Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Friends - Kindergarten Smiles

Hi all!! I am Caitlin from Kindergarten Smiles and I am so excited that Randi gave me the opportunity to guest post on her WONDERFUL blog!! I am going into my sixth year of teaching Kindergarten and I wouldn't have it any other way! I think I drive my friends and family crazy because ALL I do is talk about my class!! But, with that said...I am going to talk about how I start all of my thematic units!
I always, always begin by using some sort of graphic organizer. A KWL is something we have all probably done while we were in school or learned about in college. Well, my students LOVE starting every unit this way! On my whiteboard in the front of my room I make a KWL chart. 
Before I start every unit I have my students tell me everything they 'think they Know' and I add it into our K column. I make sure to add everything they say, even if I know it is incorrect information. This way I can revisit it later and correct it or label it has a 'misconception.' Then we move on to our W column. I also do this column with the students before we start our unit to find out everything the students Want to know. I have found that this gets the students SUPER excited to read and learn! It also helps focus them--they all want to find the answers to their questions as I am teaching.
Before I start reading I always have the students come up with a goal-this gives them a purpose. Usually their goal will be something like, 'Our goal should be to fill up our 'L' column.' I will stop half way through the book and tell the students to turn to their 'carpet buddy' and discuss. They have to ask their buddy 3 questions: What have you learned so far? What do you think will happen next? and Are you confused about anything? Then, I will ask them if there is anything I can add to our L column. When we are finished adding new information I will continue reading and repeat the same process at the end of the book. The KWL will stay up for the entire unit! This way students can refer to it when completing activities and when they are writing. I have seen a HUGE difference in their non-fiction writing because of our graphic organizers!
One of our first units is Apples (one of my favorites!!) and I am planning on starting with a great Apples Tree Map (like the one below) that will help us stay organized throughout the unit.
I would love for you to stop by my blog and grab your FREEBIE!! All the materials to start your apple unit off right :) Thanks again to Randi for letting me share with you today!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Blogging - Freebie for YOU!

Today I am guest blogging for Katie at King of the First Grade Jungle.
After reading my post there, you can leave comments on this  post for your FREEBIE! 
If your new here, please follow! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Get Your Party Pants On!

Get your party pants on! We're having a Facebook  party.  I'm with you, that sounds crazy.  Allow me to explain.

SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2012 
There are a HUGE group of amazing educators and really just awesome women that want to share their  Facebook pages with you.  While they are doing it, they plan to make it worth your while and give you some freebies.  I've seen some and they are going to be worth your time. 
Now, I'm going to name drop.....Deanna Jump herself might just be attending! Yep the Deanna Jump.   There might just be a freebie from my store'll just have to check back tonight. 

FREE for 2 HOURS ONLY - PLEASE follow my blog if you download - you are already here :) 

All you have to do is show up at MY Teach It With Class Facebook page TONIGHT from 
9:00 - 11:00EST.  Sit back and watch the fun unravel.  Then start clicking.  

Head to the party by clicking my banner...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Friends - Sharing Kindergarten

Hi all! This is Mary from Sharing Kindergarten
I am a little blogger from the wonderful land of Kindergarten- we magical ideas grow!
I have taught for 7 years and I have loved every minute of it. I am much more comfortable in my classroom than almost any other place.I am blessed because being the best teacher I can be is my hobby, passion, and never ending goal. I am so happy to be doing a guest blog spot here for you today. I hope you take a moment to stop by to say HI and to grab my freebie that goes with this idea.

Today I am going to share with you a fun way I teach and review patterns in my classroom while reusing some of those fun borders that I have left over.
  You need 3 things to do this.
1. A pocket chart
2. Old borders that are straight and thick.
3. Shape pieces*

 *You can buy the shapes. Mine are from Trend. You could also use a die cut at school or take advantage of the freebie I am providing for you.

Flip the border over so you can not see the design. Create a pattern starter on it using your shapes. I like to start with AB, AAB, ABB, and ABC patterns. (You can also use the same idea to practice extending patterns or creating patterns on their own. For these steps, I would use a marker to draw a line as a "blank" or add a place to put a shape so your students would know where to fill in a shape.)
Leave extra shapes at the bottom for student use. I like to laminate everything so it lasts longer and I can write on the patterns if needed.

I teach one pattern a day for 5 days using these strips. I introduce each pattern and allow my students to complete the pattern using the shapes at the bottom. At center time, students can come up to this pocket chart to create their patterns as well. 


Mary Amoson is a teacher, mother, and an educational blogger. She believes that learning should be fun and natural, and is most often playing games with her students as they discover learning. She is so passionate about her dream job in education and her incredible students and families that she wants to share it all with you.  Visit her at or at her Teachers Pay Teachers site at where she has SO MANY free activities ready for you to download and enjoy.
Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A little summer fun...

Summer is finally here and I have been enjoying the extra time.  I thought I would  pop in and give you a peek into my summer.

I am doing a feature on my blog EVERY FRIDAY this summer called "Friday Friends".  I have had so many opportunities to meet some wonderful women and educators through my blog journey and I wanted to take some time to let y'all meet them too! Truly, theses are a passionate and talented bunch of teachers and I'm so excited to share them with you.

One of my favorite things to do when the weather gets warm is stock up on fruits and vegetables from the local roadside stands.  Here in NC they are all over the place...mmmmm!

After my latest trip, I went on Pinterest in search of a recipe to spice up my cucumber and tomato salad.  I found this recipe and it is delectable (as my students would say)!

After my adventures in the kitchen, I went shopping and did some decorating.  My poor house gets seriously neglected during the school year.  I managed to squeeze it all in before the first day of summer so we'll say it was SPRING cleaning.
I lightened up the bathroom for summer with this fun yellow print. There is a matching rug which is bright and screams summer. 
I spiced up one of the girls bedrooms.  Nothing too crazy but she wanted some zebra print and you know how I love a theme!

I know that the radio is so old school but she loves it and wanted it so bad.  It connects to the IPOD so I guess it's not so outdated.

I also printed some life quotes for her bedroom to remind her of how wonderful she is.  

That's my summer so far.  I hope you are enjoying yours.  If you find yourself with a little free time, I would love for you to follow me! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Friends

Hello from Kindergarten Lifestyle. My name is Jeannie and I am so thankful Randi is allowing me to share a little tip with you today! 

If you know anything about me you know how important I believe teaching with a word wall is. ....having a word wall is simply NOT enough. It must be used each and every day in multiple ways with our students so they learn how to use this incredible resource independently.

I also believe it's WAY WAY important to back our word wall words with color - especially those easily confused words. Placing my word wall words on colored backgrounds really helps my kids internalize those words. It helps give kids a mental image of each word. 

My kinders are so good at this they can tell you what color a word wall word is without looking (and of course they are super proud of that ability). The reason they can tell you the color.....and the reason that is awesome is because they are seeing that word in their mind's eye. They not only remember that color, but the other features of that particular word. The color is a hook in their mind to hang that word --making kids less likely to forget it!

Now, on to the point of this post....... For years I've used construction paper and/or colored copy paper to back my words. The colors are good, but throughout the year, the colors begin to fade and just look yucky!! So, each year I am making new word wall word cards for my word wall. Well.... this just gets plain OLD!!!

I've seen tons of great ideas on Pinterest about how to use the paint chip cards for various things. This got me thinking..... Can I use paint chip cards to back my words????

So....I gave it a try..............AND ............IT works beautifully!!! Woo-hoo!! I love when something free works out the way I intend!!

I chose particularly bright cards (2-3 of each color). Any word that begins with the same letter must be a different color.... And, words that are easily confused must be backed with a different color ("am" and "me")......

I hope you like this tip! I love my word wall word cards....and perhaps even more importantly,  I don't have to re-make them each year....:0) They stay in great shape, bright as ever!

Jeannie Partin is the author of Kindergarten Lifestyle. She is a kindergarten teacher, but has also taught 1st and 2nd grade as well. She has a M.Ed in Reading and is a certified Reading Specialist and Master Reading Teacher. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

HearAll Recorder Winner

Yesterday I said goodbye to my first graders for the summer! It's always bittersweet yet inevitable.  I think every class is unique in its own way and it's always sad to me that I'll never have that exact dynamic back together again.  To make it a little more tough, my first class of students that I taught are moving to the middle school next year.  I always considered them my 'babies'.  There will never be another group like the first; that class taught me so much about what it means to be a teacher.  

As  promised, here is  the winner of my HearAll Assessment Recorder from Learning Resources.  I want to shout a huge THANK YOU to all my current and new followers.  Thanks y'all for playing! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

HearALL Assessment Recorder Giveaway!

It’s time for another GIVEAWAY!!! 

Who says a teacher can’t be in 2 places at once!?  I may not have eyes in the back of my head (shhhhhh don’t tell anyone under 8 years old that) but I’m getting closer with this HearALL™ Assessment Recorder from Learning Resources. This product has a value of $100!!! This is a giveaway you don't want to miss.  Let me give you some details...

This amazing company has sent me yet another item to review.  The best part is, is that their technology products are awesome! This HearALL recorder is an item that I never even knew I wanted.  Now, I can’t picture not having one.  I see buying a second one in the near future…it is that useful

The recorder is small and light weight and would you believe it doesn’t require batteries!  It has a USB cord that you can connect to your PC/Mac to download and charge.  This is a huge money saver.  Often times, products that need batteries replaced constantly get pushed to the side to collect dust.

It records students accurately without picking up unnecessary background noise. You can lay it flat on any surface and record one student or a small group of students.  It has 4 small speakers so you don’t need to worry about moving it around.  I admit I was doubtful that I would be able to hear my kiddos with a noisy classroom going on behind us but I had no problems. 

How I used it…
I used it with my small groups to teach a lesson on fluency and really help the kiddos understand what a fluent reader sounds like.

I used it one on one for reading assessments to have on file for parents to hear. Unfortunately paper documentation sometimes isn’t enough…

I used it in small literacy stations where each student had a “job” to do.  The group did what was expected independently because they knew this little guy was listening to them.  When I played it back not only did I get to hear how well they did their activity, it was funny to listen to their reminders to each other to stay on task! Too cute J

I used it to record myself reading a chapter from our current chapter book.  My assistant played it back when I had to be out of the room!

Over the summer, I plan to record myself reading books from our leveled readers.  I will download the files to my classroom IPod and students can listen to me read to them! It’s going to make my life so much easier!  

I’m also sure it will come in handy when I have a sore throat and can play back previous recordings!


1) Follow my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and leave a comment saying that you do.
2) Follow Learning Resources on Facebook OR follow Learning Resources on Twitter and leave a comment saying that you do.

3) Follow Teach It With Class on Facebook and leave a comment saying you 

4) Follow Learning Resources on Pinterest 

You can also check out Learning Resources on You Tube.

Giveaway will be open until late Wednesday night (6/6).  Winner will be posted no later than Friday.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Back to Basics

Do you have commitment issues? Can you not decide on a theme? If that's the case, then this is the kit for you! This kit includes labels galore and then some to get you organized and still keep you adorable...even if you can't decide on a theme! 
Check out the details HERE or click on any picture. 


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