Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Wow, this has been a year of changes and challenges, but as Pete the Cat would say...."it's all good!" ;-)
I have really enjoyed setting up this blog, giving a facelift to my classroom blog ,  joining TBA, setting up my Teachers Notebook Shop, visiting so many new blogs and meeting so many new teachers who inspire me. I love all the ideas that are shared at TBA and beyond! I hope that along the way, I have managed to do a bit of inspiring myself. I had fun sharing my ideas at the Virtual Teaching Expo back in the fall and am really looking forward to the next one...."Everything's Kindergarten Expo".  This is the first Virtual Teaching Expo of the new year! My good blog buddy Fran Kramer of Kindergarten Crayons will be presenting there. I love all her work and can't wait to see what she has to share at the expo. If you didn't get your ticket already, be sure to click to register.

Everything's K

One thing I love about these Expos is you can attend in your PJ's! ;-) And you can pause the presentation to get more coffee! You watch the presentations as many times as you like and from your favorite device....Computer, iPad, or iPhone.... Gotta love technology, right?
Hope you can make to the Kindergarten Expo on Jan. 28, 2012. (Even if you can't be there THAT day, you can view the presentations at ANY time!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Teacher Discounts

I consider myself to be a good shopper and yet I was surprised to learn of some of the retailers that offer a Teacher Discount. In case you didn't know, these are a few of the retailers offering discounts to educators.
 If you know of more, please share! ;-)
(disclaimer: terms and conditions are subject to change. Be cautious and call first) 

The Container Store (offer ends soon)
Ann Taylor's Loft 15% off
up to 25% off see site for details

Who among us doesn't LOVE shoes? 15% for NEA members

15% off select services

Ask for pricing discounts


15% off (Call to verify)
15-19% off

25-75% off retail

10%off (Call to confirm)
15% off (with ID)

15% off (with ID)

book at Government Rate (call for best rate)

15% off
15% off

up to 50% off magazines

Check site for details

I'm sure there are more....let us know some of your favorites too!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Using Voicethread

Sippin' & Surfin'

This is one of those rare mornings when I took time (away from  lesson plans,  laundry and other household chores) to spend time sippin' coffee and surfin' the Internet and taking time to think about using more technology in the classroom. I know some folks will giggle at that image, but if you know know it was a warm and wonderful time for me. ;-)
 I am creating a list of new ideas to share...there's so much going on out there that I feel I could spend weeks getting all caught up. In my surfing this morning I came upon someone using Voicethread and it reminded me of how much my students and I enjoyed using it a few years ago. I don't know how I migrated away from it....but I will make plans to use it with my kids this year. I thought you might want to give it a try with your students as well. Take a look at an online Holiday Greeting Card we made to share with friends and family. The images came from Flickr and the greetings came from my kids. The way I put it all together was... I took photos of the kids in "Holiday" mode. Then uploaded them into Voicethread. As a class we looked at several photos in Flickr and selected the ones you see in the final project. Then each child got to come to the computer and express their Holiday Wish! We LOVED it! If you're interested, there are several tutorials at the Voicethread site and there's even an App for your iPad/iPhone/iTouch.
Take a look at our Voicethread from a few years ago....consider giving it a try with your kids.

Here's another Voicethread my students and I created on "Things That Come In 2's". (Note: the photos were all taken by students)

Get the App

Starbucks image from AForestFrolic @ Flickr

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunshine Award

I am happy to receive this award from Laura of Kindergarten Kraziness. Thanks Laura! It also has my FAVORITE flower on it!! ;-) And yes, it brought some sunshine to my day!
 It's always nice to be recognized by our peers. In accordance with accepting the award I am answering the following questions and then passing the award along to others:

Here are the rules for accepting this award:
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

My answers to the questions:
  • Favorite color? Red & Blue
  • Favorite animal? Dog
  • Favorite number? 85 (the numbers that make my birthday)
  • Favorite drink? Coffee (Dunkin' Doughnuts!)
  • Facebook or Twitter? It's a long story, but I just barely have a Twitter account. 
  • Your passion? I enjoy making others smile! ;-)
  • Giving or getting presents? I get pleasure from both. To me the best are given (or received) when one least expects it!
  • Favorite day? Hmmmm a nice sunny day!

Now to share this....
Erin at  Kleinspiration
Annie at Moffatt Girls 

I know this isn't quite 10, but I will try to narrow down my choices's not easy to pick! ;-)
Thanks again Laura!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Teen Number Work

I have been so busy with report cards, assessments and the like that I barely have time to blog in the ways that I enjoy. I am beginning to look ahead at the next stage of assessments for my students. I already know there will be many struggles for them as we strive to learn the "teen" numbers (what IS it about the numbers that throw kids such a big curve?) I always think if someone had named the "teens" "one-e-one, one-e-two, one-e-three..etc" we'd have far less issues with teaching them to kids. ;-)
At any rate, as I look ahead, I decided to create some new materials to help my kids. I thought you might find them useful as well, so I created a packet to help us.
 The packet uses a WINTER THEME is filled with activities to help students see the numbers visually as well as build the numbers. Other key activities include:

* practice writing numerals 
* fill in missing numerals (descending, ascending & random order)
* count & make sets of object 11-20
*  Use symbols to show <, >, or = 
* create <, >, or = (Open-ended) number sentences
* numeral recognition (open-ended) 
* numeral recognition games with optional challenge levels included
* Game cards can be used in pocket chart to work on number order or          combine with tens frame game cards for a matching game
* make book(s) to show quantities 20-11 or 11-20, or random order
I put in several open-ended games, and sheets to help challenge those students that easily grasp the concept. There are game cards that show the numeral as well as tens frames to show quantity. The cards can be used in the pocket chart or to play matching games. 
There are also activities for working with the <,>, and = signs. My kids really enjoy learning about the signs and these games will extend that learning.
Visit my Teachers Notebook shop to see more images and grab a copy for your kids as well:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Letter Sounds Added to Packet

The other day I posted the Fall & Winter addition of ABC HIGHLIGHTS to my Teachers Notebook Shop. As I check my students for letters and sounds, I am noticing there are several in need of more practice with the letter sounds. Therefore I updated my Fall and Winter ABC Highlights to include 4 sets of letter sound cards. The price is the same but now you get 16 sets of game sets in all. These games are great for use in small group or partner work. They also make a quick activity for Parent Volunteers or others working to assist your students. Check out the UPDATED version here:

Teaching Expo

It's almost time for another Virtual Teaching Expo.. (Nov. 12th)....the topic this time is TEACHING TIPS...are you registered and ready? I LOVE the idea of being able to learn from other teachers who inspire me to be a better teacher....but I also REALLY love being able to do it from the comfort of my own home.
Why am I attending??
What am I looking for??
 If your school district is like mine, you're heavily involved in providing interventions for students (RTI). I plan to go to the Expo to learn ways to manage the interventions without ignoring the other students....what is the right number of interventions and more. A key factor I think is keeping things organized...Organization is another topic in this expo. Other topics include creating a classroom of independent learners and ways to add excitement into your teaching day!
If you haven't already registered, click on the image below so you can take advantage of the pre-event price. Just think, you can attend in your p.j.'s
Don't forget to sign up while the price is discounted:
Oh and if you attend Nov 12-14 you get a GREAT GOODIE BAG!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Perking Up the ABC Highlights

If your students are like mine, there are several who still need practice with recognizing the letters of the alphabet! They’ve played ABC Highlights and they LOVE it...but the graphics have gotten a tad boring. I decided to perk things up a bit by creating ABC cards that are theme related. I have a new ABC Highlights Fall and Winter Supplement packet
There are 12 sets of ABC cards (6 upper case and 6 lower case), with fall and winter themes. The whimsical images keep the games interesting and timely. For the fall there are chalkboards, apples, scarecrows, squirrels, school supplies and back-to-school kids. For winter there are snowflakes, snowmen, elves, and penguins.
You can use the sets alone, or combine them for longer playtime and fewer shuffles. :-) 
Either way, your students are bound to enjoy adding the new cards to this popular game! Go over to my Teachers Notebook shop to grab a copy for your class! While you're there check out my FALL SALE!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I LOVE Candy!

OK, I will admit, I LOVE candy....Twizzlers, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Mr. Goodbar and more! What's YOUR favorite candy? I would love to know! ;)
Rare is the child that doesn't enjoy a little candy now and then. This packet is timely enough for Halloween, but generic enough to use anytime of the year! Using a CANDY theme, children can practice graphing, counting, ABC's, writing, bookmaking/reading, sentence building, sight words and data collection. Visit my Teachers Notebook shop to get your copy just in time for Halloween! ;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Fun Packet

I have been sick in bed for several days now....coughing like crazy and suffering from having little or no voice. What's a gal to do?? Well, I figured I would work on something new for my students....which turned into something to add to my Teachers Notebook Shop! This packet provides students with practice labeling parts of a Halloween picture. The same pictures are used to help scaffold students in their writing. There's also a printable book for students to color and read. The book provides practice for young students as they learn to do "return sweeps" as they read. Check out the packet for more details:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Write the Wall Fall Freebie

My Kinders LOVE to write the wall. I've added a Write the Wall (Fall Theme) to my Teachers Notebook Shop. It's a FREEBIE....All I ask is that you leave a bit of feedback there and or list my shop as a Fav! THANKS!
Note: There are sheets that are pure Halloween and some that have a pure FALL theme for those that don't celebrate. Enjoy! Click on the image to get your copy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

We Love llama llama

Last week, in attempt to help set a new world record, we had a an opportunity to join hundreds of Kindergartners all over the country in hearing Anna Dewdney's "llama, llama Red Pajama." Our principal came in and read the book to my classes and then we brainstormed a variety of different types of pajamas. We talked about our favorite pajamas. I gave the students a BIG llama llama template and they chose they type of pajamas they wanted to create for their llama, llama. They were given a blank set of words: "llama, llama _____(blank)____ pajama". They used the word bank we created to copy the words they needed. Some doubled up on the descriptors, "BLUE HEART" pajamas. Others took it one step further and did " blue rectangle, pink pajamas". ;-) Everyone did a WONDERFUL job. We will use the students pictures to make a big class book. Click over to our Kindergarten Tales blog to see the video: llama, llama in Pajamas! We had fun.  It's rumored that over 2 million students participated! Did your school participate?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The FireFighters are Coming

We are preparing for the arrival of the FireFighters. They will come to visit us in a few days. As we learn ways to be safe from fire, we're also using the Fire Safety theme to work on our math skills! We're working on 1:1 counting up to 10, as well as numeral writing practice. Here's a  Fire Safety freebie to use with your students. I hope your students like it! It's been a while since I linked up to Google docs...I hope this works! ;-)

Note: The graphics by Alice Smith are from DigiWeb Studio

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everyone is a winner!

Congratulations....if you left a comment on my most recent Apps Give-Away, then you're a winner! The last comment was from CindyL so if you got your comment in ahead of hers...then you WIN! (You did too Cindy!) ;-)
  If you didn't hear from me already, please contact me so I can send you the codes. Please note the codes are time sensitive, so don't delay!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Leaves Are Turning...

Leaves are turning...Time for learning....
You can rake up a nice set of Falling Leaves activities over at my Teachers Notebook Shop! The packet has activities to build Letter Recognition & Letter Sound Skills, Graphing, Patterning, Numeral Recognition, (1-20), and Reading basic sight words and sentence building.
There are 3 printable student books that include practice with 1:1 word to text practice. I saw some books Fran Kramer created and LOVED the notion of putting dots under the words to help guide young readers! It's a simple, yet powerful boost to their skills. THANKS Fran, you have some of the BEST ideas!
Before the leaves are all gone....Make your way over to my shop to learn more!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Time for Another App Give-Away

 It's been a while since I've done a give-away. You know how I love the iPad and the great Apps available to support teaching and learning. I am giving away two sets of apps.
The first has Memory Game: Addition and Memory Game: Subtraction.
The second set has Memory Game: Multiplication and Memory Game: Division.
To enter to win simply visit my Teachers Notebook Shop and take a peek at some of my items. Then leave a comment here telling me which item is your favorite (and which set you'd like win).
That's it!
If you want an extra entry, you can sign up to follow my blog and leave a comment for that as well. Entry opportunities will close on Wed. Sept, 28th and announced on Thursday, the 29th. There will be 6 winners for each set. 12 winners in all! ;-)
 Click on the images below to learn more about the Apps.