Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week in Review (plus an addition freebie!)


Wow, this week went by FAST! I can barely remember what we did this week, although I do know that much of it wasn't planned! Such as Friday afternoon when a parent showed up unexpectedly with cupcakes. I had decided not to do a Fall party, so I hadn't sent home a note or anything. But, apparently older sister is in 4th grade and they were having a party, thus mom bought enough sugar-laden goodies for my class as well! That wouldn't have been so bad, but I had another mom come in right after that to read to my class. I thought she was coming on Monday, but apparently not! Last year and the year before she came dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein and read The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree. This year she came dressed as a blood splattered zombie (whoa! unexpected costume change!) and read "The Monstrous Glisson Glop" which was published in 1970. It was a great story and she is a very talented reader!


However, she also passed out candy, plus the kids were totally excited by her costume so it made for a bit of a stressful afternoon as we just could not come back down from that high. Zombies are a favorite topic in my classroom this year, I've had to occasionally admonish some of my boys to walk like humans rather than zombies in the hallways (seriously, if any movie companies are looking for 1st graders to play zombies, I've got a handful who could win academy awards for it!) Also, some children have apparently watched too many Paranormal Activity 3 trailers since a new favorite topic is what would happen if they really did say "Bloody Mary" 3 times in our classroom bathroom. No matter how many times I tell them to leave their zombie/ghost/bloody mary talk at the door, I still catch them whispering about it throughout the day. Hopefully that kind of talk dies down (hahaha!) after Halloween is over!

Here are pictures of our guest readers this week: our Zombie Mother and the Unexpected Officer who showed up on  Wednesday to volunteer for the morning

Speaking of reading, my favorite coworker has a fantastic way to organize her books that I would love to share with you! We do not have a lot of storage space at school - well we do, but a lot of it is taken up by things that we don't even use but have to hang onto because they were purchased by Title I funds etc. I have a whole closet in my room that is full of inventory items that I never use but can't get rid of. Anyways, storage is at a premium as is space. We just don't have room for book shelves for all of our books! So what to do with all of our theme books? Enter Mrs. Mckelvey's fabulous idea, which I will be implementing over Winter break:
EDITED: Due to popular demand, I have shared the book dividers for FREE in my TPT store. Click here to get them!

She made full-page labeled dividers, laminated them and then sorted her books according to theme. She stores them all in large Rubbermaid tubs which can then scoot under her computer desk in the back or be put on top of our cubbies. The best part? She typed a list of all her books and placed it in sheet protectors in the back of her lesson plan book. This way, if she's writing lesson plans at home, she can just flip to the list to see which books she has for that theme!
I know, it's super simple right? But sometimes I have to see a simple idea in action to appreciate it's worth! So, that is my self-imposed organizational task for Winter Break. Currently I have my books separated by theme in the actual theme bins along with all of my materials for teaching that theme, but they take up a lot of space and if I don't have a particular theme bin at work then I can't access the books if something comes up. This way I can store all my books in just a few bins and keep them at school all the time! Edited Again: Check out Growing Kinders Book Organization Linky Party for other book organizing ideas!

I am having my first observation of the year on Thursday and it will be a math lesson. We are working on adding doubles and on Thursday I will introduce doubles +1. Cross your fingers that it goes well please! I created another "I have...Who has?" game for the occasion, just because my firsties love to play it. This one only has 22 cards, so if your class is larger I apologize, but I was limited by the facts lol! Actually I sometimes play this game in small groups and give the students 2-3 cards each. Also, make sure you hand out the cards strategically so that your little ones who have lots of difficulty aren't given the hardest cards. We usually get in a circle to play and I maneuver myself so that I end up by the students who might need assistance during the game. If anyone has any other ideas for teaching doubles & doubles+1 please leave me a comment! Click the picture to get the game free!

7 Rustle Up A Response!:

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Do you have the book list and labels for sale or download?

Jennifer said... Reply to comment

Thanks for asking, I hadn't thought to post them. I made my own labels which i can share, although the book list is really something you have to make for yourself since not everyone will have the same books. I will throw the book labels in tonight's post!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Curious Catherine said... Reply to comment

I love your "I have, Who has"... is it available on TPT?

Jennifer K. said... Reply to comment

Hi Catherine! Thanks for dropping by. I have many "I have, Who has" games available on TPt but the one on this post is actually on Scribd for free! Here's the link:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/70819983/I-Have-Who-Has-Addition

Thanks!
Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

Dodie said... Reply to comment

I am wondering which Rubbermaid tubs you used. Thanks for a great idea!

Jennifer K. said... Reply to comment

Hi Dodie, good question! You'll want to get the 58qt size or larger. A good idea is to take along your tallest book and see if the container is deep enough. So far, all of mine have fit in the 58qt size!

Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergaretn

Jenny said... Reply to comment

I have downloaded the Book Dividers and started organizing my books. I am LOVING it so far. I do have some books that do not fit into the categories you have provided so I am going to have to add to them. Could you tell me what font you used to make the dividers. I tried to go through my font list to find it, but no luck. Thank you for your help.

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