Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stone Soup

Next week we'll be focusing on the letter Ss and will read a couple of versions of Stone Soup. We'll compare and contrast, use a graph to spin for veggies, graph our favorite vegetable using post-its, and also graph whether or not we like eating stone soup. We discuss vocabulary and also complete math problems. I've never made a unit and I'm not entirely finished, but here's what I have so far!

Stone Soup Unit 1

Below are the printable post its I'll use:
Printable Post Its 1

6 + 1 Writing

I went to a workshop last night about 6 + 1 writing traits and still feel clueless. The one thing I did understand was that we need to go back to the writing process. I know I can do that! If anyone else has anything, please add to this!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Calendar Wall No More!

I've decided to do away with most of my calendar wall. I've been contemplating it for most of the year, but seeing Deanna Jump's room and her calendar smartboard lesson gave my the extra push I needed! I also had a difficult time thinking about how I would have them touch and name the months, days, and seasons. So, I've solved that! Below is the sheet that I'll put in the students calendar notebooks.

Days, Months, Seasons for Calendar Notebook

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Baby Mummy

I really enjoyed the lesson that Deanna Jump taught during my visit! She used this book and did a text to self activity with her students. It was so good that I purchased her unit from TPT. This story focuses on Little baby mummy and how scared he gets because he cannot find his mummy. It's one of my new favorites!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's Great to be Back!

I'm so sorry that I've been away for so long!!! There are never enough hours in the day to do what is needed. It's also been quite a challenging year, but has gotten better each week. However, I have been "stalking" this great teacher, Deanna Jump, for the past year! I finally got a chance to meet her! I've looked forward to it for quite some time and am so appreciative of her time and effort when allowing my cohorts and me to visit! We did this on our Fall Break-we're so dedicated! ;) She is great and her room is just perfect!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Practicing Sight Words

We spend a TON of time learning sight words! I try to be very organized so that my students don't suffer my forgetfulness!!!  This is the best thing I've ever done to help my students (and me)! Here's how it works:
  • After the beginning of school rules and routines are practiced and mostly learned, I model how to get into a group or with a partner to practice.
  • Students will get a partner close to their level and the cards they are working on and sit together in the classroom.
  • They will take turns being the teacher and flash the words while the other says them. If there is a word that they  don't know, they raise their hands and I'll help them. Later, they'll use the ask 3 before me rule.
  • Once they master this way of practice, I'll bring out the sight board game boards, then the sight word fishing game, then the popcorn word game, etc.
This has worked for several years in my K class. I've had more students than ever master more than 220 sight words each year after implementing it! I also keep a chart on the wall where each student gets to color in the list after mastery. They already love it and I've only had it up a week!

 Here is a closer view. It's organized in groups of ten. R1 corresponds to red list 1, R2: red list 2 and continues to Gold 22. We also have color and number words.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Studying the letter G

We use Saxon Phonics and this week we're learning all about Gg. We'll begin by using Dr. Jean's songs "Who let the Letters Out" and "Lettercise" and use our alphabet strips to point to the letters. We'll discuss it's sound, whether it is a consonant or vowel, things that begin with the /g/ sound, and how to write it. We'll use WBT to practice our class rules and use the teach-okay method. This week we will blend our first word: log. We've been blending as I model or have the students model, but by the end of this week, everyone should be able to read log and hog. One center that we'll continue each week is using paint dotters to make the letter. I found it at Tot School. The students love this center! We'll read Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Mr. Grumpy's Outing, My G Sound Book, and  Giggle, Giggle, Quack. I found a great (Mr. Gumpy's Outing) emergent reader at www.makinglearning! I've printed it and I'll have it cut, stapled, and ready for their hands tomorrow morning!!!

In math, we'll review sorting and work on positional words. We'll also work on numbers, counting,  graphing, identifying coins, months of the year, days of the week, and five frames on our calendar wall. We'll continue working on color words and incorporate graphing by using gummy bears to graph. One center we'll use is the Magnetic Pattern Blocks Alpahabet  G sheet. Another center we will use this week:
Goldilocks Sorting Activity
I got this sorting idea from making learning fun and modified it because I don't have purple bears. Students will use a sheet to record their findings and share with the group. Recording has been especially difficult this year, but we'll get it eventually.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Name Sorting Activity

We're continuing to work on our names. There are a few students who need practice, so, I combined it with a sorting activity. We can all use sorting practice too!

I see this activity other places, so it's nothing new.

This is the site where I located the letters: Webbing Into Literacy. I pulled up the CCBB lesson and the letters are on the last page. Then I typed up the headings: letters in my name and letters not in my name.

name sort 1

This is the finished project: 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sight Words, Sight Word Queen, and Clap-outs!

We are working extremely hard on learning sight words!!!! Our first list was the color word list. This week I assessed my class on the list and 6 of them know all 11 of the color words!!! they will get to run in the first clap-out of the year. I'm so excited. Keep up the great effort!!!

Our big class news is that one of the students is a Sight Word Queen!!!! She is very pleased and will receive a sight word queen crown and get to run in our school's clap-out. At her desk, she will have a Sight Word Queen chair pocket for the day. I'll present her with an award and treat for her accomplishments!

Our clap-outs allow the students to run through the school's hallways while everyone claps and cheers them on! Students really look forward to this!! Students can run in the clap-outs for mastering each sight word list, getting a VIP for doing something great, or great bus behavior.

Below are the checklist (color words in an earlier post) and Red 1 words that we learn first. I use the snap word cards from child-1st to introduce and practice in class. They get a partner and use the flashcards to practice after I've assessed each student. It is differentiated based on sight word knowledge. I'll soon post where I keep the words so that students get to use them daily!

Sightword Checklist Color-number

Red 1
I run these on card stock and laminate them. Then, I punch holes in the top left corner and put a ring through them. I write the list name on the back and it corresponds to the label on a peg board where it belongs. The students learn where each set belongs and they are in control!!

Monday, August 22, 2011


This is our third week of school and we're rolling right along! Below is our class newsletter. Don't forget to clean out the agendas and sign them daily!
August 19, 2011

Also, we have begun to track print. Some students already have some background knowledge about tracking and students will use different books to practice reading skills. Below is one of the early readers I created to practice tracking print and using the pictures to help figure out unknown words. We are working on so many skills like letters, words, and sentences, that it's difficult to list everything we are learning! The other books are coming from reading a to z. When I cannot find exactly what I want, I just make it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Second Week of School

This week, we'll be focusing on the letter Ll and it's sound. We'll write it using tablet paper and discuss it at the beginning of words. We're also working on reviewing shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond/rhombus, oval/ellipse and we'll touch on the pentagon and hexagon). The students will keep learning the color words and writing their names. Please practice writing names at home by only capitalizing the first letter of your child's name. I will begin assessing students on their personal information (name, address, and phone number).

During centers tomorrow the students will use this graph to practice shapes. My previous students enjoyed doing these graphing games! (I have no idea what's up with the words at the bottom!) They loved using the clear spinners to play this! A Kissing Hand graph went home last Friday that was very similar to this shape game.
Shape Spin and Graph

You have a new homework calendar coming home tomorrow. Please let me know if there's anything that needs to be explained. Also, we need volunteers to send in the Oo and Gg snack this month. Please let me know if you would like to help out.

Aug2011 hw

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Thoughts

Today is the first Friday of the year and it has been a good first week. The students have gotten to know each other and even remember each other's names! They are precious! We've read many books, practiced rules and routines, discussed our first science word (nocturnal), enjoyed centers, learned/reviewed shapes, and many more things! I am beginning to assess the students on knowledge of letters. After, I will assess the students who seem ready, on sight words. Please keep practicing the color words and move on to the next list if he/she has mastered the color words. Don't forget to review/learn your personal information, for example, name, address (including zip code), and phone number.

Have a fantastic weekend and I'll see everyone Monday:)

*We won a gift certificate from Pre-K pages on Facebook. I've used the gift certificate to buy alphabet books, a school CD, and tracing font to use in class.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Behavior Plan and Classroom Newsletter

Here is our first newsletter. When it comes home today, there will be a copy of our Specials schedule attached. We are group A and have visited music and art so far. Please be sure to allow your child to wear tennis shoes on the days we have P.E.

August 11, 2011

We've begun to use our behavior stop light in class. Students have already learned what it means and how it works. Below is a plan that explains it. Please sign it, have your child sign it, and return it tomorrow.

Classroom Management 2010

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Day!

I am so excited! Today is the first day of school and we are doing many things! It may seem very silly, but we practice the routines until they KNOW them! We will read The Kissing Hand,  Chrysanthemum,and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I have made kissing hand cookies for each student and the office staff! We will do the calendar and introduce the Lucky Duck for the day and tour the school. After the tour, we'll play on the playground. We'll also learn about RED; how to spell it and finding items that are red. If we get all of that done, we're set for tomorrow!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Emergent Reader

It's always a struggle to find just what I'm looking for in an emergent reader or rebus sentences. So, I've taken to creating them myself. It's also taken me hours to figure out how to keep the images from font that I have showing in the document. There is no tutorial that I could easily find on a google search. So, my techy Mr. Hogan lead me to something he uses for work and it's name says it all: cutie pdf!!! Here is a downloadable book that we'll use at the end of this first week or next Monday. Just print, fold in half, and staple the edges together. Hopefully very simple!
1st Week Color Book PDF

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucky Duck

Each begins with a new Lucky Duck. The Lucky Duck is the VIP of the day! He or she is in charge of every job. The student will help with the calendar, holds the door, and gets to carry the caddy (our supplies). The Lucky Duck also gets to pick the music for our brain breaks and is the line leader.

Having the jobs held by one person each day really helps me. The years that I've had several helpers, were the most confusing times I've had. Just having one special person each day, makes their day even better, too!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Parent Survey

If any parents didn't get a chance to take the school system's parent survey last night, please click Parent Survey and take it. I really enjoyed meeting everyone last night and am very excited about school!

On Monday, I will be in the gym until 7:43 and will walk the students to our room. If you would still like to bring supplies by the room today, I will be there until 3:00. Your child will bring home many things on Monday. The main intem will be a WOLF notebook(well organized learning folder). It houses our money pouch, agenda (for communication), homework, and papers to sign and return. We'll have curriculum night soon, where we'll discuss our standards everything else about Kindergarten!

Have a wonderful weekend!!! I'll see you Monday!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Open House day!

Today is our Open House day. It's from 3p.m.-7p.m. I'll leave for school much earlier than that. I have to redo our outside display. We had a ittle mishap right before I left yesterday. It seems that the air conditioning duct had a leak which pooled up on a ceiling tile. I didn't notice it until it began ruining our decorations. When it broke, it was similar to a dam bursting and water went everywhere. So I'll just fix it before you arrive :) At 5:00 maintenance arrived and I'm sure that when I return this morning, everything will have been magically fixed back to it's prior glory!!! Look for the red Super Learner's Cafe'! I am located 6 doors down the first main hallway when you turn left at the office. I look forward to meeting you!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Really Good Stuff

I was really excited about the really good stuff that I was getting (on sale) from!!!! I was...until my item was shipped only to have the label ripped off and sent back to Well, when I called after tracking it DAILY, they let me know that they would immediately send me replacements. TEN DAYS LATER, I received an email saying that my account has been credited the amount and the item discontinued. Immense disappointment set in only to be replaced with my thinking, WAIT, they sent my shipment back! It's MINE and I want it! One email and two phone calls results. I was at boycott level!! What happened next really NEVER happens to me! Someone higher than the customer service representative called me saying my returned items have been located and will be sent to me for FREE!!!! WOW was all I could say (borrowed from the book we'll read called Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse)! Our class is getting 2 sets of these:
These will be used when the students become Sight Word Kings and Queens. Students who earn those titles will have mastered the first 220 Dolch sight words. I am looking forward to seeing these being used in our room!!!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cute sign for classroom

I think I do my best work when I can't sleep. Here's what I produced last night when I couldn't sleep! The idea came from Babbling Abby and I am happy with the results!!!
Today's also my first day officially back to school!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sight Words

I seem to have sight words on my brain. I use a variety of methods to help students learn sight words, but playing games and using different modalities seem to work the best.  We begin the year with color words. Here is the downloadable set that we use to practice. I have 5 sets placed on rings and students use these in pairs or groups of 3 to practice. I first model how to practice sight words, then allow 2 students to model and explain, then allow the students to practice. One student is the teacher while the partner/group will be the learner(s). My WBT Oh Switch helps to keep this activity directed until this routine is mastered by all.
Color Words flash cards

The other flash cards I use come from Child-1st and gives students a multi-sensory approach to learning sight words. I use these "snap word" cards to introduce all of my sight words! I have a couple of sets because I wrote a grant for them. I punch a hole in the upper corner and use a ring  to sort by list. These are awesome and I couldn't live without them!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I saw a great memory activity by Ms. Bell over at A Place Called Kindergarten . I'm thinking that it will be a good center activity for the beginning of school, especially during the first couple of weeks when we're practicing center routines, routines, routines. Head on over to her blog to see how it works.

I'll also use play dough, attribute shapes, cubes, books, and other manipulatives in centers for the first few weeks, just until we've learned the center routines and behaviors. Once these are mastered and all students are assessed, then I can get into the nitty gritty of small group instruction and reading groups.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Open House

Dear Parents,

Open House will be here soon and you'll be able to see our room. There will be many forms to complete: transportation home, info card (to keep in our room), office info sheet, internet user/consent agreement, medical info card (for the nurse), and a couple of others. For my new students, I will have the legos out and the tables covered with paper for coloring pictures while you have a chance to complete the forms. We'll also touch on a few procedures that include you. Until then, below is a copy of the letter that will be in your Open House packet.

Open House Letter

Please email me with any questions you have.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Guess where I get to go today...

It's not school! It's a fab place and one where they have school items not for sale by Target, Walmart, or even the School Box! I'm going here...
I'm so excited!!! It's always a trip and I'm even taking my 3 children with me...I'll update the great finds that I get as soon as I get back!

I didn't spend too much today...woohoo! I was beside myself with anxiety because I had a difficult time deciding what to keep and what to put back. In the end, I made all the right decisions and can live without the items I didn't purchase.
There were two free items: the reusable bag and the teacher plan book. The All About Numbers chart was the big ticket item that I purchased, but it was 20% off as well as the blue and red caddy that I'll be using to keep my small group instructional items in. I HAD to get the dinosaur pointer (thinking about the boys) because I didn't have one:) The paw pencils with the paw erasers will be used as pointers during small group reading instruction. There are magnets, super kid stickers (for my sight word kings and queens), a white grid poster to record students' sight word progress (they color it based on the lists they master), slinky's (for blending instruction), an apple board eraser, and behavior incentives for super star students who stay on green for the entire week.

I also made sure to get 20 boxes of crayons and glue sticks to get my kiddos started off on the first day of school:) Nothing better than brand new crayons!!!

Whew! Okay, I believe I have completed my back to school shopping for my classroom!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm already giving some thought to our homework. I usually prepare a monthly calendar based on skills we are learning. I also differentiate the calendars based on student need. I am looking to revamp it and am looking to GA's performance standards to do so. 
After meeting Tim Rasinski during our Teachers as Learners conference this summer, I've decided to include Fast Start for Early Readers. It includes repeated readings of poems and activities to go with it. He went through the program and it seems to be a great way to build fluency in young students. Here's what had to say:

In only ten minutes a night, you can enjoy the shared ritual of reading fun, age-appropriate poems with your child, followed by a brief skill-building activity. This simple, research-proven early intervention program builds reading proficiency, word recognition, and overall comprehension. The guide includes tips for parental involvement, reading logs, 30 Fast Start stickers, and more.
I would love to know if any other teachers use this and your thoughts!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Welcome Students!!!

Today is the day that my students will receive the letter I sent and our classroom supply list! I'll be able to meet them soon! As soon as I figure out how to post documents, I'll post it. Until then, I'll just paste it below:

Kindergarten Supply List 2011-2012
·       Sturdy bookbag that your child can open and close easily. It needs to be large and wide enough to hold a 2 inch notebook and library book. Please no rolling bookbags.
·       I have ordered a notebook for daily communication. It is $1.25.
·       24 or more plain #2 pencils (to go into a community set to be used by the class)
·       1 pack of cap erasers (to go into a community set to be used by the class)
·       1 bottle of white school glue
·       2-3 packs of 24 regular crayons (the 24 pack includes the color gray, pink, and white along with the basic 8 colors)
·       1 pair of 5” scissors
·       8 or more glue sticks
·       1 box of baby wipes
·       2 boxes of tissues
·       1 bottle of hand sanitizer OR hand soap
·       Headphones for classroom and Computer Lab use (You can supply your own or purchase from school. They are usually $5.50).

Wish List Items
·       Re-sealable baggies (sandwich/quart/gallon)
·       Markers
·       Wiggle eyes
·       Batteries (AA; AAA)
·       Clorox/Lysol Wipes
·       Large Glue sticks for hot glue gun
·       White Paper lunch sacks
·       Men’s small/medium white t-shirts (for use at Thanksgiving)
·       Individually wrapped candy for treats
·       Blue poster putty

P.S. Supplies can be brought to Open House, August 4th, 3-7p.m. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Classroom Under Construction...

I'm working to get our room organized and ready for learning. Our school's theme is all about Super Learners. Instead of going for the traditional super hero theme, I opted to steer toward Super Why from PBS kids. The show takes children through early literacy skills that we'll focus on throughout the year.
A before picture of the mess. This was after I set up the tables, desks, rug, and other furniture. I took home a few shelves to paint and repair. I also went through centers and manipulatives to organize. I've been an extremely busy bee *wink*!

I'm so excited about our new chair organizers! I'm looking forward to meeting my new group!!!

This is where we will meet for small group instruction! I recently removed the large chairs and replaced them with our crate seats. I love these and think that my kids will too!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I found these great stamps at a Target on my summer trip. They will be great for the students' center activities. I purchased several of them!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


So, I've been thinking about the new school year and decided that my future students and I need an answer to our journal and reading book storage!
I wanted these, but they were expensive and I always have little things at the beginning of the school year that really add up.

So, I decided to make these...

I'm really excited to see how my semi-homemade chair organizers work out! I purchased 24 pillowcases and cut about 4 inches off of one side. Then, zipped that through the machine, folded it in half and sewed the stiched side together. Now I want to add a small pocket for their phonics readers.