Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Traditions: Hanukkah

This one is about Israel's holiday traditions. We are going to Israel tomorrow! (in class of course)

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Long, But Good La Befana video

This video is 10 minutes long but it's pretty good.  It has an actress playing La Bafana and she tells the story of La Befana.  If your kids can sit this long, choose this one!

La Befana (Italy) Video

This is a 2 minute video explaining the Italian tradition of La Befana however its not exciting.  It is a news clip.

Las Posadas Video

Here is a great video to explain Las Posadas, the Mexican Christmas tradition, to kindergarteners.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Swedish Tradition

This is a quick video about Swedish tradition.

Great video for a Holidays Around the World Unit

I found this great video of an airplane taking off, inflight time and landing for my Holidays Around the World Unit!  Check it out if you are able to kick off your unit with a video!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wow! My Donorschoose.org Project funded!

So I do have to say the power of self-advertisement really worked this time around for me!  The last donation came from one of my students parents.  WHICH by the way I was totally surprised by!  Where I work most people could not afford to do much and so when I advertised to them I asked for $5  donations and mainly because something like that (I hoped) would not break the bank!  And at least that amount would be matched by the Board of Directors at Donorschoose.org and turn into $10.

I was sure this project was not going to fund and was beginning to reflect on how I could've made my project better.  I felt my biggest problem was asking for too much because it was well over the $400 mark.  In fact it was double that!  But earlier this year I had decided I wanted to set up a dedicated art center.  A place where the kids could go during centers or free choice.  During center time it would be a place to practice key skills like letter formation and word building.  For free choice...well, the name says it all...they could do as they please!

I got the news in the middle of last week that the project funded.  I confirmed the project by Thursday night and the shipment arrived today!!!  

I suppose it may have arrived that quickly because we are only a few minutes away from the western distribution center for Lakeshore.  Which (as a side note!) the Lakeshore outlet there is ridiculously ADDICTIVE!

Here is an updated list of projects funded as of this last shipment:

1. Pretend Play is Just for Me!                   $495.65
2. I Can Read!                                           $447.58
3.Constructive Outdoor Play                     $753.95
4. Technology Helps Us Learn to Read $1,153.49
5. Artfully Young Experience                   $761.00
                                          Total =          $3,611.67

My Christopher Columbus week was a huge success!  The next post will be all about how it went.  I was just way to excited to sit on this news!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Christopher Columbus and my first TpT product!

Hello everyone! This week I am going to be teaching all about Christopher Columbus and I have a few fun things planned.  As I mentioned before I am working on my national board certification so that means I will be videotaping myself this entire week!  I'm actually looking forward to what I'll be seeing.  What is working?  What can I tweak?  What needs improvement?   

This national board entry focuses on how I integrate social studies with the arts. I hope I am meeting that requirement!  As soon as I click post I'll be double checking those standards and rubric to make sure I covered it all.

I only have a 30 minute time slot for Social Studies so it will seem short and simple but hopefully it will work!  So after finding LOTS of ideas from Mrs. Larremore at the ChalkTalk blog here is what we've got planned for the week:

Read a book about Christopher Columbus and make a chart about what they learned.

Review their chart yesterday and discuss what is an explorer?  Read Horace and Morris but Mostly Delores to learn about exploration and make a chart: "An explorer is..." (This is my first TpT product!)

Review previous 2 days charts and complete the "If I were an explorer" prompt. Begin making boats.

Mrs. Larremore found this photo from Academy at Thousand Oaks

Finish making boats and make hats and telescopes. Cut out finger puppets (if time).
These hats are from Dr. Jean

And the telescopes are from DLTK

Cut out the finger puppets from Lil Country Kindergarten and reenact the voyage! 

AND for science we are going to try the coke floats sink or float activity from Kim Adsit

Friday is looking like it will be a very fun day!  What kid wouldn't want ice cream to end their day at school?!

Lastly head over to my store on TeachersPayTeachers website and pick up my very first freebie If I were an explorer writing paper!  I also posted a mini-poster of the In 1492 poem if you'd like to pick that up as well!  Have a great week teaching!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yes, I'm working on National Board Certification!

Ok, so WOW!  Yesterday I went to Norco, CA to meet up with other national board candidates and work on our portfolios.  I LOVE networking with teachers and learning something new! I am doing this with a few of my teacher friends.  In fact there is a group of 8 of us who decided to do this.  CTA provides a free support group which began in the summer.  So back in July all 8 of us paid our $565 to get our candidate ID number and LUCKILY all of us have received the federal $1250 CA subsidy and the $750 Amgen scholarship which means we have nothing more to pay!

The federal subsidy is going away next year so if you are thinking of doing the National certification I urge to sign up for this year.  It's not too late and the CTA program is REALLY good.  Stacy Begin is an amazing facilitator and we always walk away feeling better prepared to do the work.

I would also recommend the National University (NU) program.  The program at NU is also free and they may actually have some Amgen scholarship money left.  I got my scholarship through NU as did 2 of my other cohorts.  The rest got it through CTA, I think?  I'm attending both programs honestly.  I'll take whatever support is thrown my way that is good.  I really liked what I saw in the NU webinar and meeting with Stacy Begin in Norco is so productive!

 So the best part about yesterday was in the beginning hours.  We did a read around of our entry 4's.  Entry 4 is where you write about your teaching accomplishments as a teacher leader/collaborator, parent communication, and as a learner.  I got some great feedback on my entries that helped me really give a better focus on my work.  They are still works in progress as I still have to go back and adjust them according to the rubrics and standards but this read around definitely helped me organize my thoughts better!

I got to read an amazing entry by a teacher who works here in East LA at Hollenbeck Middle School.  This is what I mean about networking with other teachers.  I learned something from her and am so excited about it!  She uses a google form to track behavior issues and everyone on her team can add to it.  Because the students behavior is being tracked across multiple teachers they are better able to help the student since there is a wider view of what's happening with the student.  

I loved this because in my school we do a reading academy in Kindergarten.  We place our kinder students into like-ability reading groups.  We do this so we are not teaching to the middle.  Our kids who know all their letters and sounds are put together and those that don't know any letters and have difficulty even writing letters are placed together. This means that most of our students have 2 teachers for kindergarten.  So this teacher from Hollenbeck willingly and happily shared with me how she created this form and how to use it so I could bring it back to my school.  I couldn't be more happier!  I'm so excited that we will have a way to track behavior across 7 teachers!  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

DonorsChoose Spotlight

I wanted to take a moment to spotlight this wonderful resource for public school teachers, Donorschoose.org.  I learned about them at a meeting in the summer of 2011 and those promoting it made it sound SO simple.  And you know what?  It was!  I have now had 4 projects funded and am working towards my fifth.  As soon as I get some time I'll be posting another one too!

My current project can be found here:  Artfully Young Experience

I believe I've been successful because I followed some very helpful tips from the presenters.

This is what I did:

1.  I kept most of my projects under $500.
2. I tried very hard to demonstrate in words the impact the project would have on my students.
3. I tried to make sure my passion for teaching and for my students was visible in my project.
4. I shared my project on Facebook and allowed for sharing to automatically occur on Donorschoose.
5. I signed up for partnering with Sonic teachers and other companies like oo.com.

BUT that is a VERY basic guideline to follow.  Corkboard Connections blog has a better description of how to be successful in writing your project.  On Sundays she does an "all-call" on her facebook page for projects.  AND at the end of the day she picks one to donate to!

Francie Kugelman has had over $23,000 funded to her classroom over the past few years....AMAZING!  You've got to take a look at the list to get ideas of project for your classroom.  I found this link through Corkboard Connections author, Laura Candler's Donorschoose.org Resources webpage.

My list is not as incredible as Francie's (yet!).  Here's what I was able to get funded during the past school year:

1. Pretend Play is Just for Me!                   $495.65
2. I Can Read!                                           $447.58
3.Constructive Outdoor Play                     $753.95
4. Technology Helps Us Learn to Read $1,153.49
                                          Total =          $2,850.67

My kids and the rest of the kindergarten (with the use of the outdoor play equipment) are STILL using all of these items.  It is been such a blessing!

Your first time writing may seem cumbersome, especially if you've never written a grant before.  Don't let that discourage you!  I suggest grabbing someone you know who has written a grant before to help you get through it.  My best advice is to NOT give up and stick with it!  It's so worth the time and effort you are putting into it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Transition Music Giveaway

Mrs. Lirette at Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives is having a super incredible giveaway!  I entered it but as soon as I post I'm headed over to TpT to buy it...I just can't wait!  If I do win then I'll raffle off my copy.

I know I've been MIA for almost a month now.  I'm sure you're all well aware of why...beginning of the school year!  My son started preschool too and boy was that emotional!  He cried as I left and that just broke my heart.  Being on the other side really changes perspective!  We begin the year with a mini parent orientation in our classroom the day school starts and I told my parents all about it.  They laughed WITH me as I assured them I knew what they were going through if their child cried.  lol

So with all that behind me I've resolved to start blogging again this weekend!

Anyhoo, the point of THIS post was to inform you all of the giveaway.  You GOTTA go.  It's going to make my class add a bit of fun!  Here it is once again:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hurry! It's a Giveaway!

Hurry, hurry!!!! 
Before today is over head over to Learning in Spain for an amazing clipart giveaway!

I have been busy getting my classroom ready this week.  From the buzz I see online so have all the other teachers out there!  School begins on Tuesday for me and I have been working as hard as I can on my classroom.  I'll post pics as soon as its finished (hopefully that's tomorrow!)

Good luck on the giveaway!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Award #2!

Isn't this fun?!  I feel so honored to be awarded the Versatile Blogger award and am excited that I’m getting to know other bloggers/teachers in the world!  Laura at Oh, how pintearesting! had awarded this to me last weekend but I actually didn’t realize it until last night!  And then today I saw 2 more lovely bloggers, Noelle at The Friz in First Grade & Michelle at Fashionably in First Grade, had given me the award as well! So without further ado here is what I must do:

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who presented me with the award and include a link to their blog.
Once again thanks goes to:
  1. Include the award image in my post (seen above)
  2. Give 7 random fact about myself 
  3. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and include a link to their blog in your post
  4. Let those 15 bloggers know you’ve nominated them!
My 7 random facts about me:
  1. My husband and I got married 17 years later on the same day as our one and only date in high school.  Yes, we only had one date in high school.  We lost touch after high school and after reconnecting we were inseparable.
October 20, 1990

October 20, 2007

2. I spent one year teaching abroad in London, England on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange.  One of my favorite years teaching!  I learned so much professionally while there (it solidified my love of early childhood) and still keep in touch with some of my coworkers and students! 

3. I love to travel and have been to 5 out of 7 continents.  I’ve got only Australia and Antarctica left to go....and yes, if I can afford it, one day I will get to Antarctica!

4. I  love to scuba dive.  I haven’t been able to go out much since I got married and had a baby but I love being down in that underwater world.  My favorite dive was in Bali, Indonesia...it was like being in the Finding Nemo movie!  Seriously!

5. I live 1 mile away from Disneyland and am a season pass holder.  Yes, I can hear the fireworks every night and if I stood on the roof I could see them too!

6. My son and I fed a giraffe at the San Diego Zoo 2 weeks ago!  The giraffe caught us off guard in this photo!

7. I used to play banjo.  And the flute, and the trumpet, and the trombone.  I still play piano.  Yes I was a music major for my BA!
My nominations for the Versatile Blog award goes to:
  1. PAWsitively WILD for WBT 
  2. Kindergarten is a Hoot!  
  3. Kinder Kapers 
  4. Teacher’s Toolkit 
  5. Dive into Learning! 
  6. Brigid’s Daily Lesson Log 
  7. My Silly Firsties 
  8. Mrs. Poultney’s Ponderings 
  9. Heads Caroline, Tails Alabama 
  10. Lacy’s Letters 
  11. Kindergarten Love 
  12. Berkery Bytes 
  13. Challenges Make Life Interesting 
  14. Mrs. Payton’s Precious Kindergarteners 
  15. Pocketful of Centers 
Go visit these wonderful newbies and see what they have to offer!  In this 15 there are a few kinder teachers (close to my heart!), whole brain teaching tidbits, technology teachers, and a couple of other grade level/types of teachers as well.  Some of them are super creative and post freebies or direct you to their stores in TpT or Teacher's Notebook.  I've already got my wish list set for this coming Friday payday on TpT!  Can't wait!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My First Award!

What a super nice surprise I found when I was just about to go to bed last night!  2 lovely bloggers awarded me the One Lovely Blogger Award!  It was really nice to see that and I slept with stars in my eyes!  lol
The 2 bloggers that gave me this award are:
Carole at Kindercarole &
 This is my third post and I feel so blessed to have this great opportunity to network with other teachers around the world.  Thanks ladies!
Now for the rules...
1. Follow the person who gave you the award. 
  1. Link back to the person that gave you the award (click on the links above or click here: Kindercarole and Oh, How Pintearesting
3. Pass to 5 new bloggers and then let them know they have received the award.
I’ve chosen 10 new bloggers for this award since 2 lovely ladies gave me the award.  They are:
  1. Run! Miss Nelson’s Got the Camera! 
  2. Mrs. Cobb’s Kinder Sprouts 
  3. Adventures in Room 5 
  4. iTeach 1:1 
  5. Miss L’s Whole Brain Teaching 
  6. Adventures in Teaching 
  7. Charlotte’s Clips and Kindergarten Kids 
  8. K is for Kinderrific 
  9. Jen’s Kinder Kids
  10. Kinder Kids Fun
I follow blogs from all over the United States and also all over the world.  Check out these lovely ladies (some of which inspired me to blog!) and see just how fun connecting with other teachers can be!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop!

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop (<--click here to go there!)

I joined my first blog hop this morning and I’m so excited!  I’m so new and have so much to learn.  It’s great to be a part of this and get to know other newbies and learn from them as well!  

Blog hops are a great way to find new blogs that are fun to follow. I end up following more than just teacher blogs when I join these too.  I’m not as good as most of them (technology wise) but I’m working towards it!  Follow this link to the host blogger and see all the different new bloggers who have joined up in this little (actually HUGE if you see the list of bloggers!) party.

If you are a blogger and want to link up, she has a link to follow at the bottom of all the newbie clickable pics.  Then you’ll just need to do the following on your page (at least I think that’s how you do it!):
What state are you in?
I’m in California (southern to be exact!)
What’s your current teaching position?
I teach kindergarten but have also taught first grade, K/1 combo and transitional kindergarten.
What’s your teaching experience?
I’m starting my 13th year of teacher.  In the middle of those years I taught as a Fulbright Teacher Exchange in London, England.
When did you start blogging?
Just this month!  July 2012.
Share a blogging tip/blogging resource.
I suppose mine isn’t so fancy but I was told pictures speak more than words.  So always try to include a picture in your post

Monday, July 16, 2012

Teacher/Blogger Meetup in Vegas

Whew!  What a fantastic event! 

I started off by driving up to Las Vegas from Orange County, CA to go to the teacher/blogger meet up at the I Teach K! conference put on by SDE. That's a 4.5 hour drive.  But I didn't mind especially since I was going to be learning and meeting some fun people! I was so excited to meet the bloggers!  It felt like being invited to a celebrity event! Rachelle at What the Teachers Wants blog is how I learned of the event and of course, she has already blogged about it!  She has even posted pictures and videos.  

Check them out here: What the Teacher Wants Vegas post

Being so new the blogging world I really wanted to pick brains and get some ideas and ALL of them were super nice and made the event incredibly fun.  They even had giveaways!  I won a 3-pack DVD from Heidisongs and a gift card to Crystal Springs.  So I came home with a big load! 

Right off the bat, I lucked out and got to chat with Heidi about her blog (found here) and her music.  I walked away not only with prizes but with great ideas of how to run my blog.   

Here's a picture I got with Heidi from heidisongs.

While I was busy at the event here is what my son was doing:

He got to play in the pool! Lucky boy!  Vegas was super hot that day (but isn't it always?!) so time at the pool was a much needed thing for him!

Time FLEW by and before I knew it we were being asking to sit and listen up for the very cool (and generous!) raffle.  As I was shuffling to my seat I was saying to myself, “But, but, but I didn’t get to talk to everyone!”  So even though I didn’t get to chat with everyone I decided that I’d list the different bloggers here so you could find direct links to their sites.  I hope I got everyone! 

I am new so I haven’t figured out the blog button thing yet. So today it will appear as a list. 
(big frowny face!)

Mrs. Jump's Class
DeeDee Will's from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten has also created a pretty nifty website for teachers!

These are just a few of the ladies I follow.  There is so much to learn from them! Plus, they often post freebies that are super cute and perfect for the classroom.  
Check out their blogs and let them know you found them through my blog.  Happy blog hopping!

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's my first post!

Hello all! I'm new to the blogosphere! My name is Stacey Arballo and I am a kindergarten teacher. I have been teaching kindergarten & first grade for 13 years. I have a BA in music, a CA multiple subject clear credential, a CLAD certificate and most recently I received a masters in early childhood education. I LOVE early childhood. It is my passion.

 In my first years of teaching I taught kinder because that's where I was placed. After a couple of years I didn't want to move because I wanted to really hone my skills at that grade level. Then I applied for and got a Fulbright teacher exchange to London, England. Being able to learn how they taught really opened my eyes and induced my passion for early childhood. I saw that teaching wasn't just rote, reading a script out of a manual. It was fun! It was fun before but in London I really saw just how much more it could be. I didn't want to leave, I wanted to stay. BUT having maxed out my credit cards, I had to come home!

 As an educator I am always in search of ways to professionally develop myself. So I decided I could do that in 2 ways. One is to become nationally board certified. That process will begin in just a couple of weeks! The other way I decided to "PD" myself was to become a blogger! I see so many great teacher bloggers out there and I know I have something to share too! So here I am!

 At home I am happily married to a wonderful man who works hard to make our home pretty. We bought a foreclosure so there was quite a long list of things to do! We have whittled down a list of over 50 projects to just over 10 projects in the 2 and half years we've lived here. Wait, I should say HE has whittled that list down! lol When we moved in we learned we were expecting our first child! Our son is now 2 years old and I took care of him while my husband worked away. I'd join him occasionally but my lack of ability to stay focused on the job (because I was too busy breaking for baby) meant that I got fired. lol

 That's me a tiny nutshell! I look forward to posting more and getting to know my future readers!