QR Codes in Kindergarten

Every school year I like to try to do something new or to improve on something and I wanted to incorporate technology into the classroom and I wanted students to be more responsible for their learning during literacy stations. So I did some research on QR Codes over the summer and decide to give them a try in my classroom.

The biggest obstacle that I have with using QR Codes is knowing what devices I can use and have to use in my classroom. I really wanted to use old cellphones because they would be easy to collect, but it didn’t seem like I could use them. So I ended up using my one and only I-pad. I was worried that there would be problems with students trying to use it at the same time, but that has not happened.

Now it took me some time trying to download the apps that I need because I needed to ask certain to be able to download on the I-pad. Though I kept up with asking people and it paid off. I asked last year about downloading something and nobody got back to me.

So in my kindergarten classroom, I use QR Codes during my literacy stations at two of my stations so far; write the room and pocket chart. I use QR Codes for students to self check their work at these stations.

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Simple and Cheap Literacy Center Ideas

I wanted to share some really easy and inexpensive literacy center ideas that can be used throughout the school year. There is also little prep that needs to be done with these ideas. I know my first year of teaching that I had trouble finding engaging and cheap center, so I though I would share what I have found so far and that my students enjoy doing.

Go Fish

The Dollar Tree have these really great fish cut outs and I use them for Go Fish games. I laminate them before writing on them, so if I want I can remove the writing and be able to write something else. I only did that because I was having trouble finding them and knew I wanted to use them different skills likes sight words, letters, word families, etc.

Tic-Tac-Toe

For Tic-Tac-Toe you can make this a few different ways. You can just draw the lines on a piece of construction paper and place in a sheet protector or laminate it. Again this game can be used for many different skills.

Memory

Now the memory cards that I have are ones that I find here for free and printed on card stock for durability. You can always write on construction paper or on the other cut outs from Dollar Tree to make the memory game.

Keyboards

Now for this you don’t have to use real key boards. You can always print some off from online, but students really enjoy using actual key boards. I have student use them to practice typing their name and sight words. You could also buy key boards at the thrift store or maybe even ask parents if they have any old ones they are not using.

Telephone

Just like with the key boards you can find old phones at the the thrift stores or even ask parents for old cell phones to donate. I find this idea from Kids Count 1234 and she even has a worksheet where students can make up a number and write down the words the students tell them.

Bingo

This is such a fun and simple game that students always enjoy playing. It can also be used as a whole group game. You can find lots of free bingo games on different skills on TPT. You can also use my template and make for own bingo game that meets the skills you are teaching.

Play-do/Mini Erasers

You can find lots of free play-do mats on TPT on letters, word families, digraphs, sight words, and etc. This mats can be used by other materials then just play-do to keep the activity engaging like mini erasers or pipe cleaners.

 

And there you have it! Seven easy, cheap, and simple literacy center ideas that you can use in your classroom throughout the school year and with different skills. Let me know any other simple and cheap literacy centers you like to use in your classroom.

Also before sure to check back on my blog because I will be sharing more literacy ideas for centers like writing, alphabet, pocket chart, and sight words.

Back to School Night 2017-2018

At my school, we have back to school night after the school year has already begun and I decided I wanted to change how we usually do it. I wanted to show parents that there is ton of learning in kindergarten and it’s not just play time anymore. So I focused on more of what a kindergarten showed know by the end of kindergarten.

I used the powerpoint back to school template from Shuna at Pocket Full of Kinders and you can get it free here.

I also used What we Learn in Kindergarten Letter from Simply Kinder. I absolutely love this paper because it is simple and it gives parents the general idea of all the important items we learn. I feel that lots of parents say “Oh, it’s just kindergarten. They just mostly play all day.” Parents also think it’s ok to just miss school for that same reason too. So I had that paper out and went over it and placed level D readers for parents to see what they should be reading by the end of the school year too.¬†I am so glad that I did all of that because the looks on some of the parents faces were a little shocked.

First Day of Kindergarten 2017-2018

In my county, Kindergarten teachers are very lucky that we have staggered start days, so we technically have three first days. We have about 6-7 students come each day to get acquainted with school. I love this because it makes it so much easier to manage a small group of students to teach them morning routine and all the basic things like how to ask to go to the bathroom or raising hands. I don’t know what I would do if all 18 students come in on the same day.

The first day/s of school are just getting students familiar with the classroom and me. I try to keep the first day pretty simple and fun, but to also start laying out the schedule and practicing routines. We play fun games, make a craft, dance, sing, and overall have fun. I don’t have a set schedule that I follow just because you never know what is going to happen in kindergarten. Be prepared for the unexpected! You never know what may have that first day.

So below is an outline for my plan for the first day:

9:00 – Greet students, show how to unpack backpack, and explain morning routine.

9:30 – Have students clean up and place worksheet in cubby.

9:35 – Bring students to carpet and show hand signs posters. Have students practice signs. Then show students bathroom and explain bathroom routine.

9:45 –

 

Kindergarten Classroom Tour 2017-2018!

I am starting with a blank canvas because last year I took EVERYTHING home! And oh my gosh, I did not realize how much I have accumulated in my two years of teaching. Thankfully, my parents came and helped me take everything home. While we were packing up, other teachers would walk by and say that I had a ton of stuff. All I could think when they said that was ‘this isn’t even all of it because some was already home and some was in my car.’

This will be my third year teaching kindergarten at the same school even though it looks like I am staring over I am not. Over the summer I was trying to find a school closer to my home and family, but it didn’t word out. So needless to say I did not bring EVERYTHING back because I might make some changes for next school year. The great thing about bringing everything home was that I got all of it really really organized and hopefully I keep it that way till the end of the school year.

I like to keep a cute and simple classroom, so my classroom doesn’t have a theme. My first year I did try to do a chevron theme, so you can tell some of my posters are chevron. Though other then that don’t have a theme.

Also if you wanted to see the before pictures and pictures as I was setting it up then be sure to check out my Instagram!

Now on to my classroom!

 

number posters

classroom jobs

 

Summer Haul 2017-2018

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Something must have been in the water or something because I feel like I went in on buying stuff for my classroom this summer and didn’t even really realize it until I put it all together. The photo above is something I posted to my Instagram mid July and of course by the time I could go back to school the pile got even bigger. I thought I would share what I bought, why I bought it, and share just how much I spent this summer on my classroom.

I am going to break down what I bought buy store.

Michaels

Bubbles $10 – I saw these bubbles for half off and knew that I had to get them because it seemed like such a good deal. I was going to use it as a gift for the beginning of the year, but then decide to give to to them as end of the year gifts instead.

Lap Trays $20 – This was kind of an impulse buy to be honest, though I am happy that I bought them because during reading rotations I let students sit anywhere and this would be good when they are on the floor with a game or writing.

Target

First Day Board – I was not going to get this because it seemed liked it would be too much work, but then Michelle from Pocket Full of Primary said that another teacher shared you can just type in the word on the computer and that is a great idea.

Bulletin Borders – I loved the borders this year. They were so cute and I am not sure if I am going to use them or not because I don’t know if I want to change my borders since they are already done.

Erasers – These were so hard to find, but thanks to my lovely parents who went out of their way for me and found them. Plus some of the other items too.

Alphabet Puzzle – I saw this puzzle and knew it would be really great activity for students during reading rotations.

Felt Money – I went back and forth wether to buy this or not, but then I was like I have a gift card and I know that students would really enjoy using it at home living.

USA Puzzle – I always have students who really enjoy puzzles and I don’t have very many and thought this would be nice to add.

Magnetic Alphabet, Shapes, and Numbers – I have no idea. They were cute.

Stickers – Students can use them at art center.

Gel Clings – This was something my parents surprised me with and purchased.

Sentence Strips – Not really sure, but maybe as head bands for 100th day crowns and other projects.

Pencil Pouch – It was cute.

Adhesive Square Labels – I saw this idea on Instagram to use them to make pocket cubes from tissue boxes.

Today is Signs – I don’t really need this, but didn’t want any regrets.

Pencil and Cork Banner – I wanted to use them for some kind of decor in my room. I might even add words to them.

Colors Poster – I have the cats color signs, but one was missing a word and I got them from another. I don’t really like them and have been looking for something new and didn’t want to waste my colored ink.

Chalkboard Apple – Teacher sign with my name on it.

Name Plates – Student name tags for cubbies and lockers.

Word Signs – Again more decor that I don’t really need, but bought anyways.

Kohls

Pigeon $5 – I love Mo Willems books especially the Pigeon series and knew that I had to get him.

Shower Caddies $18.90 – For my listening library.

Oriental Trading

Plastic Frogs $5 – Again this was an impulse buy, but I wanted to use these for a math lesson and hopefully some other lessons, so I don’t feel as bad for buying them for just one thing.

Geo Boards $12 – I mean what kindergarten teacher doesn’t have these?

Thrift Store

Books (48) $22.08 – ¬†Searching for books at my thrift store has become such and addiction for me. I have found some really great books and even some that are like brand new. And I just can’t seem to stop because I get so excited when I find a favorite book of mine.

Don’t Break the Ice $1 – I saw on Pinterest how another teacher used this as a math game.

Dollar Tree

Fish Cut Outs $3 – I use these as a go fish game and I needed some more.

Motivational Signs $2 – I really liked the sayings and thought they would be really nice to put up on the wall.

Walmart

Pillows $4 – I decide to buy some new pillows for my couch. The other ones were so old and I want didn’t like them. Besides these pillows were on clearance.

Plastic Bins $15 – I want to store all of my manipulatives in these bins.

Total: $

Now you might be thinking ‘OMG!, She spent so much money this summer’ and yes. Yes I did, but also I did not. I had a ton of Target gift cards that I didn’t even realize, so I spent nothing at Target. Everything else was pretty cheap like at the Dollar Tree and Thrift Store. Oh and I had a gift card for Michaels, so that didn’t cost anything else either. So Overall, I could have spent a ton more money if I didn’t have those gift cards.

Be on the look out for my classroom tour to see how I use some of the items above.

A Little Bit About Me

I have almost had this blog for four years and I have never really shared much about me and that’s mostly because I am a naturally private person. I thought new school year means new changes and I wanted to share a little bit about myself, so Hello and here is a little bit about myself.

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Name: Marlee

Birthday: Sept. 17

Age: 24

State: Maryland born and raised

Education: Towson University BA in ECED

Teaching: This will be my third year and all three years have been in kindergarten

Food: Italian

Dessert: Chocolate

Color: Turquoise

Odd Fact 1: I don’t like crabs even though I am a Marylander.

Odd Fact 2: I don’t like coffee even though I am a teacher. I am naturally an early riser.