Thursday, June 30, 2016

Color Pals
 Here are the Color Pals! We make these to go along with our color words. They are also great for PreK and even younger! Color Pals a little book/friend that students make to learn the color word and items that are that specific color. Take a look at the pics. In my class, anything with arms and legs is a hit. Not sure why, but they love it and they love crafts. Check out Color Pals in my TpT Store. 

Colors included are:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Communication Calendars

I have been to a training this month titled AVID. I am sure many of you have been to similar training. I was in San Diego for 3 days in which we learned how to get students thinking about learning, success, and their future. As a Kindergarten teacher, I was very hesitant about this. All I knew of AVID was that students kept gigantic binders and we were checked on every now and again. As a K teacher I was certain the program was not for us.

I was that obnoxious student at the training, asking question after question because I could not relate it to my self. After a lot of one-on-one time with my trainer (Abby Nylander, who is very patient and pretty great!), I began to see what AVID is all about. It is not just about the binder people! It's a mindset, a culture and a lot of what I have already been doing in my class.

One of the great things that AVID gives us is the guidelines on keeping students organized and focused. I decided to take my normal parent communication tool and tune it a little. Many of you have seen my Behavior Calendars. I have been using them for years and they allow parents to see how their child behaved during the school day. I altered it over the years and added events, like holidays and non-school days. I added minimum days, field trips, and anything else that seemed relevant to parents.

AVID has given me the idea to take it one step further. My Behavior Calendars are now Communication Calendars. They are completely editable. I will also add a box for parents to sign during the week, as a check that they are communicating with me. Giving parents access to information is a powerful thing. Giving YOU, the teacher, access is priceless.
Check out my new calendars. Please give me feedback, as I am going to be using these in a new way this year. I will be encouraging my parents to add to the calendar. Soccer games, trips out of town, doctor appointments, mom's due date, etc. are all things that we want our parents and students to share with us. Let them share!

I will be adding more posts in the future on HOW I plan to modify my calendars. But, in case you want to get a head start, all you will need to do once you download the PowerPoint is to add a text box.

In PowerPoint, go to the Insert tab, click add a text box and place it anywhere in the calendar you want. Presto! Instant communication!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Shark Week!

 Yes!!!!!!!!! Finally!! I LOVE Shark Week!
 And in honor of shark week, I would like to share with you my catch of the day. I was ocean fishing in La Jolla, CA on Friday and look who ended up on the end of my line? This is a shovel nose shark. I was using shrimp as bait and this guy loves shrimp. He and I had a Kodak moment, and then I tossed him back into the sea. It was very exciting, though!

Here is a little activity for you to use this week if you are teaching or at home with your kiddos. This is a science book and the title says it all!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Science Journal: Polar Animals

Busy, busy, busy! I am headed to San Diego this week for training, so I am trying to cram in as much new stuff as I can before I leave. Awhile ago I began my new My Science Journal: Polar Animals and Rainforest. I have finally finished my polar animal journal (which is funny, because it is SUMMER!) But, oh well! Better late than never! Take a look!
I will be adding my rainforest unit soon. I just need to make the monkey!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Shape Unit Update!

I have updated My Kindergarten Shapes unit. I have added a few new pages for star, heart and triangle. If you have already purchased the unit, please download the updated version. If not, go check it out!

The Behavior Contract
The Behavior Contract

We all  need one. Adults and students alike. This contract is something I give out at the beginning of the year to students and parents. I give this out at our Kindergarten Meet and Greet. Parents will go over the behavior expectations for my class and will sign the contract along with their child. I save these contracts and will pull them out if needed for various reasons. Sometimes it is just a reminder to students that they promised to follow the rules. Sometimes it is for SSTs or IEPs. Either way, this is something that my Kindergarten team uses to make a clear statement on classroom expectations. Please click here is you would like an editable copy. And here if you would like it in PDF. This contract is in both English and Spanish. :)

FREEBIE Behavior Notes

Here is a freebie that I get asked about all the time. These are my Behavior Notes that get sent home with students at the end of the day. These notes are in my Behavior Calendars that I will be updating by the end of the month.

Editable Stamp It Page

Hi everyone,
I am trying to finally catch up on all of my TpT questions and requests. I apologize for my serious lack of timeliness. The end of the year just got away from me. One of the requests I had was to put an editable version of my Sight Word Stamp It! page. So, here it is!
To edit this page you will need to download the tracing font onto your computer. The font is

Download this font and then open the file. There will be an install button at the top left. Install this BEFORE you open the stamp it page file. Once it is installed you should have no problem editing the words so that they match what you are working on. Hope this helps!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Parent-Teacher Communication

Yes, it is important. Very, very, very important. We know this, we do this, we don't record this. Ok, maybe we do, but I know I have a problem with consistent documentation. This is something I have come to terms with and trying to remedy. I am a digital person. I cannot do the binder, the index cards, the notepad. I need something digital that is with me when I need it.

This year I will be doing all of my communication logging on an excel spreadsheet. This will allow me access to it at any time, and it can be sent to others who may need it (principal, RSP teachers, counselors, etc.).
I got this wonderful idea from Teacher Karma on TpT. I created my own editable version of it, so that I can use this digitally. If you would like the PDF copy that Teacher Karma provides, click here. I thought it would be nice to share this log so here it is!
This is an editable version that can altered in anyway you need. Just remember that when you want to add multiple students you will need to add another sheet at the bottom. Each child will have their own sheet.
Steps to add a sheet:
1. Right click the arrow in the top left corner of the spreadsheet.
2. Copy
3. At the bottom of the screen you will see Sheet 1. Click the + and another sheet will appear.
4. Right click the arrow in the top left of the spreadsheet.
5. Paste
6. You have created a new tab. Repeat this for as many students as you have.
7. Once you have enough sheets, right click the tab and click rename. You can add each child's name to that tab so that you can find them easier.

Any way that we can make our days easier is something I am all for. Between the planning and the teaching and all of the extra stuff that no non-teacher person even knows goes on in a Kindergarten classroom, I need to know that I can keep myself organized. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Core Words Centers

Creating a classroom that is excited and engaged in sight word work might be a little rough at first. My Kindergarten students come in my room fairly confident in their ABC knowledge and some know the sounds that go with these letters. But, then I start throwing words at them and asking them to remember how to read them!! Am I crazy?! Not really.

Getting students to understand what reading is is our job as early childhood educators. We introduce kids into the world of letters and words and stories. By exposing students to sight words early, we are creating an interest in words when their minds are still learning about what reading is. I never want my students to think that anything is too hard for them. What I want is for them to know that there is a big world of learning out there and I want to share it with them.

I will be posting a paper soon on sight word education, but thought I would share my Core Word Centers first. These center activities match my Sight Word Lists in my Kindergarten Core Sight Words unit on TpT. The Core Words unit is my FREE unit, so please stop by and take a took at it. During the Core Words unit, which takes place in the first quarter of Kindergarten, students will learn 3 new words a week. These centers will use those new words and review the old with fun games and activities. Take a look:
 Letter/Word Sort
Color Match
 Picture Match
 Can You Find? Word Hunt
 Roll and Write
 Posters for every week
Spin and Color

This unit also includes play dough mats for every word and Sight Word Uno

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