Friday, August 30, 2013

Five for Friday {August 30th}

Woo hoo! It's a 3 day weekend! Followed by a 3 day work week! (thank you Rosh Hashana)
Here's a quick peek at our week!

1. We had so much fun reading and sequencing Pete the Cat stories this week!

2. We had so much fun with Deanna Jump's Colorful Cats unit as we reviewed our colors!

3. The math games in this pack are top notch!

4. We worked on the -at word family this week! This cute craft is from Abby Mullins at The Inspired Apple!

5. We've been abundantly blessed by donors choose this week, and I'm super proud I was able to put that cart together myself!

Don't forget to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Five for Friday {8/23/13}

Can we please pretend it’s still Friday? I didn't get my post in last night and here's why: 
 1. I went to Menchie's last night instead of posting, and I'm not even sorry about it. This is Milk Chocolate Madness mixed with Tropical Banana and filled with chocolate chips, fudgey brownie pieces, fresh banana slices, and cool whip topping. 

2. This was our first week of school! Our first three days were staggered start. That means six kids come M, six different kids come T, six different kids come W, and all 18 come starting Thursday. We did a gingerbread hunt all over the school to get to know our school. I think I first saw this idea from Eberhart's Explorers! We read the Gingerbread man loose in the school and I taped the first clue in the back of the book. They were so excited to search around the school and of course we found him (her?) right back in our room. The kids were thrilled that the gingerbread man brought us a yummy snack! All in all, Staggered start was a success! It gave the kids a non-intimidating way to start school in a small group setting. They got to know our school, a few friends, and their teacher. Plus it gave us a chance to get our Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener done! 

3. We're officially a bucket filling class! This is my first year doing Bucket Fillers and I'm loving it! We're using a class bucket and they've really "got" the concept! This craft is from First Grade Fever, and the anchor charts are from Ashley Reed's Bucket Filler Brigade pack! 

Sorry, for some reason this didn't save to my camera roll and I couldn't figure out how else to get it off instagram.
4. We made these adorable handprint puzzles our very first day and the kids and parents raved about how much fun they had putting them together and talking about the first day! The poem is a freebie from Deanna Jump

5. I got lots of sweet notes and little presents this week as I'm sure many of you did, but this was by far the best! I have a parent that runs Go Math trainings in our district and he brought me this! It's from *Lakeshore* and we're going to have so much fun with it! 

Be sure to link up your Five for Friday (you probably already did and aren't late like me!) over at Doodlebugs Teaching! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week '13: Let's talk about ME!

1. I live in paradise. Legit, paradise. 

2. I live there with this Jersey boy. 

3. And these crazy two. 

4. I'm currently training for the Disney Princess 2014 Half-Marathon. I may or may not be dying in the process. But at least I'll look cute!

5. This is the best ice cream. Hands down. Ever. Non-negotiable. 

6. I am obsessed with this family. I don't even know why.

7. I love listening to the Latin Miami radio stations even though I don't understand most of it. Especially this guy. 

8. I overcame my biggest fear this summer (needles) thanks to a little thyroid issue that called for weekly blood draws. We're still working on the ophiophobia. (and by working on, I mean completely avoiding and pretending they don't exist.)

9. My favorite meal is breakfast. Preferably on the beach. 

10. I love the smell of lamination. Don't even ask me why.

Wanna Link up with Blog Hoppin? Click Below!

The Quietest Pencil Sharpener Giveaway

Well, it’s here. The last day of summer. *A moment of silence please*  I'm spending it in my classroom, at the doctor, and hopefully doing a little relaxing. You may remember a few months ago I posted about how much I love my quietest Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies, and how wonderful it works! 
Now it's your turn to win one!  There is only one requirement - you MUST live in the U.S. of A. Sorry International friends. All you need to do is 'like' Classroom Friendly Supplies AND Life is Sweet in Kindergarten on Facebook to enter! The winner will receive one pencil sharpener, in their choice of color shipped to them! You have until Sunday at Midnight to enter! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 5, 2013

Orange 'ya glad it's a blog hop?

Yay! I am excited to be a part of a Florida Blog Hop! I’m actually the...
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 My soon-to-be Kinders have been working so hard this summer during guided and whole group reading on their sight words! I created a set of matching pocket chart stories and little books just for them! 
We practice the words with flash cards first, 

Then we read the story in the pocket chart, and match up the pictures. During this time I teach them important reading behaviors, such as one-to-one correspondence, using the beginning sound and picture to help them, and looking all the way through the word if more than one word starts with the same letter.

We fill out an accompanying worksheet filling in the featured sight word, then reading the completed sentence before coloring. This gives them a lot of practice with one-to-one correspondence and reading their sight words for fluency.

and finally they get their very own little book that matches the pocket chart story! They trace or write the sight word on each page, then read the sentence before coloring the picture. Again, a lot more practice with the words, one-to-one correspondence, and fluency! 

Today I have a freebie for you over on my Facebook page, it's one of my pocket chart/little book packs entitled "At the zoo...."

Make sure you like my page and then click on the blog hop button to grab it! 

If you love it, you can purchase the full bundle here: 

There are many more freebies waiting for you! Make sure to head on over to your next stop: 
First Grade and Flip Flops

If you want to start from the beginning, you can head over to Mrs. Russell's blog: 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Scales Galore!

Those of you who follow my Facebook Page, or TPT store, have seen a whole lot of scales lately! Last year my district started implementing Marzano practices and a component of that is learning scales! The idea is to have scales hanging in your room so students understand the different levels of achievement, where they currently are, and the goal they want to move towards. I initially thought this was a pain, just something else to take up the *very* limited wall space I have, but the more I used them the more I found them to be an extremely valuable tool. They are excellent for not only keeping track of student progress, but for students to self monitor and have a sense of where they are and what they need to do to deepen their learning. You can write these out on chart paper of course, but that's boring! I wanted something cute! I came up with a cute 3 little pigs packet that came with scales, student notebooks to keep track of their data, and desktop scales. Almost immediately requests started coming in for other themes, and so I made those too! So far I've made 3 little pigs, Jungle, Owls, Ocean, Superheroes, Construction, Butterflies, & Baseball!

Here's what you do: 

First, Choose a packet you like. (there's a link at the end of this post)
Then, decide which scale style you like. You can either print a set with pre-selected phrases, or if you want to be more specific, you can print the blank ones and fill in your own wording. 

LAMINATE for durability!!

Decide how you want to display them. I suggest either taping them together and attaching to the wall, door, or a window, 
I wrote in these addition scales with a dry erase marker

or hanging them on ribbon. Either way they should be vertical so students can see it as a hierarchy they want to move up. 

If you choose to mount them on ribbon, you might also want to print a set of the student markers and attach them to clothespins, one for each child. Then students can clip their clothespin onto the level they are currently on. If you are going to go this route I suggest backing them with cardboard or something similar for durability. 

Print, laminate, & cut the desktop scales. These get attached to the kids desks so that during a lesson students can easily show you how they feel they are doing. You can have them use an eraser or a bead to mark their level, of the included cards. 

To make sure the cards don't get lost I'm planning to put a small piece of velco on the back of the card. Then I will put velco on each level of the scale, as well as the inside of the top of their pencil box. This way when we are using the scale it will stick on, and not get bumped around or lost, and when we aren't using it, it will be stuck to the top of the pencil box and not get ruined inside the box. Please pretend these pieces of tape are velcro, I'm not in my own classroom for summer school and don't have access to my velcro stash. (Walmart has awesome Mini Velco dots in their craft/fabric section that are the perfect size for this!)

Assemble your notebooks. I choose to use all black and white, but colored covers are also included. I stapled about ten pages together (I can't imagine covering more than ten benchmarks in a month) and labeled it with the month, but you could also make year long versions by slipping the cover into the front of a binder and hole punching the pages to go inside the binder, or by gluing the cover onto the front of a notebook and having kids glue in the scales as you go.
please excuse my finger, obviously I'm not yet a master photographer!

Students write the standard, benchmark, or I can statement up at the top, then keep track of their progress over time. 

You can see from this picture that one of our summer goals was to count to 100. We'll assess one more time and are hoping this sweetie moves from a 3 to a 4. 

Some Printing tips: 

1. When you go to print, look at the preview. If you see a bunch of white space around the edges, choose "fit" so it will print full page. 

2. If you have desks, the desktop scales are probably a good size. If you have tables like I do, they are probably going to be too big. To solve this problem, simply select "scale" and then play around with it until it's a good size for you. Around 70% ended up being right for me. 

3. If you change the size of the scales, make sure you also change the size of the markers or they will be too big!! 

And that's it! I'll be having my kids show me how they are doing on the desktop scales during our lessons, and moving their clips on the big chart at the end of the lesson if they need to move up! 

To view all of my Marzano scales, click HERE.

Need helping writing your own scales? The Marzano website has an awesome library of scales, and you can even search by grade and subject! Check it out HERE. (You do have to create a free account)