School Shopping Never Ends

I was OH SO EXCITED to get an email from MPM School Supplies asking for me to do an HONEST review of their products! They gave me $25 to shop for items for my classroom in return for an honest review of their service and products! Woop! Woop! Gotta love a free shopping spree! Here is what I got:

Look at those JUMBO letter stamps! I cannot wait to use them in Word Play center. I got the uppercase so now I just have to go back and get the lowercase!!! :)

I also got blank foam dice. Everyone get posting about finding them at their local dollar tree. I searched high and low and never saw them! I have them now!

I love the Mr. Sketch Scented markers for Smell and Spell!!! The kiddos will be OVER THE MOON!

Last but not least, I got a clipboard! Can't have enough of those!

Thank you so much MPM! It was very easy to order from their website. They have so much at great prices! I also received my order in 2 DAYS!!!! Our local teacher store is about 20-25 minutes away. I'd much rather shop from home!

Are you needing some items mid-year! Well, you are in luck. Click on the icon below and the first 10 orders will get 10% off their purchase. (Did I mention everything is already discounted on the website??)

And the winners are....

#12 and #9

Congrats to Tammy and Jenna B! Be checking your email for you unit! Thanks to all who entered! Hopefully my literacy centers will be finished by Wednesday!

Lovely Math Centers

I am super excited! I FINALLY got my Valentine math centers completed!

This unit contains 8 math centers for your classroom including:
-Math Fact Fluency - Addition and Subtraction Facts to 10
-Least to Greatest - Numbers to 100
-Odd or Even - Numbers to 100
-How many ways to write a number - Base tens blocks, Tens Frames, Number Words, and even/odd for numbers to 20
-Tally Count - Counting tallies to 20
-Count objects to 20 and write the number
-Before and After - Write numbers before and after given number to 100
-Race to 50 - Students roll the die and race to 50

Want these for yourself? I will give away 2 of these units but you have to be fast! All you have to do is follow my blog and my store. Leave 1 comment below telling me you do and your favorite part about Valentines! I'll choose a winner around 6:00pm tomorrow night! Good Luck!

Whats in my centers

As promised in the post below, I will share what I use in each of my centers and a little bit of how I do my rotations. Bear with me. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. My kiddos go to 3 different centers a day for 20 minutes each. They are color coded like a stoplight….green, yellow, red. Students are paired up with different students throughout the week. Like I said….not the easiest thing to figure out. It was SERIOUSLY like a mathematical equation. First, I numbered each center:

Then I assigned each student their numbers throughout the week. (This stays the same…I don’t change week per week unless needed.) I wanted to make sure that kiddos went to some stations at least twice a week (phonics, writing, word play, computers). I switch out the pocket chart at the end of each day.
See? Crazy, right? I swear Deedee has it all figured out with moving one row up and one row down. I can’t be that simple…I’m just not made that way. I complicate everything! Smile
Now to the good stuff. Here is what my kiddos do at every centers:

Meet with Me
Well, that one is easy - Guided reading groups
Pocket Chart
I usually put something from one of my units in this. This month I have either done the sentence scramble or ABC order from my Winter Word Families unit.
Some students are still working on beginning sounds so they do this pocket chart:
<br><i>Sort 208 included cards to learn ABCs, letter sounds and more.</i>
I use a variety of things here. When I first began literacy centers, I used some of Lori’s Writing Station Activities for Young Learners.
I have also used writing stations from Deedee.
Right now, my kiddos are pretty good writers. We are working on nouns and starting to get into verbs a little. I am posting 4 pictures for the students and they are to write 1 sentence about each pictures describing it. Hence they can’t write “I like the snowman” because they are not on the picture.(Am I the only one who has kids write, "I like... I like.... I like...."? This has been really good for some of my kiddos.
Most of my games are ones I already had made up from my centers (I usually have 1-2 in all of my units) or I purchase them from who else…Deedee. These are all differentiated (usually 2-3 different games).
This center has a few copies of a book and a CD. Students listen and then respond. I may have them draw their favorite characters, write about their favorite part, draw and explain the setting, write if it is fiction or nonfiction and why. I usually do the same response sheet for a few weeks then switch it up.
This is differentiated as well. Typically, I use things from the units I have created to go in this center. This month we have been sorting short vowel word families from my Winter Word Families unit. We will be doing rhyming soon (that will be in my Valentine unit…almost finished!!!)
Time Me
Most of my students are doing our Read Words Around the Rainbow, depending on what level of the rainbow they are on. Once they master one level, they move on to the next.
reading around the rainbow preview
Some students have completed all levels and are ready for fluency passages. For that I turn to Deedee’s Time Me units!
Word Play
Now this center is a little bit of everything! This month we did a lot of Spin-A-Word and Write the Room from my Winter Word Families Unit.

Sometimes we do magnetic letters, stamping, etc. etc. etc. I have just bought a bunch of Scentos. I see a Spell and Smell coming soon!
Headsprout (required by our district), Compass (required by our district), Raz-Kids
What do I do when kiddos finish early? Well, I have been using Deedee’s overhead station unit….for Handwriting practice. When I began these centers, it left little time for handwriting and let’s be honest – these kids need some handwriting practice!!! So, when they are finished, they grab a page protector that has a handwriting practice page from Deedee’s unit, a dry erase marker, and an eraser and go to town! They enjoy it to be honest. I’ll be changing it up soon!

I hope this helps answer your questions. If you have any more, just let me know!

Literacy Stations

After having the same schedule for 10 years, I got brave and completely changed my schedule this year. After I became addicted to started reading everyone’s wonderful blog and their literacy centers, I knew it was something I needed to do. Our school has a 90 minute reading block and have for about 5 years now. In the past, I did 30 minutes whole group instruction and the other hour we (kindergarten) broke into about 12 groups and split among ourselves, assistants, and extra help sent our way during this hour. I really liked it but I have a lot of trouble letting go of my babies. I like to keep my babies with me all day (okay….except for the much needed specials!) This year we lost a lot of our help and were trying to make it work with 6 of us. I have such a diverse group this year something had to change. There were a few kiddos who just weren’t getting reached. So….I TOTALLY redid my EVERYTHING. Started from scratch. I have to say, I couldn’t have done it without reading Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.

I really like the way she ran her literacy centers and a lot of the centers she had in her classroom. If you haven’t checked out her blog, (which I am sure you have) you must. She was very helpful in answering any questions I had about her rotations. Here is her post about her literacy center set-up. She also explains how she switches her rotations and displays it here. She switches 2 times a day. There was only one problem with me doing my schedule a lot like hers. We are required to have a 140 minute reading block now. I couldn’t just do 2 rotations a day and I had to get my kiddos at least every other day in a reading group. In order to make this work, I have to have the kiddos switch 3 times a day to 3 different centers. (Note: I have not read a single book on literacy centers. I'm just winging it this year and started in November. It is on my summer reading list to get to all of those great books.) So…I created these Literacy Stations Cards to place in my pocket chart.


Each center is color coded green, yellow, and red. They visit their green center 1st, yellow 2nd, and red 3rd (think stoplight). (Don't you just LOVE the graphics from Ashley Hughes?)  I followed Deedee’s advise and got the following Work Stations Chart from Really Good Stuff. It makes it so much easier!


Now, I wish I could tell you that I had an organized way of switching these out every day like Deedee does…but I don’t! I numbered each center and then set up a weekly chart making sure that each student visited some centers at least twice a week and some just 1. I looked at it million times but I finally got it right! I really didn’t want the same kiddos together all of the time for each station. For Time Me! I needed a higher student with a lower student because Whew Wee! I can’t imagine otherwise. The only station that is the same for each student is listening and sometimes word play and writing. Pretty much every other station has differentiated work and they know where to find it. Want to find out what I put in my literacy centers? I’ll be back later in the week to let you know!


I don't know about you, but I was FLAT exhausted this week!! We had fun though. We did a Snowman theme. The story in our listening center was Snowman at Night. The kiddos LOVED it.
I found these cuties on Pinterest from Nancy's Nolan's Kindergarten:
So…we tackled them. I was DYING from the cuteness. Seriously? Don’t you love? Hee. Hee. They just make me smile! Smile
We also did a quick decoration on our door. (We aren’t allowed to cover up that little window. Sad smile)
Are you doing snowmen anytime soon? If so, I have a perfect little unit to go right along with it. I recently updated my Count by 2’s and 5’s unit on Teachers Pay Teachers. It was the first unit I ever created and it needed some help! Just click on the picture below to grab it!
Count by 2's and 5's
I’m so excited to move on to penguins next week. I’ll be using Caitlin’s Penguin Unit!

Hurry and Go to your local dollar tree

Okay! I LOVE me some Dollar Tree. We have a pretty nice one in our town and I visit it...weekly. I have to tell you about the cutest Valentines that I have been getting for my kiddos every year for about 6 years now. Here is the package:
They are 4 for $1. When you open them up they look like this:
The kiddos them pound the package one (or a few) good times with their fists. And look what ya get:
Isn’t that the cutest little balloon you’ve ever seen? It also comes with a little gold rope to put in the top. The kids LOVE these!!!! They get soooo excited watching it blow up!
I would recommend buying a few extra….some don’t work correctly. Also, you don’t want them to bust them completely open…they will leave. I’ve only had that happen once in 6 years. They go fast, so make sure you go soon!
Also, I went ahead a bought a few of these:
Remember this post? I used these little heart boxes for these activities from Cara Caroll and Babbling Abby. I knew I would find another use for them so I grabbed a few more. These went fast last year so while your getting your Valentines….grab these!

Differentiation and RTI

I'm tellin' ya what. I have the MOST diverse group this year. We are talking MAJOR differentiations. The majority of my kiddos are working on short vowel CVC word families. I am using my Winter Word Families Unit for these kiddos.
Winter Word Families preview
They are doing great and love doing these activities! Our school also has a subscription to Reading A-Z and Raz-Kids. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this site. They have tons of leveled readers. I purchased this unit from Made for 1st Grade.
It goes great with the short vowel stories from Reading A to Z.
Now, while most of my little sweeties are doing well with short vowel families, I have some babies who just aren’t there. Like. At.All. These are my RTI kiddos. For those kiddos I am using my Letter Practice RTI units. Each unit contains 5 (black and white) printables for that letter and 2 that review all letters taught previously. Obviously, I use LOTS of hands-on materials, pictures, games, etc. etc. etc. but this is independent work for them.
I have the following letters done M, A, S, P, T, I, N, C, O, K, F, H, and D. I am currently trying to finish up the other letters. When I do, I will offer all units together as for a discounted price. I’m working hard to get them all done! PROMISE!

Do you teach Kinder?

If so, I’ve got some exciting news for you! Have you seen this blog – Kinderland?
It's basically a collective group of kindergarten/early primary teachers-bloggers who strive to learn and grow with one another. They also all have blogs that you are more than likely already following! Another extension of this group is a Pinterest board called Kinderland Collaborative. You may have seen it on Pinterest lately!
Well, as if that was good enough news. There is even better news!!!!!
The original Kinderland members have started a new Google + community that you are definitely going to want to be apart of. We have this new Kinderland Collaborative Community available to be a meeting place between ALL kinder teachers ......bloggers and non-bloggers alike. If you are interested in all things kinder - you will want to join. It's a place to get to know other kinder teachers from around the world, get to know your favorite kinder bloggers (and learn about new ones)......ask questions, bounce ideas off other kinder teachers. The sky is the limit.....when we all work together! You will even see there is a place to link to freebies (all in one place) and we will have giveaways from time to time also! I hope you will join me there!!!
Why Google+?
Well, it's like Facebook, but better. The layout is nicer, allows us to create threads for different topics. We can even have hangouts (where you can video/audio chat with other kinder teachers and bloggers).
Want to join? Just click below!!! You’ll be addicted!


Yay! I have my 3 winners! I used to choose 3 winners. They numbers were 3, 22, and 19! So congrats to....

Sally, Debbie, and Lisa! 

I'm emailing you your units now! For the rest of you, if you would like this unit, just click on the picture below to get it in my TPT store. We are using it right now and the kiddos love it! :)


Winter Word Families

We are began short vowel word families today! Am I the only one that gets SO excited when all the letters have been taught and you can move on to something else?? I focus on a short vowel a week so this lasts 5 weeks. I had to change things up a bit since I am doing my new literacy centers so I just created a whole new unit to go with it.

This unit will last me 5 weeks in my literacy centers. This unit has a center for (for each vowel):

Word Play - Write the Room or Spin a Word
Pocket Chart - ABC order or Word Family Sentence Scramble
Phonics Fun - Word Family Sort
Puzzles and Games - Brrr! CVC game

Want it? Make sure you are following my blog AND my store. Leave a comment telling me you do and your email!  I'll pick 3 winners and it your way. Contest ends Wednesday night at midnight! Good luck!

Happy New Year

It's a new year! Woo Hoo!!! We head back to school tomorrow and we will be setting our goals and resolutions for the new year. We will be making these again: (I do the 2nd picture but at the little blower of the first one!)

Last year I just did the little paper from above. This year I made this to go with it:
Just click below to grab yours for free!