Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meet James the Elf;)

James is the newest addition to my Kindergarten classroom and my students are enthralled! He appeared this afternoon and after reading the adorable story the voting of the name began! He escaped the fate of the name Jacoin by 1 vote. I have to say I had a sigh of relief;) This is the first year I have done it and so far the students seem to really enjoy our new friend. They did have a lot of questions to which I gave some pretty creative answers;) They were very inquisitive.
Does anyone else do this at their school? What are some fun activities you do? Very excited to hear to any ideas! This is all so new to me! Any suggestions are more than welcomed;) Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

FREEBIE: Sight Word Hangman

My Kindergarteners LOVE playing hangman . It's a great way to practice sight words and vocabulary. First we play several times together as a class but then I put it in my writing or free choice station during reader's workshop and they LOVE IT! Here's a hangman sheet that you can put in sheet protectors or laminate so you can use over and over again. There are also some sight word cards you can laminate and cut for the students to use as their words. At the end of the year the hangman sheets always look "loved". To download your own sheet and word cards click on the picture below! Happy game playing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eat More Chicken

This is my favorite bullentin board and my Kindergarteners have a blast with it!
The feathers are coffee filters and students color them with markers. The body is a pattern the students trace and cut but you could totally trace their foot. The legs and beak are cut by the students from construction paper. You add eyes and a wattle and ta da a turkey!

Before starting we read the book Turkey Trouble. It's a cute story about a turkey who doesn't want to get eaten for Thanksgiving so he impersonates the other animals on the farm and finally tricks the farmer into eating a pizza he delivers.
The students then brainstorm ideas of what they could ask the farmer to eat if they were the turkey.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is it an apple, pumpkin, or both? Freebie!

This past week we have been observing,exploring, and reading the characteristics of apples and pumpkins as I'm sure most of you have.  I created these cards as a venn diagram activity to really get the students involved and thinking. Click on the picture to download.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monster Mash!

I LOVE Halloween!  It was always been one of my favorite holidays.  Of course we try to incorporate some educational Halloween activities into our October lesson plans.  A super fun activity that I did with my kids this past week was making our own monsters.  This is something that The Lesson Plan Diva and Plug-and-Plan have also done in the past.  I let the kids chose a mouth, nose, and some eyes.  They free cut a head or body and just created!  It was really cool to see what they came up with.  After they finished their monster, it was time to write!  I wrote some questions on the board to try and help direct their writing.  We also incorporated some Editing mini-lessons into our writing.  The kids did great with this! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

November and December Journal BINGO

Since November and December seem to be shorter school months I combined them into one BINGO board. Yay for Thanksgiving Break (we get a week!) and Winter Break (2 weeks!) I don't know about everyone else but I'm looking forward to some breaks to rest, relax, and refresh;) Click HERE to download!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Benjamin Franklin Unit

Our Social Studies Curriculum covers many different American  Heroes.  Benjamin Franklin is one of these people we study.  It is difficult to explain some of these people and what their accomplishments were to such young children.  You try to make it interesting for them but sometimes finding the resources is difficult.  I made this packet to help my students understand this great man and what he did for our country.  It contains a lot of hands-on activities, assessments, and writing prompts.

Click here to snag your copy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Treats

While at Target this past week we couldn't pass up cruising the one spot. There's always the best stuff there! While scavenging we came across the cutest things for Halloween goody bags to give our students. We bought packs of notepads, erasers, wash off tattoos, pencils, and cute bags each for you guessed it $1.
We're going to also add little tubs of Halloween playdoh....and of course candy. What fun stuff do you during the Halloween season in your classroom? We'd love to hear! Post your ideas! And happy Target shopping;)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On Fire!

Thank you to Christine at Hopping Into First grade for this award! We feel so honored. The rules are to share 7 things about yourself and then pass on the award to other hot blogs. So first the random things about ourselves.


1) I am not a morning person...I HAVE to have my coffee...I think I would sleep until noon everyday if not for an alarm clock lol
2) I recently discovered Thai food and am a little obsessed;)
3) I LOVE thunderstorms.
4) I have a scholastic book problem...
5) I will finish my Specialist degree in May...yay!
6) Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite shows...hilarious
7) I spend Saturdays in the fall watching college football...Roll Tide!!!!


1) I am lucky enough to do this blog with one of my best friends who I have known since middle school!  Luckily we went into the same awesome profession!
2) If I did not teach I would love to be a personal shopper, or to do hair!  I've always been a girly-girl!
3) I finlish my Specialist Degree in just a few short classes!!! Double yay!
4) My husband and I have been together since high school, he is probably the nicest person I know.
5) I love to read, my love of books has ended up with a serious Scholastic addiction.
6) Social Studies is my favorite subject to teach by far, I love history and try to instill that love in my students, even if some of my lessons end up a little eloborate for first grade :-)
7) I secretly read gossip magazines, they are a serious weakness!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Literacy Station Rotation

We both adopted this fantastic literacy station rotation about 3 years ago. And once we started we couldn't believe how we survived without it. We pair the students heterogeneously so the lower students learn from the higher students. The pairs really cut down on the noise level and it's easier for them to stay on task. We each do it a little different to fit our classrooms.

We have rotations of 3 to 4 stations a day. During one of their stations they meet with us which may leave a student alone in their center but this works out fine. In Kindergarten I set a timer for 10 minutes at the beginning of the year and slowly work the stamina per station to 15 minutes. In First grade Katie sets a timer for 20 minutes per rotation. During each rotation we meet with a guided reading group while students work in their stations. In Kindergarten I start the year with 2 rotations per day and then work our stamina up to 4. When the students hear the timer go off they clean up and wait for the bell to change to their next center. Each week in Kindergarten I would mix up the centers so students were not missing the same centers when meeting with me for guided reading. Here's a picture of our center boards at the end of last year.

I got the station cards at School Box and laminated them. I bought two sets and and put the other icon on the box to go with that center. Katie made her own cards.
For noise control and staying on task check out The Lesson Plan Diva's Center Patrol Idea.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Sale!!!

It's my birthday and I'll have a sale if I want to! Come visit my TPT store and enjoy the sale! It's on all of my TPT products. Hurry because it ends Sunday October 9th! Click on the sales tag to celebrate! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Freebie: October Journal BINGO

TADA! Here is October Journal BINGO. Hope your kids are loving them as much as ours;) If you download leave a note or rating. We appreciate it! Click HERE to download.
You can check out the September Journal BINGO too by clicking on the picture below.

Lesson Plan Diva Giveaway!!!

PhotobucketThe Lesson Plan Diva has hit over 1,000 followers!!! Wow! And to celebrate she is having a HUGE giveaway. You don't want to miss out on this one. To find out how to get all the great activities from some pretty cool blogs head on over to her page by clicking the button below. Hurry because the sale ends today!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pushing and Pulling

In kindergarten we have been talking about force and motion this past week. This is an activity for students to differentiate between push and pull. To get a copy click HERE! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!

My kids were so excited today when I told them it was Johnny Appleseed's Birthday!  We have been talking about Folktales for the past few weeks and they are really into it so far.  I've heard about a lot of cute activities that people are doing in their room, check out The Lesson Plan Diva's cute Johnny Appleseed project!  For some fun Johnny Appleseed activities, as well as other folktale heroes, check out my
American Folktales Unit on TPT!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Health - Who has time?

With everything else there is to teach..who has time for Health?!?  But this subject is extremely important in teaching young children good habits and healthy living.  I actually really enjoy teaching Health and the students usually get really into it.  Our topic for this nine weeks was Safety procedures and Emergency awareness.  Because most Health topics are hard to find meaningful activities, let alone assessments, I made my own!  This pack has twenty pages worth of Safety and Emergency Activities and Assessments.  It can be paired with any Health Curriculum.  Happy Health Teaching!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spin Class

So all summer, when ever I visited The School Box, I kept eyeing something awesome.  I talked myself out of it every time.  Then the school year started and I finally caved a bought one.  So without further ado.....

So the package I bought was just one, and it was the red arrow.  I am so happy I made this purchase, it makes lessons so much more interactive and fun for the kids.  It has been a great center activity as well.  Here is a picture of when we used it to learn about Word Families:

You can use it for anything, math, reading, or language arts.  It's magnetic and sticks to the board for easy storage.  You can pick one up at your local School Box, or online from the company,

I have already had friends get them and they love them as well!

Happy Spinning!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Facebook Linky Party

The Lesson Plan Diva is hosting a fabulous linky party. There are so many great blogs out there and it's hard to keep track of them all. Most have a facebook page too! Head on over to The Lesson Plan Diva to check out all the great blogs assorted by grade level. While your at it come check out and follow our facebook page on Dishing It Out!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Job Chart

Job chart idea! We printed the jobs from our Back to School Rules packet and glued them onto cute card stock templates. Then we punched a hole at the top and bottom and laced the cards through and TA DA! a job chart. I think clothespins with the students names on them will work the best to clip to each job. And it's a space saver! Click here to download the job cards and make your own;)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I have...Who has....Uppercase Letters

Here's our favorite game using Uppercase letters. Download your own by clicking on the picture! If you get a chance a vote or feedback would be greatly appreciated. Here's to a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I have...Who has...Freebie

You guessed it! Another I have...Who has game. Our kiddos are loving these! Hope yours are too! This is a color one that has two different formats. One with the words in color for beginners and all in black for more advanced learners. We played in small group and the students had great success. To download your own copy click on the picture. Enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

What an honor!!!!

We were so excited to see that we appeared on a Top 10 list. Thank you to 3rd Grade Gridiron we are so honored! And her blog is definitley one of our favs.


So now for our Top 10! So hard to choose....but here is goes.

Keen On Kindergarten

Teaching in High Heels

Doodle Bugs Teaching
Castles and Crayons


First Grade Factory

Lesson Plan SOS

Target Treasures

Wiggins World

Lowercase I have...Who has...

My kindergarten class this year is loving the I have....Who has games I have been making! Here's another one with lowercase letters. To grab your own just click on the picture below! If you download leave a comment! Thanks!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who knew?!?!

We just discovered dry erase crayons and we are so excited!!!!! It's the little things in life right?!?! Maybe we are the last to jump on the bandwagon but we had NO idea about this great invention until a colleague started talking about them. Office Depot was a buck cheaper then Office Max having them for $3.99 a pack. Go out and get some if you have not;) We're so excited about using them tomorrow! Perfect for page protector activities...oh the possibilities are endless....Happy coloring everyone:)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


A literacy center we both use in our classrooms is journaling. We were finding that students were drawing and writing the same stories over and over again. To solve this problem Journal BINGO was created.

There is one for each month and students glue it to the front of their journal .Students can either do 5 across, diagonal, down or you can have them fill the board. Each time they "won" and we checked to make sure they wrote enough to fulfill the assignment they would get something out of the treasure chest and then they could continue playing on the same board.

 Each month students would get a new board and they absolutely LOVED it and we got some really great writing out of our students. To download your own copy click on the picture below.