Monday, December 31, 2012


Currently we are sitting down and relaxing for the very first time today!  We are preparing for our annual "New Years Eve With The Warrens Gala"!  The house is decorated and looks great.  Tables are set.  Food is prepared.  Let's ring in the new year!

And it's time for those dreaded resolutions.  We make them.  We break them.  And we move on.  I am going to share a personal resolution and a blogger resolution!  Ya ready?!

My blogger resolution is to take more pictures and better pictures!  People, I have a fancy dancy Canon EOS Rebel camera that I rarely use.  Instead, I take pictures with my iPhone.  I know right?!  I resolve to do a much better job using the Canon for my pictures and taking the time to make them look good for this blog.  Won't that be much better than my cruddy iPhone pictures?!   Stay tuned!

My personal resolution is more challenging.  I make this resolution yearly.  I even made it 6 months before the wedding.  And I've never done it.  I've come VERY close but never quite there.  I resolve to get rid of the muffin top and finally get my six pack abs!  YEAH!  Muffin top be gone!  

I don't want anything crazy...just some nice abs.  That's all.  Let's see how I do!   Maybe someday I can post my own picture of a six pack!  Here's hoping!  You know you're secretly hoping for that!  hehe

And I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the January currently!  

I am disgusted by our government and the complete lack of concern for the people.  It's all about the party and their side and no one else.  It's pathetic, embarrasing and makes me angry.  Rant over.

I love this time off to relax, create, re-invent stuff and enjoy my friends and family.  And sleep.  Yes, sleep!  Who doesn't love a nap or two?!

I am thinking that tonight's new year gala is going to be epic and our most fun party yet!  Don't ya wish you had an exclusive invite?!  Teehee.  It's not really that exclusive.  If you know where we live, come on over!  

Wanting more clipart.  I love clip art and I want more and more and more and's totally a problem.  I need help.  Or just more clipart!

If I want those more doughnuts.  Salads for lunch everyday AGAIN.

I am inspired by each of you.  You inspire me to better.  Thank you for that!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard of New Year's Ideas!

Happy Sunday!  We have been cooking and cleaning fools today!  We're hosting a New Year's bash tomorrow so we're trying to get ready!  What are your plans to ring in a new year?  Do you make resolutions?  I always resolve to get six pack abs.  And I fail.  Miserably.  Every year.  Maybe this year will be the year of kindergarten smorgasboard washboard abs!

I know you came here hoping to find Schedulin Sunday and tons of ideas for the week...but...I don't go back to work until January 7th!!  WOOHOO!!!  I know some of you go back Wednesday and I'm sorry for you.  I do have two ideas for the new year and a freebie for ya!

The first idea is a fun and engaging way to build community with your students!  I did this last year and we had a BLAST!

I am fortunate to have a SmartBoard for this activity.  If you don't have a SmartBoard you can use paper or your whiteboard.  Each student gets a turn to be the STAR!  I did this over several days so we didn't spend all day doing this.  Have your STAR stand in front of the board and the rest of the class says things that they like about their friend.  In older grades this is a great exercise for adjectives!  In Kindergarten, we sometimes struggled to come up with 1 descriptive word, instead coming up with a sentence about our friend.  I would write the word that best went with their sentence.  I take a picture of each STAR and I also saved the file and printed a copy for them!  This was so much fun and the monsters loved having a chance to shine in the spotlight.  It's a great way to kick off a new year with your students and help them form a stronger bond as a class!  Be sure to take your turn!  They love to say nice things about the teacher!

Here is another fun new year's activity!  Ya know how much I love me some craftivities, so of course I have one for new years!  This is a simple project that goes perfect on a bulletin board with new year's resolution writing!  You can even jazz it up with different party favors and by using scrap book paper for the hats!  If you want the pattern for this project and writing paper for new years resolutions, check out my common core standards aligned New Year activity pack on TPT and TN!  It has tons of great stuff for the new year!  And it's GLITERIFIC!

Here is a little freebie for you!

If you like these, there are 8 roll and color sheets in my New Year Pack!  These are great for meeting common core standards!  And their fun!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Sight Word PowerPoint

Happy Saturday!  It is gray, cold and drizzly here in Music City!  A perfect day to sit inside the warm house!  We're actually planning for our New Year's party so we've been out buying supplies!!

Today I want to share one of my (in my opinion) most effective strategies for teaching sight words (and addressing common core standards!) to my little monsters!  It's a simple, quick and effective strategy that we do every morning during our reading block.  I think the simple strategy works because the monsters are exposed to the same 40 words every single day.  That constant exposure helps them to recognize those words when reading.

The strategy is a simple PowerPoint.  I put each word on a slide and we go through the words quickly.  The monsters read the word when it pops up.  I added sound effects to make it more fun for the monsters.  Prior to starting the PowerPoint, the monsters tell me why we do sight words everyday (so we can be better readers and writers)  and they tell me we see sight words (everywhere!)  Early in the year we do the words in order and they repeat the words.  I will read the word, then they read the word.  As the year progresses (October/November) I keep the words mixed up and in a random order and I start to read fewer and fewer of the words.  Every day.  Every word.  The monsters are reading the words.  Eventually towards the end of the year we start using all 220 words and start preparing for first grade!  If you want the PowerPoint, you can visit my freebies page!  Just click on Freebies at the top of the page!

This strategy has worked very well and I credit it for my monsters being so fluent in sight words (and therefore, great readers!)  And then, on Pinterest (oh Pinterest, how do we love thee...let me count the ways...!)  I saw this pin from Heidi Songs and creative juices went to work.

click the picture to see the original pin!

My monsters LOVE to see pictures of themselves.  They love to learn sight words.  Why not combine the two?  So I created a new sight word PowerPoint using their pictures!   Here are a few of their adorable pictures!

Of course you don't want a PowerPoint of my kiddos but you can get the sight word posters over on the freebies page!  

I can't wait to show this to my monsters on the first day back!  They will go bonkers!!!  Add this to my sight word tech unit that I am working on and we're going to be the masters of our sight words!!!!  

If you haven't signed up for my newsletter, you should do it!  I am working on a newsletter exclusive freebie and will hopefully send out the newsletter today or tomorrow!  You can sigh up over on the right side of the blog!

Be sure to check out the kindergarten smorgasboard of creations for a glittery new year!

Be sure to head over and enter this fab give away!

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard of Freebies!

Happy Friday!  Do you sometimes forget what day it is when you're on a break? too!  How many of you have to go back to work next week?  I return on January 7th but don't worry...ya know I will be working in my classroom on the 3rd and 4th!

I am linking up with Teaching Blog Addict for a whole kindergarten smorgasboard of Friday Freebies!  I hope you find these useful for your classroom and your students!

Ten frames with a fun I Love The 80's Theme!  

New desk name tags!  Yes, please!

Cute posters for you to display with pride!  Grades k-4 included!

Word wall words!  I made these for my monsters so I am sharing with you!  

Leave me some love to let me know what you think of these freebies!  

Freebie Fridays

My friend Alessia is having a huge New Year's Eve give away!  Be sure to head over to her super blog and enter!  You can win my New Year Pack and some other great creations by some amazing teachers!

Here are two new creations!  Check them out!  I am on a creating frenzy!  I have been analyzing data from my students and am working to create resources that my monsters need to keep making such great gains!  I hope these are helpful to your students, too!

Yeah, I have a clip art problem.  Yesterday I bought unicorns, rainbows, glittery mustaches and fiesta clip art.  I am seeing a glittery mustache wearing unicorn at a fiesta product in your future!  What would you like to see me create with this fun new clip art?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Of Fun Finds!

Why can't I get sick when school is in session?  Why must I be sick on a break?  And furthermore, why do I feel better during the day and then as soon as it gets dark, I start to feel gross again?  And furthermore, why am I sick on Christmas?!?!  And furthermore, I am a big whiny baby when sick.

And furthermore, I love the new vest I got for Christmas.  And furthermore, I went to Wal-Mart today for a new Christmas tree, but it was a bust.  I did however, find some fun finds for the classroom!  Of course these were all in the "holiday clearance" section but when I went to check out, they weren't on clearance.  Me thinks that is stinky.  I will be checking back tomorrow because I have a feeling they will be marked down...I hope!

These are mini-stampers!  I saw these and immediately thought "TEN FRAMES!"  "MATH CENTERS!"  So of course I bought them.  I am working on a freebie to go with these!  Get ready to "love the 80's!"   Click on the picture to get your freebie to use with your mini-stampers!

I bought these because it has neon and metallic markers.  I am curious to see how they work!  The monsters will love them regardless of how they look!

And check out these!  They are mini-smelly markers!!  OOOH the kindergarten smorgasboard loves smelly markers!  This made me happy today!

And I was a busy bee today!  I created two new packs for use in my classroom!   Check them out!

My New Year pack includes writing, craftivities and some practice with counting down or counting backwards!

My hot chocolate pack is one of many creations that are in response to my class data.  After a review of my monster's data, it is evident that we need lots of practice with numbers to 20 so we are going to use hot chocolate to help us practice!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holly Bloggy Gift Exchange

Merry Christmas! I was so excited to participate in my first holly bloggy gift exchange!!!! Yay!

I sent my person a few of my favorite things!

Sharpies but not just any sharpies...80s glam sharpies! I love sharpies! And I love the 80s! Are you as excited as I am that bright 80s neon colors are back!?!

Bic Crystal Bold Pens are my favorites! They write great but more importantly they come in fun colors!!!! I have about 100!of them in my classroom. Yes, I have a problem. I use the. For everything and my monsters use them to write the room! The best part is the price. $1 at Wal-mart! Go stock up before I buy them all!

Of course nothing from the kindergarten Smorgasboard would be complete without mustaches! And....

Have no fear, my favorite things would not be complete without GLITTER!!!!! Oprah ain't got nothing on me!

Jana, I hope you like your stuff!!!
Visit Jana at

Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 Bloggy Best and Brightest

Happy Christmas Eve!  I just finished my shopping.  The stockings are stuffed!  Shew.  Ya know, I expected the mall to be crowded, but it really wasn't.  Target wasn't bad.  Then there was Wal-Mart.  Nuff said.

Today I am linking up with Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for a "Best and Brightest" linky party to share the highlights of my blogging year.

The best bloggy moment for this little manly blog came on May 21, 2012 when I published my first blog post:  "I'm A Rockstar!" and The Kindergarten Smorgasboard was born.  And you lives have never been the same.  The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  The mental scars.  The trauma.  Thanks for putting up with me for all these months!

The post that I loved the best this year was...Shock And Awe My First Download!  This was the first time that I shared something that I had created.  And the creating bug hasn't stopped.  Creating resources for my classroom (and sharing with you) has made me a much better teacher!  Thank you for the downloads, purchases and all of the support and feedback!

My most popular post was The Saturday Kindergarten Post on November 13th.  That post has had  over 4,500 page views!  WHOA!  (Anyone remember Joey from the show Blossom?!  That was my Joey "WHOA!")  That post was a wrap up of our Halloween and Election activities!  Lots of stuff went on that week!  Is it any wonder that teachers are exhausted?!  Our days are FULL.

The best news I shared on my blog this year is simple.  It requires no words and we should all know what THE EVENT of the year was... 10/6/12.

My best products that I created were my Election pack and My Snow pack!  I feel much more confident each time I create something.  I love creating things because everything that is created is for my classroom.  I am so blessed that I am able to share my creations and resources.  And get ready, I have 10 new creations in the works now!  They are mostly in response to the review of my class data but there is a fun New Years pack (with so much glitter, your printer might shoot out sparkles!) that will be posted Wednesday!  Did you say glitter?!

My best freebie this year was Monster themed behavior clip chart!  This is the clip chart that is in my room and it is HUGE!  I used scrapbook paper to make my chart and um...well...I didn't think about the size.  So it is the world's largest clip chart.  EVER!  But it works great and it has a cute monster theme!  It's not my most popular freebie (That is my election emergent reader!) but it's my favorite!

And finally and most importantly, this year and this manly little blog (manly with glitter!  Um, real men love glitter!)  has blessed me with new friends!  I feel like I am part of something incredibly special and powerful.  I feel like each of you is pushing me to be the best teacher that I can possibly be.  You don't allow me to settle or give up and you never accept less than my best.  But the best part, is that you accept me for me and you love me for me.  Thank you to each of you for making me a better person and a better teacher.  You inspire me beyond imagination.  The world is better because of each of you.

Here are a few of my special blogger friends...


Michelle is an amazing clip art creator!  She even created "lego" blocks for me!  She was also the VERY first person to visit and comment on my blog!!!!!!  I bet she regrets that choice everyday!  hehe

Teacher to the Core

Katie is my new bloggy BFF!  Don't be Jealous MCC!  We text each other daily!  Don't be jealous people.  You can all text me if you want!

My friend Melissa has been a life saver.  If you have read my blog, you read about my adventures (my misadventures) with a challenging ELL student...Melissa was a big support and a huge help during that time.  She also has a great website with amazing lesson plan templates!  Her template makes my lesson planning so much easier.  And I can always count on her to leave comments on my blogs!  Thanks Melissa!  OH and she sent me the cutest gift...MUSTACHE CUFF LINKS!  I can't wait to wear them!


And's another dude!  Justin is the husband of Katie.  And he doesn't mind that we text every day.  Good husband, Justin.  Good husband.  He's also a great writer who shares great stories about being a dad.  Check out his blog because it has the word "shag"  and "vasectomy" in the picture!  What more do you need?!?!

So that's it.  2012 in my little blog world.  Here's to an amazing year full of happiness and blessings!  And more to come!  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Satu...Sunday Kindergarten Post!

Happy Sunday!  We just got home from a quick trip to the great Hoosier state to visit the family for Christmas!  It's always so much fun to see the niece and nephew!  Those two are so full of energy and they get so excited to see the uncles!

While we were there we helped with their Elf On The Shelf!  This is a first for me.  I am not a fan of this elf wandering around the house messing with stuff.  Sneaky little elves make me nervous.  Just sayin...but we did get into the spirit with Strawberry.

Yep.  We did this.  We wrapped the toilet.  I am now a professional toilet wrapper!  The kids LOVED this when they woke up this morning!  The best part?  The nephew ripping the paper off so he could use the potty!!  If you're doing elf on the shelf, I highly recommend this little jewel tonight!

And now the Saturunday Kindergarten Post!  

This week was a super short week for us!  We had two and half days this week!  Monday we had our pancake party!  This is a yearly tradition in my class that all started 7 years ago when I was student teaching.  My room mom said she always did a pancake party and so the tradition stuck!  It's so much fun to watch the kids as they eat pancakes...they also watch a video of their first 86 days of Kindergarten....they open gifts!  And this year we added the fun of a photo booth!  Such a fun morning! 

Tuesday was our Polar Express Pajama party!  I love pajama day because we get to see just how tiny the monsters are!  Those tight pajamas really give you an idea that they are so so little.  

We also did this fun sight word project! Stay tuned, there will be a snowflake sight word project!  

This week we also did our mid-year name writing chart.  On the first day of school, everyone writes their name on chart paper and it is displayed in the hallway for the entire year.  Even the monsters who say they "can't" write their name have to at least try.  The last week before winter break, we do another name writing chart paper.  We do it side by side with the first day of school paper and compare.  The progress is astounding.  Even the kids are amazed!  We will do a final chart at the end of the year!

Here is a cute freebie for you!  These are some very simple name tags for desks or tables!  Merry Christmas from the Kindergarten Smorgasboard!

Check out my newest creation!  (After reviewing my students' data this week, I am busy creating several resources to meet their needs!)

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