Sunday, September 29, 2013

Five for Friday 9/27 {Sunday Edition}

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday linky party. 
Our seven year anniversary is tomorrow. John surprised me with a charm for my Pandora bracelet. He picked out this pretzel to commemorate our Disney World honeymoon. We ate big soft pretzels pretty much every day while in the Magic Kingdom! We went out to eat last night and had pretzels for our appetizer. This charm is perfect! :)
Last week I used Kindergarten Smiles' Apple Unit. We labeled parts of an apple and then enjoyed eating apples I picked from my parents' apple trees. 

My training group and I ran 26 miles last weekend. One of the women in my group made us these super cute and thoughtful medals! Everyone always says, if you run 26 miles, you better get a medal!  I am ready for the Chicago Marathon in 2 weeks!


My sister has a new blog called the 219. She blogs about personal style, home inspiration, and healthy living. Visit her and follow her on Bloglovin'! (P.S. I took some of the photographs featured on it!) 

My kiddos have been doing well with building stamina during the literacy stations portion of the literacy block. I created some stations to use in the upcoming weeks that will work with phonemic awareness and the alphabet. Click on the image above to get your copy in my TPT store.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Love My White Shoes

My class LOVES Pete the Cat. Ever since they listened to it during literacy stations in the listen to reading station, they have been singing Pete's song.  I introduced color words this week, so we did this cute craftivity after watching Pete the Cat on YouTube.

I love the personality each Pete the Cat has! Everyone was very creative with his face!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Edition of Five for Friday

After a busy weekend, I'm a little late to share my post for Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five For Friday Linky Party.

1. Olivia celebrated her first birthday on Saturday. The poor little girl was feeling a little under the weather, though. She's had a fever on and off since Friday. I took her to urgent care and the doctor said it's either a cold and/or teething.  We see the pediatrician tomorrow. Hopefully she'll get Olivia on the mend!

2. Isabella took her first riding lesson. She was on cloud nine! Bitsy is an amazing lesson horse. She's 28 but still had spunk while being very gentle.

3. Last week we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and made these cute coconut trees with the letters from their names racing to the top. I spent an hour last weekend on the Cricut machine cutting letters and sorting them into envelopes by tables. The kids had to find the letters in their names and spell their name before gluing the letters on to their coconut tree.

 4. My class LOVED playing the "Bird Game. I made a little bird that I hid behind the letter cards. The kids took turns guessing where the bird was hidden. They had to ask what letter it was behind. To differentiate the game, some kids had to name the letter and tell the sound it makes.  Get your bird cards here from Kinder Doodles.
5. The literacy stations from last week.
My aide and I spent time with the small groups. The kids have done an amazing job building stamina and working hard!  I liked working with the kids doing the cupcake match.  We talked about the  way the capital and lowercase letters look alike and look different (we use D'Nealian) as well as the sounds that they make. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

{Last Week's} Literacy Stations

I have a Post-It note on my desk every day with a list of things to do. Taking pictures for my blog always makes the list, but rarely gets done!  I get so involved in literacy stations that I forget to do anything else during that time!  Here is a peek inside of the 45 minute literacy station time in my classroom from last week. Maybe I'll remember to take pictures tomorrow to share the current literacy stations...

I have ten stations. The students visit two stations per day for about 20 minutes each. By the end of the week, they will visit all ten.

1. Computers: The students are getting familiar with using the netbooks. They may explore the games on during this rotation. Next week I will begin using 
 2. Read to self: The kiddos may grab a reading buddy (aka a Beanie Baby) to read with while in the classroom library.
 3. Listen to Reading: I received a grant last year to have a listen to reading station in my classroom. The kids loved listening to How Do Dinosaurs Go to School. I love the Kidz Gear headphones! They seem very sturdy and have a volume control for each student. They can also be sanitized easily by wiping down with a Clorox or rubbing alcohol wipe.
 4. Play-Doh letters: They enjoyed making long ropes of Play-Doh to form capital and lowercase DNealian letters.
 5. Rainbow Writing: I had the kinders writing some of the high frequency words they will learn this year.  My main goal for the week was to have them learn how to do rainbow writing (write with crayon, then with marker, and finally with colored pencil) and to copy words.

 6. Magnets: The students had to find a magnet to match the letter on their white board.
 7. Whiteboards: They practiced writing capital and lowercase letters.

 8. Writing: I gave them a variety of styles of writing paper and their one instruction was to write and draw a story for me.  Some of the kids really got into it and made some really great stories!
 9. Cupcake Alphabet: I had these cupcakes on my Word Wall last year, but when I revamped my Word Wall, I thought they could be used in a literacy station. (They are just cardstock cupcakes with a letter sticker stuck on it.) The kids loved this station! It was a great teamwork activity to but the cupcakes in ABC order.
 10. iPads: The kids got to practice writing capital and lowercase letters in D'Nealian while using the Alphabet Board app. I love that you can turn on the arrows so the students can see which direction they write the letter. It even tells you the letter name and sound!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

September Linky Parties

I'm a little late for Farley's Currently September. I cannot believe how fast time is flying by!
 The heart at the bottom is for three things to make me a better person. 1. My baby is turning one next Saturday!  It is amazing to reflect and see how much she has learned and how she has changed so drastically in just one year! We are not having a big birthday bash for her, but I want to have a nice party for her. Just her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousin are invited.  We have plenty of years ahead of us for big birthday parties, so keeping it simple is fine with me!  So far, it's a pink Princess Sofia party. (Big sister Isabella is the party planner!)   2. I am trying to make a promise to myself to work less at home during the week. John complains that I am always on my computer.  I miss having shows we watch together, so I need to set aside work for at least one evening a week to spend time with just him.  3. I run the Chicago Marathon next month!! This month, I am running my longest training run of 26 miles. I am so excited and proud that I've made it this far! :)

Now for my Five for Friday post:
1. I blogged about pencil grips and handwriting earlier this week. I worked a lot with my class this past week on holding the pencil the right way and writing with finger spaces between the words.

2.  I love all things pumpkin!  I came across this recipe for apple cobbler cupcakes and pumpkin pie frosting on Pinterest. I think I'm going to have to bake these cupcakes soon! 

3. My girls loved picking apples at Mimi and Papa's house yesterday.  We picked an entire reusable shopping bag full, and I took home about half of them. We have so many apples now!
 Olivia picking apples.
Look at this huge honey crisp I picked!
Isabella loved the fact that she could reach the apples on her own!
4. I heard Pete Harry (aka Harry Kindergarten) present at a conference this summer. He uses a digital calendar. I'm trying that this year. Everything for our calendar corner is on the computer except for the straws to show place value and the hundreds chart. The kids LOVE it. We sings lots of Harry Kindergarten songs and everyone is so enthusiastic!  
 5. Isabella starts riding lessons next week. We went to a local saddle shop yesterday to get her some boots and a helmet.  She is so excited about riding. I am happy that she found something to be passionate about!
I'm giving away my Chevron 2014 Life Planner in a Giveaway hosted by Kinder Doodles.  Be sure to enter visit Kinder Doodles to enter! :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I absolutely love the fact that my school supply bins are completely full!  My class did a great job bringing school supplies this year. Everyone brought everything on the list!  :) I have hundreds of unsharpened pencils!  Fortunately, fifteen families volunteered to be pencil sharpening families!  I send home a bag of pencils on Friday and they come back on Monday sharpened. I cannot express how much I appreciate this!  My pencil sharpening families save me so much time during the school week.

The sharpened pencils have been getting lots of use while learning to write letters. The reading series introduces two letters a day while Jolly Phonics introduces a letter a day. Fifteen minutes of our day is dedicated to handwriting. We have been practicing the letters we learn in Jolly Phonics in addition to writing our names.  We use D'Nealian manuscript in my school district. I found this website to create custom handwriting sheets for the students. It's wonderful- just type their name and print! Instant worksheets!  (It also had print and cursive options, too!)

My class has been working hard on holding their pencils the right way. I love this little saying my teaching partner shared with me:
Several kiddos use pencil grips. The occupation therapist has her students use this big pencil grip. I like it because it puts their hand in the right position.

I also have a student using a big pencil. The increased pencil width really helped with his grip! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Five for Friday- August 30

I love linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly Five for Friday Linky Party; it's such a fun way to end the week.
1.While I ran this morning, I saw this spiderweb full of dew drops. Normally I don't think too much of spider webs, but this was just too neat not to take a picture of! 
 2. I saw this craft on the cover of a magazine in the checkout lane of Wal-Mart. I know what I'm making for Halloween this year! (And, I'll have an entry for Open Class at the fair, too!)
3. My husband celebrated his birthday on Friday. Isabella wanted to get him a cow cake.  A steakhouse in town has amazing chocolate sour cream cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache in the shape of a cow!  Yum!
 4. Isabella was in heaven riding Sundance at Mimi and Papa's house.  I'm just waiting to hear back from the trainer to set up riding lessons! 
5. What girl doesn't love horses? Olivia would not take her eyes off of the horses while visiting my parents. (Mimi and Papa have five horses.) What lucky little girls to have horses at their grandparents' house.

My Five for Friday didn't have anything to do with school. I'm just too busy during the school day to even remember to take pictures!