Friday, September 19, 2014

Brown Bear

We always start the year with a color unit! There are so many books that you can use, but my favorite is Brown Bear.

My Brown Bear was one of the first units that I created! It needed a major overhaul :-) Here is the cover of my old unit.

Here is my new and improved unit!

The first activity is an emergent reader. They can color the animal, trace the color word and circle any sight words that you have introduced.

Students use play doh to create the color words for each animal. I love the trays I got from the Dollar Tree.

Roll and Write! Students take turns rolling the dice. It has 6 color words. The response sheet has the 6 animals that correspond to the 6 colors on the dice. They write the color that they have rolled.
Write the Room! I have pictures hung around the room. Students need to find the animal and write the word.
Roll and Color! Students simply color one square for each time they roll the dice. If they roll the red bird, then they color one box on their response sheet red.

Sentence Scramble! Students can use a pocket chart to put together complete sentences. First, they sort the pictures (by animal) and then put a sentence together using those cards. They find that animal on their response sheet and then write the sentence.
 Memory! They simply play memory. I have created a set of cards that have the animal word on one and then the color word on the other. They have to find the match. Say the animal name and spell it, then say the color word and spell it.

ABC match! Match upper to lower case letters and then practice writing. I copy the response sheets front/back.

 The only activity that I don't have pictures of...shame on the character head bands. We use these to retell the story.

Ok, let's get personal...29 days in and I am still exhausted! LOL!  Oyy!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back To School Give Away

I’m so excited to be teaming up with my favorite freebie-friends for a BIG giveaway to help get you going this school year! Over at the Freebielicious blog, we’re giving away a BIG, GRAND PRIZE (scroll down to the bottom of this post to read all about it!) and right here on my little blog, I’m giving away $25.00 to one my favorite stores to go school shopping: Michaels. 

Some of my favorite things from Michaels!!

I use this cart right next to my projector table. I house all of my electronics here.

I use these for my take home bags! I am finishing those now! I have a birthday bag, lost tooth bag, and star of the week bag!

Please enter with integrity, using the Rafflecopter below. I’ll choose a winner a week from today.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

The Freebielicious ladies know how much of your own hard-earned money goes into buying supplies, tissues, books, and classroom d├ęcor to get your classroom “kid-ready,” and we want to be able to put some of that money right back in your pocket. Over at the Freebielicious blog, we are giving away a $300 Visa gift card! YES…YOU READ THAT RIGHT! $300!!!
To enter the BIG GIVEAWAY, click HERE or on the button below!

Also, while you are there, be sure to check out what the other Freebie-ladies are giving away. Be prepared for some AMAZING prizes. Take a peek at some of them below!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Let's Work On Writing {Drawing a Detailed Picture}

Hello friends! I recently asked Kindergarten teachers what was the most important thing to work on when beginning to teach writing. Most answers were the same, but the one that almost all teachers said was, DRAWING DETAILED PICTURES!

I have a few monthly work on writing units. In those units, I have included a couple of pages that work on drawing a detailed picture. Well, I thought why not create an entire pack!? So, I DID! :-)

There's not much time left in August, but I whipped a quick August FREEBIE! Grab yours from my TpT store by clicking cover page below.

FREE drawing detailed pictures

You will want to make sure you talk about what a detailed picture is! Choose one of these to do together. Brainstorm things that you can add to the picture that is already there. What else might they see? Where would that be...inside or outside? Every time they add another detail to the picture, then they color in one star. They need to add at least 5 details. I ALWAYS stress that they can add more. You don't have to stop at 5. Now, we talk about what color those things are in real life. We want to use colors that make sense. I teach my kids that a detailed picture has at least 5 colors. So, each time they use a color, they color one of the crayons at the top. They should use at least 5! They don't have to stop at 5 colors either!
This is an example from the packet. You could put this on your projector, or just share with your students if you don't have a projector. Ask your students what they see....students waiting at a bus stop to go to school. Would this be inside or outside?, you could add a sun, some clouds, a road, a bus, and some grass. I always encourage them to draw (add the details)  with a pencil first. Once you have all of the details added...making sure to color in a star with each detail you add.  Now, you are ready to color! Ask what color the things are that you just added. Stress that you want to use colors that make sense.

This is a great way to get your students ready for writing! Starting with drawing detailed pictures!
I have created a pack for September.

This pack contains Autumn and apple picture starters!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!

I know teachers everywhere are mourning the end of Summer. Let's look on the bright side....the beginning of school means that Fall is right around the corner. Fall means many things for me...jeans, sweatshirts, and HUSKER FOOTBALL!! I am a huge football fan.

My district uses Reading Street for our reading program. In Kindergarten, we introduce 40 sight words with that program. What we are running in to is that those 40 words are not enough. We want our Kinders to be at GRL C by the end of the year. So, I found that we need a little extra sight word practice. Last year I started using the Dolch words. I wasn't sure if my students would be able to read them or not. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. They exceeded my expectations. Several of my Kinders were reading all 220 words by the end of the year. I figured...let's roll with it.

I have created a few football themed things to go along with the Pre-Primer list. We will work on the Football words for the 1st quarter.

Here are some word wall cards. You could introduce each word and then add it to your word wall. You could also print a set, put on a ring and add to your writing station. These are also perfect for guided reading groups.

The first word work activity that I introduce is play-doh. They are already familiar with it and they love it! It takes little time to teach expectations for this activity.

The next word work station I introduce is stamp a word.

This is a fun game that I created for my parents and parent volunteers. I send it home with my students. They are to "teach" their parents how to play. They love the thought of being the teacher.

I do have a few other items that I am working on for the Pre-Primer words {sight word readers, magnetic letters, secret code, qr codes and more}

Saturday, August 9, 2014

School Supplies {community or individual}

My first week back is over. I got my room "Open House" ready. There is still so much more that I want to do. I am making my list and will do what I can...when I can! Word of come to my NOT open the cabinets. You open at your own risk! I am not saying for sure, but it is POSSIBLE that a FEW things might come tumbling out (hanging head in shame). I had every good intention with those dang piles, but it just got to close to Open House...let the shoving begin people!

This post I want to talk about supplies. I have tried community supplies and where they keep their own. I will be honest...not completely happy with either. I felt like the kids that were responsible with their things were getting the short end of the stick by having to share with the kid that constantly chewed on everything, forgot to put the lids back on the markers, or simply used half a glue stick on one worksheet! This year I have come up with a combination of both!!  Crossing my fingers!

Our supply list! We ask for a lot! YIKES! Here is the low down on our requests...small tool box, 4 boxes of Crayola 24 crayons (one a quarter), 12 glue sticks (we usually run out), 3 boxes of Crayola markers (1 for community supplies/stations and 2 for students), 2 bottles of Elmer's liquid glue (1 a semester), pencils, 2 erasers, scissors, 1 crayola watercolor set and dry erase markers. They bring all of these supplies at Open House. I have a sheet that explains what they need to do with everything. This is usually what it looks like when I leave that night....

Inside their toolbox (which they keep at their table spot) goes 1 box of crayons, 1 glue stick, 2 pencils, 1 eraser, and their scissors.

I spend the next morning organizing the supplies. I use the Sterilite 3 drawer organizers to store all of their extra supplies. The rest of their supplies go in these drawers. I have them labeled by number. This way I don't have to change them each year.
Now, for the community supplies at their tables. I use the colorful containers from Really Good Stuff. Each table has a color. There is one caddy and two smaller baskets. In the caddy, I put 2 pencils, 2 glue sticks, 1 box of markers, and 1 bottle of glue from each student that sits at that table. The glue and the markers are only used for special projects. The pencils and the glue sticks are there for those students that seem to "eat" their supplies. Please tell me that you have those students. You give them something and two days's gone! I's just GONE. Where did it go? I don't see it in the room ANYWHERE! They ate it, right?! (wink wink) I will also put their lunch choice sticks in these baskets (not done yet lol)

You can get my supply drawer labels in my TpT store.
student numbered supply drawer labels

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back To School!

I am heading back to school TOMORROW! As I sit and look at my schedule for the week, I wonder how in the world am I going to be ready....FREAK OUT TIME!! I still have so much to do before Open House on Thursday. I really wish that they would build in staff development during the year and not the first week. Give me what I need to know to start the year and let me work in my room for Pete's sake! FRUSTRATION!!!

Anyway, I know that you spend as much of your own money as I least let's tell my hubs that, OK?! TpT is having their big Back To School sale on Monday and Tuesday! You can save up to 28%! You will find everything that you need to get started!! This adorable button was made by my good friend Annie over at The Moffatt Girls

Here are my bright posters!! I love the colors! I have just never been one that can stick to a "theme," but colors...I can do colors! I like polka dots, stripes, and chevron! So, I use them all! :-) This set includes: alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors.

These are my schedule cards....that are EDITABLE!! You can print the ones that I use, OR you can type in your...bam...your schedule board will be totes cute ( I have spent waaaaay too much time with my teen daughters this Summer)

These are my helper cards and guess what....EDITABLE!!!!

I created this power point slide show to play during Open House! You KNOW how crazy it can families coming in, past students coming in to say hello and give hugs, and just trying to get to everyone...can be stressful! This has helped me a TON! It answers several questions that new families have for me. Hey, hey, hey and guess's E.D.I.T.A.B.L.E!! Woo Hoo!!

I created this next packet for my parents. I print it off and send it home with them at Open House! It is my ABCs of Kindergarten. There is a page for each letter. I type in important information that will help my parents throughout our year together. I will give you three guesses what I am going to tell you next :-) It IS editable.

This is a set of calendars that you can send home with parents OR use for yourself! Print and put it in a cute frame on your desk and use a dry erase marker to write in the dates, meetings, etc!

These newsletters match the calendars! I like things to match! :-) I use these newsletters as general info reminders. Basically, I bullet the things we will be learning the following week in each area.

I will be honest with you...totally in love with this next product! I use a facebook group to communicate with my parents. They love it! I love it!!

I love start outing my year with the next two big books!!