Rhyming Center: Our Favorite Center!

Ahh, rhyming. I love rhyming. 

School is cool.
Don't be a fool; go to school.
Go to school! It's the rule!

Okay, I hope I can make up better rhymes than that. But hey, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

Anyway, I really do love rhyming. And, kids really really love rhyming. Any time they hear a rhyme, they yell out, politely raise their hand and say, "Hey, that rhymed!" 

So, we have a rhyming center now. And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I've been told that it's the best center. That's right. It beat out the listening center and the computer center, but probably only just for like one kid... But hey that's okay, because one kid thinks it's the best center and that's 
A-OKAY in my book. Because I can't create computers. 

Here's some photos of my kids playing their favorite center ever:

As you can see, it was a little messy for my taste. Cards everywhere. So, insert our rhyming mats! Plus, having the rhyming mats really has helped my kids see what makes the rhyme. 

After they rhyme their words, they do their favorite part. They get to pick two rhyming words to make a silly sentence. 

There are a few other activities as well. Right now, I have my center organized with the Must Do and Might Do. They must do the silly sentence with two rhyming words, but they might do the ABC sheet when they are finished. 

You can pick up our rhyming center here:

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Apple Day!

Yesterday was a crazy, busy day at school! In my new district, they let you out three hours early for Homecoming festivities. I've never been apart of a town that took so much pride that they let you out early for the parade and the game and other festivities happening around town. 

I love it.

I mean seriously, how neat is that? It's like Friday Night Lights or something.

Anyway, our school made a youtube video, so in between all the takes, my first grade team and I decided to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day. We only were in our rooms for about 45 minutes to an hour total of the whole day, I think... So, it was a lot to cram in! 

Anyway, I made the applesauce overnight. I didn't take a picture because let's face it, homemade applesauce looks disgusting. 

We watched a Johnny Appleseed video you can find here. They really liked it. It had a lot of really good information too. Plus, it was the perfect video to have going while I was prepping the apples. 

We taste tested yellow, green, and red apples. Red was the class favorite, but not my much! We created this graph to show our comparison:

We ate the applesauce. I didn't get this far in the apple day process, but thankfully my teammate did so I took a picture of his graph instead:

I had these books lined up. Did I read any? You betcha. Every single one. No, I didn't. Big fat teacher fail on my part. That's just real life. I didn't have time for everything! We will read them next week instead.

Here's some of my favorite Apple Day Read Alouds:

For some of our fun apple activities, you can download this {freebie} in my store!

If you are looking for more fun apple day activities, click the pictures below!

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Transition Series: 5 Tips For Lining Up For The Hallway

Welcome back to my transition blog series!

In case you missed last Monday's, you can click the link below to take you there!

September 14- Lining Up For The Hallway
September 21- Going To Your Seat & Changing Subjects
September 28- Cleaning Up

Today's is all about lining up for the hallway

I find this to be one of my most challenging times in my classroom. Of course, my students are so excited to be going somewhere besides the classroom since they spend so much time in our room. Plus, when they leave, it's either for recess, lunch, specials, or a bathroom break. All things that are needed and wanted throughout our day. So, of course they're excited to be leaving! Here are some things that I've found helpful in my room. 

1. Saying Step By Step

I have a little countdown that we do. I put my hand up and when I say 1, then one finger goes up. On 2, two fingers go up, and so on. Here is verbatim what I say at each number:

1: Stand up.
2. Push your chair in.
3. Face the door. 
4. Walk in line
5. Smile

This has worked for me really well because the class has to be completely silent when I say these things. I don't speak loudly for a reason- I shouldn't have to!

2. Sing a song!

There are lots of songs that I'm sure you can find on the good old Internet or on Pinterest, but here's the one we sing before we go in the hall. I literally made this up on the spot one day because I couldn't think of any songs I know. It's short, simple, and to the point.

While singing, it is the students' job to prepare for the hallway. They are to get their hands to their side, turn their voices off (once the song is over), and show that they're ready for the hall.

I always like to challenge my students and tell them I'll believe it when I see it. We are in Missouri, so I always go, "I'm from the Show Me State; you gotta show me!" They get a kick out of it and half of them say it to me by now, but it's true. I have to see that they can to believe that they can!

3. "Assign" a Secret Leader

I put quotations around assign because if it's a secret, then obviously the kids don't know they are assigned to this important role. Every morning, I'll pick a secret leader. The important thing is is that it's a secret! If my secret leader is following directions in line, I make sure to point that out and say something like, "Ooh, I love how my secret leader is standing." and a lot of times the rest of the class will catch on. However, on the flip side, if the entire class is having a hard time staying quiet in line, I might say something like, "Ooh, I hope that my secret leader is on his/her best behavior right now." Those are just little reminders that I'm watching and they need to remember how they need to walk in the hallway.

4. Be A Hallway Ninja

I used this little trick a couple years ago when I had a class that loved ninjas. It's nothing fancy, but they liked pretending they were sneaky ninjas in the hallway. They always felt like they were on a top secret mission!

5. Quiet Leader

This is when we are on a bathroom break. Obviously, there's just one of me and 20 kids (yes, just 20 this year! Perfect number!). So, I assign a quiet leader to watch the line. His/her job is to walk up and down the line to find the quietest person. He/she picks the quietest person and then that person gets to be the quiet leader. The old quiet leader takes the new quiet leader's spot in line. Then, the process starts over. 

Click the picture below or any pictures above to download the posters!

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Transition Series: 5 Tips For Coming To The Carpet

How do you transition your students? I think smooth transitions are so important for our kids, especially our primary ones, throughout the day. Too many rough transitions, which I feel like we all probably face, can make a teacher and his/her students feel crazy, manic, rushed, and impatient. I will admit... I am terrible with making transitions smooth for my students and it's a constant struggle for me to make it peaceful, yet meaningful for them. So, I'm hoping this blog post helps both you and me with smooth transitions. All these transitions are ones I've either done in the past or am doing in my classroom right now, so I know they are tried and true. 

Here's the series:

September 7 (today)- Coming To The Carpet
September 14- Lining Up For The Hallway
September 21- Going To Your Seat & Changing Subjects
September 28- Cleaning Up

And that's why I started this transition series. Today's is about coming to the carpet!

1. Come To The Carpet by Harry Kindergarten Music:

I love this one because it gets the kids up and moving just like they should be and it also tells them exactly what they should be doing. I don't plan on playing this one every single time we come to the carpet, but I think it's a great transition from their seats when they have been sitting a long time.

2. The Kids In The Room Sing-A-Long

I created this song to the tune of The Wheels On The Bus. The kids and I sing this song as they make their way to the carpet. It's a little longer so they have time to pick up whatever they were working on, while cleaning up too.

3. The Final Countdown Chant

I got this fun little chant from my friend Katie at Simply Creative In Kentucky. When she would transition her first and second graders to the carpet, she would start this cute little chant. Her students would be clapping and chanting while walking to the carpet.

4. Try one of these transitions!

I print them on bright, colored paper and put them on a binder ring. That way, I can just grab them and flip to one.

5. Establish a Come To The Carpet song. Your students will recognize that this song is the song that plays when they are supposed to be moving to the carpet. One song could be Mission Impossible. Obviously, they will prove to you that coming to the carpet really is possible.

The most important part though is to teach your children that by the end of your song, chant, whatever it may be, they need to be sitting criss cross applesauce on the carpet, showing you they are ready to learn. No talky, no beauty school, no rock paper scissors. Nada. Their job is to show you they're ready to learn.

To download all the documents, click the picture below for your free download :)

I hope that you found this helpful! Join me next Monday night for the next part of the series, which is all about transitioning to line up for the hallway.

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Classroom Reveal!

Hello everyone!

I'm so excited to share my classroom with you! This is my third year with my sweet shoppe theme. However, it's my fourth time setting it up (I got moved on the fourth day of school one year)... And it's the third school with it too. So, I'm not sure if my sweet shoppe is very lucky considering how much I've moved classrooms with it (this last time by choice thankfully), but needless to say... It's easy to move and I love it regardless.

I'm linking up with these lovely ladies, Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans In 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners for my classroom reveal and their #2getherwearebetter series. Because let's face it, as educators, we are better together!

I also get to link up with the lovely ladies of Bloghoppin for their classroom reveal linky party as well. Woohoo!

Here's the view of my room from my teacher desk area. This was taken on the first day of school... Note how clean it is. 

This was taken today (from the other side of the room). Note how not clean it is.

Here's my favorite part of my room! This is my first time ever having a SmartBoard. I've had so much fun figuring it out too. It's like a whole new world!
(Inflatable donut & outdoor string lights are from Five Below, candy garland is from the party section at Hobby Lobby, Word Wall cards can be found here and color posters can be found here.)

Here's the beginning of our writing board:
(Cupcake fabric from Joanne's, writing anchor charts from A Year of Many Firsts. The candy in the top right corner is a paper plate wrapped in tissue paper. 

This is the first year that I've done center rotations (rather than Daily 5) and I am absolutely loving it! I created some center rotation cards to help me and the kids stay organized. It's helped us a lot and plus, it's no work for me. My little leaders come in in the morning and rotate everyone down to the next center. It's wonderful.

You can find these editable name cards here

Another favorite part of our room! Our classroom library! Insert all the heart-eyed emoticons here! The colors, the labels, the stickers on each book. Oh my word, I'm in heaven with our new labels. I just can't get enough of them. Not to mention my kids actually put books back... In the right spot. I do nothing to keep my library organized. It's all in my little six year olds' hands. I just can't believe it sometimes, but I love it. Find them here

Classroom Leadership Roles can be found here! They are right by our door so that the kids can see them everyday. 

 A close-up of our daily schedule! You can find these editable cards here

 A little look at the whiteboard area of our room. I love the after pictures of classrooms so much more than the before. I feel like this shows the real life to my classroom. The kid writing, kid work, anchor charts, etc. This is our calendar area. Please pay no attention to the two broken boom boxes sitting on the floor. I seriously don't know why I have them sitting there still.
 This picture was taken before school started. The board is very, very full of love right now. The counting grid is from Really Good Stuff found here

My Word Wall! Totally in love with this as we get more words on there! Can you believe I found that Target lamp for just $8 at a garage sale? Can you believe that it has a crack in it that I didn't notice when I bought it? Psh. I digress. You may notice all these random desks placed around my room. This are for my centers. My long term plan is to buy some tables from IKEA, but August broke me (like it breaks all of you) and so desks will do! I had 5 extra desks and so therefore, they are center desks!

Last, but not least... Here's my post to show that I'm a real teacher. I hope we all have an area like this... An area of just straight up embarrassment. What on earth is this? I call this little corner in my classroom the black hole. This is where things get pushed to be forgotten about... Like that sad little broken chair, my mailboxes which have barely been used this year, and those sad little manipulatives that need to be given a home. Don't even get me started on that poor, poor bookshelf. Le sigh. This is real life, people. 

And, that's it! I hope you enjoyed my little slice of heaven!
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