Sunday, August 17, 2014

Welcome to Kindergarten! FREE Color Sheet

I survived my first full week back with kids and I have to tell you...I am exhausted BUT I have the sweetest class!  I am attempting to recoop this weekend and have seriously done nothing but sleep and read (started Divergent finally!).  Oh and the hubs bought me doughnuts!  I plan on taking pictures this week of my room so I will post them soon.  For now I wanted to share with you a color sheet I had my kinders work on last Monday as Moms and Dads were saying their goodbyes.  I wanted to give my class something to keep them occupied but nothing too difficult.  There are 6 different versions (same kids but different teacher).  I made one for each of my teammies so you see their names in the pictures below but not on the download.   I left space above the teacher's head so you can write in your name if you'd like after you print it.  Hope you can use it! :)

 Click {HERE} to download.

 Thank you to Nikki at Melonheadz for the super cute kidlettes and teacher pieces.  :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

No More Crayon Basket! {FREE Crayon Drawer Labels}

I will admit that my "Crayon Basket" has needed a serious makeover for quite some time now.  The swap to a color-organized system was a MUST for the new school year!  I found some black Sterilite 5-drawer units at Wal-Mart today and knew that they would be perfect for my crayons.  I had already purchased some 3-drawer ones from Target but will be returning those or using them for something else!  I am so excited to try this out with my new bunch of kids in a few weeks....How is it that all of the children seem to be missing the same color crayon at the same time?? Last year we had a serious shortage of red crayons.  The year before that it was brown ones.  Hmmm....Hopefully this system will keep us organized while working in some sorting practice at the same time. :)

Grab these labels for your own classroom {here} or by clicking either of the pictures.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meaningful Morning Messages (Aug/Sept) for K!

Do you use morning messages in your classroom?  I love using them as a way to start conversations with my students, introduce or review skills, and interact with my class.  It's a must everyday for me!  I like my messages to be meaningful (of course!) so I like to plan them out ahead of time so that I am really making the most out of that 10 minutes or so at the start of my day before calendar time and reading.  I'm always looking for ways to keep myself organized and efficient....so....I decided to make monthly packets of morning messages that I can use from year to year.  I'm so excited to show you the one for August and September that I completed this evening!

These messages can be used in many different ways.  Do you have a Smartboard?  If so, you can just project them right onto your board and allow your students to write on them.  A document camera would work the same way.  Of course, you could also print them out and put them in a sleeve for your students to practice in a station afterwards.  Maybe you want to keep your own format and write your messages on chart paper each morning.  If so, you could just use these as a starting point to organize what you are going to write for the day.  Personally, I have an old overhead projector that I use specifically for morning message time and for word work.   The area looks like this: {Forgive the photo...it is the only one I could find tonight!}
After printing off each message on to a transparency, I will project it on to the white board so my kids can write on the board to fill in the blanks, circle, etc.  It works perfectly for my classroom and my kids LOVE using the overhead this way.

Here are a few screenshots of pages from the pack:

There are 73 messages for a total of 292 pages! {2 greetings are included for each message as well as a color version and a black/white version.}

You can view the description of the pack {here} for a list of every skill covered.  I will be working on making October's pack after the beginning of the school year so be on the lookout for it.  :)

The pack is on sale for the next day or so.  I hope you and your class enjoy the messages!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Classroom Helpers Set {FREE}

Do you assign classroom helpers in your room?  I use enough jobs in my class so that every student has something for the day.  I rotate my student's name cards each morning so that their job changes daily.  Of course, not every single job is needed everyday.  It just depends.  My kiddos realize this and quickly understand that if their job that day doesn't require much, it's ok, because they will have a new one the next day.  I LOVE it when my kinders figure out my "secret" of moving the name cards down each day.  Then they are able to predict or count how many days they have until they get to be line leader or table wiper (2 of the favorites!).

I made a set of job cards for the new school year that match my black/white dots classroom theme.  Feel free to grab them for free by clicking {here} or an image below.  I will post a picture of my display as soon as I am able to get back into my classroom....  :)


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Daily 5 and Math Maps

Our 2nd grade is becoming departmentalized this year and my sweet friends asked me if I would make a math version of my literacy maps for their grade level.  Of course!  I'm so excited to share them with everyone!  I like these so much I think I will throw out my kinder math maps from the last few years and use these new ones instead.  They will work with any elementary grade level.  :)

{Click the image to read more info and to grab them in my TpT store!}

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Practice for Rising Kinders!

My daughter, Gracie, will be starting kindergarten in 30 days!  Yikes!

We've been working on a few things this summer to help her with the transition from preschool to kindergarten.  I shared this free sight word game last month.  It has been a HUGE hit around here. I found some buttons from a previous art project and let her use them to cover her spaces on the game board.  We have played this many times (even with Daddy at the table as we ate dinner one night!).  Sometimes we take turns drawing a card from the bucket and then covering it up.  Other times Gracie is the caller or I flash her the cards and she has to read them by herself.  Either way she sees it as a game and is getting great practice with those basic sight words!  Once I even caught her playing it with her baby dolls.  Warms my teacher-mommy heart.  :)

Moving on...my grade level does Ring Masters each year with out students to help with sight word mastery.  I've been trying to give Gracie a head start with her words.  She has almost made it to set 3!
We have also made it a goal to complete 1 page per day in our On My Way to K! Summer Practice Packet.  I love how her confidence has been boosted with this.  The further we get into the packet, the more familiar she becomes with it.  Though she can't read the directions by herself yet, she knows what to do on many of the sections now.  She will be well versed in color-by-the-codes by day 1 of school too! ;)


This packet makes for a great review at the beginning of kindergarten too!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quick! Great deal on Book Characters!

If you've been in my classroom you know I am a sucker for plush characters that go along with my favorite books!  I was so excited to find a deal on Zulily for a few I do not already have!
Take a look at a few of these available ones! 
These are just a few…there are more….
So click on the picture to see the whole available collection of book sets and characters.


This deal ends in exactly one day and 15 hours…..so you have to hurry!
Happy shopping.  :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chicka Tree Shapes: FREE Pocket Chart Activity

Bill Martin Jr.'s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a must read for the start of kindergarten, don't you agree?  I realize many preschool programs cover this story nowadays but I still think it is a great book for introducing and/or reviewing the alphabet.  Each year it seems to me that my new bunch of children enjoy the story more and more.  Maybe it is because it is familiar to them.  Maybe it is because they get into the rhythm of the words.  Maybe it is because I allow them to decorate me with alphabet stickers.  Either way this is a must for those first few weeks of K.

 There are SO many amazing ideas out there to go along with this story.  I let my kids sing along to the song during snack time.  Here's the video in case you need it:
I made a easy pocket chart activity for math to use along with the story this year.  It is all about naming 2D shapes and counting each shape's number of sides and corners.  I am going to place the poem/chant into my pocket chart and let my kiddos take turns manipulating the number and shape cards to describe the shape on the displayed Chicka Tree card.  I'm hoping to graduate this into my buddy reading station as well during literacy block.  Click on the image to download it {FREE}.  I'm hoping you can use it in your class too! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What Does Mrs. Lirette Say?

What do I say?  Towards the end of the school year my administrators challenged the faculty to ask our students this question and then post the answers outside our room.  Here is what my students said about me:
I see a lot of behavior management strategies…but it could have been worse, right? What can I say.  I had a very active class this year!
This was a great eye-opening activity for me.  My goal next year is to have these strategies stick as well as some thinking ones like "What makes you say that?" <----Not that I don't already ask them this….I just want my kids to recognize that I say a lot of questioning stems too…as much as all those behavior management sayings! :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Dicy McCullough's Books- Loved that Lesson! (Freebie too!}

This spring I had the privilege of opening up my mailbox to find a sweet note from Dicy McCullough and a set of her "I'm Tired" books.  This was actually perfect timing because my little learning detectives were in the final weeks of school…and were definitely tired of everything!
Click the image to read reviews and ordering information on Amazon
Confession.  I do not usually read 5 books back to back in the same sitting.  However, I started out with  Tired of School and my students immediately fell in love with John Allen and the dogs.  Is Molly the dog's red bow not the cutest?  My kids begged for me to read all of these books to them, one right after the other!  They loved the friendly rhythm and rhyme.  They could relate to the subject matter and the characters.  Their favorite part?  The last pages of each book that include thoughts from other children around their age.  It always amazes me when kindergartners see a familiar name and they assume it is that person they know with the same name…."My sister's name is Emma!"…."That's your name!  Did you say that too?"  :)

Imagine my kiddos' surprise when I pulled up the "quiz" on the Promethean board.  There are games and activities for each story on http://www.dicymcculloughbooks.com.

As a teacher reading these stories for the first time, my mind was racing with thoughts of incorporating each of these books into character building lessons throughout the school year.  Tired of Being a Bully is perfect to read along with Bully Beans or Recess Queen.  Tired of Being Different will fit in nicely with an All About Me unit at the beginning of the school year.

Here are some writing prompts to go along with this story.  Click on the images or {here} to download the boy and girl version.

I am very grateful to Dicy for introducing me to her stories.  I hope there are many more to come.  Thank you!

I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Studio in hopes that others will find these books perfect for the classroom too.  Click on the image to find more lessons to explore from other bloggers.

AND linking up with the sweet Deanna for this week's Let's Talk About Books!