Sunday, November 18, 2012


Hello all!  I am so sorry that I have been neglecting my blog, but happy to say I have been working and playing hard!  This past summer was really tough for my family and I, but thankfully things are looking much better and I can return to some fun passions like blogging.  I have always been reading other blogs and getting great ideas as well as buying amazing things on TpT.  That didn't stop! I just didn't have the extra energy to post on my own blog.  I will also admit that I feel less motivated to post because I don't sell on TpT. It seems that many of my favorite blogs are written by creative and hard working teachers who sell great units on TpT.  I'm just not ready for that, nor talented in that way.

Anyway...I hope to post weekly and share some ideas and things that I am doing in my classroom.  So many changes at my school that it is very overwhelming, but exciting!

Here are a few of the newset things I am doing:

  • I am using Aimsweb for benchmark assessments and just starting to progress monitor several of my low babies.  Lots of work, but so meaningful!
  • I have 2 ipads in my room now and I am loving apps like Reading Raven, Teach Me Kindergarten, Monkey Math and
  • I am using in the classroom and have sent invites to my students so they can use it at home.  What an awesome site!
  • I am doing Debbie Diller style Literacy Workstations.  My students work in pairs and I love it for the most part.  They are getting much more independent and I am ready to begin Guided Reading and small group work.
  • I used Sign-up Genius for conference sign-ups and I loved it and so did my parents!
  • We just got on board with Gmail as a district and that was a big change.
  • New principal, new kinder partner (we still share a classroom and do AM/PM) 30 students
  • Our District is beginning to put pressure on us for beginning Common Core (I know we are behind!)
  • Rumors have begun that we will be adopting Treasures for next year and I am both scared and excited. (any thoughts on Treasures would be greatly appreciated!)

So much new stuff and yet I am loving my class and my job!

I just got a new Windows 8 laptop with a touchscreen so I can do my assessments on the go.  It is really cool!!!!

Well, thanks for reading my post and I hope to get back into posting photos and such soon.  I use so many wonderful products from bloggers and I hope to share links to their work. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

Hi Everyone!  I have come out of hiding for nothing less than the most important book any kindergarten teacher can purchase!  Kindergarten Common Core

My school district is a little behind the times on implementing The Common Core Standards, but this year we are in an "exploration mode". In other words... we are supposed to figure a lot of it out on our own! We are forming committees and trying things out in our classrooms.  I have learned so much from the amazing teachers here in blogland...much more than my own district!  Now along comes this fantastic resource for all of us to use.  What is such a great bonus is that it has really cute worksheets, posters, cards etc... They look like the stuff we go crazy for on TpT!  Since finding the world of blogging, I haven't purchased another teacher idea/workbook.  I just go to TpT and get exactly what I need with the cutest clipart.  This book is an exception!  It is chock full of the essential information we all cute clipart!  HEAVEN for this kindergarten teacher!

I am going to be sharing this book with my District Curriculum Department (maybe not this post though ) and suggest (beg) they purchase it for all of our teachers.  It looks THAT good!

I can't wait to read this resource and begin to learn more about Common Core Standards.  Check it out for yourself!

My next post will hopefully be coming that I have resurfaced from a very difficult summer and start to the school year! Things are looking up!!!! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Target Addiction Begins Again!

I went to Target today to pick up some things I need for my trip to Las Vegas (I leave tomorrow morning) and I of course had to check the dollar aisle and look what I got:

These will be better than sheet protectors!

I use these for homework folders and take home books

These go over the student's chairs!  Sorry I couldn't get it turned around even though it looked right on my desktop!

I know it is summer, but I just couldn't resist and if you don't get them when you see them...they are gone!  I really love the little bags.  My students bring backpacks, but these are a good way to keep all of the homework in one place.  It makes it easy for my parent volunteers to put the folders and books into these.  Backpacks always carry so many other items.I LOVE that they are Dr. Seuss again this year!

So head over to Target ladies so I am not the only one already loading up the cart for another school year! Have you already found some great things for next year?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm so excited!!!

On Tuesday morning bright and early, I am flying to Vegas for the I Teach K Conference!!! I will be attending workshops Tuesday and Wednesday and hopefully getting lots of great ideas to share and use. I am especially excited about seeing Fran from Kindergarten Crayons when I attend her workshop! Of course Tuesday night will be sooooo much fun when I go to the blogger meet-up. I wish you all could come along! I will definitely share what I learn with you all!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Do you "stagger" your start times? New Pete Book

Wow!  I can't believe how long it has been since my last post.  I guess you can say that I burned out on posts and blogging and was just plain overwhelmed with the end of school.  I still found time to read other blogs and check out awesome stuff on TpT and pinterest, but that was ll I could do. it is summer and I am happy to say that I am enjoying time at home with my family and friends.  I am still looking at blogs and doing some summer reading for school and of course thinking about this coming school year.

Here is what is happening at my school:

  • We are going from 25 students to 30+ kids in our classrooms
  • Our students are only in school for 3 hours and 20 minutes
  • We are having yet another new Principal (yet to be hired)
  • Not sure if we will be AM/PM and sharing classrooms or getting our own rooms and staggering the day with early and late start
  • Starting RTI (if the new Principal wants us to)
  • Using Aims Web as the universal screener (again if the New Principal wants that)
  • Having 2 new teachers on our K Team of 4 (this past year we had 4 new teachers who were sadly laid off) These 2 new teachers for this year are coming from other grades at our school

I guess that really isn't a lot of new things, but it all feels very "up in the air" for me.  I am waiting anxiously to see if I will have my own room or if I will be sharing.  That will make a difference on how I arrange my room and set things up. 

Do any of you have your own classroom and stagger the start times so you can have smaller groups at either end of the day?  If so, how do you like that schedule?  Do you feel it is helpful for your students?  I would really appreciate any feedback you have.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and are getting recharged.  I will be attending the Vegas "I Teach K!" conference for the first time. Just for 2 days, but I am really excited!  I am so happy that the blogger meet-up is on the night I am there. It will be so fun!  I hope to learn a lot of new stuff and add some to my blog!

My daughter just told me this new Pete book will be out in September!  Love it!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What a Day of Shopping!

HI Everyone!  I am sure you are all busy shopping the amazing TAP sale today.  I have spent some time picking up awesome freebies and now have a few items in my cart.  Things are so busy at school and in my personal life.  I have been slowing down on blogging and buying TpT units.  It was just getting to be too much!

Here are a few photos of what my class and I have been up to:

Our Spring Bulletin Board

The Bug Lady Came to our class!

Using Picasa to create this effect.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Buggy Shadow Writing Freebie

Just a quick freebie for anyone who is studying bugs or ladybugs.  These are great for handwiting practice.  Our sight word (heart word) of the week is said, so I added quotation marks. That should be a good challenge for this time of the year.  Enjoy!

Please let me know if you will be using this! Thanks!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Picking Positively Perfect Partners!!!

Hi Everyone!  Just one more day until I am back to teaching kindergarten with my 25 kiddos.  Spring Break was wonderful and although it is really hard to go back, I am thankful for this amazing job that is so rewarding.  It does make it easier to return.

Now, onto the purpose of this post...I am going to share more of my journey into Partner Work.

 I am having my students get into partners at the very start of the day almost every day.  It is a random pairing and here are some of the ways I am having students become pairs. I have a special red heart bucket where I put the item for the day.  I greet each child at the door and then give them one item.  They now quickly start looking for their partner and sit down next to them.  Anyone who cannot find a partner stands up near the front and I help them.  Sometimes I call each team up to say their match and other times I just have them return the items to the bucket.

Here are some fun ways to become pairs:

Here are some of the activities my students did in pairs recently:

They loved playing a game where they said a word and the partner said another word that came to mind.

Sharing what they did over the weekend or talking about a topic we are studying

Playing a game like this one where they roll the dice and color an egg with that number

We have played lots of games, read books and have completed worksheets together about a wide variety of skills.
Another favorite activity is to "quiz" their partner about sight words, spelling, addition etc...

After we are done I try to ask them what they liked about working with their partner. I love hearing them tell me that working with a partner is lots more fun than doing it alone!  They also give a compliment and an appreciation to their partner before heading back to their regular spot. 

I am going to have my students do some physical skill practice together soon too. Beanbag or ball tossing would be fun!

Do you do Partner Work on a regular basis?  How do you choose partners?  What do you have them do together?  I'd love to hear what you are doing if you don't mind sharing!

Crazy for TpT units!

Just a quick post about some of the amazing TpT units/activities I have purchased lately. I will admit that I am obsessed with all of the wonderful products being made and sold on TpT.  My poor husband will agree that I am "out of control" and so will my printer and school laminator!  I am however having a great time with these new ideas and activities that are keeping my students learning and excited!  They are learning and practicing skills so much more this year and in so many cute an creative ways. are the units that I have recently purchased and I am prepping for my class.  I just thought this might help someone else who is overwhelmed with all of the amazing blogs and materials being shared/sold out there.

Bugs Galore

Beginning Sounds Scoot Game
Adding Bunches of Carrots
Word Family Short A sort
Addition Flashcards
Insects Math and Literacy
Number pages 11-30
Blends and Digraphs Sorting
It's A Bugs Life
Bee on the Look Out For Sight Words

I told you I was out of control!  Thank Goodness TpT started letting me use some credit points.

All of these units offer some great activities and I am so thankful for the amazingly creative people who have made them available.  I hope you will go and check out some of them for yourself.

Later this weekend I will post about how I am using some of these activities this coming week! 

I go back to work on Monday after a restful and fun Spring Break (I finished books 2 and 3 of The Hunger Games)  

Hope you are all well! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

This Week in Pictures and Links 3/26-3/30

Hi Everyone!  This past weekend I changed the Post Office into The Pet Shop! Students will get to "adopt" a pet and take it to the vet for a check-up.  I know they will really love playing here!  Now I just need to get through the work I have planned so they can get some Free Choice time to play in it!  This will be up until the end of April.

Centers this week are about plants (continued) addition, blends and digraphs and the sight word are.

 This is a fun activity, but after one day of centers, I can see that it is challenging for a few.  They have to write the blend and copy the rest of the word.  12 words is a lot for a few of my young ones, but they sure love trying!  I let a couple of kids work as a team and that helped.  It was perfect for quite a few kids! This is from Pam at CanDoKinders  Thank you Pam for the freebie!

This week we are only doing the Sh book.  The students have to write the word and can color.  These great books are from Camp Kindergarten

      My students are getting a lot of addition practice with this activity!  They have to pour out 10 beans, color the red beans and then write the equation to match. This is from Kindergarten is a Hoot

I bought some cute felt flowers at Michael's.  The students roll two dice and build the equation.  Then they record it on a little whiteboard.  No paper involved! 

This is a great activity about addition and fact families.  It definitely required an adult there to help students with the format and the beads. ( I also need to explain it a bit better so it goes smoother.)
This is free from Deanna at Golden Gang Kindergarten

This is an awesome activity for students to work on counting tallies, reading number words, counting base ten blocks, counting objects and numeral recognition. Click Here to purchase it

I will be reading Jack and the Beanstalk (our listening center is being repaired!) and students will be sequencing the story. 

First seed exploring and matching and then cutting and gluing pictures of seeds to the correct fruit/veggie

Our final "Short Book" that includes many of the sight words we have learned this year.  Now I add "bonus" words and use more trade books for reading practice.  They continue to write the word in our sight word writing book and we played a fluency game.

I forgot to take a picture, but my students are using a tree map for writing about planst.  Last week we filled in the map and know the kids are writing 3 sentences about plants.  This is the first time they have used a map for writing sentences, so it is hard for some of my lower students.  I'll add some pictures if I remember!

We are doing several other activities in whole group.  I will add to this post with those later!

Have a super week! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Partner of the Day" and Spring Behavior Management

I am really loving my "Partner of the Day" activities and so are my students!  We have done a lot of fun games and skill practice and they are learning a lot of wonderful social skills too! I never really thought working in teams could be so powerful. I just love the sweet comments they make and the smiles, hugs and high fives they give each other.  Below are a few of my kiddos working on a great "I-Spy" sight words activity.  This has been a true favorite!

The kids worked in partner teams.  One person looked for the teeny-tiny sight word with a magnifying glass and then spelled it for the other person who wrote it on the form.  I told them it was a race and they LOVED it!  Of course I let everyone work long enough to do most of the words and there was no prize for the first team finished. They were so engaged and worked so hard!  This awesome activity came from Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten Click Here to see it  She has an Easter one too and I already have it ready to go for next week!

I am using this for a behavior management tool (yes, I am bribing them!)  Each day students are able to earn a punch on their own card.  10 punches = a trip to the Treasure Box. That is for individual behavior.  This lovely flower pot is for whole class behavior. When I feel the class is working well, listening, lining up quietly, treating each other well etc...I put up a flower.  When the pot is full, they will vote for a class prize.  Last week they earned a popsicle party because they filled the pot of gold! Just a fun way to encourage good behavior since we are still waiting for our Spring Break!!!

I hope to post my centers/activities of the week on Monday evening. 

Please leave me a comment.  I get lonely without them! jk

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I have finally joined the party!

I finally looked into this whole K-2 party thing and decided to link-up too! 

I love this kind of party because I don't have to get dressed up, or bring a hostess gift or worry about small talk and fitting in.  I already feel at home with all of the wonderful bloggers out there.  Thanks for the invite and I hope more blogs will join in the fun before this party is over!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

These Projects are Better Than Gold!

This adorable project is from
The Teacher Wife and it's for FREE!

I was home with my sick daughter, so a substitute teacher did this project with my class and I think she did a fantastic job and so did the kids!  They are so sweet and I am also impressed with their spelling and drawing!  They made me proud!  Here are a few that touched my heart:

"My sister and my mom and my dad because they are really, really special to me.  I love them."
(gotta love the spelling of really:wile, wile)

"I love my mom and dad and my sister because they are so nice."

 "My mom and dad.  They are nice and special to me."

"My dad is so big and I am five and my brother is seven and my mom is sixteen" (she will LOVE that!)

"Mom I love you very much and I love my dad very much too."

"My mom and dad because I can play with them."

 "I like my cousin sister.  She is my best sister in the world."

 "My baby sister sweetheart because she is cute"

 "My brother is great!" 

"I love my mommy and daddy because they play games"

I am so glad that I found this project! 
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Remember to leave a comment if you have a second!!