Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Welcome to Room 515! {A Classroom Tour}

Don’t you just love the beach in the winter? Secluded, quiet, serene…wait, you mean you don’t enjoy the beach in January? I’m typing this at the beach. I’m sitting on sand. There is an ocean in front of me. And it’s JANUARY. Let me gush about it, I just moved from a state where I would be shoveling 2-6 inches of snow off of my car every morning right about now. And my home state? They were out on a snow day today. So give me a break :)

I am so excited for this post because it’s the first one where I show you my classroom! It’s mid-year, so everything has settled in its spot and there are traces of life. Some things are a little messy, but that’s real life! I love looking through photos of other teachers’ classrooms in August, but I just wasn’t ready to share mine yet. Now, here it is! Come on in!

This is our writing center; you see it as you enter our classroom and turn left. I hang their “brag work” on the mini cork boards with a clothespin. The kids come to this center every day as part of our center rotations.

Here is our word wall; you see it on the right of our classroom when you enter. It houses our sight words we’ve mastered. We use the Dolch Preprimer list. We also use Zoophonics for our letter friends which are pinned next to the letter cards (that are available in my store). We sit at the kidney table in this picture for reading groups!

Our calendar area is next to the word wall. (Obviously took these photos last week!) I let students be in charge of calendar, I so rarely do anything here!

This corner is a hodge-podge of things. You can see the big book center which is part of our center rotations. The listening center is also located here. (And so are my class photos of all of my sweet classes!)

Here’s our daily schedule/procedures part of our board (It’s broken into three sliding parts). The kids absolutely depend on these schedule cards from The First Grade Parade. You can also find the hand signals and voice level chart in my store. The baggies are the table points. They are working towards getting 10 “marshmallow” points right now to earn a hot cocoa party!

Under the white board are these awesome shelves. I keep my weekly activities and books in the IKEA bins, and our treasure box that my grandpa made sits proudly waiting for some visitors!

Here’s a long shot of the white board. Class jobs go across the top and get rotated weekly. The morning message and daily practice goes on the middle section, and the far left section houses our “We can” statements for reading, writer’s workshop, math, and phonics.

These two parts are the word work center. Students can choose 1-2 activities from here to complete during our center time. I have to say that a class favorite is the magnet center from Kindergarten Smiles!

More storage, our “We can” statements up close, and our small pocket chart center (stuck on an IKEA easel).

The inquiry table is also part of center rotations, but is included in the “green centers.” You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

My favorite place in our classroom, the reading center. Reading window. Reading nook. Whatever you’d like to call it. It provides so much natural light, and on warm days, a nice ocean breeze (we’re a half mile from the beach in Santa Monica).

Here is the "Centers" board. The purple chart is for math rotations. The blue and green centers are used during our center time in the morning. First, students see which “blue center” they are to go to (I choose). Once they complete the activity, they choose a “green center” to go to.

Cubbies, self-explanatory. Since I only have 19 kids, the extra cubbies come in handy as drying racks for the art center...

Art center, where kids actually use PAINT and GLITTER. *Insert gasp*

My favorite place to watch students, dramatic play.

Classroom sink, discovery table, and loose parts. The things that they create from these loose parts are amazing.

And as we leave, you can see what we see when we line up. Thank you so much for stopping by on this photo tour of our classroom! Besides the beach, this is my favorite place to be. I love my couch and all, but I think I love my classroom a little more. What does YOUR classroom look like?!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Here We Come, 2015!

I don't know about you guys, but I am so excited to get back to my classroom tomorrow! Man I have missed those 19 sweet faces, giggles, and voices. My life feels pretty boring without my kids around! I've been trying to relax over break and not do a ton of "school stuff," but if you're like me that just isn't going to happen. I actually find that sitting on my couch with music playing and a candle (Red Velvet Cupcake candle to be exact) burning with my laptop is actually pretty relaxing. So I did school stuff. Kind of a lot of it. Whoops!

But I did plenty of relaxing things, too!

Got lots of snuggles in with these sweet puppies. They are so lazy during the day, turns out they do nothing while we're at work!

Did some day-after-Christmas shopping at World Market! I needed to satisfy my OCD organizational side. Kitchen design is my jam.

Did a little painting, which I am NOT good at, but enjoy doing nevertheless. And of course I have the Serial podcast playing on my computer. I listened to all 12 episodes in about 3 days and was left feeling.....well, I won't say if you haven't listened yet!

Anyway, I am so looking forward to this week! We have so much to talk about: Christmas/Hanukkah gifts, fun times with family, maybe even some beach days to discuss! Well maybe not, it's been cold. By cold I mean 55 degrees.

I'm also looking forward to TEACHING! I feel weird not talking to little humans during the day. Here's what we will be talking about this week:

Here's to hoping that your first week back with your students is happy, calm, and fun! And IF you need or would like a little positive behavior motivation, check out these Behavior Recognition Badges! My kids get so excited for the chance to wear them! I just have them cut apart, laminated, and attached through a hole to a piece of yarn. When I notice positive behavior, I make a big deal and give the student one of these to wear all day! I'm thinking I might do a behavior-related post soon. I'll include more about these! They're discounted right now in my TpT store! Just click on the picture to grab yours!

Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland in SoCal {A Blog Hop!}

Welcome to sunny and chilly California and my blog! I am so happy to have you here! There are big things in store for Research and Play in 2015, and I'm excited for the chance to share that with y'all! But first, here's a little about me: Tennessean at heart, former Coloradan, and recently transplanted Californian, dog mom of 2, fifth year of teaching (almost all in kindergarten), doing life with a rocket scientist. This is my first winter in SoCal! And it is WAY COLDER than I expected! But at least it doesn't look like winter outside...

This was taken down the road in El Segundo. I was driving home from school, and I just pulled over and stared for a minute, not quite believing what my new normal looks like! Still weirds me out sometimes!

I am looking forward to spending my first full year in California. This year feels like it's going to be a very good one, and I'm going to try my best to make it that way! I'm usually awful at creating resolutions and seeing them through. This year, I've instead decided to have goals. Goals feel more 'real' and doable. And I think a goal is something you can continuously work on! I want to feel successful this year, so my goals are really simple yet meaningful to me. So here they are!

Be courageous, don't give up. No matter if I think something will take a long time, require a lot of effort, cause me some stress, or be slightly inconvenient! I don't want to give up on things when the going gets tough, because I've been known to do that more times than not.

Be positive and assume positive intent. It's so easy to be negative, isn't it? But it feels so much better to look at the actions of others in a positive light. So I'm going to try to be positive with myself (confidence), positive with my outlooks (things aren't as bad as they seem!), and assume positive intent with others. We're all in this together!

Be intentional with my words and actions. My previous principal used to always say "be intentional." With your words, actions, lesson plans, responsibilities, personal life, classroom environment. I felt such a connection to that because it felt so obvious but was also so tricky at the same time! I think that will be the one goal that will be the hardest to achieve.

I'm working on being more intentional with the things that I give to my students for practice, so I've been intentionally creating some new things for my students and hopefully other people's students! One of the creations I started working on during winter break was my Winter Phonics and Math Packet for TpT. Click on the photo below to grab it or click here!

If you'd like a little sample of my packet, click here to grab your freebie or click on the image below!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and come back soon! Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin, click the link on the sidebar! Now, check out the super creative Kristen at Easy Teaching Tools for her wintry post!

HEY, before you go, don't forget to enter this amazing giveaway for the chance to win gift cards to a teacher's favorite stores of all time!

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