Sunday, September 30, 2012

Apple Picking Emergent Reader {FREEBIE}

I wrote a little apple picking story.  It does have some more challenging vocabulary for beginning Kinder readers, but nothing they won't pick up on quickly!

In my room, I will project the full page version onto our interactive whiteboard and have students highlight our sight words and the punctuation marks (all three are included for a little book-print awareness mini lesson).  We will count the apples and write the number on the line.  I will send home the individual readers in their Literacy Bags for them to read with their families.  I am just starting the Literacy Bags this week with their first homework packet, so I want to load them up and get them into our routine early.

If you download this freebie, please leave a comment and let me know how you plan to use it in your classroom.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Giveaway at What Happens In First Grade

It didn't take me long to fall in love with this little ol' teacher blog world.  My followers are slowly growing and I may or may not be checking my stats repeatedly.  Well, Amy at What Happens In First Grade is having a giveaway to celebrate having 100 followers.  *Sigh* I can't wait to have my own 100 follower giveaway- so spread the word!!


Click HERE to take you to her blog and enter the giveaway.  It really is one of the best giveaways I've seen- she's got some superstar bloggers participating with her.

P.S.  There are more items in my TPT store and I'm working away on more.  Please follow my store to get all the latest updates.  To reserve posts for more meaningful content, I do not plan to advertise every item that is in my TPT store on my blog.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Giveaway with Teachery Tidbits

At the Carolina Blogger Meetup, I met Natalie from Teachery Tidbits.  She was so sweet and even brought us all homemade fall cupcakes that were absolutely delicious.  Well, she asked me to be a part of a giveaway on her blog (in celebration of a new job- yahoo!).  The winner will get to choose an item from my Teachers Pay Teachers store *AND* several other prizes (you won't want to miss it!).  Trust me, little ol' me is the least exciting part of this giveaway!

Go check out her blog and enter the giveaway.  Spread the word!
Teachery Tidbits

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Math and Literacy Pack {Common Core Aligned}

Check it out HERE

I just posted my first BIG item on Teachers Pay Teachers.  This Fall Math and Literacy pack is 121 pages and is *packed* with activities for your classroom.  All of the activities were designed with my class of kiddos in mind, are aligned to the Common Core and I included a lot of different differentiation options.

I will use this packet throughout the next few weeks in my Math and Literacy work stations.  Since it's fall themed it will easily be used through November (and I may need that long to get it all done!).  Follow along as my guinea pigs  class uses these hot-off-the-press activities.

I put it on sale for $8 (down from it's $10 price) because I am really excited about my first big unit and secondly, I never know what to price those things out.  I know that it was like working a second job for a week to get it done, but I also know teachers have budget limitations.

This preview file is available on Teachers Pay Teachers, but you can check it out here as well.  Go alert the press, tell your teacher friends, and grab it now before I end the sale this weekend!

Today in K

Today, we colored, cut, and glued apples in order from smallest to largest.

We learned how to draw girls thanks to inspiration from Kindergarten Smiles and A Place Called Kindergarten.  I also put every book I could find that Mrs. Bell from A Place Called Kindergarten used on hold at our public library to keep our drawing unit rolling in Writer's Workshop.  I am totally revamping my writer's workshop this year.  

I was tempted to dive in with Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills' Writing Through The Year: Unit 1, but my class just isn't quite ready for that yet.

Instead, we are working on drawing and adding details to our drawing, then we will label, write sentences and build our stamina.  With the amount of stories they want to tell me throughout the day, I'm sure we'll be superstar writers by the end of the year :)

Tomorrow, we will make family portraits!

Check out my K-1 Pinterest Board HERE

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kindergarten Sight Word Book

As a Kindergarten team, we send home this booklet to all of the families.  At home, they study the word lists and bring them back to school when they have mastered a list.  The child reads it to us and they earn a sticker on their book and then take it home and continue.

This word book is set up with the words in the order that we teach them, then common phrases, and then the simpler first grade words.

I designed this so each page can be folded in half and stapled into a book.  Feel free to use it if you can! {Cutesy fonts from Kevin and Amanda- LOVE their stuff!}

Friday, September 21, 2012


Me:  "What day is it today?"
Kid #1: "Friday!" {after many guesses of Wednesday, Tuesday, Sunday....}
Me:  "Yes it is.  Do you know what tomorrow is?"
Kid #2:  "Saturday" {after many guesses of Friday, Monday, Thursday....}
Me:  "Tomorrow is Saturday and after that is Sunday.  That's the weekend and we don't go to school on those days."
Kid #3:  "Oh, do you hate those days?"

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our favorite activity so far...

was writing in shaving cream today!  We absolutely loved practicing our letters and numbers in shaving cream.
Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own free picture collage

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ways to Sort Posters

I made these simple sorting posters yesterday.  We won't be sorting and classifying formally for a few weeks, but as my students have been exploring math manipulatives, many of them have been sorting on their own anyway.  Are these the future organizers of the world?!?

Parents, have your child help you sort the laundry!  They can match socks for you :)  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Carolina Blogger Meet Up

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with these beautiful women.  We met at California Dreaming in downtown Columbia, South Carolina to talk teaching and blogging.  It was an absolute blast and I hope we do it again soon!

In attendance {make sure you follow their blogs for fabulous ideas--no matter what grade it is!}:
from left to right- sort of!
 Autumn, Ashley, and Tammy from Fanatical in First Grade
Kim (starting her blog soon, right Kim?!?)
Elizabeth from Fun in 4B
Gretchen from Always a Lesson
Dana from 3rd Grade Gridiron
Shasta from The Loop
Heather and Juli from Simple In Second
Amanda from Teaching Maddeness
Rachel from The Tattooed Teacher
Elisabeth from Twins, Teaching and Tacos
Rebecca from Landing in K
Natalie from Teachery Tidbits

This get together was absolutely worth spending 5 hours in the car on a beautiful Saturday.  After a hard week at school, I left feeling inspired and energized by these women.  The homemade cupcakes and mimosas also helped!  I can't wait to do it again soon.  

Now, go blog stalk!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Kindergarten Morning Work {bonus: no copies!}

Morning "work" for my class is something I've debated a lot about this year.  Last year, I did worksheets on basic concepts.  They did the job- but I didn't love it.  The students arrive anywhere from 8:05-8:25 and announcements start as soon as the bell rings.  Our special starts at 9:15, so that 45 minute block is valuable teaching time and I want to get started right away- so some kids never even had a chance to get started and others were done and ready for another activity.  It left me with a lot of copies to make and a headache.

This year, I decided to create Brain Boosters.  These will be a combination of math and literacy activities that require NO copies.  I'll have each activity in its own large manilla envelope (because they are available in our supply room!) or plastic shoe bin (if it's too large for the envelope).  The kids will grab an activity each morning and get to work- two kids per envelope.  They will be able to pick their partners for this since I pick for them for Math and Literacy Work Stations.  Though this happens every.time. and everytime they are assigned to the same partner :)

Photo: Haha love this

They'll be independent activities of all sorts.  Some activities I'll be introducing during Math or Literacy Work Stations and move them to Morning Brain Boosters after that.  I've scoured Pinterest for ideas and am working on printing, laminating, and prepping these materials.    Here are a few of my ideas:

Sight Word Pancakes. Fun, hands-on way to teach children sight words.  Kindergarten - math activities 
 math printables  

Number practice - fish and bubbles  Reading activities FREE cookie sheet activities!!  I love this counting activity!!! Scooping "Cool Whip" onto pie -- add small motor with tongs

Please visit my K-1 Pinterest Board for more ideas and links to these great activities.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fine Motor Skills

Like all classrooms, I have a wide range of learners.  These first few weeks I've learned a lot about what skills my students are bringing in to Kindergarten.  It's amazed me how different they are than my bunch last year!  To practice fine motor skills, they placed tiny stickers on the letters A and B.  Some of us are still working on recognizing these letters, some need a little more fine motor skill help, and for the rest- stickers are a winner anytime!!  Here are my Table 5 cuties hard at work:
When they were done, they got to go to the carpet to look at a picture book.  I had held my books hostage for the first two weeks until we learned about how to take care of books.  I used Kindergarten Kindergarten's Forest Friends Go To School (downloadable for free-- destroy it yourself!) this week to teach them how to take care of books.  They promised me they would take care of my books so MY kids (as in, future biological children) will get to have them someday :)
Does anything make a teacher happier than a roomful of children reading.....quietly?!?

What do you do with your class to build fine motor skills and letter recognition?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Morning Routine

Each day, we start our day with time on the carpet and have our phonics mini-lesson.  Today, we learned about the Letter A!  I started Deanna Jump's Chit Chat Morning Messages (currently on sale!) with the A page today.  We even had a little lesson on why some A's are big and some are small.  Each day for the next 25 days we will learn a new alphabet letter and then learn the sounds that each letter makes.

Make sure you are working on letter writing and letter sounds at home!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pete the Cat

Where have I been?  I have read in blogland about Pete the Cat but never thought much about it.  I finally hopped on the bandwagon.  It was instant love in Mrs. Stone's Classroom.  We sang the song for the rest of the day and I've already found lots of fun printables to go along with it (here and here)

Here's a fun live telling with the author himself, Eric Litwin.

What's your favorite way to use Pete the Cat in your classroom?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Laminator Love

Scotch Thermal Laminator Combo Pack, Includes 20 Laminating Sheets, 9 Inches x 11.4 Inches (TL901SC)

My husband and I are on a very tight budget.  We don't have cable television, we don't go out to dinner, I stay away from the mall, and we scrimp and save at every opportunity.  I don't tell you this to make you feel sorry for me, but to help you understand just how special my little laminator is to me ;)

This summer, I splurged and purchased this Scotch Laminator for myself.  All color printing that I do is done at home (no color ink is available at school) and our laminating film runs out quickly (we're also not allowed to laminate ourselves, so the turnaround time is always a surprise).  I do all of my lesson planning and as much prep work as I can at home, so having a laminator at home made sense.  The verdict:  I'm in love.  I love the convenience of being able to color print, laminate, and cut all from home...on a rainy Sunday, while watching Netflix, and in my pajamas.  I think it's the best purchase I've made for my classroom to date.

What's your favorite school purchase?