Thursday, July 9, 2015

Summer Time!

I have switched schools and grades since I last blogged over here on my corner of the internet. I am now teaching first grade at a small private school in Chicago. I love it! 2015-16 will be my second year teaching there. It is truly my dream job.

I am enjoying every minute of my lazy, slow-paced summer. My birthday was last week, and my wonderful husband gifted me with this lovely bag.

I just love it! 

I am joining the Blog Hoppin' Scavenger Hunt today, so I will see you around Instagram!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Spiders and Skittles Freebies!

While I don't really like spiders in real life, I do love teaching about them. I feel like I learn something new every year. This time around, I wanted my preschoolers to learn the parts of a spider. Learning the words is easy enough, but I wanted them to be able to show me what they knew. Thus, I created this Parts of a Spider assessment tool. 

Click on the picture to download your copy. 

 After Halloween, I had some extra Skittles that needed a purpose in life. What better purpose than a math lesson? I don't think this graph has enough spaces for all the Skittles in a regular bag, but I guess that means you'll have to eat some along the way! Before giving this to the kids, have them make predictions about the number of each color in their bag. Have them smell, touch, and describe the Skittles. 
Click on the picture to download. 
I didn't realize when I made this that it would be such a great 1:1 assessment tool for my group. Some of them really struggled with putting only one Skittle in each box. 
After all the Skittles are laid out, then the counting begins. I purposely did not put numbers on this graph so that my students would have to touch and count. 

I hope you can use these in your classroom! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Letter or Number?

Last year, I made a letter/number sort freebie around Thanksgiving time.  Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday, so it's no surprise that I made a freebie to celebrate.  Almost right away, I had a request on TpT to make more sorts with other themes.  Of course, I said, "Sure! I am totally inspired to make many more sorts!"....and then never did.  If you were the person who made the request, I am sorry.  In light of the new school year starting up, though, I am inspired once again!

Differentiating between letters and numbers is one of those skills that we take for granted.  Some littles have a really hard time with this.

This one's for the girls.  {Don't worry - I didn't forget about the boys!}

Click on the picture to download your copy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hand. Heart. Brain.

I was watching a video from a Transitional Kindergarten Conference in California earlier today, and I fell in love with something one of the speakers said.

And I quote..."If it hasn't been in the hand and the heart, it won't go to the brain."

I just love that! Kids are so hands-on and visual, and when we ask them to sit and use only their auditory learning skills, we are doing them no favors.  I have to remind myself of this fact every day when I am thinking about how to teach. When I think about the lessons that my kids remember most, those lessons were usually experiences that allowed the children to touch, see, hear, or do something new.

So I made this little poster for myself.  It's a reminder that when I want to get something into their brains, I need to get there through their hands and their hearts.

Click on the picture to download your copy.  If you would like a colorful version, just let me know in a comment, and I'll whip something up!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Illinois Blogger

I am linking up with Diane over at Fifth in the Middle.  She has created a section of her blog that is dedicated to connecting bloggers in each state.  Since I'm an Illinois blogger, I'm linking up with the rest of the midwesterners. 

Speaking of Illinois, I was at our state Pre-K and Kindergarten conference last week. What a fantastic experience! 
How often do regular people like me get to meet famous celebrities like Deanna?
Yep, that Deanna.  She's so cute and tiny, I look like a giant next to her! And I'm not that tall! I wish I could remember every single one of her fabulous ideas. I have already been trying some of them out this week at school.  

I would love to hear from other Illinois bloggers!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jack Hartmann Freebie

We love Jack Hartmann in my classroom!

I wanted to start singing his song "Echo the Letter Sounds" from the CD "Get on Board the Transition Train".

I knew my littles would need a visual, though.  Kids need pictures to keep track of where they are in the song and what will come next. 

So I made these letter and picture cards to help them out.  
Of course you can use them for any activity that involves letter cards.  I used a black and white background to highlight the colored picture and save on color ink. 

I hope you love them!

Click on the picture below to download your copy!