Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to all the blogging friends who sent this award to me. I am just so busy with school, blogging, and the daily stuff of life that I have not listed seven things you might find interesting about me:

1. I have been married to the same man since I was 21 years old. We met at the beach in a hurricane and it was love at first sight. (corny but true). We have been married for 37 years and he thinks I am the best teacher in the world. Yes, he is a bit delusional but I love his pride in me! He's a dentist.

2. My husband and I raised two daughters who are both attorneys and we still shake our heads and ask ourselves why. However one is an adjunct professor at Brown and the other ran a tutorial program in Chicago's inner city. Hummm, not teachers? My mom was a teacher, my sister, and so was my grandmother. I think this is in my genetic code.

3. I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland and met my 2 best friends in middle school where I sat between them in science class. Both of them are male. 

4. My favorite movie in the world is I Am Sam and I cried so much during the movie that my husband was desperate to take me home. If you have never seen this rent it and brace yourself. I love it because all the music is from the Beatles and during the first half of my career I was a special education teacher (2 credentials). It was a wonderful story. So... I cry easily but love sad movies.

5.When the girls were little I designed children's clothing and sold it to a boutique. I could not keep up with the orders and finally gave it up. One day when I walked into my classroom (private school) most of the children in the class were wearing something I had designed. I made tie dyed clothing and machine appliqued designs on top. Yup, those were the days my friend.  I also love to quilt!

6. I love... coffee (drink it all day), bagels, peanut butter, and pizza. None of those things love me! I fight weight issues all the time. So I have to work out. I introduced my personal trainer to an assistant principal in my district because I knew they would fall in love with each other and they did! They are getting married this June and they are perfect for each other. How cute is that!

7. I am a district trainer but every time I do a presentation I feel sick to my stomach and feel like I am going to die. I am so anxious that I will waste someone's valuable time but I love being with my "peeps." I love kindergarten teachers more than any other group of people. Seriously, they are generous, warm, loving, and smart. You can pick them out of a group of people in a second. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Apple Pickin' Not Nose Pickin'

My partner wants to do a mini unit on apples because she loves all the activities around this. She loves making applesauce, graphing different apple tasting favorites, counting with apples, mapping apples, and patterning with them too. So I will be doing apple pickin' activities that reflect our standards. Right now we are working on patterns and I like the idea of apple patterning by size! Now I need Pete with an apple too! Would you like this as a freebie or there is enough out there?
First, I practice these in a pocket chart to be sure the children can"read" the pattern and verbalize it. After a few days of this I will give them this cut and paste with 2 different images to use. I find that too many choices just confuses and overwhelms them. KISS: Keep It Super Simple! Okay... long day but I am giving this to my friends who need one more apple thing tomorrow Grab it and see how the kids do with this one. Leave me your best apple idea if you can take the time and enjoy your apple crunching theme.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Pete Obsession

As the year progresses I like to teach action words, as we say in kindergarten and I know the kids will pay attention if I do it through my friend Pete. I might even be able to hold their attention (okay that was a real exaggeration). I love making books that reinforce a few different skills but I walk a fine line with this since they can take the kids a week to complete. This works for me because they will have an opportunity to practice writing the word I and if things go my way they will remember this sight word a little bit better. I can keep my fingers crossed. If you think you might want this... follow me here and check out my TpT store for some other Pete the Cat goodies.I will post this later for those who might need want this. Okay at this rate I will be doing Pete the Cat holding a pumpkin. Remember to check out my friends at Lesson Plan SOS for an awesome giveaway. Grab this book at my TpT store. Please leave a comment.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Love Free... I Love Pete... I Love A Giveaway!

So head over to Lesson Plan SOS to win this fantastic giveaway. Hey I want a signed book too! So...
if you want a packet from Deanna and all the materials to make an interactive Pete Big Book you just need to 
do a few simple things:
1.Follow me on TpT
2. Follow Deanna on her blog
3. Head over to Lesson Plan SOS and follow them.
4. Let them know how well you follow directions.

There will be 2 winners and I hope one of them is you! It's all good! If you have a little one you must try to win this.Okay, maybe you need it for yourself. I won't tell but he is the cutest cat in town.

Pete the Cat Giveaway is Coming Soon

Shhhhhhh... I am telling you a secret. There will be a giveaway on another site later today but I am coming home late tonight so I am telling my blogging friends ahead of time to be on the lookout. A blow-out giveaway is happening and I need to enter this myself. Mrs. Jump and I have been asked to help them with this and if I do not win I might die. Wait, did I say that? I will be so happy for the winner. I can't tell you anymore or I will get into trouble. Later, 'gator.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brown is not the new purple...

We have so much curriculum to cover like everyone else but I really had a student tell me a brown crayon was purple! No he is not color blind. Some of our little ones still do not know their colors so we look for ways to integrate this into the curriculum. Once you teach your students how to make a book like this during small group instruction you can use it as a literacy center. Most kids love these and they are so easy to create. We are learning how to make these and it's another way to build vocabulary too. Hummmm , tomorrow we are doing Mouse Paint. What is your favorite color activity? These graphics are available from DJInkers.If you want this click here and follow me-please.

Rocking With A Blue Cat

Here is a quick look at this gigantic packet of work. I cannot wait to use it with my class. I am not sure when I will be fitting this in since we only have a 3 and 1/2 hour day. However it offers me a great way to visit those standards that need to be met.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pete is Rocking in His School Shoes

My kids love when I make them a Big Book and I will be super popular when I pull out this Pete the Cat one.I can't wait to be popular since my four year old boys are not loving the academics in my room! Just telling the truth friends. I made this with my younger ones in mind. The pictures are adorable and the text is repetitive with the use of action words on Velcro that are color coded for emphasis. When I am ready to teach this I will put action words in a big circle map (that they will generate) with pictures to scaffold them. Then I'll read this book about their favorite cat and see if any of the verbs we brainstormed about exist in the story. I think this is an easy and almost painless way to introduce "action" words. You can buy it in my TpT store for $5 if you need to improve your popularity too.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pete the Cat is Ready to Rock


I am finally finished my second Pete the Cat packet and get ready for this- it is 156 pages long! I might have gotten carried away on this one. The activities are designed to be used with Eric Litwin's second book entitled Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes. It is exploding with literacy and math stations that should be perfect for this time of year in both kindergarten and first grade. Special Education teachers can use this packet for their primary students. I have shown you many ways to differentiate for different ability levels and how to build academic language with your students. Okay...I hope you love it. This is my best work ever! The artwork was done by a gifted, young artist and is gorgeous. She custom made these graphics for me and will be opening her own store soon. Thank you Makda. You are such a rock star!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Won!

 My school won the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award today.
I am so proud of all the teachers who helped to make this happen.
It was a moment in time for all of us who believe that we can make a difference.
We are in a Title I school with the hardest working staff and administrators in the world.
The gorgeous woman in yellow is my principal and our AP is to the left of her.
Our district administrators brought breakfast and hugged each one of us!
I love successes.        

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I am tickled pink and scared out of my mind

So good things come in 3s they say (Who says that?) These all feel like such a big deal to me but with it comes all the anxiety of now disappointing people. It feels like a lot of pressure to me. What am I getting into here?
I better get in serious touch with my creative side.

Flipping Over Shapes

My kids come with limited school experiences and often need more work with shapes. This can be done through patterning, sorting, and literature. Here is a flip book I made to help them practice cutting and pasting shapes they might see in the real world. The graphics are by DJInkers and can be purchased at their site. Here is a copy for you and let me know how your students like it.Click here for the download and I hope it helps your students.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pete Is Rocking In Our Kinder Classes

My team is rocking with their Pete the Cat projects and I cannot get over their creativity. How cute is this?
Pete out of shapes did me in! I have not done this with my class but I am hoping we get to it next week. I thought you might enjoy these pictures.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Take a peek at the new Pete...

At this point I need to send the message that school is a great place to be and this little book might push my agenda! What do you think? If you like it I will post it after school cause I'm running late. Have a great day of teaching friends.Thanks for your patience. Here you go. Click here to download this.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

That Rocking Cat Came Back

I am so excited to let you know that my new Pete the Cat packet is almost finished and I hope you like all the activities I have created for you to use. This time Pete is rocking in his school shoes and learns all about his new learning environment.  I am having so much fun with this. My class adores the first book and I am saving this one for a bit later in the year. I want to focus on "action words" when I read this one and right now we are still learning to build stamina and follow classroom procedures.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

You All Are In My Top 10

There is no way for me to pick just ten of you. I see blogs all the time that are creative, thought provoking, and full of interesting ideas to help me grow as a teacher. All of you are truly winners in my eyes. I mean that.

Top 10 TBA

I have gotten this award many times over the weekend and it has meant the world to me. If I have given you one idea to take back to your classroom or raised your spirits in any way then I feel successful. This is such a loving community to be a part of and I can't thank you enough for all the recognition. It makes me feel so lucky to know the women in Blogland who work so hard to make a difference in the lives of children. Some of you are teachers and some of you are moms who are teaching their own children. Your ideas motivate us all to be better educators and each of you continue to raise the bar for achieving excellence. Remember that when you face the next challenge. Thank you Tamara for reminding us to recognize those around us who work so hard.

Stripping To Make A Pattern Book

So if you are a kindergarten teacher you might be working on patterning skills at this time. Generally students really enjoy the predictability of this and find it lots of fun. We try to introduce this with lots of manipulatives but also using the students themselves. Boy, girl, boy, girl or clap, snap, clap, snap... Using their bodies is always the best starting place.
Try some of these or add on your own ideas:
1. Sit, stand, sit, stand
2. Tied shoes, buckle shoes, tie shoes, buckle shoes
3. Jump, clap, jump, clap
4. Uniform shirt color: red, blue, red, blue
What are your favorites? Eventually we work with unifix cubes, teddy bears and obviously the calendar.
Here is a strip book to use for recording this using shapes. Grab it right here and I hope you enjoy it.  Happy Labor Day!

Trying to Get Control Over My Cubbies!

I have a hard time controlling cubbies in my room with so many children so here is my new system. Wish me luck! I know kids pay no attention and papers will be flying everywhere but I am going to see how this goes.
The label gets covered up with work so I thought a chart with their name and number (same as on hw folder) would be a good idea. In a perfect world this could teach them how to refer to a list. I might be have a bit of a fantasy right now... huh? Okay, give me credit for trying! Do you do something smarter?

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's All Good!

So here is how today went for me...
I woke up with a horrible cold from staying up late for too many nights getting ready for a huge training in another district. I was so nervous I thought I would die.

I was told mycomputer at school has a corrupted hard drive and I will probably lose a ton of data. My partner needed a million things I could not access because of this.

It was Friday and I was exhausted from scissor cutting activities, teaching students how to close a glue stick, and all the paperwork we all face at the beginning of the year.

Sounds horrible- right? I got home from work and decided to check my email and got this precious note from another blogger:

Seriously people, I could not live without you now! Thank you Pam. I appreciate this so much and now like Pete I can say, "It's All Good." If you do not know this blog it is full of great ideas so click on her button to check it out.