Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Printables

Happy New Year kindergarten teachers and families!  I hope you were able to pick up some new ink cartridges for Christmas, because here are a few printables to celebrate the successes of 2012 and plan goals for 2013.

Original Source:  Colour me There

Original Source:  All Kids Network

Original Source:  Ladybug's Teacher Files

Original Source:  Wonderful Joy Ahead

Original Source:  Jessica Swift

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Kindergarten Families!

Original picture from something.
  Hoping you enjoy your holiday and I'll see you soon.

Little learners!  Here are some Christmas games for you to play before Santa comes to visit!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Books with Bijou!

Kindergarten families!  Ms.  Bijou was so sweet to share guided readers with your little learner!  Our guided readers are now available on-line and will be posted for each reading unit.  Click on the the cover of the book you would like to read with your child.  The books include an audio feature, so your child can listen to the story independently.  Listening to these books on-line can be used to document your child's at-home reading practice.  Be sure your child writes the date and title on their book-log to show what they've been reading.  The new page is called Books with Bijou.  Be sure to check it out today!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Parent Resources

Original source:

Kindergarten families my heart is saddened along with the rest of  our country as we mourn the loss of our most precious children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary .  I know that children will express different emotions and express curiosity about the tragic event that happened in Connecticut.  Our school psychologist has provided the teachers with a resource on dealing with a crisis or trauma.   I think it will be helpful to kindergarten families during this time.  You can find more information at the National Association of School Psychologists.  Please contact me or any Watergrass Elementary Staff member if you have any questions, concerns or need to talk.  Give your children some extra squeezes this weekend too.

Here is another little quote I found that really touched my heart.  Hopefully it will help you too.

Original source:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Updated Calendar

Hello Kindergarten Families!

Please take a look at the updates on our class calendar.  I appreciate your patience with my time away from the classroom.  Our reading coach Mrs. Hughes always comes by on these days to work with the children during center time.  This will be the only month you will see so many meetings on the calendar!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New Math Websites!

Kindergarten families, please take a look at the new page Math Websites.  I have added some counting and beginning addition games that I know your little learner will love!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Updated Kindergarten Websites!

Thank-you Ms. Hunter for your help with my Kindergarten Websites page!  Kindergarten families, please take a look.  You will find many of the on-line games and activities we use at school.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A tisket, a tasket... and homework FAQs!

Today, I finally did an activity from the book, I Love Letters by Dr. Jean.   I have had this book for almost 2 years, read it front to back, but haven't found the time to use it.  This school year-  especially after today's reaction-  I'm making it a priority!  The activity is so simple, and the kids did not want to stop practicing naming letters.  Unfortunately, they wouldn't stop singing the song either!  We  drove the teachers next door "bonkers"... but they were very forgiving!

The children sit in a circle as you walk around holding a basket of magnetic letters or letter cards  saying the rhyme (I sang it to the tune "It's Raining, It's Pouring")

A tisket, a tasket
There are letters in my basket.
I'll drop one behind a friend
And see if they can name it!

When the child gets a letter they pick it up and name it.  The activity naturally extended itself into a "making words" activity.  I passed out certain letters to form sight words.  Next time I will plan to have more letters on hand to make more sight words!  The kids just loved it!

To find more quick and enjoyable letter-naming activities, pick up the book I Love Letters!  -OR- just drop by Dr. Jean's website or blog.  She has a ton of resources available!

Kindergarten families...

Here are some FAQs that will (hopefully) help you out with your little learners homework this week.  

Do I return sight word and ABC folders to school everyday?  
NO.  Homework folders are due every Friday.  If you do finish homework early, please keep folder in backpack.  I will collect any work on Friday.
Calendar folders should be returned daily!

Can my child bring home more books?  
Your child will have the opportunity to take home more books very soon!  Right now I am checking for (and teaching) responsible book handling.  Please reinforce this at home.  Teach your child to keep borrowed books on the table away from food and drink, away from pets, and out of the hands of our little baby learners at home (unless they are closely supervised).  
In time, your child can bring home a new book every night!

My child can't read the book he/she brought home.  What should I do?
The books your child brings home are self-selected.  The purpose of this is motivation and reading enjoyment.  It's OK if they can't read every word.  Right now I would just like to build enjoyable reading experiences at home where the adult does most of the reading work.  
To involve your child more, he/she can point to the words, turn pages and point out letters or sight words that they do know!   As we begin reading more books together, your child will be bringing home text they can read independently.   I will also begin teaching children how to pick out books that are just right for their reading level!

What do I do with the math journals?
Math journals are returned every Friday along with any other homework.

My child enjoys doing the sight word and ABC homework activities.  Can they do an activity everyday?
Yes!  The homework schedule calls  for one activity a week, but  I would encourage you to practice daily.  Please see schedule here.  The homework activities are meant to be "self-pacing" so if your child wants to do more PLEASE DO!  Our volunteer will be checking their progress weekly.  We will be able to add more activities based on the progress they make in naming letters and reading sight words. 

Any other questions?  Please leave a comment or contact me at

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's getting there...

Our classroom is finally coming together for our new kindergarten class.  The only thing missing?  18 little learners!
Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Breakfast goodies!

Starting next week Watergrass Elementary will be opening up a BRAND NEW kindergarten class!  On Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful kindergarten parents.  While I had every intention of taking lots and lots of pictures to capture our first event together... I only got one.  Next time I'll be sure to have a "photographer" working the event!

Thank-you so much kindergarten families for supporting your child's transition to a new classroom!  AND thank you Ms. Hunter, Mrs. Barinas, Mrs. Perez, Mrs. Plummer and Ms. Smith for helping me transition to a new classroom too!

Monday, October 29, 2012

T- time... and a little book!

These came out so ADORABLE!  The kids were cracking up when they were making them too!  Thanks again to From the Hive for this great idea.  You can do the same with white pop-cubes or mini-marshmallows.

I'm also attaching a super simple little book that will help the children learn to read and write the sight word "see".  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Time for T!

We are starting a new unit in our reading series-  which means new letters and new words.

Thanks Mrs. B for already finding a super cute letter video to share with our little learners...  take a look at what she found on Pinterest...

Another one... a bit strange, but will be memorable for the kids!

Cookie Monster is so stinkin' cute! I love him!

T is for teeth...  meet Tebo the Tooth!

To extend the connection of the letter T to our real teeth, here are some activities to include during your centers... Thanks From the Hive for sharing.

Drop by tomorrow to see the other activities we did to learn the letter T!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday's Must Have... introducing a new letter!

Oh my goodness, we have been working on the letters A and M for soooooo long.  I'm so glad we are ready to move on to the letter S!

Today I did a lot of tactile activities to introduce the letter S.  My goal is to have the children remember the name and shape of the letter and connect it to something meaningful and memorable.

One of my boys showed everyone in his group how to transfer a stamp on your hand to your forehead...  I had 6 children with forehead stamps.   I hope the ink washes out!

It's important to connect these activities to real reading and writing.  I like to follow each tactile/physical activity with either a read-aloud that supports the letter we are working on or a written response.  Take the time to make these fun and cutesy activities meaningful for reading and writing and not just random tasks!

Of course every new letter should be introduced with a fun video or song...  here are some superb suggestions for the letter S!

This one is Mrs. Plummer's favorite...  hehehe, she always hears the best videos during her lunch break!

The video pod-casts created by Hooked on Phonics are great!  They are available on YouTube and on iTunes...  totally free!

I love Sesame Street!  I am so glad we have access to them now.  What did we ever do before YouTube?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

And the winner is...

I was a bit nervous about drawing a name for my first giveaway, so I had the beautiful Bijou help me.

She got a bit carried away after awhile...

She's so silly!  

Check back soon for my next giveaway!  I have more Jack Hartmann goodies to share!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday's Teacher Talk... Mrs. Dapcic!

What is your teaching background?
I taught second grade and pre-k in Chicago, Illinois. I have been teaching kindergarten inclusion at Richey Elementary for seven years.

              Where do you get your best ideas for teaching and learning?
I get my best ideas from my wonderful colleagues and friends, research based books, and Pinterest of course! I learn from my students everyday and they motivate me to think outside of the box. Everything I do and plan is for them, and I want it all to be meaningful.

What are some of your favorite organization strategies?
I love binders! I have an organizational binder for every subject, assessments, and just general “teacher stuff”. Even my students have their own organizational binders. I also like to keep my classroom organized by using lots of bins. Everything has it’s place and the students know how to help maintain our organized environment.

What do you do in your time away from school?
In my time away from school, I love to spend time with my family and friends. I enjoy making bows and crafts from Pinterest. I also love to bake cupcakes with my best friend Miss Cabral! I love to read books about teaching reading and of course some gossip magazines too!  I am always on the Internet looking up centers and lessons ideas for my classroom. I also like to update my classroom blog to keep my students’ families informed of the wonderful things their children are doing.

What are the must-haves in your classroom?
*LOTS of books in my classroom library

Time for bragging!  Monika and I had the pleasure of attending the IRA conference a few years ago...  look who we got to meet!  

YES, that is Regie Routman's business card!!!  I think our excitement was making her a "bit" uncomfortable....  but she was so gracious to talk with us!  What an amazing speaker and writing teacher she is!  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Must Have... Jack Hartmann Giveaway!

Time for my very first giveaway!  

Kindergarten teachers, how much do you love Jack Hartmann's music?!  Show your love by checking out his music and DVDs on the Hop 2 It Music website or Facebook page.  Your task-  leave me a comment letting me know that you paid a visit to either his website or Facebook page.    Please include your email with your comment!  

I will be drawing a name on Sunday, October 7.  

The giveaway is one of my favorite CDs...  Shake, Rattle and Read along with a poster sized ABC chart.

Good luck!  

Here are some extra goodies from Mr. Hartmann's YouTube channel!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

File... save!

Oh my goodness, I had a fight with my homework newsletter tonight- and it totally won.  I purchased a super-cute clipart set from DJ Inkers called October Doodlers...and got a little carried away.  Word just unexpectedly closed (the way it does when inserting too much clipart) sigh!  Anyway I did NOT save over my existing template and had to start all.  over.  again.

If you are interested in purchasing some fall or Halloween clipart, head on over to DJ Inkers...  but I'm warning you!  You might be "browsing" for awhile!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Give me 5!

I made up this practice page this morning to go along with yesterday's post.  If you are out of copies, you can practice the same concept using stickers or stamps.

You can also show the children how to find sets of 5 by using a different color for each set.  This will help them see the sets more clearly.

If you use stickers or stamps, caution the children to put spaces in between them, so it is easier to count-  or you can just let them go for it, then lead them through the problem solving process when it's time to count sets of 5.  It's interesting to see each child do this activity, they each approach it differently.  You will see some children circle each individual circle or sticker instead of circling the total set.  If you see children doing this, show them how to draw a BIG circle around the 5 objects.  They might not understand the concept of a set.  Some children might count while they are putting objects on the paper.  You will see them either loose their spot, or not know what number comes next.  Talk to them about counting 5, circling 5 then starting again.  You can help them count the BIG number when they are done!

The bubble clipart is from Lettering Delights.  When you set up an account you get a few sets of clip-art and fonts for free.  It is called Banner Day Fun.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's Must Have... music and books for the number 5!

Counting doesn't come easy for some children.  It takes a lot of repetition, practice and hands-on activities and games.  I like to use music and videos to help little learners remember the counting sequence and to connect abstract numbers and counting to something real.

YouTube is a great place to find lots and lots of counting songs and videos...

YouTube also has a TON of super quick Sesame Street video segments.  It doesn't take too much time to incorporate these videos into your math instruction.  Sesame Street has video podcasts available on iTunes.  I used these a lot last year.  They are a bit longer (about 6-7 minutes) and are organized by numbers all the way up to 20 AND its totally free!

These two books are class favorites.  The children easily memorize the songs, which makes them easy to "read".  Song books are always a big hit in any kindergarten classroom.  A song book basket is a great addition to your classroom library too!

I like to use these guided readers in lessons too.  The text is very simple and its an easy way for teachers to get out math manips to practice counting and showing the number.  The kids love following along with the book and "matching the number".  

Finally, five frames are a great visual for our little learners.  Donna at Math Coach's Corner has a little summary of how to address the Common Core Standards using five frames and dot cards.  Here are some five frame freebies from Multi-Grade Matters.  Thanks Deborah for sharing!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Next week's Homework!

I will be sharing my weekly homework newsletter and activities.  You are welcome to use them.  The letters and sight words come from the MacMillan-McGraw Hill Kindergarten Treasures series.  If you would like more resources that go along with Treasures, please be sure to check out my Curriculum Connection page.  You will find some wonderful activities to support your Treasures reading instruction.