The journey of a first year Kindergarten teacher...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Awesome Linky Parties

Wow since I have been away there have been some really great linky parties! I have linked up with Teaching Maddeness, Teaching with Z, and Mrs. Dwyer's A+ Firsties.

First Linky..

#1 Establish a positive environment to meet all student needs.
#2 Communicate with parents effectively.
#3 Take more pictures of activities, routines, and students for the end of the year CD.
#4 Blog frequently about my class (what worked? din't work?etc.)
#5 Leave school work at school and clean up centers and have materials ready for the next day.

Second Linky...

I have several CDs I have used since working with PreK and my favorites are...

Greg and Steve! I have many of their CDs and they were ahit always with my kiddos..Here's a favorite that includes Bop til You Drop, Bear Hunt, etc.

Mr. Al a Carte

Laurie Berkner's "Story of my Feelings" book with CD (the kids really enjoy this one!)

And of course, some classics like Disney, Wiggles, Sesame Street, Barney, were in rotation in my PreK class as well.

Last Linky!

  • An area of your house piled high with classroom supplies!
  • You get excited at the Dollar Tree and Target's $1 aisle
  • You keep pinning things on Pinterest solely for your classroom
  • Kid Songs are stuck in your head
  • You find many uses for toilet paper/paper towel rolls
  • You find yourself talking to an adult like they are your students
That's all for today..I'm off to buy some more clear contact paper, ribbons, and copies to wrap up my school supplies...School is almost here!ahhhhhh :D

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another Award! and First Day Jitters linky

Thank you all for your amazing responses on my first day of school post! It really means a lot to me that we can all contribute to a successful school year. Thanks Carole from Kinder Carole for nominating me "The Versatile Blogger" award!

I have to tell you seven random facts about myself and then choose 5 blogs I have found.
1. I am terribly allergic to ants, bees, and cats! I carry an Epi Pen around me just in case of an emergency at all time :)
2. I LOVE small cars. Since I have no kids I can still get away with them..I previously owned a Volkswagen Beetle and currently own a Mini Cooper.
3. I'm a mutt..My parents are from Venezuela but I have many relatives from Sicily, Spain, and France.
4. I will be moving to France in the next couple of years. My boyfriend will be joining the French military and I will be supporting him by following him there and making a life to wherever he will be stationed.
5. I am an avid fan of fashion magazines..I love recreating looks on a budget :)
6. I love to eat limes! All my students will tell you that..I like to peel them like an orange and dip the slices in salt :)
7. One of my biggest stress relievers is kickboxing! I use to take lessons 2 years ago and really loved it...I might have to take it up again..or yoga...or both!

Fierce in Fourth is having a linky party about the first day and what makes us uneasy...
Here are my three...
1. Will my grade staff like me? I got so used to the third grade staff at my school that I am kind of nervous of what the Kindergarten teachers will think of me. Kindergarten has the largest staff at my school but there is a lot of turnover. Recently my principal had to lay off several Kindergarten teachers because of poor results of the SATs and/or not having high points on their observations. I am friendly and willing to work as a group but I'm not sure the Kinder teachers are the same way :/
2. Will I be able to accomplish everything in my lessons by myself? My school does not have teacher's assistant for the younger grades. This makes me feel uneasy because even though I can have the students take roles as a class, I still feel like I need backup for cleaning, organizing centers, etc. I used to work at a private preschool where I was lucky enough to have a TA. Last year when I subbed for 3rd grade, I was on my own but I felt there was no need for an extra set of hands because they were older.
3. Will I be able to incorporate all my gestures and routines and not forget about them? Upon reading about the Daily 5, CAFE, BUILD, Whole Brain Approach, I have so many ideas floating in my head about how I want to implement these strategies into my room. Question is...can I remember them all when I am front and center in my classroom? I hope so!
Regardless of all these jitters, I very excited for this upcoming school year. Not only did I get my dream grade, but I am fortunate enough to have a supportive family, boyfriend, friends, and BLOGGERS!  to guide me through this journey :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back to School Lesson Plans

Hello all :)

I've been thinking about the first day of school and what it entails in a Kindergarten classroom.. Here are some things I have been thinking about doing..

  • Introduce myself with objects and pictures
  • Recite Pledge of Allegiance
  • Explain Job Chart
  • Explain rules/expectations, bathroom time, and centers
  • Explain BUILD and Daily 5 (should I do this the first week of school? Explain one of each one day at a time? Suggestions welcomed!)
  • Take pictures of each child for centers, first day of kindergarten, etc
  • Have students color a template based on the first day of school
  • Have students practice gluing skills with template
  • Have students create a class book and write about themselves with pictures (name, age, excited about..)
  • Assess students' prior knowledge based on common core
  • Hand out a getting to know you, welcome, contact info for parents..Explain HW folder
  • Find out who goes on the bus, walks home, or car pick up
  • Give out a small goody bag to each student at the end of the day
What are some of YOUR recommendations? I was wondering what all you fab Kindergarten teachers do on this special day :)

I'm so excited for tonight! I will be spending some quality time with one of my best friends (she moved to Tennessee and haven't seen her in 7 years!) and others from high school to reminisce and catch up with everyone :)
 There she is! (second from left) and me, third in high school
Another one from one of our formals (I'm all the way to the right)

Have a fabulous Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I just wanted to say thank you so much for nominating me for these awards!

I have just received...

For receiving this award I have to...

1. Follow the person who gave me the award...
2. Link back to the person that gave me the award...

3. Pass to 15 new bloggers and then let them know they have received the award...

I am passing the award to these WONDERFUL bloggers...

Thank you Special PreK!

This award is named for the German word "Liebster," which translates to "beloved" or "favorite", and is given to a "new, up and coming blogger."

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Layout & Photo Dump

Hello all! I'm still deciphering what classroom posters I should put up on the first weeks of school and being that I'm tight on money (no work during summer) I am going to create my own posters with 6 posterboard I bought at the Dollar Tree ($1 for two!)

By the way, have any of you bought books through Salvation Army? I bought some fantastic books several Wednesdays ago (Wednesday is 50% off EVERYTHING FYI) and each book cost $.50!!! the meantime..Here are SOME things I have for my classroom (all my books and misc. things are in my aunt's garage)...

 My crate seats! My mom and I made 6..It was fairly easy to do..I bought the fabric from Walmart ($5/yd.), cushion at Walmart (forgot how much I spent but I onyl got one roll), and purchased the crates at Target at $3.50 each. The hard part was going to Home Depot to ask someone to cut 6 pieces of plywood (1 sheet of ply=$18). It took me nearly half an hour to get assistance. Maybe this only happens in Miami but anyone I asked for help, they said lumber wasn't their department :(
 Close up of crate seats
 2 Chart Tablets from Get Smart @ $5.50 each
 Random wreath from the Dollar Tree. Anyone have suggestions? I was thinking of hot gluing plastic eggs around it with ribbon/yarn.
 A set of 16 Expo markers from Costco @ $10
 I got several of those plastic containers at the Dollar Tree in green and blue for my manipulatives. Then I just hot glued a simple ribbon on top ($1.50 @ Walmart)
 I purchased these fabrics at Walmart (about $5 something for each yard) for my bulletin boards. The lime green one is glittery :)
 Sorry for the mess! But I wanted to show you guys I made these simple foam birds (foam sheets from Dollar Tree) to recreate this entrance....
 Hopefully mine will be just as cute!
 My binders purchased at some random dollar store..and the templates are from TpT
 A seat cover I found through the Target $1 spot
 Tissue poms (3 in each bag) @ $6.99 and a banner (about $7?) purchased at Party City

That;s it for now camera decided to die on me :(

P.S. do you like the new layout? I'm a sucker for anything free and I got this from The Cutest Blog on the Block :)

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell Me More! and Monday Made It

So I have linked up with Step Into 2nd Grade and 4th Grade Frolics linky parties!

Here is a little more info about me...
 I have been with my boyfriend for almost 8 years! Crazy how time flies! Right now I'm dedicated to my career and we both decided not to get married anytime soon. We were thinking of moving to France sometime in the near future. More on that later..
I'm in love with my 9 year old pug, Maggie! I have a slight obsession of any pictures or things with pugs!

I love to travel! Whether it may be to different countries, on a cruise, or road tripping, I love them all :)

A few years ago, I decided to chop 14 inches of my hair and donate it to Locks of Love. I have extremely thick hair and they were able to create 3 wigs!

I LOVE Tom Brady! Not only did he play in UM, but he's a fantastic football quarterback :) This leads me to...

My boyfriend is a devoted Wolverine (University of Michigan). So when a game is on, I am watching it with him. GO BLUE!
I'm a cookie monster! Chocolate chip cookies to be exact!
I'm an avid collector of all thing Hello Kitty. All my students surprise me with Sanrio trinkets

I have been caught with the Pinterest bug. Then again, who hasn't :)

And last but not least, is my love for fashion. I love all things trendy and timeless (oxymoron?) I try to create looks based on my fashion mood board on the weekends (I have to wear a uniform for work :( )

And lastly for my Monday Made It, I made 6 crate seats with my mom! I love them and I will post pictures as soon as my mom gives me back my memory card from my camera :)
These are NOT my crate seats! They were found through Bing Images.

That's all for today folks! Have a great Monday :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All About Ms. Pasqua

Hey guys..sorry I have been a little MIA for a while. I've been busy working on projects, crafts, charts, decor, etc for my classroom and taking a mini vacation with my family.

  • I live in Florida.
  • Soon to be a newbie Kindergarten teacher at a charter school
  • I previously taught PreK at a private preschool for 6 years. I interned with 2nd grade and soon after I graduated, I became a permanent substitute for 3rd grade. I am now starting Kindergarten ( my FAVORITE grade!)
  • I started blogging in June but have been secretly following several blogs. I have found so many useful and insightful tips through here! :)
  • Blogging tip? I'm pretty much a newbie but I would say to post pictures up because it makes blogging more personal and fun.
Here's some pictures of my recent vacation.. I'll soon post a huge pictures post of all the things I've been busy making/doing!

pretty fountain..

my mom and I

again at our cabana..

Mom, me, and brother by the golf course

my aunt and I

Cute little turtles in a koi pond at the entrance of the hotel :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Back to School Dollar Tree and Target Haul

Ok, I know many of you shop at these both stores for school supplies. I went a bit crazy and bought so many storage bins in green and blue. I also finally got my crates for my small group area! Here's a list of most of the things I bought...
  • storage bins in all shapes and sizes
  • Table caddies
  • Crates (for small group seating)
  • Flashcards
  • Math Bingo
  • Pencils, erasers, manuscript paper
  • Motivational stickers
  • Dry erase markers
  • a cute corkboard shaped as an owl
  • Borders
Now all I need is to buy the bird theme kit via TpT, fabric, and binders! I will post pictures of some things I bought tomorrow.

On another note, Happy Birthday to my boyfriend! He is now 29!!!!I can't believe how time flies!

Have a great day everyone :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We're an "A" School

WOW! I can't believe principal texted me today to say we were rated an "A" school :) Let me give you a little background info of my school...I work at a K-8 center charter school in a rural neighborhood in Miami. These children are usually immigrants and have very little vocabulary in English. Most of these kiddos also come from a low socioeconomic upbringing and have very little support from their families.

Aside from that, I am delighted to hear the great news! Most of the teachers at my school are young and developing innovative ways to teach these students. I know when I was working with my rockstar 3rd graders to study for the FCAT it was a challenge, but in the end, it really paid off!

Well I'm off to pick up my check to find some deals at Walmart, Target, and Dollar Tree :D

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Hello bloggers out there! I have been thinking about what important posters should be displayed on the first week of school. Here are some I have been thinking about...
  • Daily schedule (with student pictures)
  • Classroom rules
  • Pledge of Allegiance poster
  • Daily 5 Posters
  • BUILD posters
  • CAFE posters
  • Handwashing poster
  • Hand signs (bathroom, question, etc)
  • Habits of Happy Kids poster
  • Inspirational posters
  • PRIDE posters
  • Text Features posters
  • IPICK poster
What are some others I should include? Or what has worked for you? Many thanks :)

All pictures via The Teacher Wife

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Currently Wanting..

I have so many things I need for my classroom! I'm still waiting on my last paycheck to arrive in the mail and I was thinking what are some essentials I need..Here's the list
  • Clear pushpins
  • Sticky tack
  • Binders
  • Crates for my crate seats for small group
  • A cute baby blue with brown polka dot fabric I found at Walmart for cushions on the crates and bulletin boards
  • Bird Theme classroom kit via TpT
  • Storage bins in green or blue (might have to go to the Dollar Tree soon!)
  • A printer
  • A laminator
What are some of your essentials? Sticking to my bird theme, I found these lovelies at Target on the $1 aisle! SCORE :)

Old Classroom

I have seen many bloggers post their classroom and I thought I would join the bandwagon! Here are some pictures of my old PreK classroom.. Notice..all areas of the classroom are separated by centers ( building, science, reading, table toys, kitchen, dress up, etc) Enjoy :)

Table toys..

Building Center..
More building..

Shaving cream fun!

Washing clothes...
Discovering worms for science..

Painting on an easel..

Finding fossils in the sandbox like archaeologists

Saving dinosaurs from the ice age..
Cubby area..

Having fun with cornstarch

Reading nook

Morning circle time..

Arts and crafts section


Classroom rules

Recognizing names with placemats

Painting the fence with water :)