Monday, June 27, 2011

Winna Winna Chicken Dinna

So, I attended the BEST school event EVER on Friday...The Technology Buffet Buffet!!! I'm not real sure exactly what made it the BEST...good food? good company? or was it the GREAT prizes?!?!

Let me tell you about it - Our technology department has some funds for PD, but not enough to provide stipends for everyone, yet they wanted to reach as many teachers in our district as possible, sooooo they came up with the Technology Buffet.
  • Teachers created and taught 30 minutes courses on a plethora (LOVE that word) of technology topics. Teachers and their students earned points for creating, teaching, attending, and completing "homework" assignments.
  • There were point levels and as the levels rose the prizes got better! Teachers were entered into drawings for the F.A.B.ulous prizes according to the number of points they earned.
So, I knew there was no guarantee as to a prize, but I worked taught and attended classes, worked hard to complete "homework" assignments and earned enough points (50 to be exact) to be in the top level drawing (which was for an iPad or a Kindle-I would've been happy w/either-or so I tell myself) but...I won an iPad (and YES, I am creating this post from my new toy)!
 I'm loving it!!!
I can't wait to really get to know my new "friend"!

Anywho, I'd like to thank all of those that made the Technology Buffet Buffet possible and congrats to all of the other winners!!!  We truly have the BEST technology department around...they really do take care of us!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

HELP! I've Fallen Off of the Wagon!!!

So...Summer School and the new puppy have taken me away from my Math Work Stations book study (or at least that is what I am blaming it on).  I did start cleaning out my storage closet(s) this week.  I stayed a little extra a couple of days and got one side finished (it really wasn't the side I should've been working on).  I threw A LOT of stuff away (felt kinda good) but there is soooo much left to do.  My goal is to have the other side cleaned and organized before the last day of Summer School (can I get a WOOT WOOT) on Thursday.  I'd also like to have some of my things hung back up (EVERYTHING had to be taken down so my room could be painted...which I've got issues with, but I'm working on getting over them) so I don't have to worry about that in August when I can get back into my classroom.  It's a pretty TALL order, but it will make my life so much easier in August!!!  So, I'll try to get back into the book study in a week or so.  Until then, I'll continue to read everyone else's entries, "file" ideas in my brain, and collect the AWESOME freebies in my Google docs account!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

HOLY SMOKE-ito! (In my best Skippyjon Jones accent)

Well I was just checking out my side-bar (thinking to myself that I really needed to try adding some "fun" features to my blog) and noticed that I had three followers (they're just school buddies, whew!).  I guess I'm no longer blogging only to myself (that's a little scary)!  Here I am bloggers...I hope I don't let you down!!!!

FANTABULOUS Raffle at Kindergarten Works...Check It Out

KindergartenWorks Raffle Ticket
So I've got to tell you about the is FANTABULOUS Calendar Raffle over at Kindergarten Works...It has EVERYTHING!!!  You MUST head over and enter (5 ways) for your chance to win!!! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

First Day of Summer School

I completed my first of 10 days of Pre-K Summer School this morning.  Let me tell you that those three hours go by QUICKLY!!!!  I had my reservations (after having two weeks off to enjoy the river, creeks, and's been HOT and we've been working hard to beat the heat) but after today, I KNOW I can do it!
10 days, 30 hours, and a SWEET paycheck
AND I must not forget to mention the 16 (give or take a few) future kindergarten Love Muffins that are spending their mornings with me!!! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blue Springs and Math Work Stations Chapter 3

The boys and I spent a few hours at Blue Springs today.  While the boys played, Josie (our new puppy)and I read Chapter 3!   I did take a few breaks to join in the fun and cool off in the spring fed creek...June has been H.O.T.!

Chapter 3 is done...Debbie Diller provided me with a PLETHORA (I LOVE that word) of information on how to successfully get my Math Stations going.  It has given me A LOT to think about.  Like I said in my Chapters 1 & 2 post, I've unsuccessfully attempted math stations in my classroom in previous years.  I came to the conclusion that organization could have been a major factor there (1 & 2 helped me get that far).  I plan on purging and organizing my storage closet during the 10 days I'll be teaching Summer School (man I'm going to miss creek days w/my boys...10 days, 30 hours and a SWEET paycheck...I CAN DO IT)! 

I'm really not ready to FULLY take on the "Getting Started" steps!  I've gotta get organized in a MAJOR  way!!!!  I may need to reread Chapter 3 (not while I'm at the creek, keeping one eye on the boys and one on my book AND after the organization process).  I bet there is a lot of information that I missed.  I'm going to be behind on my responses, but I'll there!  Until then, I'll continue to read and gain ideas from the other bloggers out there! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Math Work Stations: Chapters 1 and 2...I've got a LOT of work to do!

Well I got my book, read Chapters 1 and 2 (went pretty quick, learned a lot, and have so much to do), and am going to reflect on my Math WORK stations as I answer the questions.  I'm actually pretty scared.  I've also got to decide if I'm going to "link" up to the rest of the bloggers that have joined the PARTY!

Chapter 1: What is a Math Work Station
1. Materials used by the teacher first, then placed in the station: Most of the time (either in whole group or small group), so...YES! But... I am guilty of putting a new game or manipulative in stations before introducing them.  Sometimes I will put a new manipulative in my stations to allow students to "explore" with them before we use them in class. I'm starting to wonder if this was a good use of "station" time??? 

2. Materials do not change weekly, but rather changed to reflect the students learning objectives:  I do switch out some of my materials as we switch math objectives (they're not always based on student needs, though).  I'm sure I leave some activities and objectives that students may have already mastered in the stations too long, and I tend to put review materials in them.  I'll need to "step it up a few notches" in this area!

3. All students go to stations daily:  Sadly, shamefully, and with regret (because I know my students have missed opportunities for meaningful learning) I must answer NO  :( Math Stations are one of the things that "go" when days get away from me...which since I'm admitting my Math Station faults, I must say this is a frequent occurence in K-S. 

4. Materials are differentiated: Nope...but they will be next year with the help of Debbie Diller, Math Work Stations, and my newfound blogging buddies! :)  I hope you all are up for the challenge!  I AM!!!

5. The teacher observes work or meets with differentiated math groups: Yes, but I do not meet w/groups everyday, so kinda...  

On to Chapter 2: Organizing and Managing Math Materials
1. How do you (or will you) differentiate your math stations? I must admit that I am not the best at differentiating my stations, or getting them done daily, for that matter.  Like Jackie (Here We Go Loopty Loo, although she is quite successful at math stations) I attempt to use the B.U.I.L.D. model for my math stations.  After reading chapter 2...I feel like a lot of my problem has been organization and possibly manipulative overload!  I really need to find S.P.A.C.E.!!!
2. How and where do you keep your math stations?  I keep my BUILD tubs on top of my storage shelves, a lot of my manipulative are stored on the shelves below, but I have materials  ALL over the place.  I'm sure there are some undiscovered treasures in my storage closet!  I'll explain more below! ;)

3. How do you keep your math materials organized?  Well...I've just completed my 2nd year of teaching Kindergarten. The previous 11 years were spent in grades 1-4 (most in 2nd and 3rd).  I enherited a retiring teacher's classroom and a LOT of things she had acquired over the years.  I must admit that I have not spent the time needed to really go through the closets in my classroom.  I will be teaching summer school for two weeks (only 1/2 day...don't feel too sorry for me) and plan to spend some time after school discovering, sorting, organizing, and PURGING!!!  I am very excited to discover the awesome teaching materials that are hiding in this closet!  I'm sure I will be much  more organized (which isn't saying a lot...I'm VERY challenged in this area) next school year.

I've got LOTS to think about and LOTS of work to do before August rolls around! I want Math WORK stations to be meaningful learning experiences for my lil' love muffins!!!