Monday, December 31, 2012

January Currently

I was so excited to see the January Currently up one day early...because I go back to school on Jan. 2 so you can bet that the 1st is going to consist of some lesson planning and prepping madness...and I can tell right now that they're just won't be any time to blog.

Head over to Oh Boy 4th Grade to link up yourself.

So, without further ado, here it is....

Listening...OK, I'm not sure what's up with my pup but she has been sleeping like crazy lately (not that I'm complaining, usually she is destroying something or running around like a crazy dog).  I think she hates the freezing cold weather...but she'd better get used to it!

Loving...NYE date!! Woohoo!  Last year, I was running the Polar Dash 10K and did not do much for New Years Eve.  The year before I got engaged on NYE.  This year my hubby and I are just doing a simple little dinner date.  Which is absolutely what I wanted! Perfect!

Thinking...I literally have a three foot pile of *stuff* that I was going to get to over far I have taken it out of the box that I brought it home in...and....yep, that's it.  So I guess tomorrow is crunch time for me!

Wanting...Not much...I had a great Christmas!  I do need some curtain rods to hang up the new curtains I received as a present.  But mostly I would just like one uninterrupted work day in my classroom before we go back on the 2nd!   Obviously not going to happen.  Oh well, I can dream!

Needing..A Haircut...Sooooo badly.  I was going to chop off my hair after my wedding.  That was in July.  I haven't even cut it.  Holy split ends.  I need a new hairdresser since I never found one after we moved.  Anyone in the Mpls/St Paul area have recommendations??  I need help!

OLW...Lucky!  I just feel lucky after having some fun get togethers with family and friends this holiday season:).

I am excited to look at everyone else's Currently posts...don't forget the rule of three:) I love comments!

Don't forget about my TpT sale and FB giveaway!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Joining the 21st Century...Follow me on Facebook and Win:)

I am happy to announce that KindegartenKel is finally on Facebook!  I am excited to use FB to announce sales (like the flash sale I have going on right now) and other fun offers...and to just chat about teacher stuff!  Please click my button below to go check it out!

Here's the best part...
If you leave me a comment to let me know you follow me on Facebook, you will be entered to win a $10.00 TpT gift card.  Earn an additional entry by linking to and mentioning my new FB page on one of your blog posts.  I will randomly pick a winner on January 1st by 11:59 PM.  Please leave your email in your comment.  One entry only per person.  Good luck:)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Gingerbread Ideas

I have had quite a week...we got about 13 inches of snow Sunday-Monday morning and I am on the couch with a cold so this post will be short and pretty much just pics!  I wanted to show you how we wrapped up our gingerbread unit.  We are now onto Holidays Around the World for this week and next so there are a few pictures of the beginnings of that, too.  Although, I'm still, how, how do all you wonder-bloggers get SO  many great pictures of all of your classroom activities!?! Do you have a volunteer do it?  By the time I remember to get my camera or phone out, the activity is almost over and I'm thinking about the next thing.  If you have tips about this, please comment or email me!

Okay onto the pictures........

We read Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett and free hand tempera painted our own friends for the Gingerbread Baby! Everyone's turned out very unique!  There is a fun YouTube video of Jan Brett showing how she paints the gingerbread baby in her book here.  We watched it on our Promethean Board.

We did some gingerbread science...we checked to see what would have happened if the Gingerbread Man had tried to swim across the river without the fox's help.  I got the freebie recording sheet from Babbling Abby.

This friend is writing down her prediction--I wonder what will happen to the gingerbread cookie!?!

Here it is-a soggy mess! It turned the water brown and eventually crumbled to bits of mushy mess.

We also got to sample gingerbread cookies and graph how we ate them!

I had the kiddos cut out their own graph pieces.

Adding to our graph!
Lots of friends bit off the head first...not surprised!

We used Lori Rosenberg's step-by-step writing freebie to go with our graph.

To top it all off, we made graham cracker gingerbread houses! So much fun!

And...our first Holidays Around the World Unit project...Christmas Trees from Germany!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Short A Freebies

This will be a super quick post...I am running on empty...getting ready for gingerbread house day, an early Christmas family celebration out of town this weekend, IEP meetings, etc.

I have more gingerbread unit pictures and will be uploading them after our fun is done tomorrow with a reader's theater...and of course making gingerbread houses!

Tonight I wanted to quick post links to a bunch of awesome, FREE short A word family resources that I've found.  We have been focusing on medial short A this week and will be again next week, too.

Here is what I've found, hope it's helpful to you, too!

Short A Freebies:
Hubbard's Cupboard: printable word family booklets, as well as word lists and word maker sheets.
Carl's Corner: TONS of word family stuff...full units!!!
Short A Tab Reader by JD's Rockin Readers: Free on TpT
Short A Smartboard Lesson: Free on TPT
Short A/ Long A Cookie Sort Game: Free on TpT and super cute!
Huge Free Short A/ Short E TPT Unit
Sort A Sentences for fluency or RTI
Fun Short A Flip Book
Old McDonald Short Vowel Farm Reader
Name the Picture CVC Online Game
YouTube-Short Vowels Song

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gingerbread Kick-Off!

Today was our first day of my week-long gingerbread unit!  Gingerbread is definitely one of the most fun themes that we cover during the year. I thought I'd post some pictures of how we kicked it off today.  At the end of the post, I will post my gingerthemed plans for the rest of the week (sorry it's going to be in a fancy schmancy visual schedule format at this point in the day, lol). I also have a freebie to share.

Here's what we managed to get done today:
Several of my reading groups read this decodable reader (available in my gingerbread unit).

We practiced blending CCVC and CVC words on a gingerbread  Elkonin box mat--we used dry erase markers for this.

Another reading group read a gingerbread man color word booklet-I think this was from an old Mailbox book.

We made a class  book...the templates are available here for free.  It's also included in my gingerbread unit.

Illustrating our class book!

We played Fox's Word Munch sight word game available in my gingerbread unit.

Children read sight words and fed them to the hungry fox if they read the words correctly.  If not, they placed them on their "cookie sheet" and wrote them for extra practice.
You can kind of see the fox word bag in this picture.

We retold the Gingerbread Man story with props that we cut and colored.

The children store their props in this cute gingerbread house pocket.  We are saving them to retell again tomorrow.  You guessed it...these are also available in my gingerbread unit on TpT!

More retelling! 

Here is what we will be up to for the rest of the week with our Gingerbread Theme...I will most more pictures as the week goes on.

Tuesday: Read Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett. Make Gingerbread Friends art project.

Wednesday: Gingerbread Man science experiment-What would have happened if the gingerbread man swam across the river?  *Found a great freebie recording sheet for this at Babbling Abby's blog.

Thursday: Gingerbread Cookie Graph: What body part did you eat first?
I am using this freebie from Lori at Teaching With Love and Laughter for our graphing activity.

*Here is another super cute graph freebie from Fabulous in First plus other activities.
Friday-Make gingerbread houses! is my freebie.  It's just a quick beginning, middle, end page that's adaptable to any gingerbread story you use!  I was tired of finding sequencing pages with the wrong characters for the ginger stories I have:).  Click here to go get it.

Thanks for reading...leave a comment if you use any of the links or grab my freebie:).  Hope your Monday was bearable!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Currently...and Pin It to Win It!!

It's time again for the Currently link-up by Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade.  My hubby and I love our Vikings...and I am in 3 Fantasy Football leagues...I think he's in 2. Sooo Sunday is always a football marathon at our house!  I used to just watch the Vikings but I can honestly say I have grown to like watching NFL football (most) of the time!  Today it's the big rivalry match up..Vikes vs. Pack and the Vikings are winning! Whoop Whoop!

I was happy to get all of our decorations up over Thanksgiving break and love having the Christmas lights on every night.  With no snow here in MN, it has gotten me more into the holiday spirit to have some cheery decor.

We have a short, short winter break this year but that doesn't mean I'm not counting down the days (of course I love my job, I also just happen to love having some family, friends and free time).

I have been feeling stretched a little thin money wise lately so I am definitely wanting/needing payday to roll around soon to finish up that Christmas shopping...I did get a lot done on Black Friday though.

And lastly, we had an impromptu grade level lunch on Friday and I sprang for pizza for everyone!  It was so much fun to actually sit down and chit chat with everyone, including our interventionist and kindergarten paras.  That never, ever happens!

Head over and link up with's fun to see what everyone is up to.

Lastly, if you click here to go to my last post about my new winter CVC word pack, there is still time for you to win the pack.  All you have to do is pin the cover image of the pack and comment with a link to your pin and your email. The first five people to comment win the pack automatically!  If you don't get there in time, it's on sale at TPT through Monday.  Click on the image below to check it out at TPT.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What did you get from the big sale??

I am so excited at some of the fun things I picked up at the big Cyber Monday and Bonus Tuesday Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers this past week.  I definitely think I exercised some self control, as I had almost 40 items on my wish list!  Here are the gems that I ended up with:
This is such a useful pack-it will fit right into our Daily 5 word work!  I am going to use her cute Gingerbread poem next week with our gingerbread theme.

I just sent our take-home book bags home for the first time this past Friday.  I used the December reading log from this pack to accompany the book bags.  I think it will be super motivating for students!

We have been stretching up a storm in my class...word stretching, that is!  I've already put the pages of this book into a 3-ring binder and my kiddos love singing the song and stretching out words as a "reading warm-up" each morning.  This was one of those products that I could have made myself, but it was just such a convenient, cute time save that I caved in and scooped it up! 

OK-So I actually picked this nutrition unit up a few days prior to the sale out of necessity  (I taught the unit this past week).  But, I just wanted to feature it because it was so great!  I had never bought a unit from this seller before (Susan from TGIF) but I am definitely now a follower of her TpT store!

So that's what I ended up with at the big sale!! Not too shabby!  I can't wait to see what everyone else picked up, too...especially if you purchased one of my lovely products:).

Speaking of my products...I just finished up this fun winter CVC pack tonight.  The first five people to pin it will get it for free!  Just leave me a comment with the web address of the pin and your email and I will send you a link to get my pack for free.  In the meantime, stop by TpT to check it out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gingerbread Freebie plus a Mega Photo Dump!

Happy Monday Teacher Friends!
Hope your day back from break wasn't so bad:).  I know that it was a little bit rough waking up and  getting going.  However, I was lucky *cough cough* enough to get a big old JOLT to life when I walked out the door and realized that it was literally 10 degrees out.  Brr.  Who needs can just live in Minnesota and not have a heated garage.

I haven't posted any photos for awhile and I have lots of random ones so I thought I would just throw them all up at once!!  We've got some Thanksgiving ideas to file for next year, a super cute  math lesson (a pattern hunt) from my pre-student teacher and a Corduroy  bulletin board idea...told ya it was random! Here is goes...
We colored some turkey patterns for table time in the morning. The big highlight was getting to use makers instead of crayons! Whoop whoop!

This was our check-in activity the Tuesday before Turkey Day.  Usually mine are more academic I promise, but these were just too dang cute! I left them up for two days! 

Classic turkey lurkey craft-trace foot on brown and hands on at least three different colors. Use a scrap of the yello w or orange paper to cut into a diamond, fold over and turn into a beak.

We read The Great Turkey Race at our Listen to Reading station.  Here's the link to it on Amazon.

We made the cutest ever turkey hats!!!  These worked out pefectly as our gym teacher was hosting a turkey trot activity for the kids that day.  So we were literally turkey trotting away doing laps around the school yard.  We got many smiles and compliments!

What on earth is that you ask?  Looks appetizing doesn't it?'s pumpkin pie in a bag! It was actually delicious though... Here's the link to the recipe.   You put the ingredients (milk, vanilla pudding, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin) in a baggie and have the kids knead it.  Then you cut a whole in the corner of the bag to squeeze it into cups.

These are the cups--we put graham cracker crumbs in the bottom for the "crust".

Add a little Cool Whip to the top and enjoy with a spoon!  The kiddos loved having their own cup of the sweet treat!

Everyone is digging into their pumpkin pie treat!

This friend gives it a big thumbs up!

I had kids tell me how they would cook a turkey. This sheet is available for free at my TpT store.  Grab it now to be ready for next year!

This was my student teacher's super cute shape lesson.  She had the kids hold shapes to make a pattern and decide what should come next...

Then she had these sentence strips with patterns on them posted around the room. The kids had to find all of them , copy them, and continue them on their own recording sheet.  I LOVE how this activity got them up and moving!

My Christmas tree at home-just because I was happy to get it up this Saturday (told you this was random random random)
Here is my cute A Pocket for Corduroy  display-the pocket was made by my pre-student teacher!  We all traced the same Corduroy template and the same overalls but chose our own real buttons and cut out our own pockets. Fun times!  Yes.. I do have the best student teacher ever!  She is actually only a junior so she's a pre-student teacher.  But still the best thing that's ever happened to our class!

Okay...the part you've all been waiting for... a gingerbread freebie! This comes out of my Kindergarten Gingerbread Literacy Activities pack that's available at my Teacher's Pay Teachers store right now.  It's on sale for 28% off right now as we speak, as is the rest of my store!  I was going to post this freebie on TPT also, but it's so busy right now that I'll just put it on Google Docs for now. Click the image to go to the freebie.

Check out everything that's included in my gingerbread pack again below: