Sunday, June 29, 2014

BIG NEWS!!!

Last August, before school even started for the year, I requested a grade change from Kindergarten to...Grade 2! All year long I waited to see what would happen, and a few months ago I was told that it's a go.

I have enjoyed teaching Kindergarten for the past 12 years. I love how excited my students are to come to school. They are just SO enthusiastic! My Kindergarten teaching schedule is 3 days per week. Can't complain about that! After twelve years I've got everything down pat, so I sometimes ask myself what am I doing changing grades!? But twelve years is a looong time. My first Kindergarten class is heading to grade 11 this fall :) It's time for me to try something different; time to get my creative juices flowing again; time for me to dig into some new curriculum.

I am so excited for next year already. I have not had my own classroom for FIFTEEN YEARS, so that is one thing I am pumped about! I cannot wait to give you a tour of my new room!!! Expect lots of pictures :) I'll even have my own desk! I die!
I am also excited to create new things for my students to use. Lots of engaging, relevant, fun items. I've got tons of ideas up my sleeve!!

And of course, I am super excited to teach older children. Kids who already know what school is, who know the routines, and who still love to come every day! And did I mention I'll be teaching half-days, every morning? It doesn't get better than this!
I feel so blessed that God has allowed these changes to take place. After three years of having these thoughts of a grade change simmering in my mind, I could not be happier that it is all coming true! God is good!

My blog will remain the same. My posts will be about ideas relevant for Kindergarten-Grade 2. I already have 20 freebies to share with you over the summer. Freebies that are relevant for K-2. {The first one will be showing up this week!} My TPT store will be made up of items for Kindergarten-Grade 2. My Pinterest boards are full of amazing ideas for K-2. Join me on my adventure- I am so excited!
Did I mention that I am excited?!?! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kindergarten Math Journals

This year I tried something new, by having my students work in a daily math journal.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
The math journal was used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
I used the journals after whole group learning, and before math centers.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
My students took ownership of their booklets, and really enjoyed practicing a different concept each day. It kept learning exciting!
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
It also made it easy for me to see who has mastered each of the concepts, and who needs a little more practice :) In a way, they were used as an assessment tool.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
Here are some pictures of my students conducting a poll to practice collecting data, graphing skills, and comparing results.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.

These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.

These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.

These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
Here my students are searching the room for shapes, and recording their finds in their math journals.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.

These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.

These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.

These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
These math journals are great for use over the summer, as extra practice and reinforcement so that all those concepts and skills won't be lost over the break.
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
You can find the math journals {here}
These Kindergarten Math Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten math benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal, one page for each skill.
PS My literacy journal has just been posted!!! Click {here} :)
These Kindergarten Literacy Journals can be used as a reinforcement tool, giving students that daily extra practice they need to help them master concepts. All of the Kindergarten phonics and phonemic awareness benchmarks are spiraled throughout the journal.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bright Idea: Storing Anchor Charts

Anchor charts are GREAT learning tools!
Teaching tips on how to use and store anchor charts in the classroom.
They work at any grade level, for any school subject. I will post more in the future about anchor charts, but today I want to focus on anchor chart storage.


Let me begin by saying I don't believe in plastering the classroom walls with charts. When there are too many, they begin to blend into the background and lose their meaning.
But the dilemma is, we want our students to be able to access the charts whenever they need to. The learning on those charts never finished.
So what do you do with them all?


Keep them in one area of the classroom where they can be accessed by students whenever they are needed. I have mine on a clothing stand! 
Teaching tips on how to use and store anchor charts in the classroom.
They are attached with shower curtain hooks. Students can flip through to see the chart that they need, whenever they need it. It is also easy for me to simply flip to the chart we need.
Teaching tips on how to use and store anchor charts in the classroom.
The stand takes up no space- it is wide but narrow. So all my charts fit on it, and none get damaged/wrinkled/forgotten about in my closet :)
Teaching tips on how to use and store anchor charts in the classroom.

Teaching tips on how to use and store anchor charts in the classroom.
Find more great teaching tips by clicking below:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kindergarten Writing Center Activities and Ideas- Perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
Throughout the school year we have been doing lots of writing. During Literacy Center time, students rotated through activities each day, and some writing activities have included Write the Room, handwriting booklets, and lots of sight word practice.
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
During our Writing block, there has been lots of free choice with respect to what and how students choose to do their writing. Here are some samples of what our writing time has looked like at various points throughout the school year.

Students have their own Word Wall Books. These little booklets are filled with the words we have learned in class, as well as the names of our classmates. The book is perfect for students to keep at their fingertips so that they can refer to it wherever they choose to do their writing in the classroom.
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
 It's also great to send home so that students can practice the words over the summer, and they have room to add more words they learn!
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
You can find the Word Wall booklets {here}
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
Some of the free choices for student writing include making lists, labelling, writing with prompts, and regular writing pages.

Students choose a word card and corresponding list to practice writing. They love this activity! It's a great way to increase vocabulary, practice handwriting skills, and it takes the pressure off of deciding what to write about :)
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
You can find the list pack {here} It includes word cards and list pages for the WHOLE year.
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
Students use the word bank to fill in their labelling pages. It's another way to increase vocabulary and practice handwriting. It also gives the students practice sounding out the words, using their beginning reading strategies to figure out what the words are!
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
You can find the labelling pages {here} There are topics for the WHOLE school year.
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
These pages with writing prompts have been an amazing writing tool for students to use during writing time. They include lots of pictures and blank lines, so that students have a writing prompt and can write about the picture and color it.
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten- perfect for Daily 5!
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten- perfect for Daily 5!
For those who are confident in their own writing, there are pages with lines and blank areas for the illustrations.
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
You can find the FREE download of these pages {here}
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten and First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!
For even more Kindergarten Writing Center Ideas {here}
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for Kindergarten- perfect for Daily 5!
Find more First Grade Writing Center Ideas {here}
Lots of writing center activities and ideas for First Grade- perfect for Daily 5!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Random LOLs From Around Our School

Here's my favourite late slip I received. I keep it on my desk because it cracks me up.
an honest excuse

This sign is posted on our Grade 7 door:
poor Mr. V

I think we're about ready for summer vacation! How about you?



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Color Word Read-Stamp-Write, FREE Bug Clip Cards, and More Literacy Centers

Our FINAL round of literacy activity centers for the year!
FREE Bug clip cards and Bug Write the Room- great as spring themed literacy centers to promote vocabulary building and letter matching!
Here they are:
MAKING BUG WORDS
FREE Bug clip cards- great as a spring themed literacy center to promote vocabulary building and letter matching!
FREE Bug clip cards- great as a spring themed literacy center to promote vocabulary building and letter matching!
 Students used clothespins to make bug words.
FREE Bug clip cards- great as a spring themed literacy center to promote vocabulary building and letter matching!
The clothespins have letters on them, and the students matched the letters to the cards.
UPDATE 2016: I revamped this activity and offer it as a FREEBIE! Check it out {here}
FREE Bug clip cards- great as a spring themed literacy center to promote vocabulary building and letter matching!

BUG WRITE THE ROOM
Bug themed Write the Room literacy activity center- great for vocabulary building and active learning!
Students hunted around the room for bug words, and recorded them on their pages.
Bug themed Write the Room literacy activity center- great for vocabulary building and active learning!
UPDATE: I have revamped this activity! You can find it {here}
Bug themed Write the Room literacy activity center- great for vocabulary building and active learning!
Bug themed Write the Room literacy activity center- great for vocabulary building and active learning!

READ-STAMP-WRITE
Read It! Stamp It! Write It!- literacy center booklets to practice sight words ALL YEAR long!
Students completed another little booklet of Read-Stamp-Write, where the focus was a review of color words.
Read It! Stamp It! Write It!- literacy center booklets to practice sight words ALL YEAR long!

Read It! Stamp It! Write It!- literacy center booklets to practice sight words ALL YEAR long!
You can find the pack {here}
Read It! Stamp It! Write It!- literacy center booklets to practice sight words ALL YEAR long!

LISTENING CENTER
Students listened to The Roly Poly Spider and filled in a response sheet.

LETTER MAZES
We finished the rest of the letter mazes, which were a free download from Education.com {here}

UPDATE 2016: I have created bundles of month-long literacy centers, to make things easy for Kindergarten teachers!
The packs include all new literacy activities in these 5 areas of learning:
1)Writing 2)Listening to reading 3) Word work (sight words) 4) Phonics/alphabet 5) Phonemic awareness
The packs are laid out, week by week, for the entire month. They include 5 stations for students to rotate through per week, with all of the components you’ll need for each activity.
Assessment tools are included to help keep learning on track and to keep your students accountable.
Learning is spiraled throughout the month, to help students build on their prior learning. 
Check out the first pack in the series {here}
20 Kindergarten Literacy Centers: a full month of centers!
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