Monthly Archives: April 2012

Building words & the great hunt!

I found this great idea for building words on Pintrest. If I can find it again, I’ll link it here. You use divided trays and letter tiles to work on building cvc words. You place all the letters in the large bottom section and then when you build the words, you place one tile in each of the three other smaller sections.
I had a great hunt for these trays! Between my husband (who is used to my crazy ideas!) and I, we visited 13 different stores! Yes, 13! We finally found them at Meijer and at Jo-Ann’s. The solid color ones were 2 for 5.99 at Meijer and the decorated pink ones were 3.49 on sale at 50 percent off at Jo-Ann’s.






I have a total of 14 of them. They were hard to find because it is too early for them. I was advised that they will be out for summer at ,any stores. I’ve also seen them in the dollar spot at Target. I tout about using styrofoam trays, but I wanted them to last and not get picked at, but they could be a good substitute if you can’t find these!

Kristen 🙂

The Grouchy Ladybug

We have been reading The Grouchy Ladybug for two weeks now. Our schedule in the last two weeks has been so wonky, we actually got one good solid week of practice in with this book! Here is a picture our pocket chart after we matched up all the pictures with the correct names…after many rereadings!


Kristen 🙂

The Quails!

To be different this year, I decided to hatch quail eggs instead chicken eggs. One of my team members got chicken and quail eggs from her parents farm and we are waiting patiently for them to hatch! Next Wednesday is the big day, if all goes well!


Tis picture was taken pre incubator. Aren’t they cute? They will be the size of your thumb when they hatch! If anyone knows any great books about quail, I’d love to know! I ordered the only one I could find suitable for young children and it was from a publishing company in the UK!

Kristen 🙂

The new greenhouse

Check out my great find at my local Big Lots store… I was able to get this greenhouse for $30! It has four shelves and doubled our growing space! I let a teacher down the hall borrow my two shelf model so she could grow some plants of her own. There was also a walk in greenhouse model available for sale and if I would of had a place to put it, it would of been mine!
In keeping with the green theme here, we (the kids and I) decided to use as many recycled containers as possible to grow our seeds in. We used both halves of a cardboard egg container, complete with egg shell half cups! We also used a plastic cupcake tray that one of my students brought her birthday cupcakes in last week. We used some old cookie sheets I got at the Goodwill Outlet Store for way cheap as trays to put our containers on.




Kristen 🙂

Managing Literacy/Math Work Stations

I’ve had several questions about how I manage my Literacy Work Stations lately, so I thought I would explain with some pictures:

I used Debbie Diller’s LWS signs from the back of her LWS book.  I shrunk them down to about 1/3 of their size (3x5ish) and laminated them.  I then put them into the pocket chart on the left side.  I printed all my kiddos names on business cards using a template on my computer.  I then put two compatible partners together.  I move the cards down one spot each day.  When I get to the bottom of the chart on the left, I move the cards to the top of the next chart.  I then move them down until they get to the bottom of the second chart, they they are moved back to the top of the first chart.  I have 12 stations so it takes 2 weeks and 2 days to get through all of the stations.  My students rotate through one station a day.

You can see part of the charts I use for Math Work Stations on the very right hand side.  I printed red number cards that correspond with red number cards on my Math Work Station tubs.  I did the same thing with the children’s names (printed them on business cards) and rotate them in the same manor.  The only difference is that I have 14 Math Work Stations.  I have an intervention group pulled out at this time so I do not have children using all 14 stations on each day–we use about 11 of them.  I have 14 though so there is enough variety and switching the activities occurs less often.

Please let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

Kristen 🙂

My Book of Colors (Review)

Hi everyone!

I was sent a link from the nice folks at Blucher regarding a new color book they had just published for iPads and the like.  I’ve had lots of fun trying “My Book of Colors” out and so have my Kindergarten kids!

As a teacher, I like this interactive book because it has many ways to interact while learning colors (not just the primary colors either!).  The children can use a two finger swipe to make hidden objects appear and can tap on the color words to hear them spoken aloud.  In addition, there are at least three pages showing items that are found in each color and many of the items have actions that accompany them (for example, when learning about the color blue, tapping on the Earth will make it spin).  My 7 year old even though it was fun to tap and swipe to find hidden items and actions!

My students liked this book because it had many objects to explore.  I made sure that the students saw the tutorial given in the sample copy so they would know how to use this book to its fullest!  They loved finding their favorite colors, swiping the pages back and forth to revisit their favorite pages, and listening to the color words read aloud.  I also used this book with some of my ELL students to help them review their colors.  We talked about the colors and named many of the objects and then they tried to guess what was hiding behind some of the different pictures.  There are 10 different colors in this iBook and 45 pages total, making the $2.99 price tag (USA) a steal for this quality book!  I loved the high quality pictures and how clear they appeared on my screen (you know how some colors are wonky on certain devices?–not these colors!).  There are also a total of 120 images throughout the book and 120 more hidden objects for your Pre-K or Kindergarten student to find.

If you have access to a device that has iBooks on it, I would spend the $2.99 and check this book out.  It will be such a great tool to share at the beginning of the Kindergarten or Preschool, and even more wonderful for those ELL students!

Here is the link to find out more information:

My Book of Colors 

This will take you to the iTunes site online, but you can search for “My Book of Colors” in iBooks and it will also come up.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Kristen 🙂

I was given a complimentary copy of this iBooks title and offered to write a review on my blog.  I received no other compensation for this review and these opinions are entirely my own.

iSpy bags

I’m hooked!  On Pinetrest that is!  I found this idea a few days ago and had the materials (mostly) laying around.

I found this great tutorial here and l decided that because I had most of the materials already laying around, I could make some of these.  I went to Jo-Ann’s and looked for things that were small: beads, rhinestones, buttons, etc., that would fit inside one of these bags.  I also purchased two 32 oz. bags of plastic pellets, used to fill up dolls/children’s toys.  I have made 13 so far (they are not all pictured).  I also purchased some bags of trinkets from a store on etsy. (LOVE etsy!)

The items you see laying on the white paper will eventually be printed off, laminated, and attached with grommets so that the children can use a dry erase marker to circle the items that they have found.

Wouldn’t these be great with magnetic items inside as well? 🙂  For the bag with the numbers, I was thinking it would be great addition and subtraction practice for the children to find a number, then roll a die to see if they would add or subtract the next number they find!  You could do all kinds of things with these!  Use them in Work Stations, make them easy or difficult…how about putting sight words in them and letting the children write them as they find them?  How about printing the words in tiny font and using a magnifying glass to read them and then say them out loud?  The alphabet bags could be used to spell words…the ideas are endless…do you have any other ideas?  Leave them in a comment here! 🙂

I am thinking of making some to sell.  I made mine so that they correlate to units or themes we are working on in our IB units.  So far, I’ve got one for ponds, letters, numbers, recycling, gingerbread men/women, animals, pets, and a few just for fun ones!

Let me know if you might be interested in purchasing one or two…I’m thinking $10 for each one, with laminated tag included and attached. 🙂

Kristen 🙂

What do you think?

I’ve changed up my blog header and background paper…what do you think?  I’m not exactly sure if I like them together or not…so any comments would help me to decide!  Do I keep the header and find another background or keep the background and redo the header?  Please leave me a comment to help me decide what to do! 🙂

NSTA Plants

Here is a look at the plants I got/made at NSTA this year:

One is a plant called “Mother of 10,000’s”.  That’s the one in the little portion cup.  The other plant is a Wisconsin Fast Plant.  The booth where they had them was shutting down and the vendors did not want to take them back with them, so they were giving them away.  I’ve had them in my classroom before, so I was excited to get another one! I also made another garden monster (I posted about them last year).

Kristen 🙂

Water Cycle Bracelet

Here are the directions/meanings of the beads for the water cycle bracelet I shared at NSTA this year.


I believe I found this idea on

Kristen 🙂

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