Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ladybug's Teacher Files

Ever heard of her? She is AWESOME! All of my cuteness in my blog comes from HER tutorials! She is now doing a giveaway to celebrate 600 followers, and the prize is a FREE blog template!! Oh my gosh, that would be so exciting to have!! Check her out if you haven't already, and definitely enter the giveaway! 6 chances!

Word Wall

I've joined Ms. M's word wall linky party. Here is our word wall in kindergarten! Each week we make the new word as a class. The copy that goes up on the board is a laminated copy I made previously. Each summer I dye cut thousands of letters (no joke!) to prepare for the school year. I make all of the letters for 105 students. It's a big job, but it is so nice to have them ready!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blog Hop!

I'm joining in on a summer book list blog hop. I've added the books I can't wait to read (teaching related)What're you planning on reading this summer??

  1. Teacher, Here's My Heart
  2. The Daily Five Gail Boushey
  3. Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work By Debbie Diller

Fun filled friday

I meant to write this update on friday, and it is already sunday! Where has the time gone?? I've been having so much fun reading other blogs and getting great ideas for fun gadgets, but i'm finally sitting down to update you all on friday's fun!

Friday was an insane day in kindergarten. Not only had the school won a school-wide crazy hair day (hilarious!) but my kiddos had also won a "Gumball party" for filling up our gumball chart for good behavior. Mix this in with "fun friday" and celebration for the end of one child's "First Steps" plan, and you have one CRAZY day! I had to keep reminding myself to take deep breaths and enjoy the day, but at times I was running around like a mad woman. haha.

The day started pretty calmly with our normal writing and reading time, then some math, and then we were off to PE. When we came back from PE, that's when the craziness began! I was able to fit in a really fun lesson I found on TpT to go along with Eric Carle's The Mixed Up Chameleon, which I loved! I read the story and we talked about what a chameleon does. Then, we made our own chameleon blend in on a piece of scrapbook paper. Here are a couple pieces of work!

After we finished our lesson we did a few more math and writing activities, and then it was time to fit in all of the celebrations in less than 10 minutes (when the kids get back from ELD) We announced the end of the First Step game prize, which my little guy chose a toy for everyone. I told the kids they would get their prize as they got on the buses. Then, we went outside and crossed our fingers and prayed (well, I prayed!) that it wouldn't rain so they could have their gumball party AND fun friday (only about 7 minutes left before buses, but they didn't seem to mind!) It began to drizzle, but we made it!

So as you can see, there just is not enough time in our short day to celebrate more than 1 thing. Which is a bummer, because I definitely think that it is important to reward the children when you say you will. Hence the crazy busy day! If any of you teach 1/2 day, how do you fit it all in? (when you are not allowed to skip any core lessons or go into eld time)

Hope you all are enjoying your 3 day weekend! (by the way, I am SO jealous of all of you who are already out of school!) In between downpours I am spending the weekend with Mr. Bee relaxing and gardening!

Butterfly Update

Well, our littlest caterpillar friends in kindergarten are snuggled nice and tight in their chrysalis'! I wonder if there will be any new butterflies to greet us upon our return tuesday? I doubt it, but set out some cotton balls soaked in sugar water for them just in case!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Awesome Heidisongs giveaway!

Can you tell I like the word awesome? If you haven't figured it out yet, i'm sure you will soon! :)

The Teacher Wife and Heidisongs are hosting a giveaway with an awesome prize just for teachers! The winner gets a $15 credit for the Heidisongs store AND 3 free products from The Teacher Wife's Teachers Pay Teachers store. So sick!

If I won, I would definitely buy the 3rd cd in her collection of "Sing and Spell" sight words. I use the first 2 every day in my classroom!

Check out her blog for more info on how you can enter, too!

The Teacher Wife

Coolest thing ever!

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to all the awesome blogs who just got mentioned in the 50 best teaching blogs by the California Teaching Credential website! I was super excited to see some amazing bloggers mentioned! As a kindergarten teacher, I look up to these writers and they had a part in beginning my own blog, but to see then recognized like this is incredible! Check these ladies out!

1. Mrs. Sneaker! A very special shout out to my teaching partner who was on the list! You rock!
2. Heidisongs- this chick rocks! I use her "sing and spell" cd every day for transitions and morning work
3. Little Miss Glamour- her name says it all! I aspire to be this awesome woman!
4. Ms M- awesome teacher with great ideas!

Congrats, ladies!

Check out the rest of the list, I know I will be! (Mr. Bee is going to kill me! haha)


Mrs. Bee

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wild about this wednesday!

Okay, first things first, thank you for reading my blog! I was so touched when the amazing Mrs. Sneaker referred me on her blog, but then to see how many of you came to visit and follow my blog was truly an awesome feeling! THANK YOU! I will do my best not to disappoint :) I just LOVE reading other people's blogs, whether teaching or not, and have found some of my favorite ones through referrals and blog lists. I am hoping I can be one for you as well!

So thankfully today was a MUCH better day than yesterday. I'm not sure what it was, but I found myself in the teacher end of the year funk. Just overall cranky for no apparent reason. add is a surprise performance that my kids were asked to do and it was not a good day. Well, today I came into school with a much needed attitude adjustment and couldn't have felt better! The kids were cute, their performance was adorable, AND we even managed to fit in some great learning opportunities. in a 2 hour 20 minute class that's not too shabby! Here are the highlights of the day:

1. Our performance for the volunteer brunch! The kids sang and danced to a song they had learned in music class called "heel, toe, on the line, will you be a friend of mine?" (or something along those lines) precious moment! I'm hoping to get a video or some pictures to share. it was so fun to watch them shine! I had been nervous, because when we were asked yesterday to do this most of the kids did not remember the dance and it was a big "silly fest". A little practice and it was a hit!

2. Mark D. Pencil has a great cd about classroom routines and expectations and Katie found a video to go along with the song for "super e" about long vowels. Oh my gosh, so cute!!! We watched the video and the kids LOVED it. Can I just say how much I love YouTube?? oh ya, I do all the time. haha. Then we did a writing practice exercise from Fast Track and we highlighted using "SUPER E" on works like game, like and spoke. I am attempting to get the kids who can't remember the e on the end of words to have a new buddy, super e, to remind them :) It looks like it might just work!

3. We earned a gumball party and it looks like the kids will be having a 10 minute outside recess on friday on top of the school wide PBS incentive of crazy hair day. Crossing my fingers that any learning will occur that day, haha!

4. and we did a fun art project for butterflies! We colored and soaked coffee filters yesterday, and then we cut them and glued them together with eyes, ribbon and a pipe cleaner to make a butterfly. 

Happy Wednesday! Now i'm off for a run in the torrential rain (will it be like this friday? hoping not!! We need that recess OUTSIDE!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

You Tube

Don't you just love Youtube? My awesome teammate katie found the numbers in the teens video last week and we thought it would be a fun one to share with the class. It was so cute watching them dance to the song!

Then, of course, some links were recommended at the of the first video. A couple of the boys saw Batman and FREAKED!! Well, I was a little hesitant to play the video without reviewing it first, but upon their cute prodding I gave in (knowing the creator had made many videos that I love for the class) so, this 2nd song was about vowels called "Vowel Bat" Who doesn't love Batman? :)

I had forgotten how much fun youtube was in the classroom! Have you ever shown videos to your class? 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Teacher's Pay Teachers

www.teacherspayteachers.com I found this website through Peterson's Primary Peeps and let me tell you, I am obsessed!! It has so many teacher created lessons and tools that are either free or really cheap! Most have pdf downloads of the lesson plans or printables. Towards the end of the year we have more time in class to be creative and this website has already given me a bunch of ideas! I love searching through the free lessons other teachers have posted, I highly recommend checking it out! This week I've already planned 3 lessons from ideas I found on here. So cool!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Art Literacy Class

This week we had an art literacy lesson taught by a parent volunteer. The artist was Salvador Dali, who is best known for his surrealist art of melting clocks. Talk about an interesting topic to approach with kindergartners! Plus, it was a little hard (ok, a LOT) for the kids to make the numbers on the clock out of tiny pieces of molding material. The lesson was k-5, and as much as the art director thought it would be great for kinders, it was not quite developmentally appropriate for their tiny hands. But, it was still fun! 

Butterfly lifecycle with pasta

I love art! Didn't kindergarten used to be all about art projects?? I miss those days. Now we're lucky if we get to integrate art into class a few days a week. Bummer. Well, enough of my soapbox. It is what is is.

This week we made the life-cycle of the butterfly with pasta! I always love seeing the kids totally "get" the concept of metamorphosis through something as simple as holding pasta in their hands. Here are a couple of examples I sent home today. aren't they cute??


Right now we are in our second week of watching the caterpillars turn into butterflies. This is always my favorite time of the year, because we get to actually follow a theme! Normally the day is completely planned out by scripted curriculum, but at this point in the year, we get to have more freedom when it comes to writing. To me, this means SCIENCE! We do everything we can around what is happening to our caterpillars. Well, my amazing teammate and friend, Katie, found a bunch of songs about butterflies that the kids have been loving! We learn a new song every couple of days which is a great way to transition during activities as well as reinforce what we know about butterflies. So much fun! I love music, but haven't found my creativity when it comes to new songs and ways to integrate them. That's where Katie comes in! She has integrated word of the week songs by Heidisongs and keeps sharing new songs she finds to use in other areas of class as well. Man, this girl was born to be a kindergarten teacher! Anyways, here are some of the super fun songs we have learned over the past week. Doesn't singing with kids just make you happy? I'm never worried if I sound good, they just don't care! :)

Caterpillar (to the tune of itsy bitsy)-2nd song to this tune we learned
“creepy crawly caterpillar
Looping up and down,
Furry tufts of hair along
Your back of golden brown.
You will soon be wrapped in silk,
Asleep for many a day;
And then, a handsome butterfly,
You’ll stretch and fly away.”

The butterfly song (to the tune of up on the housetop)
“First comes a butterfly and lays an egg.
Out comes a caterpillar with many legs.
Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin,
A little chrysalis to sleep in.
Oh, Oh, Oh, wait and see!
Oh, oh, oh, wait and see!
Out of the chrysalis, my oh my,
Out comes a beautiful butterfly!”

Butterfly Cycle (to the tune of row row row your boat)
“hatch, hatch little egg,
I’m so very small.
Teeny tine caterpillar,
You can’t see me at all.
Crawl, caterpillar, crawl
Munching on a leaf.
Crawling, munching, crawling, munching
Eat and eat and eat.
Form, form chrysalis
I’m a different shape;
Hanging by a silken thread
Until I can escape.
Rest, rest, chrysalis
While I change inside;
Now at last my time has gone
To be a butterfly.
Stretch, stretch, pretty wings
It’s a special day;
Soon they will be strong enough
For me to fly away.
Fly, fly, butterfly,
Fly from flower to tree;
Find a place to lay my eggs
So they can grow like me.”

Fuzzy Fuzzy Caterpillar

“The fuzzy, fuzzy caterpillar
Curled up on a lead,
Spun her little chrysalis
And then fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping
She dreamed that she could fly,
And later when she woke up
She was a butterfly!”

All songs found at http://www.kinderkorner.com/butterflies.html

Here are our caterpillars today :) Over the weekend some have predicted that they will be in their chrysalis by the time we return. Check back Monday to find out!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meet Mrs. Bee

I have been an Oregonian all of my life and was brought up surrounded by amazing role models in my teachers, family, and friends. I have always enjoyed working with children, whether it be through church, volunteering at schools, or playing with my niece and nephew. Just like my mom, I have always been drawn to the excitement and energy that children bring. I couldn't imagine my life without my mom...but that is a story for another time! She rocks!

As anyone who has ever met me can attest, I am an avid UofO Football fan and went there for my undergraduate and masters degrees. Even as a child I went to football games in Eugene with my family. In college, I met my match in my wonderful husband, Mr. Bee who also is a diehard Duck. We even had a UofO themed wedding, we are truly a match made by God! :)

Mr Bee and I married last summer and are living together in my childhood home (sans the parents :) ) Talk about an experience! We have a wonderful dog, Mac, whom we adopted from the humane society a year ago. He is a Catahoula Leopard Dog and Shepherd Mix and full of energy! We got him so that I would have a running buddy for my marathon training (I have run 3 so far) and it turns out he is quite the whimp when it comes to running. Oh well! He does the shorter runs with me. We also just adopted a cute orange and white kitty whom we named Dixie Cup. She is still wary of the dog, but a sweetheart and we are hoping she will get comfortable in our family soon!

I was blessed to find a job in a bad economy teaching my dream job, kindergarten, in the very district I grew up in. While it is a 1/2 time kinder position with only 1 session, I find myself very fortunate to have a job doing what I love when so many people do not. Life is good and I am blessed! I look forward to letting you know more about me as my blog continues, and hopefully will learn more about you all as well!

New to blogging

Hi everybody! (anybody?)
I'm new to the blogging world and not sure where to begin. I have a classroom blog for all of my parents to find out what's going on at school, but as my husband says, it's more of a glorified online newsletter. I have so many friends who write amazing blogs and could spend hours on their sites checking out their cool and new ideas about teaching and life, so I figured I would do the same and give it a try! Wish me luck! :)