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Friday, August 26, 2011

TGIF: Free for All Friday!

I can't believe the end of teacher week is here! I am posting my 'Building Block Words' activity for free today. It is a Notebook file that allows children to build words out of 'lego' type pieces. You can find this activity and many more at my TpT store. Enjoy:)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where it all Goes Down Wednesday!

Here is my third post from the link party over at Blog Hoppin'. 


Here is a quick look at my classroom. I can't wait to start looking at everyone's ideas. 
Touring rooms is one of my favorite things to do on blogs! 

Now I will be heading over to Blog Hoppin' to check out some classroom pics! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

1. Don't forget why you became a teacher in the first place. When topics of standards, funding, and testing start to wear you down just take a break. Have a little playtime with your kiddos!

2. Prioritize: This will probably be on a lot of lists today. You have to be ready to put some things off. I like to keep a file (on my iPad with Evernote) of ideas or to do items. It can be refreshing to know that ideas are still there and you will get to them eventually. 

3. Practice, practice, practice! Kids need those routines. It not only helps them, but helps other teachers who will be with your kids. Practice those basics to song to make them more fun. 

4. Ask for help: I have asked my colleagues for help and built some good relationships because of my willingness to ask. Everyone has their strong areas of expertise and their not so strong. I know mine. This brings me to number five...

5. Know you limits. It is okay to not know everything and use resources. 

6. Keep the positive relationships in your building strong: Do not get involved in gossip or negative ideas. Surround yourself with positive people and show others that you are a positive person. 

7. Things will not always workout and schedules will change. Show your students that you are flexible to help build their sense of security with change. 

8. Family comes first: Don't forget to keep your home time your own. 

9. Keep up with new ideas through blogs, websites, forums, and courses. Never stop learning!

10. When anything starts to stress you and get your down, I find the best medicine is to play a game in the classroom. The kids cheer me up right away! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday!

Thanks to I'mBlogHoppin for hosting a great linky party! I hope to participate all week:)

Tell us a little something about you...

My name is Randi Lembke and I began professional blogging this summer at HoppyKindergarten. I am a kindergarten teacher in Barnum, Minnesota (near Duluth). My husband, Evan, is also a teacher. We have been together for eleven years and have two awesome children. Annabel is 9 and Gus is 6. We also have four dogs and two cats that keep our home life busy...but we love it! 

How long have you been teaching?

This is my eleventh year teaching; and my eleventh year teaching kindergarten. It was my first job and I was so grateful for the opportunity to be in K. I fell in love with the kindergarten classroom while student teaching. I had the most amazing supervising teacher and I realized that kindergarten is a place where real learning is valued. The five and six year olds in my classroom keep it simple. What could be better than that?!

You might not know...

I not only love teaching in a classroom, I love learning in a classroom. I am going back for my second masters degree this Fall. My Boise State program focus is integrating technology and I am really pumped to get going. 

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

I am excited to meet a group of students who are new to the full-day/every-day experience. The parents and students are always surprised to see how fun and worth-while the experience can be. 

What do you need to improve?

I will be focusing more on differentiated instruction this year. I do a good job of providing materials for students who are below the benchmarks. However, I do not always have the best materials for those who are well above the benchmarks. I need to provide an education that is fun and leveled for all students. 

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?

Honestly, the only thing that is an essential part of my classroom is technology in general. My computer, Smartboard, iPads, LeapPens, and MP3 players are a must. I cannot imagine the day without them! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Math maps and vocab!

Sorry for the lack of posts the last week, but I have been busy with trainings and workshops. Today I am at a math workshop mapping math vocabulary. It has proven to be a useful day. Today I am thankful for My iPad and it's fabulous apps!

I am using my iPad to view google docs files with Connect

Share notes with my home and school computers with Evernote

And of course Blogging with Blog Press

(sorry for the odd pics, I am in a rush)!

Share any apps you love if you have the time!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Thank you Pinterest!

 Such a simple idea but it looks so nice when completed! Thanks to Pinterest for all the idea sharing that makes our classrooms look so appealing with so little effort. For $5 I have a nice file bin for my student portfolios. It looks way better than my gray file crate! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wow, KinderCamp was a blast!

We have finished our three-day KinderCamp in Barnum, Minnesota. The children come in for two hours each day for some time in the classroom. Our main goal is to have children as comfortable with the teachers and our school as possible before the first day of school. Things went great! If anyone wants to share about any pre-kindergarten, summer activities, please do so! Here is the sign we made to put outside the school for KinderCamp. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ice Cream Games!

I found the cutest ice cream bowls and spoons at the dollar tree. I had to create an activity for these cute dollar finds! I will be posting Ice Cream Practice Pages at my TpT store as soon as the site is up and running again. There are pages for colors, letters, numbers, and quick words. Stop by and check it out! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Story Map Headers

I have seen a lot of great resources and ideas regarding story maps. I have been trying to think of a way to present maps in my classroom, year round. In other words, I want the map to be a permanent part of my reading center so it is used often. I have a white board in my reading center, so I have created some story map headers that can be laminated, attached to magnet strips, and kept on the whiteboard. I will either write the children's thoughts with a marker, or attach sticky notes. Use the headers if you like:)