Thursday, October 4, 2012

Targeted Services

Our Kindergarten program went through a major change for this school year. In the past we each had two classes - Red Day and Blue Day. The students would attend on alternating days. This meant that we each had over 40 students. Included in those students there were a handful of everyday students that were either on IEP's or were retained from the previous year.

Fast-forward to this year... Each teacher has only one class and all students attend Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This means that we moved from 3.5 Kindergarten teachers (one was only part-time!) to 7 teachers. We also hired 6 new paraprofessionals for the program. Quite the change in staffing in the Kindergarten hallway!

So what does this have to do with Targeted Services? Well, since I was already a full-time employee, the district offered me the opportunity to teach the students who need extra help on Mondays and Fridays. Obviously I wanted to remain full-time so I accepted! This was the first time a program like this was offered in the district and we were starting from scratch. We completed assessments with all of the students in Kindergarten to determine which students would qualify for the additional help. The classes were formed and we started just a few weeks ago. It has been amazing! I can already tell that these extra classes will make a big difference! I can't wait to see the results from the screenings this winter and again in the spring.

Does anyone else have a program like this in their district? We call ours "Kindergarten Plus" but it is funded through a program entitled, "Targeted Services." I'm curious to learn about what others do in their schools. What do you do with struggling Kindergarten students?

Ultimately, we would like to see everyday K funded through the state. The state currently funds Kindergarten at .6, which is really sad. Hopefully someday soon we will see this happen!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Maybe it's not the next day, but...

I can't believe how long it has been since I have updated my blog. This year is flying by way too quickly. We have 4 new teachers on our grade level and I also have a student teacher this year (Hi Kristina!) so it has been extremely busy and I haven't had a chance to write any entries lately. I always think about it mid-day when something fun and exciting happens... but by the time I get home I am exhausted and forget all about it. 

So... here are some of the forms I had promised in my last post before school started! :) 

First day of school certificate: 

Click HERE to download! 

Transportation Sign-up Sheet

Click HERE to download! 

I hope that you are able to use these in your classroom!
Have a great day! 
- Anna -
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, August 13, 2012

Really? 2AM again?

So my beautiful baby girl (I call her Boo since she was born on Halloween) has pretty much always been a great sleeper... until this week. I'm not sure what has been happening, but she is now waking at least 3 times at night. I've been researching it and some experts believe that when children reach a developmental milestone they regress in their sleep habits. She did start crawling last week, so if "they" are correct, that could be it. She is also teething so that could be part of it too. AND she has been eating like crazy - growth spurt? Add it all together and this mommy is tired, yet wide awake at 2AM. 

So, what am I doing? Checking out TPT, TN, Pinterest and of course other teacher blogs. I was thinking about back to school and forms that I need to prepare for my students. I thought I would share some with you here. 

The first is my photo permission form that I send home with all families. I require all families to sign a form granting me permission to use their child's photo throughout the school year as well as on our website. My original form has our class website listed, but I have removed that portion so you can use it for your students. 

Click here for the free form!

Oh... and guess who is up again!? I'll update more forms tomorrow. Thank you for stopping in and visiting my little blog!

- Anna -

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School Sale!

I am so excited! I've been spending a little bit of time... OK... A LOT of time adding items to my cart for tomorrow's big sale at TPT. There are so many amazingly talented teachers out there and TPT and Teacher's Notebook have become my "go to" websites for resources. My list of items keeps growing and growing!! 

I've also added some new items to my store. I hope you will stop by and check them out! 

Click here to see the Teal Colored Polka Dot Letters

Click here to see the Multi-colored Polka Dot Letters

These fun and adorable letters will be part of the Back to School sale going on at TPT tomorrow and Monday. In fact, all of my items will be 20% off! Add in the discount from TPT and you can get everything at 28% off! How great is that?! 

Have fun shopping - I know I will! :)

- Anna -

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Welcome to Kindergarten!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE all of these fun, new pennant banners popping up all over the internet. What a fun and whimsical way to decorate your classroom!? I decided to create one to welcome my new students to my classroom. Check it out! 

It is hard to see in the picture, but you can get a better idea if you head over to my store and check out the preview thumbnails. 

I sure hope that someone will find it useful for their classroom! Once I have it hanging up in my room I will post a picture. I'll be spending the whole day there today... hopefully I get a lot done! :) Does anyone else find themselves working on random, little things instead of the big, important things? I could just play around in my classroom all day long! 

Have a terrific Tuesday! :) 

 - Anna - 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Responsive Classroom

Wow, I can't believe it has been almost 6 months since I had my first post! I have decided that I need to stop thinking about blogging, and just do it! :) 

I just spent a week taking Responsive Classroom 2. I started the first class last summer, but was put on temporary bed-rest while pregnant. I wasn't able to finish the first class, but still implemented a lot of it in my classroom last year. Luckily, my principal allowed me to take the second class this summer! And I am so glad! We discussed a lot of areas that are common trouble spots for educators. There are a few ideas that I am excited to use in my room this fall, but one stood out to me more than the others. We learned about Problem Solving Conferences with students. They can be used for any type of behavior/issue, but I feel they would work great for when students aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing in the classroom. (Please tell me I'm not the only one with this problem!!) The instructor, Kristin, was amazing and shared an actual "script" that she uses with the students. I tweaked it a little bit and typed it up so that I could have a "cheat sheet" for when I need it. She suggested making it small and keeping it somewhere that you could refer to it. I'm going to print off one big copy and then print it 1/4 the size so I can put it next to my computer. 

Here are the example quotes she suggested:

1. "I noticed ___________ (fill in the blank with the behavior). Did you notice that too? A great example would be, "I noticed that you haven't started your work yet. Did you notice that too?" Sometimes kids don't even realize that they are off-task! This little reminder may be all you need! 

2. "Well, that can't happen anymore. It is a problem because ___________ (fill in the blank)." Explain why it is a problem. Is it distracting other students? Will they have time to finish their project? Is it unsafe?

3. "What do you think that's about anyway? Could it be _________." Give them a chance to think about why they are exhibiting that behavior. Did they understand the directions? Are they distracted by something that happened earlier? 

4. "We need to fix things (make it better, make it work). Do you have any ideas? How about _________?" Try to let them come up with a solution. If they can't think of one, offer them a suggestion.

5. "Let's try it! I'll be keeping an eye on things and will check in with you." Show the student that you are excited for them to try to solve the problem and then be sure to come back and check in with them after a few minutes! 

I hope this little bit of info will be helpful to other teachers! I'm attaching a form for you to download for your own files. 

Have a great night!

Anna :) 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Snow Day - Hooray!

Well, the weatherman was right! The news had been predicting a large snowstorm for our area. Usually it ends up moving just north or south of us and we get a light dusting of snow. This morning we woke up to quite a bit of snow. I received a text from my principal saying that we were going to be 2 hours late. As soon as I started calling co-workers for the calling tree I received another text. SNOW DAY! We had the day off. We will have to make up the day this Spring, but having a day off to snuggle my little girl was well worth it! 

I didn't accomplish much around the house, but I did decide to finally start the blog I had been planning on doing for over a year now! My goal is to use this as a place to share ideas with other educators. I hope that it will be useful and inspirational to all who stop by to visit! 

Have a great day... tomorrow it is "back to the grind!"

Anna : )