Let it snow...let it snow....let it snow!!!!!!
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Let it snow...let it snow....let it snow!!!!!!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
A few things I had to remove because they contained DJ inkers clipart and/or fonts:
ABC Writing and Drawing
I will try to redo these projects without DJ inkers but it might be awhile before I get them replaced. Ugh.
Monday, December 26, 2011
If you haven't made Flip Flap books yet here are the directions:
Fold on the solid line.
Unfold and cut the dotted lines until the reach the fold (stop at the fold!)
Fold again and your book will flip and flap! Lift up the flaps to write your resolutions.
Live, Laugh, Love Everyday in Kindergarten is hosting a linky party about New Year's Resolutions. Here are mine:
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Hope everyone had a great Christmas! My house is a mess...I'm sure the floor is still there I just can't see it right now. But BIG smile on my face because my kids have all day tomorrow to clean it all up! Yeah, right.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I read of a reverend who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard,
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile?
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash,
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
If you grab my button and it works let me know...I would be EVER so grateful!
Also...in celebration I made this button themed Read the Room!
Monday, December 12, 2011
Getting the present reminded me of my favorite holiday lesson: How to Accept a Gift. I first saw a version of this lesson taught by an awesome counselor a few years ago and have since modified it (a little) to work with my teaching style. Here it is:
1. I open a previously wrapped present in front of my class (I wrap up an ugly sock). I tear the wrapping paper off without looking to see who it's from, I say mean things about it once it's open and then I go throw it away. Reactions to this are priceless...some stare at me in shock and some laugh like crazy...that alone will tell you a lot.
2. Next comes the discussion. I ask the kids, "What do you think was wrong with the way Mrs. Rist opened that package?" Hopefully I will get a few clever kids who come up with the words "rude" and "mean."
3. Then I open another previously wrapped package (it's the other ugly sock). This time I model the "correct" way by using the High Five Rules:
#3 Open it nicely!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Crazy, crazy, crazy time of year! I finally got my Holly Bloggy Christmas gift done and boxed up...now to find time to get to the post office!
If you click on the picture above it will take you to my TPT store where you can download a fun little Emergent Reader for FREE! Looooove freebies!!!
Here's my funny for the day: While decorating for Christmas the other day the song Feliz Navidad came on the radio and my 5 year old daughter said, "Oh mommy, I love this song!" and started singing along. Her version of the song goes likes this, "These naughty dogs...these naughty dogs....you can't see no fleas on these naughy dogs." HA! Of course teacher mom in me started to teach her the "right" words but she just gave me a strange look and said, "Mom, that makes NO sense." I love the 5 year old minds!
By the way....18 days to Christmas!!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Not very seasonal but this book helps my kinder kids learn the terms sphere, cone, cylinder and cube. It also helps builds understanding of the differences between 2D and 3D shapes. Just added it to my TPT store for $1.00.
Is this the longest week in history or is it just me???
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
If you're interested in taking a look at it I posted it on my TPT site for $2.00. Click on the pic to go to my store. Also, if you liked my animal drawing book I posted it on TPT with 3 versions of the pages.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Tried the whole shopping at midnight thing. My mom and sister and I stayed up playing cards until 11:30 and then headed into the stores. WOW. I love shopping but THAT was NOT shopping! That was a mob of crazy people pushing, shoving and snarling to get $5.00 extra off a Barbie car. Hee hee...best people watching EVER! One lady was blocking the isle with her cart and no one could get around her. We sat there for about 90 sec (not very long) and then she "realized" we (all 20 of us) where waiting to get around her (yeah, like she didn't see us). She apologized (sort of) and my mom and I smiled at her and said in our sweetest voices, "No problem, we're in no hurry." And of course we meant it because we were mainly there to watch the chaos but she turned to her friend and said, "People in this store are so polite!" And she had this totally shocked look on her face.
Then we made some flip comment about wishing we had an ad because everyone seemed really excited about the deals (they were RUNNING from isle to isle!) Some nice lady overheard us...she had her arms piled high with about 6 boxes but she stopped walking and threw her arms up and said "If you reach in my coat pocket you can have mine." How nice is that?!? She was obviously stressed out trying to hold all her boxes (no carts left) and she stopped to help us. Loved it.
We didn't buy anything and were were all home by 1:30 but it was fun! It also made me very grateful for Cyber Monday! I love online shopping almost as much as I love people watching! TPT is having their own sale on Monday. Right now my products are all on sale for 20% off. If you wait until Monday and use the code above you'll get 30% off. Lots of techers are having a sale for Cyber Monday so don't forget to check them out. Lots of great Christmas products! What the Teacher Wants has a free Christmas writing activity that looks fun and easy!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
During our feast tomorrow we'll be making our Thanksgiving Story Bracelets. We have the adult helper use this page to explain the bracelet. There are lots of different version of the bracelet out there. It's nice because it can be easily changed according to the amount and color of beads you have in your classroom. Click on the picture for a printable of this version.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
So, I've taught the behavior and we've modeled it. Now, I expect it. Remembering that these kids are only 5 or 6 I give reminders of expected behaviors. Using my example from yesterday (kids following me around the room) I say something quick like "have a seat little ducks." Quick & kind reminders are usually all my kids will need once I've taught and modeled. They know (after a
This year I also took 20 Training and have taught the kids above the line/below the line behavior (that's where the yellow line idea came from). It has been really effective with my kids this year (a lifesaver actually!).
At the end of the day I report their daily behavior on a calendar we keep in their take home binders. I also write quick notes if they are not on green. For example, If they hit I will write "hit." I tell the parents and the kids that it is the students responsibility to tell the "story" about what happened. I find my students are usually very honest b/c they know their parents will check with me is their story is "fishy."
By this time of the year I find I rarely have to move pictures at all. Last week I only moved 3 pictures and I have a very "strong willed" class this year.
The end. Finally.
Friday, November 18, 2011
I realized the other day that when I talked about teach it I never talked about what to teach. Here's my theory...teach them what YOU want them to know about behavior. I once taught with a teacher who didn't mind that her students follwed her around the room like little ducks. It drives me crazy to be followed around all day. So I make sure to teach my students how I want them to get my attention. It's all about what you want your kids to know and do. If you like them following you around the room...let them. However, if you don't want them to then teach what they should do.
I once taught with a wonderful counselor who modeled and role played everything! She was awesome! The kids even role played how to go trick or treating...how great is that?!? Ever since then I make sure if I teach kids what I want them to do I then model it and role play it with them. Make it silly and fun- for example: when I teach my class how to get my attention (raising their hand and not following me around the room) I have 6 or 7 little kids follow me around the room and let the kids see what it looks like and why it doesn't work. Then we model kids raising their hands and talk about why that does work.
We role play everything in my room: what to do when someone makes fun of you, what to do when the teacher is talking to another teacher, what to do when you have a B emergency (Bathroom, Blood or Barf), what to do when someone takes something away from you, what to do when your friend wants to play with someone else, what to do when you finish a paper early and your friends are still working, and on and on and on.
I believe that if you don't teach it and model it then you can't expect it. Once I teach it and model it then I expect it. So, hopefully I'll get pictures of my classroom managment plan I use and I can show you how and what I do when I've taught it and modeled it but kids still have trouble doing it!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
When I first started teaching (13...14 years ago...hard to keep track) the most I had to deal with was the dreaded BLURTER!! Oh my! I look back on those years now and see how easy I had it! It seems every year the kids become more challenging....it's not just me is it?? What I would give to go back to the days where I had to give "the look" to the blurter and that would be the end of that (well, for a few minutes anyways).
Now, in any given day we will deal with:
*the assertive "no" (the kids who'll look you right in the eye and tell you "no"....am I the only one who's blood boils when this happens?)
*the passive "no" (the kids who will just keep on doing what they're doing even when you tell them 3 times to stop....do they not notice the whole class is in line to go to music except for them??)
*the hitter, kicker, pincher, biter (yep, biter!)
*the volcano (much worse than blurters!! Wow have blurters gotten LOUD! Is it all the TV they watch??)
*the couch potato (when did it become "uncool" for kindergarteners to do the Tooty-ta?? Seriously...I am 35 years old...if I can get my groove on so can you...get up off the floor!)
*the wise old owl (kids should be kids...why do these 5 and 6 year olds know what they know???)
*the runner (Yes, I can catch you!)
Don't get me wrong...I love my kinder kids! If I didn't I would let them continue to act like this and just think "let first grade deal with it!" But I want them to be successful in school and life and there are some behaviors that have to stop NOW!
So, what do we do??? I admit I do NOT have the answer. If I did I would be a
Here's my classroom management philosophy: TEACH IT, MODEL IT, EXPECT IT.
TEACH IT is easy. We all do it. Read a book, use a "teachable moment", watch a video, use visuals, etc.
Just this week my fellow teachers and I stumbled across a great author who beautifully covers a LOT of the things kids need to learn in kindergarten now. Our goal is to purchase all of her books and use them as part of our behavior management strategies. If you haven't seen any book by Julia Cook yet please click on the picture above and check her out. They are AWESOME! Kid friendly, easy to understand, and chock full of great "behavior vocabulary." The TEACH IT part becomes easy & fun when you find great books like these!
Thanks for hanging in through all my ramblings....tomorrow I'll post about MODEL IT.
Monday, November 14, 2011
It's a simple little story/song sung to the tune "The Muffin Man." It was a good discussion starter for my class when we began discussing the first Thanksgiving. My students made up actions to go with the song which was hilarious....they really do not like sitting still!
Happy American Education Week from me to you!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I wanted to try a Give Away anyways so this seems like the perfect time! Each comment left about the blog design is worth 1 entry and joining my blog is worth another entry. (Current Followers: Because I am eternally grateful to you for following me, even though I'm crazy new at this, you are already entered 5 times!)
Also, when you leave a comment please tell me your favorite place to shop for your classroom. The winner of the Give Away will receive a $25 gift card to their favorite school shopping spot! (Current Followers...make sure and leave me a comment letting me know your shopping hot spot!
I'll announce the winner on Sunday (11-13-11) night! Thanks in advance for helping this newbie out!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
So, I mentioned in my last blog that I'd add more center ideas. Besides the Animal Drawing book I listed earlier I also have a few more books I use during centers. One of them is my Read the Room Write the Room book. I like this book because it's so easy to differentiate plus the kids get to choose what letter they want to work on so there is still choice in the activity. Some of my students work on finding words that begin with the letter listed on the page, some just look for words that have that letter anywhere in the word , some work on finding words that end with that letter, etc.
We make the activity even more fun by adding a bucket full of fun pens, markers, pencils and some groovy looking glasses. Kids get to pick from the bucket, grab their clipboard and their book and off they go! (The glasses this girl is wearring are 3D glasses from the movies. Pop off the insides and you have awesome Read the Room glasses!)
If you're interested in adding this center to your routine click on the cover above and it will take you to my TPT store.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
This is a picture of my management system for my reading center books. I used to have the kids keep their books in plastic magazine boxes but my brilliant co-worker Jill came up with this idea. This method takes up a lot less room and now I can use the other buckets to organize our classroom library books.
Inside each box are the books the kids use during centers:
*ABC Animal Drawing & Writing
*Popcorn (Sight) Word practice
*Read the Room/Write the Room
I featured the ABC Animal Drawing book in my previous post and you can download it for free. I thought I'd spend the next few days explaining the other books the kids use.
Tomorrow night is our school's Sock Hop but after that I'll be be back to explain some more of our books!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Last year I attended a Boost-Up or SMART (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) training in Minneapolis. Wonderful training! If you get a chance to go or see it in action it is wonderful stuff! The training really focuses on the whole child! Above you see some of our kinders reading sight words, letters and sounds while balancing on stability balls. (We had the words a little too high but we've fixed that now!)
In this picture we are exercising our eyes and working on crossing our midline.
This activity works on our near/far focus.
As well as mid line, visual & balancing skills we also work on gross motor, fine motor & auditory skills. If you haven't heard of this training yet check it out. It's great for Early Childhood through 2nd grade students. Even some of your struggling 3rd-5th graders can benefit from these activities.
Here's an easy crossing the mid line activity to try with your students (We call it Soldier Walking): While walking in the halls to a special have them pat their legs using opposite hands (so right hand taps left leg, left hand taps right leg, etc.) VERY difficult for some kids to do but a great activity to promote crossing the midline. If you're like me you will be shocked how many kids can't do this at first. Make sure you aren't late for a special though because they do walk slower when they do this....also a great classroom management technique to slow kids down and quiet them in the halls (they are so busy thinking about their walking they don't talk!)