Tuesday, May 31, 2011

THEME for next year!!!

We only have two more days left of school..whoo hoo!!! I am already working on next year, full speed ahead. Starting Friday, my family is renting a lake house for a week and I will be lounging with my laptop (in between naps and swimming of course) working on all kinds of goodies. My team (I heart my team!) has decided to do a jungle theme in our hall and classrooms next year. So, I am wondering, what is your class/grade level theme and what clever ideas do you have? (Ex. student of the week= King/Queen of the jungle, job chart: Hunting for Helpers, cool way to make a chica tree, etc.) Email me a pic and I will post it too. Let's get those creative juices flowing. All themes welcome. I am sure someone out there needs your great idea. I love to bounce ideas off of people!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I am already working on units for the next school year but to celebrate the end of this year, I am having a sale through Tuesday for 20% off my TPT listings. Hop on over and check it out! PLEASE rate your purchase too! Look for lots more to come soon too. Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oh! The Places You'll Go

Can you believe that summer is already here? Man, this year flew by fast! We have 3.5 days left. If you are still going strong, here are some great books that I love to read at the end of the year to my students. My favorite book is "Oh! The Places You'll Go". If it wasn't so expensive, I would buy each student this book every year. Honestly, it makes me tear up just reading it. It just reminds me how much I love them and how hopeful I am for their futures. I won't have time to do this activity this year, but I made these balloons as a writing prompt thinking next year I will create a board at the end of the year with hot air balloons like in the book and let students write what they want to be when they grow up or what they will do when they are "old". They can color and cut them out. It is probably best to put them on cardstock or construction paper. If you do this, I would love to see a picture and what you come up with! :)
The Places We Will Go
I don't know why it never shows up correctly, but if you click download, all of the lines show up correctly. :)
Great End of School Readers
Speaking of the places you go...where are you going this summer? We weren't going to go on a vacation, but then my husband got the vaca fever so now I am trying to book us a lake house for a few days just to get away, swim, and play. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am trying to gather a list of great Kindergarten websites for my kiddos to do this summer while at home. What are your favorites? I LOVE Starfall...but I know there are great others. THANKS! Happy hump day (what a silly word!)!

P.S. Happy BIRTHDAY to my baby boy Joseph. He is 11 today!!

Monday, May 23, 2011


HOT MESS in the house...um, that would be ME! :( Oh, I did not have a good day at all. My car broke down TWICE! I had to drive to the fixer please (lol) with the random tow truck driver, which was 35 miles away...so I made a new friend.:) If it could have gone wrong at school today, it did. Is it summer yet? To those of you who posted such sweet comments to me today...Thanks! I really appreciated it. It helped me put on my big girl panties and conquer the rest of the day!

Anyway, on the good stuff. With our Ocean Unit, we read Rainbow Fish today, which is a GREAT book with so many lessons in it. We made our own rainbow fish and then created a chart about the life lessons we learned in the book. It was a fun way to have interactive writing today!

Tag Your IT!!!

And the FREE stuff keeps coming!! I am thrilled to be a part of Teaching Blog Addict's "Tag Your It" game today! Head over there for the rules and for a chance to win a $25 gift card that I am sponsoring! Happy Monday friends!! Wow, I think I am getting a little carried away with the exclamation points...can you feel the excitement??

And The Winner Is......

Drum roll please......
I know I said that I would draw two names, but I am so excited that there was such a great response that I decided to give out a few more! Congratulations Gina, Mrs. Osterman, Katie Mense, Jessica, & Alicia Malec (for being follower #100!). I have emailed you my Ocean/Summer unit. Katie & Alicia, I need your email addresses please. THANKS to everyone who posted! More giveaways to come!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Certificates...Free downloads!

Need end of year certificates? Here are a few that I created. You can purchase the 17 page set through my TPT store or through my Scribd store. Feedback is always appreciated! 12 Pages are half sheets, 5 Pages are 1/4 sheet. I would print the smaller ones on colored card stock. Just a thought. :)
Certificates Free Preview

Teaching out of a Shoe Box!

Several of you have posted below about having a small classroom so I went digging to find pictures of my classroom last year. I couldn't find the ones without people, but I am sure you can see each angle of it. Some of these picture were of our tea party so the tables are not in their normal position. It was quite small with horseshoe tables (which take up so much space). I had a desk, a small gray cabinet, and a book shelf but no real storage. As you can see, I lined the walls with small shelves, pocket charts, and whatever I could. Literacy centers were done out of a six drawer tray storage thingy. :) Math centers were done out of tubs that lined the floor. AND, I since I worked in a charter school, I had 29 Kindergarten students. Oh my first year of teaching was an experience! But, doing literacy and math centers were totally possible and still fun.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Favorites of This Year!!

Since I am new to blogging, I thought I would post a few of my favorite things this school year. Next yr I will post as we go along.

First, I LOVE my classroom. This was my 1st yr at this school and before I was in a rm 1/2 this size. If I ever have to leave, it will be kicking and screamin, lol. These are pics from before school started and I have rearranged and changed dozens of things, but you get the drift. I did the new monster theme and loved it! My favorite thing to do is Science and Interactive Writing. LOVE it!!
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Literacy Center Ideas!!

Ok, I figured out how to start out my teacherspayteachers account. Yeah! I will still post lots of free stuff though. I have uploaded a few different literacy center units that I have completed. I will post more thematic units soon. I posted my ocean and space units on TPT too. Here are a few free downloads.

When I started thinking about what I wanted to do for Literacy Centers next year, I really wanted to create more consistency and cohesiveness for greater success.

*I started with the abc cut and paste. I did this with my kids this year when we were learning the alphabet. They love to stamp anything.
*Rainbow Words: students take 3 colored pencils, and sometimes my kids like to use crayons or markers, and trace each word 3 times creating a rainbow word
*Popcorn Sentences: student will cut out the sentence and glue it in order, then illustrate a picture based upon the sentence. These start out in order and with easier words and then evenutally become scrambled.
*Sight Word Cut, Write, Glue: My kids trace the word, write the word in marker (which anything they can use markers on, they love) and then cut and glue the sight word to match the word.

I created each unit to last about a semester and each week the same words are repeated in each unit from easier to harder. For example, the first one for each may include words such as a, like, see. The next week will include half of those words and half new words. I wanted to create more exposure to sight words and I think the consistency each wk will create more independence and sucess in centers. I hope that make sense. I think I have confused myself. LOL :) Each page is from a complete unit that is between 14 and 20 pages long. Just FYI. :) I like the idea of having a rainbow writing center where I know exactly what my kids will do for 14 wks, they can get used to it and be independent with this work, and it gives more exposure to reading and writing sight words.

Here are a few samples of the units I will be selling!

When looking at this, it seems that scrib is having trouble with the formatting of the pages but when you download the pages, they look just like I created them. THe lines are fixed! :) If you need any instructions on any of these downloads, go to my TPT site. Again, your feedback is super helpful!!! Happy Saturday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Summer Giveaway!!

To kick off my new blog I am having a giveaway. Who doesn’t love free stuff right! I have created several units that I will eventually sell on teachers pay teachers, but for now I am just enjoying giving stuff away. I would like to give away my Ocean/Summer unit, which is 35 pages. To qualify all you need to do is: 1. Become a follower 2. Comment on something on my page 3. Tell me something you need for your class that I could create or display or what you would like to see more of. I will draw two names on Monday, May 23rd. Have a great weekend!

Here is a preview of my Ocean/Summer unit. Thanks! :)
Ocean Unit Preview

Me in a nutshell!!

Wow! I am pumped to see how many people are already following my blog. THANK YOU!! So, let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Crystal and I teach Kindergarten in Temple, TX. I am so blessed to work at a wonderful school with such great people! I am 30 and holding!! I really pretend that my birthday doesn’t exist (other than presents because who doesn’t love presents!) because my birthday is always the first week of school and who has time to think about that! This year I will celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary with my sweet husband who owns my heart. I have three great kids ages 14, 12, and soon to be 11 next week. For those of you doing the math on that, I adopted my kiddos through foster care. We have been a family for seven years now. I tell people that they weren’t born from my body, but born from my heart. :) All three of my kids are dyslexic, have ADD, or ADHD, and my youngest is developmentally delayed and possibly autistic (testing to come soon). I plan on sharing things about them from time to time to help teachers understand how to handle children like mine. If you met them you would never know they struggle with the things they do. Sometimes it isn’t easy but we have faith that God’s plan is alive in us. Most days we are just putting the fun in dysFUNctional. :) This is only my second year to teach. I put school on hold after getting married and then started doing foster care. So, as soon as our adoption was final, I went back to school. Before graduating, I was an instructional aide for K-1st and an assistant teacher in a private Montessori school for K. So, I have been in education for about five years now, which has lead me to today. I am soon to finish my Masters in Educational Technology. I plan on posting great technology ideas here too this summer that you can use in your classrooms. I consider myself so blessed to be a teacher and lucky to be able to fulfill my calling. Many people spend their days doing something they hate. Not this girl! :)Whether my days are easy breezy or pull my hair out frustrating, I still feel at the end of the day that God’s plan for me is so much bigger than myself. Well, that's me in a nutshell! I look forward to getting to know you and learning from you. Thanks for becoming a follower! Be watching this weekend for more good stuff!

Kreative K

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Space Unit Downloads

If you are having trouble clicking on the space unit freebies, go to http://www.scribd.com/doc/55772312 and download the six pages from there. Thanks!

Here are examples of completed work. I heart my kiddos!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Space Unit

Here are a few free downloads of my space unit that will be for sell on Teachers Pay Teachers soon. Your feedback is appreciated! Thanks. :)

Out of this world!

Last week we studied the Solar System. We did a lot of writing during this unit. I am so impressed how far my students have comethis year. On Friday, I was DRA testing and my little astronauts were restless. We went down the hall, grabbed art paper, and they went to town. I let them team up and decide what part of the solar system they wanted to create. Some choose the sun, a rocket, a planet, etc. They worked together and created something great. I was so proud! (As you can see, it's a little wrinkled..it really was a kids only project!)

Dude! It's me...Skippito!

For the week of Cinco de Mayo, we did a character study of Skippyjon Jones. My students loved it! Surprisingly enough, I hadn't read any of these books to them this year. We listened to one book with the CD and laughed. I think they like it when I read it though because I have a silly accent. LOL! At the end the week, we made a chart of his characteristics(silly, happy, jumps on his bed, speaks spanish). Then, each student went back to their seat and made their own chart. They turned out so cute!

Our Class Writing....Fantastico!

The chart we completed as a group first. Sorry it looks so wavy...it's on my door and I had trouble taking a good pic. :)

Rookie Blogger

I am super excited about starting a teaching blog. I have decided to go ahead and start it now (even though we only have three more weeks of school left...can I get an AMEN?!) so I can get myself comfortable with this new endeavor. This is only my second year teaching Kindergarten. It has been a doozy! I feel like I have learned so much this year, my mind is still processing it all. I really enjoy reading other teacher blogs. They have inspired me to make my own worksheets, games, etc.  Luckily, I am very computer savvy and find joy in all things technology.  I am working to complete my Masters in Educational Technology by the end of this summer.  Fingers crossed! I really do not wish to become a computer teacher but instead teach with technology, if that makes sense. :)  My heart is with Kindergarten and I pray that is where God keeps me. I hope to upload classroom pictures and the last two units I created for the end of this year soon. Have a great week!

Kreative K