Monday, May 18, 2015

Survival

Our motto for the week...
Outwit, Outplay and Outlast!!!
How do you survive the last few days of school?
We use our end of the year fun packs. Check them out if you need a fun way to review standards, engage students, and have fun!!!
It's been a great year. We have learned a ton and cried some while cherishing every relationship built and memory made!!
Enjoy the end of days!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

New Look-Make Over

Happy Monday Friends!!

Woooohoooo!! Kindergarten Squared had an awesome blog MAKEOVER! We feel so much cuter. What do you think?? We love the colors, we love the fonts, we love the cute little flags and the doodle arrows.  Thank you Gabby's Classroom so much for our new look!! I think this new look may inspire some more frequent blog posts!!!

Enjoy your week!! If your blog needs a new look check out our friend Gabby's work. Just click the button below!


Thanks for looking,

Monday, May 4, 2015

Time to get your "SHOP" on... It's a SALE!

TPT is throwing a HUGE Teacher Appreciation Sale  beginning tomorrow...Tuesday, May 5th and ending Wednesday, May 6th!

We are offering 20% off ALL of our products in our store...and we mean ALL of them...even bundles that are already marked at a 20+% savings off the individual packs!

Enter code THANKYOU at checkout and you'll save another 10% off the sale prices courtesy of TPT!

That's a TOTAL of 28% off ALL products and you end up saving about 40%+ on our bundles!  

Here are some items that may be perfect to finish out your year!
Math

End of the Year THEME Days FUN!

We hope these last few weeks FLY by!  
Stay strong, keep calm...and teach on! 
 Because frankly...you ROCK! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

If You Give a Teacher a Gift Card...

...they'll run out like a mad woman/man and spend that sucker in 5 minutes flat...because it's SUMMER BREAK!  OK...so it's not here just yet, but people... we are hitting the home stretch here!



We can leisurely enjoy a latte from STARBUCKS, or mill about smartly in TARGET...for hours, or sleep in-sip on said coffee-order online because we like to shop whilst still in our PJ's-because we can...on AMAZON, or peruse the goodies on TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS whilst still in aforementioned PJ's!

If this sounds like a perfect way to pamper yourself just a little, then head over to iTeachKinder and enter the giveaways for the gift cards you love!  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

$100 Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

Psst!  Hey you!  Yes, you there buried under paperwork, feeling stressed, wondering how the heck you are gonna survive the next few weeks!  To be honest, we don't have a perfect solution for you! Not helpful, right???   BUT we DO have something for you to look forward to once the smoke clears and we all check to see if we are still standing come SUMMER, sweet SUMMER!

Teacher Appreciation is right around the corner.  And we know (seriously KNOW) what you do every.single.day to lift up your littles and help them soar!  It's not an easy task for sure, but one that is SO worth it!

And to make sure you know we SEE you, KNOW what you do, BELIEVE in who you are, and want to LIFT you up for all the goodness you bring to this world... we want to pamper you!  Head over to our wonderful new iTeachKinder blog to enter our giveaway for some gift cards to our FAVORITE pampering places.

Who doesn't love TARGET...I mean you can hit up their home goods section for some sweet new decor, hop over to their clothing for some cute summer swag, or hit the beach collection to get your "beach on"!

Or how about STARBUCKS...did someone say "Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte Extra Hot...and HECK YEAH I want whipped cream!"

And AMAZON...well seriously...you can get ANYTHING and EVERYTHING here!

And lastly, TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS because every teacher needs a little "please help me so I don't have to create this stuff on my own" pampering!

So please take a minute and head over to enter...you're WORTH it!

Friday, April 24, 2015

iTeach Kinder and Learning from Others

Happy Friday Friends!! Hope you had a great day!! We are having a blast getting to know other bloggers and sharing on the  iTeach Kinder collaborative blog! Each day of the week, different bloggers are blogging about a different topic each day. Yesterday we posted some great tips on a STEM lesson!!   It is soo awesome learning from so many great teachers!! Check it out!!
Let us know what you think!!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Student-Led Conferences: Um, Yes Please! Part Two


So...time to finish up our post about our AMAZING student-led conferences!

Now that the kiddos have completed all of the legwork, it's time for them to practice and get ready for the main event!  Now the level of your kiddos will dictate how much practicing they will need.  When I first started these, I felt they needed practice.  Now...to be honest...we wing it!  I sit in on the conferences and I can gently guide them to the next section or give them a little nudge to get them going, but they really are pretty amazing at sharing their own work!  When the parents come in, I have them sit on either side of their kiddo.  I sit on the opposite side of the table.  This allows the parents to see their kiddo's conference form, view their math and writing samples, and see the actual book their little one is reading.  I sit opposite them so that I am present, but NOT the central focus.  This is after all, a STUDENT-LED conference!  Can I get an AMEN!
Basically the kiddo runs the conference by reading each section of their form and then sharing the work from that content area.  I only interject to keep them on track or ask them questions to help them share what they are thinking.  When they read the book, we do only have them read 2 or 3 pages to save on time.

This is BY FAR the best part of the whole process.  The kiddos are beaming from ear to ear with pride as they truly see just how far they have come.  I'm talking not being able to write jack at the beginning of the year, to writing spin-offs of their favorite class read alouds!
This was from about 3 weeks in.  She was using sight words we had been working on to write simple sentences.
 She was already using some good phonetic spelling even at this early stage!
This is actually a piece from early February, and we didn't have conferences until late March...so she was doing some fantastic writing already.  She didn't use punctuation here, but she wrote over a 4 page story based on My Lucky Day.  She kept the characters, but changed the story line as the story progressed.  She has phenomenal skills happening here!
This is always a favorite part for the parents too because when they see their little one flip the first page over to the current writing, there is literally an audible gasp escaping from them!  They too can not believe just how much growth has happened, but alas...it's right there in front of them as living proof!  

Here are some examples of the math journal entries they share.
We try to encourage them to choose newer entries so it reflects their current level of thinking.
A little more about the reading portion... we have the kids choose a book from their Daily 5 book box.  That means they already have a "good fit" collection to choose from.  We encourage them to choose the highest level book that they can read with fluency and understanding.  We don't even check them on this before the conference as most of them have had a ton of practice deciding if something is the right fit for them.  If they do choose a book that's a bit too easy (maybe one that has been in their box longer and was used to build fluency, but really is a bit too easy), then we just grab another out of their box and get them to have a go.  They are usually pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn't too hard after all.  After they have read a couple of pages, we stop them and show them and their family what level that came in reading at (for 90% of our kids it's a RIGBY level ZERO!) and what level they are currently reading (this ranges from a level FIVE to TWENTY THREE this particular year!)  Level 5 is considered "ready for 1st" so everything after that is gravy!!!  **Disclaimer....We do have 2 cuties who are not reading at all at this point.  They joined us mid year and were far behind at the time.  They are making slow gains, and we will keep on keeping on!  They'll bloom soon enough!  :)
To keep track of the book they wish to share, they again stick a sticky note to the front to mark it.
I don't know if you can tell, but the sweet Mama in the pink shirt up top has a tissue in her hand!  She literally broke down in tears as her baby read.  You see, reading wasn't really his thing right away.  As a matter of fact, he wasn't really loving the whole writing or math thing either.  He lacked confidence and was always worried he wouldn't get things right.  It has been just amazing watching this kiddo bloom right before our eyes.  He read his book with such confidence and didn't even pause to look at either of us to get help when he hit an unknown word.  He just picked a reading strategy, chunked the word, and kept on reading like he was a professional 1st grader!  She is our school's counselor which made it even sweeter!  She was glowing with pride and adoration for her baby's accomplishment.  Now if that's not worth giving these student-led conferences a go...then I don't know what is!





The last piece of the puzzle is our surveys that we send out to our families.  We ask them to be brutally honest, and to be frank, they do!!!  I had 2 families tell me that they loved them, but that I needed to allow longer than 15 minutes per conference.  (Did I mention that my students and I share an affinity for chatting...ANNNND we tend to go over our allotted 15 minutes and then MAYBE the whole schedule gets a bit behind!!!!)  But this feedback helps us evolve and make these conferences even more meaningful!

SO...go wild, have fun, and give STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES a shot!