Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Daily Schedule!

So we all know I am at a new school this year and I have to admit that figuring out how to schedule my day has been crazy!

It's so hard, 90 minutes of uninterrupted this and 60 minutes of uninterrupted that!  And in AZ we have English Language Development (ELD) standards that require 60 minutes of reading, 60 minutes of writing, 60 minutes or grammar, and 60 minutes of vocabulary.  Getting it to fit is definitely a challenge!

So here is my schedule!  I post it just in a pocket chart.  I don't have any white boards in my room (that's where I posted it with my objectives last year) and this seemed to be the most useful!

One tip I just got at an inservice is to turn the card over after you do it so the kids can follow with what part of day it is.  (Never thought of that!)

Free Daily Schedule 4
One other amazingly effective management thing I do is on my go home chart.  I have done everything from write them in to print them out... but I found myself changing kids as they change everyday!  (Ugh).  So I put the kids names on small post it's now.. so when they change...  I just move their post it over!  So simple and and not sure why I did not think of it earlier!

Head on over to see other schedules!  (Maybe I will post my lesson plans too... they are CRAZY fun!)


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Snap Cubes Freebie

So I have always had snap cubes and have never been able to figure out what to do with them.

And for some reason... my students somehow figure out they make great g-u-n-s, and the sound of kids playing that is not only inappropriate for schools, but very annoying.  It drives me crazy so I usually just don't
use my snap cubes. 

Stop by Simply Kinder to get it for FREE!  (And see another great Snap Cube Center for free with my Number Formation Poems set!)

Head on over to see other math freebies!

You may also like these products:


Favorite Websites for Little Learners

Here's a list of my favorite websites for little learners:

Head on over to see other great interactive learning games!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

I HATE TO READ - I Admit it! Eeeek!

So I admit it... I HATE TO READ!  Let me clarify, I don't hate reading, but I hate the act of reading!  I have never been a fluent reader and have always had trouble decoding words.

I attribute this to moving schools during the process of learning to read.  I remember being in a class and having a teacher (Ms. Hitmar) say "Oh she doesn't know Spalding," as if just because I did not know their approach to decoding that I did not deserve the right to learn to read!  Maddening!

Anyways.  My students of course don't know this about me.  I fake it pretty good!

One of the things I instill in my children though reading is not just books!  Reading is EVERYWHERE.    As an opening to every lesson I ask my students "Why do you need to know this?"  Then I proceed to show them some real world text that proves they need to know.  I then post it in my library and refer back to during other times where I can link it in.

I make this environment print fun and substantial!  I have recipes, bills, games, movies, and even a map from DISNEYLAND!  (The kids LOVE that one!)  I will literally say to my kids "Do you like to watch cable TV?  Well guess what... if you can't read the bill, how are you going to know they charged you the right amount of money?

Speaking of the Disneyland Map... we make a really fun activity for our zoo trip every year.  Students match animal stickers to facts about the animals that they read on a grid I provide them with.  And guess what... last year my students actually read the map to find the animals!  We didn't have to do it for them!  They connected reading with the real world all on their own and I attribute it to doing this one thing in my class!  It's amazing I tell you!  (I will post that activity in another post soon I promise!)

So here are some pictures of my classroom library.

And oh yeah... I said that whole I hate to read thing in a graduate class I am taking the other night and you would have thought seriously hurt them personally.  "How could a teacher not like to read?"  Well... it's the truth and it's also the truth about many of our parents and many of our kids!  So I hope I don't offend anyone by saying that!  It makes me NO LESS effective of a teacher!  (Just saying!)

Head over to see other fun libraries!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Kindergarten Buddies!?

Does anyone do Buddies with another grade?  I am so excited to be doing Kindergarten - 6th grade buddies with another class!  We have met one time already and the kids worked together to make flags.

This week we will be doing a get to know you activity!

What do you do with your buddies?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bb or Dd

I saw on TBA this morning about kids having trouble learning between Bb and Dd so I wanted to share one activity I made that works well.

Head over to Funky in First to see what others do! 


Alphabet Power!

We early childhood teachers are knee deep in teaching the alphabet!  Every time I think of the alphabet I think of my son watching Alphabet Power by Blue's Clues!  B-B-B-B-B-B-B-Blues Clues!

So how do you make the letters meaningful and fun?  Here's what I do!

Print yours fors for free from Google Docs!

Do you have a fun and meaningful alphabet activity?  Link up (remember your back link so your readers and see other cool alphabet stuff!)


Looking for Blogs on Facebook?

Whose not on Facebook these days?  Hop on over to the Lesson Plan Diva to see which of your favorite blogs are!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Teaching Blog Traffic School Reflections

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I wanted to take a moment today and share my experience with Teaching Blog Traffic School thus far. 

I started my blog about a week before Traffic School was released and so I don't have any great stories about getting huge increases in traffic after joining.  But what I can say is that when Charity or one of the other big players in the blogging world posts my work (either by request or on their own because they think their readers would like it,) my page hits per day shoots through the roof!  Let's be honest, at first I was a little annoyed because I had this happy little bar graph that now had a huge spike in it, isn't that a silly reason to be annoyed!  Now I love those spikes!  As a matter of fact, the business of teaching, motherhood, and being married for me means I sometimes only get to check on my number of page hits in a day and I can always tell when someone has posted about me because of that spike!  I am very grateful to those who are helping me achieve my goals! 

Another great part of Teaching Blog Traffic School is the actual lessons!  They are broken into quick 10 minute sections and very easy to understand.  As a matter of fact, I had never made a video before and when trying to figure it out... I went to lesson 9!  Charity makes things so simple!  Below I have linked my video endorsement as well as a few blogging friends!  (And BTW, Tamara from TBA blogged.... OMG... seriously!  For those of us who are not TBA authors, being mentioned in TBA is a great honor!  We all dream of being TBA authors in the blogging world!)

OK, so if you have any questions at all, please ask!  And not just about TBTS, anything at all!  (Except about why I look silly when the video is frozen... hehehe!)

Have a great Sunday!


It's time to start thinking Fall and Halloween!

That's right my friends... we here in the blogging world seem to do what the local stores in AZ here do... and that is bring out the seasonal stuff early!  I guess for teachers that's a good thing because we need to plan!  (Just annoying when it's still 100 degrees and all you can find is long sleeves and jackets.)  OK - hokus pokus I need to focus! 

So... one of my favorite things to do with kids is make hats!  I try to make one hat a week!  The kids LOVE them and I feel like my students can go home and explain a story or talk about a math concept because they were so excited to make them!  And the even better thing is that in Kindergarten they never get old! 

So... my Fall / Halloween Freebie is forms to make pattern hats.  I know patterns are no longer an explicite standards, but we all know they need practice with concrete patterns before they understand the completity of patterns in numbers.  So I don't teach patterns, but I do talk about patterns and in that regard this activity is appropriate.

So... what I do is pick one or two graphics I like for the kids.  It honestly depends on the kids - I may do pumpkin and jack-o-lanterns, or maybe spiders and webs, or even bones and pumpkins.  It depends on what I can get away with with the specific group of kids I have. 

After I decide what graphics I do, I simply copy that page (if I have 20 kids I will copy that page 30 times just to ensure I don't run out of pumpkins or skeletons, there is nothing worse than not being able to finish your pattern hat!)  Then I cut them with the paper cutter.  I don't allow my students to cut because that would take forever!  Then they just glue them onto a sentence strip! 

Simple, easy, fun, and little prep invovled!  Win, Win, Win!!!  Halloween or Fall Pattern Hat Graphics are in my TpT store for free!  Yeah!

Do you do pumpkins?  While you are there, check out my Pumpkin Observation Form!  I do this each year with the kids. It definately makes bringing pumpkins to school academic and students observe and record the many educational aspects of pumpkins! 

Head over to Rockin Teacher Materials for other great Halloween ideas!

I hope you all have a great day! 

Revised Number Formation Poems

The Number Formation Poems just got better!

Stop by to get an updated #6 - Around the clock until it ticks, that's the way to make a 6.  Download it from the FREE PREVIEW option in TpT!  (You know get both when you purchase the product.)

Are there any other poems you want added? Just let me know and I can add them!

Also check out my Number Formation Parent Letter.  It tells them the poems as well as ideas they can do at home to help!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick Management Tips (& Another Freebie!)

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick!  Hahahaha!  (I was not sure if the video and lyrics from You Tube of that song was appropriate!)

No really, I have tons of quick transition tips I use!  Here's a my favorite!

Banana Split Transition Poster We use this for getting drinks, or getting hand sanitizer, or anything where the kids may want to linger but need to move on.  I actually keep it posted right by my sink so that way the kids remember the appropriate timeframe they have for getting a drink.  The kids think it's fun and it keeps things moving!

Click the image to get your free poster!  

Do you have a quick transition or tip you can share?  Comment or link up below!  (Please remember the Linky Party Etiquette... Head over to Finally in First if you are not sure and remember to leave a back link to this post so your readers can see other transition tips!)

I hope everyone has a great Friday night!  (I did not think I was going to survive this short week!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Number Formation Poems

We are starting to learn to write the numbers and it is so important to form them correctly!  Here are the poems I use to correctly form the numbers!

Sorry for the extra click, but I am relocating my content to Simply Kinder!  Same great blog... more great teaching resources!