Friday, December 30, 2011

Snow Buddies~Story Starters...FREEBIE!

This semester, I want to improve my kinders' writing skills.  
As the children arrive each morning, they take care of binders, backpacks, etc. and then begin their journal work.  
These story starters might be used during that time, 
or at writing workshop!  I hope they will be useful to you!  
(PS: Looking for license free graphics?  I found mine at DigiScrapKits.)

SnowBuddies StoryStarter

Freebie Fridays

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just Before The Break...

This art project, "Wonderland",
was completed over two class periods.
First, the children covered a 5x7 piece of
watercolor paper with tissue paper squares.
The entire paper received a wash of water+glue mix.

In the second class period, the children cut triangles
of different sizes from their papers.
These trees were glued to a blue paper.
Using stencils of stars and snowflakes,
designs were added with white tempera paint.

This is the Pinterest inspiration for our Wonderland artwork!

A popular activity during our Christmas party was to decorate the gingerbread house...ALL of the children at the SAME TIME.

The room moms gave the children permission to
drink the frosting.
...pause and consider...

Now you know why I began planning lessons last week.
First up on Jan. 3: a review of classroom etiquette!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday~Guest Posting

Happy last Wednesday of 2011!  
I am thrilled to be guest posting at 
Cachey Mama's Classroom!
Head over to read my number one wish.

Preschool Teacher

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Little Bit Of Sugar

My gift to you:  the yummiest treat, ever!  

This recipe is my mama's.  The Hershey bars cost .o8cents at the time the recipe originated. 

First Ingredients :   4 & 1/2 cups sugar, 1 stick butter, 1 can evaporated milk
Melt these items over medium heat in a 3qt. pot.  Bring to a boil.  When the mixture begins to boil, set a timer for 8 minutes.  Stir constantly! 
More Ingredients:  12 oz. Hershey's chocolate bars (it really must be Hershey's), 12 oz. chocolate chips (vary the flavors for interesting fudge), 1pt. (I use 14 oz.) marshmallow creme
When the timer dings, remove the pot from burner.  Add the chocolate bar pieces, chocolate chips and marshmallow creme.  STIR.  The fudge will be creamy, sliding out of the pot.  
Grab a spoonful; warm and gooey, it is the best!
Pour the fudge into glass dishes,
prepared previously with a slick of butter
(the butter stick paper wrapper works great).
This recipe will fill a 9x13 inch pan and an 8x8 inch pan. To store, cover the dishes tightly and consider refrigerating.

Friday, December 23, 2011

January Learning~Linky Party!

I have slept, read. shopped, talked, cooked, and laundered to 
my heart's content.  
I am feeling the need to open my lesson planner!
First up in 2012 is a week-long study of winter.
Next, we travel the globe and explore the land of penguins.
January ends with my favorite unit:  
The Kingdom Of Kindergarten!
We go back to the 16th century, answer to royal titles 
and design family crests.

If you have created something on TpT or Teacher's Notebook 
that pertains to the month of January, 
please leave a comment and share your site!

Everyone, join the party and link up with your ideas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Two days of break and I have discovered that 
I fritter away unstructured time.

BUT-now I can add "edited a jpg for a link list"
 to my list of accomplishments!  
Hop over to Oh Boy 4th Grade
and join the fun!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let It Snow

Try this (courtesy of my incredibly smart, tech-savvy ten-year-old!):

Using Google, type "let it snow" in the search box.
Give it a few seconds and hang around as the snow begins to fall...

Leave a comment, telling me what you wrote on your monitor!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It Looks A Lot Like Christmas

The learning continues, in the midst of holiday happiness!
High-Frequency Words Bingo

 Do you see an art project?
I see math, writing, reading, and social studies!

Math Station~Exploring number families
with a holiday theme.

Christmas Tree Addition by

 Students also built addition problems
with beads and pipe cleaners.

I'm heading back to school for the Christmas musical this evening.  My little girls have been talking nonstop 

about their sparkling shoes and beautiful dresses! 
 (Where is my camera??!)
After tomorrow, a day filled with ice skating and parties,
we have a two week break---no alarm clock!!

Chocolate, anyone? :-)

Treat Bags~thanks to Pinterest!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gingerbread Love~~Pictures!

Today, we wrapped up a two-week Gingerbread unit.
Our Gman cookie ran away and the hunt was hilarious!
At every stop, Miss A. yelled, "This is our only hope!".  
We have tasted every available brand of gingerbread cookie--
I can't believe it, but I am actually ready for a change!
THANK YOU to everyone who shared materials 
related to the gingerbread theme!!  
I'll post more pics soon, but tonight, my bed is calling!
The foyer....Gingerbread House
(styrofoam walls!), created by the same artist 
who painted my classroom walls.
I am trying to convince the powers-that-be to leave it in my classroom, after the holidays!
We began a study of perimeter and area.  
Roll and Cover/20 Grid...we used tiny plastic presents.
(.97 at WalM@rt!)

The Gingerbread Girl
Descriptive Words Mini-Lesson

My kinders LOVED this video and song!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Son, the Kindergarten Hero

Mr. College Frat Boy arrived home for Thanksgiving and surprised me with a classroom visit!  I thought he was stopping by for an influx of cash, but he stayed to play!
He reads!

He ties shoes!
On bended knee!
From this moment on, Miss Princess will visualize
 Prince Charming with a scruffy beard.  :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Oooh, I love gingerbread people!  I collect all things gingerbread, which makes shopping FUN at this time of year!
I want to share a bit of sweetness with you all....
hope these are helpful!
Gingerbread Word Writing
Gingerbread Word Cards

My kindergartners will enjoy these books over the next two weeks:
This book will set the stage for our gingerbread man hunt!
Panera Bread makes a perfect gingerbread cookie!
I pair this book with "The Gingerbread Baby", also by Jan Brett.  She shares great coloring pages on her website.

I'll be running this book past a parent before reading; we have some Santa issues....

The Gingerbread Girl has a sequel, too!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dance Moms...In The House!

This post is for everyone who watched Dance Moms this past summer, with jaws dropped!

Abby Lee brought her truly fabulous reality show team to our city!  They participated in the Hollywood Vibe convention (where my daughter won a scholarship audition!!) and competed on Saturday evening.  Our girls were starry-eyed!  Signing the filming release forms--2nd season is taping now--increased the frenzy.
My girl, Abby Lee, and BFF

My girl and Paige's mom

Maddie, Amory, McKenzie
I met Abby Lee and what-you-see-is-what-you-get.......which was actually refreshing!  She posed for numerous photos, answered tons of questions, and managed to corral her dancers in the midst of it all.  As a close friend of our studio owner, Abby Lee came to see our dancers set their production number for competition, during this week's class.  No pressure, right?!

And, you may not see the picture of me with Abby Lee.  She made me stand in front of her!  There are people in this world who still remember me in my cheerleading uniform and I don't want to ruin that memory for them, lol!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let The Sun Shine In!

Ms. Helms at WorkSmartNotHardInKindergarten
has shared
the Sunshine Award with me!  
Thank you!!

Rules for accepting this award:
1.  Thank the person who gave this award and write a post!
2.  Answer the questions.
3.  Pass the award to 10-12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs, and let them know!

What is my....
  • Favorite color?   Purple--like, eggplant and plum
  • Favorite animal?  my Beagle :-)
  • Favorite number?  Infinity
  • Favorite drink?  Frappuccino with banana and protein powder
  • Facebook or Twitter?  Um, Blogger!
  • Passion?  Reading, Writing, Singing, Parenting, Teaching
  • Giving or getting presents?  Giving
  • Favorite day?  Thursday--"The Office", "Grey's Anatomy", and Friday is right around the corner!
  • Favorite flower?  Violets...they were in my wedding bouquet and they mean "remembrance".
I'm sending sunshine to:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkeys In Disguise!

This is one of my favorite times of the year!  
Our turkeys returned today, dressed to encourage long lives, lol!
Bridal Turkey...isn't she beautiful?!

Hockey Turkey...hurray for our male representative!

Princess Turkeys...two of more than a few!

This book provides a fun introduction
for the turkey-in-disguise project!

On a completely personal note, I will be spending the weekend at a dance convention with my darling daughter and we are going to be brushing shoulders with the cast of our summer TV obsession! 
 Ear-splitting screams were heard when the news broke at our studio!! 
 The drama queens are in the house!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rubric ~~Freebie!

At fall conferences, a parent arrived with a 3" binder, filled with every paper I have created or graded for her child.  Her organizational skills were impressive.  During our discussion, she wished to know how I arrived at certain grades for certain projects... not just for the overall report card grades, but for each paper.
Again, her thoroughness was impressive.

Rather than take a mental trip down "I-thought-I-explained-things-rather-well-at-the-beginning-of-the-year" lane, I've been contemplating the rubric system for some of our projects.  Growing as an educator is part of the plan, right?!  

Voila!  This rubric is for a U.S. Flag writing/coloring project, using the "is" and "has" response grids.  (I think Fran created the project, but I need to go back and check!)  My report card uses a grading system of Outstanding, Satisfactory, and Needs Improvement, although the degrees are all percentage-based from an average of all scored work.  If you'd like to see rubrics with a different grading description, please leave a comment.  I'll be making more rubrics in the future--enjoy!  (If you see this before I can get back to the other desktop, to correct the verb tense in the rubric, please don't judge my writing skills, lol!)

Kindergarten Flag Rubric

Saturday, November 12, 2011

He Calms The Storm

Photo Source

Thank you for the kind words about my children and my computer meltdown.  As I was pinning this morning, (And we all know what "pinning" is, right?  Isn't it amazing, how a word can take on new meaning and enter our lexicon?!) I came across this photo and memories hit me like a ton of bricks.  

I believe the sentiment in the statement because I have lived it.

November has, historically, been a heavy hitter for me.  In a November 20 years ago, I found out that my baby girl would not survive her February birth.  In a November 10 years past, I was told that multiple sclerosis would be a constant companion.  In both instances, God did not calm the storm...but He did hide me under the shadow of His wing, singing songs of deliverance over me ~Zephaniah 3:17~.  

This November, as I contemplate Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmed with gratitude... for the promise that I will see Sara again, for the four blessings who call me mommy, for legs that still walk and eyes that still see.  

Are you feeling thankful today?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MacMini Dies In Freak Water Glass Incident

Breaking News:
In the wee hours of November 10, Chrissy's desktop computer was obliterated by her husband's glass of water.

Upon hearing the water spill, Chrissy was overcome with dread.
"I just knew that every document I'd downloaded, every picture I'd taken, that related to this school year, was GONE.", Chrissy shared later at the morning staff meeting. "I know I need to forgive him but I am devastated!"

Her husband couldn't be reached for comment, but sources close to the couple say he is deeply sorry. A member of the family did tell the press, "I know he is kicking himself for keeping a glass of water on his bedside table, so close to the electronics. However, Chrissy is responsible for bringing the computer into the bedroom and for rigging up a less than ideal power strip fiasco. She has been exhibiting signs of a serious addiction to TIVO; this situation just proves it."

This afternoon, Chrissy's husband was spotted exiting a local Best Buy, carrying a new computer hard drive. For the sake of the kindergartners, let's hope the computer situation will soon be rectified.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Happy Surprise! With Photos!

I don't know who nominated me for the Top 25 Teacher Mom Blogs, but I want to THANK YOU!  This sounds like I am an Oscar contender--really, it is an honor to be nominated :-).  I think I am a follower of all 40+ blogs ahead of me on the voting list!

If you'd like to send a lil' bit of love my way, here's the button:

And, here's a peek at the reason I am a mom!
Halloween 2001

Ten years later....

(bless him, he has pizza on his face!)

In advance of the announcement, CONGRATS to every mom on the list!  Somehow, you pour your hearts, minds and souls into your students while still nurturing and tending to your own children.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Honeymoon Is Over

Week 3...

  • "I was sitting there and you took my spot but I had to get a kleenex, Mrs. P, she took my spot!"
  • "Her said her would never be my friend ever again." (Yes.  Her.)
  • "You can't tell me what to do cuz you are NOT in charge Mrs. P is in charge and, Mrs. P!!!  She is telling me to write my name on my paper and I KNOW I write my name!"
  • "Mrs. P., I have a cut and see, it is right there (um, no, I do not see...where is a magnifying glass?) can I have a bandaid?  I need two, one is for my foot.  Can I take off my shoes and socks?"
  • "Pretzels, again?"

MAYBE I have low blood sugar.
DEFINITELY I need to put down the novel and pick up the scriptures.
POSSIBLY I am overwhelmed by staff duties that don't jive with my description of the job.

Oh, I love them.  I do!  I really do!! 


I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scientists, Reporters, Artists

We guessed the weight and circumference of our pumpkin before I cut it open.  The lid, pulp, and seeds were all carefully examined!
During Morning Circle, the Reporter and the Assistant lead us through word drills.  The plastic glasses add a nice touch, lol!

Cityscape Art Lesson
Thank you, Fairydust Teaching, for the tutorial!

FYI, out of concern for my precious students, I have disabled the right-click function on this blog.  Doing this was super easy! Check out THIS POST for instructions, if you are interested!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Report Card Comments

I have a totally organized file, filled with report card comment ideas.

BUT, if I leave it at school, on the weekend dedicated to writing report cards, it will be NO GOOD TO ME!

Do you see my dilemma? (Oh, yes, I left it behind.) 
Google to the rescue!  
THIS SITE has been  a life-saver.  I now have my kinders' strengths and challenges all wrapped up in adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.

To all of you with conferences 
on your calendars this week.......