Thursday, 30 August 2012

September 4th, Here We Come!!!

Yesterday was spent in preparation of next Tuesday. Any teachers reading this? Feeling overwhelmed? Feeling unprepared? Anyone think their class isn't quite ready? I am here to make you feel better. This is what we are working with in ELK Room 15.

Nice right? Big open space. Bright walls. No furniture. No furniture? haha No. Furniture. In fact. If you peek really close you can see the holes in the floor. Our classroom is an addition that was built especially for us! :) That is super exciting, and we know it WILL be worth it when all our kinders are in that room, playing and learning. It's just so hard to visualize that now. With our room in....well, THAT condition!

But it is what it is! It just happens to be an unfinished empty classroom right now. We will of course be forever grateful to the hard working men should they have us in there before school starts on September 4th. Until then though-we have been unpacking new furniture and toys, taking inventory of what we have, preparing our parent/teacher conferences, programming for the first two days of school and in the meantime, brainstorming up ideas from everything from behaviour management to crayon storage to where we will store our constant drip of coffee, because we are smart enough to know-that we will in fact need coffee.

Lots. Of. Coffee.

We have ideas. Boy oh boy do we have ideas! Wanna see our reading nook?

It doesn't have all the bells and whistles. But we like simple. ;)
We have big plans for that space. To make it comfy, and welcoming and beautiful! :)

Oh and one more picture. This is of our handwashing station.

Here it is! HUGE sink.

So all of you reading who feel unprepared, and not quite ready to roll, rest assured. You are not alone. (I am truly apologetic about how life coach-y this sounds! )

While we wait for the room to be ready for us to move our stuff in-we are preparing ourselves the best way we know how.

I'll be back tomorrow I think. To show you what we have come up with for Behaviour Management.

DISCLAIMER: In no way shape or form am I complaining about this! :) We feel extremely fortunate to have access to a brand new space-to make all our own, and we feel especially grateful to the company working hard to juggle the jobs they are doing to ensure we are in on time :)


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

D.I.Y. Unique As You Are Clipboard!

The last few weeks my brain has been filled with mental lists of things I need, things I want and things I probably don't need but definitely love anyways. But I would never claim to have thought of it all, because just when you think you have-something else pops up!

Somehow I let a clipboard slip my mind. It came to me Monday when I finally got into our class to check it out! I was conversing with the teacher that I will be spending this year (and possibly many years to come) sharing a class with. She was mentioning the list of photocopies she had made for me for bus duty purposes and she said "our clipboards will be full!" I thought nothing of this until I was driving home-filled with building anticipation on the school year, and it clicked! "She said clipboard! I haven't even thought about buying one! DUH!!!!"

So Tuesday I ran to Staples. Well-my husband drove me. I love to run. But my Staples is a half hour drive.

I picked up 2 clipboards for $3.15. They are plain and boring and very depressing.

 I scooted over to Walmart and bought some Mod podge (satin finish)for $6.89 and the rest of my goodies I found lying around in my scrapbooking supplies. I went home with a plan!

It went something like this:

1. Gather your materials. You are going to need the clipboard, mod podge, a brush to apply the podge, some pretty fancy papers. (I used cardstock stolen from my scrapbooking supplies, but I would advise you to use a printed paper, rather then the cardstock. The cardstock bubbled a tiny bit, and i tried it again with paper and it didn't.) I also used some ric rac, to add a little detailing. But any coordinating ribbon would do.
2. Cut your papers to fit on the back of the clip board. I decided not to give you the measurements for this-because you will need to decide what sizes you like your papers. You could do one whole piece of paper, and not have coordinating colours, but I really wanted two.

3. Mod podge the backside of your clip board. This stuff dries kind of fast, so work quickly. It doesn't matter how neat it looks right now, this part will be covered. Once your backside is mod podged, stick on your papers. (Pretty side up!) Press and rub that paper down really hard, making sure you have all the air bubbles if you used cardstock. Mod Podge right over top of the paper. Try to make this part neat, smooth brush strokes. Let it dry for 10 minutes.

4. Flip your board over. I used one piece of paper for this side. (It's going to be covered up most of the time anyways.) I cut it to fit the clipboard, and then cut a spot out for where the clip must fit. This took some guess work. Then i mod podged this side the exact way I did the last side.

5. I added a strip of ric rac along the bottom front. (if you are using ribbon then this is where you would put it.) and I also added a strip of ric rac to the back, along the seam where my coordinating papers met. I just used a little mod podge to glue it down.

6. This is the back. I told you yesterday I had a thing for birds right? Well these birds are especially cute. That's it! Or so I thought. I had extra ric rac and some ribbons that matched, so I cut a few strips and tied them through the hole on the clip, knotted them to secure them, and they just look frilly and cute! :) I did not take a picture of that part. Sorry. I have total confidence in my readers though, I know you could get the job done. :)

Phew! I'm glad that is over with. My first tutorial! Did I suck? Could you follow my directions?


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Crazy for Organization!

Today is officially the most exciting day ever! Perhaps not officially. But we are talking SERIOUSLY EXCITING! I'm a nerd for organization. I like all things colour coded, matchy matchy and easy to follow. Working with kinders there are bound to be some-or many maybe moments of complete and utter chaos. My plan to cope with this: a super organized self. My real life is organized too! I`m always early, and if you ever stop by my house and peek at my day planner on my kitchen counter, its colour coded and detailed. Everything is organized. (Except for my grocery list). That's another story though.

A week ago I ordered myself a fancy dancy lesson planner. When I bought it-i knew it was going to be good based on price alone. But today-the most exciting day ever, the fed-ex lady delivered it ! Bless her! Upon further inspection, this planner is the Cadillac of all planners. So....I took some snapshots. So you can see her beauty in living colour.

The suspense must be killing you. This is me waiting by the door for my local fed ex delivery gal. Package in hand. I told you it was fancy dancy.
OK. this is what I opened it up to find. Smart marketing. Beautiful packaging. I didn`t even want to rip that baby open. But-I find this:
Ta Da!! My Lesson Planner. Personalized. Pretty. Perfect. (That white strip of paper is covering up the school I work at and the dates 2012-2013)
Inside shot.
Now. If this inspired you to get your own. You can find them here! 
They have different covers. I`m just partial to birds this year. I can`t say enough super things about the inside of this book, so i`ll let you investigate for yourself. There is a special on them right now. (Day after I bought it-dangit!)
Alright-so I will leave you to browse the fabulous designs of Erin Condren. It could take a while. When I stumbled upon the site-I spent a good hour there. She makes other beautiful wonderful things too!
Come back tomorrow though! I have a tutorial for you!


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Books to Support Learning....

Alright-so this blog post isn't exactly on time but my excuses are plentiful and valid. Enjoying summer-check! Spending time with my kids before they go back to school and daycare-check! Reorganizing my house so I have a space for the laptop so I can do this comfortably-check!

But here I am now-with a blog post called "books to support learning". It wont be my only blog post on this topic as books are my favourite way of introducing a concept to kids. If the story is invigorating and the illustrations are interesting enough to focus on-a book is my best friend.

Enter--->my best friend.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A piece of my mind. for the last couple of days I've done very little  nothing aside from think about the impending school year! I cant help it. I go grocery shopping-I see clothes I should have for my new "career" wardrobe. I previously worked in daycare-remember? Well for those of you who havent worked in daycare-comfort is beauty. I spent the vast majority of my hours on the floor, being snotted and drooled on by the under 1's. So i lived in yoga pants-i quickly developed an addiction to lululemon. So new job-enter new wardrobe :)

Im busy planning ideas for my idea bank and organizing my life. I currently dicovered Dropbox . If you are already using it-you're a technically inclined wizard (but that's just my humble opinion). If you aren't----> then you are going to want to discover. Online storage of files on your devices. ie) I type up a fantastic newsletter to the parents of our kinders and head to school leaving my hard copy sitting on the kitchen counter with my coffee. Double fail. But with online storage-not really. Every document I create on my computer gets saved into my dropbox rather then my file on the hard drive-that way i connect to dropbox from a work computer-and print there! Voila! Single Fail! I'm still without coffee-remember?

Also on my brain? Buying fantastic things. Example: my new fantastically deliciously wonderful carry-all. This bag is going to get the job done. Wanna see her?

Okay. Wipe the drool that's gotta be running down your face. I'm not selfish. I love hooking you up. so here's the link: Fantastically Deliciously Wonderful Carry-All!! It comes in many many colours and styles. Happy shopping.

So-enough gloating about my new Fantastically Deliciously Wonderful Carry-All. I'll be back on Friday to blog about some of my new literacy finds-and share with you how excited I am to share them with the kinders! :)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Introducing.........Mrs. Adams

Now that’s a handle to get used to. Since graduating in 2005 I`ve just been Meagan, Miss Meagan or whatever the children can muster up with their growing vocabularies. Mrs. Adams sounds kind of official.

Let me be really official by introducing myself! First name: Meagan Last name: Adams. I graduated 7 years ago from the Early Childhood Education program at Fanshawe College and immediately started working in licensed daycare. I put in my time in a toddler room-an infant room and retired from daycare working in my choice room-the preschool room. I knew my first 2 months of college that I wanted to work with school aged children. I’ve been dreaming of working within the school system since my first year of college. I was excited to hear of the government idea to implement Early Learning in kindergarten classrooms across Ontario! I quickly made it my priority to work as hard as I could to become a part of a program I strongly believe works!

I start my position in September. I will be working close to home. I am elated. I am busy trying to prepare for the school year with a classroom still under construction. I have been trying to gather programming information from many different sources and one thing I`ve discovered is that there are not too many blogs, (I am yet to find one) that focus on the All Day Learning Program in Ontario. Enter my bright idea-----start a blog! My hope for this blog is that it grows and improves as I hope to grow and improve in the classroom. I want to share programming with people who, like me, look to the internet for inspiration for this type of thing. I will share with you my successes---and my failures in programming for an ELK class. (Early Learning Kindergarten-can you please try to remember this so I can save my fingers from cramping? ;)

I also plan to share literacy with you that our class loves. ( If you don’t know much about the ELK program, I, the designated early childhood educator will be working as a partner with the kindergarten teacher to plan and implement the program. So from here on out it will be referred to as ‘our’ class. )

My goal is for other E.C.E.’s to be able to take from this blog and implement with their own group of children. I would also like to enhance my network. Meet teachers and other E.C.E.’s working in this program or working towards this program-exchange ideas and thoughts. Stay tuned as school is fast approaching........