Sunday, December 2, 2012

Yummy Yummy! Gingerbread fun!

Oh my goodness! This past week has been awesome...I just had to share what has been going on! The students love learning with the gingerbread man! So much fun!

For ELA we have been reading and writing all about the Gingerbread Cookie!! We read the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett and did this craftivity to go along with it...

Some of my favorite responses: 
"I would hide in the cave with a dragon."
"I would hide under the bed."
Probably my favorite..."I wouldn't hide. I would get my iphone and use the GPS and weather app. I can't get wet!" (What?!?! Why didn't I think of that? Amazing!!)

In math we did this activity with gumdrops. I won't lie...I had to do this activity 2 days. I was SO excited to do this math activity because I thought the kids would love it and be so engaged in the learning. So on day #1 the students were super engaged and loving it, until we came to the "take away gumdrops" part and we started to eat the gumdrops! Umm, guess who forgot to read the label and bought spiced gumdrops! Oh no! Even though I thoroughly enjoyed watching them try to eat the gumdrops and say things like "When you eat this candy is it like brushing your teeth?" (I guess cause they thought it tasted like toothpaste!), I didn't quite hit the teaching objective I was going for! However, day #2 was AMAZING!! :) The students were so engaged in making all kinds of addition and subtraction problems, they were even creating number bonds with the gumdrops on the gingerbread cookie!

During ELA centers students have been unscrambling gingerbread sentences, reading around the room with the gingerbread man, sorting with G gumdrop and G gingerbread and flipping the cookies in to the correct word family pan! 

We did lots of writing in response to our reading this week. I think I saw some of my best writing! The students loved the stories we read, and it was just as entertaining for them to write. Students responded to the question, "What would you do if you were the gingerbread cookie?" Some of my favorite responses were: 
"I would tell the teacher on the Fox." 
"I would go to the North Pole and tell Santa to put the Fox on the Naughty List."
"I would tell the police officer to arrest the Fox."
*Clever little kids!!*

We made these little friends to display our work!

Next week I start my how to unit of writing and we are going to use this gingerbread house packet from Wal-Mart 

and this book template 

to create and record how to make a gingerbread house! How fun!!! I hope the kids are as excited as I am! :)

All of these activities are in my TPT store! I would love to hear what you are doing with the Gingerbread Cookie!!! The first 2 people to comment can have my Yummy, Yummy Gingerbread in My Tummy {Craftivities} for FREE! Whoop! Whoop!

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shopping! :)

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is over! Whoa! Time is just flying is going to be 2013 before we know it! I have had a fantastic break and holiday with family and friends, but I am looking forward to Monday and Tuesday! Not necessarily because I am going back to work... but TPT's Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale is here!! You can get up to 28% off tons of amazing products made by talented teachers!!

I hope that you are "making a list" and "checking it twice", so that when Monday comes you will get everything you need for your classroom! I am working on a few new units to put in my make sure to come by and check them out! Here is some craftivities from my new Winter Wonderland Unit! I had so much fun making students will love these! :) 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :) Happy Shopping!!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Home Project Fun!

So I know I am a little behind with this post, but I just had to share these pictures with you! My students completed a "Jack-O-Character" as a Home Project. I actually got this idea from my friend Jackie! So fun!! The students had to choose their favorite character and then create a pumpkin character. They had so much fun and were super creative! Check them out!!

 The parent letter and instructions for this activity are in my Pumpkin, Spiders and Bats...Oh My! Unit.

The next Home Project that my students will be completing is an "Incognito Turkey". Here are some pictures of the little turkeys from last year!

You can find the parent letter and instruction for this activity in my Thankful Hearts on Thanksgiving Unit.

Happy Wednesday! :)
Friday, October 26, 2012

Printing, Printing and More Printing! Ahh!!

I have come across so many great resources that teachers have created and shared either on blogs or TPT. Wow! The things that are available are just amazing! I create, purchase and find so many goodies, that my poor printer must hate me! It can get really expensive to print everything out that I use in my classroom, especially in color! And when it comes having space in my classroom to hang everything up...there is just not enough room! So when I create or purchase something that I would like to display as a poster, instead of printing it I just display it the same way your would a PowerPoint Presentation. In case you don't know how, here's a little "how-to"...


Hope this helps! Check out my TPT Store  for some great resources for The Election & Voting and Thanksgiving!Whoa...can you believe it is almost already here! Happy Weekend! :)
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reading and Writing Muscles

A week or so ago I was really struggling with getting my little friends to work independently for an extended period of time, especially when they were reading and writing. I kept encouraging them that the more they practiced and worked hard, their "Reading Muscles" and "Writing Muscles" would grow. Sometimes group discussions only go so far, right? An incentive/motivator was needed! As I was driving home I was thinking about what incentive I could give the students to help them become more independent. Candy popped into my head, lunch bunch with the teacher, etc...although I love rewarding my students I didn't want this to be a "get something" reward, more like an enpowering "I did it!" kinda thing. So as I was thinking about big muscles what did I think of...why wrestling of course!!!! So off to the Dollar Tree I went and I knew I had a "hit" when the neighbor kids' faces lit up when they saw what was in the bag when I got home! About twenty minutes later I had created these...

The next morning I had these items displayed at the front of the room, and didn't have to say anything for the students to notice them. Someone asked what they were for, and when I explained that they are a reward for students that have stamina and big "Reading and Writing Muscles"...well let's just say that from that day on I have seen such a difference.  Students are attending to text for longer periods of time and as a class we are reading independently for 15 minutes! Wow! During writing I see students who wouldn't have even attempted to stretch out words independently working so hard! The best part is to see their faces and how they feel so proud of themselves- all of them not just the ones recognized that day! They can feel how they worked harder and stronger that day, and say things like "I know I did better today because..." Yay! Well I have been doing the happy dance for a few days now, and wanted to share my happiness with you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Anchor Charts for Friday Flashback

Every year I struggle with anchor charts. I think anchor charts are AMAZING and really help students. BUT I am such a perfectionist that the creation of an anchor chart is well...out of control! :) I would always make an anchor chart to hang up- we shall call that one "The Pretty One". I can't tell you how many times I have used several pieces of chart paper before I got the anchor chart to look the way I wanted it to. Can we say expensive and wasteful!!!!  Then there was the anchor chart that I would create during class. That was the "Quick, Hurry Up Before My Little Friends Stop Paying Attention Version"- which was not so pretty. The other thing that I struggled with was the amount of anchor charts I would create, and the limited amount of space that I had to display them. For many lessons in reading, writing and math I would create an anchor chart almost daily. That is almost 15 anchor charts a week! I just don't have wall space to hang/ display the anchor charts.
So what I have started to do this year is to create many of my anchor charts electronically. These anchor charts are much smaller, printed usually on regular letter size paper. I struggled with the idea that not all students would be able to see the anchor charts from all parts of the room, so I came up with a plan...
First, all anchor charts are displayed in a way that they are easily moved. None of the anchor charts that I am using are up for the whole year (taped to the wall). They are either hung up with clothespins or magnets. This way I can easy go get an anchor chart and take it any where in the room at any time to reference it. Also, this makes it easy to switch out anchor charts as I am starting new units of study or new concepts. 
During lessons I reference the anchor chart that I will display. I also display the anchor chart on my large screen at the front of the room. This way while students are working independently on the new skill taught they can look at the anchor chart on the large screen.
Next, as I am teaching a unit of study I think about the anchor charts that I would want my students to have. Then I create a page for their journal/folder. This eliminates the problem of all students not being able to see the anchor chart from anywhere in the room. Each of them will have their own copy to reference in their journal/folder.  
Last, after I am done with an anchor chart I place them in a binder with plastic sleeve protectors. This way if later in the year I am teaching a lesson that I need an old anchor chart, I can just go get the binder and ta-da I'm ready!
What I have noticed...
  1. Probably the first thing that I have noticed is that before the lesson the students see the anchor chart and "guess" what we are going to learn about that day by the illustrations and words that they see on the anchor gets them thinking.
  2. The students remember each anchor chart better because of the colorful clipart and fonts.
  3. I see students referencing their anchor charts in their own folders/journals.
  4. I am not using my teaching time to create anchor charts, rather I am really teaching and allowing students to apply the skills being taught. 
  5. The time spent preparing anchor charts is eliminated and I have more time to prepare meaningful lessons and hands-on lessons.
I have created a set of anchor charts for the beginning of the year and small moments unit of writing. Included are 22 anchor charts to get you started. Click here to check them out! The first 2 people who comment on this post can have a set for FREE! :)
I know I am a day late...but I wanted to participate in this linky party because I am really excited about how this is working in my classroom!  Go check out what is working in other teachers classrooms!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wow! It has been FOREVER since I last posted! Time is flying by! Every day when I get home I am tired exhausted! My class is amazing this year. I am so blessed! My little friends are filled with spunk and personality! I love it! :) For some reason this year it is hard for me to get in my "routine", both at school and at home! What is wrong with me!?! It is getting better though! I looked back at some of my "School Resolutions" that I had made earlier this summer and well, let's just say that I haven't stuck to them very well. Today is a new day!

I know that September 11th has already passed, but I wanted to post a little activity that I did with my class. We talked a little about September 11th yesterday. I didn't go into detail of the events of 9/11, but we talked about our country and why are country is GREAT! We talked about how we are thankful to be free and how there are men and women fighting to keep our country safe. We also made this little craftivity.
Click on the picture to get your FREE copy!
I will always remember.
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Busy Week & Planning Calendar

What a busy time of the year! My to-do list is getting longer by the minute! :)

I have now met all my little friends. I am amazed how every year the kids are so different...and so wonderful! It is impossible not to love your job when you hear things like "I love this school!" and "This is the best day of my life!". How awesome is that! I love how in kindergarten we have the priveledge of shaping each child's learning adventure and helping to develop their love of learning! It is so great to see how excited and eager they are to learn, and it is my goal to keep them this dedicated the whole year!

So on that note I sat down to start planning. I started thinking when I want to teach what theme and what concepts in science, etc. I think that planning can be the most overwhelming part of teaching. How do you plan? Do you have a method to make it an easy process? Do you plan with your team? I am trying something a little different this year. I made a detailed calendar(scope and sequence) with what I am planning to teach when, for all subjects with standards. I hope that this tool will be useful and make planning a little less time consuming! I wanted to share this with you! Go get your copy for FREE! Please leave me some feedback or a comment!  While you are at my TPT store, make sure to follow me! If you utilize my planning calendar throughout the year I will be posting units to correlate with the calendar and you will have everything lots of resources for the year!

While at my TPT Store check out my new All About Numbers 0-10 Unit!
Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pictures & Open House 2012

Wow! What a busy week...but it has been so fun! I have loved getting my classroom ready for my new little friends and finally meeting them today! Today was Open House, and the students got to come and explore the classroom! It is so cute to see what they are interested in and what catches their eye. Everyone is sweet and I am really looking forward to this year! It was also great to see many of my friends from last year!

I definitely felt more organized this year for Open House. I set up my stations for parents to visit just a little bit differently than I have in the past.

Having the students names pre-printed out on the Transportation List was helpful. It was also helpful to have parents respond with how their child will go home on the first day of staggered start, the first whole class day, regular schedule days and early release days all on one piece of paper!

Oooo another thing that went really well at Open House was having examples out for parents to look at of what my Take Home Folder, Dismissal Tags, Take Home Books, etc look like. When a parent asked me a question about one of these things, I could give them a very specific response and they could visually see an example!

I feel like a dork because I am so excited about this, BUT I printed on post-its for the first time...and I think it is awesome! I just hope now I don't turn into a freak and think I can only type on a post-it!

How did your Open House go?

The other week I posted "before" pictures of my classroom, and so I just wanted to give some updated pictures!

Check out my TPT store for my What is Science? Mini- Unit. It is all about science, being a scientist, the science process, science safety and science tools! This unit is a great tool to use to integrate science into reading and writing!

Have a relaxing and happy weekend!
Monday, August 13, 2012

Teaching the Five Senses

Today I was getting my book lists ready for the start of the school year. I love using picture books to teach throughout the day! (I am sure there are times that the public library hates me! And times that Scholastic loves me! :) ) I was looking for new books to teach about the five senses and I found a book called Forest Friends' Five Senses. Have you read this book to your class before? I read the book's description and I had to order this book! It seems like a great and entertaining tool to teach the five senses. I just wanted to pass on my "new book find", it is the little things that get me so excited! After I actually read it, I will be sure to let you know what I think!! Do you have any great books that you use to teach the five senses??

If you are looking for other tools to teach the Five Senses, make sure you check out my TPT store for my new unit! Don't forget  Back to School centers and activities are on sale this week!!

Happy Monday! :) 
Thursday, August 9, 2012

CRAZY Week ...Time to Make a List (Linky Party)

Oh my time is just flying by! I am starting to get myself ready for school! This has been a CRAZY week...with family in town, working on some school things, doing a few projects around the house, dog sitting and trying to force myself to relax and enjoy the last few days of vacation! I love making lists, any kind of list, but ESPECIALLY To-Do Lists! Who doesn't love crossing things off a To-Do List!?! I have been trying to make a To-Do List, or should I say lists. (One for everything I want to get done at home before school and one for everything I want to do for school at home.) Everytime I start the lists get way too long...and I throw them away! Usually I am super organized and prepared, I just don't know what has gotten into me! So what are your top priorities when getting ready to go back to school? Do you have a To-Do List? I am hosting my FIRST Linky Party! Join up and share your top "To-Do's" for putting your finishing touches on going back to school.

Here is my To- Do List
1. finish decorating/ setting up room
2. desk & cubby labels
3. open house info
4. prepare dismissal tags
5. create, print and laminate behavior pieces
6. organize "Teacher Binders"
7. print scope and sequence calendars
8. copy student portfolios
9. first week lesson plans
10. copy first week materials
11. gather back to school themed books
12. tweek grade book
13. prepare writing folders
14. prepare labels for take home folder
15. back to school letter
16. class supply wish list

The list could go on and on...but that is where I will stop! What is on your list? Link up and let me know!
Today as I was shopping, I thought about how one of the many reasons that I love being  a teacher is 'cause I have never out grow the "Back to School" shopping! Oh yeah!!!! So in the spirit of shopping, I am hosting a sale! Head over to my TPT store and check out some new items and some great "Back to School" items that are on sale! Sale ends Tuesday, August 14th!
Here are some previews of new items that you will find in my TPT store:

Ooo and by the way my mom is loving her surprise cruise to the Caribbean! :) Yay! She deserves it! And luckily Tropical Storm Ernesto left just in time!

Happy Thursday!
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New {School} Year Resolutions

I am the kind of person that loves to make goals and work hard to "make it happen". So I love that Amanda at Teaching Madness is having a New {School} Year Resolutions Linky Party! If I tell you my goals then I am really going to have to stick with them! I have a whole bunch of resolutions, so I just chose 4 resolutions for this coming school year to share with you:

#1- Class Website- I currently have a class website that I use to post podcasts and movies of things that we are doing in class, tips for parents, cool websites for kids and post class newsletters on. I always start off strong, and update it frequently but as the school year goes on...well you know!!! I want to keep it updated better throughout the ENTIRE school year! If you want to check out my class website, here is the link:

#2- Throw-aholic- I am so bad at throwing stuff away. I am known for saying "Oops, I threw that away!" Perhaps I could get that a bit under control! ;)

#3- Conferencing With Students- I really want to be better at having deliberate and purposeful conferences with my students during reading and writing workshops!

#4- Utilize Volunteers- I am blessed at my school to have parent involvement and support. Last year I really slacked on utilizing parents' help, and I tried to "do it all". I really want to work on being less of a control freak and letting others help!

So now that I have told you all a few of my New {School} Year are responsible for helping me stick to it! :) I am counting on you!!!

On a side note, I don't know if any of you still have student loans...I do! :( I just found out about this Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. I don't know if it will be useful for anyone else, but I sure do hope so!

Off to spend more time with my great parents! My mom's big surprise is coming in just a few we have to go shopping!!!! :)

Happy Tuesday!
Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Best Teacher :)

I am writing a quick post before my best and most favorite teacher of all arrives at my mommy! :) Yay! She is coming from Pennsylvania for a visit, but what she doesn't know is that there is a surprise waiting for her! I would tell...but just in case, I don't want to ruin the surprise! I'm so excited for her!

I am also excited about a new product I posted on TPT...go check it out! Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Centers, Emergent Readers and 2 Freebies!

Today I started thinking about the centers that I would like to start the year off with. I was planning on just revamping a few of the centers that I usually use and I got a little carried away. I ended up making quite a few new centers...some that I probably won't even be using! Oh my! Check out the Back to School Themed Literacy Centers at my TPT store! Here is a preview!

So while I was going crazy I made a few new Back to School Themed Emergent Readers and Pocket Chart Activities to go along with them. You can find them here!

After all that, I did what I was actually planning on doing and just revamped some of the centers that I usually start with! :) Oh bother! Go to my TPT store and get your copies for FREE! :) I hope something is helpful and resourceful for you! If so leave me a comment! Thanks!!!

2 Awards

Oh my! I was greeted by such a wonderful surprise today! I was nominated for two awards...can you believe it!?!

I want to start off by saying thank you to Mrs. G's Kindergarten in Heels and Classroom Capers for both nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Wow!

As part of recieving this award, I now need to tell you 7 random facts about myself...
1. I was born and raised just outside of the "Sweetest Place on Earth"...Hershey, Pennsylvania. I moved to South Florida 11 years ago to go to college and just can't leave because it is paradise!
2. I am a huge Miami Heat fan! Let's Go Heat!!! My favorite player is Chris Bosh!
3. I don't like to eat any red candy- if the candy is red I think it is going to taste like cherry! Yuck! :)
4. I can speak Spanish. When I was in high school my family lived in Mexico, so that is where I learned it. I like to watch novellas!
5. I love to clean...BUT the only thing I don't like to clean is the shower! Ugh...I would pay someone just to clean that part of my house!
6. I enjoy running...especially if I have one of my running buddies with me! Six miles goes by in no time when you are just chatting away!
7. Jamaican chicken patties are a weakness! Yummy!!!
I would also like to thank K is for Kinderrific! for nominating me for "One Lovely Blog Award". She is a new blogger too, but has already caught my eye with her posts! Go check her out!
Now I am going to nominate 5 other fascinating bloggers for these awards...I hope you check them out!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Classroom Visit Thoughts

I am back to give an update about how my visit to my classroom was today! It was terrific! When I got into my room, I was shocked! The custodians had taken down furniture and had made it really easy to rearrange things! I am very grateful...and so is my back! I was pumped to get to work- I was so excited to get to work I forgot to take true "before" pictures! Ooops!! It is a good thing though, posting pictures of an undecorated and messy classroom is painful! (I am a NEAT FREAK!) So you only get 3 pictures! ;)

IMG_20120724_120438.jpg IMG_20120724_120432.jpg IMG_20120724_120423.jpg
As  eager as I was to get working in my classroom, I kept thinking about a post that I read last week from Heather's Heart. Heather challenged me to keep things in perspective- to remember it is not about how cute, perfect and matchy we make our classrooms but to make sure that the thing I am most concerned with is leaving a lasting mark on my students' hearts! If you have not checked out Heather's blog you should! She is AMAZING!

Grade Three is the Place for Me is having a 'Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop'. So I joined in on the fun!

1.  What state you are in? I teach in South Florida.

2.  Your current teaching position? I am currently teaching kindergarten!

3.  Your teaching experience? I have been teaching for the past 7 years. I started in kindergarten, which is my favorite! I looped with my class to first grade, and continued teaching first grade for 4 years. Then, I taught third grade for one year, but missed my kindergarten friends too much and just had to go back! :)

4.  When you started blogging? I started blogging in the beginning of July.

5.  Share a blogging tip. Be kind and enjoy making new friends! Be complimentary to others. Leave comments and respond to others. Have fun! :)
 I hope that you check out my fellow new bloggers!

Gettin' Antsy!

I could not sleep last night! All I could think about was going into my classroom today. I am going in to my classroom today to start unpacking, setting up and doing some team planning! :) As I laid in bed, I was torturing myself every time I closed my eyes...picturing my classroom and how to change things up! After not being able to sleep for what seemed like ALL NIGHT! I finally got out of bed, went for a run and started looking at some of my favorite blogs!

I found 2 Linky Parties that sounded like fun! Not Just Childs Play is having a Linky Party-- What Character Would You Be? Other people posted about strong, smart and brave characters. I was very impressed! I thought that I would have no problem choosing a character, but it was harder than I expected. I would want to be Curious George and be daring, but for the most part I'm a chicken! Sometimes I feel like Amelia Bedelia, a confused soul! ;) After much consideration I decided I am probably most like Ferninand the Bull. I rather be smelling the flowers than to have conflict!

What character would you be? I am so interested to know!! Link up!

Life is Sweet...In Kindergarten is linky up to share the Top 5 Teacher Must Haves.

Here are my Top 5!

I will take some "before" pictures of my classroom today and post later! Happy Tuesday!

Friday, July 20, 2012


I know homework in July?!?! Crazy! As I am starting to get ready to go back to school I started thinking about how I did homework last year, and if I want to make any changes this upcoming year.

Do you have you Kindergarteners complete homework?
How often do your students complete homework?

This past year I had daily homework. Monday and Wednesday was a reading or writing activity that accompanied what we were learning in class. Tuesday and Thursday was a math activity from the students practice books. On Friday there was no homework! :) The students also had Take Home Books and Reading Logs to complete. Then every month I would send home a Monthly Homework Calendar. On the Monthly Homework Calendar the students were required to complete 10 activities for the month. On the calendar, the students had activities that were "fun" make a leprechaun trap or count how many jumping jacks you can do in a minute and write that number. The students enjoyed the Monthly Homework Calendar way more than the daily homework that I gave. (Perhaps this is why I am considering making changes for homework next year!) Let me know what you do for homework in your classroom!

In the meantime, I decided to revamp my Monthly Homework Calendars, check them out at TPT!

Also check out my other new products!