Volunteer and Conversation Freebie

I am slowly but surely working on Back to School items. We send welcome letters to our Kindergarten students in early July telling them who their teacher. It also includes the school supply list and a form for parents to fill out and bring to parent/teacher conversations. (Okay...we don't do parent/teacher conversations anymore...but home visits). I like to pick them up then so I know a little more about the kiddo before school starts. Just click on the form below to grab your freebie. It is kine of Kindergarten neutral. If you are not a follower of my TPT store, I would appreciate you following me if you like it and can use this form.

You can also grab this Volunteer form that we give to parents the first day of school. Do you think it is pushy to ask for volunteers the first day? I have 2 theories to that: a) Get them early because I am ready for some help Day 2 and b) They are all sappy and sad their baby is heading to K. They would sign up for anything to stay with them at school. :) We have WONDERFUL volunteers at our school and we get lots of positive feedback.

Pace Calendar (Freebie)

So we had our first PD day (which was actually pretty good) and had a big talk about pacing. Our district adopted Math In Focus 2 years ago and we are still working through it and trying to figure out how to pace ourselves so that we get all of the content taught before the end of the school year. I shared my sequence and pace calendar that I have been doing for 8 years now. I complete this during the summer to "map" out my year and help keep me on task. Each week contains the reading/math/social studies/science/theme and sight words taught that week. Here is an example of what one week may look like:

Feel free to click below to grab your copy.

If you want me to email you a copy so that you can type in it, just leave a comment with your email and I will be happy to!

Ups and Downs

This has been such a crazy week of ups and downs.

Down: We had a terrible tragedy happen in our hometown of a dear friend that I used to coach the dance team with.

Up: The last day of school was Tuesday.

Up: We SOLD OUR HOUSE. Can I get an AMEN? It's been for sale for 2 years. Finally. Sooooo happy.

Down: My great-grandmother who is 97 and could seriously turn cartwheels around me had a heart attack yesterday and is in the ICU.

Up: She opened her eyes and smiled when I brought Lilly (my little one) up to see her. They said that was the most response they had from her today.

Down: I'm gonna miss her terribly.

Up: She will be in a WONDERFUL place.

I am slowly but surely working on some units and freebies. Hang in there with me! I have to thank Jessica from Mrs. Stanfords Class and Heidi from My (Not so) Elementary Life for the ! Thanks gals!

Alphabet Songs

I know I have mentioned it here before, but I love me some Have Fun Teaching!!! I have been using their videos since a teaching partner found them in September. The kiddos love them and I love that they get introduced to thet letter and the sound in a repetative manner!

The website has TONS of videos you can purchase. They have alphabet videos as well as sight word videos that rock too! You can also get all of the alphabet songs from youtube as well, except they do have advertisements. Do you want to show these cute alphabet songs videos in your classroom without the ads?? Well...you are in luck! Have Fun Teaching is having a giveaway and it is SO easy to win! All you have to do is blog about their giveaway and they are yours! How simple is that? :)

Pom Pom Tutorial

I had several people ask for a tutorial on how to make a pom pom to hang in your classroom. These are SUPER easy and SUPER cheap! :) This is my first tutorial so here goes:
1. Purchase tissure paper in the colors you want. These are 97 cents at Wal-mart and they have LOTS of colors!

2. You will also need floral wire (also from Wal-mart).
3. Choose which ribbon you would like to hang them from in your room. You can do white to blend in with the ceiling or fun colors to contrast the pom-pom.
4. Begin by unfolding the packet of tissue paper. Keep it all together. You need the whole packet to make 1 pom-pom.

5. Fold the tissue paper accordian style (forward, backward, forward, backward) about 2 1/2 inches thick.

6. Tie a piece of floral wire around the center of the folded tissue paper.
7. Tie the ribbon that you are going to hang the pom-pom from at the part of the floral wire that you tied. This will be the TOP of your pom-pom (the part that faces the ceiling). Cut the floral wire to leave only about an inch tied.
8. Cut each end of the folded tissue paper in a semi-circle. (You can also do it in a point, but I think the rounded end looks better.) Make sure you have some good scissors!
9. Begin very carefully separating the tissue paper. Hold it by the wire/ribbon and start pulling at the bottom of the pom-pom.

10. Very carefully continue pulling each layer of the tissue paper away from the folded back. Do the right side, then the left. This is 1/2 of the pack pulled toward the bottom of the pom-pom (the part you will see). The ribbon and wire are underneath.

11. Now begin pulling the top apart towards the ribbon. Continue pulling until each layer of tissue paper is separated. Once you have each piece separated, pick and pull (gently) until it looks good. Remember you won't see the top because it will be facing the ceiling but you want it to still look like it is round.
12. You are finished and you can begin another one! This pom-pom took 10 minutes (including taking pictures). Here are a few I did for my daughter's birthday last weekend that I am contemplating putting in her bedroom.

Hope this is easy to understand and read! If you have any questions, please let me know! I would love to see your finished products!

My Summer Bucket List

I'm so excited to link up with April, Hadar, and Teri for their Summer Bucket List Linky Party!

Here is what is on my agenda:

Make these for my classroom. I basically redid my classroom last year because we got our walls repainted so I shouldn't have to do too much this year! I'm kind of a pro at making these because I made them for my daughters nursery, every birthday party, and every baby shower I give. Think I'm addicted???

I also want to make this for my classroom door:
Teacher Apple Burlap Door Hanger Decoration HUGE - Polka Dots Back to School

Getting this ready to put on my door. We do a family theme the 2nd full week of school:
Pinned Image
Via: Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

Personal items on the list:
-Organize my pictures from my computer. I have OVER 5000 pictures of Lilly's life. I want to get them organized and burned on to CD. I also want to make a photo book (from Shutterfly) for each year.
-Order my wedding pictures. (Don't judge...Our 5 year anniversary is this summer and I still haven't ordered our wedding photos...I know...horrible wife!)
-Create at least 10 units to use this fall and play in my TPT store.

And most importantly:
-Soak up every minute I can with my little one. We start dance (if that is what you call it for 3 year olds), swimming, going to the park, etc.

I have 2 days and I can start working on this! How about you? What is on your bucket list? Join in the fun!

Have you been good?

Okay...so I am 4 days and counting!! Super excited about that. This week's It's Not Too Soon's linky party will be about behavior. I would love to know what you do for a behavior plan in your classroom. I know I've seen a lot of chart systems with the clips. Our school doesn't have the same behavior plan school wide. Is that weird? Our Kindergarten has one system, then 1-3 has another and 4-5 have their own (they switch for content...it's complicated). Here is our behavior plan in K:
You can grab your copy here if you are interested.

I have covered my air conditioning unit with laminated pockets in which I put their pictures on the 2nd day of school. (Can I get an AMEN that we have to start discipline day 2 in Kindergarten??)  Here is the only picture I could find of  the student's pockets:

I have to say I have considered doing something else. I've done this for 10 years. The bad thing about this plan is that parents don't know about strikes 1 and 2. That is okay for some, but some parents want to know. I did start a reward system this year as well that I used on top of this. Each week I placed a word at their seat (TOY DAY, SHOES, LUNCH, etc). Students would mark a letter out for various behaviors (calling out, out of seat, not working). If they had at least 1 letter left on Friday they got the reward. (Bring a toy from home, not wear shoes in class, eat lunch with me, etc.) This worked well because I was really trying to get a grip on calling out and students out of seats and didn't really feel like a strike was warranted for that behavior. (I would have been giving out 7 red cards a day!). I think I will continue this.
Anywho...I would love to see what you do. If you have already posted about this in the past, just link up with that post! Maybe you can convince me to change...it wouldn't be hard! :)


We had our Kindergarten play last Thursday titled "Kinderella". (Think a kindergarten girl who just wanted to go to 1st grade.) It was pretty stinking cute. I usually write the script and we sing songs we have learned all year (count by 5's, seasons, hip hop to the alphabop). Here was our background:
Every year we make this ADORABLE self portraits using tear art. I seriously love these so much. I could not help them with it and come in and point out who each one was...they look just like them!

We also reflected on our year. I love these too!

I'll be back tomorrow with a new It's Not Too Soon linky party!

Teacher Appreciation Sale

So if you haven't already heard, lots of AWESOME bloggers got together for Teacher's Appreciation Week and are giving away TONS of freebies today.
I was too late to get in on the sale (I've been horrible about blog checking this week), but you MUST check it out! I spent 45 minutes blog hopping and saving to my USB. I actually had to open a new one because mine is officially full! :) Hop on over to A Modern Teacher who is heading up the P-2 giveaways!!!!

A Modern Teacher

I am also throwing a sale (20%) in my small (but growing this summer) TPT store!

Along with TPT sale of 10% you can save 28%!!! Just enter TAD12 at checkout! I hope everyone has a wonderful week and you are shown how much you are appreciated. Our school does a WONDERFUL job of this. I am off to work on my daughter's teachers gift!

It’s Not Too Soon!

My parents (as in my mom and dad…not my students parents) have always (and still do) make fun of me because I can NEVER relax. It’s just not in my blood. I swear I think I have taken only 5 naps since my little one was a newborn. I just can’t relax enough to nap because I am always thinking of things I need/want to do. My favorite quote as a kid was “What are we gonna do when we get done doing this?” I would even say it on the way to Disney World.
So, of course…I am ALREADY thinking about next year. I mean, I only have 10 days left so I think that is fair of me. After reading becoming obsessed with blogs this year, I am looking forward to doing many new things in my classroom this year. I thought it would be fun to start a linky party often (I’m not going to commit to weekly, but often) to share different aspects of your classroom. I’m thinking schedule, reading groups, centers, behavior management, rewards, etc. Sound like fun? Well, join in! I will post the topic and you grab the button, linked to my blog post and post on your blog. Make sure you come back and add your post to my linky party!
First up…school supply lists. I’m curious. What do you ask for on your school supply list OR do you even do school supply lists? I have done school supply lists since I began except 1 year (last year) the school district decided to provide school supplies for all students. (Like as in a generic list for each grade across all schools). It was a HOT MESS and I am so glad they let us go back to asking for our own supplies.
Here is my supply list:

I’m so interested to see what you ask for. Maybe you ask for something that we have never thought to put on our list! Link up and let us know!