Elf on the Shelf....? + Graphing Freebie!

I love all of you!  Thank you for your kind and sweet words... y'all really made me smile!  Okay, so today was somewhat depressing... I could really use another day, or four, off to lounge in my pajamas and shop and eat. :)

I am however super excited about the next 12 days with my babies!  Yes folks, you heard right.  12 teaching days + 2 conference days + 1 work day = Christmas Break!  Dang, 1st semester has FLOWN by.  This evening my super sweet husband and sweet friend Mo came and helped Christmasify my classroom.  I <3 my candy tree and my awesome gingerbread wreath. I'll have to post pictures tomorrow. Camera = dead. :(   I GOT MY ELF ON THE SHELF!!!!!   I am so super excited.  My hubby named him Frederick.  I can't wait to see the look on my kids faces tomorrow morning.  They are going to be pumped.

So... here's my question for y'all.  Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?  What kinds of silly/cute things does your elf do?  I need some tips here people.  For real.

Here's a quick freebie for your thoughts... :)
Have a great day back tomorrow!!!! 


Christmas Math Centers

Okay, I'm going to admit this.  And I'm only going to admit it here.  I'm totally intimidated by you bloggers!  I know thought I had good ideas... but lately (read: last 2 months of chicken-y behavior) I've been thinking otherwise.  I'm seeing SO many super cute and creative ideas that I have not felt inspired to share ANYthing.  Don't get me wrong - I LOVE reading everyone's blogs and incorporating new awesomeness, but I have to say it has left me feeling a little intimidated!

Now, I have been encouraged by my co-workers, friends, and my super sweet husband, and my early retirement from blogging is over.  I'm back baby!  And boy did I pick a super fun time to return to blogging -- I heart Christmas and all that it involves... Santa and Cookies and Magic, Oh my!!! :)

Okay, I'm working on updating my old printables to a newer, cuter format.  I'll be heading up to the school tomorrow to set up my classroom Christmas tree, and I'll try to remember to grab them.  Cross your fingers cause I'm definitely NOT an elephant.  I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached to my body, I swear it.  So, let's hope I remember!

I'm really excited about my math time this year - I've actually having math centers!  Everyday!  Stop the presses.  My math stations (centers & teacher time) run Monday thru Thursday, and we game it up on Friday's.  This next week we'll be starting our 2 week long unit on all things Christmas - Jesus (yes! He is the reason for the season!), Santa, that sneaky little G-Man, and all that jazz.  Here's what I have planned for my M.A.T.H. centers this week.

M. (Math Games): Teen Number Christmas Go Fish

A. (Art & Math): Equal & Not Equal Trees
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these centers!  My kids are equal/not equal experts.. seriously.  To play, they roll the dice and write the numeral they roll in the star.  Then, (& here's the FUN part) they glue "ornaments" (sequins, buttons, beads, etc.) to the trees to trim an equal and a not equal tree.  They think they're making art, and I get a quick assessment of who needs more equal/not equal practice!

T. (Target Skill Practice): Christmas Tree Lights Pattern Book (from Kim Adsit's Oh Christmas Tree! Packet)

H. (Hands On Practice): Gingerbread Measurement
Print these on LEGAL sized paper - I did this so they could be super varied in size.  The kinders measure using the gingerbread men and then record their findings. 
Click HERE to download this activity. 

Okay, that's it for tonight.  Maybe I'll actual be back tomorrow and come out of semi-retirement. :)  I'm back to my Christmas lifetime movies.  Anyone else love watching those?  Or is it just me?  Surely not.... If you like anything, please leave me a little ole comment... comments make me not want to hovel in the corner because I'm not creative.  Good night bloggy friends! 


Little Scientists!

Whew! What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been!  I met my new kinder kids -  & boy let me tell you, they are super, super sweet!  (Full of energy, but still, SUPER sweet! :) )

We are finally getting the hang of centers, we started our "reading" groups, and we are learning math stations.  I've been so inspired by all of you in blog land that I'm going against all I believe in (student choice, and all...) and trying Debbie Diller's Math Stations.  We're going to explore this week, and try for "real" next.  To say I'm nervous would be a HUGE understatement!  But, we'll see...

In addition to learning rules, routines, and basically how to be in kindergarten (which is oh so very different from pre-k, remember! lol!!), we've learned how to be little scientists!

I was inspired by the posts over at KindergartenKindergarten  I really want to focus on teaching them how to BE a scientist this year - we may "do" science, but I wanted them to fully understand just what science is!

So... we had our first experience with science last Thursday.  We learned how to use the scientific method (from Deanna Jump's super book @ TpT  Then, I decided we could learn about what a mixture was! HAHAHA!  No really, it was okay - we had a blast.  I wanted them to really understand what a mixture was because this week we started learning how to sort.  I was able to relate sorting to mixtures because they already had that background knowledge.  And... today during Stand Up Hand Up Pair Up, a student actually said that sorting was when you separate a mixture. SCORE!!!!!! :)

Okay, so to understand mixtures we made our own discovery bottles.  There are TONS of resources online for how to make discovery bottles, but for this, I just let the kids go c-raaaay-zy!  We talked about how mixtures could be objects (like jumbled up toys), liquids (like oil & water), or both (like vegetable soup!)  And then, we made our own discovery bottles - fun, fun, fun!

Here's a picture of one that a student made - he used vegetable oil, karo syrup, green food coloring, and beads.  

I let the kiddles choose 2 liquids and a "solid"... and well, of course a little glitter. Duh!  I wanted to take lots of pictures, but I don't have an assistant and this was totally hands on for me! lol.  I'm a total control freak, and I can't believe I actually let them pour some of the liquids... THEY were the scientists, so of course I had to. :)

To help the school to home connection, I made this experiment description sheet for the kiddies to take home and explain what we did to the mommies and daddies.  If you want to do the mixture bottle activity with your friends, download the info sheet HERE.

I also made cutesy little labels to go on their discovery bottles - you can get them HERE. (Let me know if the labels don't print right... I think they got messed up converting them to a pdf file!)  Just print and write their names in the open space, then stick to the discovery bottle.

So... this week we are learning about our 5 senses.  On Friday we will be experimenting with our sense of taste.  I made an experiment description sheet for that too.  Get it HERE.

Happy Science-ing!!!! :)


Teacher Talk Tuesday

Hey y'all!  Day 7 - done! :)

Today is Teacher Talk Tuesday over at Blog Hoppin'!  So, I'm supposed to give my *advice* for new teachers... HA!  I've got some mistakes I've learned from, but I am (in my small 6th year wisdom) FAAAARRRR from the *advice* giver! :)

Okay, here's 3 key mistakes I've learned from!

1. Stand your ground!!  Even though you are a new teacher, and most likely young - you have good ideas and you are a valuable asset to your school!  Let your ideas be heard & don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it, or that your kids will never be able to do what you think they can.  Try it!  If it fails miserably, you'll know better next year... lol  ;)

2. Communicate with Parents!! Do your best to let parents know EVERYthing that happens at school - newsletter, website, whatever - just let them in!  Parents want to feel like they are a part of their child's education, so make sure they get that feeling from you!  Happy notes work WONDERS, and you can NEVER communicate too much! ;)

3. Take time for yourself.  <ahem, Katy take your own *advice*!!>  Do not spend every waking moment at the school or working on school stuff.  You will never get it ALL done, so don't try.  You'll just stress yourself out and have anxiety problems. lol.  Do things that make you happy!  When you are happy, your little babies will be happy too!!!

Okay, biggest slice of my advice pie.... LOVE YOUR BABIES!!!!!  You only have them for 1 year, and then its gone.  Cherish your time together because come next August, you'll wish you had them again!!!!!

Have a great night everyone!!!! :)


Meet the Teacher Monday

WOOO!  I think I'm out of this blogging slump! :)  School started for us on August 1st... ICK.  Kids started staggering in on August 10th, and we finally got all of them on the 17th.  Today was a great day - they are learning our routines so quickly.  I'm a proud mama! ;)

So, anyway... to start off my return to blogging... I've decided to link up to Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week... cause, well, who doesn't love a celebration of teaching!?!?!  And... today is Meet the Teacher Monday!  I think this is perfect since I've really just started blogging..

Okay.  Me - I 've been teaching for going on 6 years now (man, it feels like just yesterday I was starting my very first 1st day!) - all in kindergarten!  5 of the 6 years have been in full day kindergarten, with one year being Title 1 Kindergarten Enrichment for 1/2 day students.  I absolutely LOVE teaching K.  It really is the best grade- a nice bridge from early childhood to the elementary grades.

I am married to my BEST friend, Daniel.  We have been married for just over a year, and we have 3 precious animal children - Abbie Grace, our yorkie; Tate, our old grey cat; and our new baby Molly Sue, a dog we are not sure of the breed, that we rescued from under the train tracks.

Abbie and Tate... long time enemies... now best friends! :)

What am I most looking forward to this year?
Well, teaching my new babies of course!  I'm excited about a new beginning and a chance to "do it right" this time... I feel that way every year it seems.  There's always things I want to do, but can't ever manage to get around to doing. And I feel that the new school year helps me to believe I can!
I'm also really excited about trying out all the new tips and activities I've learned from my blogging "friends" this summer.  Even though I'm a newbie, I've taken note of just about everything!!! :)

What do I need to improve?
TIME MANAGEMENT!! I think after 6 years, I've finally gotten the time management down in the classroom.. well, as down as it can be with 20 little 5 year olds!  But, I ALWAYS end up doing things I shouldn't (er, talking...) after school and have to stay 40 forevers.  Or, bring work home. ICK.  That cuts in to my blogging and pet bonding time. No fun.  So, this year, I REALLY want to work to write lesson plans throughout the week, not just on Sunday afternoons.  I want to prep materials throughout the week, not just on Sunday afternoon.  And I want Sunday's to get to be a relaxing start to the week, not a stress fest. 

I also want to improve on my math group time.  I'll be rearranging math time this year to have it mimmic reading time a little better, and I'm anxious and excited about how it will turn out!

What teaching supplies can I NOT live without?

MY MACBOOK PRO!!!!!  I know it's not a teaching "supply"... but it is my lifeline to my blogging network! :)


1. Dr. Pepper: It must run through my blood at all times. lol.
2. BLACK sharpies. Forget the colored kind.  They're alright... but nothing, and I mean nothing, beats a black sharpie!
3. Mavalus Tape! It really is a miracle tape.
4. Chlorox wipes.  I think I use a container a week. Ew - my classroom is germy!
5. My white rocking chair.  It makes me FEEL like a kindergarten teacher.  I <3 reading books from my chair and having my kinder kids crawl up in my lap in my chair when they need a hug or a little love.  And I love that it makes my room feel like a home. 

Okay, that's it for now!  Off to finish importing benchmark testing data for our TAP cluster meeting tomorrow!!!! I've got TONS of printables I've made for the first week of school - just trying to organize them into a unit maybe?  Hopefully I'll have it ready for this weekend! :)


Table Bucket Tags

Hey y'all!  Super late night... Meet the Teacher is tomorrow!  EEP!  I'll be sure to post and let you know how it goes.

Anyway, I thought I'd share my table bucket tags tonight before I go to bed.  I <3 tables in the classroom!  They are so tidy and organized.  To help keep them organized, I've got table buckets.  These house the kiddos shared supplies (crayons, pencils, those fabuloso pink pearl erasers, etc.) as well as mini word walls, and our ABC anchor chart.  These bucket tags are jungle themed.. just like my room.  And well, me too I guess. I heart zebra print. :)  They are free to print so enjoy, love, and use them! Night night!


A New Year!

Hello friends! :)

Phew!  What a whirlwind 2 weeks I've had.  Cheer camp @ Greatwolf Lodge.  Fun, fun!  My girls did AWESOME!  We got only Superior ribbons (blue & gold) and earned a Superior trophy out of over 30 teams and 450 participants!  We are a young team, and for them to do so well, makes me kind of like a proud mama. :)

Okay.  When I got back I had only ONE (yes, ONE!) week to get my room ready.  Our poor custodian was worked to the bone this year, and didn't have time to put everything back like he normally does.  So, I had my work cut out for me! Here are a few before pictures... EEEEK!

Yeah, that's totally my bathroom.  Full of new reading materials!  Anyone use Harcourt Storytown??


Sooo... I basically lived at the school last week.  Well, me and my WONDERFUL husband, that is. :)  He is SO awesome to help me, each and every summer.  He is my expert cleaner, and secret trasher.  I have a secret.  I am a bit of a hoarder! ;)  I tend to hold on to things if nothing but for that "Well, I MIGHT need it again one day!" feeling.  So, while I'm not looking, he chunks. It's a great system.

Anyway, I'm FINALLY done cleaning.  And, I've been working on my back to school paperwork!!  I <3 that stuff.  New folder labels, new desk tags, new cubby tags... ah, such fabuloso stuff!!!!!

So... here's a pic of my outside wall.  <3 it!  My sweet hubby hung those "vines." :)

I can't wait to post pics of my classroom.  I always feel so proud once I'm done.  Is that just me?  Or does anyone else feel that way?

Okay, here's a free printable for today.  A quick transportation form.  It is SO important to make sure you know exactly how all your babies will get home.  And it helps that they're cute! :)  Just click on the picture to download!

And... here's just a little something I made this afternoon.  I always make the kids desk tags each month with some cute little clip-art that matches our theme.  But, I never have at the beginning of the year.  I decided to give it a try.  Here's what I came up with!  Download if you like it! (And, leave me a comment, pretty pretty please!)

Clicky on the picture! 

Another looooong post!  Hopefully I'll be more regular now that I'm back in the swing of school - and they won't be so long.  More to come tomorrow...  Meetings all day. I'll be thinking of all y'all lying on the beach or in a pool somewhere.  Tan a little for me please! :)


Busy me = Stuff for you!

Good Sunday Afternoon!  I'm totally avoiding cleaning my house and packing for cheerleading camp.  So... I thought I'd post my new job chart cards. I have totally been avoiding school work this summer, for the the first summer ever. I don't know what's gotten into me!  Anyway, I've got cheer camp next week with my cheerleaders (did I mention I'm the Varsity cheerleading sponsor too? lol), and then only ONE week to get my room ready!  Eeeeek!  So, expect lots of back to school printables and forms in the coming 3 weeks!

To get this going, I'm sharing my job chart cards.  I absolutely LOVE the way I do my jobs.  I've tried practically every way known to man, and finally found one that works for me and my class.

I like to use a pocket chart to organize my job chart.  I'm all about making everything a teachable moment, so I've got my job chart in with my line up chart.  I have the kids line up using ordinal numbers.  My chart is at school, so no picture! :(  But... I'll try to explain it the best I can!

So... I have the kids names on cards, and every Monday I just rotate up.  The "leader" (fantastic first) becomes the "caboose"(lucky last).  The job cards stay next to the ordinal numbers.  It's kind of cool that by Thanksgiving they're noticing that the calendar helper is always 3rd, or the class librarian is always 12th, etc.  

I have found this to be totally easy to do as a teacher (I only have to mess with it once a week!), as well as beneficial for my students.  I think seeing the ordinal numbers every day and having to use them multiple times each day really helps with their understanding of this tricky concept. It also helps avoid all those lining up tiffs my kinder kids always seemed to get into.  This way, they know their spot, and I can control who they stand by. ;)

If you would like a copy of my job chart cards you can get them HEREHERE, and HERE.  Sorry!  I'm still learning how to convert to .pdf... I didn't realize I could put all three pages together!  I do now though. ;)

I hope you can use these in your room!  I'm off to (ugh!) pack & clean for cheerleading camp.  Maybe I can find time to sneak away from 15 teenage girls to blog while I'm gone!  I'm so ready to be back and in my classroom!!!  

Youtube blocked at school? Got you covered!!

Good morning!!!  I've been up early this morning making chicken spaghetti for a benefit here in town.  But, in between boiling chicken and mixing sauce, I managed to type up those directions for saving videos from youtube!  I made a printable reference sheet so you can have it with you when you need it!  It really is  SUPER easy though!  Once you do it a couple of times, you'll be a pro!

Click HERE to get this printable. 

Hope this helps y'all!  I can't wait to hear about how you use the youtube videos in your classroom!  Well, off to church I go.  Enjoy your Sunday!!!


Songs, Songs, Songs!

I'm was so excited to wake up this morning and see that Hadar at Miss Kindergarten has started a Linky Party!!! And... it's for my favorite of all favorite things!  SONGS!!!  If any of you know me personally, and have been in my classroom, you know that I make up songs for EVERYTHING.  I make them up all day long--- well actually, most of them end up being some kind of songy-chant thing, mostly because I can't carry a tune in a bucket!

Anyway, here's one of my favorite carpet songy-chant things. My kids are singing it to me by the 2nd day of school.  Does that mean I sing it too much?? lol.  It doesn't re ally have a set tune - you can singy-chant it how you want too! ;)  I learned this WAAAAAY back in college when I worked at the child development center on campus.  I'm thinking it may be Dr. Jean (not sure though!).  I added the last part about the criss-cross, etc. once I started teaching.  I needed a quick way to review the rules of the rug before I began a lesson, and this was the perfect way!

You can download this song in pdf format by clicking HERE.

Here's another favorite of mine that we singy-chant to practice the word wall!  I just made this up one day about 4 years ago, and it stuck! I usually pick the first child, and then they get to pick a friend as we sing.  When it's their turn, they go to the word wall and choose a word.  Then, we all spell it according to the spelling "chant" (movie star kisses, clap it out, chicken spelling, body spelling, etc.) that the selector wants!  It only takes about 3-5 minutes, and it's a great way to interactively review those sight words!! I tend to stretch it out as I'm "singing" it.  If you want the "tune" comment me and I'll try to figure out how to record my awful singing, so you can hear it!

You can download this in a pdf by clicking HERE.

I also want to share with you one of my MOST FAVORITE kindergarten teachers!!! MR. HARRY!!!  If you don't know Mr. Harry, then you are totally missing out.  He has great video songs that you can play on your smartboard, and the kids can sing along!  I use him ALL the time!  He has some great songs about hard-to-grasp math concepts, as well as letter songs and songs that teach character traits.  I love, love, love his "Share that Story" mini-song for share time during Writer's Workshop!

Anyway, here's one of my most favorite videos from Mr. Harry.  Coincidently, it was the first one I ever played in my room - and my kids LOVED it!  These are great ways to transition to math time, or whatever!  Oh!  And if youtube is blocked at your school (like it is at mine!!)  I found a great online converter!  Details next blog post! :)

Phew!  That was a LOOONG post!  But great!  I'm going to go get started on those directions for converting youtube files!  Enjoy the songs, and be sure to visit Miss Kindergarten for all the musical fun at her Linky Party!!! :)

Y'all have a blessed day!!!!!



I'm super pumped about this giveaway!  Jenn at Finally in First has 800 followers!  She's giving away any item from her teacherspayteachers store, AND there are 8 ways to win!  Go check it out!  I'm hoping to win the Sweet Shop Candy Coin Counting game.  It looks fun! :)

P.S.  I went to Lakeshore!!!!!!!  <3!

lazy, lazy summer

Okay, so I know what you are thinking.  Look lady, you just started this "teaching" blog, and now you're posting about other stuff?!?  what the crap.

Well... it is summer vacation isn't it?  And I admit, I haven't been as school focused this summer as I usually am.  Maybe it's because I taught summer school for 19 long, miserable days?  I don't know.  NEVER AGAIN!!  lol.  That was 12 kinds of torture.  And... it made me not even want to think about my own classroom or my own babies in that wonderful school so far, far away. ;)

So... this leads me to my post.  I (well, me and my super helpful husband) made this precious, adorable wreath for a friend of a friend who is having a baby.  I'm thinking about maybe making one for my classroom.

Thoughts?  I want to hear it.  The good, bad and ugly.  Is it even cute? lol.

Annnnd..... while here at my parents casa in the valley of the sun, we made a flying trip to California to pick up a race car (long story, lol).  And, I got to see some ELEPHANT SEALS!!!!!  Yes, they were precious, and stinky.  I <3 them.

We also got to stick our feet in the lovely PACIFIC OCEAN!  And, yes, I know that doesn't seem all that fascinating, but... to a Louisiana girl who only ever sees the gulf, it was great!

Nothing at all like the beaches in AL or FL.  We had to go rock climbing to get to the sand. lol.  Anyway, it was still pretty.

Okay, I'm off to make my list for Lakeshore.  Mom & Dad gave me a gift card for Christmas and I have yet to spend it.  I'm totally going shopping today.

My First Post!!

I'm so super excited to join the blogging world!  I have wanted to have my OWN kindergarten blog for the longest time... and now I do!!! :)  I can't wait to post all the fun things I have planned for my kinder kids this year - and all the fun things I'm doing in my own life too!

Once I get back home (I'm on "vacation" at my parent's now!), and can get in my classroom... I'll be posting lots of new printables for back to school! :)  I <3 printables!!!!!

I love reading teaching blogs, and I hope that y'all love reading mine too!

,,, did I mention how excited I am to have my own blog?!?!?!  <3!