classroom jobs.

Classroom jobs include:
Teacher helper- Calendar, Weather spinner, sub for any absent students: calls names on clips to dismiss from carpet time.
Pledge Helper-Comes to the front and ‘shows what to do” as they lead the pledge.
Weather watcher-goes to the window and reports out
Clip/Carpet Dismisser
Center Inspector: makes sure centers are clean before students can go to a new one.  Changes the timer on the clock by hitting space bar 2 times.
Line Leader
Caboose (last student in line)
Door Holder (in front) holds the doors when going through for class
Door Shutter (in back) closes the door when you leave the room
Light Switcher- turns off the lights.
Office Helper-takes blue folder to the office
Snack Helper (2) Bring snack in and set tables.
Floor Checker-make sure the floor is clean before leaving
Chair Pusher- checks friends pushed in their chairs when coming to circle time
Table Washer-cleans the table with a disinfectant wipe before snack, end of center time.
High Five basket Checker-make sure papers in the basket are in nicely and have names
Drink counter-,make sure students only get a drink for 1 banana 2 banana 3 banana done
Bathroom Checker-make sure all the paper towels are cleaned up, floor dry, toilets flushed.

Carpet Captain-reminds students to do their 5

I have also learned that lining up in an early childhood classroom.  If they
shouldn't stand by someone, they are drawn together like magnets. 
 Everyone always needs to be first, there is pushing, they are to close, there is
chaos.  I came up with the idea to post the students' jobs (the exact same pictures)
from the job chart on the floor.  They stand on their weekly job when lining up. 
They are evenly spaced out so they have room, they are going in the right
direction, students have no say in who is by them, and all
 is well with the world.

You can purchase my jobs by clicking {HERE}

Friday, July 18, 2014

Large & Small Group Time

As stated in my original post, I am going to be starting my school year on maternity leave.  I am spending my summer prepping for the sub, making my sub binder, and breaking down all of my procedures in my room in a series of blog posts.

This post is about large and small group time in a 4k classroom.

I run my small group and my large group simultaneously.  Students get a small clothespin/clip with their name on it to indicate which large group center they are in.
Once students have their clips, they are free to choose a center, but number of students in the centers must match the little people outside the center. 

Students must stay in the center they chose until the timer rings.

Teacher set timer (in bookmark bar) for 15 mins when students start going to centers.

When a student is called out for small group, they must come do their work at the tables quickly.

Small group activities can be found on the lesson plan and materials in the day of the week drawer.
It helps to write the name of all students on their back of papers even if they will e writing it to know who to call when.

When small group projects are done, they can go on the drying rack (blue by art center) or they can go in high five basket on teacher desk.

When the timer rings, the students begin cleaning up.  Students sit with their clip when they are clean.

Center inspector will check they are all clean AND READY.  If they are ready they will either 1. give a thumbs up to the teacher to restart clock or 2. hit space bar 2 times and restart the clock for the teacher. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Letter of the Week

As stated in my original post, I am going to be starting my school year on maternity leave.  I am spending my summer prepping for the sub, making my sub binder, and breaking down all of my procedures in my room in a series of blog posts.

     •Before school on Monday, I put the letter of the week up on the board, and the large outline next  to the calendar.  I purchased a set of alphabet letters that also have sign language on them.  I have an area labeled letter of the week (left of this picture).  I post this weekly and then refer to it during the week.  We teach the kids the signs to go with the letters to help the students who are anesthetic learners as well as the auditory learners.  

      I created a set of bubble letters on poster board.  I then laminated each of the pages.  Each week we will work on words we know that start with the specific sounds and then write them on there.  These will be posted on the right of the calendar (in the blank spot between the calendar and the purple fabric)

•On Monday, in opening circle, I introduce the letter of the week.  I tell the students the name of the letter we are working on--both the capital letter and the lowercase letter, the sign language and the sound symbol (Literacy Link book)

•At carpet dismissal time on Monday, I teach how to properly write the letter on the board to help those kids who need help with their gross motor skills.  Students must write the letter correctly (and hold the marker correctly) and then they are dismissed to their learning centers.\

•On Monday closing circle, I read the AlphaTales series.  We discuss the words in that book that started with our letter.  We will write these words on the bubble letter mentioned above.  

•During Monday snack, I play the YouTube Video from Have Fun Teaching.  Kids love the upbeat songs, writing things in the air, and they really start to sing along quickly.

•During Tuesday morning work, students will complete the coloring book page that goes along with the Literacy Link series.

•On Tuesday, during small group, students will decorate the letter of the week with something that starts with that letter.  Click HERE to see all images of my letter decorating for the whole alphabet.

•During Tuesday snack, I play the YouTube Video Olive and the Rhyme Rescue Crew.  Kids love the stories and often request these videos even during indoor recess.

•During Wednesday snack, I play the YouTube StoryBots videos Kids love the songs and build a nice vocabulary as well as give them words that start with that letter.  We put these on the bubble letters as well. 
•During Thursday morning work, students will complete the Beginning Sound Crown from Lidia Barbosa from KinderAlphabet.

Thursday small group, students will read the sentence on the page (discuss letter name, find another on the page, what is this at the end of a sentence, read me the sentence, make sure they use their reading finger and one to one correspondence.) Click HERE to see all images of my hand print activities for the whole alphabet. 

•During Thursday snack, I play the YouTube Sesame Street Clips for the letter.  I just search "Sesame Street Letter __" The classics are sometimes the best!

Thursday closing circle, students practice the proper hand writing of the letter on the sheet.
Through out the week, we write the words the students know that start with this letter on the big letter.

Through out the week, at carpet dismissal, students  practice correct formation of the letters.

Friday, July 11, 2014

An Update and Summer Plans

It has been a very long time since my last post.  I took a year from the blogging and from the hustle and bustle of creating products and traded it for a year of high quality time with my husband and fur babies.  In that time, we were also trying to start a family.  We always used to joke that we would not try for a baby from September-January because that would make a beginning of the school year just to hard.

 Well, after months and months of trying it came to November and low and behold: I am due August 21...the day teachers are to report for the 2014-2015 school year.  We are ecstatic about becoming parents, but as we used to joke, it is not very convenient for a teacher.

Knowing I was going to be gone for the start of the next school year next year, I began prepping at the end of the year.  I knew putting all my stuff in strategic areas and being very organized about cleaning up at the end of the year would help me set up quickly and efficiently in July so when my little one is born, I can take the time off to be with him.

We had our first hurdle on graduation day.  I started my third trimester the last week of school.  I went for my usual 10 minute appointment 2 hours before graduation started, only to find out I was having contractions (that I wasn't feeling, but were there none the less) 3-5 minutes apart.  They sent me to the hospital for an overnight stay...right through graduation.  I then had to miss the next day-the all school field trip- due to my hospital stay.  I was told to stay home from the last day of school as well (pack up day) due to my contractions and modified bed rest.  I decided to go in for an hour to at least say goodbye.  On my way there, I got in a minor car accident, but by the time the report was filled out and I got to school, I had 15 minutes to say goodbye.

Well, the year did not end as I intended, but baby and I are doing well. This summer, while I am sitting on my butt on my modified bed rest, I am NOW prepping for my sub for the school year.  So, through out the remainder of the summer, I will be writing how I am prepping for my sub.  Also, as I write out the procedures for the variety of things I do in my room, I will also be explaining those processes here as well.
Topics to be covered:
My (long-term) Sub Binder

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Post Office Dramatic Play

We are introducing community helpers this coming week. The students were getting sick of the home living center-just starting to use the materials inappropriately.  I went into my closet in which I keep my various dramatic play materials and found a mail man messenger bag. So was born the idea to make the whole center based off of that bag.

  We started with some paper and pencils/colored pencils.  This is to encourage the students to write letters and more!

I then found a poster in the messenger bag in which I hung on the wall.
 It is a poster of all the processes in which the mail goes through to get to the destination.

I then put some envelopes we had around school  in a basket.  I went on google images and found an image of a forever postage stamp.  I printed it the index size photo.  I cut them all out and put a glue stick in there.  I also made directions on what all envelopes in the center must have.  I kept it simple for this age: who it is to, where they are, who it is from, where they are, and a stamp.There is also a mail box (logo printed from google images) for them to deposit all of their mail.  The mail carriers will then bring it to their work station to stamp.

I have made a directory for the kids to use as well.  I used a photo of each child and typed out their names in a font that is how they write their letters.  This way they can properly address their letters to their friends.  I still have to add the staff at school so they can write them letters to. To the right of that is a bin of stamps.  The mail workers can put a stamp over the stamp to prove they saw the stamp and then put it in the infamous blue messenger bag hanging on the rack next to it. They can then deliver the mail.

The students all have their individual cubbies in which they use daily. That will also be their mailbox. Students can venture across the room and deliver mail to the students cubbies. Still coming, teacher and staff mailboxes as well.

I will introduce this center on Monday and then allow the students to use it.  I will make sure to give them similar directions to those above and demonstrate filling out an envelope.  I am excited to see if they use the center correctly!