Thursday, May 31, 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

I have SO many ideas for literacy and math centers I want to make for my classroom and I am so excited to have found some great sites for graphics (thank you for the ideas)! I gotta say I LOVE Scrappin Doodles, SO much to choose from and so many possibilities!! I have added a new activity to my Teachers Pay Teachers store tonight as well!  The activity is an ice cream alphabet matching game! Students match the ice cream scoop with the lowercase letter to the cone with the corresponding uppercase letter. I plan to laminate a large colored file folder and place velcro dots on the folder and the opposite dots on the backs of these pieces that way I can have the kids attach the corresponding ice cream scoops to the cones :-) Can't wait to print these out and put them together I think the my kiddos will LOVE them. STay tuned for more literacy and math centers to come!

Check out the preview below and you can find the activity at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm in summer mode and getting creative!!

OK I still have 7 days of school left (will it EVER end so I can go back to kindergarten??? LOL) however, 7 days or not,  I am  in full on summer mode and starting to get creative, especially since I am heading back to my true love... kindergarten. I am going to be making some really fun and simple center activities over the next couple weeks that I will be posting on my TPT store but for today, I remade and posted one of the most favorite activities of my kinders in the past. It is called "Feed the Monkey" and it is very simple! I could not find a graphic for the monkey that would work the way I needed it to so that is when having a son that is an artist comes in very handy LOL. SO he drew my monkey head for me (that sounds really odd LOL).

Anyway... this game is SO versatile and as I said it is one of the most favorite activities during reading and even math centers! Basically you just print the monkey and bananas on card stock, laminate them, and cut them out. Then you cut out the mouth of the monkey and attach a quart size plastic baggie to the back of the mouth, I used packing tape and it held up pretty well and was easy to replace if needed. Then if you use Vis-aVi markers you can write anything you want on the bananas and reuse them for other skills later. I have done simple letter/sound recognition, sight words, word families, etc for reading and for math I have done number recognition, counting the dots, and addition and subtraction problems. Then you put the bananas in a bag or basket and the students take turns pulling out a banana, they must successfully read or calculate (or whatever) what is on the banana and if they do they get to "feed" it to the monkey by putting it in the mouth! They LOVE it!!! My kids would ask to play this game every day!!

Here are the previews of the game pieces click on either one of the pictures to take you to the page in my store where you can purchase yours.
(or copy and paste this url

Graphics????? Where do I get them???? HELP!!

I see so many cute things on Teachers Pay Teachers and I have a ton of ideas I want to create and put in my store but I don't know where to buy graphics and pictures and all that to make them with. I know all you great ladies have awesome stuff that you put out there do can someone please tell me where to find graphics???

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Reading Linky and a Couple of Giveaways!!

Don't forget to pop on in and enter my giveaway! Click on the picture below to see all the details! Then read below for Clutter Free Classroom's Summer reading contest and Linky!!!

I am linking up with Clutter Free Classroom in their Summer Reading Contest and Linky!!

Check it out by clicking on the picture below you can win a $15 amazon gift card and a copy of Ron Clark's newest book!!

The book that I will be re-reading this summer and that I totally recommend to EVERY teacher. It is called  Setting Limits in the Classroom. This book is an amazing book for classroom management. I have had many interns in the past as well as been the mentor to many new teachers and I always give them a copy of this book. When my daughter began teaching it was the first book I gave to her.

This book is a clear cut description of children's behaviors and ways to be firm yet fair when it comes to classroom management. One piece of advice that I took from this book that is always the first piece of advice I give to my interns and new teachers is that when you are giving directions to students you never end the sentence with "OK?" because that it inadvertently telling them that there is another option if what you are telling them to do is not "OK" with them. I replaced "OK?" with what I really meant and that was "do you understand?" so instead of saying "I want you to sit on the carpet criss-cross applesauce hands in your lap, OK?" I now say "I want you to sit on the carpet criss-cross applesauce hands in your lap, do you understand?" I came across this book my first year teaching, 12 years ago and it taught me how to be effective in my classroom management.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Ok I know I am breaking the "rule" about only 1 post a day but I am so excited about this that I can't wait until tomorrow to post it! I am having my very first EVER giveaway!!! You can win your choice of either my Daily 5 poster set or my Book Genre poster set!!  (Sample pics are below)

Entering is SUPER easy!!! Only 3 steps!!

1. Follow my blog
2. Post about the giveaway on your blog
3. Leave me a comment with a link to your blog post about this giveaway!

That's it!! Super Easy!! I will use the widget to choose 2 winners  from the comments on Saturday afternoon so don't forget to leave your comment!!

Below are some sample pictures and you can also find these in my TPT store ---> click HERE


I see all these blogs with super cute blog buttons and I want one. However, I have no idea how to make one. I made one for my 4th grade blog a while back but I can't find the instructions that someone sent me on how to do it. Does anyone know how to make one or know of someone who will make one for me? Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Also keep your eyes open I am going to post my very first giveaway soon!!! (I might break the bloggy rule about only 1 post a day to do it but I think it will be ok just this once LOL)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gotta Have It Linky Party!

Yep, I'm involved in another Linky Party!! Its almost summer so its PARTY TIME!!! LOL
I am linking up with Kristin at Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten to dream about those things that would be wonderful to have in our classrooms! Check out mine below and then click on over to her page and join the fun!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

your chance to WIN!!!

Hurry over to Learning is Something to Treasure for your chance to win one of 2 $25 gift certificates for Teachers Pay Teachers! Lisa is celebrating 50 followers with a great give away so head on over and check it out - the chance to enter ends at midnight tonight so HURRY!!!

Rockin' Resources Linky Party!!!

I am so excited about this Linky Party that Teacher Idea Factory has put together!! I am super excited about going back to Kindergarten so thinking about my top 5 FAVE resources was super fun!

Check out the link party by clicking on the picture below!!

Now on to the fun stuff!! Here, in no particular order, are my Top 5 classroom can't live withouts!!

1. The Leap Frog video series!!

 I absolutely LOVE these videos and recommend them to parents ALL the time! When I have a little one who is struggling with a concept I pop the video in to the computer for their computer time and have them watch and sign along. They LOVE the video and the best part is it sticks! The kiddos really get it!

2. Leap Pads!!
I have 4 of these in my classroom and the kids LOVE them. I know they are "old school" these days but the kids still love to read, listen, and interact with the stories!

3. These really should be at number one - Foam Phonics cubes

I have all 3 sets and I use them DAILY in small group instruction! We use them to simply learn letters and sounds to building CVC words and eventually I pull out the others and they build even bigger and more complicated words. I used to have only the red and blue ones and as the kiddos got better and better at blending sounds they didn't need them anymore so when I used them with my low babies the other groups would be sad that they couldn't "play with the cubes" so I had to add to my collection so that all my groups could "play with the cubes" these are great for differentiation!!

4. Sight Word Puzzles

Ih ave the entire set of these and the students LOVE them. They are self checking so they are PERFECT for literacy centers. Kids love puzzles and they really love putting these together and reading the words!

5. Instant Learning Centers

I have SOOOOO many of these in reading, math, and science. They are AWESOME!!! Everything you need for a center in 1 place and all ready to go. They are color coded to make it easy to put away, and they are self checking so the students can do them independently or they can be used at the teacher table in a small group!

Monday, May 21, 2012

So much STUFF!!!

Two years ago, when I left kindergarten (after teaching it for 8 years)  to teach 4th grade, I had 2 very good friends who are also kinder teachers, who agreed to store all my kindergarten materials in case I decided to return to kinder or in case my daughter (who is a new teacher) needed it. I told them that if they stored it for me they could also use it so they agreed. Well today I finished packing up ALL my kindergarten stuff. I had NO idea how much STUFF one teacher can collect over the course of 8 years!! 

This is JUST my kindergarten stuff!!
This is JUST my kindergarten stuff that my friends have been storing

More Kinder tuff - those red crates are PACKED with all my picture books

I have been told by my new principal that I can begin to bring my things over to my new classroom during post planning and as I look at everything I am beginning to wonder if my husband and sons' pick up trucks are going to be enough - I think I might need to rent a U-Haul LOL

I have been packing up my classroom - as well as my kindergarten stuff, and I am starting to feel overwhelmed! As I am packing up my room (mind you we still have 12 days of school left - I am THAT excited about going back to Kinder LOL) and as I am packing I keep thinking "oh my gosh, I still have so much to pack and then I have to UNPACK it all in my new classroom!!" I am SO excited to be returning to Kinder but I am also VERY overwhelmed with moving 12 years worth of teaching to a new school! AGHHHH!!! 

So far ALL my kinder stuff is packed and MOST of my current classroom stuff is also packed and this is what my 2 corners looked like at the end of the day 

Its growing right out of the corner!

oh my! SO much STUFF!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shopping and Imagine It!

I still can not get over how excited I am about returning to kindergarten next year. I still have a ton of stuff from my previous 8 years of teaching Kindergarten so I didn't need a lot. I did need to replace some thing that I gave my daughter - who is in her first year teaching and she teaches 1st grade - SOOOOO I went to the Lakeshore store today. My sweet daughter sent me a $50 Visa gift card for my birthday and I used that at Lakeshore (plus some more LOL) I got some really cute things! I also order some stuff from Trend and Carson Dellosa.

Now in the 8 years I spent teaching kindergarten we have used Houghton Mifflin, next year at my new school we will be using Imagine It! I have never taught Imagine It! but I have heard great things about it. The part that has me a little confused is the small group part so I would love to find out how other teachers who use this program, format their reading block.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Welcome to my NEW Kindergarten Blog!

Since I will be moving back to kindergarten next year (after teaching 4th grade for the past 2 years) I thought I would create a whole new blog. I hope some of my followers from my original blog - Fun in 4th Grade - will be able to find me over here! I sure hope so. I am also going to be looking for lost of kindergarten blogs to follow so please please please feel free to share some great Kinder blogs!