2 Scoops of Kindergarten

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Out of This World Reading Center & Oriental Trading

Hello Friends, 

Creating an engaging classroom learning environment is important to all teachers and their students!  One of the key areas of my kindergarten class is always the library.  I  try to make this the most exciting part of the room. Well, this year our school has a space theme. 

So how cool is this to have a space themed reading center area for my students to start their LOVE of reading! Thanks to Oriental Trading  we have an engaging reading corner the children are going to want to go to. 

What I like is that there is so much room~ quite a few students can be reading under the canopy. I have a bean bag and numerous pillows underneath. Look at all the cool planets hanging down and the space ship up on top. What child is not going to love this! (*so excited to see their faces and their parents who are going to be so happy too!) Our ceilings are pretty low so don't worry if you have higher ceilings the netting will do the trick. Click here to check out the Oriental Trading Space Themed Reading Center.

Did you know that you can also find a lot of other teacher resources like classroom decorations, bulletin boards supplies, curriculum activities and much more. Look at these adorable pillows! You can find them here. There are many colors and sizes to go along with any classroom. They are so soft but the feature I like most is that you can unzip the cover and wash it. (We know what our pillows look like at the end of the year).

If you are like me you have been going back and forth to the stores purchasing extra supplies and decorations for your room.  Well, Oriental Trading can help you like it has helped me. 

Click Share and you can send to anyone who would like to help donate to your classroom. So easy and efficient! I also plan on putting this link on my class website and in my newsletter. Many parents ask how they can help, they might not be able to come in and help but they would like to get something for the classroom. Oriental Trading makes it very easy. Here is a link to my wish list so you can see an example - Gloria's wish list.

Thank you for visiting my home away from home ~ 2 Scoops of Kindergarten! 

Disclaimer: I will be compensated for this post but all of my remarks are my opinion. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

7 Helpful Tips & Tricks for B2S & freebies!

Hello friends, it's Gloria here with our friends at I teach K-2 sharing some ideas, prizes and freebies to help with Back to School!

Back to School time is always so exciting and a little chaotic...So let us help you out with some tips and ideas to help this time be smooth! I've learned a few things in my 10 years of teaching kindergarten that might help some of you. 

This is one of my favorite ideas that I have LOVED using.  Purchase a wireless doorbell from your local Home Depot, Menards, hardware store... plug into an outlet and you have yourself a (stop, look and listen tool) without having to say a word. My wonderful husband also cut a piece of wood and made a hole to attach to my lanyard, so I can walk around the room and have this with me at all times.

Last year I had a student with medical needs and I needed to carry with me at all times, a walkie talkie and other items....So instead of looking all over the room for everything I needed I purchased an apron from a restaurant  supply store. I like this one because it was plain black so it would go with most of my outfits! (That is important too!) I carried my phone in the pocket too, so I was always ready to take good pictures! :) 

We had always taped down numbers or names on the floor for students to stand on in the beginning of the year (and actually for the whole year). We would assign each a number so there would not be any fighting over where anyone was going to stand. It is amazing how everyone just falls into their spot not arguing who is in front or who is the caboose. Well we would tape these onto the floor and our janitor was not too happy ~ he would have to scrape these up and it would take a long time. Also a lot would fall off. So....my fabulous teaching partner started making these cute dots. Problem solved! You can purchase these at her Etsy store Erynskindercreations (as soon as she gets back from her honeymoon).

Along with the doorbell, I also make a tiny class list in number order to wear with me on my lanyard. Then I will always have that with me so if someone happens to forget where they are to stand I can help them out. Also, it is an easy way to figure out if you have someone missing ~ which does happen at times! 

Rick (the other scoop) has the best word wall (actually he has a few). This particular one is magnetic (he made a magnetic fence ~ so cool!) Students can go up take a word off and then bring it back to their seats. No walking up and trying to find the word and going back and forth to the word wall for each letter. (Yes, that happens) After they are done ~ they put it back up on the magnetic fence under the correct letter and it is ready for the next student! Easy, peasy! If you would like his sight words, you can check them out here.

After teaching for a few years and yes, struggling with classroom management ~ being consistent is so important ~ I really needed to have the rules of the classroom front and center and be very specific about it. Sooo I created Classroom Rules and Procedures and post them everywhere around the room. It is important to get verrrry explicit especially with 5 year olds but I imagine with older students too! So these Classroom Rules & Procedures have helped me and my students so much ~ I can point to the pictures, along with the simple directions ~ to remind students what is expected. 

I wish I had this trick when I first started, it would have saved me a lot of headaches. When my students go to the bathroom (which we are fortunate it is in our classroom closet). They put the bathroom bear in their spot. So when I look up and do not see someone but see the bathroom bear I know that is where they are. They then put the bathroom bear back in it's spot on the counter. Students check to see if someone has the bear and if it is gone they know the bathroom is being used and they have to wait. 

Thank you for visiting us here at 2 Scoops of Kindergarten! I hope you take away one tip or trick that can help you when you go back to school! Here are a few freebies for you too! Tech Rules, Beginning of the year sight word activity.