Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Freebie for you!!

Back-to-school is nearing upon us. I know, I know, your first thought is: It's still June! But in reality, I only have 4 weeks. That is so not a lot of time left! I wanted to share a cute little freebie of something that I made last year.

It's nothing fancy but I love to have these printed out, cut apart, backed, and laminated before the school year starts. I usually have a class set (with a couple of extras). Since I do a writing workshop and not so much a writing center, then I have them on each of my tables for the kids to reference. You can get my color reference sheet by clicking on my image. I will also be uploading my number reference cards in a few minutes.

Don't forget about the giveaway going on right now for an awesome e-course from Playful Learning worth $125!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Giveaway time! Playful Learning e-course worth $125

I am so excited to be able to offer this giveaway! Since I'm participating in the Playful Learning Book Study over at Teaching My 3, I get to give away a 6 part e-course worth $125 for free!!

I already claimed mine and am really excited about the awesome learning that I'm getting to take part in. The really great thing is that it never expires, you can log-in as often as you want, for as long as you want. If you want to check it out you can click below to see the two available e-courses you will get to choose from:
playful_learning_spaces250                          Playful Learning: Through the Lens eCourse

I enrolled in the Learning Spaces e-course. It's all about creating learning spaces for children. My classroom is going to rock this year! Through the Lens is all about photo journaling-- awesome for beginner or advanced bloggers. It was a hard choice!

If you would like to be a part of this giveaway leave a comment below telling me which one you would choose. Make sure to leave your e-mail on your original comment so I can get in touch with you if you are the winner!

If you want extra chances do the following:

#1-Leave your first comment telling me which you would choose.
#2-Blog about the giveaway, leave a comment with a link
#3-Become a follower, leave a comment
#4-Follow me on Facebook, leave a comment

You can do all of them or some of them. Remember, the more chances the better! I'm going to run the giveaway until next Friday on July 6th!

Don't forget that Tuesday is the Webinar at 8:00 Eastern time! It's free to anyone who has signed up at Teaching My 3.. just click and sign-up so you can join in on the fun and learning!

Measurement- Never Say Never

Good morning everyone! I've been watching Sesame Street with my kiddos this morning and say the most wonderful thing for this fall. Doesn't inspiration strike at the oddest moments?

I love to use Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr. to introduce concepts to my kids at the beginning of each unit. But sometimes I have to look beyond there to find something that is slightly more Kindergarten appropriate. I saw this video this morning:

What Kindergartener would not just love singing about measurement with Elmo and a knock off Bieber? What do you like to do to introduce new topics or concepts of study?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pin-tastic finds!

I love Pinterest. I know I say that an awful lot, but I am so excited about the awesome things that I found today. Check out these awesome ideas:

mini pocket chart stands! cute!!

How cute are these mini pocket chart stands? I am in love with them! I definitely will be making several of these for this school year. They are perfect for the Target pocket charts that circulate each year in the Dollar Spot.

FREE customizable lesson plan. Save in word...and you can customize!
 This links to an awesome and amazing editable lesson plan! I love getting a peek at other people's plans. I have mine all typed up for this year and will be sharing it soon. I would love it if some of y'all linked yours in a comment!

Use cupcake liners as a quick splash of color on favor bags...

I so want to do this for my back to school bags this year. I usually put them out at Meet the Teacher day.

writer of the week

I so want to give this idea to our new principal to create a gallery in our front hallway. I think the kids would L-O-V-E to see their writing up in the front hallway of the school. I will also be doing this in my own classroom. Some how I want to display kids work in picture frames ala Daily Five. I know they will love it!

What is your newest idea that you have found?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Conferring... and a freebie!

If you do a workshop model, you know that conferring is awesome and essential to your student's success. Many classrooms are moving towards the Daily 5 and Cafe. I know we started in my room last year with Daily 5. I love it! My students loved it too! I'm looking forward to this fall too since I have a better handle on what to do in a Kinder room.

I was looking around at my resources and did a Google search on conferring notebooks. One of the top links was straight to the 2 Sisters. Love it! I found this amazing page with a video where one of the sisters explains everything about their pensieve. Check it out here:

The Daily CAFE is a Professional Development website designed for teachers and literacy coaches using The Daily 5 and The Literacy CAFE Assessment System. It is loaded with professional video and downloads, all created for teachers like you!

I love how detailed an explanation she gives for each section. It is going to be really helpful, especially since all the printable forms are right below the video.

I have these waiting for me to organize them right now:

The one on the left is my lesson plan binder where I keep my student information (roster, birthdays, and attendance), lesson plans, and curriculum maps. The one in the middle is empty. I'm trying to decide if I can downsize my lesson plan binder a bit this year to make my bag lighter. 

The binder on the right is my conferring binder. In past years, I've had a huuuuge binder for conferring. I had it separated into reading and writing. Way.too.complicated. I love how each child just has one section in the 2 Sisters' version. It's one of those "duh" moments for me :)

I know that the sisters talked about looking for the perfect binder all summer long. But I also realize that some of us might find the perfect binder and it's $10-12 and we just do not want to spend that money. I have always loved the binder cover from Kindergarten Works that is on my lesson plan book. She also has created several brand new ones. Check them out here!

I also made a new one for my conferring cover plus I even made a matching lesson plan cover. Grab them below!


It's begin to look a lot like...

You know that time of year when your eyes light up at the store. Those bright displays, the great new toys, the anticipation of all the sales..... You are thinking about back to school right? That's what I was describing :)

I just had to share this awesome photo from my purchase today:

I know.. who would actually buy all of these at one time... A kindergarten teacher :) But, notice those great red and white stickers up at the tops.... they happen to say .50 :) How awesome is that?!?!?!

I've been reading about a lot of others awesome finds from clearance sections. What is your newest find?

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I was hanging out yesterday at The Teacher Wife's place. I just LOOOOVE her blog! Check it out here:

I was reading her blog post from two days ago about some of her shopping for next year. Not only do I want these awesome name strips that she found for her kinders:

(her picture btw)

But I love, love, loooove her tip on putting them down. It even uses one of my favorite words: velcro... Magical isn't it?

She laminates them and then attaches velcro for moving them around easily through out the year. Since I will be spending a good amount of Goo Gone and time this August scraping name tag stickers and tape residue from my chairs, I will definitely be doing this instead for next year. I'm so excited!!

What's the best tip that you'll be using next year? I can't wait to hear!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I love summer... trips to the library!!

Every Wednesday during the summer, I take my kids to our local library to story time. They have so much fun listening to the stories and watching the other kids. My kids tend to be the ones that hang back in the crowd.... however, today I went to a different library that's much smaller.... For once, my kids were the ones who were interacting with the stories and talking back to the leader :) Now, if I can get them to sing the songs and nursery rhymes I will definitely be a happy mama!

One major reason I love the library trips is (as a teacher's perspective) I am fostering a love of reading and learning in my kids :) One of my B-I-G goals this summer is to teach my son to read. He's 4 and 1/2 but he's so into reading like Mommy does! (I'm known for having my nose stuck in a book!) I've been using this:

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

A parent that I had this past year taught both of her sons to read using this book. Her son in my class entered Kindergarten reading on a second grade level!! How awesome would that be?!?!

I also am working on projects for my classroom this fall. SHOCK! GASP! I know, isn't that shocking?

I picked up this fantastic book at the library today in order to make some awesome new activities:

Product Details

I love this book and loved, loved using it this past school year. I am so excited to share my awesome activities with you soon!

So, what have you  been creating or doing lately? Have an awesome Wednesday!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Playful Learning: Doesn't that sound awesome?!?!

I was checking out my dashboard earlier and saw this as a title " Playful Learning Book Study". Now,  I absolutely love any excuse opportunity to get a new book! I immediately checked out the book and couldn't have been more thrilled!!

Directly from Amazon:

Playful learning is the magic that takes place when we meld a child’s sense of joy and wonder with thoughtfully planned learning experiences. Through easy-to-implement, hands-on projects you can engage your child in fun and creative ways that encourage learning and impart the joy of discovery. With a little bit of information and forethought, you can play a pivotal role in the cognitive and creative development of your child. 

Now, who doesn't want to create magic in their classroom? My understanding is that it's written more for a parent's perspective  but can definitely be used for a classroom as well. I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

It even looks interesting:

Maybe it's just me.. but I really want a basket of coloring items and stickers to play with... like right now! If you want to join in on the study check out this post by Teaching My 3. Did I mention that there are freebies if you join up?


Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day to everyone! I hope your father (and children's father's) had a fabulous day! We had a laid back kind of day over here. My husband has really gotten into golf lately so he went and played today after church. The kids were so excited to give him his presents. They made him the cutest salt dough hand prints like these:

Image found here

I got the recipe from Busy Bee Kid's Crafts. Ours were really thick though so if you make them allow 5-6 hours in the oven at 200 degrees. Seriously, not kidding with that! It was unreal how long they took to dry!

Any who, my hubby seem to enjoy the "handmade" gifts (couldn't help it!!) as well as the gifts the kids picked out to buy too.

What great craft or treat did you create for dad? or granddad?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top 5 Events

Hi All! I thought I'd drop in and see how everyone else in blog-land is doing. I'm excited for the plans that I have this summer! Since it's been several weeks, I just wanted to give you a quick run down of the top 5 events that have happened in that time. Ready? Set. GO!

#1- We got out of school for the summer!! I'm so excited about being on summer vacation with my adorable little kiddos! I have all of June and July to relax and enjoy. So excited!!!!

#2- We went to visit Mickey!

Courtesy of Wikipedia

We spent all week getting to meet characters, relax, and have fun as a family. This was our very first vacation as a family and we loved it!

#3- So this kind of goes with number two but... we got to go to Hollywood Studios on our vacation for Star Wars weekend. If you get a chance to go, take it! It was so much fun (despite the down pour)!!! My little guy and my big guy got to meet Darth Vader and two Storm Troopers. My little guy even got to have his picture taken with them. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

#4- This big thing is actually a very sad thing. My Nanny (mom's mom.. my grandma) has been sick for the past week and a half. She was diagnosed with Wegener's disease (read more here). It's an extremely rare disease. Even the doctor (who has been practicing for around 20 years) had never seen a case of it before my Nanny last week. Unfortunately, they diagnosed it too late. After the 6th day in the hospital being treated for what they originally thought was just pneumonia, my Nanny's organs began to fail. They had to but her on a ventilator and had to eventually intubate her. The doctor's could not get her to improve and she was essentially living on the machines. On Thursday, my family made the decision to remove her from the machines as there was no hope of recovery for her. My Nanny passed away within 25-30 minutes without any pain. I was extremely close to my Nanny and this is definitely a very difficult time with coming to the realization that she is gone. I have faith that I will see her again in Heaven and that she is no longer suffering.

#5- Because of #4, I will be getting to see many relatives this weekend as we celebrate my Nanny's life. I pray that this can bring us closure. I know that I will continue to grieve for the loss of such an amazing woman.

I plan on doing everything my Nanny ever told me to do in my life... be the best I could be, do the best I could do, and (as her last words to me were) "take care of those babies". I intend to treasure my children and the rest of my family as well. I hope you all do the same to the coming days.