Monthly Archives: January 2009

Literacy Work Stations Power Point



Monarch Butterfly Power Point




Hi Everyone!

I haven’t had time to take pictures in the last two days because we’ve been so busy!

Monday, we celebrated Chinese New Year by reading our Big Book for this week called “Little Panda” The Story of Hau Mai.  It came with our Scott Foresman Reading Series that we got last year.

We also made paper lanterns from red constuction paper for the children to take home and to help them wish good luck to the members of their family.

Monday was a blur as my assistant was out and it was just me on duty! 🙂

Tuesday, we went to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the children did a GREAT job, so great in fact that we are trying to come up with a way to tell them thank you for their wonderful behavior–Any Ideas?? Something that won’t cause them to go crazy, because we want to emphasize GOOD behavior! 🙂

Wednesday, as I sit here, I am home from school because we had a snow day today–10 inches of snow fell outside my door last night!  That’s in addition to the 2+ inches we already had on the groud!

Thursday, I was supposed to speak at the ICE-Indiana Computer Educator’s Conference, but it got canceled due to the weather–so maybe next year!?!  My presentation was called Monarch Migration and Technology in Kindergarten.  I made a Power Point for it (Monarch Butterfly Jeopardy), so I’ll post that in just a minute.

Next week, we have two 1/2 days and I begin assessments again for report cards in the middle of March.  This round is one of the fastest because many children will master most of the skills at this point in the year.  I will be out next Friday to attend the HASTI (Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Inc.) conference with two other members of my Kdg. team.  Next week, I will also be presenting at our district Kindergarten meeting (once every two months all the Kdg. teachers in our district get together to discuss current topics)  I will be presenting on Literacy Work Stations and offering a list of technology/Kgd. appropriate websites to use in our classrooms.

I made the presentation for LWS in Power Point, so I will run and get my jump drive and be right back to post it in another post! 🙂

For parents of children in my classroom: The copy machines are not working properly, so until further notice, there will be no homework coming home with your child–I will try to get it scanned and put here or on our classroom blog so you could print it out at home if you wanted to.  Sorry about that! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

100’s Day

To make life simpler for all of our Kindergarten teacher’s sanity, my team this year decided that we would each set up two activities in our classroom and rotate our kids around.  Here are the activities for tomorrow.  We are doing this in two parts so that the 1/2 day students are able to participate in at least one of the two sessions.

room #1 something out of Mailbox magazine dealing with 100’s day and busses?  Not sure, it’s not my room! 🙂

room #2 (my room) AM: 100’s day trail mix  ( I made 11×17 sheets of construction paper with 10, 10 grids on them and as the children pick from the 10 different foods available to them, they put them on one of the grids)  Their whole sheet has to be full before they can get the OK to dump it into a bag.

10 foods:


fruit loops


chocolate chips

butterscotch chips

round pretzels

folded pretzels




PM: we will string 100 fruit loops or cheerios on a string, and then make necklaces

room #3 AM stamping to 100 with stamps on paper

PM: making things from 100 somethings (legos, blocks, etc.)

room #4 AM: 100’s day headbands

PM: a 100’s day booklet, I think

In the morning, we are all having our children write to 100 and we also have a level D reader from Reading that we downloaded for 100’s day that we will be sharing with them.

We will also be reading several 100’s day books including Miss Bindergarten’s 100th Day of Kindergarten, The 100th Day, 100 Angry Ants, 100 Days of School, Emily’s 100th Day

What do you do to celebrate the 100th Day?  Does anyone celebrate the 101st day?  I’ve watched 101 Dalmatians with my kids some years as a treat.

Next week, we will be celebrating Chinese New Year and learning about Giant Pandas–it will be fun! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

The Mitten

For the last 2 weeks, my children and I have been reading and learning about The Mitten by Jan Brett.

I’ll give you a run down of what we have been doing day by day, then I’ll post separately about 100’s day tomorrow! 🙂

Monday: We took a picture walk through the book and then I read the story aloud to them.  To incorporate a little science, we read a book about the Mole (from the story) and we made a chart listing all the things we learned about moles.  The children were fascinated with the idea of a mole, so of course, I had to go back to the school libarary and find more books about them!  Our Predictable Chart for the week was called “The Mitten…” and the children each gave me ideas about the mitten from the story.  We also learned another addition/subtraction game, I’ll post that in another post as well.

Tuesday: We took a “Memory Walk” as I like to call it, through the story and the children told me about what they remembered happening on each page and then I read the story to them again.  We also learned about Snowshoe Hares/Rabbits and made a list of all the things we learned.  We also interviewed a child in my class who has a rabbit at home and she shared with us how to care for and feed a rabbit, so we added that to the chart as well.

Wednesday, I read the story once and then the children choral read it with me.  Up next, the Hedgehog!  He had a long list and we found out that another child in our class had previously had a hedgehog for a pet and he shared his feeding tips for hedgehogs!

Thursday, we told the story using the masks from Jan Brett’s website. We had to do this twice so that everyone got a chance to be an animal.  We also used sentences from the Predictable Chart that I cut up and we put them back in order.  The children loved learning about badgers and the chart about them was FULL of facts!  We had a 2 hour delay.

Friday, we made a class book from our PC sentences.  I have had the children write their sentences at the bottom of their papers instead of me copying them and printing them each week.  They are doing a great job, handwriting is improving, and so is that left to right concept.  I’m also noticing that the spacing between words is getting better by having them do this.  The book is really cute and I have to make copies of it for my National Board portfolio before binding them together. We also read about foxes and made a chart about them.  We had a 2 hour delay.

Monday: No School-MLK Jr. Day

Tuesday: We gathered to watch the inauguration as a school, so we did pretty much that all day! 🙂

Wednesday: We played catch up learning about owls and bears.  Two charts in one day!  One in the AM and one in the PM parts of the day.  I also talked with the parents of incoming Kindergarten students for next year, so I was out of the room for 45 minutes during our AM literacy time.

Thursday: We read about mice first thing and made our chart.  At 9am, I recorded my video for my National Board Certification.  Here’s the basic idea of what I did.  Using the charts that we have been making for the last 2 weeks, I made a Venn Diagram and the children helped me to sort the animals into groups by eating habits; herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore.  I then had them pick two of their favorite animals and write one thing that was the same about them and one thing that was different about them (that was my assessment).  They did a great job! 🙂

Friday: 100’s day–see my next post! 🙂

I am preparing to speak to the district Kindergarten teachers in two weeks about Literacy Work Stations as well as websites for Kindergarten students.  If you are intersted in seeing other, please leave me a comment on this post (which automatically e-mails me) and I will post them if I am able! 🙂

I’ve also been asked to speak at the ICE (Indiana Computer Educators Conference) next week about my Monarch Migration project and how I use technology in Kindergarten.  I’ll post the info for that, just as soon as I get it finished.  Again, if you would like see that, leave me a comment and I’ll try to get something posted for you.

I hope you all know that what I list each day is not all that we do in a day–we actually do MUCH, MUCH more, I just post the highlights and things that change from day to day.  I didn’t want you to think that our whole day was taken up by this! 🙂

On to 100’s day! 🙂

Kristen 🙂


Hi Everyone!

I just updated the Tech/Books tab with the list of books I used to accompany The Mitten by Jan Brett.  We have been using this book for the last two weeks and I am getting ready to video tape my lesson for National Boards tomorrow (Thursday the 22nd!).  I will be back later in the afternoon with what I am planning on doing for that-I can’t tell you the entire thing, because of National Board policies, but I can give you a general idea.  It will be fun and super cool! 🙂   We have been making charts about each of the animals in the story (thus the list of books I just updated) and will use those during our video taping tomorrow along with the terms carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore.  

Friday, it’s on to 100’s day!!  We are rotating through each of our 4 Kindergarten classrooms so we will have 8 stations done by the end of the day!  I’m making 100’s day hash in the AM and we are stringing 100 fruit loops in the PM.  I’ll share what the other classes are doing later as well!  

Kristen 🙂

The Inaguration

WOW!!  What a day!  My principal arranged the day so that we started our day of celebration by talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his hopes and dreams for the future.  We then made our way to Barack Obama until we all gathered together in the gym/dining room to watch the inaguration together as a community.  It was unbelievable!  Everytime Obama’s name was mentioned or the kids saw a picture of him, they went crazy!  The room was so full of noise!  It was so cool to see how even the smallest children knew that our country needed this change and what it meant for them and their futures!  Many of the children in the older grades shared their feelings through poetry, songs, and readings, and you could tell that in this new Presidency that their small voices would be heard!

My kids did such a great job!  We ended up sitting together for 3 hours!!  We had a little break in between for lunch, but they hung in there and not one child asked to use the restroom because they were all so enamored with what was unfolding before them.

I didn’t get any teaching in (other than calendar and updating our binders), but I feel as though the children got to witness an event far greater than anything I could have ever shared with them and I can’t wait for them to grow up and share with their children this amazing day!

As I sat watching the children, all I could hear in the back of my head was Dr. Phil saying, “This is gonna be a changing day for you!” and how right he is!

My hope is that my children took away the message of hope.  It’s always out there, and though some get there in different ways, there is always some thing to keep hoping for.  My other wish is that my children saw that it doesn’t matter where you come from or how humble your beginnings are, you can do great things!

How did you spend this day? With your students?  Anyone make it to DC and see it first hand?

I also registered my son for Kindergarten today–my baby will be in Kindergarten next year-YIKES!!  What a wonderful day to get him started on a journey that will last the rest of his life!  Look out PTO here I come! 🙂  I can’t wait to share all those wonderful moments with him and to be able to participate with him in life–however it happens!

Kristen 🙂

Hello Everybodyeee!

I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in a while!  My to-do list is as long as my arm (literally) and I’m preparing for 2 speaking engagements, a wedding (my sister on the 27th), recording my National Board video (all 15 minutes of it!), my new stamping classes/clubs, life in general, and the hope that school might, just might be cancelled tomorrow!

It looks bad to type it all out like that, but it’s really not too bad–I’m not feeling too badly about it all, just focusing on one thing at a time!

I’ll get back to posting this weekend-right after my dilligent hubby makes sure I’ve read everything I need to for the National Board videotaping!

Oh, and also remind me to tell you all about

I’ll post that at some point as well!


Kristen 🙂

GBM–things I forgot to post!

Here are some assorted pictures of things I forgot to post during our Holidays Around the World/GBM theme in December.



I made these gingerbread men characters using wooden spoons I got at the Dollar Tree a few years ago.  The children sit in a circle and as we re-tell the story, the characters go chasing each other around the circle.


I got the patterns from the December Mailbox book–the one that has things to do for the entire month–not the magazine!


It’s always fun and gets lots of laughs–but it also shows you how much they know about the story!


Here is the top of the bellflower we made when the GBM sent us a package from down under.


We made it a true “bell” flower by putting a bell inside.



Here is the letter from the GBM from Australia.  


We also made a graph showing where we bit first off of our GB cookie:


Here is the poem that was in our pocket chart:


I also ended up putting in the props that we used to act out the GBM in the chart for a few weeks and the kids had fun doing that.

Student Teacher Binder

Last year I had a student teacher and I wanted to give her something to welcome (or in some cases overwhelm her) with information about Kindergarten and our school.  I decided to make a binder for her. The binder I made for my student teacher was a 3 inch thick 3 ring binder (say that 5 times fast!).  I got some of those tabbed dividers and made sections for homework, classroom newsletters, school information (procedures/rules/meeting dates,etc.) classlist, emergency cards, calendars, lesson plan grids (I make my own lesson plan book, so I gave her a copy of it to use), worksheets, and anything gathered from our district Kindergarten meetings to share with her.
It didn’t take long to make-just a lot of hole punching! I collected things in a tub for the semester before she came and then in December all I had to do was punch holes and put it together.
I thought this was a great idea and full of information for her to have handy so she could reference it when she needed to.  I guess she was not that interested in it because she left it behind–but I’m happy to say that I will be getting another student teacher in the fall and will be happy to pass it on to him/her.  I guess I’d better start a bin now so that I can present this student teacher with a whole year’s worth of homework packets, school information, and worksheets.  I remember when I started teaching I had to beg things off my co-workers and I just felt that this way at least they would have something to start with.

What do you do to welcome your student teachers?

Kristen 🙂

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