Friday, August 31, 2012

Call Me, Maybe.

Hey ya'll. Good news, we had school three days this week!! For those who don't know we missed Monday and Tuesday thanks to Hurricane Isaac. But I'm happy to report that we got to go back Wednesday.

I'm also happy to share with you an awesome project from a reader of mine. Last week I got an email from Stephen who has a daughter in Kindergarten. His daughter uses whisper phones at school, and he wanted to make a whole set for her and her classmates to use at home. (How lucky is that teacher to have such an involved, caring parent???) Stephen emailed me with a few questions about my post. You may remember my whisper phones from the post:

His main concerns were:
1) Will the spray paint poison the kids?
2) Did the spray paint hold up?

And my answers are:
1) No.
2) No.

As long as you air them out for a few days before use, there's no reason the spray paint is harmful to the kids. However, even the made for plastic Krylon spray paint I used didn't hold up. It started to get chipped, and I had to respray them over the summer. I emailed this pin  to Stephen and told him that if I was going to make mine over, I would go the decorative tape route:


A few days later and he emailed me the cutest thing I have ever seen. Check out these whisper phones he made for every single kid in the class to practice at home with:

Can you read the tag?
"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy. But here's a whisper phone, so call me maybe."

I DIE!!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

Well, I was hoping to have an update for you by now about how our first few days of Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop and Daily 5 went. Unfortunately, Hurricane Isaac had other plans. Thanks to his wind and rain, half our county is buried underwater and we’ve all been stuck at home the last two days. No word yet on tomorrow. Normally, this little unexpected vacation wouldn’t bug me, but we’ve only had one week of school and I’m really worried I’m going to have to completely re-teach rules and expectations!

This little break named Isaac did give me a change to finish a few things. Over the summer I had a sweet reader ask if I could make her a word wall set to match my cowboy theme. I was happy to, and finally got around to posting it and editing it for the other themes. They are all up in my store now. They include a label for each letter with coordinating picture, and a page of blank cards you can print as many times as you need for your words. I did not make cards with pre-printed words since so many schools use so many different lists.

Also, for those who have been patiently waiting, my pocketchart set for October & November that coordinates with my little book set is finally up. I had to completely start over after my computer decided to delete the file during a storm. It contains 8 pocket chart stories with fall leaves, Halloween, spiders, pumpkin, and Thanksgiving themes.

Here’s hoping we have school tomorrow! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back To School Books

Here are some of my very favorite books to use at back-to-school time! Click on any book in this post to take you to it!


David Goes to School, The Kissing Hand, The Night Before Kindergarten - 
These three are great for covering feelings about school, and rules. I always read these three sometime during the first week. 


Pete the Cat, Brown Bear, Brown Bear - 
I always hit colors hard the first few weeks of school and both these books are great for teaching colors. 


Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom and Alphabet Adventure - 
Both are great books for introducing letters and alphabetical order, which we all teach at the beginning of the year, right?


Chrysanthemum, A My Name is Alice - 
Another popular beginning of the year theme is names. Their own name is usually the first thing kids learn to write/recognize so it's a great starting point. Both these books are great for talking about names. 

I was REALLY bad about taking pictures our first week. I think those ones of our picture fundraiser are the only ones. Oh, and this one, of our Jitter Juice:

This coming week we are starting our Calendar Notebooks (using Growing Kinder's awesome resource), Reader's Workshop (using Kim's fabulous units), Daily 5, Writer's Workshop, and our math, science and social studies curriculum. We'll also be continuing our study of colors, and we'll be talking about our names and community helpers for Labor day. It should be a good (and busy!) week. I'll try to take more pictures. Tomorrow promises to be nice and wet thanks to Hurricane Isaac.... guess I better plan something for indoor recess!

Here are some of the resources I'll be using, if you want to check them out:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"My First Day of Kindergarten" Photo Fundraiser

Here is a fabulous, fabulous, fundraiser thought up by my creative principal. At Meet the Teacher day before school started, each parent received a flyer advertising our fundraiser:

It said that for $5.00 they could order a picture of their child with their teacher on their very first day, and that the picture would be in a special frame decorated by the child.

Then, on the first day, we set up a little sign on one of the bulletin boards:

And we took picture of each kid with their teacher in front of it. Then we had the kids decorate picture frames:

We used these ones from Oriental Trading:

The kids had a lot of fun gluing on all the puzzle pieces and it was great for practicing "A dot holds a lot!"

Our principal had all the pictures developed at Walgreens and they looked so adorable in the frames!

It's a priceless memory for the parents, and all the money goes right back to the kids via field trips, projects, parties, etc. A win-win!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must Have Monday

These are my teaching must haves:

 HeidiSongs DVDs – love, love, love them, and so do the kids! They learn their letters/sounds and sight words so fast!

 Scentos/Mr. Sketch Stix – Love these. It’s amazing what good work a kid will do for a smelly star or smiley face on their paper!

 LakeShore Learning Instant Learning Centers – for the days when you feel like you have nothing together. Happens to the best of us. Everything you need for the center is in the box. No extra work required!
 Scotch Sticky Chart Paper – I’m lucky that my school orders these for us. They are the best! No more taping charts up to the wall! These stick like a charm and come down easily without pulling up paint!
Pebble Plus Books – LOVE. Beautiful pictures. Simple, easy to understand sentences. Every non-fiction topic under the sun! Use them for Science, use them for social studies, use them for your theme units, just use them!! I have their plant set, their ocean animal set, their dinosaur set, and a ton more on the way thanks to DonorsChoose!
My ScotchLaminator.... I use it for everything!! Decorations, centers, the list goes on and on and on...

Coffee/Diet Coke... I WILL NOT make it through the day without caffeine!!!