For the little people known as kindergarteners...

Today I will begin blogging about my adventures, learnings, and thoughts towards teaching. My experiences in education are not as vast as some others, but I believe they are valuable. I believe in our children, even those who are often seen as unlikely to succeed. I thrive when I see young people growing and learning in unique and exciting ways. My hope for all of my students is that they learn at least one thing while they are in my classroom...I want them to know that, "They are special, and they CAN learn". So many students that I meet day to day have been told that they can't, I want to share with my students that they CAN and they WILL. There is a moment, when you have been working with a child for a while, when all of a sudden you see the glimmer in the child's eye...the moment when the child realizes that they have had success. It is these moments that drive me to continue my learning as an is these moments that get me through all of the challenges I face each day in the classroom.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Counting, Numbers, and Sight Words

Woo Hoo!!! Fall is here. That means pretty leaves, apples, strawbales, and scarecrows! Here are a few goodies, which I have posted in my Teachers Pay Teachers !!

Feel free to check them out:)! I am super excited about my fun new clip art from Scrappin Doodles!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Flat Stanley Project

Ah...the school year has started, the testing is settling down (I mean as much as it will settle down!), and we are ready to start getting into some fun year long learning! I have been researching ideas for what to do with my kindergarteners to provide them with a really fun writing experience which would allow them to write about what they do in their day to day lives as well as be engaged in sharing their writing/experiences with others. While researching I remembered the book Flat Stanley, and my own experience with reading the book as a child. When I was in school I had the chance to read Flat Stanley and then we wrote a story about where we would go if we could make ourselves flat. I loved the project and I loved using my imagination!

And now, as a teacher, I am going to use the same story to help my students develop their writing skills, create relationships with people all of the world, and use their imaginations! We are going to link up to the Flat Stanley Project This week my students will each create their own "Flat Stanley". They will color them, take pictures with them, and write a letter introducing him or her. Then, we will send them out. Flat Stanleys will go to people I know as well as to people we find by on the official Flat Stanley Project website. My hope is that our Flat Stanleys will take us on a tour of the world!

If you are interested in hosting a "Flat Stanley" from my class, feel free to post a comment or send me an email. The requirements are simple...hang out with Flat Stanley and show him where you are from! Take him to work, to the park, a ball game, a historical site, or any where really! Take lots of pictures and then send him, the pictures, and any other fun souvenirs or brochures back to me. My students will look forward to learning about all of the places Flat Stanley will visit!

All the while, my students will be having their own adventures with our class Flat Stanley. Each weekend one of my students will take home our class Flat Stanley. They will each get the chance to create an adventure and journal about their adventures.

I can wait to get started on our fun adventures with Flat Stanley! Check back Monday night for pictures of each of my students Flat Stanleys! Maybe you will see one that you would like to host:)!

Wow...It's been a long time!

Well, I am back. And although I know we are all busy, I gotta give a shout out to those of you who can handle the beginning of the year craziness, your home life (i.e. Kids, house cleaning, cooking, etc.), AND still find time to blog!!! I seem to be lacking in the ability to balance it all. Anyway, I have a few blog ideas for today and I am going to try to make the time to get them all done!

This first blog is just to share a link to Teachers Pay Teachers. If you don't know about this website already, I gotta say, it's AWESOME! I love the whole idea of it. I love the idea of being able to buy printables to use in my classroom from other teachers instead of paying outrageous prices for books and activities from the teacher store. I am so grateful for the activities I have found on TPT. Anyway, here is the link, enjoy your shopping friends:)!

Teachers Pay Teachers

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Data, Data, and more Data!

Hey blogger friends! It has been a while since my last post, but I had good reason, I have been in my classroom getting ready for this year's kiddos to start on Monday! I can't wait to meet all of my students and to start learning with them.

Onto today's! We are constantly collection data on our kids. At our school, in the older grade levels, each student has a data notebook. They use these notebooks to keep track of how they are doing in preparing for the FCAT, our state test. Well, this year, I decided to implement data notebooks into my kindergarten class. I believe it is great for our students to have goals and to know where they are at in meeting their goals. Each month I will conference with each student to discuss a learning goal that they would like to set for that month. It could be learning more letters, writing their name, or even drawing a person. Then, we will work on that goal together for the month. That goal sheet will go into their data notebook which will include this Data Packet. Our school is focusing on the basic skills this year in order to help our students become better readers and mathematicians. Here is the data packet I created.

Each of the pages in this packet lists different skills. When I am testing students I will mark the letters, numbers, words, etc. that they know. Then, the students will take the folder to their seats and color/trace the items that I have marked. For my students this will be like graphing what they know. For some of the skills I will simply write a date once the child has mastered the skill. Students will practice writing their names, drawing a person, and following directions once each quarter in their data notebooks. It will be great to have a folder to pull out during conferences to show parents how their child has grown over the course of the school year! At the end of the year the students will have a wonderful collection of many skills we cover in kindergarten! Thanks to Scrappin Doodles for the super clip art! Click here to view the data packet in Google Documents. It looks much better than the one on!
Kindergarten Assessment

If for some reason you cannot download this item, or if it does not download neatly, post your email and I will gladly email you the original file. Some of the alignment seemed to be off when I uploaded to!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Counting Coconuts

This is an amazing blog. It is written by a mom who is committed to teaching her child using the Montessori method. Over the last several months I have become more interested in Montessori because we have enrolled our three year old into a montessori school. We have been learning the process along with him, and I am blown away by all the things he is and will be learning in his classroom. As a teacher in a public school I have a great deal I can learn from montessori classrooms. I am looking forward to learning more and I can't wait to hear more from Mari-Ann at Counting Coconuts!

These are just a few of my favorite posts from her blog:

Personalized Guess Who Game
Beach Themed Activities
I Spy Bottles
My Place on the Map

Enjoy friends!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hop, Hop, Hop...learning to count!

We start the year off by learning the numbers 1-10. This year I want my kiddos to know the know not only the number, but how to count to 10 and the words for each number very quickly at the beginning of the school year. I created this fun game for two with that in mind. The game can be played two different ways. First, you can use the fly cards with numbers on them to play with the number word mats. Or you could use the fly counting cards with the number mats to practice counting and number recognition. I will post all of the different pages and you can use them however you please! You will have to print two of each page in order to have enough supplies for games for two kids. As you can see above I printed the lily pads on blue card stock.

Lily Pad Hop Number Mats

Lily Pad Hop Number Words Mat

Flies With Numbers

Flies for Counting