Friday, August 31, 2012

Airplane theme

I'm so excited to have my kindergarten classroom just about ready for the first day of school. I was looking for something new and interesting when I was decorating, and my best friend suggested that I include airplanes and maps to signify that we are on an adventure together. I love it, and think it makes the room a happier place.

Here's my desk. (Already cluttered, but I'm still figuring out how to organize this for the different kind of instruction that will happen in kindergarten.)

The bulletin board announces that we are Soaring into Kindergarten.
I hung the letters from pins like this:

Each child has a boarding pass:

And I used little airplane touches around the room... Our reading tent is designed to look like we're in the clouds.

Paper airplanes are flying around the room!

I also have been reading about the importance of making print significant in a Kindergarten classroom. Instead of starting with everything labeled and a bunch of print on the walls, we will add print throughout the year as it relates to letters and words we are learning. The idea is that the kids won't be overwhelmed by print right away, and everything hung in the classroom will be significant to them.

A little writing center is set up in a train case. I hope to use more suitcases to organize centers throughout the year.

So, there you have it. Ready for our great adventures in kindergarten!

I got my free boarding pass template at this site:

Letters were cut on my Cricut. I love that toy, and I'm using it to create my next kindergarten project- a darling picture frame for the first day of school. I can't wait to show you!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Open House

Wow! I met my class last night. Some were shy, others were silly, MANY were busy. Some wanted to show me everything they know, reading the alphabet chart and finding their names on the nametags. Others hid behind their parents, hoping that if they didn't look at me maybe I'd go away.

The parents were so wonderful, many as nervous as the kids. This is such a big step for them. I'm honored to be a part of this important event in their lives.

I guess I should say, "Sorry," to all of you fifth grade teachers and high school algebra teachers. Truth is, they might forget your name. But I get to be their KINDERGARTEN teacher! Woohoo, we are going to have a great year!

Allie the Alligator, our class pet. SO hoping she doesn't die like that hamster I had as a class pet a few years ago.


Monday, August 27, 2012


Why is it SOOOO fun to decorate a classroom? I don't mean organize (ewww) or get set up for instruction (too much like... WORK). I mean, just decorate, add cute touches, and imagine the little kindergarten friends thinking that this is the most magical place they've ever been. 

This is the little table I painted to go in my classroom. Whimsical, yet functional. I think that's my decorating theme. 

So, now that my table is done, I'm on to the next project... 
Zero the Hero is getting his ZERO sewn on tonight :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reading Chair

My classroom is SLOWLY coming together. I love this reading chair I painted about 5 years ago. I'm thinking it needs a new cushion and it's ready to go.

Getting this ready reminded me how much I love read aloud time. I'd read books all day if I could :) I'm also remembering how kindergarten friends sit WAY too close to the teacher during read aloud time. Maybe I'll draw a line around the chair to define my personal space.

Today's project: a matching table. Gotta get my paintbrushes out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I spent a great day learning with kindergarten teachers!

This is Matt Mello, our Tech Guy. He's invented this awesome tool for mounting/holding an iPad to just about anything. This is going to change the way we teach in kindergarten!

Check it out:

Matt's Video

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Reading Tent

I have this thing with PVC pipe. It's not really an obsession. But almost.

I had a cool reading tent in my classroom about 3 years ago, and decided to build it again this year. This time, it is covered with a cool bed canopy that I got from the FREE pile at a garage sale a few years ago. I never glue my PVC creations together, I just connect them with (white) duct tape so I can pull this whole baby apart and make something else with the pieces later. For now, though, I think it is an awesome addition to our classroom reading space.

The idea is that I want the learning centers in my classroom to have well defined spaces. I hope my kindergarten friends will think it a fun place to read and look at books with friends.

You can't see the PVC frame in this picture, but it is a lot like the one at this website:

The rest of the room is still coming together. I'll add more pictures soon.
Two weeks until school starts :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The "Before" Pictures

The bad news is that when I got to my classroom, it was filled with piles of boxes. Files and children's books mixed with binder clips and last year's crayons.

The worse news is that those are MY boxes. I kept old crayons? My new room has a lot of storage, most of it already filled with curriculum guides and teaching materials. The teacher who left this room was awesome, she cleaned so much! But, there is still a lot of sorting and purging to do.

The good news is that being in my new room is energizing and helps me envision all of the great times we are going to have here. We'll share great stories and grow as readers and writers. We'll sing and dance together. We'll observe the seasons change, counting up to 100 days and then counting down to June. I love that part. Did you see that the calendar is already up and ready to go???

Hooray! Can't help it. I LOVE back-to-school!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mobile blogging

That's right. I figured out how to post images from my phone. woohoo!

Back to School

I recently found out that I'll be teaching kindergarten next year. I went through all of the Stages-of-Grief-with-Changing-Grade-Levels: Denial, Bargaining, Acceptance, Excitement, and... Shopping! I experienced a range of emotions: from anticipation to worry and joy to, well, exhaustion. (or pre-exhaustion, where you think, "Maybe I should sleep now to prepare for how tired I will be in September.")

I've been a teaching for 15 years. I've taught eager-to-learn first graders and brilliantly funny fifth graders. My last nine years have been in special education, working in a resource room with wonderfully inspiring kids who are making it through school with a variety of disabilities.

Moving back to a general ed classroom is a huge undertaking. There's a lot of work to do, and it all starts today with my first trip to my new classroom. Fasten your seat belts -or- if you're a kindergartener, get up in your booster seat- the adventure is about to begin!