Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Little Monsters

Well these little guys are going to be the reward for when students are working nicely.  If they don't work nicely their quiet monster has to go back in the bucket.

Monster Themed Classroom

Here is the start of my new monster themed classroom.  I'm very excited.  I have a lot of work to do, but a lot of freebies are in store.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kindergarten Math: Data Collection & Graphing

Well, the first six weeks of Kindergarten in Texas has come to and end.  It is certainly a huge change from teaching 2nd grade.  But, I'm rolling with the punches and I'm finally able to start blogging again and posting resources.  My planning focus this school year is in Math.  So, below you will find a full week's lesson plans for Kindergarten Math.  Click here for Lesson Plans and complete lesson activities.

Day 1:  Collecting Data
View:  Sing "The Wheels on the Bus"
Explore:  Have students group themselves into categories by how they get home from school (walker, bus rider, car rider)
Speak:  Students will share with the class why they grouped themselves that way and what they learned from the experience.
Transform:  As a class, make a table to record the class data.  Use tally marks, numerals, and number words to show the data.

Day 2:  Making a Class Graph
View: Display the data table from Day 1.
Explore:  Students get a dye-cut or picture of the means of transportation that depicts how they get home each day.  Students get into groups based on how they go home. 
Speak:  Students explain to teacher how they would put the dye-cuts or pictures on the graph to represent the information.
Transform:  Teacher verifies that the data they are trying to represent on the graph matches that which is on the table from the previous day.  Students tape pictures of transportation onto the class pictograph. 

Day 3:  Creating and Answering Questions
View: Display the pictograph that was created as a class on Day 2.
Explore:  Students can work with a buddy to come up with a question that they could ask that could be answered by the graph. (Example: How many people ride the bus? Are there more walkers or car riders?)
Speak:  Students share their questions with the class.  Teacher writes dictated questions on a piece of paper. 
Transform: Class answers student generated questions.

Day 4:  Student Collected Data
View:  Display data table, graph, and questions from previous days as a reminder for how we collect, record, represent, and interpret data.
Explore:  Students will work with a buddy to collect data and fill in the information in the data table (see data table sheet).
Speak:  Students will discuss the information with their buddy and share with teacher.

Day 5:  Student Created Graphs
View:  Display data table, graph, and questions from previous days as a reminder for how we collect, record, represent, and interpret data.
Explore:  Students will work independently to create their own graphs based on the data tables they created the previous day (see graphing sheet).
Speak:  Students will explain why they completed their graph in that fashion.
Transform:  Students will answer questions based on their graphing data.

I'll be blogging this week with pictures of the lessons in action in my classroom and reflections of how everything went.  

I hope that that is useful to some of you.  There are three more weeks of data collection and graphing to come which will cover apples, Halloween animals, and pumpkins.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Classroom Pictures: Day 1 and 2

I wanted to take a minute to post a couple pics from my new classroom.   So here are some pics of my first 2 1/2 days worth of work.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Clip Art Freebie

Hi everyone!

Hope you are all doing well.  I am trying my hand at making clip art for the very first time and I am in need of your assistance.  I have an owl clip art set up on my TpT Store right now and it is FREE (for a limited time).  I am just trying to make sure that the file is set up in a way that is easily downloaded and that the graphics are usable.  Please do me a huge favor (if you are a fan of my Owl Theme products) and download my owl graphic and let me know what you think.  If you love them, please give them a 4 star rating.  If you have any problems, please let me know here on my blog so I can work out any kinks.  I want to make sure that the file is 100% perfect before I start charging for the clip art.

Thanks for all your input!  Click on the picture to download my Owl Clip Art (absolutely free through this weekend).

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Exciting News!

I'm very thrilled to say that I have just accepted a kindergarten teaching position.  I am completely over the moon and I can't wait to start this journey!  I'm filled with nervous excitement...kindergarten is it's own special level of crazy.  I will certainly be searching the blogging world and combing through Pinterest to find ideas.  I have two kindergarteners (oops, they are now firsties) at home already...having a classroom full of them is going to be a challenge.  I'm confident however that I will do fine.  I certainly know that my 7 months teaching severely autistic children has given me a new way of looking at things and more patience than I ever thought possible.

I am truly blessed.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Here we are at the end of the school year and most teachers are counting down to the last day of school.  I wish that I was in the same boat.  My favorite part of May was always planning out my classroom for the next school year.  I'd think about what worked out well and what didn't in regards to classroom setup, behavior management, and lesson planning.  I'd start making lists for what I needed to purchase for the upcoming year and my favorite...drawing sketches of my classroom.  Yes, I was the teacher that made detailed drawings to scale of every corner of my classroom right down to the labels on the buckets.  I'd take pictures of everything to use as reference during the summer while the building was closed and I had no access.  Then on the first teacher workday I would be completely prepared and know exactly how I would organize things.  Setting up my new classroom took half the time.

But now at the end of this 2013-2014 school year I sit with a heavy heart.  All of my teaching things are boxed up in the garage, where they have been since I moved back to Texas mid school year 2012, patiently waiting for the day that they can get some good use.  Divorce changes your life in ways that you'd never expect.  Unfortunately the breakup of my 12 year marriage also put my teaching career on hold.  I identified myself as a teacher, a mother, and a wife...and suddenly two of the three were missing.  Teaching was never just a job or even a was and still is my passion.  In losing it, I lost a piece of myself and I know I won't feel whole again until I find myself in the classroom once more.  So many of you have emailed me saying that you've missed my blog posts and freebies and have asked for suggestions and ideas.  Honestly I found it hard to even look at my blog without crying.  It was a bitter reminder of everything that I loved so much and poured my heart into but that I no longer had.  I felt like a failure that had not only let myself and my family down, but also let down my readers and followers. Life seems to be coming full circle though.  Instead of spending May comfortably closing down my classroom, I am spending it looking for a teaching position for the upcoming school year.  I'm a bit more positive than I was before and I'm really looking forward to a teaching job fair that I'm attending tomorrow.  I don't expect to walk out with a job, but if some interviews come of it, I'll feel like one happy camper.

So what have I been doing in this time away from teaching you might ask.  Well, I spent some time as a substitute (which is certainly a very hard position and I am so thankful that as a teacher I was always very thorough with my sub notes...I can guarantee you it is very helpful to subs).  Unfortunately there is not a huge demand for subs at the beginning of the school year so I had to find something else to pay the bills.  I found myself in a teaching position that I never would have imagined.  For the last six months I have been working one-on-one with autistic children.  I have definitely learned a lot there that I could use in the regular classroom and ideas that I would love to share with all of you.  But that my friends will have to wait for another day.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!!  Enjoy the weekend and the end of the year!

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