Thursday, September 29, 2011

Help my brain

I found this AWESOME sight word color, cut and paste sheet on someones blog as a freebie and now I can not remember who made it.  I am sure she said she was making more.  Does anyone know who made this sheet?  It probably said on the bottom, but when the kids cut the words out, the bottom gets thrown away.  I only printed out enough for my class and did not keep an extra.  I can't even find it in my saved documents.  :(  I hope someone recognizes it and can help me solve this mystery.  Thanks!

UPDATE:  I found them!!  Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons made these and is selling a whole bunch of these and other great sight word stuff in her packet, Sight Words to Rock your Room Too.  Check it out! 217 pages of awesomeness.  :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Big Book Center

Here is an idea I am going to try with my class with a big book we have read as part of our reading series.  It has the sight words "my" and "the" on almost every page.  I thought that would be a great way for them to see it in context.  They will look at each page hunting for sight words.  One of the pair will point to the sight words with the special teacher pointer.  Then the other partner will take the sticky notes that have the words on them and stick them in the book on top of the sight words.  I will model a bunch before letting them do it alone.  I am hoping it will help them learn to recognize the words.  :)

I have the sticky notes all ready in the back cover of the book.

Let me know if anyone has any ideas about how to improve this activity.  :)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A great science resource

I'm joining the Linky party at TBA about great science videos and websites.  Check it out by clicking here.

Our #1 go to for Science videos in my county is Discovery Education. We have a subscription and I use it all year as often as I can.  It is full of videos and clips about all kinds of science topics.  We have used it for everything from five senses, to plants and animals, to magnets, fire safety week, community helpers...the list could go on and on.  It even has full episodes of one of our favorites, "The Magic School Bus".  :)  There are more than just science topics too.  You can learn about nouns, addition, algebra, history, anything.  They are all standards based too.  You just type in a search for any topic you are teaching and you can narrow it by grade level.  I don't know how much a subscription is for a school, but I can tell you it is well worth it.  It is a great resource.

Another site I love to use for Science with my own personal children is  My 3 1/2 year old girls love to get on mommy's computer and go to "Sid the Science Kid".  The other day I was swinging them and one said, "Mommy use more force so I can go higher!"  I was impressed!

I also stumbled onto another site from PBS that is a great place for teacher resources.  There are links to videos, lesson plans and interactive games.  I like how you can narrow the search by grade level, topic and media type.  

PBS Teachers

Science is so fun!  I love teaching it, I just wish I had more time.  Or if I had a class like on Sid the Science Kid with only 4 kids and every inquiry lesson all prepared and ready to go for me I might teach it more often.  :)


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fantastic Giveaway

Annie Moffatt is awesome!  You do not want to miss this giveaway!  Her Ready2Read units are amazing and she is giving away units 1-8.  I am so excited!!  I hope I win, but I'll be happy if one of my new blogging buddies wins too.  (But I really hope it's me!)  LOL!

Please go to The Moffatt Girls right now to put in your entries.  The winner will be announced Oct. 2nd.  

Here is an example of her amazing units.  The winner gets all 8!

A peek at my week

Hello!  I am joining in with Clutter-Free Classroom for a peek at my week linky party.  Yeah!
Make sure to click here to link over and see all the great "Peeks" into all the other amazing classrooms.

We had a really good week.  I am really impressed with how quickly they are learning.  They are so excited to see that they can read a book and write a sentence.  It is amazing to watch them learn.

We do Saxon Phonics so we have done the letters l,o,g,h, and now t. So we can really start to build lots of words.  We built a caterpillar to add all our CVC words to. Click here to see our caterpillar.

 We sorted letters written in different fonts.  They really liked this and it kept them engaged for a good amount of time.  However, I discovered they need a quick lesson on how to cut the letters out without cutting the paper into a thousand little pieces of scraps that end up all over the floor.  :)

This week was also Freedom week so we talked about our country and our freedom and read about the Pledge and what it means.  We practiced saying it together.  I love it when they think the word "indivisible" means that we can't be seen like invisible.  :)  Funny!  We also made a Flag in our Poetry Journals.  We read the poem and then they made the flag on the paper using pre-cut pieces.  They also circle sight words and the letter T in the poem.

In writing  we are learning to draw a picture, label it and then use the labels to write a sentence.  We have been writing about our families using sight words "the" and "my".  We wrote about things their family does together.  I didn't bring anything home this weekend to grade or I could put a picture of some.  :( Maybe I can add one later. 

In math we have started working on the numbers 6-10.  We are counting and making sets of 6 right now and writing the number 6 and the number word six.  Our Math series is kind of backwards.  We start with 0-5, then 6-10 and then chapter 4 is adding and subtracting.  It is really messed up we think. They just barely learned to count and write the numbers.  They are not ready to add and subtract this early in the year. We are going to move the chapters around and do shapes and patterns next, then we will go back to adding and subtracting after Christmas.  

We did some good science this week too.  The lesson was on living and non-living things.  I was really surprised to find that many of the kids did not know plants are living.  So it was a great learning opportunity to talk about what makes things live.  :)   I love Science, but find very little time to squeeze it in.  

How do you guys find time to teach Science??

That sums up my week. Thanks for taking a peek!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Constitution Day

Constitution Day was the 17th, and Freedom week is this week so we are getting crafty and patriotic!  Here are a couple of the cute flags we have made.  I LOVE living in the USA and I love teaching a love for our country to my students.

We used torn paper to fill in a flag template. I like to look of this over just coloring like I had them do last year.  I think they came out great.  

Poetry Journal - They are circling sight words and the letter T this week.   Then they are building a flag with the strips.  He is still working on gluing his together nice and straight.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A peek at my stations this week

I have been feeling really great about my stations this week.  Things are going much more smoothly.  The kids are getting the hang of where to go and what to do without me.  I love seeing their independence come out.  Here are some of the great things we are doing...pretty much all inspired by great blogs.  :)
A couple literacy and a few more math...

They love to stamp, I love it too even thought it is messy.  I can't remember where I got this, please tell me if it is from you.  I will keep looking and update when I remember.  

Love a flip book to review the beginning sounds for L,O,G and H.  I got the inspiration from Kindergarten Crayons for this one.

Race to Trace dice game is from Sheri Sloane.

Counting Clothes pins - again, can't remember, but I will look on it at school tomorrow and update.

The are Learning Pallets and they have several different cards and levels

Using bingo dotters to make groups of 5.  They dot, then circle.  They come out nice when they don't go splatting the dots willy-nilly. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011


The Queen is having a givaway...The Queen of the First Grade Jungle that is.  :)  Go check it out!  And hurry tonight is the last night!

My first Freebie!!

I learned so much from the Blogging 101 Expo and I am trying them out.  :)  I am trying to share a document for a station that I made to review some beginning sounds.  We use Saxon Phonics in my county and the first 4 letters are L,O,G and H.  So the activity reviews those letter sounds.  I got the idea for this flip book from Fran @ Kindergarten Crayons and then modified it to meet our needs.  Thanks for the inspiration Fran!

The students cut the dotted lines between each letter and then fold the flaps down. ( I like to fold first and then cut, but the kids were cutting both sides of the page at first so I told them to cut with it open and then fold.)  Then they can color and cut out the pictures and glue them under the correct beginning sound flap.  They loved it as you can see.  :)

Enjoy my very first FREEBIE!!!

LOGH Flip Book

Introducing others to the world of blogging

Today a group of Kindergarten teachers from a different county came to visit and observe our Kindergarten classes.  I was sharing with them about the wonderful world of resources available to us through teacher blogs. I wanted to post this link to TBA's list of Kindergarten blogs for them.  I hope they see it.  :)

Thanks again to all of you for all the inspiration!

TBA - Kindergarten Blogs - There are 135 K teacher blogs to look through and enjoy!

Happy Blogging!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Open House was a success!

I really kind of dread Open House Night.  Over the previous 4 school years, I moved to a different school each year (and 3 different counties) so everyone does things differently.  It was nerve racking thinking I was not doing things the same as the team who had been in place for years.  Well, this year I am in the same place!! YEAH! I feel much better about what I am doing and about how this school and my new team do things.  I am really loving my school and the great people I work with.

Also, thanks to my new addiction to teaching blogs...I had several things to show the parents that I was really excited about.  I felt so prepared and confident about the things I had to show them how their kids were doing this year and what things we are going to be working on.  So here are the things I laid out and who the inspiration came from.  Thanks blogging buddies!

*The face is a little "This Is Me" book we make at a center during our first theme -All About Me
*The gray journal is the beginning journal we give our K kids with just plain manila paper and a line to define drawing space on top and writing space in bottom.  The teachers write a sentence the kids dictate and they trace over it to get the feel of what a good sentence looks like.
* The next is a Math Journal inspired by Mrs. Wills.  She has this on her blog.
* Next is an Interactive Writing Notebook from Ms. Patton.  Check out her Writing Interactive Notebook Pack at her TpT store.  Also, check out her blog, it is really great!
* The last one is also from Mrs. Wills.  I love how it describes the stages of writing for the parents.  I don't think most parents know what to look for in writing and how it develops.  I thought this was a great resource for them.  I also included her stages of writing scoring guides for grading K writing.  I am going to use this on every writing assignment I grade.

I think it really helped to have so much to show.  Thanks so much to all for the inspiration! I love my job and I actually loved Open House this year.


Blogging 101 Expo!!

I am so looking forward to Saturday.  I am attending the Blogging 101 Expo and I am going to learn how to really improve this blog.  It is going to be great.  I think tonight is the last night to register!


Blogging 101 Expo


Crystal over at Kreative in Kinder is having a great giveaway!  She has great ideas about writer's workshop I have been following.  Check her out...I have her button right over here  ..............>
:)  Thanks Crystal! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Welcome back cake

I just thought I would share this cake with all my (hopefully I will start getting some traffic) new blogger friends as a virtual "Welcome Back to School."  During pre-planning I made this yummy delight for my team to share in celebration of a new year together.  I used my new skills I learned in the Michael's Cake Decorating classes.  I have only taken the first one, but I already learned so much.  I hope to take the next ones soon.  I love creating beautiful things and the best part is sharing them with my friends.  Too bad you all can't taste it cause it was yummy.  It was a yellow cake with a yummy raspberry filling and butter cream icing. My colors were a little was supposed to look like a chalkboard with primary colors around it, but it still turned out cute I think.  :)

I hope you all have a great year!! Thanks to so many of you, I know mine will be fantastic!

Fantastic lines

Last year I had a group that was not very good at staying quiet in the halls.  They walked heavy and crooked and someone was always lagging behind and making gaps which drive me CRAZY!  So this summer I was looking for ways to make the lines better and I knew the answer had to be a song.  I just happened upon a linky party about that very thing...songs we use in our class.  I use tons of songs, I love to sing and don't mind acting silly for the benefit of the kids' learning.  I have songs for math, writing your name on your paper, handwriting, phonics and now...A song for getting in line properly!!!  Thanks to my blogging buddy Marlana over at Lil' Country Kindergarten.  She sent me the words to her catchy little tune and it works like a charm.  They love to sing along and sing it really loud when we are lining up from recess.

The other thing that has really helped was found on Pinterest.  A teammate found it and she so sweetly made one for each of us in the pod with our theme color and we added little Cricut creatures to match our theme.  It is a great quick reminder as we head out the door.  They love the last S...Smiling!  If I have great lines, I am definitely smiling!
My 4S Line poster and the words to the catchy tune Marlana shared with me just in case I forgot them,
but now the kids sing it for me.  

I love the little bees cut on the Cricut.  I love my Cricut!

We also try to get compliments from other teachers in the hallway so we can add some complement jewels to our compliment jar.  I just bought little shiny stones from the Dollar Tree and place them in a jar.  When we get to a certain number we get a small reward.  It is amazing what a little Hershey Kiss will do for you.  I don't give out many candy treats, but this is just small.  :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Literacy centers

I have been getting so many good ideas for centers recently.  I wanted to share a few of mine.  I wanted to give a shout out to a great resource I found last year and have been using a lot of her printables in my class.  It is a great resource.  Here are a few of the centers I used today from K-3 Teacher Resources.

Missing letters sheet - students put magnet letters in the blank spaces.  (This  little guy was filling them all in)
You could also have them use dry erase.  There are several sheets with different amounts of letters missing.

In math we used these circles to count and match numbers and number words

These are another set of number matching cards, the kids like the cute pictures. 

Cute lunch tags

At my school the kids have to wear name tags to lunch.  Last year, I tried laminated pictures on yarn...that was a pain in the neck.  They kept twisting around the kids' necks, getting stuck in the girls' hair, etc.  Then I got a little smarter and bought the clear name badges from WM and the little silver clips that go with them.  They were much more durable, but were more difficult for little fingers to pinch.  They also broke a few so I felt it was not worth the effort to keep replacing them.  So this year I searched high and low for something that would be easy to pinch and would be durable enough to last the year.  This is what I came up with and so far they are working really well.

BEE tags - I used pony beads and pipe cleaners to make the bee body

Then I used my little heart scrapbooking punch to cut hearts out of extra lamination to
make the wings.  I hope you can see them.  They are cute and the kids can clip them by themselves.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Classroom Pics

I don't have a lot yet, but I do at least have some pics of my classroom.  I thought I would start off by giving you a peek inside my classroom.  I am going with a bee theme this year.  I got a lot of ideas from The Clutter Free Classroom classroom themes series.  I am most proud of the Word Wall hexagon honeycomb.  I came up with that myself and worked really hard to measure it out just right.  It came out with just enough spaces for the 26 letters of the alphabet.  I hope you enjoy.  I will post more as it evolves through the year.

I need new curtains.  I made these 15 years ago with my very first class and now they don't fit these windows.  I don't want to lose the memory of those first little hands I was able to teach.

Carpet area/calendar/whole group teaching

Computers - Notice the pink and blue file boxes on the left - those are my  sub files inspired by Clutter Free Classroom!!

Where I will display student work.  It is behind my teacher table.

Sink and restroom

The door the precious Kindergartners will enter

My honeycomb Word Wall!  YEAH!

My behavior chart - also inspired by CFC

I decided to decorate my selves this year.  I love it!

Let the Adventure begin!

I decided to go for it and create a teacher blog.  I was so inspired this summer by so many wonderful blogs that I decided to start my own.  My hope is that I can share something to help other teachers as I have been helped. I hope you will be patient with me as I learn how to do all the cute things like cute templates,  links and buttons and linky parties!  :)  I am headed over to Ladybug's Teacher Files right now to look at some tutorials. (Look I learned something already!!) Anyone who has help to offer on how to do this blog thing I am more than willing to take advise on how to make my blog better.  Thanks in advance for reading and I look forward to linking up with you in the near future.