Saturday, June 29, 2013

Who Loves DonorsChoose?

Oh my, where do I start?! I LOVE DonorsChoose and probably for more reasons than you can think of. Yes, I am a fortunate teacher who has had 5 projects fund (I one day hope to be like those that have hundreds funded!) to use in my classroom. We have received AWESOME materials form a whole science center of every kind of tool you can think of, books for our classroom library and big books that my kiddos loved to read! My future (can't wait to meet these sweeties!!!) kinder students will get to use individual CD players for listening to reading, some really awesome word work materials and who knows we might even have more projects fund over the summer (hopeful!). I am extremely thankful to every donor (96 supporters in all so far) that believe in my students and have helped them gain some great educational tools for the classroom!

But there is a another aspect to DonorsChoose that I love and I am so thankful for, Giving Pages!! It is so amazing to see how many giving pages have been made to host teachers' projects. These giving pages may host projects from specific subjects, interests, from certain regions etc. I am so thankful to be apart of what feels like a "secret community of facebook." From these giving pages I have met some awesome teachers from coast to coast AND gotten some really COOL ideas of what other classes are doing. These pages may hosts contests to help you earn DonorsChoose dollars to help fund your project. It is truly a great community to be apart of and we would love more active members. (Now I am not speaking as a Giving Pages owner just a member! :) )

I highly recommend if you have facebook and want to be an active advocate for your students and to meet other awesome teachers to check out some of these great pages! If you are just an awesome person who is looking to help classrooms, these pages are a great place to start!

Regional Pages (Host projects from their region...but you can always be a member and support other regions!)
Southern Hospitality  : Page that hosts projects from the South!

Best in the Midwest : Midwest projects

Northern Lights :Projects from the North

Western Roundup :Projects from the West

Mid-Atlantic Projects for DonorsChoose : Projects from the Mid-Atlantic States

Carolina Girls On DonorsChoose : Projects for guys and gals from North and South Carolina

Some other great pages to check out:

Kindergarten Rocks!: This is awesome page that loves kindergarten but also focuses on other grade levels

Mrs. Kinder Owl :Another awesome page

Couponing For The Classroom :This page also give some great money saving tips!

Hand in Hand Giving Page : Helping projects in need

Memories and Milestones :Helping projects

Reading is FUNdamental :Helps projects with a focus on literacy

Music Makes Our Students Smarter :Helps projects that LOVE music!

Costume Box : A giving page that is part of Adam Lambert's Glam A Classroom campaign

FaerieFive  :Follow them meadow to meadow to help fund projects!

Just Because You Care:Support Public Education

WOAH that is A LOT of pages. I hope I included all the ones I know and try to help out the best I can! So if you are a DonorsChoose teacher I really encourage you to check out these pages to gain some great tips. And if you are someone who supports education but just don't know where to start, please go check out a page that strikes your fancy to help out one of their projects!

I am so thankful for DonorsChoose whose sole purpose is to support teachers to ensure student success!

Friday, June 28, 2013

So Many Choices!

Choices, Choices, Choices!! Too many choices!  I have been thinking a lot about the 5 different choices I will be implementing into my Daily 5 block this coming school year. I have been wondering how can I give them the best visual model of the choices without reviewing all year. We all know and love our kindergartners but know the beginning of the year is EXHAUSTING! I want to provide them with great visual models of the choices since most will not be able to read when they start the school year. So I have been taking my time looking for just the right graphic to go with each choice on a poster to hang in the room. Now this is not to say, I made these posters and then I am going to review them once and expect my kiddos to "just get it!" Don't worry I am not that crazy!

Now that I (think)  have made some posters that will be useful as I introduce Daily 5, I have realized there are too many choices. And NO not choices for the kiddos but for me, EEK! I just could not decide on the border or font or anything that I made. I stuck to Chevron because that is going to be a major decorating element in my classroom but there are SO MANY CHOICES! I designed 3 different sets and I still have other chevron frames I could use. I am pretty sure I have settled on the bright chevron for my room since my room has lots of BRIGHT colors but who knows there are just too many choices. I did make one set with no pictures in case there are classrooms out there who prefer no pictures. Please check out the preview below and if you are interested you can find this set at my TPT store!

If you do the Daily 5 in your classroom I would be very interested to know what works for you and your little precious friends. If you are like me and going to implement this the coming school year please share your ideas as well! I am super excited about this adventure with my kiddos this year!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flash Freebie Alert!!

Woohoo, I am so excited to announce that I have completed my mini number and alphabet chevron posters!! I am all about BRIGHT, HAPPY colors in my classroom. Last year my classroom was in the neon family of bright pink, blue, green and yellow! I am so excited to add chevron to the mix. Happy classroom makes for a happy teacher which hopefully makes for happy kiddos! I plan to continue making some mini posters with  this frame so if you have any suggestions please leave a comment. I am going to leave these posters as a freebie for the next 24 hours, so hop on this chance before it passes you by! All I ask is to please leave me some feedback on my store! :) If you really love them feel free to leave a donation on one of my DonorsChoose Projects. And don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin (link is on the right side of page) so you are the first to receive freebie alerts! Check out the preview below and click here to download!

And the Winners are.....

WOW! What a GREAT turn out! Several of you entered through the blog to earn an extra entry, way to go! I posted on Southern Hospitality on DonorsChoose for an extra way to earn an entry however no one found it! This giveaway was shared on a teaching page on facebook and I challenged that if anyone could find it they would earn an extra entry. No one found it but I want to give a big shout out to Teachers Market for sharing this giveaway! My students are so lucky and the real winners of this contest but onto the winners that made it happen!!

Lucky donor #22 who has earned $5 in DonorsChoose cash is......Lisa Roark!

The winner of the most entries and $10 is...................Mrs. Wick from Michigan!

And the winner of the random drawing and $10 is............
 Congratulations to all of the winners! Please post/email/facebook me with the link where you would like your winnings!

Coming Soon!!

Next year I am adding to my bright/neon/polka dot theme classroom with CHEVRON!! I have a super cute multi color chevron frame that I have been making mini number posters and mini word wall alphabet. Make sure you are following so you will be the first to see!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

DonorsChoose Giveaway!

Who doesn't love DonorsChoose? I have been so fortunate to have 4 projects funded to benefit my students. This summer I am working hard on gettig more projects funded that I know my future kinders will benefit from! 

 Short, Quick Summary of my Projects
The first project, "Listening Leads to Reading," is to obtain 10 personal CD players that will be used during my Daily 5 time for Listening to Reading. The second project, "Learning is More Fun with Playdough," is so my cuties can learn their alphabet and build words by "doing" and not some boring worksheet! This will also be used during Daily 5 time. Please take the time to read about them if you are interested in exactly what I my plan is for these materials. Also, if are not familiar with DonorsChoose, you NEED to be! Take a moment, check out the site. It is SUPER easy to write a project. If you have any questions I would be glad to help.

 Now on to the giveaway.......

2 projects, 2 prizes, 2 days!! Okay so here is the deal, I have 2 fabulous projects that need some summer lovin. And I have 2 fabulous prizes up for grabs...$10 in DC account credits! That's right TWO $10 DC dollars! So here is the deal one winner will be randomly picked and the other is for most entries. If you have a friend donate in your honor it can count as YOUR entry if they write your name in the message. If you do not have a current project up, I can send it to you as a gift! Just $1 enters you to win a prize! Winners will be announced Monday (6/24) night at 12 pm est. 2 projects, 2 prizes, 2 days...what are you waiting for?! 

****Just Added!!!**** (6/23) Leave a comment on this blog AND somewhere in your message on the project add that you were sent from my blog and you will receive an EXTRA entry! Make sure somewhere in your comment if you post ANON that you leave your name. ALSO, Donor #22 will WIN $5 in DonorChoose account credits! Now I am not going to say how many donors so far but we are getting CLOSE!

Recap for up to $25 in DonorsChoose Cash!!!
  • Every donation counts as an entry. Someone can donate in your honor IF they write your name in the donation. If you are able to use a matching code, that will count as an entry. AND if you comment on this blog and write in your message you came from this blog you earn an entry. That is 4 ways to earn an entry! One random donor will be chosen to win $10!!!
  • The donor with the most entries (see above on how to earn an entry) wins $10!!!!
  • Donor #22 wins $5!!!!!!
What are you waiting for?????
Contest ends June 24 at 12 PM EST (*time was adjusted for out friends out West and I will not be able to announce the winner until Tuesday*)

Click Here to Find the Projects! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Daily 5 Notebook and a Freebie

Wish I was out laying  by a pool somewhere but sweet Andrew likes to nap all day so instead I will create! I bought all these cute fonts and graphics last school year but never had time to sit down and create anything. So, since my summer goal is to get ahead on some work for my classroom, I decided there is no time like the present! I have been working hard on gathering Daily 5 resources to implement this year so naturally I need a CUTE notebook to put it in. I played around with some fonts, graphics and backgrounds and created 5 different documents. Now all I have to do is decide which one to use!  I am in the process of creating mini posters for each Daily 5 choice so keep checking back! Take a look, see what you think and download if you would like! :)

Daily 5 Cover Signs  Daily 5 Cover Signs

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Reflecting and Planning for the Upcoming Year

Summertime...pool days, hot sun, lazy days, beach trips, lake days, family time, vacations etc. These are all things I look forward to as summer gets near. But summer also signifies a time of reflection, planning and preparing for next school year. I am like a little kid in a candy shop when I start thinking about next year. I dream of what my room will be like, the changes I will make, the improvements that will be made and of course I think about the cute little giggly kindergarteners that will grow and mature under my care.

This summer, I have BIG plans for next year. I am so excited that several members on my team have decided together to start Daily 5/CAFE in our classrooms! I know that my kinders are going to LOVE IT! I ordered the Daily 5 book during the school year and being the nerd that I am, I read it in ONE NIGHT! Seriously, I took a nice bubble bath and read Daily 5. It is an EASY read and I highly recommend you read this book if you have not. So I am spending my summer preparing notebooks of resources to make the first 30 days a little bit easier. I also just ordered the CAFE book and I am sitting on pins and needles for its arrival!

The last several days, I have been thinking a lot about the Read to Self time. I am super excited about teaching my kinders about stamina and taking the time with the mini lessons to help mold them into readers. I know taking the time at the beginning of the year will be well worth it! Our district already requires independent reading for 20-30 minutes a day so  I am feeling fairly confident about the Read to Self time. Because my school requires this time (also known as 100 Book Challenge) all of my students will do Read to Self together and I will do independent reading conferences during this time. (I also plan to allow it to be a choice for them.  If they want to read twice during the day, I am not going to stop that!)

I have been thinking a lot about our book boxes for next year. I have a class set of cute neon orange and purple book boxes. (I stalked Target last summer for several weeks to  buy them!) This year  my kinders kept their 100 Book Challenge books in them, school library book, class library books and I got a DonorsChoose project funded for some leveled books that they read. They had several options but I feel like they still need MORE especially at the beginning of the year to build their confidence. So my kinder team was doing a lot of thinking and our plan is to add: ABC charts, a book that they can add their sight words in and maybe a book with all of their friends pictures with their name. I want my kinders to know that from the beginning that they CAN read. So what do you place in your book boxes? Are you planning any changes for next year? Please share!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Meet Mrs. Farr!

I am so excited to start my blogging experience. This is something that has been turning in my mind for a long time and I finally decided to dive in head first! I am excited to share about what is happening in my kindergarten classroom, sharing activities that my kinders are doing and developing new friendships in the blog world!

First, I want to share a little bit about me and my family! I live in a small town in South Carolina that only has one red light! Yes, one red light!! That was exactly my reaction when I moved here when I got married. You see, I have lived in several different states and all BIG cities. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Kentucky then to Alabama (close to Mobile) and Greenville, South Carolina. My family even had a move to Birmingham, Alabama while I was in college but they now live right outside Charlotte. So here I am, someone who has moved and lived lots of places marrying a guy who has lived in one spot his whole LIFE! (I never knew people actually did that!)

I married my best friend, Richard on June 9, 2012. We have been super blessed in our first year of marriage. We both have full time jobs and have families that support us. Richard received an early birthday present in September that we were expecting our first child at the end of May. I then received an early birthday present in April that our little boy was ready to make his grand appearance!  Andrew was born on Friday, April, 19 at 5:20 PM. He is our strong, little baby. He was born 5 weeks early and had some trouble breathing and he did not know how to eat. So his first 8 days in this big scary world were spent in the NICU. By the way he can scream and eat you never would know that he had a little rocky start.  I am blessed to have such a precious family! Of course, I have to share some pictures!

"Kids grow like weeds!"

 His daddy is  a cute, right?!
 Future Clemson Tiger!
And here is my little family! This was the day we came home from the hospital.


I hope this gives you a little glimpse of who I am outside of my classroom. I am super excited to get my blog looking blogtastic and share the fun that happens in room 117.