Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's in Your Pocket??

Greetings friends! I am off to NYC this week to meet some of my blogging buds at the Blogher Conference. Make sure you follow me on facebook to see what we are up to. Since I will be gone (last time, I promise, for the summer) a few friends are stepping in to share some of their genius with you. Make sure you stop by every day. You don't want to miss what we have in store! ~Crystal

Hi folks!  It's Kelley Dolling from Teacher Idea Factory.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to be guest bloggin' here today!  When I heard Crystal needed a few people to jump in for her while she was out of town, I practically elbowed my way to the front of the line :)  In my defense, Kreative in Kinder is one of my absolute faves and I just couldn't help myself!    
On that note, I couldn't be a guest in such a fancy "house" without offering up something extra special.  So, I scoured my files and "slept on it for a few nights" before coming up with this fun ditty -- MY POCKET GRAPH.  

I ran with this activity in both Kinder and 1st grade and both crews just ate it up.  There is just something about counting pockets that has 'em hooked into this graphing exercise from the get go.   
Interested in learning more?  Here's how this one rolls.  
  1. Pass out a graphing sheet to each student in your class on a Monday.
  1. Invite them to count their pockets and graph their results on the sheet (pants, shirts, sweatshirts, skirts, etc).  I also have them tally each day as soon as they finish coloring their boxes.
  1. Collect and continue this process for every day of the week - be sure to take time to ask questions as you go (it's a golden opportunity)!
CLICK HERE to get your copy!
Thank you Fonts for Peas and Scrappin' Doodles (TPT52127)!
That's it . . . simple, quick, standards-based, and downright fun. I even get way into this one and up the ante by the end of the week.  For example, I may start out in what I like to call "The Standard" pant with a shirt sans pockets on Monday.  (I gotta break 'em in easy.)  

However, by the end of the week I really start "playing rough" with these little knickers and a crazy pocketed top.  
The kids really go for it too - they are spinning around trying to see their "rears" and pattin' themselves down.  And, they always try and go get their coat from their cubbies.  It's hysterical!  
Well, that's it for me today, friends!  If you like what you see, I'd love to have you pay me a little visit at Teacher Idea Factory in the near future.  
A huge thank you to Crystal for letting me crash here today.  I had a ball :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Giving the Finger!

Did you click this post because of the title? Where you hoping for something juicy/naughty? Well...I hate to disappoint but I probably will. Those of you who follow me on FB know that we have a pointer issue in our house. Yes, my husband has been giving the finger daily. This is why you don't take hubs to the teacher store. Check out his antics this week

This is what happens when I leave for a week. That pointer is on MY pillow! I did appreciate hubs not being in his birthday suit! 
He left his pointer at work and one of his employees put it in the compactor with a ransom...so many FB likes or the pointer gets it!

The next day, we found out that Pointy was saved. I think we would have had to seriously had a funeral.

Yep, he is in need for an intervention or 12 step program. I would think it is really weird but he, along with hundreds of FB friends, are having way too much fun!! So, are you giving anyone the finger lately, pointer finger that is!??

Moving onI realized I haven’t posted much this month so here you go. Now don’t be jealous but I have been busy all week for real cleaning my housing, going through kids’ drawers and mine, along with cleaning closets.  I mean, people we are CLEAN up in this house. I forced myself to step away from the computer and get some stuff done, non-teacher stuff that is. Of course I am leaving this morning for three days to attend Frog Street Press Houston, so who knows what it will look like when I get home, haha!  I can’t believe that I haven’t posted about Vegas yet either. Man, oh manI had fun! I was scared out of my panties to go alone but let me tell you I have worked my tush off since school got out and haven’t really had a break. If you remember, my vaca was a big fat flop that left me in need of some serious therapy. 
When I walked into, what was the nicest room I have ever stayed in, I thought..I have entered into heaven. Then, I realized it was all MINE and I made the rules and didn’t have to follow them..hehe! Here is my room and bathroom.

Now, with three kids you can imagine the fun I have cleaning and keeping up with everything. Yall, I didn’t clean up a thing in several days. I had crap clothes thrown every way. I didn’t even make my bed, which is a big no no in my houseonly because I feel like I sleep better in a made bed. And, I realized I could sleep in my birthday suit. What? Ok, too much information? Oh well. Haha! And just for clarification, I did NOT have a roommate. That would have been awkward. J

I met great speakers and found new favorite ideas and classroom music that I will share with you later, but for now, here is a peak at my week. J
Me on day one. Pictures are always better when I take them. Haha! 1000 pictures and one good one, right?

Meeting Jack Hartman!

Dinner with friends (Fran from Kindergarten Crayons and Tonya from Mrs. Solano's Kindergarten). Love them! 

The strip...I love it because it is so sparkly. Um, yes I have an unhealthy addiction to glitter so I love shiny lights too!

Fran...LOVE her. She is one of the funniest people I have ever met. She is just brilliant I tell you!!

 Blogger meet up...this was so fun. I was so shy, which is so NOT like me. I was kinda star struck. I mean, these ladies know their stuff. 
I finally met my friend Deanna Jump. I love her blog and we have gotten to know each other this year but it was nice to meet all of these people for real. The virtual world is a nice place, but it's nothing like meeting face to face!

I had such a great time. I have so much more to share but this post is getting too long. You're bored, aren't you? Dangit! Haha. Okay, I am off to Houston to present at FSP. This is my second time this summer so at least I know what to expect. I will post about that AMAZING conference when I get back. Then, I am off to NYC for the Blogher convention. What musical should I go see?? 

To end, I'll let you in on a little secret. I am having a Christmas in July SALE and YOU are invited!! Everything in my Teacher's Notebook store is 30% off and all of my holiday stuff is on sale on TPT. If you are getting ready for the new school year, I hope this will help. Don't forget to check out my classroom decor sets. Y'all have me slaving on this computer to try and finish all the the themed requests. I love it and it's such a blessing to my family! 

Have a great day!! Again, what musical should I see??? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

K Daily 5 CH 6 Linky Party WORD WORK FREEBIES

Word work is one of my favorite activities to do during our literacy time.

Here are my answers to this week’s questions. J

1. Experimenting with words for learning and practicing a spelling pattern (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this)

Before students can learn words, they need to learn letters. I will start the year by working on their names. We can do this in many ways. Each week we will also introduce new sight words. My activities will include:
·       Play dough mats
·       Magnetic boards
·       Letter sorts
·       File Folder Games
·       Matching and sorting letters and words
·       Stamping

2. Memorize high frequency words (How often do you introduce new words? Do your students have their own lists of words that they can work on? How will you keep track of words that they already know?

I introduce one or two new sight words each week starting in week two of school. We sing songs, have games, and have flash cards to practice. Focusing on the word wall is very important too. Students are required to read thirty sight words before first grade, but my goal is much greater for them. This year, I think I will put a word list in their take home folder each week for them to practice at home and with me. We do regular assessments to test whether or not they have memorized their sight words.

3. Generalize spelling patterns (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this).

This is an area I don’t plan on focusing on at the beginning of the year. I need to think about this more. I think the more phonemes students learn, it will increase the learning opportunities and works that can be done.

4. Adding to our knowledge and curiosity of unique and interesting words. (What is the best way to do this?)

Students love real vs. nonsense word activities. So much of our learning in Kinder is driven by VOCABULARY so we really have to seize every opportunity to teach students all words, even the “big” ones. This year, I think I will have a word of the week. Who said that a five year old can’t use “big” words? J

Other things to think about:

· What materials do I already have?

   I already have a writing center and shelf I plan to use for word work activities.

· What materials would I like to get?

   As I take the plunge to do D5 next year, I am sure I will create all sorts of stuff.
How will I store them?

I will have a plastic tub that I put activities in large ziplock bags.

· Where will students work?

   Students will work at the Word Work Table.

Here are a few activities (coming soon) I created for the beginning of the year. Click the pictures to download. If you do, please let me know what you think. Happy hopping!

Give students magnetic letters or letter tiles and have the sort capital or lowercase letters, or letters in their name vs. letters not in their name. 

Use these play dough mats to work on fine motor skills and letter formation. Students can use two different colors of play dough too...one for lowercase and a different one for capital letters. Start with letters in their name. Here are mats for all letters.
Students can use this center to practice writing their sight words or print out the sight words, tape them to a magnetic board and have students create the words with magnetic letters. They can also use them as a play dough mat. If you have stamps, give students a blank piece of paper and have them stamp the sight words. There are tons of things you can do with sight word cards!  

Make sure you leave a comment telling us about your favorite word work activity!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kindergarten Daily 5 Ch 6 "Word Work"


I will be hosting the Chapter 6 "Word Work" linky   
this week! 

As the sisters say, The Daily 5 structure does 
not dictate the best method to use in teaching
reading, writing, spelling or vocabulary work. Whatever 
your preferred method of instruction is...do THAT!

I think the things you can think about while reading 
this part of  Ch 6 is...Word Work allows time for:

1. Experimenting with words for learning and practicing 
a spelling pattern (brainstorm a list of ways you can '
do this).

2. Memorize high frequency words (How often do 
you introduce new words? Do your students have 
their own lists of words  that they can work on? 
How will you keep track of words that they 
already know?

3. Generalize spelling patterns (brainstorm a list of 
ways you can  do this).

4. Adding to our knowledge and curiosity of unique 
and interesting words. (What is the best way 
to do this?)

Other things to think about:

·       What materials do I already have?

·       What materials would I like to get?

·       How will I store them?

·       Where will students work?

 I can't wait to see your posts on Wednesday! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Missing Blogger?

Greetings friends!  I just wanted you to know that I am still alive and haven’t abandoned this here blog. I had a great time at I Teach K, didn’t sleep much and laughed a ton! I am now at Frog Street Splash in Dallas. We had the opening ceremony tonight and it was great. I am presenting tomorrow and Saturdayeek! Must find bigger big girl panties! J I will fill you in with all the details and pictures when I get home.  I will leave you with a few funnies from hubshe is on a roll. Peace out!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Follow The Road to Freebies

Happy International Blog Hopping Day!! Isn’t this exciting? I am so excited to embrace the Wizard of Oz theme because there really is no place like home blogging! I love the comradery between bloggers and the learning opportunities we share each and every day. I hope you have a blast blog hopping today and find new great blogs that will inspire and bless you. J You've landed somewhere over the rainbow right smack into a pot of gold my friends. I hope you enjoy the freebie I made for you. Don’t forget to link up and share a freebie too. Make sure you stop by these linky parties and join in the fun. Click the picture to grab your freebie! 

If you are linking up here, make sure you are linking to a FREEBIE post. Grab this button and spread the word so we can spread the wealth! Thanks for participating. Hop til you drop!!

Follow for Freebies

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I took my kids to see Brave last night. It was SO good. They really liked. Now, the previews kinda scared me, lol. I don’t like some of the kid movies they are coming out with. I don’t like movies (of any kind) that instill fear in peopleso I am basically saying I’m a scaredy cat. J Anywho, we really liked it and glad we went.

On the way home, we had a talk about bravery and it got me to thinking about my own bravery.  I think it takes much courage to be a teacher. I think it is funny how each year we get new students and are able to love them unconditionally.  We CHOSE love! I remember talking with teammates saying, “I don’t know if I could handle(so and so)”  from their class and when they would say that to me, I would think of a good quality about that student. Now, remember I have talked about children that have made my eye twitch, but I still loved them. We love our class like no other teacher can just like we love our own children like no other mother can. I know I have thought to myself that I was glad I didn’t get a certain student, but I know others have thought that about my sweeties too. I think bravery comes in to play when you choose to accept whatever walks in the door and love them through the good, bad, and ugly (and there is always a little ugly, right?). 

Another area that I struggle with when it comes to being brave is PARENTS. EEK! I can handle little people all day long, but when it comes to parents, ay yi yi! I dislike parents that put me through an interrogation. I get so nervous sometimes, tripping over my tongue.  Some parents can be intimidating! It’s also hard to have those “tough conversations.”  Whether it’s a major behavioral problem or academically struggling, I think it is just as heart breaking for me as them.  I want my kids to succeed as much as their parents do. I wish more parents believed that.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes!

Bravery=big girl pantiesluckily I have a few pair! What forces you to be brave in the classroom?

P.S. Make sure you check out my Facebook for a great deal today! Have a great 4th and stay safe! Love and virtual hugs!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Good evening friends. I have been a busy bee this weekend putting the finishing touches on my presentations for Frog Street Press Splash Conference. Are you going? It’s not too late. Get more details by clicking the picture below. J
Anywho, I needed a chart tablet yesterday so when hubs got home we ran to the teacher store.  He has never been to the teacher store with me (um..he doesn’t need to see the bill..high BP, LOL) but we were going on a dinner date. Anywho, we were headed to the check out and ran into the pointers. OMG! He had to buy one. He said he would give it to me for my class but I have a feeling I will never see it. He had to work today because of inventory. (He runs a grocery store) I got texted all day with pictures like this. He was having too much fun. Haha! 

I thought I would participate my in my friend, Farley's linky party. Check out what everyone is CURRENTLY doing. Talk to ya tomorrow. J