Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back to School Night 2014-Check!

Man!! Back to school night is done!! I feel like I have SOOOO much to talk about and not enough time.  I do both the English and Spanish back to back so my mind is constantly moving and going!! I have a great group of parents this year and I can't wait to involve them in our fun activities!!
Here are some pics!!

The stand is from my friend Rosemary and the cupcakes and sign are from Mrs. Thomas's Class on TpT...these were a HIT!!! Click here to access her store! Cassie Thomas

Tables ready for the parents! Those folders were FULL of great information

Back to School night selfie! 

We have been working with short vowel sounds this week in English and las vocales in Spanish!
Here are some great videos from YouTube!

 The kids LOVE LOVE LOVE this video!
Also we started using ESTRELLITA this year!  Here are some videos for that! 

We also have TOTALLY embraced using GoNoodle! If you do not know about it, please please please go check it out and sign up-it's free and it is a GREAT way to get their energy you and refocus!! My class loves it!!!

We also started using Writer's Workshop this year.  Our amazing teachers worked over the summer to create a great model for us and we started the IMMERSION level this week! We immerse the kids in mentor texts and writing routines. This is going on during my English days.  On Spanish days, we are working on developing our Spanish vocabulary and also correct sentence structure in Spanish.  So far, we are doing very well.  Today, we wrote about something we did when there was no school, like this past weekend or even something they did this summer that they wanted to write about.  Our Mentor Text was The Dot and it was perfect!! Kids just drew, or wrote a word, or even a sentence  and I was so proud of them because they worked the entire time AND did their best!  Here is a chart I made to talk about storytelling (please forgive the lack of visuals...forgot to get them from the printer-I don't draw so I print a lot of pictures! )
Sorry for the folded paper-I have to change my charts a lot because of the English/Spanish so I often fold them and keep them by my lessons-it says, "If I can think it, I have a story to tell. If I can tell it, I can write it, if I can write it, I can illustrate it". 

Tomorrow is Spanish day so I am going to continue with our Interactive Notebook and I am going to do the A from my Actividades del Cuaderno pack in Spanish! Interactive Notebook in Spanish..I hope to take lots of pics to post!!!

Happy teaching!!

Alyson Hennessy

Friday, September 5, 2014

1st day success!

Wow! The first two days are complete!! AND the classroom is clean and supplies are put away!!! I don't think that has EVER happened in my 9 years of teaching! My class is great!! One of the great things about the dual language program is that the kids know me very well because their Kindergarten teacher and I are friends and we do a lot together! They came right in on the first day like they owned the place!! I love it!!!! =)   They are doing very well with the rules and routines and next week, we will begin centers!  They already asked for Homework!!
Here is a pic of my "Sweet First Day" hat that we made!  Excuse my sweaty face-we have no air conditioners in our classrooms and the first week of school was probably the hottest week we have had ALL summer! Go figure, right?

 The kids loved making their own! The kids then put the hat on, I made them wear an apron, and gave them a cookbook to hold for a picture!  I am using those for a gift for their parents at back to school night!  I am also thinking of making a hat that says, "1st grade WAS sweet!" for the end of the year and then putting the two pics side by side as an end of the year gift to their parents.  
Something we did today, which was super fun and helped them review letter/sounds was a name chart! I didn't get a great picture but on the first day, the students got a baggie with the letters of their name inside.  They glued the letters in the correct order.  Then today, we used an alphabet chart and drew a picture that is associated with the letters in their name.
I would draw a picture of a house, elephant, net, net, elephant, snake, snake, yo-yo
They loved doing this! I found this idea from another teacher blogger and let me tell you-success!! Cant' wait to hang them up for back to school night!

This student has an R as the first letter so he drew a picture of a rainbow!

We also read, "Interrupting Chicken"-love this story! We then used an activity that I found on TpT!  
For math, we read Chrysanthemum and counted the letters in our name!! I had to add another chart paper!  The kids loved this too!

Well, I am one tired teacher so it is early to bed tonight!! Hope everyone had a great week!

Happy teaching!

Alyson Hennessy

Monday, August 25, 2014

Classroom reveal and a new product!

I am a little crazy when it comes to setting up my room.  As soon as we get the "Okay, you can come in and start to set up," I am there with my twins in hand, bags of food, movies, and toys to keep them occupied and my bags of teaching stuff.  Many people think I am nuts but this crazy girl made it so that my classroom is ready and I can enjoy these next few days with friends and family and not have to worry about my classroom being ready for students.  We have 2 conference days before the kiddies come it but they are usually filled with meetings, allowing for very little time in the classroom or to plan with colleagues.  Here are some pics!  I am still waiting on a few things to come back from our laminating center but overall, my room is ready! 
 These bins are in my guided reading center to help me keep my materials organized for both languages-I had such a mess last year and my goal this year is to keep my paperwork more organized!

Okay-how cute are these?? A great friend found these are TARGET-they are BOOK COVERS!!!! I have them at my guided reading table so that while they are reading with me, they can keep their other books and supplies behind them on the chair.  If they work, I will definitely be going back to get more! They were the Jumbo ones and they cost less than $1!!! How can  you go wrong???

My behavior chart! I made this and I love it so much!! I love the theme and using the clip art so it was so much fun to create!! I added some cute rules posters that I found on TpT and added a cute little pom pom I found at the Dollar Tree!

Focus Wall-I will be adding the words of the week and the comprehension skill so that the kids know what they are working on.  I also have my direction and number cards and my apron that I will be wearing while I am working with a group so the other students know not to disturb me unless there is an emergency!

My vocabulary Wall-I started this last year and I change it every month. The kids use this during centers or writing and I found that it has helped them remember the new words in the target language.  I send these words home to for the parents to practice as well.
Love this! I purchased a Cupcake Decor pack from Flying into First and this was in there! 

My labels for my writing supplies

My mailboxes and number labels.  Each student has a number.  I created these and they are FREE in my TpT store but I had to cut them down because my mailboxes are small-but they still look cute! The mailboxes are for notes and letters home but I realized that I have room to store their science books and math workbooks!  I will have a captain from each table be in charge of getting the books before the lesson so that the books don't get ruined or lost or mixed up at the table!! When I realized this today, I was so excited! 

I found this for free on TpT from Cristina Lopez-I did not want a HUGE job poster because I do not have that much bulletin board space.  I glued these onto a piece of cupcake ribbon and I will use clothes pins with the students' numbers to show who has what job! It is bilingual and I love it! 

My leveled readers.  I used my Book Bin labels  and added them to my Dollar Tree boxes that I found-so pretty and the colors were perfect! 
My color words- the Spanish ones are from Bilingual Scrapbook and I can't remember where I got the English ones from but I remember that they were free on TpT!!

My alphabet from the cupcake decor pack from Flying into First-Latoya Reed!  Love this pack!! So much stuff!!

 Okay, again I can't remember where I got these but I know that they were all for FREE from TpT!! I added this by my carpet area to help remind the kids of the rules! 

 These are my 4 1/2 year old twinkie girls-they have been so good while I work my tail off to set up my room!  They also provide great entertainment to the school staff while they are there!  They are going into Pre-K and then next year, Kindergarten-I can't believe it!

My calendar (which is a little messy right now) and where I am going to keep track of table points.  Each table is a different sweet treat and I have little magnets that I can add for positive behavior!  We use CLASS DOJO in the entire school so at the end of the day, the table with the most points gets an extra DOJO point! Find this product HERE.

I also just uploaded a new product!  It is 1/2 off for the rest of this week! It is great for centers and also for class work and homework!! You can use it as review or as you introduce each Spanish letter! 

Well, we start on September 2nd and the kids start on the 4th. I am spending the next few days shopping, getting my nails done, shoe shopping, going to the beach, going to the pool, and of course, play dates!!!!!  For those of you teaching, have a great week and for those of you getting ready, good luck!!

Happy teaching!

Alyson Hennessy

Friday, August 15, 2014

The "to-do" list is growing longer and longer but time is getting shorter and shorter to get it all done!

Ok so I have my "to-do" list for back to school and yes, I am able to get most of it accomplished and have even finished some projects but yet, the list is not getting smaller but growing!!! AHHHH!!! Every time I go to my classroom, I think, "Okay I can get a ton of things done today" but when I leave, I always add more and more things to my "to-do" list!!! And sadly, summer is coming to an end!! I am trying to spend the next few weeks making play dates, going to the beach, and relaxing before my crazy schedule begins again.  
 So I wanted to do table points for this upcoming school year to incorporate with the CLASS DOJO program the school uses (for more about CLASS DOJO-click HERE!)  I am naming each table after a SWEET TREAT.

Cute, right!!???  So then, I am going to place these above the tables and then by my desk, I have the same candy jar templates but without the table names.  I am going to use the visuals of the candy to help the students remember which table is which.  My board with the jars is magnetic so when a table does a great job working together on a project or cleans up nicely, they can earn a point for their table. Each point is a candy piece. For example, the ice cream table has ice cream cone pieces, the gumdrop table has gumdrop pieces, etc. 

I attached the magnetic pieces to the back of the candy templates.  At the end of my school day, the table with the most points will get extra DOJO points for their DOJO monster!  I think the kids are going to LOVE that!

I also started to work on my apron for the classroom that I will wear during guided reading!  This will help the kids to know that I am working in a group and they can't disturb me unless it is an emergency.  

Still needs more CUTE decals but I can't wait to wear it!  I am going to try and find a chef's hat too in order to complete the outfit!

I got inspired after making the apron to make a cute 1st day of school craft for the kids that I am going to use in their 1st day of school photos that I take as well!!!!

You just need your stapler and sentence strips to help the kids complete the hat and I think they will LOVE IT!!! =)  

Here are some pics of my classroom as well!! NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING READY..I have a few more weeks and I have a ton to organize too!!!!! When it is all complete, I will post the pictures as well!!!
These bins from Dollar Tree hold my leveled readers..still need to be labeled though!

Teacher desk area!

 View of the back of the room

Start of writing center

That messy table that I am sure every teacher has that will be messy until the night before school begins!

My library...hopefully in the near future I can invest in some coordinating bins

Future center supply area

Math manipulative area

Bin to hand in work, clip boards, and white board storage

As you can see, I still have a lot of things to move and work on before we begin but thankfully, I have until September 2nd....we report that day but usually that day and the next day are PDPs and meetings so I don't get a lot of time in my room so I like to be done before then!  When did you start or when will you start?

Happy teaching!

Alyson Hennessy

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sweet back to school sale starts tomorrow!

Well, the cart is full...can't wait to purchase what is in my cart during the TpT sale tomorrow!!!

I have some great products that will definitely help you organize your data for the school year!
Here is the Assessment Data Collection-Bilingual Edition (Spanish and English) Click the image below to check it out!
There is also an English only and Spanish only edition!  
I plan on using this not only for my data binder but also to send home to the parents so that they are aware of the progress that their child is making.  

In my district, we use AIMSweb to assess our students on letters, sounds, reading fluency, and nonsense word fluency.  We use the nonsense word fluency to determine how the students can read and decode their sounds while they are reading.  I am always trying to find great games and activities to help the students build their fluency while reading these words and practicing their sounds.  With my theme being "SWEET TREATS" I thought I would try and incorporate the skill with cute bubblegum graphics!!!!! 
Click the picture above to check it out! Here are some more pics from the product!

I think this will be so fun as I introduce nonsense words to the kiddies and they can do this for centers or morning work!  

I am heading into the classroom tomorrow to tackle clean and unpack the room.  I am bringing my 4 year old twins with me (oh boy!) with a ton of snacks, coloring books, movies, and of course iPads.....I am hoping that I can spend most of the morning there and get A LOT done!!!! =)  I will post before and after pictures when I get home!!!

Have fun at the TpT sale everyone!!!! Hope you find some great products!!! Leave comments below and share what you purchased!!!!! 

Alyson Hennessy