Hip Hip Hooray for just about a perfect day!

I wish I had pictures of today!  But I don't.  Darn photo space is Full!  BUT I was so anxious this morning.  It was like, the first day feeling.  I was sad, scared, ready to react with a hushed importance.  I only slept a little, with the thoughts of how I will handle them being after the weekend.

They came in with big smiles, singing me a Happy Birthday (yes, it was Saturday!)  I've never been thankful for a December birthday until today.  I hugged each student tight and we got right to work.  

Also, I happen to have a cold so when I did get a little mushy... I could blame it on that!  

Today was just about perfect.  

Silly Boy A was still his silly self, unable to sit quietly.

Silly Boy B still forgot how to whisper.

Silly Girl A still is having trouble keeping her hand off her friends hair.

So, today was just right.  Even today these annoyances didn't bother me quite as much.  As for tomorrow.... that is yet to be determined!

There was no mention of worry, no mention of not feeling safe, no mention of the bad guys out there.  And I am so thankful.  Thankful they can still be innocent and not know the world has its dark side.  

I hope you day was as bright!


We are safe!

What a horrible day today.  I learned about this event today about 11:00.  I don't think I really understand exactly what happened.

Our school went into a semi-lock down, which of course made things a little unsettled.  We carried out our day as usual.  I tried not to know what happened.

As I sit I can't help but think about those parents, who kissed their little ones planning on play dates and shopping and their whole world is different.

I think about those teachers, I hope I could be as brave.

My prayers are with the families, the community, the teachers.  Even just being less than an hour away, I am sure we all feel the pain.


Readers Workshop

So I plowed through Kim Adsit and Michele Scannell's Blasting off to Reader's Workshop.

I really liked this unit.  I have to be honest and say, I didn't think I would be able to do independent reading in my class.  Not that they aren't readers, I actually have quite a few already on a DRA 3.  But that their stamina isn't there.  They just can't sit and read yet.  Or so I thought.

Of course there are some who would rather do anything else.  But for the most part they loved getting a chance to practice what we have been doing.  Yeah!

I did go through her unit quickly, but only because some of it we were already doing.  BUT I reviewed EVERYTHING.  I didn't want to regret it later.

This week I am going to really work on Powerful Partnerships.  I know they can do it!  Here are my questions right now:

I have them in small tubs reading books.  This is just makes it easier since I have AM and PM and I can just manage it better.  BUT I am probably going to have to have book boxes.  How can I manage that?

What am I going to do with my REALLY low students, who right now are struggling to keep their attention at circle?  They can do this too I know!

Wish me luck!


Oh the day I have had...

So why is it that when you have a totally rockin', everybody seems to get along, the question and answers are deep and meaningful kinda day it is always seems to be followed by a day where there is a feeling of mayhem?

So yesterday I had a great text talk, the kids seemed to dig deep with their thinking, I left on a HIGH!  I was SUPER TEACHER yesterday.

But today came.  I was ready, I was prepared.... but I guess I just pushed them a little too hard.

Seriously, one student asked me today where to put her crayon box.  Really?  Ummm the same place it always goes?

Today I had them begin working with a partner.  For our Family Project this month, students Disguised a Turkey so it wouldn't be eaten for Thanksgiving.  So I "thought" it would be a great idea to extend the activity and try to have students use the project to write about their turkey's disguise.

I thought I would start out with a good model.  I displayed my turkey, disguised as a pig (of course).  Then I wrote:  My turkey looks like a pig.

They all seemed happy about that.  Achievable.  Then, I decided to go one step further (you know, differentiating for those ready).  I wrote:  She is pink and brown.

Again, it didn't seem so hard.  I trusted they were listening, they understood.  That the Super Teacher from yesterday was STILL HERE IN THIS ROOM.

So, next I paired them with a partner.  I explained how the partner is your helper.  You ask him/her first.  You make sure you both know what to do!

Hello.  Partner doesn't mean write their paper.... no.
Partner doesn't mean you play on the floor... no.
Partner doesn't mean you exchange crayons...no.
Partner doesn't mean you leave them behind... no.

Maybe that should be my next anchor chart??

So, today wasn't a total success.  I guess that means, tomorrow will only  be better!


Readers Workshop and another Math Freebie!

Today I attended an after school workshop on Readers Workshop.  I am not sure exactly how I can do this in a half day kindergarten.  But, I am going to try!  I will just have to work it down a little.  For Cyber Monday I purchased Kim Adsit's Readers Workshop Units.  I am very excited to see if I can work in my classes.

So this morning I whipped up this little math center.  I think the kids did pretty good at it today.  So I thought I would share it with you too!  Just click on it and it should work!  



What Comes Next- Freebie

So this morning I needed a quick center for math.  Nothing too tricky but helpful!

Last week I had the sort the number cards and write them.  They did ok, but I realized maybe I needed to take it down a notch.  So here is what I came up with.

I think if you click HERE it will take you to google docs.  But if not just leave a message and I will email it to you!

This is the front.  But I wanted to add a little rigor (love that word right!) and I added this to the back.

I hope you can use it!


Election Day Freebie!

So, happy election week!  I made this Election Day writing center as a Freebie for you!  Here is how the book works!  Click the picture below to get your copy!

Here is how I use the book in my classroom!

I print and laminate about 4 of these so kids can use them as a guide when they create their own book.  They DO NOT have to use the same words, but they can if they'd like.

This is the cover of the book.  Students love being the author!

I copy the book, front to back to make a book that has a cover, and five pages for students to write in.  I pre staple the book so it is easier for the kids to keep the book together.

I hope you enjoy it!  I'd love to hear what you think!


Surviving the storm and a week off school

So Hurricane Sandy did a little number on our town and we had NO SCHOOL ALL WEEK!

Eek.  They are hoping to be back up and going on Monday.  Can you believe that?  I feel totally blessed since we did not lose power at all so other than not knowing if we had school or not it's been a mini-vacation here.  Although come June, we will have to make up all these days.  Uggh!

We even missed parent conferences!  Yikes!

So I need a little advice.  My plans last week were to discuss elections and read Grace, Duck, and My Teacher for President.  And have a mock election on Monday.  We weren't suppose to have school on Tuesday for PD but we now will have school.  Would you still do this?  Or would you jump into Thanksgiving and turkeys?

I think I could still do the election thing and do it on Friday?  But I am torn?  Help!

We've been checking out the beach.

Making homemade biscuits.

Taking my girls out to eat.

At Subway.  

Saw this cute purse at TJ Maxx... but it was $150 so I didn't get it.  But I keep thinking about it so I might need to go back.

Went to see Wreak It Ralph.  Really cute!


Survived the Storm but...

So, I survived the storm.  It really didn't seem HORRIBLE.  But I am not as close to the water as others.  We still have power but 90% of my town is OUT.

No school tomorrow.  Which is a good thing, for Halloween... but I think Halloween is cancelled!  Poor kids!

We drove through town and our town green was a disaster zone!

We ended our day with Frito Pie.  Yum.  I am so glad my Yankee girls like a little Texas food too!


Preparing for a STORM

So, school is cancelled for Monday and Tuesday.

I'm prepared.  We are blessed to have a generator so if we lose power we can at least charge our phones and use the microwave.  But for some odd reason I am not worried.  Sure I leave near the beach, sure there are a few trees that I should have gotten taken down this summer because they died and could fall on my house, sure they are calling this THE WORST STORM EVER!

But I've got my family here.  We are going to carve pumpkins and sleep together and honestly, I love any excuse to get to stay in pajamas all day!

Say a prayer for us.

Then say a prayer that if we go back to school that Halloween won't be too crazy after all this!

Oh, and I should mention too this is parent conference week!  Nice huh!! That's okay!  It will all work itself out!


The Common Core... continued

Really, the Common Core is a good thing.  I love the idea of TEACHING LESS!  But my principal, to whom I really do love and appreciate, is on the warpath.

Our district is on the Get Set year of the Common Core.  We are getting ready to implement it next year.  But, I don't know if it is the "higher" ups or that my principal wants to impress everyone and make them think her school is already ready, but things have gone lulu!

Every day, she will step into my room and ask how this or that aligns with the common core.  I am seriously tired of hearing it.

So, I've started writing the CCSS number on everything I do.  So I can show her how it aligns.  The only thing... somethings fall in the gray.  Am I right?

No where does it say they need fine motor activities, but they do.  So I purchased

The Pokey Pin, is totally fine motor!  They use a push pin to build muscles.  But since it is the alphabet and sight words... does that count?  Miss Miner's Kindergarten is totally rocking this activity!  And you know, I want to too!

The other Fun

Well, seriously, she has asked me if the kitchen is relevant!  RELEVANT.  I just feel we are doing a disservice to taking the world so seriously all the time!

How are things about for you?


I actually sold something!

I don't plan on making it big in the TpT selling world.  I honestly, just don't have time to make a lot of stuff.  I am more the shopper than the maker!

But I do like to make my writing center packets.  I use them in my classroom too!  So I listed it and it has just sat there.  I actually, sold one!  Ok, the numbers are still small.  But it just makes me feel so good to think something I've put out there is going to help someone!  Yeah!

Here is a snap shot of one of my students at work!
If you haven't checked out my Fire Station Writing Unit, please do.  If you can't find a place for it in your classroom, that's okay.  I would much appreciate a rating!


Fire Safety Writing Unit

Do you need a little something to jazz up your writing center?  Well, this is just for you!  Each center cycle I have my students make books.  This is only their 2nd book, but I think they get it.  This week we are discussing fire safety.  So I made this unit:

Click here to grab yours from TpT!

They use this to help them write the words.

This is the cover.

This is the inside.  I usually copy front and back so there is a total of 5 places to write.

I also am doing the following centers this week:

Art:  We are painting fire.  They have to mix red and yellow to get orange.  This isn't my favorite activity but it is a painting week in my class so I have to stick to the plan!

Math:  I am using cards from Kreative in Kinder's  Fire Safety Unit.  The love the activity!  It is a fire truck with a tens frame and they have to match it to the right number.  Then when they are done they get to play Get the Fire Dog to the Firefighter, which is also from her unit.  They just roll the die and move their piece.  The person who gets their first wins.

Listening:  We are listening to Firefighter Ted.  So funny!  I wonder if my principal would consider this quality literature?  I also have them draw a story response.  They are drawing their favorite Part of the story!

Literacy:  This really doesn't go with fire safety BUT I got Alessia Albanese's Write the Room Literacy Centers- The Complete Set- and to be honest, I wasn't sure.  I have NEVER really done well with kids milling around the room distracting everyone.  I started off small.  I really showed them what to do and how to be independent.  At first I put all her pictures in the pocket chart and they could only pretty much pick from there.  But now, they are really noticing words all over the room.  LOVE IT.  So this week we are on week 2 of her Fall Unit.  I think this was a great purchase!  Thank you Alessia!


The worries of Common Core

Today in a faculty meeting we listened to the speech by Dave Coleman on the Common Core and mathematics.  It is interesting, but overwhelming.  How can less seem so worrisome?  My principal tells us to make a list of things we are no longer going to be teaching.  But if I don't teach some things that are not on the common core, then how will they ever know?

For example, I did a project today on rhyming.  But I also taught them how to cut out the work and use scissors and glue.  Is scissors and glue in the common core?

I am excited to see somethings leave, I would love to spend my day having kids reading and writing.  But somethings still need to be taught, or we will all need to buy stock in the Elmer Glue factory!

I wish it wasn't so tricky.  Instead of making a list of what not to teach, since it is suppose to be less anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to make a list of what TO teach?



The (Almost) Independent Writing Center

Well, this start of the school year has got me in a hizzy.  I feel like I am just running and never really getting things accomplished.

The theme for my district this year is TEACH LESS, LEARN MORE.  Well, it isn't really working right now for me!  But I am trying.

For the first few weeks of centers, we were learning where to go and how to stay there.  Now, it is time for "real" centers.  So  my first real TpT writing center is up now!

This is my first item ever listed for sale on my TpT account and to be honest with you... I am a little scared.  I just want it to be useful to others!

I would LOVE to hear (read) your thoughts!


Back to School and Freebie

Hi Everyone!

   So I got back to school on Thursday and I have some really cutie pies.  I have 18 in the morning and only 13 in the afternoon.  SO.. I've got my work cut out for me at keeping them even.  I can already tell my afternoon is going to get things done MUCH quicker!

   On Friday the school librarian read The Gingerbread Man and they made a BIG gingerbread cookie.  So all next week we will be hunting the gingerbread man.  I love this activity.   But I also have to find time for classroom rules.  So I am trying to see how I can put all the things I need to fit in this week.

But I made my first share!  I know, I've shared papers, but never a game.  Yeah.  I think I might know a little bit about what I am doing!!  I made and ABC matching uppercase to lowercase.  You can use this now or use it at Christmas... both will be great!  Just click here or the picture at the top!


Have you heard of

Have you heard of Sign Up Genius?  It is a very cool web site that lets you build workable list for people to sign up for events.  I think I might try to use it for parent teacher conferences.

Check it out

Would you use this?


Guess who I got to meet...

This is totally off topic of teaching but I got to meet and spend a little time with CJ Adams, the little boy in the new movie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green.

He was so cute and very sweet.  He was just a total normal kid.  My bother-in-law works with his mom.  So Disney threw him a launch party for his friends and we were lucky to snag a tickets too!

Me and the girls got a little dressed up and drove to Rhode Island, about and hour and a half away.  We got there early so we had a few appetizers at Ruby Tuesday's.  Then we got to the movies early enough  to chat with CJ.  He is going into 7th grade.  He invited all his teachers to the launch party, how sweet is that, and he just fell into acting and never expected it to really take off.  He was also in the movie, Dan in Real Life.

The movie was really cute.  It is a nice story and CJ really does a great job!  Of course there was a little tears shed too!

Here are a few pictures:
My girls with CJ.. they were a little shy.

At the after party, soccer cookies.

CJ with a cake of the movie poster.

Green sock cookies.

Table center pieces, leaves, pencils, and notepads. So cute!


Holy Printing Batman

Well, I decided I better visit my classroom since I am going to be out of town all week (my last trip before school starts!)  So I decided to print all my TpT items to put them in a binder or to cut out games and get them laminated now so when I am ubber busy I will be ready.  I used 2 reams of paper and I am only a little way through my process!  What have I started??

Also I decided to make a guideline of what I would like to do each week.  I saw this from someone but I can't remember who (so sorry) but I thought it was a great idea.  I think I like it.  But should my discussion of the topic be the week of the event (i.e. St. Patrick's Day) or the week before?


Thinking about thinking about it

Wow, I haven't posted in a while, sorry about that.  I've been living the life of a stay at home mom, and really loving it.  We've been spending the mornings in our PJs then getting on our beach gear and heading to the beach in the afternoon.  Nice life huh!

So I've decided I need to start thinking about thinking about getting back in gear.  We don't head back until Aug. 27th for teachers so I still have some time to ponder ideas.

I did make this behavior chart, which I like but I might revise my system to include an orange or blue color so they are really more ways to promote awesomeness!

I also created a back... it might be too overwhelming but I am going to include it as well and help that maybe you can give me feed back to make it more manageable.

If you want any changes or anything please let me know!


Easy as Pie Webpage

So I created my classroom webpage using my iWeb, on moblieme via Apple.  It was so adorable.  Then chazam!  It stopped... no longer available since they moved to iCloud.

So I made a new web page using Webs.com.  It was very, very easy!  LOVE it.  I guess my only complaint is I can't change the fonts (I am a font crazed girl!)

But if you need a classroom web page, I suggest checking web.com out.

You can also give me feed back on my page!



Well, I am not politicial....

That is what I always say.  I don't like hearing about political things, I am not a leader in Congress, and well, I "trust" that the people in office will do what is best for our country.

But as I sit on the NEA Representative Assembly, I get a little nervous.  Do they have our best interest?  Who really attacks teachers?  Sure... the delegates from some of the larger states like California and Michigan... they seem to have a lot more to say.  At first, I admit, I was ignoring the California propaganda, but it seems like they do have somethings to say.

I am fairly conservative.  I don't want big government, I don't want a socialist society.  But I want our leaders to trust me and let me lead the way in my classroom.  I keep hearing that "teachers are under attack"  big businesses, leaders of our nation want to get rid of public education and move everyone to charter schools, all schools to be run as a business, and principals and administrator can make drastic changes on a whim.  Is this true?  Should I be worried?

I was privileged enough to listen to Joe Biden, our Vice President, as he addressed the NEA yesterday. It truly got me thinking.  I, of course, am going to do my own research.  I want to know, what is a stretch and what is a truth.

Joe Biden speaks to the NEA delegation

Listen to his speech.  Let me know what you think.  I know you don't come to my blog to hear NEA issues and political action, but it is time we do more.  Don't you think?