Monthly Archives: March 2009

Heads and Tails Penny Graph

Here is my version of the Heads and Tails Penny graph I used during our President’s Day theme.  If the pictures don’t come across, I would take the boxes that you see on the chart and stamp a penny heads and tails image in only the first boxes on the top section and in an entire row on the bottom section.  Make sense?  If not, check out my President’s Day category for a picture! 🙂



Kristen 🙂

Spring Break

Hello Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that there will be no updates until April 6th at least!  We are on Spring Break and I am taking a much needed break from blogging and working to rest, rest, rest!  🙂

Kristen 🙂


We are reading a big book this week titled “Seeds”.


Because there are a few students who will be leaving early this week to head out on Spring Break, we did not do a Predictable Chart, however we did do several neat Inquiry Based things in Science.  I like to begin almost all my themes/units with a KWL/OWL chart to asses where my children are at and what they are interested in.  We completed the “K” portion of this chart first, then after Observing the seeds (see below) we completed the “O” portion and the “W” (wonder) section.  I like to change the “W” from “What we WANT to Learn” to “What we WONDER” because it gets the children asking questions of the “I Wonder…” variety, something that is holding them back from exploring the world!  At this young age, they know what they want to learn about somethings, but they have no basis to draw from for many Science concepts (some do!!).  Asking “I Wonder…” questions sets the ground work for them to wonder, so ALL of my KWL charts are either KOWL or OWL charts. 





This is the “Wonder” section continued…


I gave each table of children a random container of seeds that I had leftover from previous vegetable plantings:

Here is the result:





Today, Tuesday, we planted all kinds of vegetables in Containers.  My kids took such an interest in the Seeds book that I went and got many of the seeds mentioned in the story.















The next few months (until the end of May) will be spent on growing things/plants/bugs/insects/Monarchs/Jack and the Beanstalk/and anything else that fits in to one of these categories! 🙂


Kristen 🙂


I had the BEST time in New Orleans (and yes, Burbon Street was fun too!)!!  Just to give you an idea of how big the Convention Center is there, we walked 20,000 steps on Friday alone!  My feet were killing me!

Here are a few pictures from my travels…I hope to keep posting ideas as I use them!


This is the exhibit hall floor–it looked liked it went on for miles! 🙂



Burbon Street–the galleries and balconies were beautiful!


Of course, we had to eat at Cafe Du Monde!  

I went to LOTS of great sessions on Inquiry Based Science and got LOTS of really great ideas!  I can’t wait to share them!

Kristen 🙂

Lucky Charms Graphing

Here are the pictures–a little bit late…

I made the graphing sheet and sorting sheet MANY years ago and we always end up having to scribble out some picture of a marshmallow and adding whatever the new “special” marshmallow is for that year.  I can’t find it yet (still looking on my computer) so when I do, I will come back and edit that in for you–there’s always next year! 🙂




Kristen 🙂


Hi Everyone! 

I was able to fix the links in the post below for Shake the Beans 6 and the Student Led Conference Sheet.  I am working on STB 5 right now and I will come back and edit this post in a moment and add that in.  If you would like to be able to find all of the STB that I have posted so far, just do a search for Shake The Beans using the search box at the top right and it will list them for you.  I have tagged them all, so they should come up.


Kristen 🙂


EDIT*** shakethebeans5

Shake The Beans and other resources

Here are links to some of the things I have had requests for:

Shake The Beans 6 (I still have to make 5 for you all-I had a copy of an old one I used with my kids)


Student Led Conference Sheet:



Here are the pictures that are supposed to be in my Literacy Work Stations Power Point, but did not come across (you can click on them for a bigger image).  Let me know if you have any questions.

Growing Vegetable Soup

I’m tired of the cold weather, so I decided to get everyone excited about Spring and do some planting!  But plant what??

That’s when I chose our Big Book for this week: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert.  


We also started a new Predictable Chart:


(Sorry the computer is being funky here–I’ll try to undo it’s funky-ness later!)

So then it was time to plant:

Each child was given two deli containers, one small and one large.  I cut holes in the bottom of the small one and the children put some wicking through and then put it on top of the larger container.  They then added peat and some soil to the small container and planted their choice of 6 vegetables (squash, cucumbers, radishes, peas, tomatoes, peppers).  We then watered them from the top and all the water seeps through to the bottom and collects there.  The wicking helps keep the plants constantly moist, yet not too wet and so the plants grow much faster and the quality is always better.  This is how you grow Wisconsin Fast Plants as well–those are amazing if you’ve never tried them.  I was going to do them again this year, but I cannot for the life of me find the seeds from last year’s crop! 🙂


We had two 1/2 days this week, so we did a lot of writing and catching up on things.  I need to go type my newsletter now–so I’ll be back in the next few days to update more! 😉

Kristen 🙂


Hello Everyone,

Just a little note to let you know that I have not fallen off the face of the Earth!  I have been so sick the last week and it’s all I can do just to go to school everyday!  My hubby has it now–starts with a sore throat, fever of 102 (for 3-4 days non-stop, no matter what you do) and then a hacking cough.  Then you get lulled into thinking you are better and it comes back and gets you again except this time the fever stays away during the day, making you well enough to go to school, and then returns at night (99.5) just enough to make you uncomfortable and unable to get a restful sleep.  You wake up in the morning wondering why your alarm went off just as you fell asleep and so tired you have no idea how you actually drove to school!  All in all, not so very pleasant!

My assistant had it to and we know exactly where it came from!

I guess the one good thing is that I’ve lost 5 pounds and that’s really good news because we started the Biggest Loser at my school today, so my team is already down 5 pounds on the first day!  Anyone got any good exercises I need to do?

When I feel human again, I’ll post more, I’ve been taking pictures.  I’ll also try to post some pictures from next week’s trip to NSTA in New Orleans and I’ll also get a copy of the student led conference sheet posted soon.

***Just a note to all of you who have posted  comments in the last week– I have read them and I am working on getting all caught up, but unfortunately, since I’m not sleeping well, they have gotten pushed to the bottom of my to do list, but hopefully, I’ll get questions answered soon and some things posted–a few of the questions have been about Shake The Beans, Literacy Work Stations Power Point, Penny Toss; Heads/Tails, so I promise to get to them soon along with three new books I’ve just discovered!

Going to bed for a few wasted hours of hacking and tossing and turning!  See  you later!

Kristen 🙂

What a week…and it’s only Wednesday

Have you ever had one of those crazy weeks where the gods seem to be working against you?  Yeah–that’s been my week so far and it’s only WEDNESDAY!!!

My poor assistant Pam is out with strep–GET WELL SOON PAM!! and has been out all week so far.  You don’t realize how much you depend upon them until they’re not there! 😦  Actually, we’ve been managing just fine–the kids and I, we’ve done everything I had planned and even more, so I guess it’s not all that bad! 🙂

I’ve been trying to take some pictures for you this week-but as luck would have it, my batteries are dead and can I find my charger–NO!

It’s only the 3rd day this week and we’ve already had two meeting afterschool at my building and then one I volunteered for (to look over this year’s Golden Apple entries for our district).  So that means for the rest of the month, I have 1/2 hour left that I am required to attend in meetings and we’re only on the 4th day of the month!

I am however on top of report cards–only 4 left to do and I still have a whole week and a half left!  This time I’m going to do student led conferences–anyone else done these?  I hear they’re great and I want to give them a try–any suggestions?  I’m going to have a “tour guide” sheet for each student to help them show their families around the classroom and explain what we do in a day, and then I will be there to help and answer any questions.  I thought this would be much more powerful for the students and their parents.

Is anyone else attending NSTA in New Orleans this year?  I will be there and I see some great Inquiry sessions I can’t wait to attend! 🙂

Got to go now…thanks for letting me vent a little!  It’s 8pm and I can get a decent amount of lesson planning done before bed–or maybe just a bath! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

P.S. I’ll try to post tomorrow about our Big Book this week and what we’ve been up to since Monday!

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