Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweet Summertime...and a freebie!

Hi Everyone,

Hope everyone has had a very relaxing summer.  I know I have!  I can't believe it is already time to start back to school.  I start in two weeks...TWO...WEEKS!  I don't know how it can possibly already be here!

I have been using a hodge-podge of things that I've collected over the year for the first few weeks of school every year.  Some kids enter my room knowing very little of the "basics" so I made a Kindergarten NO PREP Basics series for the first ten weeks of school.  This unit is made especially for my lower group, but it can be used with everyone.  :)  It includes both ZB and DN handwriting styles.  Here's a sample of what is included.  Hope you can use it.

To celebrate my new series on TpT, I am going to offer my first packet (of a ten packet series) to the first ten people who reply to this post and leave an e-mail.  All I ask is that you spread the word about this pack by posting a link on your blog or sharing it on FB.  Enjoy what's left of your summer!

*You can click HERE to see the packets on TpT.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


It has been quite some time since I have posted.  I've been busy, busy, busy between school and my kids' after-school activities.  Does it ever slow down??? I just finished my Graphic Organizers for Unit 2 that follows the Treasures Reading Series.  If you use Treasures, this set is sure to help your students! 

Here is a free sample of what is in the packet for anyone who CLICKS HERE.  If you pick up the freebie, all I ask is that you leave a comment below.  Enjoy. 

The first person to leave a comment and guess my favorite color will win the whole Unit 2 packet.  Be sure to leave your e-mail in your post.  Have a great week everyone.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Classroom and a FREEBIE

Well, I survived the first full week of school.  I love my class because I only have 15 students this year.  That is THE LOWEST number of kids I've ever had since I started teaching 20 years ago.  I had 27 last year, and I spent the entire year feeling like a chicken with its head cut off who ran into a dog chasing its tail!  That was not a good feeling.

I finally got around to taking some pics of my classroom.  I love looking at other people's classroom pics and hope you enjoy looking into my classroom.  Hang in there - this is going to be a long post.

This is my Back-to-School Bulletin Board outside in the hallway.
We focus on Bus Safety as this is many of our students first time on the bus.

This is my Behavior Clip Chart.  The clip chart is proving to be a success
this year.  I have had years that it did NOT work.

This is the small area between my bathroom door and door to the hallway.
I have my MONEY posters, the "Where are we going today?" sign,
and my Emergency Bucket of things to grab on the way out.

This is something I inherited from a teacher that retired a few years ago.
This is the very famous Monkey Butt!
My kids LOVE this monkey and never have a problem with left and right.

This is my "How We Go Home" display.  Everyone starts on the right.
All changes are clipped to the left side and reset the next day.
You can get this from Caitlin Clabby - Kindergarten Smiles.

This is my FOCUS WALL of sorts.  It is placed up high near the door
so that we can review info when we line up.
My picture has our class motto - "Just do your best".

This is my Classroom Calendar (with $ review).
We practice patterns using this great set from Creative Teaching Press.
I have an interactive math calendar that covers all the bells and whistles.

I am fortunate enough to have 8 student computers in my room.
Did I mention that they are all TOUCH screen?  Well, they are...
We have the HATCH all-in-one systems.
While I am not crazy about the HATCH software,
I do LOVE the touchscreens.

These are my reading groups.  Last year I had so many kids
that I had to have five small groups.  Can you say C-R-A-Z-Y!
This year I only have three - - blue, green, and yellow.
Hooray for small miracles.
I put pics of the kids in each row. (Removed for privacy)

This is where I display letter-of-the-week picture cards
that are labeled with the word in my Writing Area.

This is one of my favorite parts of my room.  It is my Writing Station.
Here you can see Deedee Wills's August/September Writing Station cards.
My kids can remove the cards from the pocket chart to use as needed.
When we change to a new month, these are put on a ring and left at the station.

This is my super Chevron themed Alphabet line in D'Nealian
created by Nancy over at Fun Times in First.  She was nice enough
to coordinate the pics to match the pics in the Treasures reading series.

Every week I put up a poem (sorry it is blank) that focuses on our
HFW of the week.  I usually get my poems from a Sight Word Book
by Rozanne L. Williams.  CLICK HERE to see this book.  It is fabulous!

Every week we have an Animal-of-the-Week.  Not only do we learn
five facts about the animal, but we do a writing and drawing activity.
Kids LOVE animals and this is a very popular activity each week.

These are my classroom mailboxes.  The chevron boxes on top
hold three math station activities and three reading station activities.
These are changed weekly. 

This is "Got It - Swat It".  We use swatters to slap the word called.
Winners get to stay up until they lose.  It is SO much fun.

This is the area directly behind my teaching table.
Each drawer holds a Unit from Treasures.
ALL my materials from each unit are housed here.

This is something new our district implemented this year.
Instead of using Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels,
we are using this house model in our classrooms.
The happy face magnets are used to show what types
of questions we are answering (and asking).
The kids LOVE when their happy magnet moves up.
Very simple concept that our little ones understand.

The corner behind my teaching table.
Lots of reading materials - big books, readers, and other stuff.

My kids love playing pocket chart games. 
These are from Jamie Maya's Kissing Hand Activities.
Chester is like part of our family the first few weeks of school. 

This is my bulletin board without the words "Fly High".
It is also my Word Wall for words we already know.
You can see my Really Good Stuff book bins that are NOT
labeled yet because I haven't gotten around to doing that.
I got some great labels from Sharing Kindergarten that are
just waiting to be printed.  Not enough hours in my day.

Greatest piece of classroom furniture - EVER.
This is where a group goes to work on station
activities when it can't be done on the rug.

This is my Classroom Library and Math Corner.
I only put out one tub of books the first week of school.
These are mostly board books until I can teach the kids
how to handle books properly.  It still amazes me how
little some children have held books prior to coming to K.
You can see my math manipulatives neatly stored
in the shelves on the counter.  I also have a 100s chart
and a math game in the pocket chart.  I think that
"Lost My Lunchbox" from Marsha at A Differentiated Kdg.
is what is in the red pocket chart here.

This is the "fun" stuff.  I have Moon Sand in the pink containers.
Kids can use dough stamps to write words in the Moon Sand.
I have Leapsters, Leap Pads, and a few other Leap Games.
There are lots of floors puzzles, Lincoln Logs, Play-Doh, and Legos.

This is my cabinet that has all my Math "stuff" in int.
Love the shape posters from Julie Shope.

Color Words from same pack as Shape Words - Julie Shope.

I HATE filing cabinets.  I put things in and then I forget about it.
So...I keep a crate out and only keep a few weeks of copies in it.
Green has morning work and extra skill pages.
Red has reading copies.
Blue has math copies.
Yellow has "other" stuff.

This year I am fortunate enough to have to sit only three kids per table.
This allows me to push their table cubby to the 4th chair
and give them extra work room.  LOVE these clover tables
b/c they all have a spot that is very easy to find.
I also love my seat back covers that my mother-in-law made for me.
More on my table cubbies in next pic.
*Also - do you see the green round thing in the seat?
Those are sensory cushions that I got for every seat
in my room last year.  Oh, my...they are FABULOUS.
I love them and never want to be without them.
All the kids love sitting on them, and they are
very beneficial to my "wiggle-worms".

One of my best investments I've made in my K classroom.
I ordered some of the table cubbies from RGS.
Well, they weren't really good at all.  As a matter of fact - they were junk!
So...I had a local carpenter build me six of these table cubbies.
They are perfect for holding four pencil boxes.
Kids can also put half sized books in their "hole".
The top has an edge so I can put Morning Work out without it falling off.
Kids can put unfinished work on top of their table cubby.
LOVE these.  :)

I finally joined the Letter Bead party.  I bought Marsha's (from
A Differentiated Kindergarten) bead packets and the supplies.
I am waiting on my High School helpers to arrive on September 3rd
before I even think about getting all these beads out!  Ha

These are my classroom rules.  Thanks to Leslie Panaro
for the super cute Bird-themed posters.

Brain Power Pellets - a.k.a. M&Ms
A little M&M goes a LONG way with a K kid.
I might add that M&Ms are my fave, too.

The front of my room

This is how I separate my daily papers for the week.
Love these bins.

Well, if you made it through this post - you deserve a treat...because I think it was my longest post to date.

I will give five lucky winners one item from my TpT store just for leaving a comment about something you like about my classroom.  Doing this the old-school way - no Rafflecopter - just drawing five #s out of a hat.  I will draw the #s on Thursday night.  GOOD LUCK!  Hope everyone has a great year.