Thursday, August 25, 2016

Two Hoots and A Holler: Collaborative Classrooms

Hoot #1
This year our school is incorporating Collaborative Classroom into our ELA curriculum.  The Collaborative Classroom includes the programs Making Meaning, Being A Writer, and SIPPS.  We began this program with our kinders on the first full week of school.  It is a learning process for students, as well as teachers.  During our Making Meaning lesson, we talked about things we can do after our read aloud, My Friends.  We carried it over to a shared/interactive writing lesson.  The students got to write and share that they can write their name.  This chart is hanging in the classroom for students to revisit and read.  
As some of you may remember from last school year, our classrooms under went some renovations over the summer.  They are still in the process of putting the final touches on our rooms.  While we are waiting for everything to get done, these beauties got delivered to us!!  You have never seen teachers so excited over an easel!  These easels are like the Cadillac of easels!  They have everything you could possibly need or want!  These really help us out when we are making anchor charts or interactive writing with our students during our ELA lessons!   These easels hold all of our materials we need to incorporate Collaborative Classrooms curriculum!  And for that, we are in LOVE with these! 
Hoot #2
We have already begun our center, workstations, or whatever you decide to call them!  We are kind of old school, and we still call them centers.  Our students look forward to this time each day.  They are so excited and engaged, that most of the time we do not even realize we missed our rest/quiet time!  Students actually cheer when they know its time for centers! Take a look at what our kids are doing during center time...

Students use playdough to make 2D shapes.  

Students are matching letters using these letter mats and letter tiles. 

Students are using pattern blocks to form letters.  They are also making sets on ten frames with number mats and unifix cubes.  

Students are sorting buttons by color.  

This Week's Holler...
This week's holler goes out to Tales of the Sassy Teacher! Melinda's blog is too cute! We love the lemons! She is a sassy teacher that has taught K-2. Her children actually change classes!! We did this for a short time ourselves! We really loved the learning experience that we gained from trying it. We really enjoyed the reading Melinda post about field trip prep. We have been busy this week planning all sorts of trips and will take any tips we can get! Melinda has a ton of topics for you to choose from! Be sure to check her out!! Happy teaching everyone!

Tales of the Sassy Teacher  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Two Hoots and A Holler: Welcome Back!!

Hoot #1
Well our summer has seemed to have come and gone in a blink of an eye!  We had some great times on the beach over the summer, and now it is time to get back in the groove of things! 
We could NOT get into our groove without to ESGI!!!  If you have never heard of ESGI or used it, then you are truly missing out!  This assessment tool has saved us HOURS of assessing in our classrooms, and hours of gathering data for parents and RTI.  

Why do we think so highly of ESGI? There are so many reason, but here are just a few reasons why we will never teach another year without it! 
  •  It is user friendly!  It is so easy to enter your class, pick from hundreds of assessments, and begin!
  • Tests that we create can be shared with other teachers in our district!  
  • There are SO many assessments to choose from, there is sure to be one that fits your needs!
  • Paper and pencil one on one assessments can take days, even weeks to do.  Then you have to analyze the data, which takes even longer!  We can test skills in just a matter of days, not weeks...AND it analyzes all of your data for you!  
  • It provides individualized parent letters and flash cards to send home with each child.  It keeps parents in the KNOW!
  • It has a Spanish version of letters to send home to parents.  
  • It tracks student growth as a class and individually throughout the year.  
So what are you waiting for??  Those are reasons enough to want to try it out for free!  Sign up for your free trial today, and get started!
The first 60 days are free for first time subscribers!
Once you see that you cannot live without it, you can purchase the yearly subscription is $159 (regularly $199) by using the code
B6125 at check out.  

Once you try it out, you will be asking yourself..."how did I ever manage without it?!?!?"

Hoot #2
This is our first full week of school, and we have had our new kiddos in our classrooms for a little over a week.  It was so great to start our first day off with smiling faces of teachers, parents, and students.  At the beginning of every year, we tend to forget how hectic these first few weeks can be.  We forget how much we really have to teach these babies, including the all the little things we take for granted. Our new group of kids have amazed us in every way!  They have adjusted so fast to their new learning environment.  After 3 days of school, we were able to start our new curriculum in full effect!  These kids are listening, joining in discussions, sharing work, and loving every minute of it!  Students are already telling us each day how much they love school!  They are cheering when they see a new book appear, getting to draw a story, getting to use their new school supplies.  They are so eager and motivated to learn, and it makes our hearts so happy!  It is going to be a great year.  We cannot wait to see how much our students are going to grow this year! 
This activity allowed students to practice coloring, cutting, and gluing.  It can be found in our TPT store in our Back to School Activities download.  Click here to go to our store!
I think it is safe to say that these kiddos LOVE kindergarten!  

This Week's Holler...
 We have a lot of changes going on this year, but we have a strong kindergarten team of teachers to help us get through it all.  We know it will be a great year because we work so closely together.  We are excited to take on all of the challenges and celebrate all of our success with this wonderful team of teachers.  We definitely could not do it without each and everyone of them.  So glad to have these ladies in our teacher tribe!  
Here's to another awesome year of kindergarten! 
Keep Calm!  WE GOT THIS!