Sunday, July 31, 2011

The First Day of Kindergarten... Are YOU Scared?

Does the first day of Kindergarten scare you?

Don't let it!  Here's some tips on how to deal with things that will happen so you too CAN survive!

Head on over to Simply Kinder for tons of tips and a freebie or two!  

The O.R.E.O Project!

I just found the coolest project from Sunny Days in Second Grade that would work great with our little learners!  It's called the O.R.E.O Project and it is done by students in all grade levels all over the country!  Students work together to stack Oreo's and record results.  Students track and record data and then use the data to extend their learning.  The site that organizes this has all the handouts and even the standards laid out for us!  I figure, with Common Core standards, this will be a great counting activity for our little learners!  Hop on over to her blog to see how she uses it and I am sure you will want to join in!


Free Lakeshore Download and Giveaway Winner!

I have so much to be thankful for this amazing Sunday.  

And on top of that I get share the love with one of my blogging friends 
by awarding Lakeshore Interactive Software! says that the lucky number between 1 and 111 is.... 

So Cindy is our winner!  

If you did not get  your free Lakeshore Download be sure to click below to get your free version too!  There are two options, 1-3 and 4-6!  Many Lakeshore's also have them set up in their stores too for you to try out!  They are amazing and I can't wait to use them!  

I am so thankful to have begun to interact with so many wonderful people through blogging! 

Be sure to check back soon for more Freebies and Giveaway!  


Saturday, July 30, 2011

What is this? Annoying Technology Sometimes!

I had to share this!  This was my phrase I had to type to get my post to post.  Does anyone have any clue what the first segment is?  Seriously funny!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Probably Should Not Talk About This...

We don't usually talk about these sorts of things as teachers but I feel like how we treat each other is extremely important and so I am going to talk about what happened to me today!

So today I was EMBARRASSED and I felt as if I was belittled in front of my peers for no apparent reason!  Here's what happened:

So today during an inservice my instructor had given a word and asked us to talk about it at our tables.  My table full of new teachers had no idea what the term meant, so I said well... I think maybe it is this...  When returning to full group discussions, she asked me to share what I had said in my group.  She was standing right by our table listening to us so I thought I was correct and shared my answer with confidence.  Little did I know, I was completely confused and was not even in the ball park!  In mid speaking, she cut me off and said that I was wrong and then stated what the actual definition was.

I was completely mortified.  I felt as if I was back in elementary school and being singled out in front of the entire class for doing something wrong.  Here I am in room full of kinder and first teachers (about 50) that I don't yet know and I am being called out for being wrong during a small group discussion.

What really was her purpose of calling me out?  Was it because others were saying the wrong thing too, I really don't think so (without getting into the embarrassing details of being wrong - I just don't think this was the case.)  She made no constructive point other than the fact that I was mistaken and just proceeded to give the correct answer.

People just looked at me like, OMG... did that lady really just do that to her?  I just kept smiling even though I wanted to cry!

Five minutes later she came up to me and apologized that she 'had' to do that.  I was again floored that she felt she 'had' to belittle someone to give herself credibility!  I have no problem admitting when I am wrong and am not closed off to new ideas by any means, I just don't understand what made that OK?

Generally we as teachers just tend to forget and move forward because we are there for the love of kids and learning.   I really fear professional development now and OMG if she were to walk in my room I think I just might just have a panic attack!

Have any of you had anything like this happen before or something where you felt as if you were in a safe environment to take risks and been completely embarrassed?  Or any other moments as a teacher you wish you could just erase?  I personally have a huge file of stupid things I have done, but this one I felt as if I did not ask for!

I am labeling this my OMG File because I think talking about these things may make people more aware of how the things they do and say effect people.  And I have to say... I think that's important in education!

Thanks for reading!  Please do share if you feel comfortable to do so.  I am sure I am not alone (even though I feel it!)


Extra Extra... Lakeshore Giveaway Entry that is!


Tomorrow is the last day to enter the Lakeshore Interactive Whiteboard  Software giveaway!    
Be sure to stop by and enter if you have not yet!   

How about an extra entry for all!   Re-blog about this giveaway your blog and/or Facebook a link to this blog post!   Make sure you comment again for your additional entry.

Sad news... my new classroom does not have a WhiteBoard.  If you are in the same boat, please still enter and we will work an alternative out!  


Good luck to all!

Thanks for helping me spread the word! 
Empowering Little Learner Reader are the BEST!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Essential Back To School Freebies & Must Makes!

As I am setting up my room I realize there is some things that I have found since blogging that I want to use in my new classroom.  So here is a list of everything I have snatched up for FREE!

Amazing daily schedule cards from: 

Stop and highlight your name sign from:

Specials signs from:

Behavior punch cards from:

Story map poster from:

Good readers poster from:

And I am holding out that someone will have a free giveaway for these:  

Yeah right!  Cute anyways, it will be my next big project.  

These have been floating around on Pinterest for awhile, but this particular picture originated from:  

Just thought I'd share!  Feel free to pass on if you'd like!  


Give aWay Wednesday! I Found 11!

It's Give aWay Wednesday time.  Don't forget my fun give away with free Lakeshore for everyone!  Click below to enter!  (If you get excited and forget to enter, you only get the free one and may be missing out on an extra version of your choice!  Enter and then go see the free download!)

Look to see what other amazing give aways I have found this week!  Lots of fun stuff - $50's in product from ArtSkills, linky subscription and much more!   Be sure to head over and enter!

One More!

If you have a give away and want me to list it, comment below and I will update this post as soon as I see it (and enter too!)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's Your Room Look Like? (And a Freebie from a Reader!)

So this year I moved school districts!  Walked into a teachers dream room... full furniture from Lakeshore including a 4 piece kitchen, big book shelf, water table, and multiple cubby sets.  I am so overwhelmed that I don't even get started!

Here is what I am working with...    

For three days I just rearranged and rearranged.  It's hard to have so much space!  (Oh the problems some people have!)

One of our readers, Jillian Scroggins wanted to post her before shot too... so here is what she is working with!  I look forward to seeing what magic she will work in the next few weeks!  I will post her her after picture when she is done so you all can see!

If any other readers want to join... email me at and I will post yours too!  

Another great reader, Tonya Richards shared with me her labels that she uses to organize her manipulatives.  There are 10 pages of labels!  (The parenthesis are to put your name or the schools name to signify whose manipulatives they are... great thinking!)  She has said I can share those too and so click the picture to grab your FREE set too from my TpT store!  Thanks Tonya!

All you fellow bloggers have really inspired me with all your organization and ideas.  I thought it would be a good help for me and for all of our readers to see how you set things up in your rooms!  So no matter your grade level, please link up and show off your amazing spaces!  And again, if any readers want to link up too just email me and I will share!  

Head over to TBA to see other great Linky Parties!

Thanks and enjoy your day!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Fun New Site with a Really Great Idea!

I stumbled across this site today on Facebook!  It definitely is a must see.  They do their beginning of the year information a really fun way.  It's called the ABC's of Kindergarten!  Super cute!  Stop by to see!


Let 'Em Roll... Literally!

That's right... I am crazy about something and that something is dice!  Dice are the most fun tool I have as a teacher... they never get old!

And guess what, I am not alone!  Little Miss Kindergarten is just as crazy as me and so we wanted to team up to give you some about how we use dice with our students!  Scroll down to link up!

Here is what I currently have and how I use it:

 Regular old dice!  I use these in may ways.  We will use them to practice writing number, roll the dice and then write the number.  We will use them to order numbers, roll the 3 dice and put them from least to greatest.  We will also use them to play number races, roll the dice and graph the number.    Did you know that many casinos will give you their old dice and cards? 

Dice to 20 and 30.  I do the same activities as above, but increase the values.  This is a great for differentiated instruction as not all kids have to play a game with the same dice.  

I also have shape dice.  My kids love these dice!  They can roll a shape and graph the response.  They can roll a shape and add that shape dice into a picture.  Or even roll a dice and write the word for that shape!  Super fun!

I also use dice within dice.  This is fun for ordering number.  I will give each pair of students 2 dice.  Then they have to order all 4 numbers that they roll from least to greatest or greatest to least.  They are also great for addition and subtraction.   

Alphabet Dice.  This is the newest addition to my classroom and one that I am very excited about!  I have dice I have made to read CVC words and dice with random letters, but these are going to take some of my lab games to new levels! I also plan on letting kids roll the dice and say the letters aloud quickly, helping with letter naming fluency!

It's real simple.  Kids will roll the dice and place a unifix cube on the letter they roll.  You can play this game with magnet letters in a brown bag too if you have no dice.  Blogger is acting up... so here is the direct link to the form in Google Docs!

I found this great website that offers so many different kinds of dice for what I fell is a fair price.  It is called Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks!  This is where I have bought many of mine.  Future dice plans include the following:

 So with all these dice how do I organize them?   I just got this new organizer I really excited to unpack all my dice in my classroom and put them into here.  There is one large compartment for my larger ABC dice and 6 containers for my different kinds of regular sized dice.  I picked it up at The Container Store today on sale!  I really love that I can take out one type of dice at a time and still put the lid on it and store it away!

Mind's in Bloom shared this idea about using dice to write poems!  Stop by to see!

I could go on for hours about dice!  Remember to hop on over to Little Miss Kindergarten to see how she uses dice in her room!  I hear she has a freebie too!  Link up and share you dice ideas too!