Monday, July 2, 2012

Pete the Cat - Counting Mat

I am somewhat obsessed with Pete the Cat (by Eric Litwin)!  I was so excited when the new book came out.  Once I got it in, I couldn't quit singing the song and using the phrase, "stuff may come and stuff may go, but do we cry?  GOODNESS NO!"  (I have a feeling my pre-kinders are going to be hearing a lot of that this year - thanks Mr. Litwin!) 

So, I've been working hard this summer to create a focus wall for my classroom.  I want to hit on the important concepts every morning to keep them fresh, and I couldn't help but include Pete!  He's not laminated yet (sigh! You should see my mountain of "to be laminated".) but he's still pretty cute - IMO.  I bought some scrapbook paper, big buttons (40% off with coupon at Hobby Lobby - don't say I'm not thrifty), and magnets.  I made Pete with the scrapbook paper, and I glued the magnets to the back of the buttons. 

I made about 25 buttons because our goal is to count to 20 in pre-kindergarten (and I ran out of magnets).  The plan is to change the number of buttons each day.  I will probably store the buttons in a hanging pail next to Pete, and we will count them everyday, and then write the number on a laminated version of this . . .

I can't wait to start using this in my classroom!  Get the counting buttons document here - Pete's Groovy buttons. What do you use to practice counting in your classroom?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Owl Theme Behavior Chart - (and my FIRST post)

My first post!  This is so exciting!  I have to say - sometimes I can talk your ear off get a little wordy because I get hyper when it comes to creating.  I've been a blog lurker follower for years, and I am always astonished by the talented teachers out there.  Let me just say now, I do not claim to be as awesome as any of them, but every once in a while I get an idea, so I hope to be able to share my random moments of creativity as they come to me.  

Now, for my first attempt to dazzle you . . . . (hee hee), I have taken a wonderful idea from Kindergals, and I've changed it to match my classroom theme (which is owls).  I used the behavior chart from Kindergals most of last year, and it was AWESOME!!!  My pre-k students loved it, and it works so well.  I can't say enough good stuff about it - so check it out!  

As the year came to a close, I knew I wanted to change it up for next year, and here is what I came up with today.

It is not laminated (YET), and it doesn't have clothespins either, but this gives you the general idea.  The students will start EVERY MORNING on the yellow Ready Raccoon.  They can move up or down depending on their choices/behavior.  I really like to make a big deal out of moving them up the chart, and they try very hard.  Another good thing about this system is that you can tailor it for each child.  You might have an exemplary student and a more challenging student, and you can reward them both for their attempts!  

 At our school, we are required to keep behavior/communication folders, so I will put a copy of this reference chart in the folder for parents to refer to when they look at the weekly progress report below.  

To get your copy of the reference chart and progress report, click here.

To get your copy of the behavior chart, click here.

Thank you so much for reading my very first blog post . . . stay tuned - I really hope there's more!!!