Monthly Archives: July 2008

Kindergarten Economic Unit

I decided to tie in economic principles into my Monarch Butterfly theme.  The lessons are pretty self explanatory, and will only take 20 minutes for one week to teach.  Give them a try!  What’s wrong with teaching your Kinder. kids how to make effective choices, state their opportunity cost, and understand scarcity and supply and demand?  It’s how the world works and by the time these kiddos grow up, our entire world will be internationally related! 🙂


P.S. When you download the pages, they are out of order.  I typed the lessons first, then the cover page, then the Indiana Standards Page, and then the assessment and bibliography.  It should be: cover page, standards, lessons, assessment, bibliography.

Classroom Photos 2008-2009

I was able to find some time today to get over to my school and start moving furniture around in my new classroom.  My Economics class ends tomorrow and I will be turning in my unit (look for it in another post soon!)  I took some pictures of my room as it was when I walked in–nothing was where it was belonged!  I have a big job ahead of me!!  I thought you might like to see it go from start to finish!  Here they are!

This is the view looking in from my dooway.

View to the right of the doorway.  Blue cabinets are 3 sets of storage cabinets, the first door way (on the right) is the door to my “office”–I will have my assistant work there.  The next door way is to the closet that was converted from a bathroom–we store our Big Books and Learning Themed tubs from Lakeshore there. To the left is the sink.

The sink, playhouse (downstairs is home living, upstairs is blocks, marbleworks, legos, bilding materials) In the fore ground is my sand table and what will become my Science area.

Moving on to the center of the classroom.  My desk is at the far end of the playhouse (you will see that in another picture).  The wall at the back is where we store everything covered in paper for the summer.  There are lots of shelves from about waist high down to the ground.  The upper half will be used for my birthday board and to display student word, and my awards wall.

The left side of the room.  The far end dry erase board is where we will have calendar/morning message/large group time.  The calendar is covered in brown paper right now.  You can see some of my tables, chairs, computers, crates, and in the foreground to the left is the back of the writing center.

More of the writing center, my tall white cabinet where I store all my arts/crafts materials.  The area behind the cabinet/writing center will be my parent volunteer/listening center/assessment area.

Parent Volunteer area, listening center, assessment area–this area will be used for all 3 purposes at different times during the day/year

A view of my desk under the playhouse, Television, filing cabinets–this area is next to the long wall of waist high shelves.

A view of my room from my desk area looking towards the door/parent volunteer area. The playhouse is on your left, out of view.

More tables, calendar area, and a view from my desk.  The dry erase board will be used for my moveable word wall-I will put magnetic strips on the back of all the words/names that go on it for use in the Word Work Station.

An up close view of the playhouse ladder and the playhouse profile.

The front of the playhouse, my desk area is to the left, sink to the right.

Inside the playhouse

The sink area and a little counter space too! 🙂

————————————–After moving some furniture!—————————–

Close up of my desk area, the underneath of the playhouse is to the right.

After moving the tables where I want them.

More pictures of the room after moving furniture, picture taken from my calendar area/reading station.

A picture taken slightly to the left of the previous one.

Our new computers (the red crate will be gone).  I traded the computer tables for one smaller Kinder. friendly table that didn’t take up twice as much space–I needed it for our large group area.  The computer tables were banished to the hall.  I will keep one for working out in the hallway, and one will go away.

The rest of my student tables (I have 4 long ones, and 2 circle shaped ones) The sink is in the background to the right and the playhouse.

My newly created science area with sand table.  In front of the 3 storage cabinets/coat closets.  My “office” is to the left.  The white shelves are our mailboxes.

Mailboxes–two shoe storage units stacked on top of one another (I needed 2 when I did 1/2 day)

What will be my parent volunteer area/listening center/assessment area

The shelves inside my doorway that will house dry erase markers, skill folders, tubs on top for me, and any thing else needing a home! 😉

I am going in tomorrow-our Econ. class is supposed to get done before lunch, so I will take more pictures of more details tomorrow and all the work I’ve gotten done! 🙂  If you have any questions please ask–I will define more spaces as I get the furniture moved where I want it and things put back in their places! 😉

Hope this inspires someone else! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Updated Job Application for Kinders.

After attending the Economy workshop last week and into this next week, I’ve made a change to the job application; I wanted to have the children make some choices in the jobs that they want, and wanted to make sure they didn’t have to choose one job exclusively.  There are now lines for them to choose 3 jobs–they will start with one and rotate through the others to make sure they have more than one experience.  My Kinder. kids will probably start the year using a rotation model–I will have “x” amount of jobs and they will do the jobs for 1 week at a time.  Then each Friday, they will be responsible for training the new person who will do their job.  I only have to train for jobs once that way, even if a new student comes in mid-year the person who currently has a job will show them the ropes-so to speak!


I will also be working on some job card pictures to put next to their names in a pocket chart.  I’m pretty sure I will have a pocket chart on a tall garment rack and then put two columns of jobs, one on the left and one in the middle.  I will put some colored electrical tape down the center to help with confusion of columns.  I will start them off with a job (1st of 2nd choice) that they would like and then move their name down the chart one space each week until we’ve been through the whole rotation.  The only time jobs would change is if I had to add a job or take a job away for seasonal reasons.  There is a list of the jobs I will have included in this application file, as well as a slip for fines, Random Acts of Kindness, job descriptions for the oddly named jobs, and then the application itself, with an area for “teacher use only!”

Enjoy and let me know if you have anymore jobs I should add to the list!

Kristen 🙂

Updates on the Pdfs

I’ve uploaded the files for the letters A-E and any files that start with numbers (like 5 Senses).  You can check them out under the PDF tab.  Let me know if there are any others you would like to see before others.  I’ll keep working my way through the alphabet.

I am unable at this time to convert any files that have images (clipart), so those will have to do as Word documents. Sorry!

Kristen 🙂

Economics Workshop

I’ve been enjoying this workshop I’m taking-the teacher, Mo, is from Iran, but he’s lived here for 25 years or so and he is one of the smartest people I think I’ve ever met! Who knew that learning about Economics could be so fun and entertaining!?!  We are working on projects to earn 3 credit hours for license renewal, and they have to be lessons that teach economic concepts, but can incorporate other subjects as well.  I’ll post mine when I’m done, but the basic premise is that we will be learning about the “scarcity” of milkweed plants for the Monarch Butterflies and Caterpillars.

I’ve also learned a lot of ideas about the Mini-Economy.  I left my notes in my workshop room, so I’ll post those tomorrow.  Without getting too political–I’ve learned a lot about this “war” we are fighting and many facts that make me wonder why we are not more upset with our president and demanding that we not withdraw troops sooner.  Anyway, it’s been interesting to hear things from a more economic view, and ACTUALLY understand them!  I’ve learned a lot, not just to share with my Kinder. kids, but things I should be doing myself economically!

Kristen 🙂

Spoiled Rotten!

I just had to share these pictures:

I came home from my Economics workshop yesterday and found that my hubby and 4 year old had picked these out for me–just because.  Okay, really they had been out of town for 3 1/2 days and my son came running up to me when I got home and said, “Mommy, these are for you because we love you and we missed you soooo much when we were gone!”  I just think they’re beautiful! I can actually smell them too-my doctor gave me some new medicine so I can smell and breathe!  I haven’t done that since before I had my son!  It was a blessing when it came to dirty diapers though! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

New Tab

If you look at the tabs above, you’ll notice that the “Links” tab is gone and has been replaced with “PDF”.  I needed room to put my PDF files that I am uploading and the Links tab was the one that got cut! 😦  I will post all my files converted to PDF (so everyone can download!!) there instead of with the original document.  I will eventually post them with their original posts, but that’s going to take LOTS of time, so for now this will do! 🙂  They will be listed in alphabetical order, so if you need to download something in a PDF, just click on that tab and look for the right letter.

Kristen 🙂

PDF Files

I am in the process (over the next month) of converting all the files on my site to pdf files so that everyone can share/see them.  If there are any files that you would like done before others, just give me an e-mail and I will do my best to get those done first! 🙂

I’m off to my 8 day Economics and Children’s Literature workshop today, so I’ll post about that when I get home.  I have to create a unit around a children’s book, so does anyone have any ideas of a book I could use?  I was thinking “Benny’s Pennies” or the Scholastic set about Money (each title talks about a different denomination).  I would like to include a simple book about economics, how spending/saving works, and what a job does for you.

Kristen 🙂

A Quick Post…

Here are the gel glue cards I made using Elmer’s blue School Glue Gel (say that 5 times fast!!)  I wrote the letters on index cards using Washable Markers from Crayola and then traced over them with the gel glue.  They also have “Galactic Glitter Glue” available in red or blue as well, and when I’m out today, I may grab some of that and see how that works.

The Kinder. Kids will use these in the ABC Station and use old crayons and make rubbings.  I will have the paper pre-cut for them in various sizes and shapes.  I will also make a set for the Word Work Station, writing words instead of letters.  I will also make several sets of both words and letters without writing anything with a marker first, so the children will have to guess what the letter is as they rub over it.  I’ll be back later with more!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. Either wordpress or my computer are being funky and not letting the picture display below–It comes up if you click on it, hopefully it will work it self out! I may take a minute for it to load too! 🙂

Back to School (not yet!)

I just love Back to School time!!  The sales, the cheap glue sticks, the Dollar Spot at Target, the .88 cent markers at Wal-Mart, the… Oh!  I could go on and on, but you all know what I mean–there’s just  something about those isles that seems to be irresistible to teachers (my husband is a teacher too, but he seems to be immune to it!).  I just wanted to share all my new goodies, those that are in the house, and those that are in the car because I don’t want to lug them inside and then back out to the car again in a few days! 🙂

I purchased ANOTHER hardware storage drawer thing, this time to store my magnetic letters.  I thought this would be a great way to store them and keep them organized!

I then went to the Dollar Tree and found these cute little jungle animal themed erasers.  There are 40 in each backpack.  I got giraffes, elephants, and tigers.   I think they will be cute for sorting, patterning, and for math mats.

I thought these were so funny!  They are party favors made to look like coins, but they are all about 1 1/2 inches across.  I thought they would be great for calendar time, to show the kids the differences between the coins.  When I opened them up, they were even funnier, because some of the quarters/dimes were copper colored and some of the pennies were silver.  No nickels though…

These disposable gloves will become planters later on this year.  We will put cotton balls into the fingers of each area in the glove and place a bean seed (I think we may try others too just to see what happens).  Some we will water and some we will not.  We will then talk about the differences and what we see happening.  I think some will also be put into a dark area too.

Also at the Dollar Tree, were these sentence strips.  There are 30 in a pack and I got two packs.  I will use them for Literacy Work Stations management and for names on rings at various stations.

I also got these games.  The first one (on top) you match the upper to the lowercase letter, the middle one you build words, and the bottom one you put 3 cards together to make a complete picture.  I thought I would use them at the ABC Literacy Station.

Next up, this cool thermometer that I will hang on the outside of the window so we can look at it during calendar time and record the temperature (a form of measurement!!).  It was only a buck, so there’s no telling how long it will last!

On to the Target Dollar Spot!  I went to 7 different Target’s yesterday searching for more pocket charts to no avail!!!  All 7 were all out!  But I did pick up these letter mats–also for the ABC Station, you trace them for practice, uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other.

In my quest for pocket charts I came across these mini dry erase/magnetic boards.  At one place I got 6 and at another I got 6 more.  I may go back for a few more, but 12 may be enough! 🙂  I will use them for small group work, in the magnetic Station, for quick assessment, and other handy things!

A few assorted supplies.  4 new boxes of Crayola Markers ( I collect all things Crayola, so I love getting new ones!!).  I also got some glitter pencils from the Dollar Spot for the Writing Station, some name cards for various uses, and some more dry erase markers (they’re 30% off until midnight tonight!!).

This was a trip to Wal-Mart.  .88 markers!  .88 colored pencils! .88 Bic pens (my son put those in the cart!).  I also got some more tape for my label maker, some pencil grips, and some blue gel glue.  I will use the glue to make raised letters on index cards and have the kids rub over them in the ABC Station for texture! 🙂

This was another find at a different Dollar Tree…place mats that are solid colors and are 12×12.  We will use these under our playdough.  I like that they are smooth instead of with ridges, and I will start the kids out with these and then replace them with the textured ones they usually have.  I also got 3 packs of colored index cards to make more sight words on a ring.

Last, but not least–a trip to the teacher store!  My husband groans everytime I mention this place because he knows I will spend some money! 🙂  I’ve been really good though and have hardly been in the last 2 years!

I got some Wikki Stix and highlighter tape this trip.  The tape is in two sizes for Big Books and small books.  In Debbie Diller’s book, she mentions having this accessable for the kids to use and laminating file folders so the kids can put it there after using it for reuse later.

I also have some things in the car…

I got a set of uppercase alphabet stamps at Toys R Us on clearance for $7.49, 10 new book buckets at Dollar Tree, 30 spiral notebooks at Target, Lite Brite Refills, two I Spy puzzles, a Dora the Explorer ABC matching game (meijer on clearance), and some PVC pipe and glue to build another chart stand-this one to hold the 24×36 sized chart paper.  I’m going to make that one myself, so we’ll see how that goes!  Hopefully, it will end up in my poetry Station!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. If anyone finds 14 pocket charts from the Dollar Spot, I would love to have some!! I’ll pay for shipping too!  I’ll even send some of my handmade cards in your favorite colors!

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