Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do you LOVE Pete the Cat?

You absolutely MUST click the link to see the festivities at this 2 yr-old's birthday party!

Seriously, there is a whole lot of awesomeness happening in this home.

I wish Mr. Eric would sing for my birthday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Math Literature

Incorporating literature across the curriculum is 
very important to me.  Have you seen these books?
The illustrations in Lots Of Dots are eye-popping.
This book was part of last week's art lesson,
but would also be perfect for a unit about shapes.

My kinders are working on counting sets and
one-to-one correspondence.
One Little Blueberry is a gorgeous book!
Very early in the story, I realized that we would be
stopping to count each set of insects. :-)
I LOVE this book!
One is a fantastic story about
how to turn the tide on bullying situations.
The colorful cast of characters turn into
numbers as the story progresses.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Message To Pinterest

Pinterest Addict

Pinterest Addict by fleurdelove on

Dear Pinterest, 
Could you please figure out how to let me pin something from the home page, without logging in first?  Because, as you hopefully know, once I log in I am unable to find 99% of the things I saw on the homepage.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

A true fan,
Chrissy @ReadWriteSing

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Patterns, People, & Playdo

What did I do before the age of digital?!  
I LOVE documenting the action in my classroom!
"Read To Self"...on the fifth day, we managed 5 minutes!

"Read To Someone"...elbow to elbow, knee to knee
Happy Families
(The page is from a Student Portfolio, created by Melissa Dillard at

Thank you, Melissa!)

The span of abilities in kindergarten is huge.
(Did you make this?  I can't find the source!)

Yippee, the number isn't backwards!
(Thank you, Kim Jordano, for a fab idea!)

We've done two days of math stations.  They love checking the pocket chart for rotations!
The first two letters and sounds in our reading series are t and i.
We will read "it" tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet The Teacher Monday! (a day late!)

Hello, Blog Hoppers!  I'm jumping in with "Meet The Teacher" at I'm Blog Hoppin'!

A Little About Me
Andrew and I have been married for 22 years.  We have four children, ages 18, 15, 13, and 10.
This picture was taken last December, with an outcry of protest; 65degrees on a windy beach!
BigBro left for college last week (many tears from me, glee from him), MidBro plays competitive baseball (the great American pastime), DollyGirl dances 12+ hours/week ($$$, memories, pure joy), LilBro makes ADHD look like fun (but not every day, in every way, lol!)

How long have I been teaching...?
This is my 14th year in the classroom, my 7th in kindergarten.  I graduated from Truman State with a double certification, Pre-K and K-8.  Even then, my passion was kindergarten!  Directly out of college, I was an Early Childhood Administrator at a Christian school.  Supervising staff, teaching 3- & 4-yr olds, and writing curriculum resulted in 12 hour days.  The year that Andrew and I married, I jumped at the chance to take the kindergarten classes.  Five years later, I was happily bouncing a baby and tossing the alarm clock!  For ten years, I was blessed to be at home with my babies.  In 2006, I returned to the classroom, teaching PreK (which looked like the 'new kindergarten').  I loved co-teaching, writing curriculum and adding to my literature collection!  But, I began to ache for my own K class.  And God led me straight to a terrific place!
This is just one side of the room!
You might not know...
*Having children was a difficult journey for me.  My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 12 weeks.  My second pregnancy, which took 18 months to conceive, ended with a stillbirth.  Sara's story can be found here.  She was born almost 20 years ago; I still dream about her.  She changed me in deep and holy ways.
*I wanted to be an astronaut!  I had the grades, but not the oh-so-necessary perfect vision!
*Singing is my secret hobby.  I'd get a real mike if I could get away with it!  (too many teenagers lurk the halls of my house :-))
*In 2001, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I'm thinking a tattoo might be a good way to mark the ten years that I have known about this challenge in my life...thoughts??!

This year, I'm looking forward to...
Knowing the ins and outs of my school, having the unknowns behind me.  Now that I've spent 7 days with my kinders, I'm happily anticipating the literacy block and experiencing gingerbread/outer space/Dr. Suess/the 16th century/ocean life with them!  I'm also psyched to hear them pray and to worship God with them.

What do I need to improve?
I need to leave work at work.  I need to not reinvent the wheel every year!

Teaching supplies I can't live without...
I've already gone through a package of blue 'sticky-tak'!  Last year, I used a rolling case designed for scrapbooking as my book bag; love it!  And, I can't teach without the library.  Yes, my taxes save me hundreds of $$ each year.  I just have to request things in advance, if I want them when I need them!

Thanks for sticking around to meet me!  
I hope you have a fantastic school year!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm A Note-Taker

We do progress reports at each mid-quarter,
in addition to report cards for four quarters.  
The progress reports are quite detailed!  
I've decided to try keeping short note records for each student, 
on a weekly basis, in regards to work habits and behavior.

The document is simple, but I'm happy to share!
 If it works for you, grab it!

Notes for progress and reports

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We Have Work To Do...

Pencil grip is such a hard habit to break!
(Oooh, I just heard a "Chicago" tune roll through my mind.)

This pic was taken AFTER two children 
had done a clean-up of the paper scraps.
Holding scissors properly is 

ALSO a challenging skill.

Day One--Self-Portraits
You can tell so much about a child's development 

from the details in his/her 
drawings of people.

Splat came back!  
He will begin his home visits next week.
He has a small, red backpack that holds 

his journal and one of his books.  
The children take him home
for a few days, read to him, 

and draw a picture for him.
He is our class mascot!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Come on in....

It's ready!!  
The circle time/reading corner area of the room is ready for visitors on orientation night.
See the wheels on the left side of the picture?  That is a rolling clothes hanger; I turned it into a vocabulary wall with the help of a shower curtain and painter's tape.

The work tables hold parent folders and the basket holds scavenger hunt clipboards  (Thank you, Little Warriors!).
The white baskets will hold community supplies, as parents bring in the tissues, etc.  I am still on the hunt for a perfect rug, to use in front of the easel.
This is another view, which shows the area I created for my desk and bookshelves.  I'm not there much, so moving it to a corner was helpful in opening up the middle space in the room.  Bonus: no one can see me through the door windows, when I am planning or eating lunch!
The daily schedule is easy to change as needed.
These are the awesome charts from Target!

Our curriculum introduces a new "service" word each week.   This year, I wanted a dedicated space, to highlight the letters and sounds, word families, and sight words in the weekly plans.

PLEASE tell me if you created these amazing pages!    (I know the original pdf is in my hard drive somewhere, but my husband is begging for his dinner!)  I placed them on the board for parents to see at orientation.  Soon, these will go into a table binder for literacy block.
Behavior Wall....I can't wait to see how this works!  
Job Chart...students' names will rotate down each day.  
I might find a few leis for the vacationing kiddos!
"Hugs" for the mommies and daddies

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Goodbye, Summer

~8am call time, return to work, Aug. 8~

On cold, rainy days, I'll revisit this photo!

I've been a bit busy this week, despite not having access to my classroom.  Why do the-powers-that-be wait until the last minute to wax the hallways?!

(Crate & Bow idea found on Pinterest)
I've been sorting papers and filing all summer.  With orientation occurring in just four days, I am grateful to have not procrastinated with this task!

This is a sample of items I've hard-laminated.
(Thank you, FedEx/Kinkos!)
The large crayons are for the job board, the small crayon box tags are for the behavior chart, the subject strips are part of the daily schedule chart.  The blank, bordered cards will be used in a multitude of ways.  There are six more laminated pages to cut apart!  Pricey, but worth it in the long run!

I'll be back soon with pictures from my room!
May time s-t-r-e-t-c-h for all of you, as we create magical spaces for learning!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Met A Master

Mrs. Wills, you are an INSPIRATION!

Deedee Wills graciously allowed me to visit her in-progress classroom.  I now know how to assemble a coconut tree, attach a word wall to concrete, assemble poetry and word work stations, and cover a desk chair!  I also met Theodora, the guinea pig, coveted the library book nook, sang praises for the math boxes, and basically felt like Dorothy in the Land Of Oz; the entire school is gorgeous!

Mrs. Wills, this post is a shout-out to your talent and generosity!
Thank you for sharing your world with me!!
Isn't she sweet?!  
I, however, am now convinced that I need a new hairstyle.  
And maybe a personal trainer.