Saturday, November 2, 2013

"Are You My Mummy?"

This year our kindergarten team decided last minute to make masks and trick-or-treat to each of our ten kindergarten classrooms. Each class was to make masks for this purpose. Our class had been working on some cool activities to go with the book "Are You My Mummy?". So we made these masks out of supplies I already had on hand. (Paper plates and white streamers) The kids did a great job with them.

We had a great time. Next week we are going to make a class book where they can guess who is under the mummy mask. Then they can lift it and see if they guessed right.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


A few weeks ago we were up to our elbows in apples.
We made a life size graph with our apples. We graphed
many times after we sorted by several attributes.

Here are their baskets full of sorted apples. Each group sorted by a different attribute.

This group made an apple basket full of apples with stems and leaves and another basket

Friday, September 13, 2013

Daily 5

I have started Daily 5 with my kinder kiddos this week. I can't wait to see the DVD produced by the sisters that highlights implementing Daily 5 in Kindergarten. Since we are waiting its arrival, I had to get started. We read "Dex The Heart of a Hero."
     Our class decided that we would like to be a class of "superhero" readers. They love to try each day to increase their stamina. On day 1 we read for one mi ute on our first try and a minute and a half in our second try.  On the second day I told the our goal was 2 or 3 minutes. Wow! Was I excited when we got to 5 minutes. Our thud day slipped a little on our first attempt, so we tried again. Five minutes again. Today was the fourth day. We read for 6 minutes! I was happy with that especially since we did our Daily 5 at the end of the day on a day that started out with 45 minutes of MAP testing.  I guess it's time to implement another daily. I'm thinking writing, since that's what the sisters now recommend as the second daily.
     I am working on what my Cafe board will look like. It is very important, but wall space and proximity are a bit of an issue.

Here is a view of our cubbies. The top section is much larger than necessary. My wonderful dad made me these dividers that allow our cubbies to serve two purposes. With the divider in place, the bottom half holds our book baskets. The top top half can then be used as a mailbox for take home folders and papers etc.

Here is a close-up of the top of the cubbies. I have used them for several years and the dividers are still going strong.

Our chart about three ways to read a book. They loved the first time we worked on retelling. We used Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes.  

Here are a pair of my students retelling the story with the book we made together.

I am excited to see what Daily 5 Brings for next week. My kiddos are earning extra recess when we get to stamina of 10 minutes. They are very excited!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Open house etc

It has been so much fun working with my kindergarten kiddos individually this week. They each have such a unique personality. Their excitement is contagious! We are giving our reading diagnostic as well as the KRAL test. I am looking forward to working with my kiddos on a regular basis. We have a staggered start agin this year. Half of the kinder kiddos come on Monday, the others on Tuesday. Then all come on Wednesday. What fun that will be.
     After meeting with each child they received this special gift Baggie.

The note inside explains the meaning behind each thing in the Baggie. 

Here is the inside note:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Beginning of the year

Two of my kiddos brought me special beginning of the school year gifts. It was so nice of their families to think of me. We will have a great start to our year.

This cute pot of dry erase marker "flowers" is so creative. It says, " Mark my words! This will be a great year! The kiddo even painted and decorated each individual flower. 

A family after my own heart. Caffeine and chocolate, perfect!!!!!!!
I love it! Thanks!

Open house

It was so fun this evening to meet my new kindergarten kiddos. The are all so full of energy and excitement.  Here is a picture of our "giving tree" that was part of our open house.

Generous parents took many coconuts off the coconut tree to make donations to our classroom. Thank you parents.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Silly Sally

After reading Silly Sally to the class, 

This is a child's page in a class book. I take a picture of each child doing something he or she enjoys at school and the picture is attached upside down to the page. Each child programs the page to match the upside down picture.
They love reading this book over and over again.

Milkshake boogie

The letters we are using to build words are put on paper ice cream scoops. The vowels are all the same "flavor". Three students hold cvc letters in front of the class. We sing this song and blend the word together.

At the end of the song, we shake our whole body and say the blended word.

Umbrella Poem

This is a really cute poem for spring. It also goes along well with the book Disappearing Desmond

My students have made walking umbrellas in two different ways. One year each child water color painted on a large sheet of paper. I traced a large umbrella on the back of each painting after it dried. 
During a year when we had less time due to a schedule change, students traced a large umbrella on a patterned piece of paper.  Then kids cut out their umbrella and cut legs from construction paper and glued them together. They look great as a display in the hallway.

This sample is from patterned paper. I do not have a picture of the painted example.

5 Little Ducks retelling

This retelling for the finger play 5 Little Ducks Went Out to Play.

This is made for whole class use by the teacher.
The background is just drawn and colored on card stock.  The five little ducklings are taped with wide clear tape on the back of a clear transparency. Then a cover piece of card stock is put on top. The two pieces of card stock with the transparency sandwiched between them, then gets bound on the binding machine. The last step is to cut the transparency between each duckling.

The foam puppet is Mother Duck. When mother duck says, "QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!" The teacher flips over one of the duckies, until there are none left.

The puppet is very simple to make. After cutting out all three pieces and adding details, I stapled the small ponytail holders to the back of each. (This is where your fingers go to control the puppet.)
The bill can be sewn or stapled to the head piece.

Each child can make a retelling to use by coloring and cutting out 5 duckies. Each child can fold a 9x12 piece of blue construction paper the hotdog fold. Then line up the ducklings on the top flap and cut between one making 5 flaps.

"Those Sounds" Song

This book goes with Shari Sloanes's song "Those Sounds" from her CD "School is Cool."
The letters are cut from scrapbook paper on the Ellison machine. The book is bound together with colored zip ties. 


Here is a really cute idea for a poem/song I want to put in my classroom this year. I love it!

It came from Pinterest. It says its from a blog called "kindergarten corral". I wanted to make a link directly there, but I cannot find it on that blog.

It is the words to Dr Jean's song, "Good-bye" written as a poem.

Here is a Link to a site that has a reader to go along with this poem/song. Even if you do not want to use it as a reader, you can print it with several book pages on each page. That way the pictures will print smaller and you can cut them out for illustrations for the poem.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sprinkles to Kindergarten

Check out this great giveaway!

As I have said before, I LOVE the blog Sprinkles to Kindergarten. Check out her fabulous back to school give away, but hurry it ends soon. While you are there, check out her great ideas for Daily 5 and other ideas.
Click here for a link to her blog/give away

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Here are the retelling pieces to Dr Jean Feldman's song "Today is Sunday" from her CD Sing, Dance and Learn .

Another fun retell for young kiddos goes with Jan Brett's story the mitten.  I use this set together with the friends in my class. We use this whole class or in groups with an
Adult help. Below is a retelling that each child can make and use.

I got these great  Iron on transfers from Jan Brett's website. You can print them from your computer printer onto transfer paper. They can be ironed onto fabric and stitched around to make small pillows for each animal. I made the mitten out of felt large enough to comfortably hold all of the animals. The 
Mitten from Jan Brett's site can be enlarged to create this mitten. I sewed the seam to separate the thumb but did not cut down next to the thumb. (I think it adds stability to the whole mitten that way.)

For the individual retelling pieces the kids use independently, I used mittens cut from the Ellison. Two of these mittens are glued together with a white lunch bag between them. 

The animals come from Jan Brett's site as well.

Garage sale find

I am excited to use this cool, glow in the dark tepee in my classroom this year. I found it for a steal at a local garage sale. It will make a great Reading Spot. Since we are going to Daily 5 this year, it will be a perfect place to read. My niece Elliot tried it out this weekend with her brother and my children. If their response is any indication, it will be a hit at school!

Sprinkles to Kindergarten  is a super blog that is helping me to gear up for beginning daily 5 this fall. Follow this link to a fabulous blog. It also has many other fabulous ideas for a kindergarten classroom.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fair week

This is the much anticipated fair week. We celebrated as our smallest pig made weight. We survived our first open class rabbit show. My son Kaiden got a first place ribbon for his open class art exhibit entry. My older two also placed in their creative arts open class entries. Photography is one of my passions. I often enter some of my shots in the open class photography judging at our fair. My number of entries keeps growing each year. This year I entered 11. I was very happy with the results of this judging as well. So, all in all, our first two days of fair have Been great. (and to think it has only just begun for us.) Our whole family is looking forward to many judgings and a fun filled week. I will return to blogging as soon as I can. Enjoy this beautiful summer weather.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pete the Cat

I love when my mailman toots her horn because I have a package and the package is for me.
Today I got the new Pete the Cat book that was released this week.

Click on the title above to get to a video of the book on you tube.

Great websites

Some of you in attendance at my sessions at Creative Cornerstones asked for me to post information about the websites I recommended. For now I will post the sites. My email at home is VERY slow.  I cannot post a link to them yet. When I get to a place with faster Internet soon, I will update the posts with links.

My favorites on Teachers Pay Teachers are Julie Lee and Deanna Jump. Everything they produce is quality!

Kellyskindergarten has great games that you can program with your own words and skills. This is a fabulous website with tons of ideas.

Kidscount1234 is a fabulous site. Both of Shari Sloane's CDs are wonderful! On her site she has the ready to go enlarged text and some pictures making it easy to make big books of her songs.  I LOVE her song Bingo Bango Bongo (my kiddos did too).

I recently learned about a really great math site it is .  It is a great resource for common core math standard ideas for all elementary grades.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Creative Cornerstones

The room for Creative Cornerstones 2013 continued

Extending great books

Some of the great books we shared

Graphing Seuss

Creative Cornerstones

Here is a glimps of the room ready for my presentation in 2013.

Winter Centers

Interactive writing

Valentine's Day, Dental health and more

State and national symbols, Math and Dr. Seuss

Down on the farm, Eggs and other Spring ideas

Book extensions

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Creative Cornerstones

Today was a great day. The Creative Cornerstones class was very successful. I thoroughly enjoyed networking with so many wonderful teachers. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful cuddos you offered me. Thanks for helping me to grow professionally as I presented today. Many of you shared wonderful ideas that worked for you. I am excited to use some of your great ideas in my classroom as well. Thanks for your willingness to embrace ideas that have worked for me in my classroom.

Foam duck puppet. 

You can tell I am presenting in full force. Retelling board for 5 Little Ducks is in my hand. My "hat" is a rubber ducky shower cap.  It helps set the stage for me to be mother duck and quack loudly for my ducklings to return home.

Creative Cornerstones

I am anxiously anticipating my presentation in the morning. The room is set up. I have checked and double checked the technology. I think I'm ready. I am hopeful that all of the teachers I will be networking with will feel like they are taking home some new ideas to use in their classrooms. It is a joy to share a glimpse into my passionate professional world. All teachers are faced with the same charge, learning and having fun while helping to nurture each precious little one with whom we have the pleasure of interacting. It's a challenge and a joy.
     Thank you Dr. Cogley for allowing me to continue my professional growth by presenting again this year.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fall centers

This was a popular fall center with the kids. I think the original idea came from Deanna Jump. There was a spinner to use. Kiddos spin the spinner and choose an item that matches that part piece to add to their pie pumpkin.  I just used a screw driver to poke holes into the pumpkin where the typical pieces would go. It worked best to store the Pumpkins in the refrigerator overnight added to the life of the pumpkin .