Category Archives: IB

A new day, a new grocery!

For the last two weeks, our home living area has been a Pizzeria, but for the next two weeks, we’ve transformed our house into a Grocery Store!

I purchased a pack from Kathleen @ Growing Kinders called “Fun at the Grocery Store”.  That helped me get started and add some environmental print to our grocery store.  Here are some pictures of our grocery.  Any labels or signs that you see came from Kathleen’s pack. 🙂

You might also see my son in a few of the pictures.  The cash register that we are using used to be his, and no matter how old he gets, he is still fascinated by it each time I bring it out. 🙂











I asked families in my class room to donate canned goods so we could pretend with them.  After we are done with them, we will donate them to our Community Closet at our school to give to other children in our building who might need them.

Today was the first day they used the grocery and they got the biggest kick out of the coupons I laminated!  I felt like a crazy lady laminating coupons, but they were expired ones and I thought it would be fun for them!

All day today, my kids made “dollars” when they were at our art center.  I hadn’t added them yet, so they decided to create their own.  Every single one of them was a $100 bill, so I hope they have lots of groceries to buy!

Kristen 🙂

We Give Books

I came across this great website sponsored by Pearson Education a few months ago and I thought I would share it with you.  It’s a great resource if you don’t have enough copies of a book for your students or if you want to read a book on an interactive white board with your students. 

We Give Books. org

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These are some of the first titles that popped up when I log in.  You will need to create an account to use the site, and you have the option to donate money on the site to Pearson so that they can give books to other children.  Every once in awhile, I will donate some money after we’ve read a particularly fun book.

There are a WIDE variety of books on here, both fiction and non-fiction.  Almost every DK reader or book they have written is available, and all the other Pearson imprints.

When you want to read a book, just click on the word, “READ” at the top of the page.

If you want to make the book full screen, you just click on the button with the four arrows on it above the book:

Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 7.15.25 PMYou then click on the left/right button to turn the pages.  I like using these books on my Promethean Board when I do not have a big book copy for us to use and to make sure everyone can see.  If you know how to drop out the ActiveInspire software, you can use your pen and write on or highlight pages in the books.  My kids love it!!  The only downside is that the site will not read the books to you, you have to be the one who reads them.  It’s great for practicing fluency!!

You can also search for books for different ages, genres, and by author:

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There are also books written in Spanish on this site. I am usually able to find a fiction and a non-fiction book that I can pair together and we read them over several days.

Let me know what you think!

Also, be sure to check out these sites for more online books:

Storyline Online

Bookflix (To try this one out for 30 days, each of my colleagues entered their e-mail for a 30 days stretch, then another one would sign up for another 30 days, and so on…)

Tumblebooks (you will need to sign up to use this one, although our local library has it for free if the kids know their library card number)

Kristen 🙂

Poindexter’s Pizzeria

Because we are learning about community helpers in this IB unit, I decided to turn my home living area into a Pizzeria for a few weeks (then a grocery store, and then a vet’s office).  I traded all the “old boring stuff”–as the kids put it, out for some new pizzia-rific items:



Here is a picture of the outside of the Pizzeria.  I changed out the curtains from blue with some lace trim to these red and white checked ones I sewed last night.  I also made a table cloth for the table inside the pizza place. 🙂IMG_4756


Here is a look inside…everything you need to run a successful pizzeria!IMG_4757




Here you can see the menus I created.  I got a new laminator from Purple Cows and I’ve been laminating like crazy! On the back there is a picture menu (with a few words) so the children can “order” a pizza and a small or large drink from each other. IMG_4755


You can’t ever have too many old school phones for pizza orders! 🙂IMG_4754


A kitchen fit for a pizza artist!



The red and green box is a pizza set I got from  It’s a Melissa and Doug set.  The pizza pieces velcro together and then toppings can be velcroed onto the top.  There is a pretend wooden pizza cutter and serving tool that are also included.  I actually got two of these, one from Amazon and one my husband picked up at Michael’s because I was worried it wouldn’t get here in time! 🙂

The kids loved playing Pizzeria today and it was fun to watch them try to interact with each other as a waiter/waitress!

Kristen 🙂


Check out these clocks I got at IKEA for $2.99 each.  We chose China because we have a sister school there.  Ireland because one of my students’ family lives there and India because our principal is from there. 🙂

I know they are out of order time wise, but I wanted to get them up there! 🙂  They are great for conversation, the only problem is when the kids have gone home for the day, I have to listen to four clocks ticking! 🙂

Kristen 🙂


all you have to do is ask!  I was running out of new ideas to put in my Magnet Work Station area and I told my kiddos this one day.  I told them I saw they were getting bored with what was there and I didn’t have any ideas as to what I could put there next.  They said, “We have an idea!”.  We are learning about community helpers so how about something to do with community helpers.  We would like pictures of community helpers with speech bubbles so that we can match them with each other.  I never would have come up with that and it has provided a much needed new activity and keeps them busy. 🙂  They are reading the words on the speech bubbles and are having so much fun matching them up with the community helpers.  I found some community helper clip art on the internet (through a google search) and printed them out and laminated them.  I then used the speech bubble clip art in Word and made enough for each helper.  I then laminated them and wrote “I am a _(insert community helper name here)___”.  I stuck magnets on the back of them and we started having fun!

Now, I will have to dream up something to go along with our Sharing the Planet unit…I should just ask the kids! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Living Things

I’ve just updated our front facing bookcase with books that go along with our new IB unit (Sharing the Planet).  We will be inquiring about living and nonliving things, their characteristics, and how people, plants and, animals interact with one another.  Here are some pictures showing how I store and share these books with my students. 🙂

Kristen 🙂

My New Bookcase!

Okay, so the bookcase itself isn’t new and neither are the books on it, but the way it is set up sure is!  My school is currently an IB (International Baccalaureate) candidate school, so we think in terms of the six IB themes instead of our old themes.  I used to have them filed by topic alphabetically, but decided in the interest of finding all the books I needed to pull, it would make more sense to organize them this way:

I labeled each shelf with the name of the IB theme and then put a colored sticky dot next to the label.  Then, each of the boxes that pertain to that unit were also labeled with the same colored sticky dot so they get put back quickly on the right shelf.  When I started this idea, I looked at each box that I currently had, decided if it was going to apply to a unit.  If it did, I labeled it with the appropriate sticker.  If it did not, some of the books went out for the children to use and some were filed in my filing cabinet that holds my “other assorted books” collection–in all four drawers! 🙂

Here is a closer look at the two bottom shelves.

Kristen 🙂


Today, we officially started learning about habitats.  I had my guest teacher begin to introduce it yesterday, but we really dove in today.  There were two things today that the kids really enjoyed doing to learn about habitats.

The first (I don’t have a picture because I left my camera at home today!!) one was a habitat sort.  I taped up four different habitat cards around the room (Ocean, Desert, Forest, and Pond) and then made index cards with six animals living in each habitat on them.  Each card had one animal name.  I gave one to each child and told them all what animal they had become.  They then had to walk around and find the habitat where they lived.  Some were a bit tricky so we discussed where they should be.  We played twice with promises to do it again tomorrow!

The second thing we did was to start writing books about a specific animals’ (of their choosing) habitat.  Each child had a book made with three sheets of copy paper cut in half and stapled on one end.  Each page was then used for the following:

1) Title, front cover, authors name

2) The name of their animal

3) What their animal eats

4) What habitat(s) their animal lives in

5) What their animal looks like

6) Something special that the animal has that helps it to live in that habitat

We are only half finished, but they are REALLY cute and the kids are putting their full effort into them!!  I’ll try to post a few examples when we are done.

Kristen 🙂

The Little Red Hen

After we had talked about how people get ready for winter, we decided to move on to animals getting ready for winter.  Now, The Little Red Hen, doesn’t exactly fit, but it did go along with our idea of harvesting.  My kids also wanted to know more about corn–they were wanting any information they could get about corn.  So we went in that direction for a few days.  I had some feed corn kernels soaking so we were able to split them open and look inside with our new class set of magnifying glasses!  I’m going to put this in a slide show because it will take forever to load individual pictures! 😉

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My school is in the process of applying to become an IB world school.  We have been hard at work designing new ideas and units to use in kindergarten.  The latest one we’ve done is “How we express ourselves” it involves patterns in our world, methods of communication, and customs and celebrations.  We’re still in the middle of this unit; it will last from November until December.


Last week, we got into one of the patterns that happens every year, Harvesting.  We also included How animals get ready for winter, how we get ready for winter, and a little bit about day and night. Here is a slideshow of some of the things we did:

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You will see pictures of us planting–you can’t harvest anything if you didn’t plant it!!  I wanted for the kids to understand that we cannot plant cans in the ground and expect to get vegetables.  We also brought in cans to make vegetable soup–after we read Growing Vegetable Soup.  The extra cans we did not use, we took to our Community Closet and donated them.  Our Community Closet is a place where we have supplies, clothes, and instant meal in a bags for families in our school community who might need them.  We thought this would be a great place for the food to be used rather than sitting in our classroom! 🙂

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