Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spring IKEA trip 2014

I’ve probably said this a zillion times before, but I’ll say it again!Β  Vacation = trip to IKEA with colleagues!!!Β  Seriously, every vacation we have through the year, a few of my colleagues and I pick a date and head to IKEA!! This time, I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I did need to get a few things for an after school class I’m teaching at my school soon.Β  Its called “Mad for Monograms” and each project we complete will have the child’s initial(s) on it in some way.

So off we went!

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 11.10.13 PM(Loving this new app I learned about at the blogger meet-up called Phonto!!)

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I added these letter trays to my scrapbook room wishlist. πŸ™‚Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 11.11.53 PM

Saw this great idea for a dry erase board, so I bought two similar frames to try this…Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 11.12.03 PMHere’s all my goods. πŸ™‚


Not the most exciting thing…but I got pillow cases for my after school class.Β  We are going to iron on either their name or the first letter in their name to the front. πŸ™‚IMG_7178

I also picked up these little reusable sandwich pouches.Β  The kiddos in my after school class will iron on the first letter in their name and then I’m going to help them embroider (by hand) a flower or other little design on them to fancy them up. πŸ™‚IMG_7179

Saw these cute bandaids and couldn’t pass them up for .79 a box!Β  Space ships, cats/bears, and plain…my kiddos will love these when they get an owie. πŸ™‚IMG_7180

These metal buckets were a steal at .79 each!Β  I’m thinking I might use them as little trash pails at each table, but I might end up using them at home to plant some flowers in too. πŸ™‚IMG_7181

These marker stampers were a “new” item from the Spring catalog…you get 6 for $3.99 and then stamp the designs you see on the front of the package.Β  I got them to use in place of stickers when I check their homework packets in.Β  IMG_7182

Love, love, love this pretend baby bath!Β  I’m going to use it in my classroom Vet’s office and the kids can wash the animals.Β  It comes with everything you see, except for the dog.


My 9 year old was in a good mood today and wanted to help model it for you. πŸ™‚IMG_7184

How cute is this freshly “washed” puppy?Β  All wrapped up in the included hooded towel!IMG_7185

I also got these new finger puppets.Β  They are fairy tale themed and will fit right in with the animal finger puppets I got from IKEA last year.Β  IMG_7186

It comes with this cardboard castle and a white card with these finger like shapes attached to them.Β  I’m sure it was just in there for display in the packaging, but it seemed like something the kids might like to help hold more puppets than they have fingers for so I kept it–it probably won’t last too long, but we will see! πŸ˜‰IMG_7187



These are the picture frames I got to try that dry erase idea.Β  These were $2.99 each and I made sure they had a sheet of plastic in them to use as the dry erase surface.Β  These colors match what I have in my classroom, so I’m going to insert some cute scrapbook paper and hang them up! IMG_7190I thought I might hang one on our classroom door so I can write sight words on it.Β  When we are waiting in line, the kids can read them and read one to me on the way out the door.

Kristen πŸ™‚

Indiana Teacher’s $1 Sale!!

After attending the Indiana Blogger Meet-up last weekend in French Lick…one of the things we decided we wanted to do (among lots of other fun things coming soon!!), was to have a sale showcasing Indiana Bloggers.Β  So for today only, we have put special items in our Tpt stores on sale for $1.00!!

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I’ve got my Ways to Make pack on sale for $1.00:

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and my 2D and 3D shape game packs on sale for $1.00 each!! πŸ™‚

2D Shape Games

3D Shape Games

Here are the rest of my Indiana Blogger friends who are also having a $1.00 sale today! πŸ™‚

(Click the link below to see all of them!)


Kristen πŸ™‚

A Sneak Peak…

I was contacted a few weeks ago by Constructive Playthings about doing a product review–and because I literally drool over the catalog each time we get a new one at school (my wishlist is huge!!), I told them I would be more than happy to review a product…but I’m not going to show the whole thing to you just yet. πŸ™‚Β  I need to build up some suspense…okay, not really, but I want to show you how this product works in a Kindergarten classroom–I’ve already come up with a bunch of ideas for using these:


This is the only clue you’re getting for now. πŸ™‚Β  What do you think it is and what might I be going to do with it?Β  I will tell you, its not my Super Teacher cape–although…that does sound like something I should look into. πŸ™‚Β  Because we are on Spring Break, I don’t have any models to show you this product in action just yet…it will all soon be revealed. πŸ™‚
Also, the folks at CP Toys shared that they are doing an April Showers Giveaway.
Throughout the month of April, Constructive Playthings will be showering gifts on their friends and fans. To qualify, like their Facebook page and sign up with your email address. They will be choosing winners randomly two times per week. Click here to enter.
Make sure you “Like” them on Facebook for your chance to enter to be “showered” with gifts. πŸ™‚Β 
Any guesses on what the product might be?
Kristen πŸ™‚

Blogger Meet-up

I had the privilege of attending the Indiana Blogger Meet-Up last weekend in beautiful French Lick Indiana.Β  There were over 50 other bloggers who attended–on their own time!Β  We had some great conversations, planned some awesome things (be looking for those), and exchanged some great ideas!


We also had a little teacher tool gift exchange and I’ll be showing you soon what give I gave and received!Β  I LOVE my gift!!

Holly Ehle from Mrs. Ehle’s Kindergarten planned and hosted the entire weekend and she was the hostess with the mostess!Β  She thought of everything and had even been sweet enough to contact companies that might like to donate to some teachers. πŸ™‚

Thank you Holly!! It was SO much fun–can’t wait to do it again! πŸ™‚

Look at all the goodies we received!!


Each teacher received a new Vera Bradley bag! IMG_7164

The nice people at Scentos donated a box of their brand new scented markers to each of us!!Β  We are some of the first people in the US to get them!!Β  They won’t be on the market until Back to School time!IMG_7165

We also got these awesome Scentos Ten color ink pens–LOVE that each color has a different scent! πŸ™‚IMG_7167

Jamberry nails (Holly!) gave each of us some nail samples to try–I’ll show you those when I get them on! πŸ™‚IMG_7168

SDE and Crystal Springs also sent information about their books and upcoming conferences. πŸ™‚Β  Erin Condren sent each one of us a $10 gift card too!! IMG_7170

These were the Vera Bradley patterns we had to chose from. πŸ™‚IMG_7171

Just love all these colors!IMG_7172



One of the highlights of the meet-up was that I got to meet Mr. Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard!!Β  IMG_7175

He helped to lead our Blogger Tips and Tricks session where bloggers old and new could ask questions of each other and exchange ideas. πŸ™‚IMG_1658

We also exchanged business cards so we could keep in touch!Β  Look at all the new blogging friends I made!! πŸ™‚

Kristen πŸ™‚

New Design…

I love being on Spring Break!!Β  I wish I could go some where warm this year, but there was too much to do here at home!Β  I decided to check into getting a new blog design…couldn’t find anyone who might be able to help me with a wordpress blog, so after some research in the wee hours of the morning…I figured out I could tackle it myself!Β 
What do you think so far?Β  It’s my first attempt at this, so I have some cleaning up to do here and there, but I like how its starting to come together.Β  I am a crafter/rubber stamper, so to get the color scheme, I picked out my 5 most favorite colors of card stock and worked from there.Β  I also love the polka-dot background. πŸ™‚Β 
I’ll be working on adding some new social media buttons soon (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.), so you might see things change and be replaced as I figure out how to get the code right!
Thanks for reading!Β 
Kristen πŸ™‚



Living and Nonliving

We started one of my most favorite units this week–our Living and Nonliving unit!Β  I had the kiddos draw and write about what they thought Living and Nonliving meant and had them write or draw about it in their Science Notebooks:





I LOVE Kindergarten writing!! πŸ™‚IMG_0108

She’s writing “We are living”.IMG_0109

“Mrs. Poindexter, this is a paper heart, not a real heart, real hearts beat, paper hearts do not”. IMG_0110



IMG_0113As they notebooked, I walked around asking them what “living” and “nonliving” meant to them and why they chose to draw or write some of the things they did.Β  I used this as kind of a pre-assessment to help me figure out how long we needed to spend on defining what living and nonliving mean to this group.Β  They did a pretty good job with their choices and were able to give several reasons why they drew and wrote what they did.

We got together in partners after they had 10 minutes to draw and write to discuss with their partners about what they chose to write or draw about.Β  Its always so interesting to me to listen in on their conversations and hear what their thinking is and the understanding behind their thinking.

Kristen πŸ™‚

Visiting the Vet

The kiddos have had so much fun learning about how to be Veterinarians this week.Β  I posted last week about the awesome resources from Twinkl that made it so easy to set up my vet’s office quickly and simply!

The conversations that the kiddos are having with each other about the problems of their pets are incredible.Β  To hear them ask each other about their pets, what is wrong with their pets, and their suggestions for fixing the problems are so cute!

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They love sitting in the waiting room waiting for their pets to be seen!Β  Twinkl has a wonderful Pet Details sheet that the children fill outto let the vet know about the problems their pet is having. Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.30.18 PM

Here are the vet’s of the day, fixing up an invisible parrot!

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 9.31.34 PMOne of my kiddos waits patiently for her pet dog to be brought back to her while the other two wait with their jaguar and polar bear!Β  We are an exotic animal hospital after all!

Has anyone tried Twinkl yet?Β  They have so many resources, its fun to get lost in sorting through all of them!Β  What is your favorite so far?

Vet’s Office via twinkl

Yesterday, I shared about twinkl with you!Β  Who went and looked around?Β  What awesome stuff did you find that you could use?

Today, I’m going to share how I used the resource pack from twinkl to transform my home living area into a Vet’s office.Β  I laminated each item so it would last for the next month or so. πŸ™‚


Every Vet’s office needs appointment cards!IMG_6897

Β I used these cards in the pocket chart that is in my vet’s office.Β  The children can use them to help diagnose their patients. πŸ™‚IMG_6898

These are the beautiful, real pictures that are included in the pack.Β  I hung these around my vet’s office as they were appropriate. IMG_6899

Love this sheet that the humans have to fill out about their pets. πŸ™‚IMG_6900

I made two copies of this Pet Care word mat and placed them different places in the vet’s office.Β  The children can use these as a guide to write sentences about their pets.

IMG_6901You can’t have a vet’s office without a way to keep track of your appointments!

IMG_6902This sign showing when the office is open will help my kiddos learn to tell time. πŸ™‚

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My kiddos love the OPEN and CLOSED signs. They like to be the one who flips the sign over to OPEN the store. IMG_6905

Also included, are these great posters to include in your vet’s office area as advertisements for services that are offered there. πŸ™‚Β  Love the variety!


And of course, worried human mommies and daddies will need a place to wait while their pet is being looked at!

Now a look at how this all looks in the vet’s office!IMG_6907



Inside the vet’s office.Β  The patients are on the right, the vet’s exam table is in the middle and the stove holds important tools and bandages. IMG_6910


Love these signs! πŸ™‚IMG_6912

Pet wash area!! πŸ™‚ IMG_6914





Vet’s bag of tools. IMG_6919


This appointment sheet is laminated so that it can be used over and over again. πŸ™‚IMG_6921







The kids voted and determined that we will have an exotic animal vet’s office, complete with polar bears, jaguars, horses, cows, beavers, and ducks!Β  We looked through all the stuffed animals I had in the closet and these won out!

I’ll post more pictures of everything in action soon. πŸ™‚

Kristen πŸ™‚


Have you ever heard of twinkl?Β  Its an amazing website with resources dedicated to Early Childhood children and their caretakers (teachers, parents, daycare providers, etc.)

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I use their images and resources packs whenever I can because they use real pictures and always connect words with them.

Just look at all the resource categories they have available to use:

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I used their Role Play section to help me change my home living area into a Vet’s office (come back tomorrow to see pictures of that!)Β  I love that they have something for everyone on their site and many of the resources are free, but if you pay the very inexpensive “Premium” fee, you get access to LOTS more resources…that’s where the Vet pack came from.

These are the different resource packs you can download just to create different Shops in your classroom.

When you download a pack, you will get EVERYTHING you can think of needing to make it happen, minus the more 3D shaped items to bring your dramatic play area to life.

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These are the different Service packs you can download.Β  This is where I got my Vet’s Pack.

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Twinkl is based in England, so sometimes you might see words spelled in British English, but the the great folks at Twinkl are quickly building their American English library and adding more resources for that.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 8.14.10 PMOne of the things I used two units ago, were these amazing pictures of homes from around the world.Β  We study homes in different times and places and talk about what makes each home suitable for being in that particular location.Β  These photos from twinkl make it so easy to do that!

Go have a look around their site and see what you can find!Β  Sign up for their Premium Membership too–its so inexpensive and SO worth it!Β  Come back tomorrow to see how I used twinkl’s resources to transform my home living area into a Vet’s office!

Kristen πŸ™‚

So this happened…

I generally hate talking about myself.Β  I like to share ideas on this little bit of blog space, but just this once, I’m going to share something that happened last Friday because I’m just so darn overwhelmed by all the kind words from colleagues that went into making it happen. πŸ™‚

I found out on Friday, at a whole school convocation that I am the National recipient of the Shell Science Teaching Award!Β  I was completely shocked, humbled, and awed to be chosen.Β  Needless to say, I cried.Β  A lot.Β  I couldn’t get it together! πŸ™‚Β  I was surprised…completely surprised!Β  I knew I was going to be recognized for being one of three finalists nationally, but had no idea that I was going to find out that I was the National winner!Β  In front of the entire school!!Β  I can’t do what I do without the entire group of people who were there to see it happen, the kids, the staff, and my family!

In order to get this award, I went through three rounds of judging.Β  In November, I submitted a paper talking about my philosophy of teaching science and what some of my favorite lessons were.Β  I made it through that round and found out I was one of 10 finalists nationally, so I had to submit a video of me teaching.Β  Then, I found out I was one of three finalists nationally and had a team of three teachers do a site visit.Β  They spent the entire day watching me teach, talking to my colleagues, administrators, and parents.Β  That’s the last I knew of anything–that I would be hearing about the results near the end of February. πŸ™‚Β  Totally caught me off guard!! πŸ™‚


Here I am with our Superintendent. πŸ™‚ (See the blotchy red eyes?Β  πŸ™‚Β  )DSCN9637

Our Director of Elementary Education. πŸ™‚DSCN9639

And everyone!Β  My Principal, Assistant Principal, Director of Elementary Education, me, hubby, my son, school board member, and our Superintendent. πŸ™‚DSCN9641

This is my family…I can’t do what I do without them!

As part of this award, I get an all expense paid trip to Boston for the National Science Teachers Association conference, and I won $10,000!Β  Can you believe it??Β  I knew that going into the whole thing, but the reality of actually winning–well, it took awhile to set in!

I am so humbled to be chosen as the recipient of this award and can’t wait to get the message out that young children and learners can participate in Science and they can be very successful at it! πŸ™‚

Best. Day. Ever.

Kristen πŸ™‚

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