Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Review... My Favorites

I was just thinking about all the things I did in 2011, and realized that I have been blogging for exactly one year now. My how time flies! Here are some of my favorites from the year:

These question words have served my kids well.

The Quiz Me Can
This was a popular one that I still enjoy using with my high readers.

 I opened my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.

My kids did an awesome job on our animal research project.

I organized my teacher library.

I created summer writing notebooks for my students.

That led me to create my LINK Math Workshop Plans. (Which is my favorite thing to teach in my classroom now!)

I was moved to teach Kindergarten. Now that the beginning of school has passed, I can happily say that I am loving my job teaching kinder! (Apparently, I need to take more classroom photos since the room actually has tables now!)

I found a new way to organize my Listening Center.


We ended the year with some cute Christmas activities.

Phew! This has been quite a year. As I look back on the end of the year, I realize that the stress of changing grade levels caused me to severely lack in writing blog posts. I haven't even created anything for TPT in months! For next year, I plan to take more time to post about the things going on in my kindergarten classroom and to create more things I can share.

I hope you had a wonderful 2011. Happy new year!


Comparing Numbers with Name Snowmen!

Have you seen the idea of Name Snowmen floating around Pinterest? I loved the idea and decided to integrate it in our math unit on comparing numbers. Each child made a name snowman, pasted it to our snowy scene, and then counted the circles so we could easily compare. Then, with a math partner, they wrote sentences that compared two of the snowmen. I love using these speech bubbles that I made with my Cricut machine. I laminated them so we could use them again and again to make talking graphs.


Friday, December 30, 2011

The Polar Express

Do you read The Polar Express with your students? We do, and it's a lot of fun. Our principal reads The Polar Express to a class of kindergartners, then later (right before dismissal) she comes bounding through the door with an icy cold package (thanks to the freezer) straight from the North Pole. It contains a letter from Santa and bells for each of the students. Such a fun Christmas activity!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Need ideas or motivation?

If you do, this is a great post for you. If you are looking for holiday related teaching ideas, check out the Holiday Learning eBook from we teach. It has over 30 ideas packed into this free download, and I was one of the contributors. Check it out by clicking the button below:

we teach holiday learning eBook

If you need a little motivation as we get ready to go back to school, you may want to read an article I wrote for Teacher 2 Teacher. It is about what it means to be a teacher (mine is the 2nd article listed). If you check it out, let me know what you think!


Better Late...

than never! Sorry I haven't found a time to post about what we did for the holidays in my classroom until now. Here is a quick summary:

We created Christmas Countdown Bells.

For a parent gift, we made 5 Little Snowmen Ornaments. I painted the kids hands with acrylic paint, they grabbed the ornament, we hung it to dry, and then I decorated them. Pretty cute, huh?

My favorite is the reindeer that the kindergarten team at my school does every year. We give the kids a tracer for the antlers and face, and the rest is up to them. To create the face, we give them a circle tracer with a slit in it. They cut down the slit and overlap the paper to create the cone-shaped face. Later, we created a Santa as a class to complete our hallway display.

I hope you enjoy the last few days of our break!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Free Online Digital Library

I just came across something that you have got to check out. It is a site called We Give Books. Created by the Penguin Group and Pearson Foundation, their goal is to put books in the hands of children who don't have them by reading them on the internet. In doing this, they help some of the best literacy organizations in the world by spreading the word about their great work. In my opinion, the best part is that after you read a book with your class, you can click "Give a Book". By clicking this button, the organization will donate a book to someone who needs it. You can also choose certain initiatives to support.

I have set up an account and already found a book I want to read for a social studies lesson. We are going to look at how technology has changed in the home. I plan to read Goodnight Moon with them, and then compare it to the new online book Goodnight iPad.

Here is a look at the books I found in about 10 minutes and have saved in my library:

Go check it out! They say that they add new books every month. I can't wait to see what's next!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Christmas

I am one of the Teaching Blog Addict authors participating in 25 Days of Christmas. I want to share with you a recipe that has become a tradition in my family. Every Christmas morning, my brother and I would wake up to the smell of my mom's fabulous (and EASY to make) Monkey Bread. Now, I make it every Christmas morning for my husband and myself. There are lots of recipes floating around on Pinterest and the Web for Monkey Bread, but this one is simple and easy. She did not come up with the recipe, but it is a great one! Click the image below and right click to save. Enjoy!

If you enjoy this recipe, I'd love for you to show your appreciation by voting for me. I have a grant application on We Are Teachers, and the person with the most votes wins an iPad2, an iPod Touch, and $100 for their classroom. 2nd-5th place get an iPod Touch and $100. In the last few days, my competitors have shot up about 1,000-1,200 in votes which seems a little fishy to me... just sayin'... With every valid email you have, you can vote. The best part is, if you vote for me, you can drop me a line here and be entered into my giveaway!
Thanks in advance for your support!