Thursday, October 30, 2014

What I Did Right This Week!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

Well, another week down, and I'm not counting how many more to go!
I am tired, so, so, tired, and I think that it's a good thing.
I feel like I've been teaching my butt off this week!

I'm here for another installment of...

So, as you all know, I've been on my soapbox about wanting to be more
intentional in my teaching. It's been awesome to have the support 
from my principal, and the state superintendent to do whatever it takes!
I tell you guys all of the time about how our state superintendent said that
you have my permission to break the rules. 
You can read that article here

This week I went all out. I straight up did my own thing the entire week,
I looked at the standards, and I just simply taught!
And I must say, it's so freeing!!
I also feel like my kiddos got more out of it. They were engaged, so they
were learning even more!


I'm off of my soapbox.

For now.

Another thing that I did right: We wrote every single day this week!!
I'm so proud of myself and my kiddos, because there were some days that we definitely
were not getting to it. This is such an important skill, and I am determined
 that we ARE going to do writing EVERY DAY!!

Feel free to link-up about what you did right this week!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Talking About Books ~ Nightsong

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?
I'm linking up with Deanna Jump this week for

 It's bat week in my classroom, and there's nothing that I love better than a good read-aloud.
The book that I'm going to talk to you about today was brought to my attention 
by my sweet friend Sarah Cooley over at First Grader...At Last!

Nightsong tells the story of Chiro, a young bat who must fly out 
into the world for the first time. He is nervous, because the night is dark,
and when it is that dark outside, he cannot see.
His mother gently reminds him that there are other ways to see.
She tells him to use his good sense, which is the song that he sings out to the world,
and then the song will sing back to him. 
(I thought that this was a good way to explain echolocation!)
She also tells him not to fly to far, not unless his song is sure.

He begins to fly on his own, realizes that he cannot see, and he is frightened.
He remembers his mother's words, and begins to sing softly at first, and then louder. 
As he sings, something sings back to him, and his path is made clear.
At the end of the story, as the morning dawns, he begins his journey home.

I really feel in love with this story, and I hope you will as well. 
Click below for more information!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What I Did Right This Week!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? 

The seasons are changing, it's getting cooler outside, and I love it!!

However, it also comes with the crud!!

I don't have the full-blown crud, but I definitely 

feel cruddy-like, let me tell you!

I'm back for this week's 

It's no secret that the push for using every second of your day is the rule.

In their (you know who they are) ideal world, there would be no recess, no nap time, no nothing!

It's been a struggle for me, because I believe that they deserve recess!!

Come on, they're five!

I also believe that they deserve nap time, you can tell they're tired!

However, we have not been getting to every subject like I want to.

We do reading and math of course, but I wanted to find a way to get everything in!

As time has gone by, and they learn to do some things faster, we're starting to

be able to get more and more in. 

I have been doing some tweaking with my schedule, and with how I've been teaching!

I'm so happy to say that I've been fitting everything in, including writing,

which was my biggest concern!!

It's a great feeling as a teacher to know that you're getting to everything that you need to!

I plan and hope to get better and better at it!!

What did you do right this week?

Feel free to link up below!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Favorite, Pumpkin Week!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going!

It seems like Fall just got here, and it's speeding

like a bullet train!!

I'm here to share with you what we did this week for Pumpkin Week!

Students were out on Monday, Columbus Day,

and once they came back to school on Tuesday, I realized that I'd 

scheduled Pumpkin Week on a short week!!! 

What in the world was I thinking!!

So, we didn't get to everything like we usually do,

but we did a LOT of stuff!!

We started off by taking a survey of who liked and didn't like pumpkin.

I created the survey.....

...and we used the recording page from Rhonda Baldacchino's pumpkin unit. 

I bought a pumpkin, and we used adjectives to describe our pumpkin.

Then, we discussed the pumpkin life cycle,

which can be found in Deanna Jump's Pumpkin Patch unit

Next, came our pumpkin investigation.

We counted the lines on our pumpkin...

...measured the circumference of our pumpkin...

and we learned if our pumpkin would sink or float!

While the kiddos were recording their results......

....I was recording our results as well on a large version of the recording sheet.

The most exciting part was when we cut the pumpkin open!!

We talked about what it looked like on the outside,

and wrote down our observations.

After we cut it open, we wrote down our observations.

For our taste portion of the week, I baked pumpkin muffins!!

I don't have a secret recipe, this is what I use....'s fabulous, and it gets the job done!!

I had planned for us to read/watch Spookley the Square Pumpkin,

but they watched it in counseling instead (go figure). 

That's ok, because we were definitely doing our Spookley craft!

Oh, by the way, here are some pumpkin freebies, hope you can use them!!

Just click on any picture to download!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bright Ideas: Organizing All Of That Stuff!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going on a Saturday morning?

It's been a crazy week, and I had a ton of fun, but I must say,

I'm so very glad that it's the weekend!

I'm back with the...

Today, I want to talk about organization!

After moving back into our school after a two-year absence,

and we all got shuffled around to new classrooms.

My current room is in the original kindergarten wing, and you guessed it,

it has the smallest classrooms in the school!!

I've been trying to find a way to keep up with my growing stack of centers 

and materials, but it's a mess!!  These are the size of all of the cabinets under the counter... let me show you the inside!!

Yup, I told you, it's a mess!!

A few years ago, I came up with the bright idea (or not so bright idea)

to put everything in these humongous ziplock bags, since the bags would be

large enough to hold the center materials, including the recording sheets. 

Go ahead, keep scrolling so you can get a good laugh!

Um-hmmmm.....I hear you laughing.....keep scrolling...

I even tried to label them.

I'm sure that you can only imagine how things can get 'lost' in a bag that big!

I'm in the process of trying to convert to using what I call back to school crates,

and hanging file folders, etc.

The picture below is my playing around with it, to see how I liked it.

I think that instead of having individual activities,

I'm going to have months. 

For example, I'm going to have October through December in one crate,

and have about 3-4 folders for each month.

This way, I can fit every center and recording sheet inside!!

If there is enough room, I may even begin to pull different materials

such as thematic books to place in the file as well.

Can you imagine how easy this would make my life?

Now I've got to go ahead and get started on my January - March crate,

so I can be organized!

If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, join me on Facebook,

Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more great ideas!

There are more great ideas available, just click through the link-up below!

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