Welcome to Ms. DeBaylo's Kindergarten! I hope that you will find this blog helpful as you look for innovative ideas to teach diversity, tolerance, love, and global-mindedness to your special kinders!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Colors of a Rainbow!

WOW! The school year is underway which means, my blogging time is typically limited to the weekends; which, coincidently, seem to be the times I really don't want to catch up with my blog because I would rather be doing other things like laundry, dishes, and sleeping (you know, the things I miss out on during the school week!).  After that extremely long run-on sentence, I'll let the pictures do the talking:

During Daily 5 Time! YES-- These ARE kinders! READING BOOKS! and not talking! AND not even noticing I am there! I have fallen in LOVE with the Daily 5 and am so thankful that Pinterest introduced us this summer :)

More Daily 5 - Read to Self. The kiddos get to choose wherever they would like to sit.  I've got one laying in the kitchen on a reading rug, and two at the writing table, and NOT EVEN TALKING to each other!

My friends are math whizzes already! We have conquered graphing and tally marks, and it's only been 2 full weeks! :)
After my OBSERVATION (EEK!) on story-retelling and Brown Bear Brown Bear, we did a tally chart and graphed our favorite character from the story.  Who knew the purple cat was such a big hit!? and NO ONE liked Brown Bear?! Hello?! He is the reason for the story! :) 

I already knew I was a little crazy.  But then I created this glyph.  Do not use without adult supervision!  I mean, I had 4 parents in the room, and this was my rotation-- it took the kiddos like 40 minutes to do this.  3 groups x 40 minutes = a lot of sanity lost! I love them, but wish we would've had time to glue cotton balls on them. :( 

The Key for the glyph!

Close-up of the rainbow glyph! They turned out precious, but it was a pretty hard task! Wish we would've had a chance to graph some of our responses! BUT that might be like a 4th grade mean-median-mode sort of standard! :)

Excited to finally move on past shapes and colors and into the nitty gritty of the curriculum next week.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't equally as excited for a three-day weekend (and a 4-day week)! and COLLEGE FOOTBALL!?  Labor Day has officially become my second favorite holiday! (Second only to 4th of July, of COURSE!) :)

Have a blessed weekend friends!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meet the Parents!

Greetings from my PJs and comfy bed! it's only 9:15, but I've been in bed for about 30 minutes now, and let me just say: boy am I exhausted!?  First 12+ hour day back at school, and I'm certain its not nearly the last!  I got home and was too tired to make dinner, so I had a cup of yogurt and half a diet coke! hah!

Tonight was our Parent Orientation!  SUCH an exciting time!  The only time my classroom is full AND quiet at the same time! :)  The parents were great; and I'm really excited for the year.  I feel like I was sort of here and there and ADD, but I felt comfortable with all of them!  I just hate being the center of attention where everyone has to hang on everything I say!  I'm not used to engaging 25 adults at once; its hard enough with 5-year-olds!  So, I found myself talking SUPER fast and yet, not explaining super thoroughly!  Note to self: ALWAYS have a bottle of water present! the more parched I get, the faster still I talk!

I felt very blessed by all the families that came out to meet me tonight. I'm very excited to meet my little boys through our first phase-in day tomorrow!  I only have 8 boys this year; which is going to feel like a dream compared to my 11 last year!  God bless 'em; they are always so precious, but SO rambunctious!

I can't wait to hug each of their necks tomorrow!  I nearly cried when I saw all my kinders from last year return on Monday; and I got to see and hug every which one of them!  Even my little trouble maker from last year stops to see me at least twice a day!  It's such a good feeling to know that they are growing up, but that I've impacted them enough that they still look forward to seeing me each day! :)

Alrighty, off to bed I go!  We're going on a gingerbread man hunt tomorrow!  Gotta get some good rest so I can be sneaky-sneaky tomorrow! :) Hope I can sleep!  First day of school always comes with the jitters, even when you're 26!

Did you always look forward to a new school year or were you nervous as a child?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to School, and Book Box label freebie!

Wow, what a crazy week! We were officially back to school on Tuesday for an in-service, Wednesday for our last morning of registration and a work-day (although 1-5 had a meet-the-teacher morning!), another in-service on Thursday, and began Kindergarten screenings on Friday! We will continue with two more screening days, and then a work-day on Wednesday for our parent orientation on Wednesday night!  It is so crazy to me that this time is here, and that I am not nearly as stressed as the beginning of the year last year!  even crazier to think that at this point, I hadn't even interviewed yet!  It is so refreshing going into something with time to prepare and with an understanding of everything that needs to be done!

I am still trying to get my Daily 5 in order; have you had experience with that in the Kindergarten classroom? If so, email me PLEASE!!!! at Rhiannon Dean zero seven @ g mail dot com.  clearly, without the spaces, and you might wanna make those the actual numbers too :)

I'm still new to the whole "teacher-blogsphere," so forgive me for not knowing how to have a pretty little google docs or scribd preview to load here, but if you follow the link below, you can grab some cute book box tags that I made for my classroom library.  I've printed these in color, laminated them, and am going to hole punch and attach them with book rings to my themed baskets!  There are 18 in total, and I'm not sure they can be edited because I uploaded as a PDF; but if you email me a of your themes, I don't mind making them custom for you!

Get my Book Box tags here!

Have a great weekend! My last before this crazy year officially gets underway!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

august? already??! (Bonus: Storage Crate Seating tutorial!!)

Let's be real. Memorial day was just last week, wasn't it?  I can't believe this summer has come and gone SO fast!  I officially survived my first year teaching, and somewhere, summer #1 slipped out from beneath my fingertips!  We return for our first official day on TUESDAY! This is my last weekend night of summer! I can't believe it!

But, I'm a little bit excited, I must admit!  I've spent the past two and a half weeks getting my furniture in order, visiting every Target within a 30 mile radius, jazzing up my decor, making bulletin boards, and even catching my hot glue gun on fire. (No die-cuts were harmed in the process.)

All of that has me ready to go! And I've totally been such a slacker on this blog; but starting it during the summer sort of set it out on the wrong foot.  So for now, a catch up on some tutorials, tips, and all around classroom decor!

Operation: Storage Seating!
1.  Purchase crates at Walmart ($3.47 each!)
2. Purchase 5/8" particle board at your local home improvement store.  Consider bringing a truck.
3.  Using careful measurements, about 12 7/8" x 15 7/8" (but check for yourself!!!!), cut up to 17 pieces from the particle board! Round the edges by grinding on the concrete :)

4.  Using heavy-duty, canvas-like material (a cute pattern always helps!), situate boards  in a grid-like pattern, allowing about 2 inches around the edge of each board (roughly 4" in between boards).  I used about 2 yards of a 60"-wide fabric for 10 of them.
5. Cut quilting batting to fit on top of boards. (My measurements of the boards were an exact fit to the inside lip of the crate, so I didn't want to wrap any of the cotton batting around the edges of the wood.)
6. Fold corners in and pull tightly.
7. With the corner pulled in, fold the fabric over the side of the board and staple. (I didn't staple the corner because I didn't want to use unnecessary staples!)

8.  Repeat with the other side adjacent to the corner; then repeat with the remaining corners/sides.
9.  After all the edges are stapled, it should look like this! Lay the board on top of a piece of thick, grosgrain ribbon.
10. Fold edge of ribbon underneath the edge of the fabric and staple (the staple will go through the three layers of ribbon/fabric/ribbon into the board).
11. Tada! You are finished! Put these puppies to use at your tables to store journals and notebooks, at centers to store games or art supplies, or even at your small group to help keep things handy and divided for differentiation! :)

Welcome! When I get my kiddo's names I'm going to add their first initials climbing up the coconut tree!

Word Wall! 

Word Wall letters! Die-cut from cute, laminated wrapping paper from Target's dollar bin!

Our classroom helpers bulletin board! I free-handed the globe (circle and continents!) with butcher paper, and used some more cute Target wrapping paper to make the die-cut letters! The hands border I picked up at the Dollar Tree! 
My clip chart! Everyone starts the day on green, and has the opportunity to clip up or down based on behavior.  Used this last year, but made a new one this year with cute scrapbook papers that correlated to the colors! :)

I've seen such cute cork maps on pinterest, so I decided to give it a-go! Using one of my class puzzles as my master, I outlined the continental U.S! (unfortunately, my phone died and I couldn't get a picture of the final product!)

Then my glue gun caught on fire, so I also couldn't get the world map double-cork started!

OOOH! I almost forgot: I FINALLY found those dry erase table-top pocket chart easels everyone has been raving about from Target's Dollar Spot! I went in today, and came out with 2 of them (the only 2 I could find!).  I've been to at least 3 Targets on several occasions and haven't had any luck! Glad I could at least snag two of them today!

Moral of the story:  A little bit of color, and a cute pattern, can turn your basic, primary-colored classroom into something still kid-friendly, but also design-worthy!

How's your classroom set-up going? Got any good tips or tricks you'd like to share?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back to School!

I walked the halls of RSE for the first time in a month and a half.  The floors were freshly waxed; the walls, freshly painted.  I felt giddy as I made my rounds just to see if anyone else was in the building.  Seemed like yesterday I was tearing all of this down and moving my furniture into the halls for the summer.  Man, it passed fast!

Speaking of passing fast, this time last year, I wasn't even HIRED YET!  I had only been back from Haiti for 2 weeks!  Little did I know, in my discouragement, I would interview, twice, get hired, set up a classroom, and begin teaching kinders in less than 5 days!?  Wow.  I can't even believe I survived, to be honest.  Last fall was terribly stressful, and I don't think I realized just how intense it was because I couldn't even come up for air!

I'm fortunate to have more than just 2 days to set up my room this year, and I am beyond blessed to be back at RSE with a fabulous team of teachers and admin supporting me.  Excited to get my class up and going, and to see where this year takes me!

Here's what I walked into today:


Be mindful, I haven't done ANY decor.  My goal today was to get my furniture set, and a list made.  Done and done.  I even made 3 lists. :)

Pinterest Project - Storage Crates and Seating, Part 1

If you're anything like me, a better part of your summer has been dedicated to Pinterest.  You know, the site where you look at pictures ... for hours ... of food, and clothes, and classroom stuff ... and pretty homes you'll never afford on a teaching salary, and gorgeous decor, and fantabulous vacay sites that you'll never get to visit ...  oh, sorry.  I'm back.

One of the plus sides to pinterest is that it enables you to essentially bookmark pictures; which for me, I have 29435 lists running at all times, and I often forget what "paint poster" means when I check it in 3 days.  But tabbing pictures to return to?! genius!

Perhaps the most genius thing I've seen on the site so far are these precious little seats made from storage crates!  ... storage crates that I happened to already have FOUR of!

So what did I do on my first day back to school today ....?!?! Yep! You guessed it!
I bribed a handy-man friend of mine with lunch and dessert to come do the hard-part: cutting plywood!

The Project: Precious Storage Crates that double as Seats!
The budget: I'd say about $6-$8 per crate (depending on how cheap I can find fabric that I love!)
The Materials:

Plywood (about $20 for the desired thickness) ... and perhaps a truck.  Or at least not a Jetta.
Storage Crates! <$4 at Wal-Mart

The Process:  Feed handy-man hearty lunch.  Then put him to work (make sure he brings a saw and measuring tape! One of those triangles that is called a "Square" is also handy-dandy!

I'm convinced he brought the ear-muffs (silencers?) so he didn't have to hear me ask him for help moving furniture!

Added tip: The corners of the storage crates are a tad-bit rounded.  Using a belt sander, sand down the edges of each cut of plywood for a more comfortable fit.  Or, use the concrete sidewalk to sand the corners down :)

Part 2: to be continued when I get some pretty fabric (which would be after I get paid next week :)

Thrifty Target Finds - in Pictures :)

I promise you, when the school year starts, this blog will NOT be only about how much I love TARGET! But for reals, y'all, just getting all my goodies into my classroom today, I was glad I spent every cent on these items!

Trip #1: less than $35!!
Love Love LOVE this shark hamper! He will be our number/word/letter muncher!! Lot's of goodies like magnetic hooks, several stamps, a book on color words, dual-sided white boards, Dr. Seuss stickers, a schedule chart...
... 2 packs of 20-count foam blocks, HUGE clothes pins (to keep track of my decodable weekly readers for small group!), 2 small pocket charts, and nuts/bolts or stackable people for our tub toys! (4 of each!)
... and finally, a Cars-themed white board, a shower curtain and hooks for something crazy I haven't thought of yet, 2 LARGE foam clocks (I should've bought 20!), pens, towels (for home :) and a Dr. Seuss bag for a take-home reader!

Trip #2: $58 (eek, I know. But I just HAD to!)
6 sets of flashcards: space, world landmarks, dinosaurs, world flags, insects, animals of the world; 3 Readers: Animal Kids, Apes and Monkeys, and Presidents

dotted number stamps, small ABC stamps (perfect for read, stamp, write!) 4 mini-erasers for the whiteboard center; and 4 teacher signs (line up here, raise your hand, clean up, and I forget the last one!)
perhaps my favorite buy! dual-sided, double-lined, laminate white board sentence strips! They come in packs of 4! So I bought a class set! (5 packs!)

Pink mesh teacher caddy for my small group table, cah-uttteeeee changable calendar, 2 pointers for read the room, and these INCREDIBLE lazy-susan table caddies!! (I bought 6!)
... and 3 puzzles! kinders LOVE puzzles! :)
PHEW! So excited to share my good finds with you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Target Treasures

Ya'll, I have already written about how much I love, love, LOVE Target!  After my venture there last week, I really could not stop think about what a great deal I got on such great stuff for next year!

Well, yesterday... I was in the neighborhood, and thought hmmm.  I could use one of those dry erase easels from the Target Spot.  yes, of course.

I plan on taking a picture of the goods tomorrow, as they are in my trunk and its dark out :)  But seriously GO to Target!!! My favorite find was a lazy-susan-esque table caddy. I can NOT wait to use these to replace the plastic pencil boxes which wind up getting so gross in just a few days time! and at $2.50 a piece they were a STEAL!

another thing that excites me about Target is the new blog "Target Treasures," ran by Hadar of the teaching blogs, "Teaching Blog Addict" and "Miss Kindergarten."  I love when others, especially teachers, can share in my L-O-V-E for good deals and great ideas!  To sweeten the pot, she is offering a $20 gift card as a Thank-You to one lucky winner!  Go check her out for some great deals, and even a chance at winning the gift card!

Good deal!

To mark her milestone of 100 followers, Krissy over at Kindergarten Monkey Business is offering up to $10 free from her TpT store as a Thank You!  Now, I am new to this whole teaching-blog thing (although I have been a vigilant blogger on other fronts for a couple years now), so I have come to find each of the blogs I've started to follow valuable in many ways!  I hope to one day offer as much insight, advice, and freebies as these ladies have been generously posting!

Head on over and see what it takes to get some TpT kinder-goodies!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Graphics Giveaway!

The lovely lady behind Little Literacy Learners is generously giving away a year long subscription to the graphics factory! Being a new teacher and new blogger, I would L-O-V-E to win a subscription to work on some items of my own for next year!  Head on over and see what it takes to win! Contest ends on July 14th!