August 30, 2012


Sorry for the delay in posting this sweet friends.  I had a last minute doctor's appointment down in the city today and was frantically setting up for a sub last night and just ran out of time.  

In Monday's post I blogged about patterning and posted a little ice cream pattern worksheet.  I also mentioned a little craftivity that went with it.  I know patterning isn't part of the common core, but I still think it is still a valid concept (especially when you throw numbers in . . . great call, Fran).  Also, I have found that spending a few days at the beginning of the year playing around with this concept is the perfect way to build them up for our long afternoons that are jam-packed with math, phonics, and specials.  

On that note, here's my ice cream pattern craft.  The kids were given 6 circles and a triangle and were asked to create a pattern by coloring the "scoops."  In past years, I had die-cut circles in various colors for them to use.  However, this "coloring" version was so much better!  I could also see if they could build a pattern on their own.  I also could pinpoint who was struggling "putting it together." My sweeties had an absolute ball with this.  Take a look-see . . . 

She wanted a picture of herself "eating" her ice cream!
These look super cute up on one of our math bulletin boards!
Interested in doing this with your classy-class?  Just click on the link below to snag your free templates.  I also attached a copy of the follow up worksheet that my kiddos completed for Good Morning Work today!

CLICK HERE to download all of these templates!

On a final note today, you can snag another freebie from me over at Tammy's blog . . . 1, 2, 3 Teach With Me!!  I am guest postin' today and I have a fun little writing/class book ditty for ya that goes perfectly with these first few weeks of school and the 7 Habits! Below you will find the downloadable class book cover that I promised in my post.

CLICK HERE to download this cover!
Thank you to Scrappin' Doodles (TPT52127) and Great Graphics!
Thanks so much for visiting me today!  Be sure to pop on over to Tammy's blog to snag my other freebie.  I'll see you soon :)

August 27, 2012


Okay, so we're a week in and it was time to get to gettin' on some of those math standards.  So, patterns were introduced today.  I was delighted to see that many had a solid foundation of this concept from Kinder and that they hadn't lost much over the summer!  However, upon introducing that tricky new concept called the Pattern Unit, the kiddos needed additional hands on practice to help them find that part that repeats and repeats and repeats :)

I know you all use Fruit Loops as a patterning tool . . . it's a no-brainer . . . and the kiddos have seen this before.  However, to create a little extra "hook" today, the kids got to write on their desks!  Yup . . . forget the white boards, lock the doors, and don't tell the principal . . . write directly on those desks!   (Okay so our previous wicked-smart principal taught me this trick, but I always tell the kids that I would get in DEEP trouble if anyone found out that we were making a mess on the tables.)  I have been doing it this way for years and it's a win-win every time.  Not only do the kids dig every second of it, but I also can quickly assess if my crew understands how to label a pattern and identify the pattern unit.

This week we will continue hittin' the pattern concept during our afternoon math block.  In addition to working with other manipulatives at our desks (i.e. bears, pattern blocks, etc.), we also will be following up the fun with a little ice cream-themed activity.  My kids will complete the page below and create their own ice cream cone pattern craft.  All you need for this ditty is die-cut circles in various colors, die-cut triangles, glue sticks, and kiddos who understand patterns.  I am leaving you hanging on this one tonight.  Check back tomorrow or Wednesday for pictures and step by step directions!  

CLICK HERE to download this worksheet!
Thank you Goodness & Fun and Wisteria Design Studio!
Alright my friends.  I gotta get my bum to bed.  Five in the morning comes so quickly these days :)  Thanks so much for visiting me and be sure to check back for the art craftivity steps.  

August 25, 2012


Raise your hand if you have at least your first week back in action tucked tightly under your belt!  We're five days in and it has been grand.  Here are a few more pictures of our FUN FRIDAY.  Our big 7th grade buddies came to visit and they helped us with that Favorite Thing Craftivity I posted about awhile back.  Just look at these :)

This one cracks me up . . . she turned it in and then asked for it back.
She "needed a smile."
They are hard at work . . . even on a Friday :)
I am going to love walking up to my room every morning even more now!

If you would like a copy of this Back to School Craft, click on the picture below - it's free in my TPT store.  Also, just in case you have already finished your first week back at school and are still interested in this project, I also included a new generic template below (the one in the pack says, "first week").

CLICK HERE to get your hands on this generic template.
Speaking of big buddies, do you all do this at your school??  I have had a class of "big" kids from the middle school down the hill walk up to visit us on Fridays since my very first year of teaching.  It's magical.  Not only do they read books with my kiddies (secret fluency practice . . . score), but they also help my sweeties do those difficult art projects that I would surely pull my hair out if I had to attempt them on my own.  My students always look forward to hangin' with their special big kid too :)  Below is a little freebie for ya if you do indeed have big buddies.  This questionnaire will help your students and their big friends get to know one another.  
CLICK HERE to download this free questionnaire!
Finally today, I HAVE to tell you about my amazing new classroom supply.  I don't know about all you alls, but I only like to write in pencil and I love me a sharp point!  So, I broke down and finally got myself one of those pencil sharpeners everyone has been talking about.  You know . . . THAT pencil sharpener!  

I have two simple words for you . . . MIND BLOWING!  This little thing is truly spectacular and my heart skipped a beat when I tried it out the very first time. Here's a little picture walk through my experience . . . 

This little masterpiece creates points like no other I tell ya and they don't break on ya.  I don't know how Troy (the inventor) managed to dial this in so well, but boy, did he ever.  I am introducing it to my kids on Monday . . . it's so much quieter than the stupid electric one.  I thought I was going to stab my eyes out on Friday when my class discovered my old plug in sharpener.  They don't use it correctly, it's so stinkin' loud, and it keeps jackin' up their pencils.  The Classroom Pencil Sharpener is going to be the answer to all of these problems. I can't wait to transition this baby in and throw that old electric machine in the TRASH!  With all this said . . . are you convinced that you need one yet?  I promise you that this simple little machine will be one of the best decisions you will make this year.  Click on the photo below for more info!

Alright folks, I am off to write a guest blog and start planning for next week. Thank you so much for taking the time to pop in for a little visit.  I'll see you soon my sweet friends.

Oh, and one final thought today.  This is why we do what we do . . . 

August 24, 2012


With the first week of school being oh-so crazy, I asked one of my bloggy heroes to guest post for me today so I could give my brain a break.  I am super stoked to have her gracing little old Teacher Idea Factory with her UH-MAY-ZING presence (it's like Christmas morning in August I tell ya), so without further delay, I give you the one and only . . .   
Hi Everyone! I'm Hadar from Miss Kindergarten and I'm super excited to be guest blogging for Kelley today. I stumbled across her blog months ago and fell in love with it! Her passion for teaching is undeniable and I learn so much from her! So thanks, Kelley, for having me here today!

I want to share with you guys a super easy progress monitoring tool that I use with my students during whole group lessons. All you need to make this super easy tool is a plastic sheet protector, a green sheet of paper and a red sheet of paper. That's it!! Hold the papers back to back and slide them into the sheet protector and you're done!
I keep these tools {I really need a name for them!} in a basket by our whole group learning area and pass them out when I need to assess my students' learning. I will usually use them for yes and no questions {show me green for yes and red for no} and my students hold up the cards to show me their answers. I can look around real quickly to see who "gets it" and who doesn't and it's easy for me to see someone who likes to change his/her answer after seeing the others ;)

Then my students take their cards to their desks during independent practice. If they feel like they can do the work on their own and are "ready to go" they place it at the corner of their desk with the green side up. If they're not sure what to do, or get "stuck" during the activity, they place the red side up. This shows me who I need to help as I walk around the classroom. I've taught them that they need to still try even if they are stuck because there's only one of me and lots of them! If I see 5 or more red signs I might pull that group off to the side and work with them together. The other students know that when they finish their work, they can also walk around and find students who need help. They love to assist their classmates and my class learns that we're all in this together.

I hope this was helpful! Come stop by my blog for other classroom tips and tricks!
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August 22, 2012


What can I say . . . I have to get in on the linky fun Blog Hopper has been hosting as of late.  And, since it is Wednesday, I am just in time to highlight where I teach!  So, here you be . . . a little more about me and Room 13!

This is my magical classroom.  See that special door . . . oh yeah baby . . . that's MY classroom.
I am the only first grade teacher in the Kinder wing, but I LOVE it.
My neighbors are delightful (I truly heart you guys) and I love messin' with all of the little kiddies!  

Here is my writing wall.  It's loud and silly . . . and it makes me smile.  

First writing assignment of the year . . . I can work with this!
Thanks for setting an awesome foundation Kinder crew!

Here's my skinny as all get out calendar wall. At the beginning of the year I review these concepts LOTS of music and movement.
Check out Ron Brown's Kinder World and Beginning Concepts I&II to listen to some of my favorite morning ditties!

Check out Katie King's rockin' number line.  I wish I could have fit the ABC's too!
I have such a small place and the dang clock is in my way!
CLICK HERE to snag a copy of these numbers!

My only storage (look behind the curtain at your own risk) . . .
oh, and there's my teacher table.  

Here is my bank of computers and my super star board.
Please ignore my messy desk.

Jessica Stanford's Behavior Chart . . . I'm lovin' it!
CLICK HERE to get your copy!
My AR bins!!  I used the blank labels in Katie King's decor set to create matching labels.
CLICK HERE to see her awesome primary color set!

I use the book shelves under my white board to lay out all of the games/activities/lessons for the day.
I am in grab-n-go mode . . . it all depends on "their mood" at any given moment.

I had to hang my new Oregon Ducks poster.
 It was too big to fit on the door so now it is rockin' it behind my desk!

Alright, I am off to prep tomorrow's transportation list and make a sample or two.  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit.  I will be back soon with a little writing freebie!  Be sure to take a moment to check out all of the awesome classrooms over at Blog Hopper, Swimming Into Second, and Beg, Borrow & Steal . . . you'll be oh-so glad ya did!



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