Saturday, June 30, 2012

And The Winner Is....

It has been a busy Saturday.  We went to this cute little restaurant in Music City called The Pfunky Griddle!  We've been wanting to go for a long time and we had some friends in from Memphis so we had a good reason to go!  This restaurant is super cool and fun because every table has it's own griddle built in!!  You get to cook your own pancakes, eggs, and french toast!  It was so much fun!! 

 After that we ventured out in the heat to the Container Store and do you know that they no longer offer teacher's a discount every day??  I know.  I gave them angry arms.  Teachers only get a discount at back to school time.  Hmph.  And then we sent to Sonic and they had big ice cubes, not the great Sonic ice.  Angry arms again. HMPH!   

Now I'm home and busy working away on my VERY FIRST UNIT!  And can I say I'm pretty nervous to post it because it's my first effort at a unit!  It is based on the book Officer Buckle and Gloria!  This is one of my favorite books to use at the beginning of the year!  The kids love the book and really helps our discussions on rules and being safe.  It's an especially great book for my classroom because our school rules are BE RESPECTFUL, BE RESPONSIBLE and BE SAFE!  This book is great for safety and being safe!    And it really seems to appeal to the boys which is always a good thing when it comes to books and reading!  You know us boys and our humor!  Something about people falling makes us snicker!  

Stay tuned for the unit!  It will have literature, math and social studies activities that are great for early in the school year!  There are also some cute craftivities and a writing activity!

I am giving you a freebie preview to wet your appetite!  Click on the picture to download your freebie!  


And now for the announcement of the BIG winner from my first ever giveaway!  Drumroll, please!  The winner is:  Michelle Kenney!!  Congratulations Michelle!  Check your email for you prizes!  Thanks everyone for entering and visiting my blog and leaving me great comments and advice!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Freebie!

Freebie Fridays

Here I am lying in bed.  Thinking about getting up and starting my day.    I need to get going so I can enjoy my morning Route 44 Coke Zero from Sonic, with light ice!  Is it bad that the two car hops at Sonic get worried when you come in later than usual?  Yesterday the car hop asked me if I was working a new shift because she was to me being in super early in the morning (I am in my classroom by 630 every day!)  I told her I was a kindergarten teacher and my summer hours were different.  They are both so sweet and always let me keep my free drink coupons to use again.  I love Sonic!

Ok, here is my freebie.  I threw these together this morning.  I was inspired by The 3am Teacher when she shared these cool new backgrounds!  TIE DYE!  How fun would an entire tie dye classroom theme be?  I made uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers to 25.  I hope you like them and can use them.

 Get you a Route 44 Sonic drink, some chocolate frosted doughnuts and stay cool!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thirsty Thursday and Number Two Pencils

Thirsty as in it's hot and I need a drink. Is it appropriate to blog about adult beverages on a kindergarten blog?!?! Hmmmm Well, I have a great recipe for a very good frozen drink. If you want that recipe, hit me up!!

 Number two pencils around the world are vowing a moment of silence today. Michael Sokolski passed away today. He is the inventor of the scantron. He totally revolutionized standardized testing. I was in sixth grade science class with Mr. Gwaltney the very first time I used scantron. I used to HATE those tests for some reason. I think it was the little bitty space we had to color in. Remember how hard we worked to stay in those very small lines?

I've been seeing lots of posts and comments about some sort of mythical creature called "Scentos" markers.  I told the fiancee' that they were all the rage with the in-crowd of teachers.  You know, the cool, trendy blogging teachers?!  Well, I just had to fit in with the cool crowd.  Did anyone else see the Staples special?!?!  Scentos for $1.  Yeah, a buck.  Well, I made the fiancee' take me on a very special trip to Staples (it's the fiancee's favorite thing to do...secretly!)  and we got some Scentos!  But we almost never found them.  They were in a bin, in the back with scouring pads.  Umm, Staples, you're missing out on huge sales....just saying!

And now a teaching idea...I know we're all begining to plan for a new year.  I am working at a daycare this summer (weddings are EXPENSIVE!)  and I have been working with some of the kindergarteners and rising kindergarteners on their letters.   I recently found some cute magazine letters on Etsy and downloaded them (click on the picture to go the Etsy store).  I made a quick recording sheet for the letters.  The students cut out a letter and glue it in the correct box.  It's easy, quick and fun.  As they're working we talk about the name of the letter and we even talk about the sound of the letter.  Here are some pictures of the kids working on the letters.

And just because he is so stinking cute, I had to share this big deal!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 3 and FREEBIES!

So, it's forecast to be 109 here in Music City this weekend.  Guess i'll be staying inside all weekend.  109, seriously???  And it's only June...August will be downright unbearable.  And we start school on August 1.  I just hope my little a/c unit in my classroom can keep up...and i'm still going to violate dress code and wear shorts.  Thanks.

A Place To Gather!
In my classroom, we are very fortunate to have 3 different areas that we gather.  The main gathering area is our circle carpet.  I was fortunate enough to steal receive a great circle carpet three years ago.  This makes for a great gathering area.  We start our day together on this carpet for our morning meeting, we do writing here, we do calender here and it's also where our Smart-board is located.  This is our home.  And no it doesn't have a cutsie name, it's just the circle carpet.  Another bonus, is that the carpet has the alphabet around the circle so we can review letters by sitting on specific letters or sounds, etc.  We also have a reading carpet which is where we do our shared reading, read alouds, and phonics lessons.  My most favorite gathering place is our classroom library.  It has a pink carpet with Christmas lights all around and a palm tree to sit under.  It's cozy and fun and can be very relaxing.  This is where we sit if we have a guest reader and this is where we sit when we read to our reading buddy, Bear the dog!  I love having places to come together throughout the day for various reasons, but I especially love our morning and afternoon meetings when you can really see my students being a family.

Good Fit Books!
Reading what the sisters say about good fit books and reading all of your wonderful posts really has me in a quandary!  I am a firm believer in the necessity of books that our students can read correctly and successfully.  However, I also am in the camp that they can be just as successful picking books that interest them even if they can just look at the pictures.  I really like when I hear them making up stories to go with the pictures.  I think in the beginning we will learn about good fit books with an emphasis on books that interest us and work towards books we can read successfully.  And as we do introduce good fit books, we will be using the Sisters shoe lesson.  I think that is FABULOUS!  It takes a very abstract idea and makes it concrete for our kinders!  Currently, one of my literacy stations is the library.  The students go to the library and pick any book they want and read it.  They can even read to one of 100 puppets and stuffed animals.  I like seeing them pick books they want to read to their stuffed pals and I know that they are benefiting from their time with the books.  

Anchor Charts!
I have a teacher in my building who uses anchor charts and I was interested but never got on board.  Then I started seeing them on Pinterest and pinned them.  (Is anyone else guilty of pinning a bazillion great ideas and never using them?!  Each week I find 5 of my pins and actually make it or do it...) I think having a permanent reminder is a huge key to success.  I want to include photographs of my students doing the Daily 5 on the anchor charts as an extra reminder!  I also saw a pin where the teacher took a photograph of her anchor charts and had 8x10 pictures printed.  She stored them all in a binder for her students reference.  I started this last year with a number chart we created each day.  It's a great (can be expensive) tool!  I will definitely be using anchor charts in my room this year!

Repeated Intervals and Book BAGS!
Book bags are another one of the Sisters ideas that I've been using for years.  Each child has their own book bag at their seat.  In that bag are the books we read in guided reading, their library books, sight word books and these amazing books that i make on my computer that uses each child as a character.  These are great for the kids because they can read all of the books in the bag and be successful.  This helps build confidence and stamina.  I will work more explicitly on stamina this year.  I plan to use my Kagan timer app on my iPad to build up their stamina!  TRUE STORY:  Last year I had a little girl fall and hit her head on the bathtub at her house and she suffered a sever concussion so her mom brought her to school to let me know what was going on.  The little girl cried because she couldn't read her books in her book bag.  So....I let her take it home for the 3 days.  TRUE STORY:  The past two years, my students have begged to take their book bags to field day!  So...I let them!  We love book bags!

Calm Signals!
I have the BEST signal for when I want my class to stop and listen.  I use a wireless doorbell.  The chime plugs into an outlet and you carry the doorbell with you.  No matter where you are, you can ring the bell.  When the bell rings, we stop, get quiet and listen to the teacher.  We practice and practice and practice this.  It works so well.  I highly reccommend this tool!  When I want the students to clean up and gather on the carpet, I use music.  I have an iPod touch with a remote so I can turn the music on from anywhere.  This past year I used the theme song from the Price Is Right.  I have also used the music from Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade, Star Wars and Vivaldi!  Again, we practice, practice, practice.  And it works so well because I don't have to yell "CLEAN UP!"  I just hit play!

Correct Model!
I read on another great blog where the teacher commented that her kindergartners were better at walking in the hallway than the older kids.  PREACH!!!  It's the same for our students because we repeat, repeat and repeat the procedures and we PRACTICE.  And if someone isn't doing it right, we stop and model and do it again.  This makes a HUGE different.  I am glad to know that I've been using one of the Sisters ideas all along.  I am not afraid to stop the class, model and practice what they're doing wrong, and start again.  We have spent many days traipsing all over the building to get our hallway procedures down pat.  

I made some Daily 5 Signs for a sparkly monster theme and some monster awards!  They are free in my TPT store!  Click on the picture to visit my store and get your freebies!  And don't forget my 100 follower giveaway ends Friday!  Be sure to enter!

Monday, June 25, 2012

100Followers!! A Giveaway!

Wow! 103 followers already?! That is crazy! Thank you all so much for the support and advice and ideas! In just over a month I have reached this milestone. I set a goal for my blog to have 100 followers and I've already met my goal! Now for 200 and 500 and 1,000 followers!

 To celebrate my first 100 followers I'm hosting a giveaway! With the help of some of my blogger friends, I have some great items for a lucky winner! The prizes are: My monster label set from my TPT store,  Place Value Clipart set from The 3am Teacher,  I Can Statements from Kinder Kraziness, 1 item from Eberhart's Explores TPT store, and 1 item from Ms. Gillenwater's TPT store!  That's 6 amazing, incredible, unbelievable, fabulously sparkly pieces of AWESOMENESS!

Now if only I could figure out how to get a Facebook button on my blog..or if someone would make one for me...and a donors choose button...I'd be a happy boy!  And I might even do my happy dance and post a video for you all to enjoy!!!!!

Kindergarten - Tools for Common Core, Classroom Management, Math -

TeachersPayTeachers  - Lesson Plans,Teaching Materials and Other Teacher-Created Resources

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Facebook Party!

Join in the fun on the Facebook party!  
Visit my NEW TPT store to download a behavior calendar freebie!

TeachersPayTeachers  - Lesson Plans,Teaching Materials and Other Teacher-Created Resources

Thanks for visiting!

A Nice Surprise!

Yeah, it's still hot.  That is all.

I woke up to a very nice surprise this morning!  Karla at KinderKarla awarded me the One Lovely Blow Award!  Thank you so much for recognizing my "manly" little blog.  It feels very good to be recognized by a fellow blogger and to be so accepted into such an amazing community of teachers!  you all ROCK!  In addition to the award, I got the nicest comment from Sheila on one of my posts!  Totally made my day!  Here's the comment:  "Well, you have 82 followers because you are an awesome kinder teacher with some amazing ideas!!! This is like a "Duh!" lol"

Thanks Sheila!

Be sure to visit Karla's blog!  She has some great posts on the Daily 5 and the book In Pictures and In Words!  She also has some great freebies and a great color unit posted!!


I also just posted a new item on TPT!  It was inpsired by a discussion of the old game Concentration!  Who didn't love that game!?  I created 6 different concenrtation games to use during math centers, small group instruction or even whole group.  They are meant to be used in a pocket chart but can be used anywhere!  I am including one of the games as a free download!  I hope you can use these!  Click on the picture for the free download and head to my TPT store to purchase the games!  If these are popular, I plan on creating more for letters, sounds, addition, subtraction and sight words!  Let me know what you think!

Kindergarten - Tools for Common Core, Classroom Management, Math -

I am passing this award  onto these wonderful blogs!  Please click on their buttons to visit their blogs!

Live Love Laugh

Under the Alphabet Tree
No Monkey Business



Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business

Sprinkle Teaching Magic

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