Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tag, I'm it!

Angela over at The Daily Alphabet and Kaleigh over at Kaleigh's Klassroom have tagged me in a blog game! I have to tell 12 things about myself, then answer 12 questions from the person who tagged me, and then create 12 brand NEW questions.

First, 12 things about me:
1.  I attended Abilene Christian University from 2000 -2004.

2.  I did mission work in France in 2003.

3.  I attended 22 schools from the start of Kindergarten until I graduate high school.

4.  I LOVE dachshunds!!!!

5.  I once worked as a chef in Chatham, MA (Cape Cod).

6.  I was recently name the District Teacher of the Year for my school district, Pflugerville ISD.

7.  I LOVE reading!

8.  I LOVE Jesus!

9.  Pink is my favorite color.

10.  I want to own a bakery when I retire.

11.  I actually love to clean and organize.

12.  I am obsessed with red pandas and wish I could have one of my own.  

Now on to Angela's questions:

1.  If you were not a teacher, what would you be?  I would own a bakery.

2.  Paper or plastic.  Neither - I am the reusable bag kind of girl.

3.  What is one thing that you wish you had learned when you were younger?  I wish I had learned Spanish.  I studied French, but being a Texas gal, Spanish may have been a little more useful.

4.  What advice would you give to novice teachers that you wished you had received?  I would suggest that they become a blog stalker.  Ha ha ha!  There are so many fabulous ideas to be found.

5.  Do you like technology? Why or why not?  Oh yes!  I love keeping in touch with people that I cannot see often.  Oh, and because of blogging!

6.  How and why did you begin blogging? I started blogging this month (January) because I have been told I should share my ideas more by other teachers.

7.  Do you have a class pet? Why or why not?  I had a precious hamster, Fluffy, for a few years, but she passed away.  I am looking into getting a hedgehog.  I like the responsibility children learn with having a pet in the room.

8.  If there was one thing that you wished you were allowed to do in your classroom, what would it be?  I wish we could cook in our classroom - like have an actual kitchen.  We do things on our hot plate, but it's not the same.

9.  What is your classroom decor style?  Bees - they're "bee"utiful!

10.  Where do you want to be in 3 years?  I want to be in our same home and be in the same classroom.  I love the way things are right now.

11.  What is something that you wished you would have done differently in the beginning of your teaching career?  Created a better file system... sigh.

12.  What will you do this weekend?  I spend almost every Saturday at the school.  I love the quiet time in the building to be productive.  Then church and a nap on Sunday.

Now onto Kaleigh's questions:
1.  What is your favourite children's book?  Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse - I even got to meet Kevin Henkes last year!

22.  Where is your favourite place to shop for teaching 
       materials?  Lakeshore
33.  Where would you go on a dream vacation?  Paris, France - I have already been there, but want to go back.
44.  What advice do you have to new bloggers like myself?  Unfortunately, I am new too.  No advice to offer... sigh.
55.  What is your favourite T.V. show?  Either Glee or Cake Boss
66.  What do you do to relax after a long day at school?  Blog stalk on the sofa with my two dachshunds next to me - they're right next to me right now - bark bark!
77.  If you HAD to pick the blog that most inspires you, who`s would it be?  Welcome to Room 36 - I love Jessica's ideas and creativity AND she is a Texas gal like me!  I also adore Julie Lee and Kathleen Pederson.  Oh and Deanna Jump!
88.  What is your favourite snack food?  Red grapes or cheese
9.  How many years have you been teaching?  8 fabulous years 
10. Can you describe your classroom in one word? What is it?  Buzzing
11. What is your favourite educational website?  Proteacher
12. Will you purdy please follow my blog? YES!!!
Now onto my questions:
1.  What is your favorite movie of all time?
2.  Why did you decide to become a teacher?
3.  What is your favorite transition activity in your classroom?  
4.  Do you have any pets at home?  What are they?
5.  What book(s) are you currently reading?
6.  What is your favorite Science topic to teach your students?
7.  What is your favorite holiday?
8.  Where were you born?
9.  What is your favorite type of food?
10?  What time do you wake up to get ready for school?
11.  What is your favorite scent?
12.  Did you watch the Kindergarten Expo?  (It was awesome!)
Now onto tagging 12 others...
1.  Jessica at Welcome to Room 36!
3.  Kelly at Kindergarten Kel
4.  Kristen at Ladybug Teacher Files
5.  Steph at Teaching in Room 6
6.  Kathleen at Growing Kinders
7.  Vickie at Mrs. Plant's Press 
8.  Meredith at Keen on Kindergarten

9.  Krystal at Kreative in Kinder

11.  Hadar at Miss Kindergarten
12.  Jamie at Mrs. Maya's Kindergarten  

Thanks for the fun time!!!!

100th Day of School

I am sooooooo excited, overjoyed, ecstatic, and full of elation about the 100th day of school!  It's THIS Friday and I am totally more excited than my students, I think.  Kinder cuties just don't quite understand yet, but they know something exciting is coming!  One thing we are doing to prepare for the big day is a service project.  My class started a food drive yesterday (Monday).  Our goal is to collect 100 cans by Friday.  Here is our collection after just one day.  

We are going to count our collection each day until Friday.  We are also dobbing (is that a word?) a hundreds chart with a bingo dobber to show how much we have collected.  I did not take a photo of our hundreds chart, but I am sure you get the idea.  

I am also soooooo excited to wear my cool t-shirt I got to celebrate the day.

It's my first year in Kinder, so this shirt just about sums it up.  I came from second grade.  Love me some second graders, but I love these cuties ooddles and cadoodles!  When I taught second grade, I would celebrate the 101st day of school.  Always trying to be different.  We would bring in a white shirt and add 101 black dots, create doggy ears, and a collar with 101 Froot Loops.  Check out some of my second graders on my website.   

I'll post more of our celebration on Friday after we have celebrated being 100 days smarter!

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Webiste

I wanted to share my classroom website.  Click on the picture below to visit my buzzing little room!

I have maintained it for a few years now.  I used to teach second grade and had TONS more materials on there for second grade teachers.  This is my first year in kindergarten, so I have been changing it a lot and adding kindergarten materials all the time for teachers.  I miss second grade and have sooooo many fabulous memories there, but I LOVE kindergarten and believe this is the place God wants me to be.  :)

Awesome give-a-way!

Kindergarten Kel is having a fabulous give-a-way!  Click on the picture below to visit her blog and get a goodie!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rhyme Dog

I wanted to share a song and puppet that I use to reinforce rhyming words with my students.  His name is Rhyme Dog.

I am not sure if the puppet is really a dog, but I decided he was.  My cuties LOVE Rhyme Dog time.  I started using Rhyme Dog as a transition activity.  We all know Kindergarten is FULL of transitions.  I have tons of activities that I use whenever we are meeting on the rug to keep my students who are already on the rug engaged and learning while other students are cleaning up and heading toward the rug. 

I start Rhyme Dog by saying "What time is it?" and the cuties reply, "Rhyme Dog time!"  Then he sings a rhyming song to them using the cards in the picture above.  Click on Rhyme Dog's photo above to print off his song and begin using it tomorrow!

Hallway Friend

I just wanted to send a quick post before church about a little friend in my classroom.  

His name is Canyon and he is a Beanie Baby that travels the hallways with my class and rides on the shoulders of a student who is following our hallway expectations.  I chose the cougar cub beanie since our school mascot is the cougar cubs.  He really helps my students do what is right in the hallway.  One of the most exciting things about Canyon is he eats lunch with the student who had him on their shoulder when we enter the cafeteria.  
Have a super Sunday!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Silly Syllables

We have been practicing syllables this syllables and I am ONE HAPPY TEACHER!  Wow wee wow!  These kids rock!  We started the week with Fran Kramer's Winter Syllable Book and used tambourines to beat out the syllables.

We also blew out our syllables with party blowers with Julie Lee's Frosty Fun Unit on TPT.

I also created a document that had a picture of all my students and a line underneath to record the syllables in their friends' names.  We used slinkies to stretch the syllables in our friends' names.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Give-a-way!

Crazy for First Grade is having a give-a-way!  
Click the picture above to enter!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Classroom Library

I was recently asked to be a guest teacher at my university, Abilene Christian University.  I was asked to teach about the Daily 5 and how I utilize this method of classroom management in my Kindergarten classroom.  I LOVE the Daily 5!
I strongly believe that you need an organized classroom library in order to help your Daily 5 go smoothly.  One component of Daily 5 is Read to Self.  During Read to Self, students read books on their level that they choose to keep in their book box.  When your library is in order, this component of Daily 5 can be enjoyable for the students and the teacher.  Here is a picture of some of my kinder cuties' book boxes.

I purchased them from IKEA and allowed students to decorate them.

Now onto the library organization.  When I started organizing my library, I organized my books by topic.  I just sorted them based on what books I already owned.  I didn't go off a recommended list since I may not have had books that fit into those recommended categories.  Then I divided each category into book bins I purchased from Lakeshore.  Then I created a label for the book bins with a picture to match the label.  I also added a number to the label.

I printed a second copy of the label and attached it to the bookshelf where the book bins stay.  This helps my cuties know where the book bin goes once they have finished searching through it.

Then I take colored circle labels and attach them to the back of each book.  I write the number on the circle labels that matches the book bin the book will go into.

Now students can choose books by topic and know where to return them when they are finished enjoying them.  Here are two pictures of my library.

I also have a leveled library so my cuties can search for books that are more readable (is that a word?) to them.  I purchased these book bins from Calloway House because they have three compartments inside of them.  I use two of the them, so that allows me six compartments to hold six different levels of books.  I divided my emergent readers by level and then placed them into the six different compartments.  I also place a different colored circle sticker on each compartment of the book bins.

I then placed the matching colored sticker onto each book in each compartment.  

Now students can choose books on their level and know where to return them. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sprinkles to Kindergarten!

Okay, so ever since I was about 17 years old I have always said "Sprinkles to you!" when someone does something good.  I still (13 years later) say this little saying when someone does something exciting or that makes me smile, so I decided to rename my blog Sprinkles to Kindergarten!  I say this to my kindergarten cuties often and even have a brain sprinkles can that I shake over their heads when they do something smart.  The can is filled with beads and bells to make noise as I shake it over their heads.

I thought I would share a picture of this little can of cheer so you can make your own.  Click on the picture to print the label.  Oh, and make sure you hot glue the lid onto the can.  :)

Sprinkles to Kindergarten!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I wanted to post about my newsletters that I send home every other week.  I always post the first page of my newsletter on my classroom website, but it takes up too much storage space to upload the second page.  

The first page looks like this.

I give a few reminders for upcoming events, share exciting news about our room, tell thank you's to parents for helping out, and state what we will be learning about over the next two weeks.

The second page looks like this.

On the second page, I show photos of projects we did in class and give little tips for parents to help their child continue their learning at home.  

I copy the pages front to back and place them in a sheet protector in each kinder cuties' BEE folder.  I also hang them outside our classroom door.

Dixie the Dachshund

Dixie the Dachshund is a weekend traveling friend who visits kindergarten cuties' homes.  She comes in a bag that I ordered from VistaPrint.  If you don't know about VistaPrint, go check it out and sign up for the emails.  You can get FREE stuff.  You can see some of my VistaPrint creations here.

Inside the bag, my cuties will find Dixie, her journal in which they complete a journal entry, Dixie's favorite books, a check list of materials in the bag, Dixie's scrapbook, and her food and water bowl.  


My cuties LOVE taking Dixie home.  In order to take her home, students had to get a permission slip for signed.  I placed all of the permission slips in a basket and I pick one slip each Friday.  That slip goes in the trash, so that each student can take Dixie one time.  Click here to visit my website to learn more about Dixie.

Speaking of dachshunds, I just had to post a picture of my two doxies, Daisy and Duke.  Aren't they cute!?!?!

Where's the Bear?

I wanted to post a pick of another favorite sight word game of my cuties.  It's called Where's the Bear.  I labeled Dixie cups with sight words.  Then I turn them over onto a tray and hide a bear underneath one cup.

Then students take turns reading a word.  I pick up the cup of the word that was read to see if the bear is under that word.  Sometimes I pick up a wrong word to see if they catch me.  They haven't let me down yet!

Another Graph

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  We had the day off today, so I headed to the school to get some projects finished.  Of course teachers are never finished with their work, but I was able to mark a few things off the to-do list.  

I did created this graph to complete this week.  My cuties will complete a survey first and then we will make the graph together.  

Click here to get the survey and the title for this graph.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sight Word Games

I LOVE playing sight word games with my cuties.  I just finished creating a new sight word BUMP game to play next week.  You can download it here.

One of our absolute favorite sight word games is called King's Crown.  I purchased this cheap crown from Michael's for only $1.  I pick a child to come up to my chair and I place the crown on his or her head.  Then I tape a sight word on the crown so that everyone can see the word except for the King.  The other students give clues about the word and the King has to guess the sight word on the crown.

Another game we play is called Roll a Sight Word.  I created sight word dice from SEN Teacher and a recording paper.  Students roll the dice and record their word on the recording sheet.

Click on the picture above to 
print off a recording sheet.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Measuring Teddy Bears

I just had to post about our Teddy Bear Investigations that we did on Thursday.  We all brought a bear to school, since it was pajama day to celebrate our PBIS party, and compared our bears to other bears, measured our bears, and compared our bear's weight to my bear's weight.  Here are a few pictures of our investigating.

Maya is measuring how many cubes 
tall is her teddy bear.

Comparing the weight of one teddy bear to my polar bear (his name is Paul R. Bear).

Click here, if you would like a copy or our investigation.

I hope you have a beary good day!!!!

Text to Text Connections

This week we read The Missing Mitten Mystery and compared it to The Mitten which we read last week.  Here is a picture of our Venn diagram we used for comparing.

Click on the picture above to print off the cards.


One lesson I taught to help my cuties understand relative temperature involved learning how mittens keep our hands warm.  We completed this experiment chart together to help us with our thinking. 


We answered the first section before I introduced our materials for our experiment.  We used these crazy cute mittens and two thermometers to conduct our experiment.

Then a picked a helper to keep her hand in one mitten with the thermometer and hold the other mitten.

While my little helper stood at the front of the room being our experiment, the other students were heading to their tables to draw the experiment.  We added their drawings to the chart.

After a few minutes, we checked the thermometers and learned that the mitten that had a hand in it was warmer.  Then we completed our chart.

More Graphs

We created more graphs this week.  One of my favorites was "Can you blow a bubble?".  I found a similar idea on Pinterest.  If you are not aware of Pinterest, think of ESPN for women.  Yes, it's that addicting.  Anyways, here is a picture of our completed graph.

Before we made the graph, I made my kinder cuties blow a bubble for me in order to stamp 'YES' on the graph.  They were a hoot to watch!  If you ever need a few minutes of down time in a kinder classroom, just give them some bubble gum!

What a week...

What an emotional week!  I learned last Sunday that one of my aunt's passed away.  She was a wonderful person who is not suffering anymore.  It is a blessing to know that she is in heaven now.  Her funeral was yesterday, so it has been a whirlwind of 24 hours - filled with travel and emotions.  

Yesterday was also my assistant principal's last day at my school.  He was asked to move to a middle school.  Since I couldn't be there for the official good-bye day, my kinder cuties made a card for him on Thursday.  I used this picture to make the card.

To Mr. Pitsch and Aunt Terri, we will miss you.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More Seasons Activities

Today we continued our seasons study.  We started out by reviewing the seasons and completing a signs of the seasons sort.

I placed a bunch of seasonal manipulatives into baggies and allowed students to sort the items into the four seasons. 

We also created these little seasons hats.  They glued the picture that represented each season in order to make seasons pattern hat.

Click on the picture above to download the pieces to make your own hat.

We also created our Season's Science Wall together.  For each unit we study, we add things to the wall that help us understand our unit better.  Here is a picture of some of the things we added today.

After we finish studying a topic, I remove the items that we placed on the wall so that it can have space for all the new materials we will add next.

Donors Choose

I am so excited!  Today these packages came in the mail for me.

They were my latest two Donors Choose projects!  Look at the fun that was inside of them.

AlphaTubs and Digraphs and Blends Tubs

Emergent Readers and Word Wands

Now I need to sort all of the books into my leveled library.  Here is a picture of my leveled library.

I placed a dot sticker on each of the different sections of the divided tubs that I purchased from Calloway House.   Then I placed the books in the sections of the tubs by level (A-6).  Last I placed the same color sticker on the spine of each book so students can return the books to their correct leveled section.

Even though it will be a lot of work, I am so excited to get these new books ready for our leveled library for my Kinder cuties to use!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


This week we started learning about seasons in Science.  I was so excited to start this unit - then our winter here in Austin, Texas, made it really hard to teach about winter.  It is currently super sunny and 71 degrees in our marvelous city.  Not really the best temperatures to teach about winter.  Sigh...

One activity we did to help us understand that the seasons are in a pattern was I chose two different students to be in the middle of our circle.  They each wore one of these hats:

I made the hats by taping a sun and an earth to a sentence strip.  Then the student wearing the earth hat rotated around the sun while the rest of the students chanted "winter, spring, summer, fall"  a few times.  

We also read this book

then created our Tree for All Seasons book.  I got this idea from Mrs. Saylor's blog.

Click on the picture above to print the cover.

You can print the poems on Mrs. Saylor's blog.

We are continuing the seasons this week.  I will post more pictures soon.


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