Monthly Archives: June 2011

What a difference a day makes!

Okay, or two days!ย  The custodians/housekeepers are busy at work cleaning our carpets and tile so they are all ready for next year (which is actually later this year–never understood that, ๐Ÿ™‚ ).ย  Here are some pictures of my room today when I went in to take my son to a special summer gym class that is offered by our fabulous “Jim Teacher”.ย  He is the best!

I think I’ll be able to get back in soon and start setting it all back up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

New Classroom Layout

I like reading “teacher books” because it gets the gears in my mind turning like crazy!ย  As I was reading The Daily Five, I kept thinking about making my classroom more conducive to Reading to Self.ย  It led me to thinking about when we are “doing” Literacy Work Stations–the children at the Library WS were always looking at what the people at Pocket Chart WS were doing, and the children at Pocket Chart WS were always looking at the computer screens and asking the children at Listening, Writing, and Big Book WS if they saw what so-and-so was playing on the computers.ย  Big Hairy Mess–everyday! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I want to fix that problem, so I’ve updated my “floor plan” with some adjustments.

My computers will now be turned so that the children at Writing WS cannot see them.ย  I’m also moving the short bookcases with Pocket Chart WS around the corner from where they were, so they cannot see the computers with out stretching their necks waaay out there.ย  I’m also moving the tall Library WS bookcases between the library and the computers, hopefully, no one will be exceptionally tall this year! ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish that the computers could go elsewhere in the room, but they can’t due to the computer hook-up drops that have been installed there.

I’m attaching my updated version–this is just the beginning though–I’m still playing with where my Sand Table will go because I am DETERMINED to use it this year-EVERYDAY!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I’ll see how that has panned out in October! ๐Ÿ™‚

The other thing I forgot to tell you was that I’ve added a second page with all my work stations as they were at the end of this last school year.ย  I’ve numbered them all on the layout, so if you look through my classroom pictures from this year, you can kind of see where everything is located. ๐Ÿ™‚


The Daily Five

I’ve just started reading The Daily Five and wondered if any of you have used it in Kindergarten. I’m curious to know how it looks and how it can be incorporated with/into Literacy Work Stations.

A little bit off topic…

I love summer vacation because I can work on all the crafty projects I don’t have time to do during the school year.ย  A parent made me an adorable bag for an end of year gift and I LOVE it so much that I’ve made two more already.ย  I think I’m going to put them up for sale in my etsy store. ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you think?

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Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Math Common Core Standards

For the last day and a half, I’ve been attending workshops about the new national common core standards for math.ย  In our state (IN), Kindergarten will be implementing them in the 2011-2012 school year and a grade will be added every year there after for the next few years.

This caused us to have to re-think our math assessment and our report card–anyone else out there having the same things come up?

I am busily going through my teacher math books finding games and activities that go along with each of the CCS that need to be taught.ย  It looks like we have a huge emphasis on Number Concept and Geometry in Kindergarten.ย  The books I’m currently searching are:

Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson

Developing Number Concepts with Unifix Cubes by Kathy Richardson

Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller

Teaching Student Centered Mathematics Grades K-2 by John A. Van de Walle


Does anyone else have any other books to suggest or how are you dealing with the transition to the CCS?ย  Are you switching all subjects or just math?ย  That’s all we know about at this point…I do have another workshop tomorrow with our Math and Literacy Title 1 staff. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Lesson Plans

I’ve decided to try a new layout this next school year for my lesson plans.ย  I’m not entirely sure I like it and may go back to the old way, but I thought I would share it in the event that some of you might like to use it!

I wanted something with bigger boxes (you can search my blog through the Categories tag to find the old one), but I don’t know if I like the idea of having one sheet of paper back to back for each individual day.ย  I was using a week at a glance type of layout before.ย  I plan on reworking the old lesson plan sheet and comparing the two.

Here you go…(e-mail me at if you can’t download it and I’ll e-mail it to you!)


Let me know if you like it or not!

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Classroom now…

Last week or so, I posted pictures of my classroom at the “height” of the school year.ย  Check out these photos from after the school year has ended.ย  Kind of depressing…it’s all so still and quiet–I don’t like that! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  It won’t be too much longer though until it’s filled with noise again!ย  Don’t get me wrong, I love summer vacation as much as the next teacher, but I can’t stand a classroom that’s empty! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Also this week, I found two great places to find used children’s books: Goodwill (they were .69 each) and my son’s bedroom!!ย  I found books I had brought home for him a few years ago and thought that I’d lost!ย  I saw several books that I knew I already had in my listening center, but I only had one copy and was able to find about 20 more titles that now have partners!ย  This picture shows me organizing them:


I also have had a few questions about how I store all my books.ย  I wrote a grant several years ago and got this nice bookshelf and the magazine holders to put the books in.ย  I’ve organized them generally by topic and some overlap, but at least I can find most of the books when I need them!ย  Here is a picture of the bookcase (one picture has the curtain down and the other with it up):



The last picture is of my books on tape/CD.ย  I store them much the same way I do my books, but on the bookshelf right next to the one with all my books:



Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

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