Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shape Monster

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

CVC Christmas Packet

I put together a CVC Christmas Word Work packet for my small group instruction this month. Face it...all they are thinking about, dreaming aboutl, talking about, worrying about or caring about is CHRISTMAS!  If you can't beat 'em....join 'em!   I'm hoping this packet will keep my small groups on task and learning all the way to Christmas break.  Hahahahahahaha! 
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

Black Friday

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 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!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Bracelet

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.

Have a Great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Last post about behavior...I promise!  Tomorrow I will post a Thanksgiving freebie!

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 few weeks a few months of consistency) that if we take time to talk about it in class then I expect it.  However, there are always a few who have to see if I REALLY mean it.  When that happens I use our behavior system. 

At the beginning of the year we had a classroom rabbit so that's where the carrot idea came from.  (She has since gone to live on a farm with other bunnies.  She was a lot of fun but a lot of work also!)  Anyways, all students start on green and if they are making bad choices, even after gentle reminders, I will move their pictures to yellow and tell them we will use 5 minutes of their Choice Time to practice the right choices to make.  (The last 25 minutes of my day are devoted to Choice Time.)  If they make more bad choices they can have their picture moved again, and so on and so on. Everytime their picture moves it takes 5 more minutes of their Choice Time away.  If they get to red and are still not making good choices their next move is to the office or the telephone to call home.  I have a "no tolerance" policy on hurting others.  If you hit, pinch, scratch, kick, slap, push another student your picture goes below the line immediately.

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."

I also do a positive classroom behavior jar called the Warm Fuzzy jar.  I've pretaught what Warm Fuzzies and Cold Prickles are.  When we fill the jar we earn a Warm Fuzzy reward. I forgot to take a picture of it but it is simply a jar I fill with craft puffs.

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


My pictures still will not download...AUGH!  I'll have to take some new ones on Monday.  What a long's going to snow here tomorrow and I seriously believe children have a built in barometer telling them that the weather is's like when there's going to be a full moon!  CRAZY!!! 

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.

Model It
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 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


Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business is having an AWESOME linky party!  I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has an ever changing behavior system!  I took some pics of what I use in my classroom but I can't get the files to download.   AUGH!  So, I will post those tomorrow (hopefully)  In the mean time here are a few rambling thoughts about behavior. 

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'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" 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 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 millionaire billionaire!  I'll gladly share my thoughts with you but also I will understand if you don't agree with me!

 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

Thanksgiving Story download

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

Give Away Winner

And the winner is....Christine!  Thanks so much for the feedback on my site and being a follower!  Please e-mail me at and let me know where to send your $25 Target giftcard! 
Thanks to everyone who left a comment or is following my humble little blog!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sight Word Safari Word Work

Another Reading Center I really like my kids to work on is our Sight Word word work book.  There are 3 pages for every sight word in our book.  The kids work on them at their own pace.  Some will get 2-3 pages done during their center time and some will only get 1 done.  Here are the pages in the book:

 On the first page they trace the word in lots of colors to make their sight words as colorful as a toucan!  Then they cut the word apart and glue it back in the right order

On the next page they use magnifying glasses to search for the word hiding in the jungle of letters.  Then they stamp the word.

On the final page they unscramble a sentence (short phrases at the beginning of the year but they steadily become harder) containing the sight word, glue it in order and draw a picture to match the sentence.

My students love working in their books and there is enough variation in the pages to keep them engaged each time they are at this center.
The book has 63 sight words in it.  If you're interested in using it in your classroom it is for sale at my TPT store.  Click on the Picture of the cover to take you to my store.

Also, if you haven't signed up for the give away yet make sure you do!  Only 1 day left and only 11 people are signed up!  By the 11th follower joined my blog on 11-11-11.  How cool is that!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Help! New Blog Look and My First Give Away!

My husband says if I keep changing my blog design people are going to think I'm crazy!  It's true...I can't decide how I want it to look (this is my 3rd design in only a month)!     Help!!  If anyone has any thoughts on how I can make this look better I am up for suggestions!  I just bought these awesome graphics from Just So Scrappy and I love them! is it looking? 

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

ABC Posters Freebie

I was going to keep going with my Reading Centers but decided to go off topic today and give out a freebie. Click on the picture above to download my A-Z alphabet posters. They are mostly DJ Inkers cliparts. Page "V" is not my favorite but couldn't come up with anything better. If you have a better idea leave me a comment...I'd love to change it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Read the Room Write the Room

Sock Hop Friday. Sick Saturday. Taught Sunday School, laundry, clean house, kids' homework, still stick on Sunday. Back to work on Monday...first comment from student "Did you know you can throw up when you're in the shower?" Hhmm...I guess I wasn't the only one sick!
Tomorrow and Wednesday I'm off to a Core Curriculum Training Class my state has set up for teacher. Should be interesting!

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

Reading Centers

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 Art
*ABC Animal Drawing & Writing
*Popcorn (Sight) Word practice
*ABC Punches
*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

Animal Drawing Book (fixed...I hope!)

Today was not a wonderful day. Feeling a little "below the line" and ok...feeling sorry for myself. Sigh. But....I realized as I was sulking that I was getting a lot of cleaning done! Yeah!! Clean toilets!!

Was checking out Adventures in Kindergarten's blog and Mary mentioned how much she loves teaching her kids to draw and how it inspires writers. I agree! I am posting this book on TPT in a few weeks but wanted to offer it here for free first. If you download it please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Giving stuff away is a great trampoline!