Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord {vacation style}

I'm linking up with Fabulous in First for her weekly... 
This is definitely going to be a hodgepodge with working, being on vacation, and constantly thinking about the new school year! 

1. Does anyone else CFA?  My lovely and lively K team spent from 10-3 last Tuesday mapping out our school year AND our common formative assessments through March.  How often do you assess?  My team is getting together again this Thursday, but...

2. I am at the beach!  
Hubs and I spent today at Siesta Key and lunched in Casey Key!  But...

3.  I'm always thinking about school!  
I finally found a Target with those cute stickers. And, if you use the Cartwheel app... Sharpie highlighters are only 95 cents!!!! 

I am about to look at the back to school ads on my phone. (Remember, hubs said  no computer!)  If you know of any awesome deals, let me know!  I know tax free weekend is coming up for some... Including me as I travel back home! 

I hope you're having a good end the weekend!  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Snapshots {linky party}

Well, I'm going to admit something. I haven't been thinking a whole lot about school. I need to be thinking about it, but when you're here...
It's really hard to focus on anything other than... vacation!  

While hubs and I are in beautiful FL, I'm linking up with...
To share what I've been up to this week... in pictures!  

Um, this happened. In Tifton, Ga. Did YOU know we have a national peanut museum? 

This happened too!  It was delicious!  Chopped pork, mac & cheese, cucumber salad, and of course... sweet tea!

This is happening... a lot... with sunscreen of course. 

Farmers market action happened too.  Do you think hubs and I can eat all this watermelon in a week?  

So, for those of you still on vacay... Find some time to soak up the summer in between laminating, cutting, and collating!  And, for those already back in school... Cherish these warm weekends while you can!  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday {from the road!}

I survived my 1st day in the car. I had gobs of time to read blogs on Bloglovin' and peruse Facebook for fun!  Hubs is driving the first leg today, and we are only  5 1/2 hours from our destination in FL!  Hooray!  

I figure now would be as good time as ever to secretly blog from my phone!  

I'm linking up with http://thefirstgradeparade.blogspot.com for her weekly... 

Today's throwback is from November 14, 2011.  I've been debating whether to bring back yoga work station in my classroom. My kinder kiddos loved it and looking back on these posts make me think it's a must!  Read on and let me know what YOU think! 
**************************************************
Hooray for Work Stations!
There was excitement brewing in my classroom today! Drum roll, please... 

Yoga Work Station has officially opened in our classroom, and the kindergarten kiddos are excited. (And, did I mention, I am too!)

We introduced it last Friday, when some of our work stations changed, but we reviewed and extended it today. In yoga work stations, we can... 
1. Practice our poses. 
2. Color a yoga pose. 
3. Play a yoga game. 
4. Read a yoga book. (I need to add this to our "I can..." chart!"

Take a look at yoga work station (right next to writing work station)!
The basket has the yoga books.  The red tray has the coloring pages.  The orange cards are for yoga memory.  Yoga mats, are well, for yoga!  The yellow basket holds our poses to practice and the Clorox wipes are to clean mats when we're finished.  It's a work in progress, so do you have any ideas of what I can do to improve it?  

Here are some shot of my first pair working in yoga work station today.  E & R were troopers and were excited to work and play!  

R & E look at one of our yoga cards to complete Tree Blowing in the Wind pose.

R completes a yoga coloring page!

E plays yoga memory and completes a pose when she makes a match!

So much fun and so good for mind, body, and soul!  What are you doing this week that has you excited?!  Hope everyone is having a good Monday!

Grab a yoga freebie here... Yoga Work Station - Recording Sheet!  Your kiddos can draw a picture and write what yoga pose they practiced!  Woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

He said "No computer!" {and a giveaway!}

Hubs said, "No computer!" on vacation. (Insert sad face here)  So, as he drives through the hills of Kentucky, I am secretly blogging on my phone. 

You can take the blogger away from the blog, but you can't take the blog away from the blogger... or something like that.  Thank goodness for the Blogger app!  

 Anyway... On to the giveaway!!!  My lovely, talented, awesome, spectacular sis-in-law is celebrating...  
Head on over to: http://mrswheelerfirst.blogspot.com to enter!!! 

Check out who is helping her celebrate! 
And, most importantly, look what you can win!!!! 

So head on over and enter, right now!  And, I'll blog secretly again soon! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday with Miss Kindergarten

I did it.
I did "real" work today.
It wasn't fun craftiness or decorating.
It didn't involve cute fonts or clipart.

I updated our common formative assessments for this school year, and it was not fun.  However, I did do it with my kindergarten team, and THAT was fun.  We always have a great time together and enjoyed lunch & planning for a new year!  How is your prep coming for the school year?

As a new year comes along, I'm always looking for some wisdom, and Miss Kindergarten has it!  Come look and/or join her linky party to share in the fun!


  1. Coffee is always a good thing.  Children have energy.  I do not always have energy.  
  2. Always show your volunteers you appreciate them.  We have the BEST volunteer in the world.  She slices.  She dices.  She has her own cart that she buzzes around the school with.  She is the best.  So, I provide coffee.  Tea.  Baked goods.  Hugs from my children.  Anything to keep her happy! 
  3. Family contact on day one makes for a better year.  I started calling/e-mailing my families on the first day of school a few years ago, and it has helped make improved family relationships.  I have parents that I am now friends with because of the relationship we formed when their child was in my class. 
  4. It's always better to pack your lunch.  School lunch.  Enough said.
  5. Singing and funny voices > normal voices when teaching.  I also do this at home to get my husbands attention.
  6. Use what you've got!  I used to dance ballet, tap, and jazz.  Sometimes I bust out in a two step to break the ice or get the attention of my kiddos.  
  7. Your teaching team is your number one support at school.  I love the ladies I teach with.  We are 8 kindergarten teachers who know how to have fun and educate kiddos while we do it.
  8. Smile and nod.  When confused, angry, irritated, tired, etc.  Just smile & nod.
  9. 2:30 coffee is acceptable.  Go ahead, have another cup, you still have an hour left in the day.
  10. Hugs, high-fives, hand shakes, Hollywood kisses, and hit the rock bring the perfect end to a day!  My kiddos choose one of those ways to say goodbye to me each day.  I love the closure it brings on whatever kind of day we've had... and they know I care about them and can't wait to see them again tomorrow.  
Grab my "Great Goodbyes!" for free on TpT by clicking the above picture!

Alrighty...  I'm off to see what other teachers have learned during this fabulous linky party!  I bet I'll find some new wisdom along the way... 

...And find more teachers who think of coffee as a lesson learned!  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Sunday Smorgasbord!

I'm going to admit it.  I need another weekend to recover from my weekend.  This weekend was a nonstop fest of parties, concerts, and more parties.  And, while I am on summer vacation, and the lines between weekend and week are frequently blurred... I'm one tired girlie. 

Anyways, on to my first link up with the... 


Did you see THIS on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?
Um.  Jesse.  And.  The.  Rippers.  
Any Full House fans out there?  


I successfully threw a surprise party for my big sister!
Didn't Office Depot do an AWESOME job on those large prints?  Less than $4.00 per poster! 
 I think I'm going to do one of my class when we all come together in about a month!!!! 


I finally finished my Hundred Chart Hoopla update!
9 different hundred chart hunts for each month of the school year! 
If you've already purchased it, go check out the updates by clicking on the pic!  Or, if you'd like to check it out, the preview has September's hundred chart hunt for FREE!  


Whether they're our children at home or at school...
I love this reminder.

 I'm now off to tiredly cut out coupons.  
(The more money I save, the more I have to spend in Florida on vacation!) 

 I hope you're having a great Sunday! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Giveaway Round-Up!

I'm going to say it.  It's not going to be pretty.  But, I think it's officially back to school time.

I mean, it's not go into your classroom in the 100 degree heat and set up bulletin boards time.
It's more like back to school giveaway time!

It's coming folks.  So, we better see how much free stuff we can get before we're wrestling with bulletin board paper and the Ellison machine!!

Get your clicking finger ready for some Rafflecopter fun!
I'm going to share some of the best and brightest giveaways that are going on right now...

Some of my fav bloggy friends are hosting this big one!  Click the pic to head on over and enter!
Head on over to A Class*y Collaboration for FREEBIES and the chance to with a $50 gift card to the store of your choice.




The Good Enough Teacher is holding weekly giveaways!  Run, don't walk over there and see what's hopping this week! 




Teacher's Market is giving away those comfy chairs for your reading nook!  Head on over to try & win!



Teacher's Market & So Lola Boutique are giving away this adorable tote bag!  Click the pic to enter!



ImpactOffice is giving away a Bic Backpack Prize pack.  This is a pen lovers dream!


And, head on over to enter to win a personal laminator from Swingline.  I need that right now with all my printing and cutting I've done!  How about you?  

Whew!  Do you know of anymore giveaways that would be fabulous to share with your teacher pals?  This is the best of the best that I've found today.  If you have any you would like to share, please leave them in the comments section.  Lets share the love! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wisdom for New Teachers (Or reminders for us oldies...)

Do you remember that first day?  The first day you were on your own in the classroom?

Entering my 11th year of teaching kindergarten, it seems a bit foreign to me, but I still get jitters the night before. (Seriously, it's like Christmas Eve!)  I check my alarm clock eleventy billion times, and I wake up before it even goes off.  (This enthusiasm for early rising lasts about .2 seconds!)  I shower.  I primp.  I attempt to eat breakfast before 11 AM.  Then, it's off to Starbucks for the LARGEST iced coffee can make. (Can I just have a gallon please?  With extra ice since?  We don't have AC.)

There's calmness in these routines and traditions.  But, I'm always reminding myself of a few things that I think new teachers (and oldies too) should remember too.

Snack time, even on the worst day, is enjoyable.  How can you be irritated when you're eating animal crackers with 5 years olds?

Lesson plans can change.  Just because it's on paper, doesn't mean it has to be done right then.  Get a feel for your kiddos and know when it's time to switcheroo.  This will help your students stay engaged.  And, it will keep you sane! :)

Don't be afraid to hug, act silly, and make kids laugh.  You're not just a teacher.  You're a performer!

If you are about to lose your cool, take your own time-out.  I have put my head down on my desk and told my class I am taking a time out.  Or, I've stepped into the hallway, just for 30 seconds, to take a deep breath and regroup.  Kids need time-outs and so do teachers.

And, last but not least, don't be afraid of recess.  If they are N-U-T-S and can't stay on task... RECESS!  If they are down in the dumps and can't stay on task... RECESS!  Even 5 minutes of play time will get them back in action!

Do you have any wisdom to share?  Link up with Deb at Fabulously First or head on over to see some more advice from my blogger buddies!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A song and a crayon conundrum...

Hi all!  How was your weekend?  I went to my first concert of the summer season, and it was fab!  

My hubs and I went to see Cheap Trick.  You know... songs like... Surrender, I Want You to Want Me, The Flame, etc.  So much fun!  
Click the pic to listen to go to YouTube and listen to "I Want You to Want Me!"  You know you'll sing along!

Okay, on to my crayon conundrum.  How many boxes of crayons to you ask students to bring with them to kindergarten?  We ask for 4 boxes, but somehow, it's never enough.  That being said, I always buy one or two class sets of crayons for community use and if someone doesn't bring in all 4 boxes.  I am a tried and true Crayola girl, but then I saw this at Target...

Okay.  I need to know.  What do you know about the up&up brand of crayons?  

I love most up&up brand items.  I have their contact solution.  I have their cleaning products.  But, I have never bought their school supplies.  In fact, is this their first year having them?  Or, am I losing my mind?  

Fill me in!  Leave a comment and let me know (as well as all the other cost conscious teachers out there) what you know about up&up crayons and school supplies!

Friday, July 12, 2013

My First Fav Pins Friday!

Good morning, people!  How are you on this fabulous Friday?  I am in need of a distraction this morning, so I was excited to find  The First Grade Parade's...
How fun is this?  I spend so much time pinning and finding fabulous ideas from all the blogs, websites, etc., that I'm going to share with you my fav pins of the week!  

Isn't this great?  I'm trying to help my kinder kiddos become reflective on their understanding through Formative Instructional Practice.  A number system with an explanation would be a fabulous way to get students thinking about their skill or topic comprehension.

Now, I've been a fan of Mrs. Meacham for a while... but I haven't revisted her SMART Board resources lately.  I am sure glad I did!  I initially pinned this because of the stamina timer, but when I perused through... there are so mnay more resources for EVERY subject area.  Check it out!

Maybe I'm biased, but my sis-in-law's opinion writing pack is the bomb.com!  LOL!  I love that this writing pack has prompts, pages, and ideas for grades K-2.  This allows you to show stretch for the kiddos who are below or above where they need to be in opinion writing. 

I have stick straight hair.  I've bee following this awesome tutorial so I can add some wave/body to my hair.  I think with a little more practice, I'll have it!

And, lastly, one of the simplest and delectable dishes I make for dinner.  Sometimes we add chicken, sometimes we don't.  I promise you, you probably have ALL the ingredient you need to make this tonight.  This is a go to recipe at my house!

So, what are you pinning this week?  If you're not already following me on Pinterest, please feel free to click the Pinterest "P" icon on the right hand scroll bar.  I pin lots of school goodies, but I also pin food, beauty, yoga, and travel... a.  lot.  

Hope you're having a fabulous Friday!  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Did you know it was Thursday?  I'm going to be honest.  I did not know what day it was when I woke up.  Luckily for me, a cup of coffee remedied that, and I'm ready for this week's...


Today's post is from December 1, 2011.  It is a description of my dramatic play area set up for the holiday season.  Flash forward to December 1, 2012.  Do you think I had ANY dramatic play in my classroom?  No.  And, I think I miss it.  But, I'm not 100% sure how it would fit in to my Common Core classroom.  So, I'll leave you with the same question I had on my 2011 post... Do you dramatic play?  

I'd love to hear your thoughts!  And, don't forget to head over to The First Grade Parade to see everyone else's throwback posts as well!

Drama!

No, I'm not talking about my little ones.  (Though, they have been slightly wound up!)
No, I'm not talking about my colleagues.  (We're a tight knit group of 9 kindergarten teachers.)
No, I'm not talking about the fact that I left my purse at work.  (Wait, I did that.  Yesterday.  Oops.)
No, I'm not talking about the hubby.  (How could I?  He made dinner tonight & put my clothes in the dryer!)

It's DRAMA because I love dramatic play! Do you?  Do you?  

I just set-up my first dramatic play work station of the year.  (In years past, it has been a staple of the classroom, but due to size and other fun stuff, it comes and goes.)  Regardless, it's up and the kids are looking in awe at all the odds and ends that are out...



What's that?  What do you do in SANTA's WORKSHOP? 
(This has been a question in my room ALL DAY! and yes, my school is okay with Santa, elves, trees, etc...)

Build toys. Wrap presents.  Make cards.  Make lists of presents to give.  Make lists of presents you would like.  Label features of the workshop.  Play Santa.  Have fun!  

I will be unleashing my little ones in dramatic play next week, but not before going over the rules of the work station.  "No, you may not go give the principal that hastily wrapped Clifford stuffed animal."   "No, you may not wrap your work station buddy!" 


Work bench area to build and wrap toys!

A variety of holiday inspired greeting cards, wrapping paper, ribbon, etc.

Don't think I won't use my "Santa Phone" and let him know how you're behaving! 
 (PS:  My kids were SILENT in the hallway today b/c of Santa phone!  By far, the best $3.00 I've spent to spray paint an old phone!)

The holidays are a special time in my classroom, and I love using dramatic play as an outlet for all that energy, excitement, and anticipation! :) 

Do you dramatic play too?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sight Word Wednesday!

/t/ /h/ /e/... tuh-huh-eh...

Oh.  The beginning of the school year.  When kinder kiddos try to sound out every, and I mean every, sight word known to man.

But, then, it only takes a little bit of practice, and they are reading high frequency words like it's their job!  This is all with help from their fabulous teachers and the WORD WALL!

What type of word wall do you have?  What words do you use?  Fry?  Dolch?  A mix?  Your own list? 

My kindergarten team has used a reading series as a guide for the past 8 years, but it's not cutting it with the Common Core State Standards.  We have to up our word game, if you know what I mean!

So, while we're creating a custom list catered to our district, I'm perusing and reviewing Dolch and Fry to see what's best.  And, in the mean time, I figured I'd rather be safe than sorry, and I created both Dolch and Fry word walls.

Now, if you can't tell by the pictures, I'm super OCD about making my word wall functional and fun.  Under each alphabet letter on my word wall, the words all have different colors, except for a few strays here & there.

This helps me when Billy, Johnny, or Suzy shouts asks, "How do you spell because?"  You can now easily say, "It's the orange word under the letter Bb."  Hot dog!  They can find it easily, and it saves on having to stop what you're doing to go point to where the word is on the word wall.  



I love the solid colors, but I adore the chevron too.  I'm trying to decide which I'm going to use in my classroom.  What do you think?  Chevron is the "in thing" you know!  I have a feeling that's what I'll use.

So, lets hear it!  Leave a comment and tell me what type of word wall you use, what words you use, etc!  This will be our first year changing it up, and we K teachers need all the help we can get. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!



Monday, July 8, 2013

Kindergarten Writing Rubrics!

Did you enjoy your holiday weekend?  (As a teacher, isn't everyday a holiday weekend in the summer?)  I ate, drank, and was merry.  Mrs. Wheeler and I BBQ'd with the family and wore copious amounts of red, white, and blue.  All in all, it was a great weekend!  I hope yours was too!

So, I was talking to a bloggy pal of mine.  Do you know her?  Sarah at Sarah's First Grade Snippets just created the most fabulous kindergarten writing rubrics I have seen.  Take a gander and then click the picture to run... not walk... run to her TpT store to grab them!


They are developmentally appropriate!  They are family friendly!  They are teacher friendly!  They are fabulous!  What a great way to track writing progress in the classroom.  I'm so looking forward to using these with my new batch of kinder kiddos coming in.

Oh!  Oh!  Oh!  And, they're on sale today!  For $2.50! 
Go get 'em kinder teachers, and take a look at the other fab stuff she has while you're there!
First and up, she has other writing rubrics for YOU too.  

Okay, I'm going to go huddle in my house for another day as the rain continues to fall.  I seriously don't know when I moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest.  I feel like I live in Seattle with all the rain we've been having.  

Hope it's bright and sunny where you are!  Have a great Monday!