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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Get Lucky Today!

Have you noticed that a lot of bloggers are promoting worksheets that you can print off and use the next day? Be cautious about embracing this. Kindergarten students need to interact with materials and use manipulatives on a concrete level to build understandings. Small group instruction and work stations help them to make connections and work towards becoming independent. I think we need balance with all of this and because life is so busy we fall down this "black hole." I know I have. However, there are so many amazing resources that can keep our kids excited about learning! Are you with me?

 It's a struggle to keep up with all the demands of a classroom and have any time left for yourself and your family. Literacy and math stations require a lot of prep and this can become exhausting. Worksheets can be useful to check for understanding but only if they are well designed and used strategically.
At this time of year I have an emergent reader that my students love and it has such a positive message... I need positive! Click on the picture to grab this little reader.

This packet is filled with activities to keep learning exciting in your classroom and gives you an opportunity to see how their skills are coming along. There is definite prep involved but I think it is worth it. Laminate all the games and activities, label it, put it in a container and pray that you can find it next year. I have it in my TpT store so click on the picture and it will lead you there. Have a lucky day friends and remember to "teach to the core." You can also click here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Who Wants Freebies Today? Hop on Over!

Some of my fabulous friends and I have been working our tails off to prepare for the Southern California Kindergarten Conference! We are so excited to present, celebrate and have an all around wonderful time with some fantastic teacher friends in Pasadena, California at the end February.

We want to share all that fun with ALL of you! Soooo....
We are having a little hop over on our FACEBOOK pages. Start on Dragonflies in First's FB page and hop your way through some fabulous freebies from some amazing teachers. 

It's a short hop and you won't want to skip a step because it ends in a chance to win an AMAZING GIVEWAY!

It all begins Saturday! What a fabulous way to start the weekend!

Happy hopping!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Presentation Countdown... OMG

The days are going by quickly and I am working feverishly to finish my presentation for this incredible event...

Look at this line up and tell me that you have every intention of coming to this amazing event! Our very own Deanna Jump is the keynote and if you have ever heard her speak you won't want to miss this event. She rocked it out in Vegas and now you can actually meet her. This is going to be such a blast. 
Come and meet the Southern Cal bloggers. These gorgeous teacher bloggers are some of the best in the west! Did I really just say that? Okay, that was corny. I love these ladies and yes we do hang out together. Grab a ticket before they sell out and you are feeling so sad. I am taking off two days from work which is unheard of! What is the topic? Common Core- what else?
 I cannot wait to go to all these sessions and learn from this talented teachers. Woohoo... let's get this party started! Treat yourself to a ticket. You deserve it. Register right here!

Come back on Saturday for the Facebook Hop we are having where you can collect a billion freebies. Please "like" my Facebook page so that you can get some cool stuff to use next week! Promise? My friend Traci has worked her buns off to put this together. Check out her blog Dragonflies In First and yes- buy her planner. It is AMAZING!

Like all our Facebook pages when this goes live over the weekend. You will not want to miss this. I am so excited to be a part of this group... We are having a blogger bash at this conference with freebies, raffles, TpT gift certificates and even a photo booth.We have a bizillion giveaways that have consumed my life for weeks, not to mention presentations filled with ideas to take home and implement. Now if I could just avoid standing in the front of the room I would be a happy camper. Just sayin'

Meet the Presidents: Kindergarten Kids Love Non Fiction!

I love teaching about the presidents in celebration of their birthdays in February. My partner was born on Lincoln's birthday and I was born on Washington's. Yup, I swear this is the truth! The kids get such a kick out of this and we love teaching about these two important leaders. This books have been some of my best sellers because their is so little informational text out there that young children can actually read! Much of what is available is too complex for young learners. However, I do have a few favorites you might want to check out. I am a big fan of the scholastic series My First Biography. They have a limited number of books but my guess is more will come. Common Core requires that we read more non fiction to our students 

and I think they need readers that reflect this shift. If these readers appeal to you they can be purchased here and here. I provided a colored version for the teacher to present and a black and white version for your students. The dots are under the text to help children with tracking. What are some of your favorite activities to do to celebrate these holidays? We make a tall hat for Lincoln with a shiny penny glued to the front that  the kids get to clean themselves. This is a big hit with the boys! For Washington we make a red, white and blue three cornered hat with a feather (Michaels purchase) with a fake quarter in the center. This is a great time to talk about money with your students and do some probability work, flipping a coin to determine heads or tails. Students have a blast with this. So take some time out of your busy day to expose your students to biographies that they will enjoy.

Monday, February 3, 2014

And the winner is...

How lucky is this lady? She won a free ticket to the Southern California Kindergarten Conference. Okay get over it. You'll win next year. If you are still interested in hanging out with the bloggers at the event you can still purchase your ticket. Take a break from teaching... kids... the husband and join all of us for an event you will never forget.

You can even meet Deanna Jump. The whole conference is on Common Core and we are showing up at this party and rocking it out. Are you in? I know it's hard to get away but this is really worth it. Does Common Core scare you to death? Learn how to make it work in your classroom with 31 children. It will be a weekend you'll never forget. I promise. I will even be there. Come to my session and introduce yourself to me. The bloggers are taking over and you won't be sorry. Hang with us. There will be goodie bags too. Woohoo ! I am super excited. I have worked on my presentation for weeks and I am giving away a ton of freebies. Show up. That's it. Be there or be square.

SCKC Spring Conference Graphic.  Come one, come all!