OMG Look what I got!  I am SUPER excited about it too!  Thank you Jennifer!

Check it out!

Thank you!  It is nice to know someone is reading this!  I hope it is worthy!


Snow.. in October

How crazy is this?  It snowed A LOT last night!  There is power out all over the state of Connecticut.  The beautiful white outside is delightful... but I feel like dragging down the Christmas tree instead of getting spooky!

There are rumors going around that my school is out of power and there are just enough trees down they may have to cancel school tomorrow.  Secretly inside I am happy.  Halloween and school (with no party or Halloween celebrations) is just no fun!  Although, the extra day plus the days we accumulated before school started with Hurricane Irene is not good... not good at all!

So, let's just say there is no school tomorrow?  Would you still have Halloween centers on the next school day.. or just cancel them altogether?


Bat Hats

I love Halloween!  Every year I spruce up the house and spook-a-fy it!  But, I can't do the same in my classroom.  And I don't know about your school, but my principal is kinda anti-Halloween altogether.  But she does have a good point and it could exclude people.  So I like to make rhyming Bat Hats.  The kids LOVE them!

So I am sharing it with you!

You need:

1 4x4 black square for the head
2 6x4 black rectangles for the wings
2 goggle eyes
red scrap paper for the mouth
1 12x2 rectangle strip to form the head band

You will need a cat head tracer, they are super easy to make and then make a wing tracer as well.

Let them do the work and staple!

Attached to the hate I have 4 pictures that rhyme with bat: cat, hat, mat, sat
I actually mix a few non-rhyming words with them and they have to pick the ones that rhyme.  I will try to attach these words later.



Fire Safety Week

This week we studied Fire Safety Week!  I used  Kreative in Kinder's Fire Safety Unit from Teacher's Notebook

Click Here to get this unit

First, we discussed what fire fighters can and are.  My AM class really had a hard time with this, but the PM class got it pretty quickly.

For centers I had this:
This was my listening center.  The kids LOVED it... we kept saying all week: Only you can prevent pant fires!

This is the art center.  Paint fire... mixing colors to get orange.

Math center... The coloring here isn't great but they had to draw cards and find the corresponding number.

Literacy Center:  they had to put the cards in ABC order then match the lower case letters.
I modified the book from Kerative in Kinder and made it a book using our sight words.

This is our journal writing.  

Another journal topic.

The last day they all made fire fighter hats and got a book mark!

We didn't get the fire truck, they were busy but he is suppose to come sometime next week. 
It was a good week.  But I also noticed it was a little scary.  Kids don't want to think of having a fire at their house.  It scares them.  I guess that is what makes it an important topic.


Square Cat

I just read that Literacy and Laughter is having a delightful give away!

She has an autographed copy of Square Cat and a $15 dollar gift certificate to Lettering Delights!

Stop by her blog and check it out!


Have you thought about Christmas?

Since I started teaching kindergarten I started making a hand print calendar for Christmas presents to my families.  They sure have developed over the years.  But I have to start pretty much now.  It just takes a while to get though each student with each month.  I try to do them by colors, like I can do February (hearts) and September (apple) at the same time.

Here is what they look like:
Title Page













I got the idea from Little Giraffes but I changed a few since I didn't want Santa or an Easter bunny.

One bad thing, is all my calendars were on my school laptop, and my hard drive crashed and I lost them ALL!  So, I have to make the calendars again! So I don't have them to share with you!


Don't you hate when you make a mistake?

So, I confess, I am a BLOG STALKER.  I started my classroom blog last year and I really felt like my parents had NO EXCUSE not knowing what happened at school.  Seriously, I posted everyday. 

My good friend and co-worker Sarah (Its Elementary My Dear Teacher) told me I should share the blog with teacher friends.  But, it was really geared to my parents, boring if your child isn't involved really.  So that is when I started Giggles and Squeals. 

I love searching sights and getting better ideas than from the same ol file that I have done forever! 

Yesterday was just about the BEST lesson ever.  We discussed Christopher Columbus.  I saw that Erin at Eberhart's Explorers   and Jonelle at A Place Called Kindergarten I had the perfect lesson!

So first we discussed Christopher Columbus.  We wrote done all the things we thought we knew about him.  (if you notice some were confusing him and Johnny Appleseed)

Then I read about Christopher Columbus.  And we listed all our new learning.  We went through our thoughts and discussed our misconceptions.

Then we talked about those three ships.  Here is my model:

Students then made their own.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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Now, the BIG mistake (sorry it took so long) I didn't load all the kids pictures.  I felt so bad.  But I was rushing and a few got missed.  So the parents of course emailed me all worried about why their child wasn't in the slide show.  Opps.  I hate when I make mistakes like that .  BUT, (now this is funny) aren't we glad mistakes happen... especially on Columbus day??  hehe

So I have a question... if you watch the slide show, there are 2 or 3 students who really haven't developed as writers with their colors or in the fine motor department.  I wouldn't want to exclude them but do you think their parents mind that they aren't like the others?  Is it a mistake to show them all?   Your thoughts would be appreciated.


The Kindergarten Memory Board

In the back of my classroom I have a HUGE bulletin board.  Well, it really is just a bulletin strip that I've turned into a bulletin board.

I have turned this into my Kindergarten Memories.

So often, the students live in the NOW, they forgot the things we did a few weeks ago.  So at the end of each month, we list all the things we did that we found memorable.  For the month of September we had a TON!

Gingerbread Man
Getting Crowned
Coming to school
Making new friends
Kallie's Birthday
Grady's Birthday
Richie's Birthday
Magnus's Birthday (etc)

Then from the list we pick one that is our very favorite!  This is a little tricky for me, I have to sell the one I want to pick the most because I have an AM and PM class, and they share the memory board.  But I'm not cheating (I don't think).

Then we make a scrapbook page that I file away.  This is September's page:
Sept Doc
(hey, this is my first embedded doc!  YEAH!)

We picked that we made the gingerbread man.  The students write their names at the top.  So hopefully we can see handwriting progression throughout the school year.  I put a picture like a scrapbook page on the actual paper.

I then add the memory to the memory board.  Simple and pretty easy!

It takes very little time.  Then at the end of the school year I bind them and they have a perfect little kindergarten memory book!

I love it!

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The monthly change!

Each month I make BIG changes for the month, like I change the curtains and the calendar.  So check out my changes!
I put their names in the cubby.

A pumpkin in the art center, which changes throughout the month.  He turns into a jack-o-lantern by the end of the month.

The calendar.

The curtains.

A close up of the curtains.

I keep a flag outside my room!

The kids love walking in the room and seeing the changes.  I kinda put a lot of work into doing it.  But I love it!  I have these boxes in my room that I store all my loot in.
I love it and had to share!