Sunday, August 31, 2014

Behind Closed Doors...

I am officially back in a kindergarten classroom. I have a new partner and a new room. This room is much smaller so I need to really think about how to set it up effectively. I have minimal space so many of the things I created are smaller and take up less room.
My theme this year is Pete the Cat so my room is covered in blue paper with pops of color in red, yellow, and green. My partner Dawn put up most of the paper and did an amazing job of tolerating my fussiness.
She rocks.

Here is an example of how I am displaying my sight words in chunks of ten. They will hang where the children can touch them easily. I am color coding them and I have little numbers at the top for reference. I made circles and taped them to a wide polka dotted ribbon. This took very little time and was easy to do. I love how it turned out!

These are the number cards I made but they are half a page in size and take up much less space. I made them 1-10 but will move on when I have the time and energy. You know how that is. If you want them I will give them to you as a gift. Just go to my FB page and "like" me at the top and hit fan freebie and they will show up easy, peasy. You are welcome.

I love these color word posters because Pete is holding a pencil in each color and is wearing matching shoes. It is too cute for words and turned out beautifully. I hope the kids like it as much as I do. I am making an extra set for them to use at centers. Cute, right?

I am a big fan of classroom rules and I don't ask the kids to come up with them. They are five and I am not interested in  "no kicking, no screaming, no hitting...." This are more aligned to PBIS and are numbered for reference. We will chant them each day. The little book provides another way to visit the rules but my real goal is to send it home for parents to see so they know what my expectations are. I have done a lot of reading about this and most educators believe that we are the teacher and should set our expectations. They do not feel students "buy in" more if they develop the rules themselves. Okay, I am not sure where I stand on this but I will have a discussion and see how it rolls. People have strong beliefs about this but I am willing to update and try something new. This is hard for me.

I have blogged about my tag system and I am here to tell you it really works. It came out of my little head and I have never looked back. Each child has their own icon and it shows up on all their things so they will recognized it immediately. For students who are not fluent in English this is a really awesome solution. You can purchase a version of this in my TpT store for just a few dollars. I could not live without these. I changed the icons up because I get tired of my own stuff.

My wonderful friend Susanna from Whimsy Workshop made me an avatar that really looks like me. I decided to use it when the kids need time to relax and just color because I have slammed so much information at them. I have one for my partner too. She loves this! Then we can send it home for our parents so they remember our names... genius, right? They can post it on the refrigerator for reference.

If you know me you know that I obsess on Pete the Cat and headbands so we are making a headband the first day that says we are rocking in our kindergarten shoes. I did not use this kind of paper for the strip but just wanted to show you a picture of what it might look like. I cut strips of construction paper. My partner and I cut our the white template and stapled one side to the strip so that the will go quickly. The kids have trouble with sitting for too long and I am hoping they all walk out the first day with this headband on. 

There is still much to do but it is shaping up slowly and I will share as the weeks go by. Meet Dawn. She is my new partner and I know how lucky I am to have her in my life. Here is our frame and ready or not... LOOK OUT KINDERGARTEN, HERE I COME!

Have you made any changes?


Sandy Welch said...

I love everything! What a smart way to display sight words. Are they attached with velcro so you can change them or let the kids use them? The picture that Susanne made of you is precious. Do we get to see a room reveal? Happy school year, sweet Fran!

Fran Kramer said...

You are the best Sandy. I didn't even think of velcro but the kids will have their own smaller cards to use on a ring. Not sure I can handle a room reveal. It has a ways to go!

Palma Sarah said...

Your sight word ribbon display is brilliant, Fran! Love the name tags and 1st day headbands too. I want to visit your classroom! <3

colleen said...

I agree about the rules... I think sometimes kids are confused when they step into a new room, like "she says she's in charge but she's asking us what the rules should be?" Explaining the rules right away makes the teacher a stronger authority for those kids who might push the limits!

One Sharp Bunch by Ashley Sharp said...

Love your avatar! It looks so much like you, and your new partner looks pretty awesome too! Thanks for the tip on the headbands! We will be making some on the first day of school as well, and I was wondering how to get them prepped so things go smoothly and we finish on time! Great ideas, Fran!

One Sharp Bunch

ronnie said...

Thank you.

catherine said...

Hi Fran, Your rules look great. I looked around TPT and didn't see them or your rule book. Am I missing them somewhere?

Kind regards,

PS.- glad to see your back in a Kindergarten room, I enjoy reading about the activities you do with your kindergartners.

Meredith said...

As you begin in the classroom again, just think of the hundreds of people who you have helped get their rooms ready with your spot on Kindergarten creations. Well done, Fran! Let the "party" begin!

KinderKapers said...

I love the words on a ribbon! That goes right along with the flashcards I made (but I like your round words better).

When it comes to rules....even if we let the kids make their own rules, don't we make sure they are the ones we want?

Terri Izatt

Nancy Baker said...

Do you have the words that go on the ribbon in tpt?

Lisaluvz2kwilt said...

Hi Fran! I am also interested in the rules, and rule book. Will you be sharing them? Thanks, and I am also glad you are back in kindergarten. I can't wait to read about your year! :)

Fran Kramer said...

I will post the rules and reader today for you on TpT if possible and it won't be expensive! Love all of you for such supportive comments!

Judi Smith said...

It's the third week of school and I am now going from first grade ..... back to Kindergarten! And I have a very "cozy" room! So thanks for the great sight word idea. I was having trouble coming up with a good solution for a word wall. I can't wait for a room reveal!! I'm sure I could grab lots of great ideas...please!

Terry Yordan said...

Love the round sight words on the ribbon. Would you consider posting them for us on TpT?
Love your ideas and am a stalker of your blog.
Sunnyvale, CA

msdora162 said...

Great ideas. I am very happy you are back in a classroom. I bet the parents of your students will be even happier. Love your sight words on ribbon and your rules. I am waiting "patiently" for them to go on tpt.

Mirtha Medina said...

Great job, Fran! I love your works, all of them most especially the color cards. It takes a very artistic person to get those things done.

Beth Raust said...

Do have the number posters with tens frames on TPT? I did not find them. They are great. Beth

Fran Kramer said...

They were a freebie on my FB page.

Nan Sharkey said...

Thanks for sharing all the pictures of your classroom. So bright and organized!
Any chance you will you sell your calendar pieces? They're awesome!

trinh tran said...

I love,love,love your editable tags and have been using it for years. I am like you and get really bored with the icons after awhile and noticed your cute new icons....Will you be updating the old icons to the new ones anytime soon? I would love to have the new ones.
Best Regards!