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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grab This Before the Party Starts

So, if you are a crazy person like I am you might want to grab this Table of Contents before we get the show on the road. Remember that we are opening up with my friend Deedee Wills.  Click here to grab this page.

Monday, May 30, 2011

These shoes were made for walking and that's just what they'll do...

Aren't these the BOMB?! My daughter designed these for me and they just came in the mail. So... if you are coming to Vegas, check me out in my shoes. I love them. I think they are so funny but they are also super comfortable. Hey maybe I need a pair in my school colors with our logo! Picture me doing a training in those (LOL). I am doing report cards today and these put a smile on my face. Do you need a pair? Don't be jealous. Head over to and make yourself a pair. What do ya think?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Whole Classroom Needs to Be Sorted

Since we are gearing up for our "math festival" of ideas I had to remind you of this oldie but goodie you can grab for a dollar at our favorite shopping haven- yup, Target! The best part is that they come in a lot of different colors which makes them even better! I also bought colored straws to cut up and have the kids sort to make patterns. These become necklaces and bracelets when you string them on a pipe cleaner and my kids never outgrow their passion for these!

What else can you sort?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Call Me Crazy 'Cause I Am!

This reminds me of a little kid getting ready for the first day of school. However, I am a grown-up (at times) and I am getting ready for our book study! I am so excited to have a binder ready with a fancy cover (I love to label everything in sight) and I bought a few other exciting supplies...
1. Page protectors from Costco - best quality for cheapest price
2. Tabs because I am serioulsy addicted to them and I can't control myself. Check out the ones with numbers (OMG).
3. Binder Pockets to hold stuff that I download and make (OMG again)
Now, have I left anything out? Hummmmm... Let me know if you can think of anything.
Now if you want a fancy cover I am giving one away!  Click here to get a fancy binder cover from me! If you prefer blue I am providing that too. Click here for the blue version!
Oh yes, Deedee Wills made the best and cutest bookmark so grab it and use it in your book. She is so clever. Click on this picture!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blogger Love Is Coming Your Way

How did I get this award? Wow I feel so overwhelmed by this acknowledgement. I am keeping company with the best of teachers. As I read your blogs and look for inspiration I am constantly amazed by your creativity, your funny little stories and your need to stretch your thinking and reach new heights in your teaching. I feel blessed to be part of this community and have made so many special friends. I hope I have the priviledge of meeting you someday. If you ever coming to Southern Califorina I live in the OC and my door is open...

It's A Mathathon and You Are Invited to My Party

In honor of our Math Stations book study I am showing you my latest and maybe greatest idea.
What do you think?
I love it and so do the kids in my kinder room!

Okay maybe you have already thought of this but it was a true stroke of genius for me today. I made this graphing activity for the kids and gave each one their own spinner , built into the worksheet.  I used the old paper clip with a brad system for the spinner. Now my head is spinning with other uses for this. I have millions of ideas for changing this out. Download this for any little wiggle worms you might have!

Only a few more days... get ready to rock and roll with some amazing ladies. Bring on the math ideas! No sleep for any of us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Button Up

My new BFF is Ms. M who just made me the most adorable button. My blog will wear this proudly and I would feel honored if you put this on your sidebar. So a big shout out to Ms. M because you are my hero and I love your generosity. You ladies are the best community of friends I could dream of having.  Sometimes I need to stop and count my blessings.

Fran Kramer who has assessed children for many days now!

Who's Keeping Score?

Here is another independent activity in math that goes along with our Open Court unit on Teamwork.
My students can't get enough of these and the "score sheet" will let me know who the winners are! OMG I forgot the download. By the way the math downloads are in honor of our book study! Click here for the download! Please leave a comment if you grab this and join me for our book discussion. No excuses...
Directions for this activity:
1. Run off these images and put sticky dots on each ball. Make these as simple or as difficult as you want.
2. Laminate them .
3. Students add the dots together on matching balls to get a total and record them on a sheet that I have   provided.
Now ... play ball!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let the good times roll...

Are you ready to party! If school is out be sure to grab this book for our upcoming discussion. We can't do it without all of you "smarty pants."  Are you in? Come and join me and my blogging rock star friends. We are so excited about this (giggle) We have some surprises in store for you so don't forget to check in- often! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Quick Routine for Number Recognition

Okay, my kids love this quick routine for number recognition. However, I still have kiddos who think 12 is 21 etc. This provides them with practice that a few of them still need. I hand out a card to every student and once again they read their card and put it in the pocket chart. They better stay focused or their friends get really annoyed! Why? We try to do this at top speed. If you are interested in having these cards, leave a comment about how you  practice number recognition and join the Work Stations Book Study. Buy the book and join our discussions. I still have 3 weeks of school so I will be adding tons of math activities... come on over and please-do not tell me that you are finished for the year. I tend to get quite jealous. Just kidding!  Click here to grab these cards.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just To Get The Party Started... Grab This Freebie

Many of the workshop activities in this book make use of partners. I thought this would be a great way for kinder kids to find their partner and still have to do some thinking. Cut these up into individual cards and tape onto a tongue depressor. Differentiate for students who have better number sense or encourage children to help each other. When doing a workshop the teacher can decide who starts first- the number holder or the dot holder. No one will fight and this can also be used just to practice number sense or number order.             

Do you have a special system for putting kids together as partners?
Let me know by leaving a comment.

Blog Party and You Are All Invited!

                                                         Math Work Stations: Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2

Yup the rumor is out and it's true.  I am helping to lead a book discussion and I need everyone to attend this party because all of you are my friends! My blogging buddies Deedee Wills and Mrs. Parker have asked me to join in and discuss a chapter in this amazing book. I am so excited to be part of this professional community of  life long learners. Pretty cool huh? You better stay posted (haha) and join in the fun. I have a lot of freebies to give away! Start spreading the news...

Do you own this book? What? Get on it and order it ASAP. Just click on the picture.

The following teachers are hosting discussions on their blogs. Be sure to follow them and leave comments. I hope this is the start of many more book studies. Who's in?

Going With the Flow

Here is an important skill to assess in kindergarten. Our students need to be able to retell a simple story. Often this is a real challenge for English Language Learners so I make it cut and paste to see their "thinking." I also assess their knowledge of story elements, another important standard. To get them ready for this I read many different versions of The 3 Little Pigs and the kids act it out. They love doing this and it is an easy way to talk about the characters, the setting, and the events. The key is to keep the story simple so they can be successful. What do you do to assess retelling?

Meet me In Vegas This Summer

I am so excited. I am going to the National Kindergarten Conference in Vegas this summer! Woohoo! I finally bit the bullet and decided to spend the money. My husband thinks I will love doing this and has encouraged me to grab this opportunity to meet other teachers in my field. The presenters are all rock stars and I know I will get amazing ideas and make great friends across this country. I have wanted to do this for years! If you are going please let me know so I can meet a blogging buddy! This would rock my world! Dr. Jean is the keynote speaker and I love seeing her. Some presenters for this year are Shari Sloane, Kim Jordano, Kim Adsit, etc.. If you can't go I will try to share ideas in the fall! Please think about coming...
Click on the picture to go check  this out and I hope I see you in Vegas!
My blog love,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My kindergarten students need to blend cvc words easily before going to first grade. This is an important standard for me to hit and I work on it throughout the year. I am always looking for ways to change it up and make it fun. Right now I think I might have hit a home run with this activiry. I give a card to each student sitting on the carpet and we start with the card that has the word "Sports" on it. When that child reads his card it is placed in a pocket chart and everyone gets a turn. This has become a quick routine and the kids are improving all the time. The boys love these images and are even paying attention. Who knew this theme would be so powerful!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Time for Baseball Practice

I am always looking for interesting ways to practice how many syllables are in a word. I was "blog cruising" and I found the perfect solution on a great blog known as Just Another Day in First Grade. If you have not seen this blog please check it out and follow this talented teacher. I already have her in my Goggle reader.
So... I tweeked her idea for creating this book and made it a bit easier for my kinderkids. I can't wait to try it out. It is the perfect activity for keeping them busy while I am assessing them. Thank you so much Mrs. Tabb.
I want the kids to clap each word and decide how many parts it has.
Then they cut out the the correct number of balls and glue them under the word. I think they will love doing this! Let's play ball!
If you would like this book please follow me and leave me a cheerand click here for my gift to you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Segmentation or Aggravation?

While I am assessing my little ones I always like to create purposeful work that provides me with more information. Sometimes I am surprised by what I see... not always in a good way  (LOL). So this is an idea I have used for a few years and it provides me with more realistic data.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Batter Up: Looking for Home Runs!

We still have many weeks before bringing school to a close and we are ready to enter a new unit of study in OCR called Teamwork. The kids love this unit because I do a theme on baseball which everyone loves, including my husband! So... while I am hammering away on assessments I will start planning some activities for my students to enjoy as we collect data. Does anyone have any great ideas? I will share as I go along but this will be a busy week for me. I am doing 2 Thinking Maps trainings for my district and I need to come up with ELA assessments that reflect our standards and do not feel to painful to administer!
Let's "play ball." Here is my worksheet. It's time to grab this and add it to your math stuff.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oh No... Assessment Time Is Here Again

Yup... I am creating kindergarten assessments today and this party will probably start in the next few days. I am not a big fan but I know we have to do it. I create the assessments for our district and I am always torn between reflecting our math standards and making it fun for the kids so I get their best work. Can it be fun?
I am not so sure but I will give it my best shot.

Women In Kindergarten

I had a wonderful opportunity to train in another school district this past week and these ladies are such incredible teachers. They were so enthusiastic and kind after a full day of work. I am so grateful to have met them and made some new friends. I hoped they learned something new about Thinking Maps and can use an idea or two in their rooms! What is it about kindergarten teachers that is so different? I find them to be the most positive, enthusiastic, and kind people in the world! If you are a kinder teacher give yourself a hug!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Bean Mat is Not for Serving Dinner!

Blogger was down for a few days but I promised you this mat.
I ran each one off in a different color and laminated it for the kids.
I tried to give them contrasting cards. So click here to download your mat. Please leave a comment if you take this and follow me if you want to! Our kids love these bean mats and are learning place value. First grade teachers need to love me- right?!
This could make a great math center once they practice enough.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Count Your Beans... Don't Eat Them!

This is a recording sheet for Monday!

How clever is this idea? My kids are still struggling with those bigger numbers and need lots of practice.
I plan to practice using this in small groups and I hope I can release it so they can do this independently with a recording sheet. I had a parent glue these on tongue depressors and I love making individual mats so each student has their own personal space. We all need our own space. I thought a small baggie of numbers would add to the challenge and help me assess their number knowledge. Cute, right?
Would you like the number cards? Click here for them. Each set is a different color.  Laminate these and put them in little snack baggies. Everyone gets their own set.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Moms Are The Cutest...

How cute are these mommies? I had the kids use a felt tip marker and then they filled it in with bright colors using crayons. I modeled adding accessories after the children told me what their moms carried with them.
I chalked the backgrounds with soft colors to make the colors pop. Each one was framed and I tied a bright colored bow on the side. We put a poem on the back. My principal wanted to keep them for her office!

I have the best moms in the school. They work really hard for meThey brought me flowers throughout the week! My room was full of gorgeous colors. I brought them  home to enjoy over the weekend  and to remind myself of how kind and generous parents can be.
Happy Mother's Day to all the teacher moms out there in bloggerland. I hope your day is full of love.