Category Archives: March

March Problem Solving Pack

Back by very popular demand!!  I’ve had probably 100 e-mails and messages asking when and if I’ll be creating a March Problem Solving pack….so here you go!  And it’s done before March!  That’s because today we had a snow day, well and ice day really, but we got the day off due to the freezing rain and sleet that fell over night last night and made the roads horrible today.

I had some time to finish up this pack and get it posted.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 2.12.52 PM


It covers 9 different standards and focuses on some common core standards we are working on this quarter.  I had a couple of requests for 2D and 3D shapes and some ten frame/base ten block work, so those are included as well.  I also included an optional Math Journal cover, so that if you wanted to, you could print all the sheets out (there are 25 sheets) and use them individually with your students.  I use some of these sheets on my Promethean Board and then print out some for my students to work on individually.  They would also be great in a Math Work Station or Center!

You can click on the picture above to find out more and download a sample of some of the sheets that are in this pack. 🙂

I’ll be working on April’s pack soon–any requests for that?  We will be working on addition and subtraction, composing/decomposing numbers, and some 3D shapes. 🙂  Let me know what else you’d like! 🙂

Kristen 🙂


We are reading a big book this week titled “Seeds”.


Because there are a few students who will be leaving early this week to head out on Spring Break, we did not do a Predictable Chart, however we did do several neat Inquiry Based things in Science.  I like to begin almost all my themes/units with a KWL/OWL chart to asses where my children are at and what they are interested in.  We completed the “K” portion of this chart first, then after Observing the seeds (see below) we completed the “O” portion and the “W” (wonder) section.  I like to change the “W” from “What we WANT to Learn” to “What we WONDER” because it gets the children asking questions of the “I Wonder…” variety, something that is holding them back from exploring the world!  At this young age, they know what they want to learn about somethings, but they have no basis to draw from for many Science concepts (some do!!).  Asking “I Wonder…” questions sets the ground work for them to wonder, so ALL of my KWL charts are either KOWL or OWL charts. 





This is the “Wonder” section continued…


I gave each table of children a random container of seeds that I had leftover from previous vegetable plantings:

Here is the result:





Today, Tuesday, we planted all kinds of vegetables in Containers.  My kids took such an interest in the Seeds book that I went and got many of the seeds mentioned in the story.















The next few months (until the end of May) will be spent on growing things/plants/bugs/insects/Monarchs/Jack and the Beanstalk/and anything else that fits in to one of these categories! 🙂


Kristen 🙂

Lucky Charms Graphing

Here are the pictures–a little bit late…

I made the graphing sheet and sorting sheet MANY years ago and we always end up having to scribble out some picture of a marshmallow and adding whatever the new “special” marshmallow is for that year.  I can’t find it yet (still looking on my computer) so when I do, I will come back and edit that in for you–there’s always next year! 🙂




Kristen 🙂

Growing Vegetable Soup

I’m tired of the cold weather, so I decided to get everyone excited about Spring and do some planting!  But plant what??

That’s when I chose our Big Book for this week: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert.  


We also started a new Predictable Chart:


(Sorry the computer is being funky here–I’ll try to undo it’s funky-ness later!)

So then it was time to plant:

Each child was given two deli containers, one small and one large.  I cut holes in the bottom of the small one and the children put some wicking through and then put it on top of the larger container.  They then added peat and some soil to the small container and planted their choice of 6 vegetables (squash, cucumbers, radishes, peas, tomatoes, peppers).  We then watered them from the top and all the water seeps through to the bottom and collects there.  The wicking helps keep the plants constantly moist, yet not too wet and so the plants grow much faster and the quality is always better.  This is how you grow Wisconsin Fast Plants as well–those are amazing if you’ve never tried them.  I was going to do them again this year, but I cannot for the life of me find the seeds from last year’s crop! 🙂


We had two 1/2 days this week, so we did a lot of writing and catching up on things.  I need to go type my newsletter now–so I’ll be back in the next few days to update more! 😉

Kristen 🙂

What a week…and it’s only Wednesday

Have you ever had one of those crazy weeks where the gods seem to be working against you?  Yeah–that’s been my week so far and it’s only WEDNESDAY!!!

My poor assistant Pam is out with strep–GET WELL SOON PAM!! and has been out all week so far.  You don’t realize how much you depend upon them until they’re not there! 😦  Actually, we’ve been managing just fine–the kids and I, we’ve done everything I had planned and even more, so I guess it’s not all that bad! 🙂

I’ve been trying to take some pictures for you this week-but as luck would have it, my batteries are dead and can I find my charger–NO!

It’s only the 3rd day this week and we’ve already had two meeting afterschool at my building and then one I volunteered for (to look over this year’s Golden Apple entries for our district).  So that means for the rest of the month, I have 1/2 hour left that I am required to attend in meetings and we’re only on the 4th day of the month!

I am however on top of report cards–only 4 left to do and I still have a whole week and a half left!  This time I’m going to do student led conferences–anyone else done these?  I hear they’re great and I want to give them a try–any suggestions?  I’m going to have a “tour guide” sheet for each student to help them show their families around the classroom and explain what we do in a day, and then I will be there to help and answer any questions.  I thought this would be much more powerful for the students and their parents.

Is anyone else attending NSTA in New Orleans this year?  I will be there and I see some great Inquiry sessions I can’t wait to attend! 🙂

Got to go now…thanks for letting me vent a little!  It’s 8pm and I can get a decent amount of lesson planning done before bed–or maybe just a bath! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

P.S. I’ll try to post tomorrow about our Big Book this week and what we’ve been up to since Monday!

Shake The Beans

Today, during our Math time, I introduced Shake the Beans (3).  I like to introduce it as close to Dr. Seuss Day as I can because I use red and white for my colors.  I don’t know where this game came from, where it got its start, but I just love it and we will be playing it pretty much everyday from here on to the end of the year.  I could not find my sheets for adding to 3 and 4, so I had to make new ones:



To play you need beans that have been spray painted on one side (I use red).  If you are playing STB 3 you would need 3 beans.  

I have the children color the first number in the number sentence red so that they can visually see what number needs to be red.  They shake the beans and separate red from white.  I then ask them to remember that RED ALWAYS COMES FIRST! and we repeat this over and over.  They look at their beans and tell me the number they have red and then the number they have white.  They then need to locate the correct number sentence.  So if you had 2 red and 1 white you would need to find the number sentence that said 2+1=3 (and the 2 would have been colored red).  They write that number sentence in the box above the number sentence and continue until they get 1-2 winners (or columns to the top).

It’s much easier to explain in person so if you have any questions or I’ve confused you terribly, let me know! 😉

Kristen 🙂

Dr. Seuss’s Birthday 3/2/09

We will be celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday along with many others tomorrow and here’s what we will be doing:

I will be dressing up like The Cat!  I wear all black and my red and white striped stove pipe hat–no paint or anything! 🙂

Here is the link to (there are TONS of printables there and games for the kids to play online)

The Kinder. kids will be rotating through 6 stations, one for each table in my room.  I will lay it all out in the AM, but generally here’s what the stations will entail:

Station 1: The students will color a white hat with red stripes (I’ll photo tomorrow) and then we will staple it on a pink/red sentence strip.

Station 2: The students will color and cut out a red bow tie and a button that says “I’m Hooked On Reading” (from Copycat Magazine)

Station 3: The students will complete a maze I got years ago from and try to get the cat back to his hat.

Station 4: The students will play the -at family word game and tally the number of times they roll each word

Station 5: The students will create a door hanger for their bedroom door so their family knows not to disturb them when reading! (from Copycat Magazine)

Station 6: The students will complete a rhyming sheet, matching two pictures that rhyme in the -at and -an families (from Teacher’s Helper Magazine)

We will be reading Dr. Seuss books all day long and listening to books on tape as well! Afterwards, we will graph our favorite Dr. Seuss book!

What do you do?

Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

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