Sunday, November 18, 2012


Well I've been gone a while, but I've missed blogging! I'm now settled into married life AND first grade. As much as I loved kindergarten, I am really enjoying my firsties. I always said I never wanted to leave K, and now I feel that way about 1st. 
We've had a busy and wonderful year. Since I have not been blogging lately, I haven't been taking many pictures, but I do have one of our cute voting booth we made for elections! The children painted a refrigerator box blue, and made decorations for the outside. I hung a curtain and created a patriotic ballot box. It was so much fun! The children had to bring voter registration cards to vote. We are extending the lesson right now as each 1st-5th grade class holds a "primary" to nominate a candidate to be a mascot. Then each class will campaign for the mascot before we take a vote! Anyway, here's the booth: 
I have more I can't wait to talk about, including my SchoolGirlStyle inspired room decor, and how I've been implementing Daily Five in my class this year!
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reading Response Freebies!

I feel guilty for being so absent lately, as I am so busy getting ready for the wedding! PLUS I have reached 50 followers! So, I decided to write a quick post to share a couple items!

These are my reading response pages that I often use as a follow-up to a listening center, guided reading or for reading homework.

There are three responses that work well with emergent readers:
Sight Word Hunt
Read, Write, Rhyme
Read, Write, Draw

For students reading a little higher there are responses for: 
Problem and Solution
Character Analysis (2)

Reading Response

My kinders also just finished writing their first book reports! Here are the pages I made for them. I will take some pictures next week of how I put the reports together. They are very simple books with construction paper covers. 

Book Report

Hope you enjoy!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Ducks

Last week we read one of my favorite stories - Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey. The kids loved it too, as most of them gave it a 5 on our rating scale of 1-5! Our week consisted of all sorts of ducky things, including this word family center game I'm offering to you for free!

Print, laminate and cut out the cards. Place them in a bag or can and provide students with response sheet. They take turns drawing a card out of the bag and blending the sound with the ending "ack." If it makes a word, they record it on a duck. If not, they put the card back. The kiddos keep going until all their ducks have words. Here it is: 


We also made some cute ducky art --

The mama duck is made from a handprint, and the little ducklings are thumbprints. The kids then used a finger to paint a head and for mama duck and some decided to make heads for the ducklings too. After drying, they added the scene using crayons. 

These little ducklings were made from mini paper plates cut in half. You could have the kiddos paint or color the plates yellow first... mine covered them with yellow tissue paper. After that, they covered them with yellow cotton balls. I used regular cotton balls and shook them with yellow powder paint. Then I had the kids cut out a head, beak and feet from paper. I gave them a pattern for the head, but some like to do their own! I made Mr. and Mrs. Mallard. These ducks are inspired by a cute mallard I pinned: 

Another great pinterest find from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten 

After reading Eric Carle's 10 Little Rubber Ducks, the kiddos practiced ordinal numbers using the activities described by Mrs. Ricca. Go see her post and download the free page for creating the class book. Here's a couple examples of pages from our class book: 

Hope you found something you think is quack-tastic! 

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Free Easter Unit!

I have just completed my Easter Math and Literacy Unit and I'm so excited to use it! 

It includes:
 addition and subtraction
teen numbers
a dice-roll board game
sight words
sh/ch/wh words
short vowel sounds
writing prompts

I hope you all can find something you want to use too! Remember, the best thanks you can give is to follow me, pin it or leave some love if you download!

Easter Unit

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

We love mice!

We just adore mice in our classroom! This passion is ignited by our darling class pet, Taffy. Here she is getting her daily exercise:

Because my children are interested in mice, I like to take opportunities to do mousey stuff. Last week we did a mini author study, and it was the perfect opportunity to incorporate mice and one of my favorite children's book authors, Leo Lionni.

His lovely, poetic story Frederick, lent itself to some fun art and math activities. We wrote mice story problems, and you can download the page we used for free here.

colorful mice

Her mice were hungry! 

All of his mice were named and labeled... and there was an elaborate story as to why some got lost. 

How cute would these story problems be with fingerprint mice? 

We also tried our hand at Lionni's torn paper art by creating our own Fredericks. 

The kiddos tore the paper for everything except the ears, tail and legs, because after we carefully examined Lionni's illustrations, that is what the children determined was his method! 

Our poem for the week was about mice. Here is a free activity sheet you can use to go along with it if you'd like! 

We just love our pet Taffy! Do you have a class pet? 

Friday, March 9, 2012

St. Patrick's and The Lorax

Just a couple of simple activities I wanted to share, because the results were so precious...

I had the children trace a shamrock on green paper and write a sentence about why they are lucky. I say this a lot, but seriously, I melted.

....because I get to snuggle with mom

...because I have friends/...because I have God

....because my Dad protects me

...because I have my Miss Brown (biiiig smile from me)!

Moving on to our Lorax art!

For these paintings, we looked at a page from the book and taked about the landscape. Then, we used oil pastels to make the truffula tree trunks, stripes on the trunks and tree tops. Then, students used liquid water color to paint the sky, ground, and lake.

To make the little truffula trees, students cut out a trunk from construction paper and again used oil pastels. They then cut out a circle and glued it to the trunk. They chose one color of feathers to create the tops of the truffula trees.

This is the adorable way the kinder teacher next door to me put together her Lorax bulletin board using the truffula trees described above. Isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen!?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

officially obSEUSSed

As many of you are, my kinders and I have been enjoying ourselves some Dr. Seuss! I have to say, I am blown away by the way he is able to present topics that are quite complex in a fun, childlike way. If I were teaching fifth grade, I would be using The Lorax to teach about supply and demand! Buuuut that's not quite a K concept. So, we instead enjoyed a reading of The Lorax to lead into a discussion about wants and needs. Wow, my babies amaze me. We found ourselves in a friendly debate about whether or not a friend is a want or a need. "Friends are a want because you can live without them," one says, to which another replies, "But you need them so you won't be lonely." On we went, with a class discussion that's still making me smile. Anyway, here's the sheet we used to record our wants vs. needs.

This little guy decided that friends fall in the needs category, along with his heart, food and water. On the wants, he has a galaxy tab (??), pizza, to be the king of the world, and a new hamster. How precious is this? Let's look at another one, because they're so darn cute!

This little one's wants include: a baby frenchie, no tornadoes, a fox, and a sister. Her needs are trees, animals, heart and God. I'm melting. I have been trying to figure out where I got this page... please let me know if you know so I can link back! Thanks.

We also made Thing 1 and Thing 2 word families:

I freehanded tracers (can you tell!?) for them to use in making their things. They wrote
"-ing" word family words all over their thing with white colored pencil (except my little friend there who wrote in black). They then wrote a sentence about their thing using a couple of their word family words.

On a waaayy late note, here is our President's Day fabulousness:

[If I were president, I would make more video games. I would make Jesus come back.]

Inside Lincoln's hat! [I would stuff my hat with my pony because I love her]

Saturday, February 4, 2012

free valentine math journals

I'm breaking the one post per day rule in the name of freebies. I have finally had some time to spend stalking and am so amazed at all the wonderful freebies out there right now! For that reason, I felt the need to give back a little more. Click here to get my free valentine math journal pages!

Chrissy, at Read Write Sing, was so sweet to make a list of some awesome freebies. Bless her heart, she also made sure to encourage everyone to show appreciation to those fabulous friends who are offering freebies to everyone out here in cyber world! Go check out her list!

Valentine freebie for your help!

I recently learned that I am moving from Kinder to 1st next year! I am so excited, but I have a lot of things to take care of for the transition. I was hoping for some help from my bloggy friends.

1. I can't exactly keep a blog name that implies I teach kinder when I move to first. I have been thinking about new names, and wiiiissh I could use Here We Grow - which is the name of my TN shop. HOWEVER, someone took this blog name back in 2005 and hasn't done anything with it. I thought I could just contact them and politely ask for them to relinquish the name, but there is no way to contact them via the blogspot page.

Any ideas on how to find this person? If not, any cute name ideas that match the the flower-theme I have going?

2. Please leave a comment with links to your favorite blogs for 1st grade! I'm ready to get inspired!

3. Anyone have experience with switching blog names? Is it better to create a new blog altogether and upload this one to it... or to switch the URL of this one? I don't want to lose my beloved followers in the process!

Thank you allll sooo much for your help. Here is a freebie in advance as a thank you for your advice!

If you haven't already, go out and buy yourself some cute little heart boxes from dollar section or store. These are from the 99 Cents store.

Fill the boxes with letter tiles that spell sight words or CVC words that your want your kiddos to practice. Have them open a box one at a time, unscramble the letters to spell the word and record the answer on the response sheet. If you get these exact boxes, you can use the sheet I'm using. If not, I included a blank sheet for you to program how you'd like. You could easily just write numbers on the boxes with a sharpie and write the numbers on the sheet to match.

Click here for the blank template!

Click here for the template I'm using

Sorry, someone told me once, but I cannot locate the email explaining how I link an image! I'll figure that out again one of these days. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm Getting Married!

I've been MIA from blog world because I have been up to my elbows in wedding plans the past couple of weeks! You see, having been with my dear fiance, Greg, for 5 years, I am ready to seal the deal. Sooo, after he proposed on January 2nd, I have been full speed. The wedding will be May 5, at the fabulous Moon River Ranch.

Enough about me, here are a couple of winter-friendly ideas for you.

Everything Christmas is on sale right now - including Christmas cards that are simply winter-themed. I made CVC puzzles using some cards. I just wrote the words with a sharpie, laminated, and cut with fun scissors.

We actually did these before Christmas, but I think they make nice winter tree scenes. The children colored various sized trees in any way they desired using oil pastels and cut them out. They painted a sky using liquid water color on a sheet of water color paper. Then they arranged and glued on the trees. Last, they used a pencil eraser and white paint to add snow. Cute, huh?!

Monday, January 2, 2012

So Excited!

I am so excited to announce that I have been given my first award from Tanya at Ms. Solano's Kindergarten! Thank you Tanya, I am truly honored and encouraged by your recognition.

These are the rules:

1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link back to them. 
2. Tell 7 things about yourself. 
3. Pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they’ve received an award!  

Here we go with my 7 things:

1. I never pass up an opportunity to share photos of my furry children, Precious (Chihuahua, 5) and Molli (Mini Schnauzer, 10 months). Would I be crazy to send out a Christmas card of them with their names and ages just like everyone else does with their human children? 

2. I got received a "how to crochet" book and set for Christmas and have practiced three basic stitches - chain, single and double, and still find it all to be difficult. I have so far made a long skinny piece of yellow yarn that somewhat resembles a banana. 

3. I didn't know I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher until I was a kindergarten teacher. I always thought I would teach fourth grade. The kindergarteners that buddy read with my "big kids" during internship frightened me a bit. Now I'm a bit frightened by the big kids. I LOVE my babies! (I'm sure I would be in love with any age other than middle school.

4. I am blessed with a best friend that also happens to be my sister, Tiffany. Here she is with her cute hubby. 

5. I have a question of the day in my classroom. It is the first things the kids to in the morning. I can do so much with it! Graphing activities, sight word practice, quick surveys of whether or not they enjoyed something we did, assess what they are learning, practice decoding and reading strategies etc. This example was from when the Rangers were in the World Series.... sad face. 

6. Speaking of the Rangers, I am a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Longhorns, and since I have been dating my sweetheart Greg, my sports fandom has expanded to the Dallas Mavericks and the Texas Rangers. However, I must admit it is easier for me to "get into" games in post-season. And apparently, according to Greg, that doesn't make me a serious fan. 

7. If I wasn't a teacher I would be a psychologist or counselor of some sort. 

Now, for some fabulous newly discovered blogs! For this list, I went out and discovered some new blogs that inspire! I hope you find someone new to follow on this list.