Monthly Archives: May 2009

Summer is Here!!! :)

It was SO hard to say goodbye to this year’s class! I got all teary and there were a few that made me more so that way! ๐Ÿ™‚ One of the traditions at our school is that all the teachers and other staff gather on the sidewalk and when the buses are all loaded, we do a kick line!! So fun!!

How do you say goodbye to your kids?

On another note, just because school is out, doesn’t mean learning stops for me!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have several books I’ll be reading and then I’m returning for a 3rd year of our Science Academy (to learn to be a facilitator) and then another Economics workshop. I’ll be posting my thoughts on those things, plus anything you would like me to answer, send it my way and I’ll post a Q&A here in a couple of days…maybe I could do that every Friday to get us through the summer!

You have until Friday ( 2 days from now!!) to leave me a comment on a post I wrote a few below this one to be entered to receive a copy of my handouts from my June 15th workshop!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Kindergarten Slideshow 2009

LWS Check Sheet

Hi Everyone!

Only 4 1/2 more days of school left! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I’ll actually be really sad when the last day arrives, but it feels nice to say it now, being on this side of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been working on planning my workshop this summer.ย  We’ve decided to call it, “The Farmer’s Market; Inquiry Based Science through Literacy Work Stations”.ย  Catchy, huh?

I was asked today to present it (okay, more like told that I was going to be!) presenting at the ISRA (Indiana State Reading Association) Conference in March 2010! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  What an honor!

Okay, on to the reason for this post…

I made several sheets to help me get organized so I thought I would share them with you and see what you think.ย  Now, you can only have them if you promise to leave me a comment! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Honor system here! I want to know if you would use them, if they are user friendly, and if they make sense!

Here they are in no particular order:

LiteracyWorkStationsPlanningSheet (this one I posted a few days ago…but here it is in the same post with all the others!)

MonarchplanningsheetLWS (this one is the sheet that is posted above, however I filled this one in-at the workshop, this will be given; along with several others to the teachers to help them plan/get started planning and it will also show them the activites they will complete during the workshop)

sciencethemegrid (I created this sheet to show when I teach particular science themes throughout the year, some overlap from month to month)

LWS Check Sheet (This little beauty I created about 5 minutes ago–I wanted to have a sheet that would not onlyย  help me make sure that I had materials for every station this summer during our workshop, but also throughout the school year as well.ย  It makes the planning sheet above seem a little redundant, but think of this one more of a quick check sheet that you could use when getting materials out/storing them away.ย  I envision myself putting this sheet into a large Ziploc with the materials that are checked so that they are ready for next year and I know what stations can be open/closed during that theme)

Anyway…there you go!ย  Remember HONOR SYSTEM–I want comments here people!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  If you leave me a comment, I might be persuaded to send 4-5 people a copy of all the handouts given out at my workshop–and I know from the daily hit counter that there are more than just 12 of you out there!ย  SO LEAVE ME A COMMENT, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

LWS Planning Sheet

Here is a sheet I made that I wish Iย  had last year when setting up my Literacy Work Stations:



Hi Everyone!

I’ve been too busy to post regularly, what with the end of the school year and the start of the summer of learning for me! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Here’s what June looks like for me (already–and it’s not even here yet!!)ย  June 1-5 and 10-12 Science Academy (I’m returning for a 3rd year) June 8th is open and June 9th, I’m learning about Open Court and the possibility of using it in our schools next year for Interventions.ย  June 15th, I’m presenting a workshop, June 16th, another one-day workshop offered by our district and then June 17th-19th and June 22nd-26th, I’m taking a General Economics Workshop for 3 credits.ย  Oh, and on May 29th and 30th, I’m taking International Bacculeraute (sp?) training so that I can incorporate it into my classroom (we’re going k-12).

In the meantime, this week, we’ve been reading 5ย  Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed–why did I choose this book??ย  Because we’re all so excited about the end of the school year, we’ve been acting like a bunch of Monkeys! ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday, we took a picture walk and then read the story, we also started a Predictable Chart titled…Monkeys…

Tuesday, we listened to the book on tape and played some games and sung some songs that were on the reverse side of the tape.ย  We also started a KWL chart about Monkeys.ย  The children knew a little bit about Monkeys, and ended up with some great questions that they “Wondered” about.

Wednesday, we were supposed to go on a field trip to our local park, but it got rained out, so instead we watched A Bugs Life! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  It was a fun time!

Thursday, we read another book about Monkeys, filled in some of the “l’s” on our KWL chart and then we read a book about Lemurs…which led to Madagascar…which led to me agreeing to watch it tomorrow afternoon! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  In the morning we are having our Kindy Olympics.

We have 7 different stations set up and the children (with the help of LOTS of parents) will play their way through the events–just for fun, no competition!ย ย  We will have a parachute, trikes, relay races, bean bag tossing, jump ropes, obstacle course, and kickball.ย  We’ve never done it this way before–we usually have the Kindy 500 (since we’re here in Indiana!), but we wanted to change things up a bit for us and them this year!

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Ready…

As I sit at home, I am preparing for a workshop that I will help present this summer to the Kindergarten teachers in our district.ย  I am working with one of our Title 1 coaches in Literacy and we are developing a workshop that will show Kindergarten teachers how to integrate Science into their Literacy Work Stations.ย  I am a BIG believer in the two overlapping and going hand in hand.ย  I pretty much always choose Big Books that are Science related; and when I don’t it’s because I didn’t have the BB I needed! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, as I collect resources and information, I’ll post what I can, but I would also ask for some feedback from you.ย  We want to present this for an entire day in the summer (6 hours) and then have several follow-up sessions as the school year goes on to help present more ideas to teachers.

One of the resources I use frequently when choosing songs, poems, and rhymes for my Pocket Chart Station is this site: CanTeach.ย  If you have not checked it out, you need to do so!ย  There are LOTS more things there than just songs, poems, and rhymes, but that’s what I mostly use it for!

For this part of the workshop, our theme will be Fall and things we can see and experience in the Fall in Indiana (that covers LOTS of things!).

We are looking at corn, gourds, crickets, acorns, walnuts, bats, squirrels, farms, leaves and will tie in Science to them as well as Nursery Rhymes.ย  Do you have any MUST HAVE books or Science ideas that we could share.ย  We’ve got a few already, but we want to hear from you–those of you out there in the field–ideas that you have tested and tried with your kids!

I can’t wait to share some of the things we will be doing…and we are hopeful that all the teachers who attend will also be making some make and takes as well as filling a binder full of ideas to use throughout the school year!

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

The Mayor’s Visit…

Here is a picture of the Mayor of Indianapolis visiting my classroom:


There are about 60 pictures I could post, but most of them show my kids faces, so for security, I don’t want to do that, but just know that we had the best time with the Mayor!ย  He asked lots of questions about our compost and what we were doing to help keep our community green and our Earth healthy!ย  The children did an AWESOME job answering all of Mayor Ballards’ questions and they were far less nervous than I was!

What Happens When…

You give a room full of Kindergarten students a….


They go crazy!ย  They came up with all kinds of ideas, how we could join the maps together and create one big one and some even swear they saw their homes (on a Florida map–we live in Indiana!).ย  Here are some pictures of their overwhelming excitement!






I added these to their SSR book baskets to give them another kind of print to look at and they went crazy!! They had so much fun looking at them, and you should have seen the creative ways in which they folded them back up! ๐Ÿ™‚

I got them for free from Teacher’s Treasures along with some of those AAA travel guides for various areas of the country–just another way to look at print and notice our environment! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

200,000 hits!

I see that my counter is nearing 200,000 hits and that is all thanks to you, my fellow educators/parents!ย  Leave me a comment on this post about your favorite thing you use on my blog…I’ll think of some prize or something to reward a poster that is randomly drawn when the hit counter gets to 200,000 hits (about a week or so more).

Check out all the areas of my blog, tell me what you like, don’t like, and what you would like to see more of!ย  I’ll do my best to answer questions and post what I can this summer! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Let me know who you are and where you are located!

Thanks for visiting me each and everyday!!

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚


I created this sheet to use in my Kindergarten student’s binders next year.ย  I want them to be able to graph various things and not use so much paper. They can use dry erase markers to fill in the boxes and we can use this graph over and over again.

I also designed it to be used at a new Literacy Work Station I’ve recently created.ย  I haven’t settled on it’s name yet, but it will be one of the following:

Word Family Work Station

Rhyming Work Station

Sight Words Work Station

This grid can be used for Roll-A-_____ games (word family games, rhyming words, sight words, etc.) and can be customized to what ever you need it to be.ย  At this point it’s blank, but as the year goes on, (next school year), I’ll post them as I make them, and then there will be an entire collection of them! ๐Ÿ™‚


I am hopeful that it will work when you download it-I made it in Word and it’s just a table with nothing in it, so let me know if you are able to use it.

Please also let me know how you use it or plan to use it and I can make a list for everyone to share ideas with! ๐Ÿ™‚

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