Sunday, September 8, 2013

WHEW!!! I Made It!!!

So, I have been planning on blogging since the end of August.  Unfortunately, time got away from me.  I found out that instead of teaching just kindergarten, I am teaching kindergarten/first grade.  Also, my oldest left for college Labor Day weekend.  Who knew it took so long to get one kid ready for college?  (Not to mention, that it would cost so much.)

I know I'm a little late.  But I would love to share some pictures of my classroom from the beginning of the year with you.

Here we go!

This is my calendar wall.  It also has my Phonics Dance cards above the bulletin board.  My aide is always so depressed to see me put the #1 on the Days In School chart.  Ha Ha  She makes me laugh.

Here are our cubbies labeled with binder clips and circle cut outs that I found on clearance at Michael's.  (Did you know that if you present your teacher id at Michael's you get 15% off?)

The wall with our birthdays on it.

My school has a theme each quarter.  Each teacher has to decorate the bulletin board outside her classroom to go along with the theme.  The theme this quarter is Where Is Waldo?  This is my bulletin board.  Can you find Waldo?  Can you identify the other book characters?

This is my favorite wall in my whole room.  My aide used the patterns from The Kinder-Craze blog to make the letters for the wall.  Since I'm a K/1 classroom this year, my kinders are going to bring in pictures to glue to each letter and I'm going to use the letters for my word wall for both the 1st graders and the kindergartners.  Click {here} to visit the blog to get the patterns for free.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my classroom.  Hopefully, once my life settles down a little, I will be blogging more.

See you soon,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where Did July Go?

This is so crazy!  Where did my July go?  I can't believe that August begins at the end of this week.  Luckily, I am spending the first few days of August visiting my sister in Chicago with my daughter, a friend (who teaches across the hall from me) and her son.  I will be sure to share pictures with you when we get back.

I linked up with the Teaching Heart Blog last week and I was chosen to be featured on her Facebook page this week.  I can't believe she chose my idea!

So I thought I would link up again this week and share another freebie.  This is a "hidden picture" game that my students love to play.  I print out pictures and laminate them and put magnetic tape on the back.  Then the students put them on the side of my metal cabinet.  One of the students takes a picture off of the cabinet.  The other students guess which one is missing.  My students love to play this game.  I have created a summer one for you to share with your students.

Click {here} to get your freebie.

Teaching Heart Blog

I hope your students enjoy the hidden picture game.  Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stop The Summer! I Want To Get Off! (and a freebie)

I can't believe it is practically the end of July.  I only have a few weeks before I go back into my classroom to starting setting up.  At least I still have a short trip to Chicago to visit my sister to look forward to before starting back.

Enough complaining about how quickly summer is flying by!  I have a freebie to share with you.   I have a book that I got at the I Teach K! conference many years ago when it was in Chicago.  For each letter of the alphabet there is an animal or object for the students to create that begins with that letter.

This past school year, I had many students who were above level.  So we moved into learning the diagraphs.  I decided to create a printable that they could make for the "ch" diagraph.  I created a "ch" chick for them to make.

Here is a picture of it:

Click {here} to get your freebie.

I have linked up with Classroom Freebie for Manic Monday.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Teaching Heart Blog

Thank you for stopping by,

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Popsicle Freebie

Happy Summer!  It seems that summer has arrived in southeast Michigan.  We are in for a heat wave this week after a bunch of rainy days.  I love a red popsicle to cool off on a hot day.  So I made a popsicle sight word reader for a student I am tutoring this summer.  I thought I would share it with all of you for a Manic Monday freebie.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Find the freebie below:

Click {here} to get the popsicle book freebie.

Stay cool and have a great week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My VERY 1st Throwback Thursday

I decided to join The First Grade Parade for a Throwback Thursday.  I promised to blog more this summer, so here goes.

I have decided to share one of my most popular posts (and a favorite activity of mine).  It is about Parent Writing Journals.  I love having my students write in parent journals.  They write in them on Friday, take them home for the weekend and the parents write something back to the student.  We share them on Monday mornings.  I learn a lot about my students when they share their parent journals.  It is one of my favorite activities of our week.

Here is the original post:

Well, I have survived my first week of school.  It was only 4 days but, that is long enough for my little kinders.  I love my class.  They are doing a wonderful job of learning all of the rules and  procedures.  Most of them are catching on very quickly.  We are going to have a great year!

My school is focusing on teaching writing this year.  I know that when my students have a reason to write they are more likely to want to write.  So after much careful thought and a little luck while looking for a file on one of my jump drives, I found an idea I had used several years ago.  I had my students write in Parent Journals.  A Parent Journal is a spiral notebook where the students write (or draw) a note to their parents/grandparents/their family.  Then whoever the note was written to writes a note back to the student and returns the Parent Journal the next day. I had my students write in the journal on Friday and take it home.  Hopefully, each of my students brings the journal back on Monday.  The the students can share their journals and responses with each other.

Here is a link to the note I attached to the front of the spiral notebooks.  It is in Word, so that you can change it to suit your needs.  

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit.

Who Wants to Save Money????

Hopefully, all of you are getting some rest and relaxation this summer.  Even though you are supposed to be getting rest and relaxation, I know that many of you are already buying things for your classroom.  I wanted to share a couple of ways that I have saved money buying books and other things for my classroom.

First of all, there is a web site that is called Paperback Swap.  You list books that you have that are in good condition but that you don't need anymore.  When someone on the site wants one, you receive an email.  You send the book to them via media mail (which is a cheaper way to mail books).  This usually costs between $2 and $3.  Then you receive a point.  You can then use that point to order a book from someone else.  That person pays for the shipping of your book.  When you sign up and list at least 10 books, you receive 2 points so that you can begin ordering books right away.  I have gotten many books for my classroom library this way.  Sometimes, if you are very lucky, you can even find some teacher books on the site.

Another place that I found to save money buying stuff for my classroom is a new Facebook page that was begun just a couple of weeks ago.  Charity Preston from The Organized Classroom Blog started a FB page called Used Teaching Treasures Emporium.  There are almost 1,500 members.  I have sold a bunch of teaching items that I haven't used recently.  I have also bought some new things for my room next year.  (It is kinda like what would happen if I worked at Kohl's.  I would spend my paycheck on clothes and not really make any money.)  The items are in good condition and are much less than if you would buy them new.  Just go to Facebook and search for the page.  You have to ask to join.  It is a win-win situation.  You can get rid of some of the books cluttering your shelves and make money to buy new things for your classroom.

If you have any questions about either of these ideas, please email me or comment here and I will try to help you.

Thank you for taking the time to visit,

Monday, July 8, 2013

My First Monday Made It This Summer

So, I hope that all of you survived the 4th of July.  My family tried to squeeze in as much family time as we could.  My son is going to college in September, so we are making family time a priority. Also my sister was in town from Chicago, so we spent time with her.  A drive-in movie, a trip to the zoo, a rained out baseball game, a couple of barbecues and brunch together were all a part of our long weekend.

Yesterday, I was able to squeeze in a little time to create a quick Monday Made It.  I am tutoring this summer and needed something to help my students practice sight words.  So I created some cute flashcards to use for practice or to play a memory game.

I used some border that I bought last summer when the local teacher store was going out of business.  (Better late than never, I always say.)  The package not only had border but it also 4 corners.  The border was seashells and the corners were crabs.

The Border

Next, I cut the border apart.  I used two strips of border to make one set of cards.  I made 4 sets of cards and placed one crab in each set.

After that, I used a permanent marker to write sight words on each seashell.  To make a matching game, I wrote the same sight word on two cards.  I left the crab plain.  I haven't decided what should happen if someone turns over the crab.  The player could lose a turn, get another turn or lose one of his/her matches.

I am tutoring this afternoon, so I will see how the game works.  Once I go back into my classroom, I will probably laminate the cards.  But they seem pretty sturdy for now, especially since I am using them one-on-one with students.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.  Have a terrific week!

Friday, June 28, 2013

My First Freebie Friday of the Summer!

As I promised in my previous post, I am going to be posting more this summer.  For the first time, in a long time, I am tutoring this summer.  One of my little guys is doing a great job of sounding out words but he needs to practice sight words.  So I have made an ice cream matching game to help him practice his sight words.  

Click {here} to go to my TpT store and get my freebie.

Since I thought others might be tutoring this summer, I wanted to share this with you as a freebie.  I have linked up with Freebie Friday at Teaching Blog Addict with my freebie.  Please check it out!

Freebie Fridays
Click {here} to go to Freebie Friday!

Have a terrific last weekend of June!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Lovin

So, who else can't believe that Google Reader won't be around any longer, after July 1st.  My brother-in-law informed me of it's demise this spring.  I guess in my head, I kept thinking that it wasn't possible that this was happening.  Now that it is the end of June, I have had to come to terms with it's leaving.  

It took me a little while, but I have finally put a Bloglovin' button on my blog.  Please click on it or click the link below, so that you don't miss any of my posts this summer.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


So, I finally logged back in to my Blogger account.  It was pretty embarrassing to see that I haven't posted anything since March.  I  was doing a wonderful job of blogging last summer.  Then the school year happened and my blogging went down hill from there.  But, I finally finished closing down my room yesterday, so here I am, ready to blog some more.

My classroom all packed up for the summer.  It looks so sad.

My school year ended in a blur.  I not only planned a graduation for my kindergartners, but (I blinked) my son graduated from high school.  So I had to plan a party for him.  I thought I would share some ideas I used for decorations for both graduations.  I know everyone is finished for the summer, but you can always use the ideas for next year.

For kindergarten graduation, my little ones made pictures of themselves.  I have done many different things over the years, but this one is my favorite.  I had my students make them for the first time last year and both times they turned out adorable.

I found the idea on TpT.  Here is a link to the Peace, Love, and Kindergarten store where I purchased it.  Just click {here}.

For my son's graduation party I went a little crazy.  I made center pieces from gift bags, stickers, dowel rods, shredded paper, paper circles and pictures of him.

Here is what a couple of them looked like (each one was different):

To decorate the cake table, we (my sister, daughter and I) modge podged pictures of my son onto the numbers 2013.

My other sister helped me make a tri board.

The picture isn't that great, but you get the idea.

Then, I gave my sister and brother in law materials to make a picture frame to use when we took pictures at the party.  They did an awesome job making it.  (I got the inspiration from all of the picture frames teachers were using at the beginning and ending of the school year.)  

J.J. with his two aunts.  (I couldn't have done the party without them.)

As you can see, the end of the school year was a little crazy for me as I'm sure it was for all of you, too.

I hope to "see" more of all of you during the summer!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Terrific Last Day Before Spring Break!

Happy Middle of the Week!

Who doesn't love a 2 day week?  I know my students did.  (I still have to go to school for 2 more days.  Tomorrow is Records Day and Thursday is a PD day.)

It is a little difficult to keep 21 kindergartners interested in learning when they are ready for a vacation.  It helps that it snowed yesterday and sleet/snowed this afternoon.  Then it doesn't really feel like Spring Break is coming.  

Thanks to a terrific freebie, the students completed a Peeps experiment this morning.  They had fun and were learning at the same time.  My student teacher did a terrific job of guiding the students through the experiment and teaching the students the word "hypothesis".  How impressive is it when a 5 year old says that word?

I found the freebie at the Happy Teacher Happy Kids TpT store.

This afternoon we had an egg hunt.  However, you can't hunt eggs without a bunny hat and a bunny basket.  I used the patterns from on of my favorite blogs, Heidisongs.  You can click {here} to find the blog entry with the patterns.

Aren't they adorable?

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  I just love sharing good teaching days with all of you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It is Friday and it is a Snow Day!

Happy Snow Day!

It is a snow day in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan!  I swear I didn't become a teacher because of snow days.  But I love feeling like a kid on snow mornings, watching the television to see if my school goes across before I get a phone call from our phone tree.  Usually, I see the name of our school scroll across before my phone call.  We have a very chatty close knit group of teachers, so sometimes we chat a little before calling the next person.  This is our second snow day this winter.

Since I have a little extra time today, I decided to create a freebie and link up with Teaching Blog Addicts Freebie Friday.

Freebie Fridays

I created a strip booklet that uses color words, and the sight words here and is.  I don't know about your school, but at my school we have a copy count each month, so I create strip books for the students to read.  The booklet don't use as much paper, but my students are still able to get reading practice.  This one is about socks.  I am going to use it next week when we do our Dr. Seuss theme.  It goes with the "Fox in Socks" book.  Just click below to get the freebie.

Click {here} to download the freebie from Google Drive.

Thank you for stopping by on this snowy day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Snapshot of My Classroom (#1)

Soooo...  It has been a long time since I have found time to write for my blog.  After some careful thinking (and feeling guilty), I have decided that I don't have to have a huge amount of time to write something.  And I don't have to write a long entry.  In fact, the teachers who read my blog don't have a huge amount of time to read what I write.  So if I can give all of you a tiny bit of information at a time, that may make all of you happier too.  

After all of this thinking, an idea was born.  I have decided to post 3 or 4 times a week about an activity that my class is doing that week.  I just have to write a few sentences, include a few pictures and TAAA DAAA, a blog post is born.

So here is a snapshot from Lake Ontario (each of our classrooms is named after one of the Great Lakes at my school).

This week we are doing a few leftover Valentine's Day centers and some President's Day centers.

One of the centers the students have been working on is, making shapes with snap cubes, counting the snap cubes and recording the number of snap cubes.

Here is one of my students hard at work:

I found this center on Teachers Pay Teachers at Simply Kinder"s store.  Click here to see the center.

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, January 7, 2013

My First Manic Monday Freebie of 2013

Happy Monday!

If you read my previous post, you know that I started back to school last Thursday.  Today was our first "real" day back, where we followed a normal schedule.  The kids seemed to be in shock at first, but they were soon back to normal.  I needed something for my measurement center this week.  So I made a center with some of my winter clip art.  I decided that it would be perfect to share with you for Manic Monday.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Click {here} to get to my Winter Measurement Center.

Tomorrow is my student teacher's first day.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that it goes well.  this is my 2nd time to have a student teacher.  My 1st one was wonderful.  I am hoping this time goes as well.  I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Have a great week!