Category Archives: Calendar


Here is a cute picture I took of my kiddos enjoying one of the songs we sing during calendar:

IMG_5612I think it was the 2D Shape song…they LOVE that one! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Marathon, Meetings, Data, and a Film Crew!

I feel like I’ve been neglecting my little blog lately, but I’ve had so many things going on, that I just kept forgetting to post something!  Here’s what’s been keeping me away…

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I participated in my first Mini Marathon yesterday with my hubby and some friends of ours.  13.1 LOOOONNNGGG miles!  2.5 of them were around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life!  I was able to finish 10.5 miles of the marathon, but my body just gave up!  My hubby was able to finish while I rode the struggle bus to the end!  I was able to get off the bus and cross the finish line and was able to get my medal–I might try again next year…not sure yet!  🙂  It was perfect walking weather–in the low 60’s with total cloud cover and low humidity!  I’m happy to still have all my toenails and no blisters!

At school, I’ve been giving the DRA to all my little kiddos to see how much their reading skills have improved this year! 🙂

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I’ve also had so many meetings that I can’t even begin to list them all, with even more to come!!  17 days of school left, so there are many to attend. 🙂  I’ve been keeping track of them on my new calendar/life planner:

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I got it from Erin (click the planner above to go there).  I love that it’s 9 x 7 ish and that each month is tabbed and there are lots of extra wonderful goodies added in. 🙂


Last Monday and Tuesday, I had a film crew in my room to capture us during a science lesson.  I am a trainer for the Indiana Science Initiative and they needed a Kindergarten teacher to film to show what the science kits look like in a Kindergarten classroom.  I’ll admit, I was really nervous about the whole thing, but everything went well (if you don’t count me spilling water on a student’s science notebook and the fire drill!!).  The 50 minutes of film will be edited down to about 5-10 minutes to share with other ISI teachers as they receive PD this summer. 🙂

I’m off to write a few more posts about other things we’ve been up to! 🙂

Kristen 🙂


Here is a new photo of our calendar area this year.

On the left you see our straw count and our base ten blocks count.  For the base ten blocks, I put little bits of magnets on the back and we stick them on a flat metal sheet I had.  Next to that is the weather circle that I got at Target in the dollar spot.  We have three children tell what our recess weather was like and then we place the arrows on the corresponding weather.  We then record the weather that was mentioned most often on the weather graph above it.  At the top are our Days of the Week and Months of the Year and you can also see our calendar.  Off to the left on our large white board, we also have ten frames that we add a sticker dot to everyday.  When we fill one ten frame, we tape up a new one and start adding to that one.

Kristen 🙂

More classroom pictures 2011-2012

I was in my room today working on hauling my new IKEA stuff around.  Here are a bunch of pictures that I took today and I’ll write below them what they are if needed. 🙂  I took these with my iPod Touch, so they might be a little blurry–left my camera at home! 🙂


The two new tables I got from IKEA ($20 for the table and two chairs; this is two sets).  The green rug below is also from IKEA for about $20.00.  The pillows came from Old Time Pottery and I wanted another color besides green, so I got these that have the same green in the centers of the flowers, but have some pinks and whites as well.  I really like how this all ended up! 🙂

This is a magnetic board I got on clearance for $9.99.  I think it’s going to serve as my Magnet Work Station.  I really like the try at the bottom for catching those sliding letters.  We hung it with some of those Command 3M picture hanging hooks that can hold up to 20 pounds.  It looks like a toboggan to me! 🙂

This is how my Writing Work Station looks right now…

My Computer Work Station.  I had these on a table last year and it just took up too much room, so I moved them to desks.  These butt up to the back of Writing Work Station.

This is my calendar area.

This is my new Author’s Chair that I got at IKEA.

How I store my pointers.  I got the star wands at Target in the Dollar Spot and the rest I’ve collected over the past few years.

This is my bookcase that I use to store things we use during calendar, morning message, my Magic Tree House books, CD’s and other pointers.

I don’t know if I’ve ever put an up-close picture of the bench I sit on when we are doing whole group activities, so here you go! 🙂

Here is our new and improved Science area.  I took out the large table that was here before because it took up too much room.  I used another table from IKEA here along with a few bookcases for easier organization of science materials.

Here is the bookcase in the Science Work Station.

The Window in the Science Work Station.  I bought two new window mount bird feeders that will hang outside the window so the children can watch the birds (hopefully) come to the window.


Where my Pocket Chart Work Station will go next year.  I moved it away from the computers to the bottom of these closet doors.

Right inside my doorway.

My lovely door!

Looking towards the library.  My doorway is just to the left of where I am standing.

These are the tubs that will hold my Math Work Stations.  I am going to number the ends of each of the tubs and assign the children to a number (that will change each day so they rotate through them).

This is my horseshoe table that I use to work with small groups.

These are the new stools for my horseshoe table.  I got them at Old Time Pottery and they were originally from Target and there were two in a box.  I got two stools for $10 and then they were %40 off! 🙂

My desk.

These will be our Science Notebooks…I’ll be blogging about that more this year!

My new magazine holders (5 for $1.99 @ IKEA!).  I’m going to work on creating individual book baskets for each child.

These are two finds from Marshall’s!  The Eric Carle shapes are Colorforms and I thought they would be cute to use when we read his many stories.  The On The Farm books has magnetic farm animals and it works on positional words.

This basket holds microphones that I got from Target and the glasses.  This will go in my Buddy Reading Station (as soon as I find a place for it!)

This is my Intervention Basket that I started for one of my grad classes last semester.  It has everything I need to work with small groups of children on specific literacy skills. Now…to create one for math!

Hope you enjoyed the new pictures!

This Week’s Lesson Plans

Awhile back, I had a request to see what a typical page in my lesson plan book looked like, how I get everything in in one day or in a week.  I’ve completed my plans for this week (December 15th-18th, 2008) and I’m going to post them below.  They are very general, as this week is kind of a crazy one with a All School Holiday Sing/Convocation, Winter Party, All School Volley Ball Game, Polar Express, and anything else that is happening that I forgot to add.  I’m going to start saving all my plans on the computer, just for sanity’s sake next year and the following years–it will be easier to make updates that way! 🙂  Let me know if you have any questions–there are some abbreviations listed that mean something to me, but may not to you! 🙂


Also, our lunch time was switched from 10:40 to 10:30 so my schedule changed a bit from the one I posted at the beginning of the summer/school year.  I had to move Writer’s Workshop to the afternoon-right after recess/lunch, so you will see that change, but it did buy me 10 more minutes for Literacy Work Stations! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Thanksgiving Week day #3

Sorry this post is a little late…you know Thanksgiving just got in the way of everything!  I was able to go to my sister’s house and then on to my in-laws house this year, so that was fun.  My hubby and son are both sick, so they’ve both been laying around like bumps on logs and I feel so bad for them–but they’re getting better! 🙂

Anyway….on with Wednesday!   We had an off schedule day Wednesday!  In the morning, we did our calendar routine, updated our binders and then we started working on our turkeys!  My son’s preschool class made these and I thought they were so cute that I made patterns for them on Tuesday evening and the kids traced, cut out and glued all the pieces on:


Here is the whole flock/herd/gaggle/what ever you call a group of turkeys:dsc000103

They were adorable!

We then wove Thanksgiving-y place mats: (I thought I had a picture, but no such luck!)

My new big book storage rack and big books (from my grant on Donor’s Choose) arrived on Wednesday:


(Sorry my computer is being difficult and will not rotate the picture the correct direction).  I love this stand though!  It will make Big Book Work Station much more organized and easier for the kids to find what they need and put things away.  I am going to add a plastic shoe box to the front of the stand so that the envelopes with task cards in them can be stored there.  Otherwise, they tend to get wrinkled and lost from the area!


Again, I’m sorry it’s the wrong direction!  This is a graph we made about our favorite Thanksgiving foods.  We talked about what the pilgrims ate (or what we thought they ate!) and listed some of those foods as well as favorites today.

Here are some of the books we read in the last 3 days! :






I thought it might be a good idea for both comprehension and math skills to make a graph at the end of a week like this; where all of the books are about a similar topic, to make a graph asking the children to pick their favorite.  They would need to be able to remember something from each story to be able to do that and explain why that book was their favorite.  It would also help us get in more graphing! 🙂

Last night, (Friday) my hubby, son and I went downtown to see the lighting of the World’s Largest Christmas Tree:


It would be way better if it were turned the correct direction, but you get the idea!  There were 100,000 people that came to watch it and amazingly enough–we actually saw people we knew!  Hope you’re enjoying your few days off!  The next break isn’t far away! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Thanksgiving Week # 1

Thanksgiving week (or any short week for that matter) tend to be weeks where I am a little more laid back, less structured in my teaching.  I save all those fun projects and ideas for these weeks and they always turn out to be great!

Today for example, we did not follow our day through our regular routine.  There were parts of it here and there.

We began our day by doing calendar and then we updated our binders.  I then read the children the Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie DePaola.  I then remembered that I was able to find the movie of the Legend of the Indian Paintbrush (Reading Rainbow style) so we watched that and learned a little bit about Native American way of life.  We then shifted to the Pilgrims and we looked over our Scholastic News about chores that pilgrim children did.  We also looked at the Pilmoth Plantation website ( and shared thoughts with each other about what we saw. 

We then totally changed subjects and we all cut apart newspaper to create more bedding for our composting bin.  I read a book last night that told me how to get rid of the gnats and I hope this works!  

We then had our usual Literacy Work Stations, lunch, and indoor recess.

After that, we worked on creating our Pilgrim girl bonnets and our Native American headdresses for our Thanksgiving Meal tomorrow in our Dining Room.  I will take some pictures of that tomorrow.  Here are some of them in creation: 


These are the bonnets–very easy to make, just cut two slits about halfway up the page and 1/3 of the way in on each side.  Take the two end flaps and turn them so they are parallel to the middle flap and staple.  Punch two holes in the sides that are left and tie with string.


These are easy too!  Trace three feathers, have the children cut “fringes” in the sides of the feathers to make them look more feathery and then staple to a decorated sentence strip.  I taught the boys how to draw some Native American symbols (just Google it!) and they decorated the strips that way.  I’ve also had them glue on patterns with foam seasonal shapes as well and that works great too. 

One thing we still might do is to make “wampum” necklaces this year.  Large macaroni, dyed with rubbing alcohol and food coloring and strung on necklaces.  We also did not make Pilgrim Boy Hats this year–they wanted to be Native Americans! 🙂

We then had a convocation and went home!  Busy, busy day! 

See you tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂

Pumpkins! (day 1)

We started our unit on pumpkins today.  It will continue this week, skip a week (so we can learn about the farm) and then pick up again after our trip to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch.

We began our day by taking a look at our new pocket chart poem: (One of the children noticed it and so it seemed like a great place to start!)

Then we talked about the letters that we would look for this week in our Pocket Chart Station:

After that, we took a picture walk through and then read our new Big Book:

I use the Shared Reading with Big Books book from the Building Blocks authors, to help me guide my lessons.  After you use this book enough, you come back to it for the stories that are in it, but also to get ideas to use with other books that are not in it.

We then read some read alouds:

Later in the day we started a new Predictable Chart, called, ” A pumpkin is…” and 1/2 of the class filled in their sentences today.

We also completed our pattern block pumpkins and graph today, so I will photograph those tomorrow–I have to get a bulletin board to put them on! 🙂

Something else fun that happened today was that I was able to “share the pen” with some of my Kinder. kids.  It doesn’t usually happen this early in the year, but they were so ready, and I could tell from watching them, who knew how to find specific words where.  You know the kind of assessment you do that isn’t research based?  More like gut feeling based?!?!  So here are some pictures of my assistants helping me write the Morning Message!

In this particular message, we  did a letter hunt for two letters, F (green) and A (blue).  We counted the number of letters (red) and words (orange) in the message, and then we looked for “rainbow words” (yellow bubbles)–our sight words. We’ve also done punctuation hunts, capital letters, lowercase letters, spaces, sight words without looking, sentences, patterns, double letters, blends, words we should know automatically, words on our Word Wall, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, weather, specials classes, names, and many more.  I am diligent about doing a Morning Message EVERYDAY!

New Pictures…

Here are some newer pictures of my classroom as it gets a little more “used”.  I have also included pictures of my Literacy Work Stations pocket chart (with pictures that I made) so you can see those.  I cannot post those pictures because I used a program that I purchased for my computer and the images won’t upload, but at least you can see what you could use.

Kristen 🙂

Behavior Card

****Edit–this somehow linked to the wrong file, so I’ll post the corrected one soon! ***** 9/9/08

**** The correct one is now here!***** Kristen 😉

I had to sit down and make a new behavior card because my 1/2 day cards just weren’t working for Full Day! 🙂  This is what I came up with:


I would have liked to keep it down to 1/2 of a page, but with all the different chunks of time and activities that Full Day allows for–I just couldn’t make it happen.  I’m leaving the document unlocked so that you can change the times if you would like and use it in your classroom.  I had a particular student in mind when creating it, so if you need to include small time frames or larger, feel free.  I usually copy 200 of these and then keep them handy and fill them out as needed.  I try to use them as often as possible, but also realizing that after about 1 month of a student having “great” days, I wean them off because I want them to understand that they have truly changed their behavior and no longer need my reminders.

I tape these to the table where the child sits (I tried keeping it with me, but I kept laying them down and loosing them!) and that way every time they sit down, they can self-monitor how their day is going thus far.  I also leave these when I have a subsistute in my room to help with the “difficult” children 🙂 .

My husband-being the wonderful Special Ed. teacher that he is, went round and round with me about the time frame chunks in the afternoon as opposed to the 30 minute frames in the morning.  We are doing less structured activities in the PM, and I find that I have less problems there, so I want to try as hard as I can to give my students the benefit of the doubt.  Our AM activities are the mostly academic times and I want to stress to the students that what we are doing is important and deserves their attention.  You change it to reflect your classroom! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

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