Saturday, September 29, 2012

180 Days in Kindergarten, Blog Alert!

Hey ya'll! I hope you are having a happy Saturday! I just woke up not too long ago... but I am hoping to get out and enjoy life today. I mean, if you can't enjoy it... then what is the point in it? And *cross my fingers* I will be able to get my car fixed so that I am not continuously stuck in the house day after day while my boyfriend works and has the vehicle.

ANYWAY.... so this morning while cruising around facebook, I saw that a friend from college has now started her very own teaching blog! I read through it this morning and she has some really great ideas. (Click the picture to head on over to her blog!)

She is a kindergarten teacher. She was always full of great ideas (which is EVIDENT by viewing her blog) and loved to share them with others. But what I remember most about her from college was how sweet and down to earth she was. I hope that you will take a minute to stop over at her blog, 180 Days in Kindergarten, and make her feel welcome!

One of the things that I saw her doing, that I personally had never thought to do, is creating felt story pieces. I think this idea is great! She has created a green monster for "Go Away Big Green Monster" and another one for "Pete the Cat." Although I am sure she has created more.

Is this something you are already doing in your class?

She has some really great items in here TPT store too! Most of the items are free. You can go check out her store here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Freebie Friday: Graph the Alphabet

Okay... so you don't know how happy I am that I am actually posting tonight. Considering I fell asleep at 7:30 and was in bed by 8. After sleeping what I felt like was an ENTIRE night, I woke up because I was thirsty. After putting on my contacts I read the clock and it said "9:54." Wait a minute... what did that say? Yea, thats right. It was just 9:54. I had been asleep less that 3 hours, even though it felt like it should have been at least 1am. Because I was so thirsty and there was nothing to drink in the house I decided a run to WalMart was in order.

Anyways! So on to what I have for you! Today while I was trying to figure out what I was going to be doing in my game center next week, it dawned on me how much my kids love my "Graph the Number" game. So I decided to create "Graph the Alphabet." To make it differentiated I created two different spinners. One with pictures (to work with FSF) and one with the letters (to work on letter identification). You can purchase the entire pack here or download this weeks freebie by downloading the "Download Preview."

Head on over now to get your Friday Freebie by downloading the "Download Preview."

Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What I'm Pinning Wednesday

As a kindergarten teacher we have so much to teach. Standards upon standards. It doesn't feel like the kindergarten I remember being in 19 years ago. I remember playing, and climbing on my teachers two-story reading nook to read a book or to do more playing. I remember going on nature walks and exploring with my five senses. But its not like that. As a kindergarten teacher, you know that. But if your like me, you long for those days that the kids can have fun without having to sit quietly and listen.  Those lessons when the kids can learn and play at the same time. At centers today I had a student make a reference to their center as "play." It made me feel good.... but at the same time I wanted them to be aware that they were "learning" not "playing." Do you ever feel like this?

So today I am going to share some of my favorite pins that show students learning through play... or game-like activities that encourage student learning.

Help the kids find out what it is like to break out of a cocoon with this activity!
What a fun way to practice measurement! I'm loving this Abraham Lincoln measurement from Doodle Bugs Teaching!
Practice sight words with fun crafts like these!

There are so many great ways to incorporate food into learning! For example, using oreos for phases of the moon or having an apple festival, or even sampling foods as part of a five sense exploration!

So my question for you, how do you encourage our students to learn through play?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Okay... so I love to blog. I love sharing ideas with you and getting ideas from you. I love writing. I love the fact that you understand how I feel and I don't have to explain myself.... you just get it!
So why am I having a hard time getting back in the swing of things and writing regularly? Are you having trouble balancing life, work, and blogging this year? Or is it just me??

ANYWAYS!!! So its FALL! Yay! I hope you were able to check out my Falling into Savings sale this past weekend over at my TPT store! I meant to post some this weekend, but with it being the first anniversary of my father's death.... I didn't want to sit here and cry on your shoulders. So I stayed away. I did get to go to one of my good college friend's wedding shower cookout/celebration. It was fun! Since I was B.R.O.K.E. I wasn't able to go buy her a gift so I made her something special. I will have to share it with you sometime soon!

So... I haven't been posting, but I have been creating!! I FINALLY finished my 100-page Halloween-inspired Math CCSS packet. It is alligned with the counting and cardinality domain of kindergarten core standards.

 Pumpkin Roll and Cover - Two sheets have been provided. One to be used with one die, one to be used with 2 dice. Easy differentiation!
Candy Corn Ten Frame Flash! Ten Frames to 20 are provided. As well as a blank 10 frame and a blank 2 - ten frames to use for 20. Buy a bag of candy corn and you have an adorable and motivational activity! (Just makes sure your kiddos don't eat the candy corn that everyone else has already touched!)

 Ten Frame Ghosts. A quick and easy independent work. Have students identify the sets.
 What student does not like games? Well this is a classic game, with a halloween-twist! WAR! Teach those kiddos greater/less with this awesome game. Don't want to use the numbers... or just perfer your kiddos have something a tad bit harder, use the tally mark cards.
 Print, cut apart each color, and have students put the candy corn back together by matching the number, word, and ten frame!

Graphing numbers just got cute with this "Pumpkin Patch Number Race." Roll the provided die to see which number it lands on. Trace the matching number. The number that makes it all the way to the top first, WINS! (Oh, and your students will have practiced writing their numbers 1-20!)

But ya'll, thats not all! This packet includes a few other great activities! So head on over and check it out!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tell Me Something Good!

Whew... this has been the longest 28 days of my life... I do believe.
*24 5 year old running around me
*Making 25 copies of everything (causing me to run COMPLETELY out of paper!)
*Having a handful of friends that REQUIRE all of my attention, patience, and sanity.
*Adjusting to having new standards that try as I do, I am not completely grasping. (Try, Try, Try Again?)
I could keep going... but I am not sure how much I can tell you before I break some sort of confidentiality rule. So I will stop. But lets just say... whew!

Needless to say, this was just the type of thing I needed! To focus on the good, and forget (I'll try) all of the bad!

So I am linking up to Rowdy in First Grade's newest linky party

 So lets focus on the good, shall we?
At school: I have a job! I am getting a paycheck! I have an awesome team! One of my good friends from college (who I hadn't seen since I graduated) just got a job on my team! Oh... and that number "24" will SOON (although we still do not know when) will be becoming "18"! You don't know how excited that makes me and my team!!
At home: Me and the boyfriend just celebrated 4 years yesterday! (That is the reason I didn't get to make at "Math Monday." The boyfriend just landed a GREAT job that is going to basically double our income. (However... it does come with some drawbacks :(  BUT lets focus on the good, shall we?)

So what is your "good"?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

If you are a kindergarten teacher then you have been lucky enough to be on the front line of Common Core State Standards this year. It is been up to you and your team to decipher the new standards, dig deep into its meeting, and then teach it all at the same time! Well thanks to some of my favorite bloggers here in blogland, I have found the BEST thing for you!
This 600 page Kindergarten Common Core workbook is full of standards, questioning cards, activities, and ADORABLE clipart from Scrappin Doodles.  One of my favorite activities that I was able to sample was the "Sounds" worksheet. This activity shows students a picture and then gives them 3 word samples to choose from. For example, one of them shows a picture of a dog then has the words "log" "dog" and "dot" beside it. The students then choose the word that is correct by tracing it.
Click here to head on over to get your very own copy. And if you are a blogger, hurry over here to see how you can get your very own copy for FREE!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Freebie Friday

Whew... I'm tired. So I'm going to make this short. On Wednesday of this week we did our first sequencing activity in class. We have been reading Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip with Kindergarten this week. On Wednesday I introduced sequencing and then the class discussed the beginning, middle, and end of the story. After discussing this as a class, I gave each student that had them drawing a picture to describe events in the story. When making this activity for my class... you crossed my mind. So I decided to expand the packet so that I could share it with you as a class. It is an 18 page packet that offers you "title" cards, response cards, and SEVERAL different worksheets to use. You could honestly use this packet in any grade... but because I'm a kindergarten teacher I simply aligned in to K and 1st grade CCSS.

Click on the picture below to head on over to my TPT store and check this out!
I hope you liked this weeks Freebie Friday! Let me know what you would like to see next week for Friday's Freebie!

Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apples Apples Big and Round - What I'm Pinning Wednesday

Apples Apples Big and Round... Look and see what I found. Okay... so it sounded cheesy, but it rhymed! So I am sticking to my guns!

Next week we begin our Apple Unit. I love me some apples... and I really do believe that the Apple Unit is by far one of my favorites. I love what I have done for the past two years to teach my students all about apples... but it doesn't hurt to see what new ideas are out there that I can incorporate into my week's unit plans!  (As an FYI: Monday during Unit we get to go to the Computer Lab. Therefore we do not have Unit on Mondays.)

On Tuesday I will begin the unit by reading a story about Johnny Appleseed. We will talk all about him and discuss WHY he did this. Then thanks to this SUPER CUTE craft by The Lesson Plan Diva, we will be creating our very own Johnny Appleseeds.  Click the picture below to head on over to her blog and get this adorable printable! Hopefully I will also be able to fit in a photo shoot with students in their very own Johnny Appleseed pot.

  1. On Wednesday we will review who Johnny Appleseed was and what he was known for. I will then read a story about Apple Trees. We will discuss how apple trees grown and the different stages they go through. We will complete a sequencing sheet that I have (sorry... I have no picture for it as it pre-dates blogging and pinterest! But if you are talking about Apples this week and sequencing apple trees, then this is a SUPER Cute craft that you can do!  It comes from Growing Kinders!
 Here is another awesome sequencing activity you can for a craft! This one comes from Mrs. Jump's blog. But sadly, I can not find the original posting.

 On Thursday we will be bringing in our favorite apple. We will graph our favorite color apples and discuss the different parts of the apple. We will discuss what an apple looks like, feels like, taste like (reviewing our 5 senses), etc. We will slice open an apple and look at the seeds and see how it forms a star. We will discuss what the inside of an apple looks like. We will make predictions of what the apple will look like in a day? 2 days? We will complete our Apple Investigations worksheet.

On Friday we will discuss what we have learned about apples. I will read a story about apples and foods that can be created out of apples. After reading the story, we will list foods that are made from apples. We will then go outside for our Apple Food Festival.

I hope this helps you with planning your Apple Unit. There are tons of great apple activities out there! To see more Apple Unit Ideas please visit my Pinterest! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Say What You Want Saturday & September Currently!

Woohoo! Its the weekend! Are you as excited as I am? I hope that whatever you are doing, you are making sure to have a good time doing it! This morning I lazed around the house in my PJs not being motivated to do anything. It was nice. I'm glad I took that time to be "lazy." Maybe it is just me, but I think EVERYONE deserves a "lazy" day now and again. Right? Can I get an "Amen!" :)
The boyfriend finally did get me motivated though. I took a shower, got dressed, and prettied up. Here lately I have been feeling better about myself... which I love!! Now I am all ready to head to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner with friends and then head downtown to hear Kip Moore. Now I'm not really sure who this is... so I will be right back after I check out a youtube video! (I'll make sure to bring one back to share with you!)

Okay I'm back and the verdict is in ... I haven't heard any of his music before. But he sounds good! Have you heard of him? What is your favorite song by him?? I'm hoping the boyfriend will chill out while we are they... he very much dislikes country music and isn't exactly thrilled to be going to a country concert. But he loves me... so he's going ! (Isn't that sweet?)

Speaking of the boyfriend, he starts his new job on Monday! If you know me, then you know that this is a miracle and I am thinking my lucky stars that this day has FINALLY come! Some extra income will be nice around here! In fact, I see a shopping day in my near future. :)

So I'm a little late to the party, but I finally got it done! My September Currently!!
Well peeps, I am out! Thanks for stopping by and being a part of my day! I hope you have a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

All About Me Week

This week has been crazy busy at school. I feel like there was so much left undone that needed to get accomplished. But I guess that is just the way it goes sometimes. We had some fun though!
We started our literacy centers and are doing great with them! Yes, there is some talking... but for the most part they are working independently, staying on task, and working somewhat quietly. Hopefully once our numbers go from 24 to 18 the quietness will happen. I wish that we could hurry this process of getting 2 new kindergarten teachers ready and the classrooms open. But... I guess it will happen eventually, right???
Oh and then yesterday Channel 4 News came and talked to us kindergarteners about weather. And we were featured on the news. Sounds exciting right? Well, I can tell you this- the kids had a great time with it!
Today was picture day. I don't know about you but I always despise picture day. Even as a teacher I worry about what to wear for picture day... do you put a lot of thought into your picture day get up?

With the instruction we did get done between all of these special events (did I mention it was a 4 day week with 2 days interrupted??) I feel like the students learned something. Two of our favorite activities this week was learning about platypuses (using and our "All About Me" unit.

In unit we read books, talked about how we look alike/different than others in our class, created paper plate faces to resemble us, shared our "All About Me" poster project and wrote about ourselves! I forgot to take pictures of our writing, but I do have a freebie to share with you! It is our "All About Me" books.

You can grab it here! Please leave me some feedback so that I know what you thought.

I hope you had a great week! But if your like me.... no matter how great it was, you are glad it is over!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday Math: All About Numbers

Okay so yesterday was supposed to be my math day on here. But I thought I'd take the day off and head to a family cookout/gender reveal. The day off: It's a girl! (No, not mine! We're not at that point yet.)

Anyways!!! So I finally got my "All About Numbers" Chart made! I forgot to take a picture of it though. *sad face* One of my students saw it and got really excited! "That looks awesome!" he said. He's one of my rough kids... but he's definitely a visual learner so I am excited I could entice him to learn some math simply by making something visually pleasing!

You know that's the thing about teaching. You never know what the trigger will be. What will cause a student to WANT to learn? Each year I have parents write me a letter at the beginning of the year telling me about their child. This year I had parents tell me that their children enjoyed learning through games, through songs, by doing engaging activities... not one of them told me that if I made something look nice then I would entice their child to learn! But I love it! If you know me, I get irritated when things looks messy. Which makes it perfect sense that I redid that chart 3 times to get it to look "just right."

So here is where things get tricky for me in math. I have been doing this journal that I found for free on the internet.... at first I thought it was GREAT! I loved it! Even now, I think it's GREAT for OLDER kids. But it is just too hard for mine. They look at it and don't know what to do. Their faces say "huh?" even when they are not talking!

So I created a Number Journal for my kids that allows them to represent numbers in a variety of ways. And I love it! Like REALLY love it! Like I'm about to throw away close to 10 dollars worth of paper, ink, and binding rods in order to create new journals that will work much better for my class.

I guess thats what it is all about. Trial and Error. Finding what works best for your class! And with this Common Core thing, thats what we all are having to do.
If you think this would be a useful tool for you and your students you can purchase this here for just $3.00.

How are you teaching counting and cardinality in your kindergarten classroom?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

New things are coming!

Okay, I'm gonna try something new with this little 'ol blog of mine. I'm gonna try a schedule. We'll have to see how it works out... but hopefully with a schedule my blogging will be a little bit more regular.

Sundays I will be linking up with Clutter-Free Classroom for "Snapshot on Sunday." This will serve as a time for me to show what has been going on in the classroom through the use of photos. Sometimes you may end up seeing photos of students, other times I may post center photos or hall displays. But my goal is that whatever it is that I post will give you some sort of inspiration or motivation for the upcoming week.

Mondays for me will be "Math Mondays." This is very common I know. But with the curriculum changing all over, hopefully I can share how I am teaching CC standards in my classroom during math.

Wednesday will be "What I'm Pinning Wednesday." I used to link up to Laura (Kinder Kraziness) every Wednesday and I loved it! So I have decided to continue on my own and dedicate Wednesday to Pinterest ideas that are MOSTLY related to my unit for the upcoming week.

Fridays I will be linking up to TBA's Freebie Friday. 

Saturdays will be Say Whatever Saturday. Now I honestly do not know who this was created by. But I love it. And lets be honest, you know me... I can't keep myself out of the blog. So this will be my day to say whatever I want! :) (FYI: More than likely will not be teacher-related.)

I'll take Tuesdays and Thursdays off from the scheduling. So you may or may not here from me on those days.