Tuesday, March 29, 2011

African Animal Masks

As part of the March homework my families had to make an African animal mask. I think they did a wonderful job!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ten Things I Have Learned from Teaching

Rowdy in First Grade is having a linky party- I loved reading what others have learned teaching so I thought I'd join!

Ten Things I Have Learned from Teaching
1. I have mastered the art of tooth pulling
2. You can never have too many glue sticks
3. I get some of the best ideas for new (to me) literature when I  make all of my students show me the books they have checked out from the library.
4. A wet paper towel can cure most boo boos.
5. I will cry after the first day of school out of exhaustion and I will cry after the last day of school because those exhausting kids have left footprints on my heart.
6. Students can identify their red chair, out of 20 IDENTICAL red chairs.
7. I can skillfully place my papers in the laminater so it takes less time to cut out AND not waste film.
8. If you are not a kindergarten teacher you will never be able to really understand my passion for my job.
9. If I got paid in hugs I'd be rich.
10. Manicures are a waste of money.. from shoe tying to staple removal... they have no chance!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

There is always room for J-E-L-L-O

So I am compiling letters to make an ABC book that the kids will take home at the end of the year to celebrate their kindergarten year. I was stumped on J. Then, I was cleaning out the pantry and I came across 4 boxes of orange jello. I am lazy  busy and just buy cups of jello IF I need it ( I never need it), So I decided to offer up a sacrifice of jello for my students to make a J is for J-E-L-L-O page for the ABC book.  I found this clip  to share with my class about a Jello Artist that was pretty fascinating. I told my class that I would be the coolest kindergarten teacher in the world if I let them build something out of jello but that I was going to have to settle for second place and just let them paint with it. They were very excited. I watered down a little white glue and made homemade shakers (paper covered cups with holes punched into the top with a tack, secured with a rubber band). They spread out the glue and shook jello on top of their J. The room smelled great!

Friday, March 18, 2011

L is for Leopard

We learned about leopards and made our own spotted leopard using our fingers just like the Ethiopian in the book, How The Leopard Got His Spots.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I love Vista Print

More free cool stuff from Vista Print! (just pay reasonable shipping!)

Another word wall for the outside of the bathroom door.
Caught you being good award, out sick work make-up post card, desk fairy card, tote bag, stamp, and key chain

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Z is for Zebra

As our journey through Africa continues we learned about the zebra. Some interesting facts... their ears can turn all the way around to hear what is coming in all directions and we learned that scientists believe that zebra's are black with white stripes. We learned that when zebras are standing in a herd, predators cannot visually decipher between the heat rising from the ground and the stripes.

We read these books and made these zebras by coloring white stripes first and then painting the zebra black.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Whole Brain Teaching

I was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching (also called Power Teaching) by a colleage that attended a training. I use some of the strategies in my class and I love them! I'd really like to go to a live training. There is a lot of good information on the web site that you can use.

I send home a daily behavior folder to communicate with parents.

Daily BehaviorChart09

This is what I am using in the spring for those students who do not need a daily report.


Officer Buckle and Gloria

This is such a cute book. My students loved it. They wrote their own safety tips. One of my favorites was, "Never jab a pencil in your ear."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

G is for Giraffe

Did you know that a Giraffe's tongue is 18 inches long? We have been learning all about the giraffes-
We made these adorable giraffes. I got the pattern from here. We added brown spots by using the eraser on the tip of pencils.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I just love the story of Owen and Mzee. It is a true story about a hippo named Owen and a tortoise named Mzee that become friends. We read both of the books and visited their web site.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Give me a Break!

I have the next week off- I have scheduled a few posts while I am off relaxing.... you know catching up on life....

Today was Jump Rope For Heart. I have to give major kudos to our cultural arts teachers. They were in charge of 90 kindergartners with ropes! It was a beautiful day and I the kids had a blast!

E is for Elephant

Our first African animal is the elephant. We learned that African elephants are larger, hard to tame, and have larger ears then Asian elephants. Here are some of the books we read.

We made elephant hand prints.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A is for Africa

We have started our study of Africa! The banner was FREE from Vista Print! :)

Here are some of the books that we have read. I have TONS of great books about Africa and African animals thanks to a very generous friend that retired from teaching kindergarten.
                                                             Our journey has just begun.....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dr. Seuss

I have found so many wonderful ideas and printables on blogs this week! Here is a peek into our Seuss week-

I don't have easy access to a kitchen so this is the closest to Green Eggs and Ham that I can do for my kids- This is lime sherbet and a strawberry fruit roll up.

We made a picture graph and analyzed the results.

The students recorded the class data and wrote about the results.

We decorated our door with Yurtle the Turtle and all of the K-2 classes read a Dr. Seuss book together in the library for Read Across America.
In centers we did word mining for "birthday" and put One Fish Two Fish in ABC order and recorded the results.
We read Dr. Seuss's ABC and made a class ABC book- here are some of the pages.
Bell work on Wednesday was to fill in this chart with capital and lowercase letters.
We read The Butter Battle Book and predicted what happened after the last page. (This is a GREAT book!)
We read this Scholastic News about Dr. Seuss. We learned that he had 2 pen names and we looked for each name on our class collection.
We read I had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. The kids wrote about their favorite parts.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Welcome Home Flat Stanley!

We are so happy to have our Flat Stanley's safe at home! The 12 we got back shared exciting adventures! They traveled all over the USA and we enjoyed learning about the places they visited. Thanks to all of our hosts for showing Stanley around!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Organization Tips

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I am linking with Growing Kinders with tips on getting organized.

I keep a file folder with each reading lesson in a tub right next to  my teacher chair.
Glues to the front of each file folder is a summary of the lesson. This tells me the letter, words, skills, and vocabulary focus without getting my teacher manual out. Inside I have copies of handwriting and phonics worksheets and anything else I need for that lesson.

These are my bins. I have white bin on a wall of books shelves. I got these for a dollar at The Dollar Tree. They are actually dish basins. Two fit perfectly side by side. I organize all of my books and resources this way.
Over the summer I brought home all of my files. I had grand plans of organizing them. Well, my husband decided to wash the cars and my daughter helped! I had cleaned out the car and put my crate of files in the garage. Apparently things got a little wild with the hose and all of my files got wet. It has actually been nice to have a fresh start. I am using these instead of file folders. They are easier to transport and store.
These are my emergency sub and RtI plans. The teacher next door knows where to find them - just in case.