Author Archives: Kristen Poindexter
Hi Everyone! I am proud to be part of a fundraiser for a little girl named Fiona. Fiona is an adorable little girl who has a primary immune deficiency and I happen to know her family personally! I even had her older brother in Kindergarten last year. :) A bunch of Who’s Who and Who’s New Tpt sellers and I have gotten to create bundles of products to help raise money for her family to help cover her medical expenses. I would be so excited if you purchased a bundle and then passed word onto your friends so they could as well!
Here is a look at the bundles (just click the pictures below to go right to that product on Tpt).
Here’s a link where you can see all the other Who’s Who bloggers who have linked up and donated products!! Give their Tpt stores a little love too!!
I started my small Guided Reading groups last week and noticed from a few assessments I had given that some of my students did not know all their letters…so we pulled out my Stamp a Letter, Number, or Word sheets to practice finding letters.
At my school, we are fortunate enough to still have time built into the day to let our Kinders have Discovery time at the end of the day. This time allows the children to interact socially with each other; to learn how to share, ask for items they would like to use, and how to use their imaginations (and many fine motor skills).
We are 30 days into the school year and this system has worked great!!
Our Discovery Center choices are:
Puzzles & Games
The pockets were laminated and I added a picture of each center so they can see what center they are choosing. I stuck them to the wall with the 3M Command Hook strips (those stick to EVERYTHING!!)
I have sticks for each of my students with their name written on it. I store their sticks on a magnetic board just to the left of these pockets. Each morning, when my students come in, they get unpacked and then they make their Discovery Center choice for the day. There are two small magnets that hold each stick to the magnetic board. At the end of the day, I have a student put the sticks back on the magnetic board so they are ready for the next day.
This is a quick way to help my students recognize their names! If they want to go to a Discovery Center, they need to be able to find their names. You will see a few sticks have stars on them. These were to help my ELL students recognize their names, because many of them had not ever seen their names written before.
I was lucky enough to get thousands of paint samples from my brother who works at Sears Hardware. I told him that if they were getting rid of them to let me know and I would take them off their hands. I got 6 huge tubs full and decided to make my students name puzzles.
I gave each student a whole card and then one that I cut apart so they could try to match the two.
What are your favorite ways to use paint samples?
I’m teaming up with GoNoodle and a bunch of other amazing bloggers to share our favorite things about GoNoodle! Make sure you read all the way to the end, because there will be a surprise waiting for you!
We LOVE to get our day started with “I Get Loose” by KooKoo Kangaroo! This was the first song I played on the first day of school this year and it kind of just stuck since then as “our song”! The kiddos have some crazy moves to help get the blood flowing for the day of learning ahead.
*One tip to add here: Beginning on the first day of school, I teach my students that as soon as a GoNoodle activity/dance/exercise is over, they need to sit down as quietly as possible on the carpet. I do this for two reasons, one so that I can go on with our next activity quickly, and two, so that if they do sit down quietly, I can reward them with yet another GoNoodle activity!*
We will often use a video that I’ve uploaded to GoNoodle from YouTube to help make the transition from our Literacy Work Stations, to cleaning up, to getting back to the carpet. I play an alphabet song or one of the AirTime activities and it just draws everyone to the carpet. It really helps speed cleaning up along, so we are getting more learning time in!
We also use a brain break just before Writer’s Workshop. I tend to find that my kiddos are better listeners when they have had a few minutes to get some wiggles out! We usually throw in “Get Yo’ Body Movin'” or “Energy” from Fresh Start to help get the blood pumping and the extra energy out! A few minutes spent on a great brain break equals about 20-25 minutes of really great, focused working time! A huge payback for a little investment! :)
There are some days when we have Specials classes where not lots of movement happens, so I like to have my kiddos do a more energetic brain break just before leaving to go there so they can focus on that work as well.
Another transition time where GoNoodle really comes in handy is at the end of the day. We have Discovery Centers, where the children pick what centers they would like to play/socialize at. Some take a bit longer to clean up than others, so putting on a brain break gives those sweet kiddos who were at the computers something to do while we wait on our friends who played with our HexBugs or in our Home Living area! The kiddos each get their backpacks and come right to the carpet.
This is the time of day when I like to try out new brain breaks. Everyone is a little more chilled out and sharing something new with them, just peps them up a little before going home! No matter when we finish a brain break, they all know to sit right down so we can get started on the next thing!
Who can forget about the Champ Certificates?!?! Last year, we printed off 15 of those bad boys! :) This year, we’ve already maxed out 3 silly champs and are close to number 4!
I get to giveaway 25 of these COOL Eraselets!! They’re super fun bracelets that double as an eraser!! How fun is that??? And they are complete with some of your favorite GoNoodle Champs!!
All you have to do to win is leave a comment on THIS post! I’ll pick a winner on September 11th!
There’s MORE great news too!! Just for all of you lucky teachers out there, GoNoodle has given all of us a special code to use in the GoNoodle Shop to save 15% off everything!! Use the code BTSwithGoNoodle to save! This code is valid from September 4th-September 11th, 2015.
Leave your comments and I’ll pick that winner on September 11th!
Be sure to check out GoNoodle’s blog to read LOTS of other ways teachers are using GoNoodle in their classrooms too!
I decided to simplify my Parent Pack this year. I usually do a more complicated fold over pack:
This year I decided to do this instead:
I don’t have a template for you. :) All I did was open up PowerPoint and create some text boxes with my information. I staggered them, keeping the bottom sheet at its original 8 1/2 x 11 size and then just cutting off the extra of the rest. For the blue and orange sheets at the top, I was able to get 2 or 3 copies on one page because they were smaller boxes of text. I just played around with it until something worked for me. You can see the green sheet is blank–that was a miscalculation on my part! I forgot to create a page to fit that space, so I put in a place for parents to take notes during my presentation-most of them used it, so it turned out to be pretty handy! :)
I created this Interactive number line to use this summer and we’ve already added the numbers 1-5 to it. The kiddos love it because they can check it to find out different ways numbers are represented. We use these cards when we are representing numbers with the items in our Math Tubs as well. :)