Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Well,  FIRST I had to watch GLEE!

Gotta love the M.J. episode! Love that Blaine!

Then I finished my Valentine's Day Math Work Stations!  This packets seem to continue to grow on me! 9 activities are included with differentiation options for most.

 Here are the Common Core Standards that are addressed in this packet.
I have been taking pictures of my stations in action...oh ... where are they you ask?  Still on my camera! AHHH!   Must get it together!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peek at my Week

I can not lie... I am feeling a little disorganized!

I'm excited to have this to work with my kiddos in my small math groups...

 I will be unveiling our February Writing Station... My kids will be so excited!
Plus a few new games for our Puzzles and Games Station

We will also have a new math board game,

Here are my stations lesson plans.  Just click on any image to grab your own copy (complete with links to their sources)

What else am I (should be) working on?  Math Work Stations for Valentine's Day, Math Work Stations for Dr. Seuss, and I will be announcing a HUGE giveaway with some of your favorite TpT authors!   Yipee!

Speaking of Give Away... Did you hear about the one going on at Kinderzoo?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Totally Unrelated!

As we head towards Valentine's Day, I thought I would share my favorite poem.

I'll be back tomorrow with a Peek at my Week!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Toad~ally in Love! and Excuse My Ignorance!

Pardon the cheese factor... But I love this clip art from Just So Scrappy!
I made this board game to add to my stations next week.

It is just like my Winter Friends game (which was a favorite in my class)

Here is my burning question:




I want to be able to download the adorable cuttables I see on Scrappin Doodles and the SVGs and/or "cut its" I see at Lettering Delights.

You guys are smart... HELP!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spinning! A few updates too

I took a spinning class tonight!  UGH! Really?  Am I THAT out of shape? I'll tell you it was s-a-d! I'm fairly sure that I will need some sort of apparatus to haul myself out of bed in the morning. It should be interesting.  Anyone else struggling with their New Year's resolution?

In any event, through sheer willpower and Diet Coke I was able to climb the stairs to my computer and do a little renovation (the cyber kind).

I made these last year, but I decided to change to "trace" font to make it a little more clear.  If you purchased these last year, you can download the updates at no charge.  Just go to "My Purchases" on your TpT dashboard.

Are these new to you?  Each packet comes with 10 read, trace, glue, and draw sentences.  The same sentences are repeated in the read, write, glue, and draw version.   My kids LOVE them!

And YES!   I finished my Math Journals for February!   

Must. Find. Ben-Gay!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Writers Workshop and Writing During Guided Reading

This weekend I got together with some wonderful blogger friends in St. Louis.  My goodness! I thought they would have to ask us to leave because we camped out for over three hours at the restaurant!
 Here we are... starting at the top!
Becky from Paint the Sky Green, Chrissy from Read, Write, Sing, Meredith from Keen on Kindergarten, Katie from Little Warriors, and ME!

We talked about a million things, but at some point we spoke about writing (go figure).

Anyhow, I shared about the guided writing I do with my students as a part of our guided reading lesson.
This book is from Rigby Sails.  I love them because of their high-frequency words!   Students can read engaging books successfully.   Nonfiction and fiction are awesome.   My only wish is that they would change the font a little.  The capital "I" looks like a lowercase "l".  Nothing a Sharpie won't fix.
After reading the book, we do a quick 5 minute write.  I try to focus more on the conventions during this time.    This group worked on different types of punctuation. 
 Roar!   This next group of pictures are from another guided reading book.  I thought I had grabbed this guided reading book to scan at home, but I bet it is still on my desk at school.  The book was about the different creatures, the number of legs they had, and what they used their legs for.  It is a level C text.
 Just keeping it real!  Not every student produces writing that looks amazing.  However, let me tell you my thoughts.   This little friend was able to pull out quite a few sounds.   He returned to his writing again and again.  He did edit the word  "have".  If you look at the lines he drew for words, you can see the "H" is in front of the line.  That is because he went back and added it.  His writing has meaning and it supports his illustration.  This is LEAPS AND BOUNDS beyond the large muscle scribble scrabble in September.   We are on our way!
 During writers's workshop we read and reread Cynthia Rylant's book Snow.  I am a self professed Rylant junkie!  We lingered over this illustration.  There is so much to see.  The young girl is drawing summer pictures. Grandma is planning out her garden.  Wonderful details.  We also talked about the colors the illustrator, Laura Stringer, choose.   Warm colors that feel cozy for the inside and cool colors that almost make you shiver for the outside.  One of my little sweeties noticed this book on the table.  Yep, Scarecrow! Also illustrated by Laura Stringer (we had to go back and check).
Writers' workshop is still messy for me.  I have trouble letting go of the control, but I am trying. How is writers' workshop working for you?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Major Find and Math FREEBIE

I'm not sure about you guys, but I would rather do just about anything than make sub plans. I have dragged myself to school with a fever (probably not what the CDC would recommend). Another solution  is to have your sub plans made ahead...just in case of an emergency.

The ever-smart Barb Gaither at Kinderzoo has done just that!

These are stand alone lessons that can be completed in one day.  I love this book!
 Perfect!  Love it!
Now for your FREEBIE!

I wanted to have quick fluency activities I could do with my small group and intervention kiddos. Perhaps you can use them too?
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Peek at my Week - 100th Day

I got this email from sweet, sweet Erica

Thank you so much for your donations of your January games and actvities  and an even bigger THANK YOU!! for hosting the linky party.  Everyone was so excited to hear about what was being done and about all the wonderful, creative resources we had received.   I am still receiving items daily, but at last count we had received 300+ units and activities and 20 gift cards/certificates!  You have inspired so many people and lifted the spirits of so many others.

You guys did that!   Thank you my blog heros!

What have I been up to?   Busy!   
I finished my Writing Work Station for February... Whew!  
 A little Roll, Say, Keep for February
 And I just loved this clip art, so I couldn't wait!

We will be celebrating our 100th day of school on Friday! I don't think we have ever had it this early in the year... Not one snow day so far! 
I probably just jinxed it.

So, how perfect was it that I got my hands on this baby?!  It is from Katie Mense of Little Warriors and it is just what I needed! I got to meet her (plus a few more fab-u-lous bloggers) for lunch today. I will post pictures later!

Click on any image to grab a copy of my plans with links to the sources. 

Have a great week... and I PROMISE I will blog about writing this week! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Peek at my Week-Penguin-ish

Right now my two guys are in the "man cave" soaking up the whole football experience in surround sound!  So when I got a message from Mrs. Boss about a FREEBIE she had on TpT, it seemed like destiny (is that a little too dramatic?)  Check it out!

Onward... I will be using tons of activities from Deanna Jump's Penguin unit this week. It is a "must have."

I just finished my Penguin Fun Math Work Stations unit today.
Here is my station lesson plans for next week.   You can grab your own copy from Google Docs (with source links)  by clicking on any page.

Have a great week1

Love to Joplin UPDATE

You guys are amazing!
Here is an email I got from Erica in Joplin

Ok....I am breathing...but just barely.  It is 9:40ish and I just finished going through the 107 emails I received since your post.  So far, we have received 4 gift cards, 5 TpT certificates and 276(!!!!!!!!!) units/activities!  Never mind, I just fainted!  :-)

I made a list of everything sent in and my plan for all other grade's items is to forward them to their respective grade level chair with an explanation.  They can distribute them however they wish.  :)

I am still so overwhelmed with every one's generosity.  Thank you again for organizing this.  I'm off now to change my piddly little PowerPoint I made up to introduce the giveaway.  I have A LOT more to add!

Many of you have asked about other ways to help out.  Here is another way to donate.  Just click on the image to take you to their donation page.

You can also find specific Joplin projects to support here:

I am so proud that you all showed up to share your talents and caring spirit!  Together we are mighty!

I'll be back later with my "Peek at my Week"... I'm running a bit behind!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Love to Joplin Linky Party

It is hard to believe that it has been almost 8 months since the devastating tornado ripped through Joplin, MO.

This week I got an email from a very sweet kindergarten teacher from Joplin.   Here is what her email said:

 I teach in Joplin, which made worldwide news last May when our town was cut in half by an F5 tornado.  Many of our elementary schools were destroyed or damaged, and as teachers, we have had a roller coaster year.  I came from a meeting yesterday where many are struggling with the weight of all we are dealing with.  My request is this:  would you be willing to donate a created pack of your choosing to give away at a drawing at our upcoming district Kindergarten grade level meeting?  The meeting is Monday and I am sorry for the short notice but I did not realize until the meeting how down everyone is feeling. 

Well, of course, I said "YES!" and filled her email inbox with goodies.

Then I started to think (scary), I bet there are other teachers (besides kindergarten teachers) who could use a little love.  Want to help?  Here is how:

1.  Send your TpT product or Teacher's Notebook to Erica
2. Then link up here

Wouldn't it be awesome if we filled her email with signs of love?
Fill free to grab the heart above to share with your readers.   We have to act fast!   Thank you in advance!
UPDATE:   A) You guys are amaZING!   B) Teachers pay Teachers has some gift certificates if you would rather donate those.  C)  I'm going to have to see if there is an option C for other donations that will go into the hands of the teachers of Joplin... I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

So...How are my stations going? Frosty!

WARNING:  This will be a mish-mash post.   A little of this... and a little of that!

Old man winter FINALLY made it to Missouri.  We had the first real snowy day today.  We thought it would never come!   I grabbed my camera and did a little building walk.

Look how cute these doors are (they are not mine).  Our preschool teacher made the snowman door that leads our kiddos out to recess.  It is hard to believe, but this has been up a month!  She used window paint and it has held up beautifully.  She also did some door decorating along with one of our first grade teachers.  She told me she found the idea on pintrest, so let me know if the original idea came from you.

 My very good kindergarten teaching pal made these super cute snowmen.  They are made from a paper plate and torn construction paper scraps.

 She also made this craft.  She got the idea from a blog (but was unsure of exactly where-is it yours?)
She mixed shaving cream and glue to make these 3D snowmen.

This is my hallway bulletin board.   I got the design instructions from Deanna Jump's Arctic Animal unit ~ LOVE!  It is funny how each polar bear has a different personality.
 I brought a polar bear to join my kiddos at the library station.

 Surf's Up.  The kids cracked me up with this game.  This is from my Penguin's Vacation Game.  
They loved it!
 Some Eskimo CVC Word Fun.  I kept hearing things like,"Is han a real word or a silly word?"   Students listed "ded" as a real word.  I was fine with that.  The point was getting them to blend these word families and   they did an excellent job!

 This young man is looking at the November Writing Station words to help him spell "grandpa." He was writing this card, from the January Writing Work Station for his grandpa.
 We are bucket fillers in my class.   Over the summer I bought the little purple buckets from Target for $1.  Each student has one with their face on it.  Students earn pom-poms when they display the characteristics of a bucket filler.   When they have collected 20 pom-poms, they get a t-shirt.  I had these t-shirts made by a local t-shirt shop. They can add stars to their t-shirts for each time they refill their bucket.  Um... they can also lose a pom-pom when they are bucket dippers.

My kids are motivated!   They can also tell you EXACTLY  how many more they need to get to 20 (sneaky... aren't I?)

I am going to be out of the class tomorrow to take care of the broken-legged Mr. Wills.  I was so glad to find a place to get stand-alone sub plans.

In a Pinch Sub Plans has a Teacher's Notebook Shop where you can get a day's worth of activity surrounding books that most of us already have.

I knew I was going to take this day off, but wouldn't that be the perfect solution for the unexpected day off.   I mean, who wants to put together sub plans when you have a temperature or stomach bug.  Please check them out!

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