Category Archives: Calendar

Dr. Jean’s Color Farm Song

I made these pages a few years ago-okay more like 8-9 years ago, but they are still useful!  You can use them to show the kids how to spell the color words (they print out in the correct color) and the animals to cue them to what animal is coming next.


Needless to say, I haven’t had much time to post anything.  Our guest from China is staying in our computer room/office/guest room so I can’t upload anything unless I remember when I’m at school–where I STILL am now! 🙂  


Mini Economy Classroom Job Cards

Here are the cards I made to use in a pocket chart for our Mini-Economy Jobs.  You print them out on business cards and then tear them apart.  I would suggest laminating them before you tear them apart-or you could do what I did–laminate each individual one! 😦  I hope they save okay and download okay!  Let me know if they come out funny and I will try to find a way to fix them!

Kristen 🙂


Pages for AM skill folders

Upon request, from a former SM Bulldog, here are the pages I use for my morning skill binders.  I also include and change out several other pages at any given time.  For example, I might type the children’s names out in a handwriting trainer font, print them out and have them practice writing their first and last names on a daily basis.  I have also typed out my sight words list using the same font and had them practice matching words (draw a line to connect the words that match) or even have them practice writing them.  I also have put in pages from workbooks, making copies for each folder, depending upon what we are learning about.  If you have any other pages you would like me to make for you or that you have and want me to post for you to share, let me know!

I am unable to convert these to PDF (sorry!) because of the specific font I used–it doesn’t come out looking so pretty!





Just a note on how I make these (thanks to my dear friend and colleague Karen Berman for this idea!!)

I use a 3 prong pocket folder (assorted colors are fine, but when I did 1/2 day, I used a specific color for AM and one for PM) My friend Karen also attaches a short piece of sentence strip to the front and laminates the folder.  She then can write the students name on the front in permanent marker and the child will use the same folder all year.  I had their names seperate from the folders when I did 1/2 day, just so we could use any folder we wanted and it didn’t take a lot of time to find our exact one!

I put in no more than 10 sheet protectors (usually 5-6) because that would give you 20 possible pages (or 10-12).  We use dry erase markers in various colors (part of our school supply list this year!!) and use baby wipes or tissues to erase.

You could also use some of the pages I made for binders as well for different practice.  This would be great for addition practice, writing spelling words, tracing state outlines, KWL/OWL/TWL charts completed together, science labs, etc.

I use these to keep my Kinder. Kids busy and working while some of us eat breakfast, make our lunch choices, return our folders, library books, baggie books, and get unpacked for the day.

Kristen 🙂

More Pictures…

Here are some pictures that I took today, so enjoy and let me know if you have any questions/comments!

Kristen 😉

This is where I store my skill folders that the kids use each morning when they first come in.  The blue tub on top holds dry erase markers.  The folders are well loved! The folders contain pages that are protected by sheet protectors.  We use dry erase markers on them and clean them with baby wipes or tissues or even the occasional eraser! 🙂

My new reading work station, tucked away in a corner by the window where it’s sunny.  I have lots of comfy pillows, chairs, stuffed animals, etc.

My Big book stand, where we write Morning Message, getting to know you activities and cut up names (from Building Blocks)

My bench where I will sit during calendar, morning message, read alouds, writing mini lessons, special helper activities

My large easel with chart paper.  We use this for predictable charts, KWL charts, TWL/OWL charts.

The bottom of my calendar wall.  I bought this new calendar as a present for my self (pretty lame present??!).  We also have our weather circle, weather graph, and schedule chart.

The top of the calendar wall. Days/Months

The whole kit and caboodle! 🙂

My new Rainbow Words chart for learning sight words, our money pocket chart and the end of the dry erase board

Who could forget these?? My PVC pocket chart stands!

This is the beginning of the Word Work Station.  It is in front of the dry erase board where the interactive word wall will be.

Our beautiful new computers!  I moved them to this table so it was more kid friendly and so we didn’t have fights over the “rollie” chairs anymore!

The overhead-soon to become the overhead work station!

Writing Work Center complete with stamps, paper, markers, envelopes, stencils, and colored pencils.

The listening center.  The Kinder. Kids will sit at the table nearby to listen to tapes.

This mess will soon be my parent volunteer table.  Just as soon as I get it cleaned off!

Some of the Literacy games that my parent volunteers can play with the Kinder. Kids!

Math games in the parent volunteer area.

I hope this picture better defines this space.  This is the zoomed out version of the parent volunteer area. It will look so nice when it’s done!

The Kinder. kids will put their baggie books and red folders here when they come in each morning.  (on the right) The cart on the left will be used for the ABC Work Station.

This is how we find out who is bringing lunch, getting just milk or eating a hot lunch.  The Kinder. Kids use tounge depressors with their names on them to “vote”.  Eventually,  they will enter their “PIN” numbers into the dining room computer and not need to use them.

We take these notebooks into the cafe with us daily so the Kinder. Kids can write/draw when they are done with lunch and to stay out of trouble.

My Work Stations management chart.

How quickly my desk area went from clean to a disaster!

This is my awards wall.  I like to put up my awards to affirm that I do good work everyday in my classroom! 🙂

I love cows!! My sister painted the bottom painting for me and I got the one on top from Target a few years ago.

This is how we will organize our binders (on the top part) and our baby wipes, tissues, and writer’s workshop folders on the bottom.  Crayons and supply buckets are stored on top.

This is how I keep my assessment records for each Kinder. Kid.  They each have a red folder with their assessment data that goes inside a hanging file which holds their Writer’s Workshop pieces at the end of each month.

This is how I keep blank paper at each of the tables for Writer’s Workshop.  I’m having trouble with the round tables though!  I think I will put it in a regluar file basket and leave it in the center of the table for them.

This is how I store all my assessment masters, assessment booklets, and any other important papers that I will need to copy repeatdly.

A few panoramic views of the room!

This is one of three closets where the Kinder. Kids hang their backpacks and coats.  The upper part is for storage.

So, see, I told you it was coming along!! Still LOTS of work to be done yet, but it will get done–it always does!

Kristen 🙂

It’s coming along!

So I forgot to take pictures, but my room is really coming together!  I am going back in tomorrow (Monday) to begin meeting my new Kinder. kids and to do a quick assessment on them (letter identification, sound knowledge from DRA Word Analysis, and a quick math assessment based upon the Math Their Way assessment from long ago).

I promise to take some more pictures tomorrow when I go in so you can see the progress–I am not feeling so overwhelmed anymore!  It was a bottomless pit there for a few days!  I spent all day Thursday and Friday there and got most things to their new homes.  Am I the only crazy one who e-mails herself lists of things to do so she won’t forget to do them when she’s actually at school?

I will also be adding a new blog title picture, just as soon as I find a shot I like, so don’t be shocked if it’s different one day this week!

When do you start school?  We go back the 11th for our big township meeting and get kids the 13th and 14th for 1/2 days, then the 15th is our 1st full day!

Kristen 🙂

Classroom Photos 2008-2009

I was able to find some time today to get over to my school and start moving furniture around in my new classroom.  My Economics class ends tomorrow and I will be turning in my unit (look for it in another post soon!)  I took some pictures of my room as it was when I walked in–nothing was where it was belonged!  I have a big job ahead of me!!  I thought you might like to see it go from start to finish!  Here they are!

This is the view looking in from my dooway.

View to the right of the doorway.  Blue cabinets are 3 sets of storage cabinets, the first door way (on the right) is the door to my “office”–I will have my assistant work there.  The next door way is to the closet that was converted from a bathroom–we store our Big Books and Learning Themed tubs from Lakeshore there. To the left is the sink.

The sink, playhouse (downstairs is home living, upstairs is blocks, marbleworks, legos, bilding materials) In the fore ground is my sand table and what will become my Science area.

Moving on to the center of the classroom.  My desk is at the far end of the playhouse (you will see that in another picture).  The wall at the back is where we store everything covered in paper for the summer.  There are lots of shelves from about waist high down to the ground.  The upper half will be used for my birthday board and to display student word, and my awards wall.

The left side of the room.  The far end dry erase board is where we will have calendar/morning message/large group time.  The calendar is covered in brown paper right now.  You can see some of my tables, chairs, computers, crates, and in the foreground to the left is the back of the writing center.

More of the writing center, my tall white cabinet where I store all my arts/crafts materials.  The area behind the cabinet/writing center will be my parent volunteer/listening center/assessment area.

Parent Volunteer area, listening center, assessment area–this area will be used for all 3 purposes at different times during the day/year

A view of my desk under the playhouse, Television, filing cabinets–this area is next to the long wall of waist high shelves.

A view of my room from my desk area looking towards the door/parent volunteer area. The playhouse is on your left, out of view.

More tables, calendar area, and a view from my desk.  The dry erase board will be used for my moveable word wall-I will put magnetic strips on the back of all the words/names that go on it for use in the Word Work Station.

An up close view of the playhouse ladder and the playhouse profile.

The front of the playhouse, my desk area is to the left, sink to the right.

Inside the playhouse

The sink area and a little counter space too! 🙂

————————————–After moving some furniture!—————————–

Close up of my desk area, the underneath of the playhouse is to the right.

After moving the tables where I want them.

More pictures of the room after moving furniture, picture taken from my calendar area/reading station.

A picture taken slightly to the left of the previous one.

Our new computers (the red crate will be gone).  I traded the computer tables for one smaller Kinder. friendly table that didn’t take up twice as much space–I needed it for our large group area.  The computer tables were banished to the hall.  I will keep one for working out in the hallway, and one will go away.

The rest of my student tables (I have 4 long ones, and 2 circle shaped ones) The sink is in the background to the right and the playhouse.

My newly created science area with sand table.  In front of the 3 storage cabinets/coat closets.  My “office” is to the left.  The white shelves are our mailboxes.

Mailboxes–two shoe storage units stacked on top of one another (I needed 2 when I did 1/2 day)

What will be my parent volunteer area/listening center/assessment area

The shelves inside my doorway that will house dry erase markers, skill folders, tubs on top for me, and any thing else needing a home! 😉

I am going in tomorrow-our Econ. class is supposed to get done before lunch, so I will take more pictures of more details tomorrow and all the work I’ve gotten done! 🙂  If you have any questions please ask–I will define more spaces as I get the furniture moved where I want it and things put back in their places! 😉

Hope this inspires someone else! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

A Quick Post…

Here are the gel glue cards I made using Elmer’s blue School Glue Gel (say that 5 times fast!!)  I wrote the letters on index cards using Washable Markers from Crayola and then traced over them with the gel glue.  They also have “Galactic Glitter Glue” available in red or blue as well, and when I’m out today, I may grab some of that and see how that works.

The Kinder. Kids will use these in the ABC Station and use old crayons and make rubbings.  I will have the paper pre-cut for them in various sizes and shapes.  I will also make a set for the Word Work Station, writing words instead of letters.  I will also make several sets of both words and letters without writing anything with a marker first, so the children will have to guess what the letter is as they rub over it.  I’ll be back later with more!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. Either wordpress or my computer are being funky and not letting the picture display below–It comes up if you click on it, hopefully it will work it self out! I may take a minute for it to load too! 🙂

Back to School (not yet!)

I just love Back to School time!!  The sales, the cheap glue sticks, the Dollar Spot at Target, the .88 cent markers at Wal-Mart, the… Oh!  I could go on and on, but you all know what I mean–there’s just  something about those isles that seems to be irresistible to teachers (my husband is a teacher too, but he seems to be immune to it!).  I just wanted to share all my new goodies, those that are in the house, and those that are in the car because I don’t want to lug them inside and then back out to the car again in a few days! 🙂

I purchased ANOTHER hardware storage drawer thing, this time to store my magnetic letters.  I thought this would be a great way to store them and keep them organized!

I then went to the Dollar Tree and found these cute little jungle animal themed erasers.  There are 40 in each backpack.  I got giraffes, elephants, and tigers.   I think they will be cute for sorting, patterning, and for math mats.

I thought these were so funny!  They are party favors made to look like coins, but they are all about 1 1/2 inches across.  I thought they would be great for calendar time, to show the kids the differences between the coins.  When I opened them up, they were even funnier, because some of the quarters/dimes were copper colored and some of the pennies were silver.  No nickels though…

These disposable gloves will become planters later on this year.  We will put cotton balls into the fingers of each area in the glove and place a bean seed (I think we may try others too just to see what happens).  Some we will water and some we will not.  We will then talk about the differences and what we see happening.  I think some will also be put into a dark area too.

Also at the Dollar Tree, were these sentence strips.  There are 30 in a pack and I got two packs.  I will use them for Literacy Work Stations management and for names on rings at various stations.

I also got these games.  The first one (on top) you match the upper to the lowercase letter, the middle one you build words, and the bottom one you put 3 cards together to make a complete picture.  I thought I would use them at the ABC Literacy Station.

Next up, this cool thermometer that I will hang on the outside of the window so we can look at it during calendar time and record the temperature (a form of measurement!!).  It was only a buck, so there’s no telling how long it will last!

On to the Target Dollar Spot!  I went to 7 different Target’s yesterday searching for more pocket charts to no avail!!!  All 7 were all out!  But I did pick up these letter mats–also for the ABC Station, you trace them for practice, uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other.

In my quest for pocket charts I came across these mini dry erase/magnetic boards.  At one place I got 6 and at another I got 6 more.  I may go back for a few more, but 12 may be enough! 🙂  I will use them for small group work, in the magnetic Station, for quick assessment, and other handy things!

A few assorted supplies.  4 new boxes of Crayola Markers ( I collect all things Crayola, so I love getting new ones!!).  I also got some glitter pencils from the Dollar Spot for the Writing Station, some name cards for various uses, and some more dry erase markers (they’re 30% off until midnight tonight!!).

This was a trip to Wal-Mart.  .88 markers!  .88 colored pencils! .88 Bic pens (my son put those in the cart!).  I also got some more tape for my label maker, some pencil grips, and some blue gel glue.  I will use the glue to make raised letters on index cards and have the kids rub over them in the ABC Station for texture! 🙂

This was another find at a different Dollar Tree…place mats that are solid colors and are 12×12.  We will use these under our playdough.  I like that they are smooth instead of with ridges, and I will start the kids out with these and then replace them with the textured ones they usually have.  I also got 3 packs of colored index cards to make more sight words on a ring.

Last, but not least–a trip to the teacher store!  My husband groans everytime I mention this place because he knows I will spend some money! 🙂  I’ve been really good though and have hardly been in the last 2 years!

I got some Wikki Stix and highlighter tape this trip.  The tape is in two sizes for Big Books and small books.  In Debbie Diller’s book, she mentions having this accessable for the kids to use and laminating file folders so the kids can put it there after using it for reuse later.

I also have some things in the car…

I got a set of uppercase alphabet stamps at Toys R Us on clearance for $7.49, 10 new book buckets at Dollar Tree, 30 spiral notebooks at Target, Lite Brite Refills, two I Spy puzzles, a Dora the Explorer ABC matching game (meijer on clearance), and some PVC pipe and glue to build another chart stand-this one to hold the 24×36 sized chart paper.  I’m going to make that one myself, so we’ll see how that goes!  Hopefully, it will end up in my poetry Station!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. If anyone finds 14 pocket charts from the Dollar Spot, I would love to have some!! I’ll pay for shipping too!  I’ll even send some of my handmade cards in your favorite colors!


I LOVED reading Literacy Work Stations!! I think it’s one of the best professional books I’ve read in a VERY long time-this one was practical, hands-on, and meaningful to me–just like it’s supposed to be for our kids right??

Of course I started wondering right away if this would apply to Math too–so guess what?? I dreamed up some names for Math Work Stations too.  I’ve got some ideas down on paper as far as how they will correlate to one another and connect with our “math theme”.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Number Writing Station-use Math Their Way number writing materials, slates, dry erase boards

Patterning Station-will be introduced at a later time, but will have changing pattering activities

Number Sense Station-math mats, matching quantities, parking lot game (see my DGFM for that game)

Sorting Station-one of the first stations introduced, will keep as long as they are interested, sorting various and ever changing items

Pocket Chart Station-matching number words to numbers, math sentences, math rhymes, any ideas???

Overhead Station-manipulatives will match current “math theme” (patterns, algebra, sorting, measurement, etc)

Math Big Books Station-match big book to current math theme

Math Poetry Station-match to current math theme

Computer Station-use internet sites to have children play games matched to theme

Puzzles/Games-match to theme, great for problem solving, one of our PL221/NCLB goals

Computation Station-will intro. 2nd semester, feature changing computation games/activities

Measurement Station-will intro. 2nd semester, feature changing measurement activities

Telling Time Station-intro. 2nd semester, feature clocks and activity cards/tasks

Shape Station-geoboards, pattern blocks, practicing shape writing/formation, sorting shapes

Teacher Station-mini lesson/focus with me

Math Writing Station-writing about math theme

I will begin each day with a mini-math lesson and then send them off to stations.  As I introduce new concepts, I will place them into the various stations, where ever they best fit. When I say, “math theme”, I mean patterning, sorting, telling time, measurement, number sense, computation, etc.

Are there any good MTW games that I should be sure to plug in?  It’s summer, my book is at school and my brain on on vacation! 🙂

Any ideas/thoughts/comments???  I’m planning on begninng with a few, doing a mixed MTW tubbing/and introducing stations over the frist 6 weeks and then seeing how that goes.

I need some feedback!!  In return, I’ll post what is working, pictures, and ideas as the school year goes on! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Time Filler Cards

I got these flash card type cards in the Dollar Spot at Target earlier this week.  When I saw them, I thought that I could punch holes in them and put a binder ring in them–so that’s what I did!  I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch the holes in the cards.  If you don’t have a Crop-A-Dile–you need to get one!!  I am also a card maker/scrapbooker and this is a tool I use to punch holes and get eyelets in my cards and pages.  It punches through 10 sheets of paper, leather belts, and punched through 8 of these cards at a time–making quick work of this project!

I will hang these on a hook by my classroom door and use them when we are lined up waiting or waiting for others to line up, or even in line at the bathroom.  Last year my “reward system” was to give the kids tickets and they could buy things from me at “store” on Fridays.  This year, I will be using the Mini-Economy, but I think I will still give out tickets and when they get 10 of them, they can trade them in for One Mini-Economy Buck. So if I am using these cards with them and they get my question correct, they will get a ticket (at least during 1st semester).

More on the Mini-Economy to come…I’ve signed up to take an 8 day workshop through IUPUI called Using Children’s Literature to Teach Economics.  We will learn all about the Mini-Economy and have to design a lesson that we will use during the school year.  So…I will post my lesson after I get it completed!

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