Author Archives: Kristen Poindexter

Falling for Patterns (and some other things too!)

When I saw the amazing assortment of fall themed crafts that I could get at Oriental Trading, I ordered some items to compliment our upcoming Math and Science studies.  What could be more fun than learning through crafts??


We’ve been learning all about shapes in Math, recognizing them and comparing and contrasting them with other shapes, so the Spider Magnet Craft Kit was perfect for a little review on shapes!

My kiddos had so much fun making these and had even more fun giggling at the silly faces on the spiders!

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Once we mastered peeling the paper backing off the spiders legs and eyes/mouth, they were SUPER easy for my Kinder to assemble and got them asking some great questions about spiders (which I wrote down so we can talk more about them in a few weeks). There is a magnet strip that comes with each spider, so my kiddos were also excited that they could take their spiders home and hang them up!


Next up were the BOO Beaded bracelet craft kits.  My kiddos LOVED these and I loved them too.  They tied in perfectly with our study of AB patterns!  Just to be sure we were all on the same page, I opened each of the individually wrapped kits and poured the contents into individual cups, so my kiddos didn’t have to fuss with that.  I also substituted a glitter pipe cleaner in place of the stretchy elastic cord that came with each bracelet kit.  My Kinders would have had a difficult time with the knot tying, so I opted for something simpler.

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My Kinders were SO excited about making these bracelets–even 2 weeks later, they are STILL wearing them!!


After we made those bracelets, it meant that it was time to move on to more complex patterns, so we used the Halloween Color Pony Bead Assortment to help us out!  I gave each of my Kinders about 10-20 beads of three of the four colors and had them create their own ABC pattern.  I put the beads in small cups again, just to avoid beads everywhere–it worked great!

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Our Art teacher commented on our amazing work with patterns!


We decided to continue the pattern fun by making some head wear to complement our bracelets, so we used the Fabulous Foam Self-Adhesive Fall Leaf Stickers!

We loved how easy these leaf stickers were to peel off and stick on our sentence strips.  We had each of the children pick a pattern (either shape or color) and they could choose an AB, and ABC, or and ABCD pattern.  We had each of them lay out their stickers BEFORE sticking them on the sentence strip, so the adults could walk around and check their work before it became permanent.  This assortment of stickers came in a pack of 500 and was plenty for my 25 students to create with!

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They walked around the classroom after we stapled their head bands and tried to find someone who had the same pattern as they did!  It was so sweet to hear their conversations about patterns.


Next up are two projects that we haven’t started working on yet!  I wanted to save them until we had learned more about them, but I wanted to show you my (very early) prototype of our pumpkin booklets we will make in two weeks:

I’m still working on creating a pattern for this (I’ll post it when I do!), but I grabbed an old one I had in my filing cabinet, just to try it out.

We will use the Jumbo Foam Pumpkins as the backdrop for our booklets:

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We will use some other elements to show how a pumpkin grows.  On this last page you can see how I stapled this mini-booklet to the foam pumpkin.  We will decorate the top of the pumpkin with some pipe cleaner vines and a tissue paper flower (I promise to share pictures when we do!).  I think these will be a great visual for my Kinders to remember how a pumpkin grows!


Also coming up, are these adorable Spider Ring craft kits!  Once my Kinders started asking so many spider questions about the spiders they made with the Spider Magnet Craft Kit, I knew I wanted to put these on the back burner until later this month when our study of spiders came up.  Look how CUTE these are!! They will be a great addition to our bracelet and head wear collection we have going!

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Head on over to Oriental Trading to get your classrooms and celebrations ready for Fall!!


Disclaimer: Oriental Trading provided me with these products in exchange for my review.

Fighting for Fiona Fundraiser

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!!


Stamp a Letter, Number, or Word

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.

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Math Work Stations

We started our Math Work Stations the 4th week of school.  Here’s a look (in pictures) of what’s in the tubs right now.

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Discovery Centers

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!!

Kristens Kindergarten

Our Discovery Center choices are:

Puzzles & Games

Sensory Tub

Promethean Board



Hex Bugs

Marble Run



Home Living



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.


Go Noodle Winner

Congratulations Alyssa!!

Go Noodle Winner

E-mail me at within 24 hours of Tuesday, September 15th at 8:00 pm to claim your prize! :)


Name Puzzles

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.

Kristen's Kindergarten

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?


Using our noodle to GoNoodle!

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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!

I’m pretty sure I couldn’t survive the day without all the AMAZING content that GoNoodle has to offer! We use GoNoodle to help us navigate through those tough transition times of day!

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!*

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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! :)

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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.

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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!

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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!

Now how about some GoNoodle Swag for you and your kiddos??? GoNoodle is letting each of us giveaway a special prize to one lucky winner!!

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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!


Back To School Parent Pack

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! :)


Look Who Came to School Today…

I found this awesome little poem/song on Pinterest and decided to try it with my kiddos on the first day–they LOVED it!!

Kristen's Kindergarten |



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