Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten has a Great Giveway!

Hey guys!

I am so tired tonight so I'm not making this long... but I just wanted to quickly tell everyone about a great giveway from Tammy over at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten!  She is giving away a $25 gift certificate to TPT!!!  Click on the picture below to hop on over and enter the giveaway too!

Live Love Laugh

Monday, November 5, 2012

Patterns? Should We Teach Them? (Freebie alert!)

I certainly think so!

I doubt this is the first time you have heard that question since the release of the Common Core standards, but I think it's great that teachers continue to reflect on  and discuss the changes and how they impact student learning.

Over on her blog, Ms. Kerri of Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Klass, brought up this question back in September.  I completely agree with everything she said and thought there were some great comments from other readers as well!

In addition to everything that was pointed out, I think its important to keep in mind that the Common Core standards are designed to be the "final destination" or end goal for our students but that it has been left up to us to determine the path students take to get there!  For example, the Kindergarten standards don't state that "students will activate their prior knowledge, or schema, before reading" but we know that in order for students to comprehend text (and therefore master the standards that are listed in the Common Core) teaching them how to do this is critical.  I view the concept of patterns in math to be a lot like schema in reading... in order for students to truly understand other math concepts such as counting by 10's (K.CC.1) they need that foundation with basic patterns!  So although the standards don't specifically state that students will identify and extend patterns, we have to be mindful of the fact that it is part of the necessary foundation that must be laid in order for students to master some of the other standards.

All that being said, my wonderful team has starting teaching patterns and I am working on a packet of Fall themed pattern activities to post in my TPT store!  Since its not completely done... I'm linking up with Classroom Freebies for Manic Monday with a FREEBIE!!!  Click on the picture below...

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

If you would like to visit my TPT store you can also find it there by clicking on the picture below...

Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Heidi Songs!

I may or may not be way behind the learning curve on this one, but I'm just glad I have finally discovered how wonderful Heidi Songs are! I showed my kiddos the "go" song on youtube on Friday and it was a HUGE hit!  I think we probably hit repeat about 10 times...

Anyway, two days later I'm lost in blog world and I stumble upon Jenn's amazing blog, Seriously Primary, where she is hosting a GIVEAWAY for a $20 gift certificate to anything on Heidi's website!!!!  (Talk about good timing... I was literally about the buy the first DVD:)  So I'm linking up to her blog post here, so you can go enter as well!    You can also click on her blog button below to visit!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It was MAGICAL!!

I don't have time to write much, but I have got to share my excitement about the magical moment we had today during Daily Five!!!! For the first time since the beginning of the year I looked up from my small group and every single one of my little smarties was fully engaged in one of the Daily Five stations!  It was that wonderful moment when I was able to take a relaxing breath and realize that the hard work was starting to really show... (then I quickly handed over the sight word cards in my hand to one of the students in my small group, grabbed my iPad and captured the moment via video... Just in case I need to utilize it later on to show them what they are capable of ;). I'm going to double check that all the students seen in the video have a photo release, and if so I may post it on here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My first TPT upload... and its FREE!

I am so excited to announce that I have officially posted my first product on Teachers Pay Teachers!  (and its FREE of course!)

Our school is working really hard this year to promote the importance of reading at home (and at school!)  If there is an area that we need to see the most growth this year as a school, it is definitely in reading.  In an effort to promote reading at home and hold our students more accountable, the K team, like many other grade levels at our school, has incorporated an interactive book log into our nightly homework routine.  We send home various books for the students to read with their parents and then include a quick, but meaningful, activity on the book log to further bridge the learning from school to home.  I am working hard to put together an entire packet of these interactive book logs to post in my store, but in the meantime I have posted a sample and would love to hear what you all think!

Click on the image below to find this product in my store!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Did It! Now I'll Introduce Myself...

Soooo glad I got that over with!  Now I can actually tell yall a little bit about myself...

My name is Sarah Swilley, I am a Kindergarten teacher in North Carolina, and am a future wife (to that handsome man in the picture!), a teacher, a Christian, and a great friend!  My loves include Brian (the wedding is exactly one year away!), shopping, hanging out with friends, reading, salty/fried foods, and all things southern (I apologize in advance if the word "yall" bothers you!)  I also love, love, love what I do.  I am frequently accused of working too much, but the reality is... it is way harder for me to turn my "teacher brain" OFF than it is to keep it ON :)  I, like so many others, spend most of my spare time browsing and reading teacher blogs and pinning things on pinterest!  Just the other day my sweet (and super supportive!) future hubby said, "Do you really have to be on that thing [the computer] alllll the time?"  (Smile.)

One of my favorite things about teaching is talking with other teachers and colleagues about teaching strategies and sharing new ideas!  I actually aspire to work in Curriculum & Instruction one day and am one of those 'nerdy' teachers that is always carrying around several different professional development books and analyzing standards and curriculum just because I like to :)  For that reason, I also greatly enjoy reading all of the amazing teacher bloggers that are out there!  I have been following some of my favorites for almost two years now and am definitely a better teacher because of those awesome ladies!!!

Like I said in my first post, it has taken me quite a while to even post on this blog, due to a whole plethora of fears and anxieties about starting a "teacher blog"!  But I am realizing that I may never get started if I don't just push some of those aside...  I hope that if you have made it this far, you will like what you see and will become a follower!

Now or Never!?

Ok, here it goes... I just have to stop finding excuses and POST! :) I have literally been planning to start a blog now for over a year and am just now typing my very first post.  If I don't just go ahead and do it... I may never stop finding reasons to wait!