Sunday, August 2, 2015

Forest Classroom Theme

It has been quite some time since I've last made a post.
I spent most of my summer with my little guy- playing baseball, visiting the splash pad, children's museum and MANY play dates.  It's hard to believe summer is over already.

This is my 6th year teaching.  I've never really had a classroom theme.  Typically I visited the teaching store and found borders and colorful fadeless paper that I liked and threw it all up on the wall.  It was always pretty, but never anything spectacular.

Last year, I had a new teammate.  As soon as I walked into her room, I knew I needed a theme from then on.  She had the cutest robot borders, decals, calendar items, etc.  This year I decided to go with a forest theme.  Liz (teammate) and I ventured over to the teaching store and loaded up on all things forest.

So here it is.  The tour begins.
Reading board.  I promise to make an in-depth post on how I use it once the year begins.

My small group area/teacher area.

Word wall.

Up close look at word wall letter stickers (Hobby Lobby).  You can't make out the details too well in this picture, but these letters are so fun.

Learning Expectation Charts/Whiteboard/Calendar
(Post on charts coming soon.)

My 'This is the Best Class Ever!' frame from the sweet Haley O'Connor <3

Student tables.

I'm in LOVE with how my student work board turned out.  This was a lot of fun to put together.  I made the trees using fadeless paper.  I used Chevron scrapbook paper as a background for work and will be attaching student work using clothespins.  


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Favorite Fonts Linky Party

(I'm a born and raised Texan.)
I had to get in on this super fun linky hosted by my INCREDIBLE friend Haley.  Creating activities and resources for my students and my Teachers Pay Teachers store has turned into a hobby, and I'm always on the hunt for new fonts.

BUT my favorite fonts of all time come from Jen Jones.  I can't get enough of her fonts.  In fact, my top 3 favorite fonts all come from her.

You can find Jen Jones' awesome fonts here.
While you're at it, stop by Haley's page to enter in her Favorite Fonts Giveaway where you can enter to win font licenses from Jen Jones and KG Fonts!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Progress Monitoring CAN be fun.

Hello there!

I've been enjoying summer too much that I've neglected all thoughts about returning to work.  Lately, my dear teacher friends have been posting about their back to school shopping extravaganzas or classroom decor ideas and it gave me the itch to start thinking and preparing for next school year.

Today, I am going to share with you how I have proven to my students that progress monitoring can be a great way to set and work towards fluency goals (in an early childhood friendly way, of course).

Hence, the Fluency Tree.

I found woodgrain wrapping paper at the Dollar Spot @ Target last year, which gave me the idea for the Fluency Tree.  In the beginning of the school year, I explain to my students that the Fluency Tree serves as a reminder of how important reading will be throughout the year.  All of the apples start at the base of the tree and move up based on fluency.  Then, I give each student their own Reading Fluency Portfolio.  I conference with each student individually and we set a reading fluency goal for the quarter.  At the end of the quarter, students reflect on their goals and set a new goal for the following quarter.

After progress monitoring each month, my students graph their progress in their Fluency Portfolio and if there has been progress toward his or her goal, the student can move his apple up on the tree.  

You could also create a fluency tree without the number goals (ex. 10, 20, 30) on the tree and just student name (or student number) with his or her current fluency level.  Then, instead of moving the apples, students can erase their fluency number and write the new fluency number with a dry erase marker.

At the end of the school year, it is so neat to see my students reflect on their entire progress throughout the year.  The Fluency Portfolios have also been a great source to use during parent conferences.

I'm planning on putting my portfolio's together this week in preparation for my school year.  I go back in 3 weeks, eek!  If you're interested in seeing more views of my Fluency Portfolio, click on any of the images and you'll be directed to my TpT store where you can find the Fluency Portfolio for 25% off for the next few days :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School Sale (First Grade Style)

Are you ready for midnight?  Is your TpT wishlist expanding drastically?  
My answers are YES and YES.

Everything in my store and many of these awesome first grade teachers stores will be 28% off.  Use promo code BTS13.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School Giveaway

I just wrapped up day 4 of school and man, oh, man am I pooped!  It sure has been a busy and fun first week.  Pictures to come soon!
My wonderful friend Haley thought up this super awesome giveaway that will definitely get your year kickin':
The best part is YOU get to choose your prizes!  Click on the image above to enter in the giveaway, and visit our stores by clicking on our images below to scope out some items you like :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday!

This has to be one of my absolute favorite linky's.  I've got quite a few teacher pins this week as I prepare to go back to work on MONDAY.   Eeek!

In the words of Cara Carroll, here's how it works.  "Pin like a crazy person through the week and highlight your favorites every Friday.  Of course, you can post about your favorite teaching related pins, but feel free to post about anything else you pinned, too!!!  I love finding a great new recipe or a something I've never seen before that I just "have to have" :) 
The only rule:  please make sure to link back to the ORIGINAL poster and not to Pinterest"

Favorite Teaching Pins
Pre-made New Student Packs.  

Last year I had quite a few new students come in throughout the year, and each morning there I was scrambling to find them a seat and find all of the paperwork I needed to send home with them.  I am going to make a ton of these before school starts and keep them in my filing cabinet to make life easier.

Sight Word & Segmenting activities.
Learning through movement is our favorite way to learn in first grade.  Mrs. Ricca has a ton of fun activities to use in your classroom.  Click on the image for all of her ideas!

Personalized Book Boxes.
Just too cute.  That's all I have to say.

Favorite Food Pins
Zesty Lime Shrimp & Avocado Salad (shrimp cocktail).
My mouth watered just looking at this picture.  Super easy, fresh and healthy.

Sun Brewed Tea.
Living in Phoenix makes it so easy to make sun brewed tea on a daily basis.  Each week, I prep large mason jars by placing 3 tea bags in each jar and brew the teas for 6-8 hours in the sun.  This is crazy simple and refreshing.  My favorite combination so far:
Orange Honey Tea: three tea bags, three slices of orange, 3 tablespoons honey.

Wooden Couch Sleeve

To join in on the fun, click on the Favorite Pins Friday image at the top of the post.
Have a super weekend!
K. Almaraz

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pencil Notes for Meet the Teacher Night (Come & win 'em!)

I made these last year for Meet the Teacher night to give to my new little friends as they came in to meet me.  They loved them & I loved how easy it was to put them together!  All I had to do was print the notes on colored card stock, cut out the notes and punch holes with a hole punch.


Pencil Notes included:
*Welcome to Kindergarten!
*Welcome to first grade!
*Welcome to 2nd grade!
*Welcome to 3rd grade!
*Let's Have a Rocking Year!
*I'm Lucky to Have You in my Class!

For more views, click on either image, and you'll be taken to my TpT store.

Want to win your very own set?

  Leave a comment to this blog post telling me something you do on Meet the Teacher night as well as your email and I will email the file to two lucky people tomorrow evening :)

K. Almaraz

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