Saturday, August 27, 2011

At last....

 No Etta James is not in town.... no at last I have my new blog up and on the run! For anyone interested my new blog is about our school library and how I make connections to the classroom through technology and books!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

... and a shocking twist....

Sorry forgive me.. I just spent the last hour watching some trashy reality TV. You know how they are- always the drama and the cliff hangers before commercial breaks. But I do have news ya'll!

  Starting a few months back my principal asked me to sit in on some meetings to help plan and design a renovation project for our library. The challenge - to update the space to be a 21st century media center! WOooooOOoo! If you know me then you know this task combined almost all things dear to me: designing, organizing, technology, and children! Throw in some family, a fiance, friends, and maybe a little Chipotle and I'd be in Heaven!

  Okay... I digress! From those meetings sprang an interview... then a second interview... oh did I mention our fantastic Media Specialist was retiring? Well starting in the fall I am now the official new Media Specialist for my elementary school :)

  Let's review my craziness...

 1) Getting married this summer
 2) Enrolling in grad school since I do not have an endorsement in library sciences
 3) Starting a new job in the fall
 4) Being involved in a large renovation job that leaves many timelines up in the air

    So in short... I'll be taking a break from blogging until I can figure out what I have to bring to the table.. or maybeeee more of like what I'll be begging ya'll for help with :) Obviously I'll be changing the blogspot title and address, but I promise to update you when I do. Thanks for all the kind words you have left, inspiring ideas, and the motivation to share what I have.

 Happy Summer Bloggy-blog-blog-blog friends!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Packet part 5

 Little by little I am getting my summer packet together! Today's entry is giving my little darling some extra practice on coin recognition and skip counting. Even though we drill and practice and play with coins, it is one of those skills that during the summer they seem to forget about. Each page is pretty self explanatory with coloring only one coin and skip counting it at the bottom, and then a page where they color all the coins according to their value.

   I hope this is helpful for anyone else besides me!

Coin Coloring Pages

Long Vowel Flippers

 Yes, taking a quick break from my summer packet sharing to bring you another Dakota request (have I mentioned I love requests... seriously)! Okay so the resource I am sharing below is nothing crazy new or super creative, but it will be handy not having to pay $$ to buy them! They are long vowel (and a Y) flip cards. You know how you show your little sweethearts how to change man into mane, or pan into pane, well if constructed right, that is what these little flip cards do:

Long Vowel and Y Flip Cards

The first page is good to go, but the second page needs to be glued to the first, then laminated together (same for the 3rd and 4th). Then go ahead and perforate a fold so that the e (or y) can easily flip back and forth. Here is the word list:

 cap - cape
spin - spin
not - note
cut - cute
arm - army

 The longest part about making these was finding compatible words, so if you want more I can make many... just provide the words. The words have to be a word before the silent e, be easy to come up with a picture for it (aka "fine" not easy to do a picture kinds will understand), and that the word before and after the silent e are distinctly different not like bit and bite.

Hope you enjoy (and yes I am aware that most people will not use this until next year now haha)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Packet part 4

Writing Prompts!!! Have to find a way to keep those kids writing over the summer so I made a couple writing prompts.

1) Make a list of things they want to do over the summer
2) What they think they will do in first grade (you could do this now as the year is wrapping up)
3) Writing about their favorite food (also reviews 5 senses... well 4 of them at least haha)
4) Writing about their home
5) Play date- where they write about a day they played with a friend

I also made a personalized one just for my class and you could do the same.... all year I have shared stories about my horrible terrible cat named Creature, so the personal prompt I made for them asks them "What do you think Creature is doing this summer?".... I hope some of them come back and share this piece with me next year!

Writing Prompts

Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer Packet part 3

Here are the last of the 100's board puzzles! Enjoy :)


Question Mark

Make a Sailboat

Make a cone

Summer Post part 2

  Today I found myself surfing the web for other ideas of what to include in my summer work packet and of courseeeee I landed on Jessica Meacham's website! She went through and made fun designs on 100's boards for children to practice number recognition. So I borrowed her number sequences and put them on a page with a hundreds board instead of separate... and viola... some fun math practice for the summer!

Here is a smile face one:

Make a Smile Face

And a cat

make a cat

  She has many more and I plan to convert them over to this format in the next day or so... they'll be on Scribd so check them out!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer Packet

 Hi all! This week I will be uploading different parts of my summer packet. Today is just one page that encourages children to keep reading and I called it "Read and Color". Essentially for every 20 minutes they read they color a book on this page... for your older kiddos you could even challenge them to add up all the minutes together and convert into hours. Enjoy.... I promise the other pages are more exciting... starting small here!

Read and Color

Monday, May 16, 2011


 This week we have a field trip to our local bowling alley for extra practice with subtraction. I don't know about the kiddos but I am pretttttyyy excited for those gutter-blockers! Leading up to our trip we will be practicing skills in the classroom and so the following sheet was made. The third page is filled with spinners that you use a pencil and paperclip with, and the first two pages are to be copied front to back double sided. The second day we do this activity we will use one of those plastic bowling pin sets to figure out our subtraction sentence instead of the spinner. Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and kind words you share with me... and of course the biggest compliment of all, you guys using these resources with your classes :)

Bowling Subtraction

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ms. Dakota part 2

  Between getting feedback from one of our wonderful resource staff members and from a first grade teacher at my school, I thought a blend activity would be great to upload today. Ms.Dakota is all the time running around the school to pick up individual sweet-n-low students from various classes... all that time in the hallway could be lost instructional time... but not with Ms. Dakota! She flashes some vowel pattern cards such as "ee" "oo" etc. She requested that I make a new set of cards to work on beginning blends, so here we are!

Each page has 4 sets that have the blend on one side and a graphic and word on the other. The way I envision prepping this is to laminate the entire page, then cut the horizontal strips, fold, and then glue so that Fl is on one side and Flag is on the other. You could just keep these on cards or punch a hole in them all and create a flip ring. Enjoy! Let me know if there are other ideas out there that you'd like made into these kind of flip cards.

Beginning Blend Cards

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ms. Dakota

  Ignoring the fact that I have been ignoring my blog, a Fantabulous-amazing-spectacular-any-other-adjective-that-describes-an-inspiring-teacher coworker of mine asked me to make this resource for her. Ms. Dakota is a resource and intervention teacher at my school who is always looking to go above and beyond for our kids so the second she asks for my input or help on anything I try my hardest to be there to give back. Currently one of her groups still doesn't quite have rhyming down even though the year is rounding out, and bless Ms. Dakota's heart, she is trying her hardest to drill this skill before spring PALS assessments. So here is one worksheet that address rhyming and it is set up just like the PALS assessment. If anyone would like more PLEASE feel free to leave a list of rhyming words along with 3 others that do not rhyme and I'll do the rest :) (you wouldn't believe how difficult it was for me to think of non rhyming words that are easy to find a GOOD picture for).


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sight Word Clouds

Yes... I know! I have a problem with sight word games. Oh well! The more the merrier I hope. This game is for my Daily 5 Sight Word game area and it asks children to trace over words with certain colors. When you download the attachment it has the words already in different colors, but I plan on printing them in black and white so they can use their crayons to go over with the correct color. I have only made two so far but if you are interested I can do more :) just let me know!

Sight Word Clouds

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


 Just thought I'd share this again now that it is closer to Mother's Day! We will make this into a fun card to send along with any gifts we make this year. Enjoy (the answers always tend to be a hoot)...

Mother's Day Writing

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Linky Party: Mama Mia style!

  It is getting to be about that time ya'll! Mother's Day that is :) I know that each year I scourer the internet to find another super cute and creative gift idea for my munchkins to make. As I started up my search this year I said to myself... hold on there missy! There are SO many wonderful bloggers out there who come up with capital A-mazing stuff that doesn't pop up in search engines. Start a linky party instead! Sooooo here we are :)
  Write a blog entry about any gift ideas you have made or are going to make and then link up! My back up idea is to send home the plants we have grown... so far only 6 seem to be going well.... sooo you can see I (slash 18 mother's) need your help!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Newspaper Sight Words

Hi all!
  So a little while ago I posted what activities I use for word work and asked for you all's feedback. I got some AWESOME ideas (thanks bloggies) and my munchkins are thankful to throw out the old and in with the new. One awesome follower, Brooke (over at Kindergarten Round-Up) shared a cool activity with me for sight words. I do Daily 5 in my classroom, but I changed from Read to Someone to Sight Words, so this game fit perfectly into my new Daily:

  Cut up newspaper articles for children to go through and highlight sight words they know. Thanks Brooke for this fun idea! I went ahead and made a paper for my students to record their words from their news article on to. Enjoy!

Download Extra, Extra! Write all the sight words!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baby Natalie :)

I'm an aunt X 2 :)  Welcome to the world Natalie!!!!!

Word Burgers!

 So I was looking at my Scribd account and found that the most read/downloaded item was the Sight Word Sundae's. Of course I would think of dessert first, but here is the same game just with building a burger! Enjoy!!

Recording Page:

Building Page:

Sight Word Pieces:



Saturday, April 16, 2011


Okay ya'll... I need your help! My team and I have discussed what's going great with Daily 5 and what is kind of running out of gas. Our consensus is that we need some new word work choices.

Here is what I have already had in my boxes at one point or another:

Bendaroos      Clay      Letter tiles    Mini chalk boards    Stencils    Markers    Magnetic Letters   ABC Silly bandz



Now what??? One of our teammates (whom we miss dearly already... recent maternity leave) started using dabbers. Her kiddos write their word study word in pencil first (fairly large) and then use the paint dabber to go over it. I'll be looking into adding this one but I'd love some more ideas for all your fabulous bloggers out there!

OH! ANDDDD how do you keep your clay from drying out? I put clay into coffee-like lids and put them in ziplock baggies. This didn't work too well since a portion of my munchkins are unable to shut ziplock bags independently, then they would try to revive it with a wet paper towel and next thing you know, mud word work rather than clay word work!

 THANKS in advance to anyone who has some fantastic ideas for my team.... we need to shake things up :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baby time!

 Yes... I really am blogging while sitting in the waiting room while my sister is in labor. Don't worry I'm not an awful sister, she is in the early stages and we have a few hours to get through... so why not blog!!! A couple of weeks ago an awesome "follower" (ugh what a horrible word to describe the awesomeness I get from all of you) asked if I could make my sight word city with upper and lower letters for her Pre-K kiddos. Of course I would have made it regardless, but the more I thought about it, I will totally use this in the beginning of our Kindergarten year.

Plant Journal

 Honestly, you can't teach plants without actually planting them.... well at least not in Kindergarten anyways! Some of my student's background knowledge is limited and I even have a student I had to have literally go touch grass outside to be able to read the word in a book. So since we are all planting some plants I figured I'd share my recording journal! Every few days I'll be putting this out for morning work and the students are to go observe changes in their plant, write about it, and illustrate it.

Front Cover and Back Cover (just copy one for each kiddo and fold it in half around the next pages):

Middle pages (print two copies of this and then make it double sided- photo copy as many pages as days you think you'll want to do this journal for)


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Plant writing...

 Thanks for the kind words and happy wishes about my trip. I had a wonderful time with some of my lovely girlfriends... they did an awesome job planning!

  Back to work though, and finally back to blogging! I wish I had time to finish some neat games I have started, yet I find myself writing report card comments, setting up conferences, packing my room (yes don't even get me started on my anal retentive ways... we are having our rooms tiled and painted), and possibly thinking about some changes for next year! So where does all this leave me today for posting a blog entry? Just putting up an easy writing paper for plants.

  Tomorrow we plant our seeds, so today the munchkins had to predict how they would do that in the classroom and then illustrate it. VERY interested and enlightening to hear what they thought... prime examples:

1) put the seeds in the sink to water them and lots of love

2) put the seeds in cup, add water, and stir

3) [my personal favorite] I need a cup, I need a roots, I need a leaf, I need a stem, I need a flower. Then I have my plant.

Enjoy... wish me luck... I literally kill 75% of plants I touch each year!


Download Seed Writing

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hen Party!

  It is true... I am getting married! I will be gone through Sunday to the beautiful Savannah, Georgia with some of my most wonderful friends celebrating this very fact. I have lots of goodies in store for when I return though, so check back early next week!

Happy blogging / blog-stalking ya'll!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Space Sequencing

 My munchkins are pretty good at sequencing numbers that are all back to back... meaning 12,13,14,15, etc... where there are no numbers missing inbetween.  This game will given them the added challenge of sequencing numbers from smallest to biggest that are not necessarily the next counting number.

Feel free to hype this game up about how the kids are waiting to get on a spaceship heading to Outerspace! They HAVE to get in line IN ORDER though and the ship can only hold 8 kids. The more exciting I make my games seem the more often they are used... hence the more often they get some solid practice of necessary skills!

I made this game with the intention of making it a file folder game... you can obviously use it how you see fit!


Tuesday Tips!

 Let's shake things up shall we? I think every Tuesday I'd like to give a classroom decor tip! At one point I contacted TLC to see if they were interested in doing a design show that goes into classrooms that want help reorganizing, decorating, or managing.... I never heard back... I suppose that wouldn't interest the general public. Hmmm according to the US Census though (2000) there are 6.2 million teachers... oh well!

  Well I'll just use my blog to live out my dream!

1st Tuesday Tip:

Problem: My classroom is so old and outdated, help!!!

Solution: Earlier this year I found myself glaring down my old built-in cabinetry
and yes although I tried sprucing up the area with curtain, it still was just not cutting it. In September we had a day where volunteers came into our school to do any work we wanted / needed.... so I had our awesome PTO purchase some primer and paint, and had our awesome volunteers go to town on our cabinetry!

  I'm wishing that I had the after picture here at home with me to show how big of a change it is! A little bit of paint can go a LONG WAY!!! Painting old cabinetry too much for you? Try a book shelf, old file cabinet, or possibly your desk. DISCLAIMER: ask permission before painting anything that isn't actually yours! I work in a great county where getting permission is fairly easy, but I hear this is not always the case.

  If you are able to due to funds, volunteers, or protocol in your county, try having your classroom painted over the summer! A calm color can make a HUGE different to the aesthetics, but also according to research, children's behavior as well!!!! Check these articles out:

How does color affect our thinking and feeling?

Time Magazine: Color in the classroom

The Best Paint Color for Classroom Walls

Where would you rather be:


Feel free to leave links to pictures of your classrooms, leave your own tips, or just some general feedback :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Butterfly Numbers

 Wow! It's been a little while since I have done a math game. Although it is by far my favorite subject to teach, I am none too thrilled with the remaining math units I have left to teach. Countries, such as China, who stay focused on teaching a major math theme all year might be on to something. For example, in first grade the students would ONLY work on addition and/or subtraction.... for the entire year! I know what you are thinking... uhh I don't think I have THAT much to teach for addition in first grade! Here's the thing... children achieve full mastery on the subject (i.e. counting objects, counting from 1, counting on, non counting strategies, doubles plus one, forming groups of 10, carrying over, etc etc etc).
  Why am I brining this up you may ask? Oh because I would LOVE to focus on NOTHING but pure numeracy in Kindergarten! Numbers, counting strategies, seeing numbers multiple ways, skip counting, breaking a number apart and putting it back together, dot patterns, ten frames, you name it! So I made this butterfly game with that inspiration in mind. Yes I will be teaching subtraction, time, fractions (seriously??) but throwing in numeracy games here and there.

  This game involves students finding the missing pieces to their butterfly. Yes the numbers may be small, but they have to know the word, the tally marks, finger pattern, and dot pattern for each of these lower numbers. For you First-ies out there you could easily make this an addition/subtraction game where the pieces add up/subtract down to the middle number. ENJOY!


Sunday, April 3, 2011


Yes you have at least 23 different types of Bingo Boards, but we teachers tend to be hoarders, so here's another! I used my county's word list (PAWS) to create 4 different boards yet here are some important things to note before downloading:

1) I made this with the intention my kiddos would be playing independently and not against other players, so this means there is only the one board and would be kind of silly to have a group of students playing it all together.

2) The portion where it says "place cards here", I intend to staple a rectangle there with an opening along the top side. Then I will laminate the board, and using an exacto knife I will reopen that top slit. Viola... cards slide in.

3) Along the top of each board I added which lists are on the board so you can easily differentiate your independent stations. Also I put what color card stock to photocopy these boards on... obviously these are suggestions and you could ignore it. Mainly it is for me to stay organized!

4) Included on the cards page are an extra 4 empty cards incase we loose any


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cup Stacker

 I saw this really neat... yes I said neat... idea from Mr. Smith is a pretty quirky teacher so wheaher his antics amuse your or annoy you, he does have some creative ideas. On this link he shows you a knew way to use mini dixie cups to practice sight words.

1) Buy a bunch of bathroom cups

2) Cover a pringles can for storing this game in

3) Write words on the bottom of each cup

4) Then kids have to read each sight words before they can add them to their stack

Viola! Still head over to the video because you might find some other cool ideas on his side bar!

Friday, April 1, 2011


 Sorry ya'll... I know I said that I would be done with sight words for awhile... I might have an addiction! In actuality, my awesome Kindergarten team and I have decided to change up our Daily 5. Instead of teaching the last daily (Read to Someone) we have decided to change it to Sight Words. We plan on having lots of different sight word games for this independent choice, and keep them separate from our Word Work choice.

  This game involves students picking cookies with sight words to put on a baking sheet and then recording. You could use a real cookie sheet (thank you Dollar Tree!) and magnetize the cookies, or you could print and laminate the picture one.



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