Friday, August 22, 2014

Classroom Sneak Peek!

I AM SO EXCITED! After waiting all summer, I finally got into my classroom yesterday! I have been so jealous of all the beautiful classroom photos I've been checking out on Pinterest and my favorite blogs, so I am full of inspiration and ready to go! My husband and I spent the whole day yesterday moving furniture and setting up bulletin boards. We're still waiting on most of the furniture to be delivered, so I am not even close to finished! Here are some of my current projects and links to where I purchased the materials!
READ blocks - Michaels $1.50 each
Huge clothespins - Michaels $1.50 each
"Write" banner - from my store on TPT
Colorful photo frames - Michaels $9.99 (buy one get one!)
Poster Quote Freebies - Technology Rocks
Lantern Lights - Amazon
Chevron Borders - Really Good Stuff
And finally, I saw the idea for this on Pinterest ages ago and always wanted to make my own! I found this bottle at the dollar store and it was perfect for the job! I can't wait to shake some "brain sprinkles" all over my kiddies next month :)

Much more to come! I am also working on a post with lots of reading and writing workshop setup ideas and freebies!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Milestone Freebie & Read Aloud

Hi guys! I'm so excited to be celebrating another TpT milestone this month! I can't believe I've made it this far..and it's all thanks to my awesome followers! To thank you all, I'm giving away my chevron classroom rules for FREE for the next week! You can download them HERE. You can read about this month's milestone achievements on the TpT blog HERE.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chevron-Classroom-Rules-Editable-833849

I know it's been a while since I've posted, and I'm sorry for neglecting you all! If you haven't already read about it on Facebook, I'm attending the Teachers College reading and writing institutes for the first half of this month. I'm having an amazing time and learning SO many new things about reading and writing workshop. I have tons of learning to share with you all but for now I just HAD to share this book we read yesterday! Have any of you used it with your kids? I am in love with this book! I literally RAN to the book sale and bought it today!

http://www.amazon.com/Ralph-Tells-Story-Abby-Hanlon/dp/0761461809/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407378223&sr=8-1&keywords=ralph+tells+a+story

For those who haven't read it before...Ralph is a student who has a BIG problem in writing workshop. He can't think of a story! Everyone else seems to have stories, but he just can't find one! In the end, he finds his own story and gains his confidence as a writer!

What a perfect story for the early days of writing workshop. I can think of so many ways to use this one book! Here are just a few ideas...
-Teach kids what writers do when they get stuck
-Demonstrate that all writers get writers' block...even YOU!
-Teach kids different ways to generate ideas for writing
-Teach kids how to orally tell a story to their partner to plan out their writing
-Ralph has to get out of his seat to think...teach kids to choose their own special writing spots around the classroom
-Create a chart of strategies and resources for kids to use when they get stuck
-Teach them how to peer edit and ask questions about each others' writing
-Can you think of any others? Share your ideas in the comments :)

I'm having an amazing time here at TC, but I can't wait to be finished so I can get into my classroom in a couple weeks! As soon as I get to work in my room, I'll be posting pictures and back to school ideas! 
Finally, here's some inspiration from Kate Roberts' keynote today: Despite all the current pressures and standards, we can still teach with LOVE, humor, and compassion. Above all, we must keep children at the center of all things! And one more tidbit from Lester Laminack: "Remember that we are not raising scores, but children!" <3

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Alphabet Game Freebie!

Hey everyone! Just a quick note tonight...I just made my first ever fan freebie on Facebook! Head over to my page to check out my "I Have...Who Has?" ABC Game. This is a great game to play with your whole class early in the year to practice the alphabet. All you have to do is like my Facebook page to get it for free!

https://www.facebook.com/mrsriccaskindergartenhttps://www.facebook.com/mrsriccaskindergarten

Enjoy! I'll be back soon with more goodies and back to school ideas!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Classroom Library & Lesson Plans

Hi friends! Okay, so I know I should be enjoying summer vacation, but I am so excited to get into my classroom to start organizing! Waiting another month will be agonizing for me, so I figured I'd get a head start working on whatever I can from home. Today I started working on my classroom library organization. I printed out my book basket labels and I also made matching stickers for the books, which will make it so much easier for the kids to keep everything organized! I'm thrilled with how these turned out!

If you like these, you can pick them up in my TpT store!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chevron-Classroom-Library-Labels-1256904http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Polka-Dot-Classroom-Library-Labels-1256852

We also had our first PD day a couple weeks ago and it was so exciting to meet the other teachers I'll be working with! Since we're a small new school, there will only be four of us next year. We had a great time ordering furniture and materials, looking at curriculum, and planning out our daily schedule! Since I got my daily schedule, I was able to begin updating my lesson plan format. This is just a quick sample I made up and it will be more detailed once I get all the curriculum materials. I will post a complete version at some point when I've got the whole year planned out! If you're interested, you can download the template HERE

We have our next meeting in about a week, so I'm looking forward to doing some more planning and learning more details about my new school! I'll keep you all updated :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

EXCITING NEWS AND SALE!

I got a job!!! So the news is out and I'm throwing a SALE this weekend to celebrate! After a year off, I'm heading back to kindergarten! The principal of a brand new school contacted me through my blog and, long story short, I got the position! I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the founding team of this awesome new school! Everything in my store is 20% off now through Sunday in celebration!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited?! 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrs-Riccas-Kindergarten

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Math Centers Task Cards

I hope you're all enjoying your summer so far (those of you who are already out)! I'm sure some of you remember the Math Centers Task Cards I said I was making...like two years ago! Haha. Well, I have FINALLY had the time to finish them and I'm SO excited about this set! I haven't been able to find anything else like this on TpT! I included over 330 hands-on tasks and I know kids will have so much fun with these! There are so many things to do and they're activities that can be repeated throughout the year so you don't need to change out stations and themes every week! Plus, I included the related Common Core Math Standard on each card to make organization and planning easier. I'm also making a coordinating set of printable games and recording sheets to make prep even easier!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Centers-I-Can-Task-Cards-Common-Core-Aligned-1265916
I hope you love them! More fun stuff coming up and I have some big news coming soon so check back in the next week to hear the EXCITING NEWS!!!!! :D

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Goal Setting Checklist FREEBIE!

Hey guys! I just wanted to share a quick little post and freebie with you. A colleague recently shared this idea with me about students setting and tracking their own goals. I thought this was a fantastic idea and wondered why I hadn't thought of it myself. This is such a great way to empower students and hold them accountable for their own learning. I have had my kids use graphs to chart their own progress in reading, but I haven't actually had students come up with their own goals they want to accomplish.

There are lots of great ideas on the internet, which I've posted on my Pinterest board.
But there aren't too many products that are simple enough to use with kindergarteners. So, I was inspired to create a quick little freebie for those of us in the younger grades! I thought this would be a nice simple visual way to make goal setting a less daunting task for kindergarteners.

One way to use this would be to give each student a goal checklist weekly or monthly. Have students choose 3 goals from the picture sheet, then cut and paste their goals onto their goal sheet. At the end of the week or month have students check off whether they accomplished the goal or still need to work on it. Then they will choose new goals for the next month. You could have students tape their goal sheet to their desk or keep it in a folder. The important thing is that they are revisiting it frequently to monitor their goals and keep track of their accomplishments. You can also keep these for parent conferences or send them home to keep parents informed of their child's progress.

I'd love to hear more ideas for goals I can add to the chart. Please comment if there's something you'd like me to add. Click one of the images below for your FREEBIE

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Student-Goal-Setting-1232074
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Student-Goal-Setting-1232074
Also, if you're into the idea of having students set goals, check out this awesome student data binder from Mrs. Knight, which allows students to set goals and track their own progress! I love this!
http://creatingreadersandwriters.blogspot.com/2013/03/empower-your-students-doable-data.html

That's all for now! Thanks for visiting :)