Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gingerbread Man Around The World

So excited to show you my kinders Gingerbread friends from around the world!  Take a peek!

My new product on Teachers Pay a Teachers called Gingerbread Man/Woman Around The World was a hit in my classroom.  My kiddos take their plain gingerbread friend home.  Pick a country anywhere in the world and make your gingerbread friend from that country by designing their clothing and researching how they celebrate the holidays!

From Ireland to Australia my kiddos brought in their gingerbread friends.  Each kiddo had the spotlight to share their friend and their writing!

We learned so much about how people all across the world celebrate the holidays.  Take a peek at my new unit!

Hope you like it and make sure to leave a comment!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Take a peek at November!

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We were so busy in November making tepees and costumes for our friendship feast!  Take a look!

Monday, November 11, 2013

STEM Centers October

My goal for this teaching year is to bring STEM into my classroom through monthly thematic centers focused around our science topic.  For the month of October, my class was studying the bones in the body, perfect to teach during Halloween and skeletons. STEM is beginning to become a key concept in teaching integrating S-Science, T-Technology, E-Engineering, and M-Mathematics.  Take a peek how I integrated these teaching strands for my October centers.
I invited a parent to visit my class and introduce Mr. Bones to the students to take a closer look at the "Big Names" of bones in our body.  I told my kiddos that they were learning "Big Words!"

For math, my kiddos measured bones using unifix cubes.  I found skeletons at Michaels and took them apart.  Students measured each bone and then completed this Dem Bones Measuring sheet for fun!  

This was the favorite center to visit!  Using model magic, my kiddos built their own skeleton.  Engineering at its finest!  Excited to put together our next set of STEM centers for November.  

Monday, October 21, 2013


I am so excited to share with you my very first product for Teachers Pay Teachers!  It's a long time coming and I guess it's the fear that no one will like what you produce.  Well I am ready to share my kinder's favorite thing to do, "The Secret Password."  On my classroom door I have the secret password sign up.  The kindergarten sight word changes daily.  Before my kiddos enter the classroom they have to read the secret password first.  THEY LOVE DOING THIS!  Sometimes I can hear them talking outside before school starts wondering and discussing what they think will be the secret password for that day.  I even have them read it again after recess time.  It's easy, effective, and effortless.  So a BIG Thank You for still hanging around and I hope you enjoy my first FREEBIE!

Thanks for all the support!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

!st Weeks of School

We are off to a great start in kindergarten.  I always like to begin the school year making our surfers.  Each kiddo gets a T-shirt of their choice.  They decorate their shirt any way they like and then I take a pic of them in our surf shack.  My kiddos love coming to school and seeing their cool picture!

Another way to start off the school year is reading a favorite book of mine, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  We read the book and made these darling Chicka Chicka Boom Boom trees.  This lesson is from Deanna Jump's Back To School literacy unit.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Classroom Tour (It's Finally Done!)

It's finally here!  First week of school, classroom all done ready to go, and time to share with all of you my new classroom for the year.  I'm excited because it's cozy, inviting, and a place that my kiddos will want to learn in.  Here's a peek:

I worked all summer on creating my new classroom library.  I purchased these great polka dot bins from Target that fit all sizes of books.  Each bin fits any size of book easily and it's easy for my kiddos to put the books away where they belong.  Each bin is labeled by category and on the back of each book is a letter of the alphabet so students can remember where they go back.  
I also include the kiddos book boxes in my classroom library.  When we do Daily 5 the kiddos come to the classroom library to read their book boxes.  It works like magic.

The Surf Shack is probably the favorite spot to go to.  Here my kiddos do their dramatic play and I use word charts so they can play restaurant or house with the charts to take orders like a "real restaurant."

We call this area the Math Zone.  I decided to place my calendar and all my Math manipulatives in the same area.  My kiddos know where everything belongs and they have easy access to any math material they need.  I love my new calendar board too!  So easy to use!

Next to my Calendar board I have my Poetry Center and my Write The Room center.  Here my kiddos have access to their poetry journals, highlighters, write the room worksheets, and cute little glasses they wear to write the room.  So fun!

Here is my Daily 5 rotation board.  New to my classroom this year and I am so excited to start Daily 5 in my classroom.  Each kiddo has their name on a polka dot name tag that we rotate each day for Daily 5.

My Math Center rotation chart is ready to go.  My kiddos will rotate daily to an independent math center a day.  Meet the teacher is part of the rotation.  Here I will meet and assess my students daily in guided math.  Groups are flexible and constantly changing according to learning levels.

We have a surfing theme in our classroom.  For Free Choice time we like to call it "Surfing."  My kiddos are accountable for their choices and they choose an area to go to for this time.  Their choices are the Magnetic Center, Building Center, Tech Zone, Surf Shack, Puzzles, Computers, and Tower Power Center.  Tower Power is a favorite with my kiddos because they take recyclable materials and build towers with Cool colored tape.

Here is the Tech Zone.  My 5 IPads are ready to go in these darling covers and I have headphones ready for each kiddo to take along with them.  

Our Writing Center is another area that my kiddos LOVE to visit.  The goal here is to provide my students with all the materials like markers, erasers, stickers, envelopes, hole punchers, stencils, word wall and let them just write.  I have a real mailbox next to my desk where students mail letters to one another.  It's so sweet!

My classroom friends are ready to go home with my kiddos.  Each friend has a matching book that goes home in these darling bags.  Perfect size for my kiddos to carry to and fro to school.  I collect these so now I have a wonderful collection to share with my students.

I saved the BEST for last.  MY DESK!  This summer I found a family in my area that was giving this desk away and I knew it was simply perfect for kindergarten.  How sweet are the colors!  I know its pretty girlie but I LOVE sitting at it each day.  My kiddos sit right next to me so I am close by ready to jump in when I need to.  Behind my desk I have this wonderful cabinet that stores all my kiddos journals, that famous mailbox that I just told you about, and my crates filled with student assessment data.  It's so cozy!

So I hope you like my new classroom!  Happy to share!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


     Why do we spend our summer thinking about our classrooms?  The minute summer hits,  I start to think what can I do different next year.  How do I want my classroom to feel, look, work for my students.  I LOVE decorating my classroom and I LOVE changing it every year.  If you love the environment you work in then you not only want to be there, your students want to be there.  
     So what ends up happening is I start on a TEACHER DISCOUNT HUNT to find the best deals of the summer.  I LOVE it when I find a deal, and it feels oh so good!  Today my journeys brought me to Michaels.  What teacher does not love Michaels?  Michaels has everything from decorating decor, classroom supplies, and cute ribbons, stickers, stamps, paper you name it!  Ready, Set, Go!!
My first fabulous find were these oh so darling IPAD and MP3 cases.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when my students walk across the classroom with one of my very expensive IPads and there is no protection that surrounds it.  I always cringe at the thought that they will drop it and my IPad with be history.  I found these soft cases in oh so cute colors that fit perfectly, not only the IPad but the headphones too!  What a deal...$4.99
Now I can use these chevron cases for my MP3 players and head phones.  First weeks of school is for rules and routines, and my kiddos will learn to place their head phones and player back into the case before leaving the listening center.  No more tangled, wrapped around chairs, on the floor, head phones...yeah!  What a deal...3.89!
I love polka dots and these photo storage boxes were only $1.66 each!  I am planning on using these for all my markers, glue sticks, glue bottles, large crayons, scissors, and tape.  I LOVE the idea of having lids too to have that neat and tidy look.
Here is my idea...Last year I sent home one furry friend and a matching book with a student each day.  My kinders would read the book with their mom or dad, write or draw a picture in the sleepover journal and return it the next day.  Well that was in a DREAM world cause we all know kindergarten and sometimes furry friends don't return for a few days.  All my kiddos would just wait and wait and wait for their turn.  I have many furry friends and by the end of the school year my entire class would bring home maybe two!  So how about 4 furry friends going home with 4 different students in these adorable reusable tote bags which by the way are very difficult to ruin.  These bags were $1.20 each....WOW!

 Here are some fabulous finds to use in my classroom.  I use the stickers above for my Zero The Hero counting charts and I must go through thousands of these stickers....$1.00 for 765 stickers!  I fell in love with these school bus pointers.  I can see these at my guided reading table in a cute pencil holder ready for all my kinder readers...$1.00 each!  The first two weeks of school I love getting to know each other with names and ABC's these letters are perfect for my Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree...$7.99.  Below I found these incentive charts that every teacher needs for...$2.00.  Amazing!

Darling, darling, darling!  I love fun decor and I found these items in the $5 and under section of Michaels.  Ribbon clips $.99, big pens for my writing center $1.50, large clothespins &1.50 and ribbon $2.99.

Now entering my decorating department where I found colorful items for my new desk!  A lovely family that lives in my town donated this adorable desk to my classroom.  Last year I barely sat down once at my HUGE desk that takes up a lot of kinder room.  My BIG desk went bye bye and now I have this little gem to add charm to my room.  Simply adorable!

and finally I found the perfect clock for behind my desk....$5.99 and these cool chevron shelves....$3.99 for two!  Wow!

Not to totally confuse you but I have to show you my find at TARGET!  I've been wanting to update my classroom library and I found the perfect boxes to do that.  They are canvas, wide and narrow at the same time.  My picture books will fit as well as two rows of chapter books if needed.  Best of all they are polka dots....only $6.99 each.  So excited to put my library together and I will have pics to share!  If you have any comments or great links to share about fabulous finds or classroom libraries please comment below!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Ok where have I been? Graduation, end of the school year, memory books, you name it! Now I'm back in blogging land and what do I see? BLOGLOVIN? What the heck is that? I had to visit several blogs to see what in the world I've been missing. So I guess come July 1st there will be no google reader...bummer. But you can now find me on Bloglovin. Thanks to Tori at Tori's Teaching Tips  I now know what everyone is talking about. She has a great post to guide you to be a bloglovin member.  I joined her linky party to spread the word. So link up blogging friends and I promise I will be present this summer :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sneak Peek At My Classroom

It's Friday!  LOVE the weekend.  I always think I have so much time to get a ton of stuff done but what usually happens is Sunday comes in a flash and I'm disappointed in myself for not getting anything done.  So I just came home from work.  Took a ton of pics of my classroom to show you what it really looks like in kinder land.  I like it bright, welcoming, and an environment that makes kinders want to learn and stay.  It's important that my students LOVE their classroom.  I am also the type of teacher that likes to change-it-up each year because I don't want to get bored with my environment with the same ol' thing every year.  I like change, trying out different color schemes, and making it a place where I WANT  to spend time.  So take a peek at my room and please tell me what you think!
Every kindergarten needs a dramatic play area.  This is our Surf Shack!  Here our Surfer of the week is highlighted and students visit the Surf Shack to take orders, write recipes, or play house.  The Surfer of the Week decorates their own surf board and we interview them and make a class book each week.
Right next to the Surf Shack is my Technology Zone.  There is the computer area where students visit Kidpix, Starfall, or PBS Kids.
The listening center is where students independently listen to the story of the week.  I post clear directions for the children so they know what to do when they get to that center.  

This is my classroom library.  Each student has a book box with individualized leveled reading books.  When we meet for guided reading, students bring their book boxes with them to read and exchange books.
I love the location of my guided reading/math table.  This is where I spend ALL MY TIME!  I never sit at my desk.  I sit here because it is in the center of the room.   I can see all areas from here.  I organize my reading groups by color and store the guided reading books in each colored bin.  On the right side of my reading table I store all my leveled Take Home Reading books.  I also have a set of easy access drawers where I store all my guided reading materials.  I also use this table for my guided math groups.  Each day I meet with one leveled math group to practice skills of the week.

 My class goes SURFING otherwise known as Plan Do Review.  Students pick which area they would like to visit like the writing center, building center, surf shack, listening center, puzzles and games, IPads, or computers.

My calendar is next to my whiteboard.  Here I have my classroom jobs posted, daily schedule, Literacy center and Math center boards.

This is my Discovery Science table.  The kiddos bring in all kinds of items to share and let other children explore.  I store my science journals on this table and display science books of our unit at that time.  What I love about this discovery table is our "I wonder" bulletin board.  Here students ask "I wonder" questions when we start a new unit of study.  Then we constantly refer back to these questions to make sure our learning is complete.  


This is our Poetry center.  During literacy centers students visit this center to read, highlight sight and rhyming words, and illustrate pictures in their Poetry journals.  All supplies are in the drawers for students to use and their journals are right there for them to find easily.  Each week I post a new poem and we highlight the rhyming words. Then students write rhyming words on sentence strips.  I always display our monthly art work surrounding the poem.  We are learning about insects and here students created the life cycle of the butterfly.  They used pastel crayons to illustrate beautiful flowers!

Here are some more pics of my Literacy centers.  Top left is our Writing center.  Students can write letters, mail postcards, use stencils to create stories you name it.  Markers, colored pencils, tape, glue, pens, scissors, stickers, and a crate of monthly thematic words are all there at their fingertips.  
Top right is our Tech Support.  Here is where I store our IPads and ITouch for students to grab on-the-go in easy carrying baskets.
Bottom left is our Art Center.  Each week I place all supplies for our weekly art project in the red tray.  When students visit here they grap the tray and find an empty table to create the project.  I also store more markers, dot markers, stamp pads, paper and foam scraps here as well.
Bottom right pic is our Word Work center.  Here I store all my sight word games and activities for students to find easily.  

My Math Center is right next to the Discovery table.  I have two wonderful display cabinets so that I can easily grap a basket of manipulative's at any time of the day.  I keep everything in sight so that kiddos explore and I don't have to go searching for something way deep in the back of a closet.  

 ...and finally the most important!  My coffee station.  I LOVE my Keurig one cup coffee maker.  I can't wait to make that first cup each day.  

Share with me your classroom pics.  I would love to hear your ideas or thoughts.

 Have a nice weekend!