Friday, November 30, 2012

Frazzled Friday!

Is everyone else as frazzled as I am? Well, we have survived another week and our children are another week smarter! Be proud of your frazzled state! We work hard to achieve that perfect frazzle! No one does it like teachers (big shout out to my kindergarten peeps! Because we achieve a very special state of frazzlement!)!

So this is going to be a short post because I'm in the parking lot at Macaroni Grill waiting for the bestie for dinner!

I want to share our mooslecrunch snack from today!

I will post the recipe later!

Here is the Moose Crunch Recipe!  Click to download!

And phase 1 of top secret project Gingerbread is complete!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

When I Was In Kindergarten...

Happy Thursday!  I hope your thundering Thursday was good!  Mine was... a day!  I had 4 out today and 1 who got sick (in the cafeteria serving line!)!  Um, the stomach bug has arrived at Monsters, Inc!

I wanted to share what we did today!!  This is our poinsettia craftivity!!  I love this project!  These always turn out so cute and they really add some holiday cheer to our hallway!  The kids were so excited to see pictures of real poinsettias!  There is a great book to go with this craftivity but it's a little difficult for Kinder.   The Legend of The Poinsettia is written by Tomie DePaola.  We read parts of the book today and discussed the legend of the poinsettia!  Then we got crafty!  And here is our final product!  How cute are these?!

The template is available here:

I am linking up with Second Grade Sparkles for a super fun linky party!  Link up and show a picture of yourself when you were in the grade you currently teach!!  Well, here I am in Kindergarten!  How cute am I?!

And finally, I have a TOP SECRET PROJECT that will be unveiled tomorrow!!!!  Project: Gingerbread is underway at the Kindergarten Smorgasboard

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moosletoe! Freebie!

Happy Hump Day!!!  I hope everyone is enjoying their week!!

So far this week I have been peed on (a first for me!) and today one of my monsters lost her tooth.  And by lost her tooth, I mean she pulled it out right in front of me.  Here's the weird thing:  the tooth bothered me more!  Seriously, I have this horrible loose, wiggly tooth phobia.  It started during my student teaching.  A student had braces (5th grader) and a tooth came out and was dangling on the bracket.  For 3 days.  3 days that tooth dangled in my face.  So yeah, me and teeth are not friends.  Seriously, it makes me ill.   It's a kindergarten smorgasboard of phobias for me!

This week we are in the  midst of our Christmas/holiday festivities!  We kicked off our festivus for the rest of us with one of my favorite books (oh, who am I kidding...they're all my favorites!) Moosletoe!  If you don't have it, GET IT!  It's great.  Lots of great vocabulary and great for retelling (hello flow maps and sequencing!) and also for problem/solution.  We have had a lot of fun with our friend Moose.

To keep that fun going, we enabled Mr. Greg's love of craftivities with this cute Moosletoe!

I posted this on my Facebook page (WHAT?!?!  You're not a friend on Facebook?!  Well go fix that!) and got a lot (OK, like 2, but in my reality that is a lot!) comments asking about the pattern.  WELL, the pattern is a Greg Smedley-Warren original!  I drew the pieces for the pattern!  The stars are actually Hanukkah stickers that we had leftover from last year.  And of course, we added glitter to the moose-stache!  

Here is your freebie!  It's the pattern I created for our Moose!

Have you signed up for my newsletter?  If not you should!!  A new issue is coming out soon and it will contain a newsletter exlusive FREEBIE!  That's right.  You won't be able to get this freebie anywhere else!  Hint:  Counting Christmas! 

Go over here -----------------------------------> 
and sign up!!

Today's topic of discussion:

What is your school/district policy regarding Kindergarten students (or any grade really) wearing diapers/pull-ups?  This doesn't apply to students with IEPs or medical issues.  We have 2 kindergartners wearing pull-ups just I am curious about policies elsewhere.

This is one of my favorite outfits I've shown so far!!!  

Shirt:  H&M
Sweater:  Macy's
Pants:  H&M

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guest Blogging!

Hello. You have reached The Kindergarten Smorgasboard. I'm not here today. Please leave a message after the beep. BEEP!

I'm actually guest blogging at Mrs. Payton's Precious Kinders! Come say hi! 


Monday, November 26, 2012

LEGOS! (Thunderstorm Freebie!)

One down. 17 more to go! How were your students today? Mine did a great job despite being tired. Poor things!

Let's see... I got a new student. ELL and has a tracheotomy! Yep. Supposedly requires nothing from me....hmmmmm we shall see. But people, the gurgling sound is wearing on me already!! It's not a pleasant sound! My newest monster is sweet and her mom was so sweet!! She kept thanking me over and over again!

And one of my monsters greeted me with sheer excitment:  "Mr. Greg I am so happy to be back at school!"  Me too monster, me too!!!!!

And then...the GREAT DIVA BATTLE OF 2012 finally came to a head today!! My monster who thinks she's the boss of the applesauce was not victorious in the great diva off. People, in the middle of reading. Moosletoe (don't mess with my favorite books!) she ( are you ready!?!). Turned her her back to me. And started having a conversation with another monster. Oh no she didn't . Well, she felt my wrath. And I'm pretty sure she now knows that I AM THE DIVA OF MONSTERS INC. really!?! Didn't even care that I was there. Humph!

Monday Math Minute!
I want to share with you my new favorite math manipulative!  Are you ready?!  It's old school...but it's a crowd favorite! fact, today I got asked a billion times..
"Are we going to get to use our LEGOS?"
That's right Legos are now my go to math manipulative!!!!!  Seriously, they are great for all sorts of math skills!
Right now, we are using them to subtract!  Today we learned that subtract means take away or break apart.  We counted 5 Legos onto our plates and took away 3.  We learned that 5-3=2.  This was such a great visual, tactile and CONCRETE way for my students to grasp subtraction.  They could actually see and feel the taking away process!  And we used our Legos!

We spent our last two weeks learning how to add with Legos.  We learned that adding means put together and we were able to count red and blue legos and "put them together" to find our answer!
Legos are also great for composing and decomposing numbers!  Give students two colors (I have red and blue!) and tell them to make six.  Write the combinations on a class chart.  You can repeat this with any number!  

You can do to one correspondence...shapes...measurement...the possibilities are endless!!!  

If you live near a Lego store (or you can go their website) you can actually buy Legos in bulk in the colors and sizes you want.  For $15 I got a large container of red and blue square legos.  I had enough for each child to get a set of 10 (5 red and 5 blue) and still have half of the container left!!  
How do you or how could you use Legos in your classroom?

And it's Monday so that means it is Silly Hat Monday in Monsters Inc!  This week we are doing in THOOT ME NOW for teaching this so early in the year.  WOW!   Frustrating, but we did ok!  So we needed a hat...and I whipped this THUNDERSTORM hat up this morning!!!  And we can use it again for BR...brainstorming!  HOLLA!

My American Gladiator name is now Thunderstorm!
And if you want to make your own Thunderstorm hat, click on the picture for the download!

But you have to share pictures of yourself wearing it!

And yes, it's CYBER MONDAY!  I just heard that 24 million more people are shopping online today and that online shopping will peak later this evening!  Are you shopping online?  Be sure to visit my store (which contains a kindergarten smorgasboard of selections and products for your monsters!)  and get 28% off of your purchase!!!  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Schedulin' Sunday!

Well, our break is over.  Wow, that was short and fast!  I hope everyone is rested and prepared to hit the ground running next week!!  I can't believe we have just three and a half weeks between now and winter break!  And so much to do...Christmas...Hanukkah....gingerbread...Polar Express...testing...parties...WOW!  Here we go...buckle up!

It's that time again...when I blow up your computer with my insanely chaotic week of teaching and learning!  I hope you're ready...I hope the tryptophan wore off...and you're rested from Black Friday elbow throwing's time again for that Kindergarten Smorgasboard tradition of Schedulin' Sunday!

I am trying something new today!  I posting my plans for you to download in PDF format!  Thoughts?  Yes?  No?  

My template came from my friend Mrs. M at A Teacher's Plan!  If you're in need of great lesson plan templates, check her out!!  She is amazing and super sweet!  


This week we are kicking off our blends with TH.  We will learn how T and H work together to make the /th/ sound!  Yes, we will practice sticking our tongues out to get this sound and differentiate it from the F sound.  It is a very thrustrating skill, but we can do it!  And of course we will make a silly hat!  But this one is is my own creation!  We are making...wait for it....a....THUNDERSTORM hat!  I can't wait to show it off!!!!  Stay tuned!

We are kicking off our winter and Christmas celebrations with one of my favorite books!  Mooseletoe!  We are going to spend the whole week with this book!  This is very unusual for me because we usually do a book a day or two days...look at me, branching out and changing it up!  

We will be using this unit by my friend Lisa at Learning Is Something To Treasure!  Be sure to check out Lisa's blog and this great unit!

Today we will be completing a story map and doing the craftivity included in Lisa's unit!  You know, I LOVE a good craftivity or six a day!

We will work on writing about Christmas this week!  We will be using the tree map from my Holly Jolly Christmas unit!  We will create a tree map about the people, places and things of Christmas!  Click on the picture to get your copy of this unit!

We are also kicking off some subtraction fun!  We will spend this week learning that subtraction means taking apart.  We start off this challenging skill very easily!  With our fingers!  As a group, I will say hold up 4 fingers.  Now, put down (take away, subtract), 2.  How many are left?  After we practice with this we will move onto using manipulatives.  We will be using our legos because who doesn't love legos?!  I will instruct students to put 4 legos on their plate.  Then they are instructed to take away 2.  How many are left?  I know it seems repetitious  but it's the best way for my monsters to grasp the idea that subtracting means taking away!  To close our math lesson, we will do math journals!  I created some journal pages that have students using pictures to take away!  We will work on these together!  You can get your free copy of these pages at the end of this long and riveting post!  


We continue our Moosletoe adventure today!  We will do some echo reading of the story!  We love to echo read because it's fun and builds our fluency!  After echo reading the story, we will do a tree map based on the story.  We will make a tree map about what moose can, is and has.  After completing the story map, we will do a whole group picture sort for the /th/ sound and then the students will complete a TH picture sort!  You can get two free TH picture sorts here!

We will use our tree map about Christmas from yesterday for students to complete individual tree maps and then we will complete a predictable chart:  Christmas is...

We will continue working on taking away and subtraction!  Today we will again use our fingers to practice the concept of taking away and counting to find the answer!  After we practice with our fingers, we will use our legos!  Again, this is repetitive from yesterday,but the best way for my monsters to get a new skill or concept is to repeat it again and again!  And it's legos!  LEGOS!!!

We will finish our day with, of course, a craftivity!  I found this super cute Moosletoe craftivity on....of all places...PINTEREST!  


Moosletoe week continues at Monsters Inc!  After re-reading the story and disucssng the story, we will sequence the story using a flow map!  We will do this whole group and later in the week, students will complete their own flow map as an assessment piece!  We will continue working on our /th/ sound and will do another picture sort!  I am THE KING OF PICTURE SORTS!  And my monsters need a ton of practice with hearing and making the TH sound!

Today we become authors and illustrators!  We will publish our sentences from our predictable chart and illustrate our writing to create a class book!!

Math continues with subtraction and take away!  Today we will practice taking away ourselves!  I will make a box on the floor with tape.  I will have students stand in the box and we will count.  Then some students will be subtracted.  We will count to find the answer!    After this very fun and engaging hook, we will use our monster work mats!  It's a simple work mat that you can get by clicking the picture!    Students will place a number of manipulatives into the box.  Then the subtraction monster will take some away.  How many do you have left?  The monsters LOVE feeding the monsters!  

Today's craftivity will be from my Holly Jolly Christmas unit!  We will be making peppermint candy!

The template and instructions are included in my unit!  This is a fun and easy project that looks great in the hallway!  And it's paint so we get messy and that means SUCCESS!


Moosletoe week continues!  After we review the story and do some choral reading, we will complete a circle map about moose!  We will write things we learned about moose on our class cirlce map and then students will complete their own circle map by cutting and pasting sentences about moose onto their circle map!  We will do another picture sort today but this one is all about hearing the difference between /th/ and /f/ sounds!  I am confident that after a week of practice, my monsters will do well with this!  If not, we can re-teach it!  

We will use all of what we learned about or Moose friend this week to complete a predictable chart:  Moose.  

Math continues with subtraction.  We will work with our monster work mats on subtraction and taking away!  

And our craftivity for the day is a poinsettia!  This is also in my Holly Jolly Christmas pack!

This is a more challenging project, but we have done it for three years and they turn out so beautiful!  The key is getting the monsters to cut slowly and neatly on the lines!

And've made it!


Today we will wrap our Moosletoe mishaps with the original story, Moosestache!  We will complete a double bubble map to compare the two Moose stories!  We will publish our sentences about moose from yesterday and create a new class book!

Math is just a one on one assessment of students ability to subtract.  I will call 1 monster at a time to my table and will tell them count 4 legos and take away 2 and give me the answer!  Next week we will move on to paper and pencil subtraction work!

And of course we will cook or have a snack!  I am still working on this one.  I would love some snack or cooking ideas (we do have a toaster oven so we can cook!) that would fit our theme!  Ideas????  Please?!

And for making it all the way through that jumbled mess of teaching madness, here are two more freebies for you!

Did you know that tomorrow is Cyber Monday and that TPT is hosting a huge sale!  My entire store is 20% off and TPT is giving you an additional 10% off!  Fill those carts!  And get ready to click! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Saturday Kindergarten Post!

Happy Saturday friends!!  I hope you're all enjoying a nice relaxing weekend....of BARGAIN HUNTING!  We just returned from Macy's where we scored a ton of new clothes...and we saved more than we spent!!  Be ready for a week of "How To Dress A Kindergarten Teacher!"

Well, Saturday means The Saturday Kindergarten Post and it's a super short edition this week because we were only in school for two days!  We were busy for those two days but I am glad it was just two days.  This break has been nice!  The next 3 weeks are going to be insane!!!!!!

We did this fun project on Monday!  "We are thankful for the words we can read!"  Each child got only the sight word feathers that they could read!  We had a long discussion about this how everyone learns differently and some of us learn faster and some learn slower but we are all smart!  I loved that they all said they wanted to learn more sight words after this!  These are super cute and super motivating!  

Of course, no week (no matter how short!) is complete without a silly hat!  Gobble Gobble!

In my school, this picture is very rare.  In fact 85% of our students have no father or male figure in their life.  That's why I am so dedicated to my students.  For most of them, I am the male role model.  This is one of the most involved parents I know.  I had the son two years ago and now the daughter.  He comes in very regularly and just works with his daughter and observes.  She is, of course, FANTASTIC!  The turkey above, with all of the feathers, is hers.  Mom and dad have all 220 sight words posted all over their home so the kids see them daily!  The impact of parent involvement and support is clear and a force that cannot be ignored!

Another moving moment in our two short days.  We wrote a class book about all of the things we are thankful for.  She is thankful for her daddy.  Who is in jail with a policeman watching him.  Thankful for him even though he is in jail.  Powerful moments.  That is why we do what we do.  We can learn a lot from our students.  Am I grateful and thankful for things that are difficult or challenging or not perfect?  

Tuesday and another hat!  It's Stone Soup at Monster's Inc!  Pilgrim hats for all!

Each child was asked to bring in a can of vegetables for our stone soup!  We had a lot of vegetables!!!  

We started with 3 stones, just like in the story.  And then we talked about how we must work together and help each other or we cannot be successful!  We made some great points that we have to be friends with everyone, we have to help each other and we have to share.  And my one monster kept repeating, "love each other."  From the mouths of babes!

Mixing stone soup!

The table is set for our feast!

We are so excited to find the soup.  Yes, I make sure that students who need a confidence boost or who deserve special recognition get the stone!  My monster at the top got his stone because he has gone from an out of control little monster to a sweet heart!  And my friend on the bottom is super sweet, very bright and VERY TALL but lacks confidence!  And he might be leaving me in December...they might have to drag him away from me...just sayin!
I am thankful to be able to spend 8 (long, hot, loud, chaotic, hilarious, inspiring, frustrating, exciting, sweaty....)hours with these 15 amazing monsters.  Ya'll think you have the best....but nothing beats my monsters!  It is an honor to teach them and an honor to share their journey with you!  

LOOKIE!  I won a prize!  A new PaperMonster laminator from!!  I can't wait to bust  it out and use it this weekend!  Even Butters, the CEO of The Kindergarten Smorgasboard, approves.

And yes, this is what my recess duty looks like!  She is stuck.  Her boot is caught on the end of the monkey bars.  So I did what any good teacher would do, I took a picture.  And then rescued her. 

Are you shopped out?  I hope not!  TPT is having a HUGE Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale!  My entire store is 20% off and TPT is giving an extra 10% off!  Be sure to check it out!

Here is what I am going to be using the next three weeks in my classroom!!!!!  I am so excited to see how my monsters react to these activities!

And here are two freebies for ya!!!  I would love to hear what you think of these!!

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