Category Archives: Morning Messages

Bats Day #1 and Day #2 2009

This week, we’ve been learning all about BATS!!  We have several students in our school who do not celebrate the fall holidays, so I always try to keep things neutral and not offend anyone.  In October, we learn about bats, spiders, pumpkins, and leaves, all kind of tying into the holidays, yet we do not discuss ways in which they might relate–these are just things you might see in our area in October!  Some pictures which are probably self-explanatory!


This is our Big Book this week!  I also created a PDF file to help re-tell this story.  There are 5 bats and an equal and minus signs to help the children understand the math.




These are some other Big Books we will be reading this week.







This is the “-at” cave (not the bat cave mind you!).  We made a list of -at family words in our morning message on Monday and then made bats today and they seemed to belong together–so the “-at” cave was born!

I’m in the process of finishing it, so I will take new pictures once it’s done.


Kristen 🙂

Hi Everyone!

Hi Everyone–

I hope you are enjoying the month of February so far! 🙂  I’ll be better about posting than I have been–things have been CRAZY busy around here!

Last week was up in the air so to speak!  The week was full of teachable moments, field trips, convocations, snow days…

And a tragic accident…

Friday, a little boy was struck and killed by a school bus in our school parking lot  😦    I immediately retured from my conference downtown to see how I could offer help and make sure my kiddos were okay.  It was so hard looking at their innocent faces!  I have tried and tried to mentally prepare myself for the conversations/questions that I know will come up on Monday and how to answer them–there’s just no way to do that!  So, I’ll take it in stride and offer them as much comfort as I can.

It was INCREDIBLE to watch our school community pull together!  I am SO PROUD to be a part of the school and district in which I teach! 🙂  I know it will take time, and we will all have each other to see us through!  ( I have to stop talking about this now, or I will start crying again…)

Friday, before all this happened, I was downtown at the HASTI conference (Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Inc.) and heard an awesome presentation about Monarch Butterflies in the classroom and a class to take this summer–guess what teacher can’t wait to sign up for that!!??  I’ll share my notes from that workshop another day.

**This week we will be reading If You Give A Mouse a Cookie and doing lots of activities with candy hearts in preparation for Valentine’s Day.  I think I posted some activites for graphing on the Math page–I’ll check tomorrow at school and if I didn’t, I’ll scan them in tomorrow night and post them.

Tuesday evening, I will be speaking at our Foundation’s Board Meeting.  I was asked to speak because I “access” so frequently and I am to speak about how I have used those materials in my classroom.

I was also presented with the opportunity to attend the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) convention in March.  New Orleans here I come!!!  I’ve never been before and am scared to death to fly, but I do have 3 other teachers, two of whom are friends, flying with me, so I should be okay.  I will be presenting to my school staff when I return at some point.

I’ve gotten this impression that God wants me to have a public speaking career at some point–and I just keep questioning him!!  Why me?  Why an introvert?  I’ve had 4 opportunities in the last 2 weeks come up and all of them involve public speaking!  I am terrified of speaking to a group of adults!  Give me a bunch of 5 years olds and I’m happy! 🙂  Do you think this is his way of telling me to buck it up and get over my fear!?!?   I will admit, it gets a little easier each time and my scripts get shorter and shorter, but I already have butterflies thinking about Tuesday and it’s only Sunday evening! 🙂  It will be fine–it always is! 🙂

Thanks for reading! Please say a prayer for this little boy (“C”), the SM family, and the MSDWT family and go give your children a great big hug and tell them how much you love them!

My son thinks I’m crazy because I’ve been hugging him all weekend! 🙂  I just want him to know he’s loved! 🙂


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 🙂

Rosie’s Walk

Our Big Book this week is Rosie’s Walk.  


We started our day by taking a picture walk through the book–I have never seen Kinder. kids so excited about a book.  They were very curious as to why some of the pages did not have words on them, so we had a nice little talk about that.  They were also surprised that there was no mention of the fox anywhere in the story.  The Kinder. kids hung on every word once we started reading the story!

Here is our Morning Message for the day.  



In January, the children will be writing it by themselves (I’ll be there to help!!).  We’ve moved our focus away from identifying letters (we all can do that and will return to it as needed) and on to letter sounds, studying words, sentences, punctuation, and finding sight words. 

We then had time for Writer’s Workshop where the children continue to do a great job at writing and using their knowledge of letters and sounds.  I’m holding off on teaching any new lessons at this point because they are all at a comfortable, successful level right now.  In January, I will pick back up with more structured lessons.  Now I am doing different mini-lessons with individual or small groups of children based upon needs.

We also started a new Predictable Chart titled, “I am thankful for…”.  I figured there would not be time next week to get it all in, so we’re doing this one this week.  We had a talk before we began the chart about what things we are truly thankful for and those things that are special (video games, extra toys, etc.).  We also talked about how some children do not have some of these things and they all became very thoughtful with their responses! 🙂

I kept the same poem from last week in our pocket chart station–I haven’t rotated everyone through it yet.  You can see it in this post: I Like Turkey Feathers

We also make Native Americans using math facts.  I differentiated this lesson by making three groups of children get the same answers in different ways.


One group matched numbers to numbers, another matched dots to numbers and a third completed simple addition facts to get their answers.  The answers all matched up to the same key, so in the end, they all looked the same:


After the children were done, we got out some of our Lakeshore Math Boxes and rotated around different stations:

Here are some various pictures from the children working on them:





Simple Addition



Although I think these boxes are fabulous, I think that you could make them just as easily and have them change or fit in with your concepts/themes.

I’ll be out tomorrow but my kids will be echo reading Rosie’s Walk, completing a Thanksgiving themed graph, reading our Scholastic News “Food In The Forest” and the usual things!

I am attending a Science Workshop tomorrow–what themes do you do for science this time of year?  We’ve already done leaves, we might do turkeys, and will head towards animals in winter.  I have to bring a theme to keep working on tomorrow. I was thinking of beefing up my seasonal changes theme–any great ideas you can’t live without for this theme?


Kristen 🙂

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (day#3)

Here are the pictures I promised!  We used the Little Old Lady props to tell the story together today instead of reading the book.  We also used our pointer to point and read our Predictable Chart, ” I know an old lady who swallowed a…”




Here is the milkweed we planted–pre planting of course! 🙂


Here is a look at the pocket chart that we used yesterday to sequence the story. I will scan the pictures and the Little Old Lady tonight so you can print them off and use them.  Directions will be below for the Little Old Lady.


Here is the front of the Little Old Lady–this is my copy, I laminated her and she’s holding up very well after 8 years!


Here is the back–you take a sandwich baggie and cut the zipper/seal part off and tape or staple it to the back for her “stomach”.


This are the items that she eats…posted later tonight


Here she is “full!”


Our pocket chart in use this week!


This is a set of cards that I got from the Dollar Spot at Target that I will use in my Math Stations for patterning.  I think I may laminate them before using them.


This is our greenhouse full of milkweed to be plants–we hope!! 🙂

Here is how I use the Little Old Lady/Pie story over the course of the week:

Monday: Introduce the story with a picture walk, then read aloud

Tuesday: Re-read story (choral or echo read) and then tell the story using pocket chart and sequence the story.

Wednesday: Introduce Little Old Lady prop and tell the story with the children using her

Thursday: Use the Little Old Lady again and the children make their own Old Ladies–I model how to cut out her stomach and attach the baggie to the back. 

Friday: The children color and cut out their Little Old Lady foods and we practice telling each other the story and then take the props home. 



Kristen 🙂

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