Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kindergarten Ready, Set, Go, Monster Activities

This week we launched our full second week with a monster mess thematic literacy and numeracy lesson! It was so much fun and yes it was ALSO A BIG MONSTER MESS. Isn't that true anytime we use PAINT with kindergartners! We read three different books, compared and contrasted them and then students talked about their favorite one! I started with Deanna Jump's "Monster Mess" innovation of Mouse Paint. Then took off with Go Away Big Green Monster  and Leonardo the TERRIBLE MONSTER. 


I did create some activities of my own, to practice counting and cardinality skills. Our main focus with this lesson was representing numbers 1-5 as a quantity, numeral, and word. In addition, we also did some writing that included high-frequency words and color words. All perfect for beginning of the year.

On days 1 and 2 we focused on counting, writing (tracing), and making an equal set using a 5 frame and counters.


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monster-Mess-1-5-1420728


 Days 3 and 4, some of the kids were ready for a "Challenge." So, I cut scrapbook/card stock paper in half,   laminated and cut out all the parts, so they could play "matching" game (scaffolding at it's best.)

 
Next week I will post on how I will be taking this same activity and making it part of our Math interactive journals! I LOVE LOVE using interactive journals for math and reading. I've been using them for 3 years now, and each year I seem to "perfect" them. They are a great tool for parent teacher conferences and formative assessments! In my classroom they've practically replaced "student" portfolios! Stay tuned! Once all done, I will be giving away a couple free downloads!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week Day 1, Monday

Hey Everyone! This week I will be blogging more than usual because I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' Back to School 2014 Teacher Week!  Let's see if I can actually keep up. I like to keep a weekly schedule with my kids and hubby, so that I'm not ALWAYS on the computer working on "teacher stuff"  and this is what my week in a snap shot will look like if you are following!



And today is 


  • I like to think of myself as a, God follower, wife, mommy, teacher, and yogi. In that order. I met my husband six years ago and were married 7 months later! Together we have 3 beautiful children, two boys and a curious, energetic little girl (that makes me worry, when I think about her starting kindergarten.) She is such a busy, not shy, fearless, confident, little girl! I love and adore my hubby and kids with everything that I am!
  • I'm also a kindergarten teacher, who is passionate about instilling a love of learning in ALL KIDS! NO EXCEPTIONS. I work and teach at a Title I school and hold high expectations for all of them! I love seeing them grow academically, physically, socially, and emotionally! The growth you see at the end of the year, when compared to the beginning, is always mesmerizing for me! 
  • Last year I participated in an abcmouse.com teacher testimonial selection. It's was pretty amazing because after so many interviews and data collection, I made the final cut! This is a compilation of several testimonials. I'm at the very end along with my former students! "It gives them self-confidence to love school, to love learning, it's BEAUTIFUL!" FYI, I LOVE ABCMOUSE.COM



  • Lastly, Yoga has become my recent obsession! I began practicing 6 months ago and can't let a week go by without be practicing! I'm into headstands and handstands, go figure! Hot Flow and Power Flow yoga classes are my favorite, I guess because it makes me feel like I BURN AND SWEAT OFF all the unnecessary fat and extra calories! Just Kidding, the truth is, it's my time alone, where I get to ground myself, reflect, refill, and pour myself out again. At the end of the day, it's better to give than to receive. Sometimes that giving can be difficult if our mind and our intentions aren't in the right place.  Having that intentional time to reflect allows me to reorder my thoughts and organize my ideas, allowing me to give freely.
  • And there you go! ~Tchr88


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Meet Teacher Blogger

So in my quest to meet other bloggers from around the country and share teaching ideas here is my turn to do this! Falling Into First is hosting this Linking Party, in case you want to join the fun!


I'm starting my 6th year teaching kindergarten and it is really the only grade I have Ever Taught! I will begin tackling National Boards Certification, and the world of blogging this year, so a little nervous. I LITERALLY just began blogging 3 months ago, although it had been lingering in the back of my mind for 3 years. 

 THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...
Coffe, chocolate, music, and CSI! I'm addicted to all four!

 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?

A microbiologist, I started college as a nursing major and those microbiology classes were pretty fascinating! Something about looking at bacteria & viruses under a microscope!

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Determined, Inquisitive, and Outgoing. 
 
FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"
"I love starting kindergarten every year with 25 plus kids, said No teacher EVER!!"

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
Queen Esther, from the book of Esther in the Bible. Her Beauty was like none other, and her courage to stand before the king without being summoned is intriguing.

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
Unspoken Thoughts

 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
 Read peoples minds! 

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." By Eleanor Roosevelt
 
Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 
Right NOW, Let It Go...the Frozen Theme song. My 3 year old daughter sings it all day long and only song I probably know by heart at the moment.
 
 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
NIGHT OWL!!!!!! 
 
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
I'm actually, new to TPT, but currently working on three different resources. Can't wait to upload them!!

Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU! 
I love to sing (not the Best) and play guitar! Praise and Worship Music calm me and put me at ease! Playing my guitar relaxes me!

Now it's your turn! Visit Falling Into First, grab the buttons and the questions and link on up!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Free Online Books

Each year I spend countless hours trying to find free online resources that parents, students, and teachers can use to help student practice their reading. More importantly give all children an opportunity to do so. With this being said, let me share some websites that actually have FREE BOOKS available to read.

To me the act of reading goes hand in hand with listening to someone read. Children of all ages need to hear what reading "sounds" like as much as they need to read on their own! The following four websites offer an opportunity for children to practice their reading. The last one, offers an opportunity for them to listen to stories! Allow your child to explore both reading and being read to! Allow them to practice listening and speaking skills!
Here you go and enjoy, use this as quality time with your child! 
*Please NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNSUPERVISED while on the INTERNET!! 





As a teacher these two are my favorite for emergent (beginning) readers! So many Leveled readers to choose from! Emergent readers can really practice their fluency and high-frequency word knowledge AKA (dolch, red, sight words) with books on these websites.


These two offer a variety of different STORY books, children can simple click on the book cover and have the option of "reading" or "listening" to the story. Only downfall is they have a lot of on-site advertising. This is usually a distraction for the kids, and they will want to click on that, rather than the book! I recommend 100% supervision with these websites.

Finally, one of my fave! This website is sponsored by the entertainment industry,  where different actors and actresses read a children's story book.  In my experience, it's always fun and entertaining listen to someone "famous" read a story to us! Why not do it at home too? You'll find hundreds of books here, give yourself a break tonight or at school, and let your children or student's hear someone else's voice!
Leave a comment or share your thoughts!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to school Prep

What does your school, school district, or yourself do on the very first day of school (well the "work" days?) Today (really 2 days ago) was our first day back and we analyzed, analyzed, analyzed, test scores. Anyone else do that? It was a long day, but productive, I think. Hopefully our data meeting results and gatherings will be used to drive our instruction, our lessons, activities, and yes some of the "fluff" stuff! Our school grade actually went down this year, and as a school we really need to "step it up" and "change" things around. If something fails, change it up right! I personally like to be reflective in everything I do. This has been me the last two days, planning, planning, and prepping!


Have a Great 2014 School year back! Think, Imagine, Dream, Inspire! XOXOXOXOX!









Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mini Posters for Learning Objectives

At our school we are asked to clearly post our learning goals or objectives. With common core we even have to do 'I statements;" here are some mini posters I have created to help me engage my students and help them remember exactly what we are learning about that day and sometimes even the week. We even talk about our "criteria for success" in other words we make a list together of how "We know" we have mastered a standard. If you already do that, here are some posters for you for free! Enjoy! Hope you like them, simply click on the images and it will link you to another website where you can download them for free! They are PDF files.