Monday, August 29, 2011

Alphabet Rocks!

Alright, so I have tons of things I should have been blogging about, but since school started I have been super busy! I'm sure y'all understand! First off, let me just say that I absolutely LOVE Kindergarten! While you do have to teach those sweet babies how to do almost anything, they are adorable, so innocent, and sweet. :-) I must be crazy to actually enjoy teaching these first few weeks!

So, here is something I made this summer that I am excited to use with my new kids.

These are alphabet rocks. You may have seen them on.... yes, you guessed it... Pinterest. How many times have I said that in the last 10 posts?!? Anyway, I went to the Dollar Tree, bought 2 bags of stones meant to be decorative, and put my paint pens to work. To top it off, I sprayed on lacquer. I just didn't think the paint alone would stick all year. I could foresee it getting scratched off easily. I went ahead and made 2 sets with numbers to 10 as well. How fun are they? I just love them!

I hope you are having a wonderful start to the new school year!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dull Pencil Clipart

Remember this?

I love to use this in my classroom because it is so much less distracting (and less time consuming) than students using a pencil sharpener. Besides... I teach K now, and I don't think teaching them to use a pencil sharpener would be the best use of our time! :)

Anyway, I've had lots of questions about where I found the dull pencil clipart. Well, here's a tip... go to and search for "broken pencil tip". If you click on images, it should be the first one that pops up. If that doesn't work for you, than click here and see a post that uses the broken pencil within it.

Sorry, I didn't want to post the picture on my site because it is not mine to post! 
Hope this helps!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Voki- a New Way to Use Technology in the Classroom!

Hey y'all!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long. With the grade level switch, I'm feeling much more overwhelmed than I had anticipated. Oh well, at least I'm ready for Monday!

Have you heard of Voki? My principal introduced us to it at one of our Professional Development sessions. She is awesome! You can go to and create a caricature that says the text you tell it to. Here is one that I came up with... Keep in mind that our school is having an ocean theme in the hallways, so the pirate does fit! Press the play button to hear him talk. Enjoy!

Can't you see so many uses for this? How fun could this be to jazz up an otherwise boring topic? What about your kids recording their voice or typing up a short report? I can't wait to see if my kids enjoy it as much as I hope they do!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bug of the Week and More Classroom Photos

In kindergarten at my school, everyone does star of the week. I decided to do "Bug of the Week" to go with my theme.

Here is the bulletin board I made for it:

As you can see in the picture below, I will put pictures from each of the students on paperclips that are already on the flowers on my board. It makes for a very easy change out! 

Here is the paper I send home with the student before their week:

Bug of the Week -

I also created this bulletin board for our "Bee Rules". I plan to make the binder as well! Be sure you click the links to check out the original post by Sarah at First Grader... at Last.
I made the banner using my Cricut machine.

I saw an adorable project on Pinterest. They made yarn balloons that sort of looked like lanterns. Well, I bought the yarn, glue, balloons, and tried twice... but I failed miserably! I guess some projects just aren't meant to be!

So... instead I sent my hubby to Hobby Lobby to get these paper lanterns. You get three for $7.99! Look how I used them for decoration and for table colors:

I think it's so fun! I plan to hang the word of the week from the paperclips so the students can have it right at their tables. (Yes... once the tables arrive I will have them instead of desks!)

Hope you have a wonderful week!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Classroom Photo Update

My room isn't complete, but here are my newest photos.

First of all, this is what I walked into on Monday morning:

Here is my bulletin board that I showed you last week. I plan to use it to display student work. I decided that it is not really a caterpillar. However... it is a worm. :) Just need to take the legs off.

This is my "Buggy About Reading" bulletin board. It features one of the fun signs I purchased at the Dollar Tree. Yes... 6 for $1! :) I think I will be using the blue tables for my Daily 5 "Write About Reading" center. That is what we do instead of the writing center where the students create cards, lists, etc. We have a separate writing workshop time. When I tried the traditional Daily 5 writing center, it wasn't the best use of my students' learning time.

Next to the blue tables is my student library. I realize some of the bins of books are definitely too high for my new kindergarteners, but I don't plan to offer them all genres at the beginning of the year anyway.

I moved my teacher library to the shelves over my students' backpack hooks. Ignore the mess below. Still working on that...

I moved my tree to the other side of the room. In case I didn't say it before, my tent and rug are from Target.

On the black bookshelves I put my new buckets for my LINK Math Workshop stations. If you missed my posts about that, check out LINK here
The counter behind is where my students will keep their book boxes. I have new labels I need to put on these.

Here are our computers:

I put up new border on my board, and the word wall is ready for KINDERGARTEN words!

Lastly, here is my desk/guided reading/guided math table. You can see my fun new stools, too! Have you seen the melted crayon on floating around on Pinterest? Look closely in the background and you can see the one I made for my room with my hairdryer! Let me know if you are interested in me posting a tutorial.

I still have a few things to finish, but as far as my classroom goes, I'm almost ready for school!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Take on Paint Chip Word Families

Have you seen this word family activity floating around Pinterest or other blogs? I decided to take the idea, and tweak it a little.

I found these paint chips that already had the holes cut out.

Then, I cut them apart and wrote word families on them.

I didn't like the idea of using another paint chip for the beginning of the words. It only lets you put a few letters on it. So, instead I chose to use paint stirrers. This let me put a lot more letters on it.

In case you missed it, I found out this week that I will be teaching kindergarten instead of first grade. I get to stay in the same room, though, so that's good! Once I get settled, you will see more kindergarten ideas than 1st grade ideas. Of course, most things can be adapted, but I just wanted to give you a heads up! I went ahead and changed my banner on my blog design, too!

Be sure to check out my Donor's Choose Project. Only one day left!

I sure hope you are enjoying getting ready for the school year!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Classroom Photos and New Assignment

Hey friends! Well, first of all, let me start out with my new bulletin board! My mom was able to come up and help me this year! And oh my... is she ever creative! So here is my new place to hang their work:

The segments of the caterpillar are made of felt. I put glitter on the front of the clothespins, and then hot glued them up there. The banner is from Isn't he cute?

On another note, I got news today that I will be teaching KINDERGARTEN this year instead of first grade. Guess I've got to change the subtitle on my blog... I'm sad to leave my current team, but I'm excited about the ladies I get to work with this year as well. I get to stay in the same room, too, so that was good news! Any tips for a new KINDERGARTEN teacher?

CScope Anyone?

A sweet teacher emailed me and asked if I use CScope. She said that many districts in Texas have adopted CScope, but mine isn't one of them. I figured that a few of my readers out there do use this program. Is anyone willing to offer her some insight on the program?

Thanks friends!


Monday, August 8, 2011

LINK Math Workshop Plans Finally Complete... and a FREEBIE!

Whew! Y'all, I have been working almost non-stop on these launch plans for the past week or so. I had no idea what I was getting into, but in hindsight I am SO VERY glad that I did! I now have thought through exactly what my Math Workshop will look like in my room and have planned out how to get it up and running.

Just so you can get a visual... here is what my desk looked like for quite a while:

 Those little post-it flags were everywhere! 

The will be on sale through today at midnight, so snatch them up while the sale is on!

Some of the activities I mentioned in my plans are still in the making, but will be within my Back to School MATH Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers. I hope to have this posted by the end of the week.

In the mean time, click here to download my new freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers. It's a Back to School Mini-Unit.

Enjoy the end of your summer ladies! I'm finally heading up to school sometime this week to get my room back in order.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Math Workshop Management Plan

Remember how I went to CAMT a few weeks ago? I told y'all that I attended as many classes as possible that relate to math workshop. Well, I got lots of ideas and compiled them into my own math workshop plan. You can use all of the things from Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations when you implement the plan. I call it the LINK Math Workshop Framework. Doesn't it sound so professional? Hehe! I did spend quite a bit of time coming up with the plan and creating this document that outlines the different components.

PLEASE leave me your comments and questions! I'd love to know what you think.

I know I said I was going to post the 5 week plans for launching math workshop in my TPT store, but so far I only have completed one week. If I don't complete it before my sale ends, I will extend the sale so you can purchase it at the discounted price.

Whew! Who knew this would be such a large endeavor?


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Donor's Choose Help

I started a project on Donor's Choose a little while back, and it hasn't gotten anywhere close to being fully funded. The final day for funding is before school starts (only 11 days away!), so I can't count on new classroom parents to contribute. Any tips or suggestions on how to get my project funded?

Donors Choose


Monday, August 1, 2011

Are you ready?

If you already follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, you may have already heard about my sale and new products in the making. If you don't follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, here is the news:

TpT has a coupon code to use just in time for us to get ready for the new school year. Use the coupon code B1T1S to score 10% off your purchase. To make the deal even sweeter, I am throwing a sale starting today, August 1st through Friday, August 5th for an additional 20% off all items in my store.

I am currently working on two things:
-a back to school unit to support literacy and math work stations
-lesson plans for launching math work stations in your classroom

My plan is to have both items posted by Monday or Tuesday evening, so be on the look out!

Have a great school year!