Thursday, May 17, 2012


We're not actually getting into dinosaurs until next week but my sister is enormous...the size of a house...ready to deliver my nephew any day so I'm all set up and ready for next week.  Our tickets are on standby and as soon as we get the call we are headed to Chicago!  {unless we don't get the call in which case we'll fly out as scheduled on Sunday.}

I created these printables based on some ideas I read in Mailbox magazine.  For the estimation sheet you'll need to make a large dinosaur "footprint" {mine were cut from posterboard} and have the kids predict how many of their footprints would fit inside.  Have the kids take off their shoes {how much do they love that?!} to fill up the footprint and practice counting.  Then record and draw that many shoes inside the footprint.  The new dino species one is pretty self explanatory.  My kids are going to use their names {Kristinosaurus} to make up ridiculously silly facts {characteristic: covered in glitter.  activity: shopping for shoes. size 2,018}

I also love this idea I saw on Pinterest...but it was pinned wrong and it didn't link back to anything.  Luckily, Lyndsey contacted me and let me know that it was hers.  Don't you love him?!
More dinosaur stuff to come later...depending on how many days of dinosaur week I'm actually in attendance instead of listening to my sister roar!  {hardy har har}

Have a great weekend...tomorrow's Friday!!  :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Here {dad} comes to save the day!

Our older kids are in the middle of EOG testing this week and it is hard hard hard to keep them in the room and quiet all day.  Can I get an Amen?!  {preach!}  I open up extra centers and find new fun projects that go along with our theme weeks to keep life fun & interesting but sometimes the noise level just gets so intense I'm afraid a proctor will come knocking at any moment to tell us to keep it down!

Did I mention I'm supposed to be doing my own end of year assessments right now, too???

So I did it.  A teacher's guilty bail out plan...we watched a movie.

But instead of just watching The Incredibles I went ahead and did a mini-unit on superheroes.  {after I finally got some running records done!!}  This unit by The Teacher Wife is fabulous.
I was also inspired by Mr. Incredible to make something for Father's Day.  I found this graphic and a similar activity at Craft Caravan and adapted it for my kinders.  Click for your free copy!

Our field trip to the strawberry patch was cancelled on Monday {puddles are one thing, but thunder & lightning and five year olds outside?  nooooooo thank you.} so I'm just hanging on til Thursday to try and make it out of the building.  They'll have so much pent up energy the strawberries may just blow off the plants in their wake!

And then there's only 15 more days!!  Hang in there.  We can make it!  :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

place value.

Because we all like having new things thrown at us in May :) I've been on the hunt for place value activities that didn't include the hundreds.  Our DPI has added a math unit for us to "work in" to the last few weeks of school.  {see me smiling?!}

I think the concept of base 10 is a little abstract for kindergarteners...but!...we're teaching K.NBT in the Common Core none the less.  I love this game from Positively Learning and that it only uses 10s and 1s to make a number.  The game is {free} so go pick up Place Value Blast and follow a new blog!  :)

And now that the month is half over I figure I'll link up with Farley & currently!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

encouragement for mom.

I saw the sweetest commercial for Mother's Day and just had to share it.  For my mom, long time moms, moms of singles, doubles or entire baseball teams.  But especially for all of you brand new, first time moms {or almost moms to-be.}

You're doing {more than} ok.  Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Good Reads {linky party}

Cute Mrs. Stanford is having a Good Reads linky party.
I have to admit, I don't do a lot of "educational" reading.  The only chance I get to read is right before I go to bed and I have to read something purely for fun.  Basically anything by Sophie Kinsella {who is also Madeleine Wickham} or Emily Giffin.  I've also read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult multiple times and will buy another copy when this one is falling apart.
As far as something to help me as a teacher I really got a lot out of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.  If you try to do it all and find yourself often stressed out {teaching, home life, pinterest, blog.  yes, I'm talking to you!} this is a great book on focusing on what's important and learning how to say no to other requests.
On my list of books I'm looking forward to reading is Why Are All the Good Teachers Crazy?  Has anyone read it yet?  Because it sounds right up my alley!
For a read aloud, could I really pick anything else??  Shoe La La by Karen Beaumont!  :)
What's on your summer reading list?  Head over to Jessica's blog for new titles.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

once upon a time...

We're traveling to a land far, far away this week to live in fairy tales!  And personally, I love it.  As do my 5 little girls.  The 10 boys in my class weren't exactly enthused but I think they've found that playing pretend isn't just for girls.

We started the week with a general study of fairy tales.  I love Abby's anchor chart of the elements in a fairy tale.  She also has some awesome ideas if you're looking for new ways to explore your favorite stories.
We also made crowns and magic wands to become royalty ourselves.

Yesterday we looked at the 3 Little Pigs and compared the original story to The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.  They wrote about whether they believed the pigs or the wolf's story.

We explored the concept of magic and brainstormed stories with magical elements then wrote about what we would do if we had magic fairy dust.  Guess which is the typical boy answer & the typical girl answer.  ;)

Today we looked at Cinderella.  LaNesha's fairy tale unit also has Cinderella activities and I love how she's adapted the glass slipper for the boys.  We became fashion designers today {dream come true!} and had a decorating contest.

We also used LaNesha's venn diagram from Another Day in First Grade to compare The 3 Little Pigs to Cinderella.
{Then I realized that Mother's Day is this in only 2 school days we may be breaking from fairy tales tomorrow to get that together.  Ah!}  But then we have the Kindergarten Ball on Friday.  You got that right!  Flower girl dresses, little boys in vests and ties...ah-dorable.  Haven't decided yet what I'm going to wear.  Prom dress?  Bridesmaids dress?  Decisions, decisions...but dressing up either way!  :)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

bugs & insects.

I've kept you waiting so I won't put it off any longer.  Here are some more great bug and insect ideas for you!

We colored this page from Mr. Eric Carle himself then cut it out and glued the pieces in order on a sentence strip...for a crown of course!
Then we made super stretcher sentence caterpillars with one word on each segment.  Yay for wanting to use a lot of adjectives and stretch it out!
{plus a hint of our pasta butterfly life cycle on green leaves.}
Then we made beautiful tissue paper butterflies on wax paper for the windows.  Color scheme was up to each kid.
Some were patterned or planned and others were willy nilly but they all help make our view more beautiful!
Of course this was the day I left my external hard-drive at home with Deanna's bug unit so I had to quickly make up our own stationery pages with her awesome idea.
 I only had 2 colors of ink pads but think our fingerprint bugs still made cute decorations!  :)

Thursday morning was pretty rough {explained in my last post} so I was extremely thankful for The Magic School Bus Gets Ants in Its Pants to get the stay started more easily.  We used Kelly's cute pattern to record our ant facts.
Then we read Hey Little Ant and used Kelly's persuasive writing journal page.  Would you step on the ant?  Some said yes...

...and some said no!

We made insect pattern crowns by choosing bug picture squares {found in my bug box from who knows what!} and then continuing the pattern with pictures.  Loved them.

Lastly we read The Grouchy Ladybug and wrote about how we would cheer him up.

Be sure to check last week's post for ideas on bees, diagrams, entomologist tools and a few freebies.

Guess it's time for me to go finish off the leftover dirt pudding...worms included.  ;)

Friday, May 04, 2012

{a personal word}

If you'll please excuse my doing so, I need to postpone my bug and insect activities and just share from the heart today.  Come back over the weekend for bees, butterflies, caterpillars, ladybugs and ants.  But life has thrown in a change and I feel it necessary to respectfully do the same.

At almost this same time last year a friend and co-worker of mine was diagnosed with bile duct cancer.  It came on so abruptly that Karen was in school one day, got the results of some tests the next and she couldn't come back to finish the year.  She and I met "on the island" {as we like to say} when we started as new hires on the same day, laughing through new teacher trainings and trying to figure out what in the world was going on at various staff meetings as we learned how we fit in a new school environment.  I spent many an hour {virtually every afternoon} in her classroom that first year, getting to know her and her funny kids.

Through the eight years on the island we developed separate work friend groups but still remained close.  She's one of those people that I naturally hugged every time I saw her...even if we'd done just that same thing two hours prior while passing in the hallway.

It was she and her daughter, who was five at the time, who came up with calling me Mockie {a play on my maiden name} that is still around among those of us who have been here that long.  It's the only thing Karen would ever call me!

She was funny, positive, encouraging and had one of those personalities that was just contagious.  Even if we were griping about a work issue or venting about personal drama, I always left in a better mood because she was able to me laugh about anything.  Even while texting me from the hospital while she waited on her chemo treatment.

We got the word yesterday that she had passed and for the first time in the 11 month process I just broke down.  I feel like it was just yesterday that we were in the staff lounge having lunch and she was talking about going to the doctor for testing.  Now she's gone and I can't stop the emotions from coming.  Even though she didn't come back to work this year, I could pick up my phone and text her whenever I wanted to.  And now knowing that I can't, I feel like something's missing.

I fully believe in the power of prayer and that God could've healed her if that was His plan.  I don't know why it wasn't and I know it's not beneficial to drive myself crazy with but why but at the same time, it's really hard knowing a beautiful 43 year old mother is no longer with us.  If you believe in prayer please send one {or a few} up for her family, specifically her 2 children who I know will miss her dearly.

And maybe the next time a coworker or neighbor registers for Race for the Cure or 24 Hours of Booty or Relay for Life you might remember this story and find a few dollars to put toward their donations. It's amazing and disgusting how quickly cancer can come in and take a life.  I know our school family will never forget.

We love you Karen.  And we'll love on those kids til they're sick of us.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

creepy crawlers.

I. Love. May.  We call it {May Days} at my school and I start thinking about it around, oh, March.  Minus fall, pumpkins and apples, this is my favorite time of the year.
In case you can't tell by my advanced artistic abilities, this week is all about bugs and insects!  We started our theme by flipping through the books in our library and reading a sight word book to learn the basics.

We learned this super cute song from Teach it With Class to help us remember the parts of an insect...
then made our own diagrams.

For math we used toys bugs on our picnic mats to practice story problems
 and played a counting game where we tried to get 50 spots on the ladybug.
{We used 1 ladybug per pair and beans as spots.  You could use chocolate chips or M&Ms too.  If your  manipulatives are bigger, each child could have their own ladybug board.}
 Today we focused on bees and did a great pollination experiment from Little Kinder Warriors using cheetos as pollen!

We also made bees with wax paper wings.

We began talking about entomologists and the tools that they use so we had to practice looking at all kinds of insects up close with magnifying glasses.

As we study I'm adding to our Bug & Insect journal pages.  Check back this weekend to see what else I've come up with.

Happy May Days!!!  :)
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