Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Assess Me Linky - week 2

Hi all .. second blog post today, but I've been meaning to do the Assess Me linky from The Tattooed Teacher for a while now.  Well, here it is!

I prefer jeans for anything and everything.  I would wear them every day to work if I was able to.

Oh man, I am a CITY person.  I lived in Los Angeles for 6 years and then Las Vegas for 1 year.  Now, I live in a smaller town in southern Oregon.  My heart is definitely in Los Angeles.  I miss the vibe of it!

I am a coffee ADDICT.  I think I may need to go to a meeting for it or something.  Can anyone point me in the direction of one?

Also, I hate trains.  HATE.  When I was in 5th grade, I climbed over a train that was blocking the roadway so I could get to my mom's car.  As soon as I got to the other side, the train started moving.  I was FREAKED.  I still don't like them.

Head on over to her blog and participate!

How to save YouTube videos to your computer

As I am thinking about all the lovely YouTube videos that I want to use in my class again this next year, I am reminded that I am very lucky that my district doesn't block anything other than Facebook (and the super inappropriate sites of course).  I am also reminded that I was once one of the unlucky teachers that taught where EVERYTHING was blocked.  So many times I wished I could use a YouTube video to introduce a lesson or to follow up on something.  I absolutely love the site.  I used to just give up and say, "Oh well, I guess I just can't use it."  End of story.  Bummer!

BUT WAIT!!  Did you know that even if your district blocks YouTube, you can still use the videos?!  No, I'm not talking about getting on TeacherTube and looking for something similar.  I'm talking the actual YouTube videos.  Now, it will take some extra effort on your part, because you won't be able to just open up your preferred browser and search for the video.  You can SAVE the video to your computer (while using your home internet) and put it on your flash drive.  Then, go in to your work computer, pop that flash drive in the USB port, and open it using QuickTime.  Viola!  You now have a YouTube video at your fingertips!!

Here is the video that walks you through the whole process.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Assess Me Linky

Hey all.  I'm linking up with The Tattooed Teacher for her assess me linky.  We all love assessments, right?  Hah ... well, at least this one is a fun one!

I love fun getting to know you activities.  Well, here's mine!  You can head on over to her blog and grab yours up as well.

I don't talk to myself out loud, but I'll occasionally rehearse conversations I'm about to have, or things I want to say, in my head.  

I am so superstitious.  It's ridiculous.  I'm to the point that I feel like if I tell anyone (besides my husband) about things like an interview or something, I won't get the position.  I didn't tell anyone besides my husband about the interview I had at my school, and I got it.  I had other interviews that I told people about, and didn't get it.  Kind of silly, but I totally believe in jinxes!

I am definitely hungry.  It's 11pm and I still haven't eaten dinner.  I fell asleep on the couch and just woke up about an hour ago.  I'm not sure if I should make something or just not eat.

No TV currently.  I was trying to watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix earlier, but our AC unit is so strong that if we have it on while watching TV, it blows the fuse.  I gave up and took a nap instead.

I used to live in LA, so I had an annual pass for a few years.  I miss being able to go to Disney easily!  I just went about a month ago and am dying to go back already!!  My best friend's sister works there, so I got to reap the benefits of that and get in for free!

I grew up in Southern California and was born in LA.  I lived in LA up until two years ago.  California wasn't really hiring brand new teachers, so I applied to CCSD in Vegas and got hired.  My husband and I moved and I taught there for a year.  Then we decided to move to southern Oregon and I started teaching kinder here.  I definitely miss California!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

All About This Kinder Teacher Linky

Hey hey hey!  I'm so excited about the Kinder Tribe linky party!!

I am so inspired and impressed by the amount of work these admins have put into the group and the blog and how stinkin' fast they got it all done!!  Yukari over at A Pinch of Kinder has done an amazing job at designing the blog AND the Pinterest page!  Whoop whoop for her!

Name:  I prefer to go by Jen.  My mom and dad are the ONLY ones who call me Jennifer.  If someone else calls me Jennifer, I instantly freeze and feel like I'm in trouble!  I HATE being called Jenny.  Them are fighting words!

Years teaching/years in K:  This will be my third full year of teaching coming up.  I spent my first year teaching in 3rd grade at a school in Las Vegas.  Then, I moved to Southern Oregon and got hired to teach kindergarten for the 14-15 school year.  Next year will be my second year in K.  Before I got my own classroom, I was a K-8 substitute for two years.

I can't live without my:  pets!!  I have three of them.  I have a 4 year old black cat named Milo (he is a grumpy old man!), a 3 year old orange tabby named Lily (who can be the sweetest little cuddle bug), and a two year old golden retriever named Bailey (who still looks like a puppy and is so full of energy).  They are crazy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Favorite School Supply:  Name plates.  Weird, I know.  But I love writing their names on them.  They're chevron, of course.  This year, I'm using velcro to attach them to my tables so I can easily move kids around without my OCD getting the best of me.  I hate when that tape gets all curled up when you move them around.

Favorite Kinder Book:  Pete the Cat!  I love his message that even though things may be crazy, he just goes with the flow and "It's all good!"  He can be used to teach SO many different things - beginning of the year tour, colors, subtraction, little vs. big problems, fruits, etc, etc!

Favorite Kinder Blog:  I love checking out Jill over at Chevron and Centers because I'm not sure who else can share of ungodly obsession with chevron print.  It's pretty much the best print out there.  Plus she has some pretty terrific ideas!

I love kindergarten because ...:  They grow so so so so SO much over the year.  Where else will they come in as babies and leave as 1st graders?  Most of mine came in not even knowing how to write their name, knowing maybe 5 letters, and left knowing all the letter names, letter sounds, and writing complete sentences.  They also have a HUGE imagination.  Plus where else can you act all silly and still be loved for it??

If you haven't checked out Kinder Tribe, search for them on Facebook or head on over to the blog and follow them!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 Ways to Sabotage Your Classroom Management

Ummmmm ... did this author come into my room my first year and write this post about me, or what? As a new teacher, you're overwhelmed and you're trying to work out all of the kinks.  This post is so incredibly honest and full of so many great things to do.  I loooove that it addresses a problem and gives an alternative.

When anybody asks me for new teacher advice, I always say "do not talk until everyone is listening."  That's exactly what #4 says.  I can't stress this enough.  The second, and I mean second, you allow students to talk while you are talking, you've reinforced that it's okay for them not to listen to you.  And this spills into everything else.  "She didn't make me stop talking, so she's not going to make me [insert whatever your expectation is now]."  These kids are smart.  I can't get over how street smart and intuitive kids are.  They pick up on these things and they sense fear.  Quickly.  They're like lions circling you and you have no out.  Once they smell fear, you're done for.  Take the extra five seconds and wait.  You'll thank yourself later.  Did they start talking again while you were talking?  Stop and start over.  Did you give instructions to come in quietly and they were loud?  Have the whole class head outside again.  Peer pressure works.  Use it for good.  I can't tell you how many times I made my kindergarteners go back outside and line up again because they didn't follow my instructions.  Or go back to their seats when it was time for lunch because the line was noisy.  They learned quick.  And if they didn't, their classmates could usually give them guilt for it.  Seriously, say what you mean and mean what you say.

Ohhhh, don't get me started on #9.  It's sooooooooo easy to get caught in a negative cycle.  You notice Johnny over there talking while you're trying to do a read aloud.  What do you do?  Most will tell Johnny to stop talking.  And sometimes that's necessary.  But, there's a different way to go about it.  Find kids around Johnny and say "I love that Sammie is listening to the story and I can tell that she's focused because she's quiet."  Like I said above - kids are smart and intuitive.  They want crave attention, and they're going to get it one way or another.  Negative attention is still attention.  When they notice they aren't getting attention for breaking the rules but others are getting attention for following them, they start following those rules pretty quickly.  Now, does that work for 100% of kids?  Well, no, but it's a start.  Some kids require more intensive behavior plans.  But 90-95% of kids respond favorably to positive attention.

Which then goes into #6.  Back to Johnny.  You've now just given attention to Sammie and ignored Johnny.  He wants that attention and he's going to get it by now listening.  As soon as you see Johnny listening, you reinforce that by saying, "Thank you so much for listening now, Johnny."  He sees that he gets attention for doing the right thing.  Now, there is a time when you need to just tell someone to cut it out.  But don't tell them what not to do.  Don't say, "Johnny, stop talking."  Instead, tell Johnny what he needs to do.  "Johnny, I need to you be quiet so that you, and others around you, can listen to the story."  Give him redirection in a positive way.  I had an assistant this year that said that my positive behavior management was one of the first things she noticed when she was in my classroom.  She said that she had gotten so used to telling kids what not to do, but was so much happier telling kids what to do and focusing on those doing the right thing.

I hope this article helps.  :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Handprint Memory Book

One of my favorite projects that I do in my class is a handprint memory book.  The response I got from parents was amazing.  They loved seeing all of the highlights throughout the year and different handprint projects from throughout the year.  Well, I was using copies from my teaching partner and I just wasn't happy with how it looked at the end.  It was cute, don't get me wrong, but it just seemed kind of mismatched.  I had to do something different this year while still going about the same concept.  Well, I found adorable clip art from Melonheadz that had the months in frames and just had to get it to create a new layout!  Well, I am absolutely in love with the finished product!!

Here's a few pictures of the result:

I cannot wait until the year starts so that I can whip this bad boy out and start right away!!  I looooooove seeing it all come together at the end of the year.  I usually don't use the August, June, or July, but who knows ... if I have extra time am extra ambitious this year, I just might!  I print these off on cardstock, paint their hands each month, take pictures during our key events (pumpkin patch field trip, Halloween costumes, first day of school, last day of school, Christmas program, community helpers field trip) and develop them and include them in this.  Then, I bind it up and send it on home.  I tend to look through them a million times before I send them home, however.

Anyway, if you'd like one, head on over to my TpT listing and grab one up for yourself.  It's $6.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

TpT - a first!

I just posted my FIRST TpT product!  It's FREE!  Check out my store - Teaching with Chevron.  I'm so excited to use these in my classroom next year.  I use HWT, so I want everything to be in HWT font.  I'll be working on getting these in a pretty font and making them in portrait soon.  Check it out and please make sure you leave feedback if you download!  :)