Monthly Archives: July 2015

Using your iPad as a document camera

I did my second Periscope today about using your iPad as a document camera.  My ELMO (visual presenter) died a few years ago and I wanted to use something to replace it that didn’t have cords attached to it and that was so easy the kiddos could use it too!

I started looking for solutions and found a stand made out of lightweight PVC pipe.  I showed the directions to my husband and by the next afternoon, I (along with 10 other people) had new iPad stands. 🙂  He started taking custom orders for other teachers in my school and in my township.

Here is the link to my Periscope explaining how I use it:

Sorry about the wobbly camera! It was hard to put the iPad in with one hand and without dropping it! 🙂


I will tell you that I had my husband make me a new center pole for the stand this summer because the camera angle wasn’t wide enough to fit an entire 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper under it.  If you decide to build it, I would extend the center pole that gives the iPad height by 4-6 inches.  That has helped a lot already!

Here is the link to the directions we used to build the stand:

Its SUPER EASY to build and cost us under $15 to build. 🙂


Target Dollar Spot Finds

After seeing so many fabulous things other teachers were finding in the Target Dollar Spot, I decided to head there and check it out…here’s what I ended up with:

Kristen's Kindergarten Kristen's Kindergarten

I got these great turquoise tubs that I used to make my math tubs out of (see yesterday’s post).  They were $3 each. The cups I found in the summer/picnic section and they were $0.79 each.  I got 7 tubs and 14 cups.

 Kristen's Kindergarten

I also found lots of stickers, pointers, pencils, and Dr. Seuss stuff.  I bought enough of the paper Dr. Seuss hats to last me the next couple of years. I picked up this turquoise bulletin board/chalkboard too for $3.  I had a dry erase board on my door and it got knocked off.  This one fit my room colors (black and turquoise), so I decided to use it instead of a dry erase board. I think I bought out all the stickers they had! These are great for our 100’s day sticker books, so I picked up LOTS.  We usually switch rooms on 100’s day, so I end up seeing 125 Kindergarten students and each one wants to make a sticker book = LOTS of stickers needed!

Kristen's Kindergarten

Kristen's Kindergarten

Not from the Dollar Spot, but just as exciting, I picked up a Leap Reader pen on CLEARANCE!! I also got two more books to add to our collection of Leap Reader books.  I was able to enter a contest earlier in the summer and already had 3 of these books and I used a gift card to purchase another Leap Reader pen.  So we now have 2 Leap Reader pens and 5 books to help us start the year off.  I plan on using these in one of my Literacy Work Stations.


Math Tubs

After taking a STEM workshop offered by my district this summer, I decided to tackle a project I’d had floating in my head for awhile–math buckets.

I wanted to have buckets set up where I could grab them and use them right away during math lessons, so I came up with these:

Kristen's Kindergarten | Math Tubs Kristen's Kindergarten | Math Tubs Kristen's Kindergarten | Math Tubs IMG_8860Kristen's Kindergarten | Math Tubs Kristen's Kindergarten | Math Tubs Kristen's Kindergarten | Math Tubs

Included in each tub are unifix cubes (stacks of 10), 2 sided counters, foam dice, 1 inch tiles, 4 homemade Rekenreks, and Pattern Blocks.


The Flipped Reading Block, Chapters 3 & 4


Welcome to our Flipped Reading Block Book Study! This weeks questions will be about Chapters 3 and 4: Whole Group Guided Practice as a Follow-Up to Flipped Lessons AND Guiding and Facilitating Instruction in Small Groups.  As always, we encourage you to link up your posts if you are reading this book.

chp34 q1At home practice allows for more “we do” time in the classroom; the face to face time that really counts and builds community and connections in your classroom.  At home, students also have more time to investigate their own inquiries and return to the classroom feeling confident and secure in their background knowledge.  Students are able to get the “teacher-talk” out of the way at home and come back to school ready to interact with their peers and have wonderful, enriching, meaningful discussions.

ch34 q2Some examples of effective at-home mini lessons include: watching a prerecorded video of a teacher lecture.  In K-1 this could look like a teacher presenting the letters of the alphabet in a song or chant with their connected letter sounds so that the students could listen to it at home/on the go as needed to build new knowledge. A teacher can also record themselves counting, saying the days of the week, months of the year, and all those other little repetitive things we practice each day in Kindergarten.  1st grade teachers can record addition and subtraction facts, word families, coin values, and tips for telling time.  There are many prerecorded videos out on the market already that K-1 teachers can direct their families to.  I like Heidi Songs, Pete Harry, Dr. Jean, Debbie Clement, and Jack Hartmann for some of the best learning songs out there!

ch34 q3I like to use lots of different parings in my classroom.  I often like to mix partners up so that they don’t get “stale”! I just took Responsive Classroom training this summer and partner pairs were one thing we did frequently.  After finishing that training, I went to the dollar spot at Target and purchased two sets of Alphabet, Number, Rhyming, Animal, and Shape cards.  I will use these to help my new Kinders find their partner quickly and also help them to identify their like partners.  We also have floor partners, knee to knee partners, writing buddies, restroom buddies, and “I need help, what do I do next? buddies”! 🙂

ch34 q4There are many times when students are captivated by something we are learning about in class and they go home and learn more about whatever the topic is.  They LOVE returning to class to share with the rest of us about their new discoveries.  By having at-home practice, students will be able to return to school and share with their partners about their new learning.  They can talk about what captured their attention, sing a newly learned song together, or use their new knowledge to work together on an in class task. The children will feel confident in their new knowledge by having had a chance to practice at home and with a smaller peer group, leading to more meaningful learning time in the whole and small groups.

ch34 q5I have some very small book clubs set up in my classroom, usually during the second semester when I have some more fluent readers emerging.  They are able to pick a book of their choosing (on their level, or just above it) and read and discuss it within their small group.  Often times, these students will also give a book talk to the rest of the students to encourage them to read that book as well.  We usually will have a focus question that helps my students cue in on the comprehension part of the reading–do they understand what they are reading.  My goal is to help my students be fluent readers, but also readers who can comprehend what they are reading; comprehend their reading enough to have a discussion about it. 🙂

Don’t forget to link up if you are reading this book along with us! 🙂


#TeacherFriends Chat

Don’t forget to join us Tuesday night for our weekly #TeacherFriends chat! This week, we will be chatting with Randee Bergen about Writing and the Writing Process.

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Here are the questions we will be discussing if you’d like to get a head start on scheduling or thinking about them. 🙂

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Kristen’s Kindergarten

It may not look any different to you, but to me it does! 🙂  I purchased my very own .com today!  My new blog address is now:! If you type in the old address, it will still redirect you here indefinitely, so no worries on your end, but if you want to update your bookmarks you can. I’ve been wanting to make the switch for a few years now and finally got up the courage to do it! 🙂

Next up is learning HTML code (hahaha!).  That will probably not happen until next summer…or the summer after. 🙂

For now, I’m happy with owning my own .com (with my blog name in it!!) 🙂

It’s the little things that get me excited. 🙂

Thanks for reading. 🙂


The Flippped Reading Block Book Study

I am super excited to tell you about a new book study that I am co-hosting with several of my Kindergarten blogging friends! 11733333_865849970128931_1075363035_n

We will be reading this great book, The Flipped Reading Block!!

The book study starts on Monday, but while you’re waiting, you can head over to Mrs. Prices’ Kindergators and enter to win a copy of the book to study for yourself!!





Pick up a copy of this book for yourself and get ready to read with us!!


Interactive Number Line

I took a STEM (mostly Math) workshop the first two weeks after school got out this year and after listening to our instructor talk about Number Lines, I decided I wanted to make one that was more interactive than just a line of numbers stuck on my wall.  I wanted my kiddos to be able to use it and grab parts of it if they needed to; so I came up with this number line!

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I’m super excited that my kiddos can un-Velcro any card they might need to help them identify numbers.

Right now, the number line only goes to 10, but I may increase it to 20 if I think my students need it.

I’ve represented each number in a variety of different ways to meet the needs of my different learners:

  • tally marks
  • dice
  • ten frames
  • unifix cubes
  • rekenreks
  • finger counting
  • number word
  • number
  • base ten blocks

The number symbol goes at the top and it permanent. Each of the cards below hangs on a ribbon and is attached with Velcro. {The Velcro is not included}.

Photo directions are included {and so is a diagram!}.  You can get yours from my Teachers Pay Teachers store! 🙂


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