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Saturday, December 31, 2011

California Teachers: Are You Coming to This Conference?

Okay, I am willing to admit that I loved my blog meet-up so much that I am ready for another one. If you live in California and teach kindergarten I hope you plan on coming to this conference so I can meet you! Pleeeeese... How much fun would that be-right? Those of you who live in northern California just have to travel to Santa Clara. I have a daughter in San Francisco (attorney girl) and she is dying to spend more time with her mom. So for me this is a no brainer.I love to hang with kinder teachers, spend too much money on things for my classroom, see Dr. Jean and do the Tooty-Ta with her, and buy another corny kindergarten t-shirt. Heidi will be there Saturday too. I always come back re-energized but this time I want to learn more about transitional kindergarten. I want to hug the people at the state level who recognize that four year olds are not developmentally ready for a rigorous kindergarten program. Yeah! Love you guys. So are you game? Come on... I am dying to meet you and talk about blogging until you get sick of me.Find out more here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Join Us Next Time!

So this is the whole group of women. I made them a silly little gift so they would remember this day. It was a luggage tag with their name and blog address. Yes, I  am super corny and both of my daughters had to help me put this together. I hope this is the beginning of many new friendships. We all need to meet up and celebrate each other! I think all of these blogs are wonderful so let me list them for you to check out. Some of them you might already know, but just in case:
Annie (
Kristin (
Fran (
Kerri & Lindsay (
Madison (
Gwyn (
Kathy (

If you live in Northern California I am going to the California Kindergarten Conference in Santa Clara and would love to meet you. Hello Cindy! That can't be too far from you.. I'll be there January 13th-15th. Heidi presents at this conference and Dr. Jean. These are two of my favorites so join me!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Orange County Blog Meet-Up

Well the big day finally happened thanks to Hadar (Miss Kindergarten). Some of the teacher bloggers from Orange County met up for lunch and got to spend a few hours together. These women are beautiful, smart, and really funny. I loved all of them! I am hoping to get more pictures since others were there but here are just a few for you to see. Okay, so let me give you a brief explanation of who you are looking at. Hadar is from Miss Kindergarten and she is such a warm, likable person. Next, you see Annie who is incredible, sweet and so easy to talk to. Her blog is Moffett Girls. Next are Kerri and Lindsay who are close friends and share a blog called Bits and Bobs. Lindsay just had that gorgeous baby a few months ago and his behavior was perfect! I wish Jack was in my class. Kristin is from Teeny Tiny Teacher and yes she is hilarious and adorable. Yup, she is a little bit of a thing too. Others were there too but I will let you wonder until the next post. By the way Sylvia (learning with Mrs. Parker) could not come  and my friend Cindy (kindergartenfreckleteacher). I hope there is a next time. These are amazing women. I loved them all. Thanks Hadar for getting us together. Next time- my house for lunch. No crazies (except me) in this group!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Do you teach kindergarten or primary special education? Rock Your World!

We are coming to your house in a few weeks and we are all bringing tons of goodies with us. If you are a kindergarten blog stalker, here are some of my favorite people. They area wildly creative, funny, amazing bunch of kinder teachers who have so much to share with you. This event is on January 28th and you can even watch it in your jammies! I love at home professional development. I promise  that you won't be disappointed and I am so excited to hear their ideas. I am letting my district know about this ASAP. Please join our party by signing up here.After you sign up would you mind leaving me a RSVP in my comment box. That way I can love you for all the support.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More from our Gingerbread Day

A few people asked me about this necklace and what the end result  looked like so this is the best picture I could come up with. Most of my pictures are of the kids facing the camera and I am hesitant to put them on the blog. We played tons of math and literacy games so I have a few extra pictures. I hope everyone is on a well deserved break now and can enjoy their time off. Remember to check back if you are a kindergarten teacher to sign up for the blog expo. It should be amazing! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who Needs Gingerbread Jewelry?

So I wanted one more center on our Gingerbread Activity Day and this was a big hit with everyone! It was so simple but the kids loved creating their own necklace with cut up straws and pasta (teeny tiny beads). The real kicker was the center of the necklace. It was a small gingerbread man that students colored in and put their name on. I wrapped the paper strip around the paper clip and it hung in the middle. Hey, I wore mine all day and got lots of compliments. Maybe you can do this next year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Gift From the Kindergarten Chick

This is so precious. Please take the time to go over to the Kindergarten Chick and see her little one reading a little book and doing an "I have", "who has" number activity. Amanda sent me an email this evening and I just have to show my friends this adorable post. Click here to celebrate the power of words and numbers in the world of a 3 year old. A special hug to you Amanda for sharing this.

How to Dye Pasta Chef Kramer's Way!

Warning: This is not the standard way of dying pasta but I like rich, bright colors. I do all of this in a ziplock bag because the mess can be overwhelming. Obviously you make separate batches for each color. You can mix colors if you like lime green, purple, etc. The trick is adding enough food coloring to make the pasta intense and leaving it to soak for a few hours to get vibrant colors. After you add the alcohol, pasta, and dye be sure to mix it around, lay it out and when you like the color spread it out on newspaper to dry thoroughly. It's easy. Do not do this on your granite counters or you will stain them. Use gloves if you do not like having green or red hands!
If you have a little doodle at home you can let them help. Kids love doing this. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cooking Up More Treats for Next Week

I need to find nine billion ways to practice writing numbers so I am sneaking this in (sly fox that I am) next week and I am praying that the kids think this looks like fun. To make the buttons they can use the back of a pencil and dip the eraser in an ink pad. Number writing is still a real challenge for my gingerkids. If this helps you to keep them engaged during all the chaos you can click here to download it.

What did you do for a parent gift?

Everyone can be successful with this simple project. I have too many students to do a long and involved activity and too many standards to cover! So after a few years of changing it out I finally decided to do a class picture because a parent will love having this memory. One of my team partners suggested converting it to black and white which makes it so much nicer I can't believe it! Thanks Deb. The kids loved making these and the room was silent (my room is never silent) and not a single child got frustrated. If they lost the pattern around the frame I let it go...  If you are still worried about what to do this is just another idea. What do you do?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Running As Fast As I Can (I'm an old woman)

Seriously, I am trying to prepare for our Gingerbread Activity Day which is led by our parents and I am making a dash to the finish line. We are practicing the text of my little retelling book,
adding the main character and the setting. Nothing like overwhelming 5 year olds with information. Honestly though, they are loving this little book because they can read it themselves and screaming "crunch" thrills them!
If you want all this and more with story elements it is in my Holiday Joy With the Gingerbread Boy literacy packet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

KISS: Keep It Super Simple so you can get it all done

Here is an independent activity that I am hoping will keep them busy for a few minutes while I finish other projects and get ready for my conferences. Sorry but I had to go to work so here is the file for this. Grab this right here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do Not Eat the Play Doh...Please!

If you love gingerbread cookies do not make this play doh. I am serious. You will want to eat it and it has an entire cup of salt in it! Gross-right? But if you could smell it you would want to put it in your mouth. One of our amazing parents ( she is a master baker) did this for me and I L*O*V*E her because the kids had so much fun with it. I just do not have enough hours in the day to do one more thing but she came through, as usual. No standards... just fun. Shhhhh.

My students are really working on their oral language skills through a simple version of The Gingerbread Man. This is a simple activity I did in my pocket chart and is becomes a flow map for sequencing work. Eventually they will create their own map and write about this cocky, little cookie!
I have lots of retelling work in my literacy packet - Holiday Joy With the Gingerbread Boy. 

Gingerbread Madness

We are doing all things Gingerbread this week and the kids are having a great time. They are loving all the retelling activities I have in my TpT packet and my grade level buddies are on board with this too. I cannot get through all this curriculum but I am having fun trying! The pocket chart retell has been a big hit and the kids love to scream "crunch" when we get to the crafty old fox. So I have put aside the regular curriculum for a few days and I am sneaking in these activities. We are singing our way through the week too!
OMG. We still have to make our parent gift... 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Packed This Full of Gingerbread Joy

Okay this is finally finished and I need to catch my breath. Report cards, conferences, paperwork, oh my! This is a packet full of activities that focus on response to literature. I have tried to include all the pieces my team loves the most. I plan to use this for the few weeks of school to keep the kids engaged  and excited. However, it has so much in it that some of it will have to wait until the new year. Run, run as fast as you can and grab this to help you survive those busy days before winter break. I am putting it up at TpT now. Check it out here.

Now I need to crash and get some rest. My cold is back and I need to get ready for our Gingerbread Activity Day. Talk about running...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gingerkids Are Coming to My Room

I just created two gingerbread packets this weekend (little overachiever) to use during those final weeks before vacation. The Math Packet is already in my TpT store but I 'm still working on the Literacy pack. I need some new games standard based projects to keep things upbeat and engaging while I hold a million parent conferences! These are new ideas that my kids have not seen yet. Do I sound a little desperate? The best part of this packet is the headband 'cause you know how I feel about those. By the way- this theme is staying around till after winter break so I can read all the stories I bought on Amazon. I'm just saying...

Handwriting With Tears (MINE)

My kids are very young this year. Hello, someone turned five on November 30th. So handwriting has been a bit challenging in my room. They all have crazy interesting ways of forming letters. I notice that my bottom lip is a little sore from biting it when I watch them. But they are really young and need the gift of time. Here is a "sweet treat" if your sweeties need some extra practice too. I am off to work on my Gingerbread Packet! My team is waiting for their stuff. Grab it here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Down came the turkeys and up went the gingerbread friends...

Down came the turkeys only to be replaced by all things Gingerbread. I have been reading different versions and my students can't get enough of these stories. Amazon is in love with this teacher! They are loving these stories. When I lead up to the fox I change my voice, it sounds slow and sweet and the kids get so tense. It is so cute to watch their faces because they know what is coming. They always clap at the end! I am not sure who is having more fun with this. I still have to hit some important standards before we go on winter break and I  will be working hard to get some projects completed too! 
Report cards are done and now conferences are ahead of me. It never stops... so I will run, run as fast as I can. I better finish my presentation for the Blog Expo coming up too!

Woops, grab this little activity here.