Monday, October 29, 2012

"There's a sandstorm in New York City!"

No, honey, there's a Hurricane Sandy coming to New York City...  can you tell we live in middle America or what?

Things have been insanely busy here lost in middle America... thus why you've seen hide nor hair (is that how the expression goes?)  from me in three weeks.  One of my November goals is to get my act together and improve my blogging frequency.  It is not merely a summer sport.  LOL! :)

Hmmm, lets see... to catch you up...

We've been doing yoga... slowly but surely adding more as we go... 

We are OBSESSED with writing.  They adore making all sorts of books!

We have gained a fish tank.  And two fish.  Unfortunately, we've lost two fish too... to the giant toilet bowl in the sky.  We're giving it another try again later this week.  

My class is in love with the squirrel family that lives in the tree outside our classroom.  Thus, we are starting to learn about squirrels.  

And, well, I was Honey Boo Boo for Halloween parties last weekend.  Yes, I had "go go juice," but not the real kind... just an empty Mountain Dew bottle.

To make up for my poor bloggerism... enjoy this freebie... How Many More to Make 5?  We used mellocreme pumpkins to find different ways to make five on the five frame.  So much fun!  Enjoy!  

AND, I'll talk with you SOON!  Promise! 
Mrs. Davis

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No, they didn't take me hostage...

Seriously.  I promise.

At times I feel like I'm shackled to my classroom, but seriously, it's all good in the hood.  No little ones have tied me down with yarn or taped me up with masking tape.  No one has glue stuck (glue sticked?)... glued me to tiny kindergarten chairs with the only hope of release being the giving of recess and/or snack.

It has just been a rough start for me this school year.  Nothing in particular.  None of my students are whackadoos... though there are whackadoo moments.  And, well, I think it's just all the changes this year.

  1. New school building.
  2. New principal.
  3. New standards.
  4. New assessment requirements.
  5. New daily schedules.
  6. Okay, new everything... minus my incredible group of friends (colleagues) I teach with!  
Um, hello, overwhelming. 

 "I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?"

Quick, name that movie!  I will give my Sight Word Work 1 Packet to the first person to name it correctly in the comments!  Because, well, I've been a bad blogger & haven't been blogging, and I feel the need to give something away, and I also wanted share a little info about my sight word packet and...

"Read, trace, practice, and review 14 common sight words. Included in the packet are Rainbow Writing, Find-Trace-Write, Mini-books, and Fill in a Friend Sentences for each sight word. The sight words included are the, a, my, that, and, I, is, said, we, are, you, have, to, and me! That's 4 activities for each sight word! These activities are perfect for word work, work stations, or centers! They're wonderful for whole group too! A great addition to any word work in your classroom!"

See, isn't that fun?  Look, not only did you play a little movie quote game, you learned about a product I added to my TpTStore!  And, you learned I wasn't taken hostage.

All in all, very productive blog time!

Have a great Tuesday!!!!!

Mrs. Davis

Friday, September 21, 2012

Full week Friday!

This was it.  My official, first full, five day week of teaching.  The first week of school is staggered entry, so I only have small groups of kinder kiddos during that week.  The second week, well, there's Labor Day.  Last week, we had training on Friday, so there was no school for children.  This week is my first week with my lovelies, and I survived!  Hooray!

Seriously though, have you solidified yourself into a routine?  Pssst, every time I do, a schedule changes or something. Thanks goodness I take yoga, 'cause you have to be flexible!  We're still plugging away with routines and practicing work station behaviors... thanks to a good ole week of missed routines.  Why a week of missed work station routines?  Oh, that's because the state decided they wanted us to do an additional kindergarten assessment, and it needed to be submitted to the state before the end of the month.  Only NOW, as of 4 days ago... They.  Changed.  Their.  Mind.  No need to do the additional assessment.  The first assessment that I busted my hump to complete during staggered entry days is just fine.  But, don't worry, they're coming up with something completely different for next year.  Awesome.

I'm rolling with it though!  Because honestly, what else can you do?

Here's a bit of what we've been up to in my kindergarten classroom...
Getting excited about reading with "Reading Buddies" aka stuffed animals.  They read their book three times to build fluency and then give their animal a big hug & thank them for reading with them.  They love it and the fact they can read anywhere (within reason) in the classroom.  (Yes, under my desk is within reason...)

Becoming math savvy while practicing working in Math Work Station!  They love reading & writing math vocabulary and working with math tubs.

My favorite part of the weeks was concluding our initial study of flat shapes with an art project!  It was inspired from here... Dali's Moustache!  It's a great art blog for all sorts of grade levels.  Check it out!  

And, while you're checking out the fabulous blog, check out my TpT Store for 20% off of everything.  Mrs. Wheeler is hosting a linky party with other bloggers listing their fall bargains.  Check it out...

I can't believe it's fall, y'all!  Enjoy the start to a new season!   

Mrs. Davis

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

All right, you saw how frustrated I was with all the assessments I have been having to complete, right?  Well, we may of just found the mother load of resources for all those starting their work with Common Core this year!  Woo hoo!  What a relief!

A colleague of mine found Kindergarten Common Core.  It is the largest collection of resources for the Common Core State Standards!
 Kindergarten Common Core Workbook
It contains over 600 pages of worksheets, activities, centers, and posters that align and teach the Common Core in Language Arts & Math!  My fellow kinder teachers and I are so excited to use this resource as we continue delving into all the fun Common Core has provided... who doesn't love rigor?  Who doesn't love communication?  Who doesn't love 21st century skills?  Hooray!

Head on over and check out what they have!  They even have other grade levels... K-5th!  Double hooray!

I hope you're enjoying your Thursday!  Have a great one!
Mrs. Davis

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A punch in the face...

Yup!  You read that title right.  And now, you're probably wondering what it means...  It means two things... one, I literally had a student punch another student in the face on Friday during dismissal... And, I feel like I've had one with the assessment requirements changing in my state!

First, the kinder kiddos... I take the students out who get picked up by their parents.  My kiddos go in one of my colleague's rooms until the buses are dismissed.  One of my lovelies, socked another lovely of mine in the mouth.  Ironically, the puncher was hurt more than the punchee because the student's knuckle grazed the punchee's teeth.  Yikes!  Nothing like parent phone calls at 4 PM on a Friday.  Argh!  I can't wait to play CSI Kindergarten and figure out what caused the ruckus tomorrow morning!

Secondly, how is everyone doing with the new common core and assessment requirements?  Common core, I'm cool... Assessments, not so much.  I can barely get a routine started and procedures taught because we need data... and more data... and more data!  We've always had a literacy assessment at the beginning of the year, but they've added additional screeners and diagnostics.  Seriously, people, they're FIVE!!!!!

Whew.  Breathe, Kim.  Breathe.

I understand the need for more rigor, but lets also not forget our basics of child development and what is considered developmentally appropriate?  (Do state's even use that term anymore?)  I've been focusing on play based centers in the afternoon while I pull children to work on the short screener.  Then, after that, if they're not "not on target" I get to do the long screener and/or the diagnostic.  Ugh!  Whatever happened to teaching?

Okay, I'm not going to be entirely "Negative Nelly" in this post, but thanks for letting me vent.  LOL!

We were moving and grooving to nursery rhymes this week...

I was chastised by one of my littles for not using a decorative candle for our jumping... We used cups.  The kiddos then put their names in the nursery rhyme and illustrated it.  They loved it and were so proud to read it!

Also, I found a F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S character building website.  I already have one of the books, but I was so excited to learn they have free online books and activities as well.  Have you heard of Howard B. Wigglebottom?  If not... head here... and check out all the wonderful resources they have to make your classroom more harmonious!

Here are my kiddos watching an animated storybook about bullying before we sign our bully-free pledge.  They've been repeating the key phrase from it... "Be brave.  Be bold.  A teacher must be told." 
And, I think we'll be watching it again after the "punch in the face" incident from Friday...   
Here's to a punch-free week for everyone!  
Mrs. Davis

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"What's your favorite dessert?" "Eggs."

Oh kindergarten kiddos, how I've missed you and your fabulous answers to questions!

I survived open house.  I survived opening meetings.  I survived parent orientation.  And, I survived three days of staggered entry with my new batch of little ones.  The real test is on Tuesday.  That's when ALL 21 of my lovely littles come to school.  All at once.

Not to mention, I'm still getting the hang of being in a new building.  "Um, where do I go to get MY lunch?"  And, it was 90 degrees yesterday, and we have no A/C.  "I'd like to thank my barista for the extra ice in my trenta iced coffee, sweetened, no milk, from yesterday!"

I got ALL the initial testing I needed finished... minus one who slept for an hour and a half on her table... And, I feel like I finally have a small grasp on how my schedule is going to flow.  Woo hoo!  I'll be lesson planning in the A/C this weekend, while tropical rainstorms occur.  (That is seriously what my weather said for today's forecast... tropical rainstorm.)  Anyone else feeling the remnants of Isaac?

So, I'm still here.  My classroom is finished... though, these pics were taken at 9 PM, some random night when I should have just gone home, but just couldn't until one more thing was finished...

And, I'm enjoying my black, yellow, and gray color scheme!  I think my kiddos like it too!  Did I mention I L-O-V-E seeing my former students too?  Um, one guy said in a deep voice, "Hi Mrs. Davis."  Um, buddy, you're as tall as me now.  Ahhhhhhh!  I feel old.  

I hope your beginning of the school year is off to a great start!  Take some time this weekend to relax... we're just getting started! 

Mrs. Davis

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tech Tip Tuesday & Happy Bloggiversary to me!

I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' again for Tech Tip Tuesday!  
I'm super excited to share three awesome web based resources I'm found for managing all the paperwork and reminders that go with being a teacher.  Check 'em out...

1.  Sometimes I have a hard time remembering to bring home my laptop or update my flash drive's lesson plans. is a web-based lesson plan with wonderful extra features!  Need to add Common Core standards?  Just click the drop down menu, and it puts them in your plan.  No need to type it all out.  I'm excited to use this web-based lesson plan site for my 2012-2013 plans, and at only $12.00 for the year.  It's a steal!!!!

2.  Ever wish you could text the families of your students?  Ever wish you could keep some level of privacy and not hand out your cell phone number, but are still able to interact with parents after the school day ends?  Remind101 is the answer!  Send a text or e-mail to ALL your parents in one shot... all from this web based, free service!  Families sign-up and will receive texts or e-mails from you, sent through the service.  No cell phone numbers given out.  All your families get the information they need, for example... "Don't forget!  Field trip tomorrow!"  And, you can make sure everyone got the message! 

3. I intensely dislike the cavalcade of papers I send home requesting help, supplies, field trip chaperones, etc. Here's a way to do it ONLINE!  My niece's and nephew's school uses this for their PTO, and they LOVE it!  SignUpGenius creates web based sign-ups for all sorts of things!  Families can respond online, and the free service will also send out an e-mail reminder as the date draws near!  I'm going to poll my families at orientation this year to see if this would be effective to use in our classroom.  I hope they want to use it!!!!  

I hope you find these online, web based tools useful.  I know I'm excited to implement some, if not all, in my classroom this year.

Alright, on this one year bloggiversary, I'm going to go cheer on my printer as it prints labels for my kinder kiddos.  Go printer!  Go printer!  Go printer!

I hope you're having a terrific Tuesday! 
Mrs. Davis

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Must Have Monday" & I forgot my laminating!

How fun!  Blog Hoppin' is having a fabulous themed out week!

Isn't that adorbs?  I love it, and I love all the fun new things I'm going to learn about my bloggy friends.  So, make sure you link up too! 

Here are my "must haves!"

1.  Coffee.  Coffee.  And, more coffee.  I love it hot!  I love it cold!  I just love it. 

2.  Bordette:  I'm not going to lie.  Some of my teacher friends think this "old school" border is ridiculous, but I LOVE it!  I adorned my entire classroom with Canary Bordette today, and I am obsessed!

3.  My jumbo owl Tervis from Mrs. Wheeler:  I got it as a birthday gift, and I've been carting it everywhere I go at school.  I just bought straws to go in it, so it is super convenient!  Since I drink so much coffee, I drink a ton of water too!

4.  Flip flops:  Yes, I know they're unsupportive.  But, when you're walking from table to desk to shelf as you hang bulletin board paper & border, you need to be agile on your feet.  With flip flops, I can just kick them off and travel from piece of furniture to piece of furniture.  My back hurts today though!

5.  A super understanding hubby: Seriously.  It's back to school time, and I am a crazy person!  LOL!  Without my number one guy, who doesn't mind going to Walmart THREE times in one day... and the dollar store... and the teacher store... and.... well, you get the idea.  Thank goodness his mama is a retired teacher and his sister is one too!!! He is a constant must have, and I'm so happy I have him!!!!!

So, what are your must haves?  Link up and join the fun! 

I'm going to go read now... since I left the wad of laminating I had to cut out at school.  Oops!  There's always tomorrow! :)
Mrs. Davis

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sentimental Sunday...

I went to bed last night, quickly checking my Facebook before I drifted off to dreamland.  In my message box, I found a sweet note from the mother of a student in last year's class.  (She & I have a mutual friend, so that is how she found me to message me...)  Here's what it said...

Hi Mrs. Davis!!!   I hope you had a awesome summer break! Since its about time to start school again you're the topic of almost ALL of his conversations!!! He says he can't wait to see you so maybe we will have to stop by your room one of these days lol  you sure made an impact on him & by the way he still sleeps with & took on our disney vacation his lion you got him from his surgery  Have a great school year! Your group of kiddos sure are a lucky bunch!  

How nice is that?!  In 10 years of teaching, I've probably received 3 or 4 of these types of notes or e-mails before school begins, and it means so much.  I went to bed with a huge smile on my face, and honestly, a tear in my eye.

I'm looking forward to a new batch of little ones, but last year's class will always hold a special place in my heart.  They and their families were so supportive when my father was ill and then passed away last school year.  I will always remember them for being resilient, loving, patient, kind, and flexible.  They were the epitome of what makes "good people," and I know all those skills they have as children will make them remarkable adults... and they have their families to thank for that.

So, cherish those little ones and the families they come from too... you never know when you're going to need them and they're going to need you...

Have a super Sunday!!!!!
Mrs. Davis

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

National Relaxation Day aka "I don't wanna!"

T-minus 11 days until Open House.  My darlings are receiving their letters in the mail today saying I'm their teacher.  My room is pretty much unpacked, but I still have blank bulletin boards... and zero motivation to go in and work.  *sigh*  I blame it on National Relaxation Day.

Or, it might be a bit of summeritis.... you know that illness we get when school is approaching?  Where we long for it to be June? And the summer has just begun?  Now, I have been printing things off left & right today (with the intention of going to school to laminate eventually).  But, naps have been included.  (Is it a nap at 9:30 in the morning?)  And, I will probably go in and work while my rockstar hubs is at band practice tonight.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job and am thrilled for a new school year!  (Seriously, isn't awesome we get a fresh start each year?)  I'm just lazy today!  LOL!

Do you know who ISN'T lazy?  Christina over at...
Bunting Books and Bainbridge

She was an absolute doll and sent me her Partner Reading Party!  And, can you say phenomenal?
It includes awesome spinners, card games, and activities to promote discussion, story retell, and comprehension when partner reading.  As a K teacher, I'm thrilled to use this in whole group, then small group, then let my littles rock on and buddy read all the way.  This diverse set of activities is appropriate for any elementary grade level and would be great practice for those tricky standardized test reading passages  If you haven't checked it out yet, I would head on over ASAP.  She has it available at TpT and TN

Go!  Right now!  Don't be lazy!  And, check it out! :)   

Okay, I'm *gasp* going to go work on postcards to send to my kinder kiddos.  Hopefully I can get the labels to format how I want.  Wish me luck!  
Mrs. Davis

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's just another manic Monday...

You know just sang that in your head!  Didn't you?  Be honest.  You know you did.

I can't believe that two weeks from today I will be back in the saddle.  Sitting in building meetings, finishing last minute things for kindergarten orientation, and getting ready to welcome my new class of kiddos!

I have a ton to do, and I am planning on moving in to working in my classroom all week.  My goal is to finish unpacking and get decorated.  Of course, with a hair appointment thrown in on Friday... we have to look good for back to school!

One of my fav parts of the day is saying goodbye to my kiddos at the end of the day.  No, I don't want to get rid of them!  I just like that small moment we share where we can reflect on the day, and I reiterate that I care about them and am going to miss them until tomorrow.

I use the "5 H's" to say goodbye... high-five, hug, handshake, Hollywood kiss (air kisses), or hit the rock!  Pick up a freebie poster set to hang by your door here....

Consider this a high-five from me!  And head on over to 
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
to find more awesome free resources!
Mrs. Davis

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Shopping Spree!

I'm a few hours behind, but I'm joining the fun in my TpT Store and have marked everything 20% off!  Don't forget to use the code BTS12 to get an additional 10% off!  

Happy Shopping!!!!

Mrs. Davis

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A day in pajamas!

Oh my goodness.  I did not get dressed today.  I woke up when hubs went to work at 8 AM, laid in bed and watched The Today Show, and then I went back to sleep at 9:30 AM.  I finally got out of bed around NOON!  I guess Kindergarten Screening really took it out of me yesterday.  Whew!

I'm trying to cherish these last two weeks before school starts, though I have oodles to work on in my classroom.  Here are a few things I've done this week...

I made pennant banners to hang in my classroom...

I spruced up my plastic drawers...

I made posters to hang by my door for our farewells at the end of the kindergarten day...

Grab them in my TpT Store for [FREE] here: Great Goodbyes!
Even though I'm still PJ clad... I've narrowed down my classroom color scheme, unpacked a few boxes, spruced up some old drawers, and started thinking about full-on classroom decorating!  Woot!  

How are YOU doing on the countdown to Back-to-School?
Mrs. Davis

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

4 packs of yellow and 1000 paperclips...

Today was the day...  The day I went from thinking about working in my classroom to actually doing it.

Now, please recall that I've moved buildings, and I have eleventy billion quite a few boxes to unpack.  PLUS, our supply orders have arrived, so it's like my boxes of stuff had babies while I was on vacation!

I started to organize my million packs of construction paper, some from my old classroom, some from my new supply order, and I then I realized... I only ordered four packs of yellow construction paper.

For.  The.  Whole.  Year.

Granted, I was under duress, not in my classroom, and didn't really care about school supplies in April when my dad was in the hospital... but seriously... only four?  I have no clue what I was thinking.  I hope I need to fasten papers though... because I ordered five 200 count boxes of JUMBO paperclips!

Paperclips are the new yellow construction paper in my kindergarten classroom.  There.  Problem solved!

We won't make yellow daisies from construction paper, we'll use the paperclips as petals!  We won't make ducks from construction paper, we'll sculpt them from paperclips!  We won't hunt for gold coins at St. Patrick's Day, we'll hunt for paperclips!

I can only imagine what other gems I'm going to come across as I unpack! :)

No work in the classroom tomorrow though... it's...  (as shouted through a megaphone, with an echo) KINDERGARTEN SCREENING!  I'll fill you in on all the lovelies I meet tomorrow... after a much needed yoga class, of course.
Mrs. Davis

Sunday, August 5, 2012

An oops! A vacation! And... WINNERS!


I know I promised my "No Students!" Back to School Centers to someone for a giveaway, but I can't find who, what, where, when... anywhere.  I am S-O-R-R-Y!  I will make it up to you and the winner ASAP.  I promise!  Please contact me in the comments section below with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you.

My vacation is the cause of the oops!

Hubs and I just got back from a two week road trip down south!  From the Midwest to Chattanooga, TN to Bradenton, FL and back again!  We had a wonderful time visiting with a dear friend of mine and doing as little as possible.  My days involved the pool, the beach, naps, Cuban food, seafood, etc... it was luscious!
This is my new everyday prayer!  
We got back yesterday, and I'm trying to transition from daily naps to work mode.  It's not working so well, but I still have 19 days until I have to report.... but LOTS of work to do in my classroom.  More on that later!

Now, onto the WINNERS!

I'm super excited you all shared in my 200 Follower Giveaway!  I've made new bloggy buddies and am so happy to have you here with me!  So here goes...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize Winner: Anne C.
Runners-Up: Toni C. and Elizabeth L.

I will e-mail you for your contact info! Congratulations!!!!

Mrs. Davis