Things I Love...December Edition

Sunday, December 6, 2015 / Leave a Comment
My December favorites...some already purchased, some just coveted!

London Times has become my latest obsession for dresses. They are so comfortable, machine washable and gorgeous! It is a bit early to be thinking of sleeveless dresses in NH, but I am loving the navy/gold combo!

I already own three wool coats, but I could always use a fourth! Winter does last an awful long time here after all!

This is one I did purchase, on cyber Monday for $79.99! I have had the same comforter set for longer than I care to admit, so I cannot wait for this to arrive.

The gold color, Cindy, is so perfect for the holidays!
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Would You Rather - Opinion Writing in K-1

Sunday, November 29, 2015 / Leave a Comment
We always start our day the same way in Kindergarten. My students come in and unpack their binders, then they grab their name tag and they are off to the Would You Rather display. They love seeing what the topic is for the day.
It is displayed in a pocket chart, and each day I tape the two voting cards to the top. My class uses the pictures as clues for what each topic is - it is a nice way to encourage them to use a combination of beginning sounds and pictures to solve new words.
After they vote they grab an opinion slip. They write down their choice and at least one reason why. We use the quarter sheets but eventually they will move on to the bigger sized templates when they can come up with more reasons.

In the beginning it was hard for them to simply choose between the two choices, but now they are much more confident in their opinions. It is really helping them to feel more successful during our opinion writing unit!
During morning meeting we use the chart to compare numbers visually. This has made a huge improvement in how well my students understand numbers. Being able to visually see 15 versus 6 has really helped them to understand greater than, less than and equal too!
Starting this week they will also be completing their own comparing numbers exit slip. On this quarter sheet they will write the number on each side, circle the correct symbol and write it in the box.

There are 200 cards organized into 10 different categories.

I included editable name plates and display signs as well!

Most day they beg to know what the topic will be before they leave for the day! They love the pictures so much they all want to keep it. We had to start using stick pick to raffle the cards off, just to keep things fair.

Do you use would you rather with your class? Let me know how in the comments below!
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Visual Hundreds Chart

Sunday, November 8, 2015 / Leave a Comment
Before I became a Kindergarten teacher, I spent 7 years working as a Certified Instructor in grades K-5. Over those years, one thing really stood out to me - how little understanding many students had of the hundreds chart. 

No matter the age I worked with, numerous students struggled with understanding the patterns, skip counting and knowing what numbers came before and after. 

I knew that I wanted to really stress the importance of truly comprehending the hundreds charts with my Kindergarten students. 

Last year I made a game that really helped my students master the chart - they loved it so much they would beg to play it each day during math! 

We all gather in a circle at the rug. At the beginning of the year we begin with just 1-25, which gives everyone one card. Our goal is to build, using a pocket chart, up to 25  as quickly as we can without giving answers away to each other.

The first few times it takes awhile to get this completed! After we have finished, I give them time to turn and talk to their neighbors about what they notice. I never have to tell them about what the colors mean, they are always able to see the patterns on their own.
Once they are comfortable with 1-25 (usually after we can complete it in less than 3 minutes) we will begin building 1-50. This time everyone will get 2 cards, and this really does keep them focused.

They have to be aware of both the cards they hold and where they will need to be inserted into the grid. This will allow you to really see who has a firm grasp of their numbers!

As the year moves along, we increase the difficulty. We are usually working with 1-75 by January and then 1-100 by March. Then it just becomes a weekly challenge to see how quickly (and quietly) we can get this done!
My class is already begging for 1-50 and tomorrow it is game on!  :)
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Editable Calendars

Sunday, October 18, 2015 / Leave a Comment
Finding the right behavior plan for a class can be tricky. I tend to change mine with each new school year. When I taught 5th grade I used ClassDojo. Then when I moved back to Kindergarten, I used a card system: green for good, yellow for warning, pink for note home and blue for a role model.

This year we decided to make our colors consistent across the school. It is a lot easier for parents to keep track that way! We still have 4 colors: green for good, yellow for warning, red for parent note and blue for role models.

In order to keep parents informed we are using behavior calendars. This was something I was a bit apprehensive about. Managing 22 calendars in a K classroom can be a lot of work! I decided not to implement my calendars until October. Instead, we spent the first month of school talking about owning our behavior. I explained how even adults make mistakes, and would end up on yellow and red too!
I talked a lot about why it was important to tell their families about their day and the choices they made. Overall, most of my students were very forthcoming with their parents about the colors they were on in the first month.
We rolled the calendars out a few weeks ago. As expected, it made our end of the day routine a bit more hectic! However, it is nice to see who is really taking ownership over their behaviors and the decisions they make.

As the month has continued on, I have noticed they are looking more closely at the overall colors they have each week.

I created an editable calendar, so I can add in any important information my families need to know about each month.  This also allows you to customize it for your schools behavior plans. Click on the pictures for more a closer look!

These calendars are also a great way to track homework or even for team planning!
What kind of behavior management do you use in your school?
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All About Me Book for K-1

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 / 1 comment
I must confess, the beginning of last school year is a blur. I found out in July that I was switching schools, and moving from 5th to Kindergarten.

I had interned in Kindergarten nine years ago, and had worked with them throughout my six years as a pull out teacher. I knew I had a lot to prepare, so I worked all summer on my room, routines and lessons.
Cut to the first days, when I realized that I had not thought about a beginning of the year book!

I looked around online and found a lot of different first day activities for my class. After my kids completed the hodgepodge of papers, I stapled all of their sheets together into a "book" and filed it away for Literacy Night.

In April, I pulled them out and was disappointed in how they had turned out. I had hoped to have a great example of who they were in September.
This year I am going back ready! My class last year loved my Memory Book. It was an awesome way to finish out our year. They worked so hard and I loved how unique each book looked after they were completed and colored in.
I created an All About Me book that will be easy enough for all my students to complete, while still giving a clear idea of who they are and where they are at!
I'm already looking forward to our Literacy Night next Spring because I know I will want to display this!

For more information, click the pictures or visit my shop.

If you are interested in winning a copy of this set, enter in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Things I Love...July Edition

Friday, July 10, 2015 / Leave a Comment

I had a crazy busy year switching from 5th grade to Kindergarten. My poor blog has been quite neglected because of this! Of course, this has not stopped me from shopping -- I mean really, can anything stop that? ;)

Here are the things I love for this month - coveted of course, not actually purchased, but hey, a girl can dream!

Click the pictures for links!


I love ideel - I mean I am seriously addicted to that site. They have gorgeous clothes and amazing prices. I am obsessed with how you can shop by designer too now! I love that zebra dress more than words can express.

White House Black Market 

My sister and I visited this store recently for the first time. I have to say it was more than I ever expected! I had been eyeing their clothes online for awhile, but I wanted to wait to see them in person. I love their prints - even on the pants! And I am not usually a printed pants kind of person. ;)

DSW is always my go to for shoes, I love how many options they have. I would buy all four of these in a heartbeat...however I must stick to my no shopping promise!

I have been moving away from big purses lately...I just feel like I don't need to carry that much stuff and it is so much easier to change over little ones more often! I LOVE this glitter clutch - I may end up breaking my vow for this one!

As I was cleaning my nail polishes out the other day, I noticed that the majority of my polishes come from Zoya. I adore their color selection and I really feel they last longer on my nails then any other polish. My favorite thing is how easy they are to remove! These are the two colors I am currently coveting!

What is on your (dream?) shopping list for this month?
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Kindergarten Word Wall

Saturday, June 27, 2015 / 2 comments

When I found out I was headed back to Kindergarten last year I was so excited! I loved teaching 5th grade, but Kindergarten is definitely where my heart is.

As soon as I saw my new room (at my new school) I could not take my eyes off this bulletin board.

It was the length of the entire room and I knew just what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to create a word wall that was clean and easy to read, that would become the focal point of our classroom.

The picture above actually only shows you two-thirds of the board. The shadow on the far right is my TV, then the alphabet, calendar, morning meeting center, mini whiteboard and our rug is right in front of it. It is impossible to get a photo of the whole board, it is seriously that big!

I knew that I wanted this to be the area that my students could go to for any information they needed throughout the day. What I did not expect was how much they (and I) would love it!

Any time they needed to write numbers, shapes, days, colors...they new just where to go. I kept our clipboard bin directly below it so they could work independently whenever they needed too.

As the year went on, I did realize that I needed to modify a few things. I did not include the 3D shapes and numbers through 20. I revised both sets this year to include those.

What amazed me was how often they would sit at the rug, just reading and talking to each other about all the things they noticed on the wall. It made my teacher heart so happy!

If you are interested in any of these sets, just click on the pictures below for more information!

Weather station -
Calendar -
Numbers -
Shapes -
Colors -
Seasons -
Days -
Months -
Alphabet -
Word Wall Letters -
Bundled set -
I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your summer!
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