Saturday, April 30, 2011

global communication.

So the last objective we needed to cover for our state Social Studies standards was a hodgepodge of randomness...transportation, communication and technology...across the world.  We were struggling to put all of these together into something cohesive so I created this:

After a few mini-lessons on each topic, this will be our wrap-up activity to bring it all around together.  You can get ah-dorable graphics of people from each country from Lettering Delights but I've taken down the original file because I'm afraid it went into the gray area of Terms of Use and I'd rather be safe than sorry.  However!  You can get them by clicking on the Lettering Delights button to the left.

We will locate each country on the world map so they know what type of transportation to choose {land, water or sea} but any acceptable answer will do.  If they want to fly to Switzerland in a hot air balloon or a rocket ship...fine by me!

We've started talking about what technology is and isn't so they might say a GPS will help them get there, the internet might help them figure out what to do while they're there or {knowing my kids} that playing Angry Birds on their cell phones will give them something to do while they're traveling.

For the communication piece we covered facial expressions, body language, foreign languages and sign language.  I'd also accept answers of drawing pictures or acting things out.

If you're interested, click on the picture above for a FREE download.  Enjoy!  {Disfrutar!  Profiter!  Geniessen!  Godere!  楽しむ!}

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


My Fashionistas {followers} list is slowly growing...and getting closer and closer to 100!  To help push things to the magic kindergarten number of *100,* I'm announcing an upcoming giveaway!  When I reach 100 followers I will hold a giveaway for one of my two fairy tale units:

Peter Pan or Beauty & the Beast

Interested?  Share my blog and help me gain followers.
Freebie coming soon!!!  :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

{video} little chick babies.

Since the incubator didn't seem to be an ideal situation for us {full story here} I went on down to the hardware store and picked up a few little friends. As far as the kids know, the brown one is Miracle - who they actually saw hatch - and the others were also from their eggs. I can't wait to see how excited they'll be on Monday to see who's come for a visit! :)

My husband, the videographer, is clearly not as enthused as I am {"mm-hmmm..."} but he's definitely been a good sport about me getting them, sitting and watching them all afternoon, and listening to them chirp for the next couple of days.  Oh the sacrifices of a teacher's spouse.  ;)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Man, it has a been a lot time since I blogged.  I keep meaning to sit down at the computer, especially since I'm on Spring Break this week, but we've been crazy busy...buying a house!  It was listed on Tuesday, we found it Wednesday, went in Thursday, offered Friday and were accepted Saturday.  We close on June 1st and it's been non-stop contractors, inspectors and lenders oh my!  I finally carved out some time today to relax at the pool and of course, it's cloudy and looming rain.  So I've spent practically the entire morning {'s} researching for my summer camps instead.  Here are some things I've found so far...

Squishy Squirmy Bugs & Insects
Differentiation Station's butterfly unit

Chalk Talk's insect unit

Primary Graffiti's bug jar

Teach It With Class' insect song

Eric Carle's coloring page

Princess Prep
Life in First's story organizer {also for Fairy Tales!}

The Inspired Apple's ruby slippers {which I'll make glass for Cinderella}

Fairy Tales
Stay and Play's 3 Little Pig homes

Kindergarten Readiness
First Grade Factory's direction icons

Stay and Play's write-and-write ABCs & 123s

If you have any other ideas, please let me know.  I'll be making some new units but am always looking for fun, creative lessons that I don't have to create.  ;)  I'll always give credit where it's due.  Thanks for the help!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some lessons just shouldn't be learned at 5.

We've had a very hard week this week anticipating the birth of our chicks.  In a nutshell, they didn't come out when expected and we were all quite bummed.  {Most of all me, who feels incredibly guilty about their demise.}  5 days which it's practically impossible for them to hatch...I went in to the classroom to throw the eggs away.  They were starting to smell, had been completely still for a couple of days and Farmer Heather told us at that point it was too late.  When I went in yesterday to get rid of them before the kids arrived, I could NOT believe that there was a tiny hole in one egg.  And it was peeping!

We watched the hole grow all day and to be perfectly honest, did not get much of our planned activities done.  We listened to her peep, watched her move and all took turns huddling around the incubator.

Right before lunch, as we were inviting the other kindergarten classes to come down to see how the hole had grown, she karate chopped through and was out!  The kids were buzzing with excitement, all the adults were "oooooh" and "oh my goodness!"ing and our admins even came down to check her out.  I {of course} got teared up, having previously given up hope that we would have any babies.  Hence, her name, Miracle.

She flopped around for a bit, taking good breaths and sleeping in different positions.  She was the buzz of the school for the rest of the day.  {And encouraged my kids to do some amazing impromptu writing!}  I was SO relieved.

Until I came in this morning.  Our precious little one didn't make it through the night.  I cried {again} and hid the entire incubator outside, telling the kids that she had gone back to the farm the night before.  I was so torn on what to do and felt a serious moral dilemma about telling them truth or feeding them a lie.  We had done an entire unit on oviparous animals, candled the eggs and learned about their stages of development, watched them grow from the inside and were already quite connected to them.  Then after watching her "birth" and having such a truly incredible experience, I just couldn't leave it at that.  I was devastated finding her this morning and I just couldn't bear to see it on their little faces.  So I told them that she was lonely being the only one in there and that she'd gone back to the farm that night to be with her mommy.  I said we'd see if she could come back to visit us after spring break...knowing full well that I will be purchasing live chicks next weekend to take in as "their" hatchlings.

I still feel somewhat bad about misleading the kids because death is a part of life and sometimes things like that happen.  I know there are teachers, maybe even parents, who don't agree with me on this decision.  But the more I think about it, I just think...why?  My favorite thing about kids this age is their naivety and innocence.  I pride myself on protecting them from the big bad world and all of the scary things they'll eventually be forced to encounter.  I just don't feel like I need to be a part of putting that on them.

I thought of the following poem that I read at our year end celebration every June.  It was a little different this time around.  And while I agree with most of it, this was a lesson I thought they just didn't need to learn yet:

All I really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten.  Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned: share everything. play fair. don't hit people. put things back where you found them. clean up your own mess. don't take things that aren't yours. say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. wash your hands before you eat. flush. warm cookies and milk are good for you. live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.  take a nap every afternoon.  when you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. be aware of wonder. remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup - the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.  goldfish and hamsters and white mice {and chicks} and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup all die.  so do we. then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all...look.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.  The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.  Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.  Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.  Thick what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon then lay down with our blankies for a nap.  Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.  And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Spring has sprung.

While visiting my husband's sister in the mountains this weekend I wore my winter coat one day and got a sunburn the next...spring has definitely hit the south!

We're talking a lot about spring in class, too.  Some fun to share:

We created a spring vocabulary chart as I tend to do with most {ok, all!} of our science and social studies units.  Instead of having the kids write in their journals this time, I hung our charts in the science center and they wrote sentences in flower booklets that are oh, so cute.

{I usually staple these to the wall above my counter but I moved my Word Wall back there this year so I had to improvise our garden area!}
Since our chicks will be hatching soon we made these presh crafts in anticipation...only 3 days left to go!!!  We talked about the fact that chicks don't really hatch from Easter eggs or come out with colorful feathers, but the fancy decorations did make for great detailed writing!!
"My egg is awesome and he has blue eyes and decorations on his shell.  He has a cool star on it's egg."
"My chick is named Sandra.  Her egg has polkadots and stars and swirlies and zigzags."
Besides having chicks hatching in the next few days, we also received a LARGE shipment of over 30 caterpillars!!  We read the recipe, measured the ingredients to make their food and put them in individual cups {with a few roommate pairs}.  As one student said "We better keep those worms away from our chicks so they don't think it's here for breakfast!"

After we were familiar with signs of spring, we used this sheet from The Teacher's Guide to organize what we'd learned.  I'll adapt it for next time because it only touched on four senses and we had to write "I taste" on the back.  You can get the sheet here until I get around to it.  ;)

Then the students picked their favorite sentences and wrote them on rain drops.  Recognize the rainbows??  I just replaced the pots of gold with raindrops and voila!  New work display.  :)

After reading an acrostic poem in our literacy unit the students wanted to do their own so we filled our windows {for a better view!} with our own acrostic poems of SPRING.  "Sunny day, Poppies of spring, Rainbow, Ice Melting, Nest, Grass growing."

One even got my most favorite spring phrase...Spring Break!  :)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Shoes to teach in.

This is Little Miss Glamour so I think it's definitely appropriate to share some good shopping finds with my blogging buddies, yes?  Since I know I'm in the minority when it comes to chasing after five year olds in heels, I think these are a fab starter shoe for you non-believers.

Old Navy has them in tons of colors and prints.  I currently have them in the blue/white stripe and solid black.  The best part is....they should should meet all of your dress code needs!  {No, that's not technically a "strap" in the back but they've passed with flying colors for me.}  Order online now and you get free shipping on all purchases of $50.  Happy Spring Dressing!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

crayola smarts.

I know I'm tired when I don't even feel like blog stalking.  {*gasp*}  Just a quick thought tonight to start your week with the right mentality...especially if you're still counting down the days til Spring Break like I am!!

Thanks to Fran Kramer at Kindergarten Crayons for the reminder!

Saturday, April 02, 2011


Continuing with our color theme days to teach color words as sight words, we had purple day last week. After reading Purplicious and Harold and the Purple Crayon we brainstormed lots of purple things.  Then I thought, instead of making another Circle Map, why not put our purple things in a grape outline?!  
Some of them did a really great job filling in every inch with something purple...while others got tired and filled in with their crayons.  :)
Either way, the kids thought it was funny and I think it turned out pretty cute!

Friday, April 01, 2011

You know you teach kindergarten when...

Babbling Abby {who is not only a creative genius but also quite a hoot} is hosting a linky party to highlight those special moments that only a teacher would recognize.  My last link-up was so fun I figured it was time for another one!

You know you're a kindergarten teacher when...

*You're in a social setting and put your hand up to another adult to show that you're already engaged in a conversation and they need to wait {sorry Mom!!!}

*You don't know any new songs on the radio but can sing approximately 46 about the alphabet.

*You look forward to the next dress up/pajama/theme day with the excitement of a child at Christmas.

*You can make up a load of hooey and immediately have 18 people who think you're magic.  {My new favorite...the silly switch on top of one friend's head.  If I see him and "turn it off" before he goes to his class he has a great day.  If I miss him then he starts acting up and his teacher sends him down to have his silly switch checked!  lol}

*You could wallpaper your house with the student drawings you receive every morning.

*You are the one your friends go to for a marker, highlighter or post-it because you always have a supply in your purse.

*You feel like a movie-star when spotted at the mall.

*You constantly find glitter in your hair, on your clothes, in your kitchen... {not that I'm complaining!}  ;)

*You have a never ending to-do-list that is only made longer by blog stalking.

And my favorite:

*At any given moment of any given day you are not surprised to feel 2 {or more} little arms wrapped around your hips.
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