Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Scholastic Book Orders

I LOVE doing Scholastic book orders, and it's pretty easy on my end.  I made an account on

Then I made note of my classroom code--- it's what your parents will use to order online.  There's also NO shipping requirements when they order online.  Scholastic also has an introductory letter that you can send out with the first order.

I keep it easy and send home the Kindergarten flyer each month.  In our school, many parents get paid on the first of the month, so I usually send it home a couple of days before the first day of the month, and I set the due date to the 2nd or 3rd.  I do send a reminder text to get those orders in.  I also date stamp the front of the flyers.

When it's time to send the flyers home, I pass them out to the students-- they put them in their take-home folders.  I allow them time to browse the catalog, and I always point out the $1 book.

When the books come in, we open the box as a class.  I always share what Scholastic GAVE us just for having students order.

Here's how YOU get started:  Go to the website.  If it asks for a referring teacher's customer number, I'm 064-809-5024.
When you place an order of $25 or more, enter the code 60277 for an extra 250 bonus points.

Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Meet the Teacher

I've seen some of these on Instagram and thought they were so cute!  I plan to hand these out on our Orientation Day.  Here's an idea if you want borrow the concept:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Building Relationships, Part 1

Hi Friends!  In just 2 weeks, my students will arrive for full-time learning!  Here in Georgia, teachers will return for pre-planning in a week.

One of my passions is behavior, and building relationships is the backbone to well-behaved students.  I started bonding with my students (& their families) this past week.  I encourage everyone to just THINK about this option.

I blogged about my 2nd grade pre-conferences here.  In Kindergarten my conferences are run a little differently.  Here are my topics:

1.  I smile, shake hands, and try to warm the newbie up to having an outgoing teacher.

2.  I sit down with my new friend and the parents.  I use this time to make sure they received my school supply list (enclosed in my back-to-school letter sent the previous week).  I also discuss our class snack, sight words, etc.

3.  While the parents are filling out a survey, I do a little bit of testing using the ESGI program.
This program does require a subscription, but I highly recommend it.  Our school purchases this subscription for all the Kindergarten teachers.  If you do not have this subscription, I created a little screening packet that goes over basics upon meeting a child.  You can grab it HERE, or click on the picture:

When using the ESGI program, I do a follow-up of our May registration assessment:  upper/lowercase letter identification, counting, identifying numerals and shapes.  If a student knows all his letters, I'll ask letter sounds.  If a student masters these, I move on to sight words and then a Fountas & Pinnell reading assessment.  Two of my babies will be ready to start Guided Reading in August. =)
4.  I use this time to verify parents' email address and have them sign up for Remind.  I've said it before, "Go sign up NOW if you don't already use Remind."  I love sending blanket text reminders to all of my parents in one message.

5.  Finally, parents may tell me ANYTHING they want me to know about their child.

At this time of year, we still anticipate several more Kindergarteners to enroll.  But I did get a head start on building relationships.  I schedule the conferences in 30 min. blocks (most take 15-20 mins.), and I work on setting up my classroom in between.  I only spend a couple of days doing this, so it doesn't take a chunk out of my "off-time."

I certainly hope this will be something you consider; you will not regret it!! Happy Building!  =)

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Hopefully this post will help you plan for next year.

Let me hop onto my little soapbox.  Kindergarteners need to have fun.  They need to socialize.  They need to interact.  They need to play.  They need to sing, dance, wiggle.  Please don't say you can't fit housekeeping into your schedule.  You can't afford to take these types of learning OUT of your day.  I am passionate about defending age-appropriateness for our babies.  Please do not misunderstand me:  they should be reading and writing and 'rithmaticking daily.

Before I explain FUN FRIDAY, I need to explain my daily centers.  The block is about 45 minutes.  They have a task.  Table 1 will include phonics/sight words; Table 2 includes writing; Table 3 is Starfall or RAZ Kids; Table 4 is theme-based art.  (These are very rough explanations.)  When a child finishes his task, he may play.

Table 1's cubbies include magnetic letters, letter stamps, fun markers/paper, literacy puzzles.
Table 2's cubbies include fine motor skills:  beading, lacing, play dough, small puzzles, linking cubes.
Table 3 goes to housekeeping.
Table 4's cubbies feature gross motor skills:  big blocks, floor puzzles, plastic animals.

I rotate where the children sit every day.  The RED table starts out at Table 1 on Monday, moving on to sequential tables each following day.

FUN FRIDAY holds those old-fashioned Kindergarten activities.

Listening Center:  They do actually listen throughout the week; it's here if they'd like to listen again.

Paint!!!  One of my favorite options.

Board games

Free reading

Blocks:  This is where Table 4 goes each day.  They definitely like to repeat!

SmartBoard math games

Instruments:  Boy, does this get a little loud!!

Housekeeping:  Table 3 goes here, but it's another necessary repeat.

The sand table is only open on Fridays.  Disclaimer:  this is magic sand and costs a lot.  It looks like a feeble amount.


Fun Friday is a highlight to my week.  It's noisy but oh so fun!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Lorax

Here are some ideas you could incorporate THIS Arbor Day (Friday) or next Earth Day.  My grade level did a display of various Dr. Seuss books.  I'm a bit of an Earth-lover, so I picked The Lorax.

Here are my students, hard at work on murals.  I had each group draw beginning, middle, middle, end.  Before I sent them to their tables, we discussed which plot-point they should illustrate.

I also hand-cut (talk about frustrating!!) truffala trees as an anchor chart for literary elements.

As a class, we also came up with ways to care for our Earth.

On the other side of the hallway, I displayed individual work.

I found this cute little craft HERE.

And how cute do my friends look AS the Lorax??  We brainstormed what a tree might say.

Every time I go to DisneyWorld, I'm drawn to the Simba short about our Earth (It's in Epcot, in the Land exhibit).  I have always found it to be so powerful.  I found a boot-leg version here.

Here are a couple more videos:
Energy, Let's Save It!
Schoolhouse Rock: Energy Blues

And I love Have Fun Teaching's Going Green Song.  When I taught 2nd we actually performed this for parents. =)

Happy Earth Day... EVERY day!! =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Health Week

It's not our curriculum, per se, but I like to include our bodies in our reading nonfiction.  We did a couple of activities I thought were cute enough to share. =)

I traced them with chalk beforehand.  Then I had pictures of each body part on separate pictures of the body.  They were- mostly- able to get them in the right spot.  The heart was a little confusing.  I don't think they understand the concept of humans being 3-dimensional objects. =)

Then I lined the halls with them.  Warning:  sometimes these can alarm you in your peripheral vision.

We also learned about the importance of taking care of our teeth.  Honestly, I don't care what age I'm teaching; I always teach food choice lessons.  It's important for them to realize what they're putting into their bodies.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I'm embarrassed; it's been so long since I blogged!  I even took plenty of Christmas pictures for a post or two.  Sadly, I was neglectful.
So, with winter here, I only leave you with a few pictures!  I will do better in the future.

For MLK Day, we spent the week beforehand discussing this great man.  We discovered our skin colors.  Even as a child, I didn't like the terms "white/black."  My mom says I always said "brown/peach."  That week we came up with even more terms!  Sienna, mahogany, apricot to name a few. =)  I found a sweet wreath on Pinterest to mimic:
I had them trace their own hands.  I really like Kindergarten displays to look like 5yr olds made the art! =)

Here are 2 winter items that would be easy to recreate.  These little, bundled up friends are made from mitten patterns.  My K friends think they are oh so cute.

In the hallway, we made penguins using paper plates.

We've also done lots of learning about winter- I just didn't photograph those. =)  One of my favorite ideas was introducing research.  I made a chart.
1. read/learn
2. write/draw
3.  tell others
That's my Kindergarten version of research.  We looked at photographs, read articles online, and read books/magazines.  They took notes on their learning.  When we were finished, they made penguin hats and wrote one thing they learned on a sentence strip headband.  That was their way of sharing their learning.

Happy Winter!