Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Littlest Dragon

OMG, something AMAZING has happened in Room 130!!!  A few weeks ago I applied for a grant through the organization Pets in the Classroom (  They are a non-profit organization that believes every classroom should have a pet in order for students to learn more about them as well as how to be responsible when caring for a pet.  The grant covers the animal's habitat as well as a 50% off coupon for the animal itself.  There were MANY choices of class pets, including mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.  I chose the bearded dragon, since we are the Kindergarten Dragons I thought that was PERFECT!!  Well, in the mail yesterday I received a letter from them that said 'Congratulations, you were approved!!'  I was SO EXCITED I had to run out to PetCo. that night and pick up our newest dragon!!!  How stinkin' cute is he!?!?!?
I am already so very much in love with him!!  He's SO TINY!!!  That's him next to his food dish, see how TINY he is!!  He'll get much bigger, the size of my forearm!!  He has been a huge hit in my classroom, and student's voted on their name choices today.  Their ideas for names are 'Fire Wings', 'Blaze', 'Hot Wings', and 'Draco'.  I'm partial to 'Blaze', but I haven't counted up the votes yet.

See the awesomely AMAZING habitat set-up that was covered by the grant??  Since he's a desert critter, he needs two special day-time heat lamps and one special night-time heat lamp (included in the kit).  My dad provided the mini-lock for the tank so my littles can't get him out, and since this week is Bully Prevention/Drug Awareness Week my kinders thought our dragon needed a red ribbon of his own!

My kinders have decided that he is a REALLY REAL dragon and the reason he doesn't have his wings and fire yet is because he's a baby, and if we are responsible and take good care of him he will grow up to be a big and strong dragon with wings and fire!

Plus, since he is a kindergarten dragon it has been decided that he needs to learn his ABCs.  So, I found some vinyl-clings that we have stuck onto the side of his tank so he can work on mastering his alphabet! (Having some trouble getting that pic to load, but as soon as I can I'll make sure to share!!)

If you're able to have a pet in your classroom, you really need to go check out!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Literature Links

Happy Monday!!  Our students have off today because we have a full day of Professional Development.  Lots of meetings today, so wanted to get a quick post up and out there!  I STILL have no internet at home, and it's MAKING ME CRAZY!!!
   During Social Studies this marking period we have been learning all about ourselves and our feelings, and we have been reading a lot of stories about feelings.  Reading stories isn't just something that I love and my littles love, but it gives them something to make a connection to.  They can find details in the story that may have happened in their lives or in the life of someone they know.  When we did our week on Bullying Prevention (October is Bully Awareness Month, and coincidentally it is also National Pit Bull Awareness Month) we read all sorts of wonderful literature examples of  preventing bullying.  So when we did our discussion on feelings, one of my favorite examples of a story about feelings is 'When Sopie Gets Angry, Really Really Angry' by Molly Bang.  (click the picture to get a copy from if you don't have one of your own!)

I love how this story has such incredible illustrations for when Sophie gets really, really angry.  My favorite one to discuss with my littles in when she feels like a volcano that will explode and when she roars her anger.  It always leads to a great discussion about what they do when they get angry, and then we can discuss good choices for how they handle their anger.  They love to share about times when they were angry about something, and they love to help each other figure out ways to handle their anger.  After our discussion, they got a chance to draw and write about a time they got really, really angry.  After they write about what made them angry they were to write and draw about what a good choice would be to help with their anger.  If you're interested in doing this lesson with your kiddos, please click on the Literature Link below and you can have the writing page that we completed after reading the story.  Hope you all have a great week!!
For some reason my Literature Link didn't include the credit for the fonts that I LOVE to use, so here's where I get them!!  Jen Jones has some AMAZING fonts, and many of them are free for personal use.  You'll have to go check them out!!  Click on the image to head over to her blog!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Character and Setting

Happy Sunday Funday!!  In K-Town this week, we have been focusing on Common Core Standard K.RL.3 - With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.  We have been reading some of our favorite stories and identifying the characters and settings.  We have also used the SMART Board to look at a setting and decide what type of character would fit there, or if a character belongs in that setting.  We put Rainbow Fish in the setting of the farm, and discussed if that was a good setting for the Rainbow Fish or not and why.  Then we completed a writing activity.  Students were allowed to choose either a setting card or a character card.  They were then to draw either the setting their character was found in, or the characters that would be found in their setting.  There were some super cute responses!!

Some of the pictures are blurry, still learning how to use my new phone!!  This one reads 'My character is a dog so my setting is at the park.'

'My character is a pumpkin so my setting is a tractor.'

'My setting is a train so my character is a conductor.'

'My character is an elf so my setting is the North Pole.'

'My character is a fish so my setting is the ocean.'

'My setting is the garden so my character is the flower.'

'My setting is a tree so my character is a monkey.'

'My setting is an owl so my character is the forest.'

How stinkin' cute are they!?!?!  Our kinders have been working on sounding out their words, as well as writing their sight words 'a', 'an', and 'the'.  Myself and another teaching partner stapled the cards to the student's papers, and another team mate had her little include their cards in their pictures.  I think that is a SUPER cute idea, thanks for sharing Danielle!!!  I feel that our kinders now have a deeper understanding of the definition of 'character' and 'setting'.  If you're interested in this activity, follow the link to my TPT store and get a copy for yourself!!

TPT is throwing a huge sale to celebrate them having 100,000 Facebook followers!!  In order to help them celebrate, I'm throwing a sale at my store too!  Enter the code 'FB100K' to get an additional 10% off of the already 20% off sale I'm throwing.  Just wanted to help THANK YOU ALL for helping TPT to grow, which in turns helps us all.  YOU ALL ROCK OUT LOUD!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crayon Box That Talked

Happy Tuesday!!  One of my littles told me that Tuesdays are 'Taco Tuesdays', so make sure to enjoy a taco tonight!!  :-)

During the first marking period at our school we are learning all about rules, routines, feelings, and how to be a good friend.  One of my favorite books to read during this unit is The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf and Michael Letzig.  Besides talking about how to be a good friend, we use this book to address the Common Core Standard K.RL.3 - With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
I got this book through Scholastic, but if you don't have one click on the image to link up to Amazon to get your own!!

I whipped up a quick response sheet for my littles to draw the two main characters of this story, the crayons and the little girl.  They are also going to attempt to write the labels for the characters.  Here's the freebie if you'd like to try this activity with your class!

Hope that you have a wonderful day!!!  :-)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Shoe Tying

Happy Sunday!!  Seeing as how the Ravens won today, it's a very good Sunday indeed!!
  Do you teach your littles a lesson on shoe-tying?  Is it a lesson that a part of you dreads having to teach?  Be honest!! I definitely feel that way when it's time to break out the fake shoes and work on teaching my munchkins how to tie those shoes!  This year I found something that seems to spark an interest in  learning to tie their own shoes.  MANY, MANY, MANY thanks to Michelle Rist over at Inspired by Kindergarten for creating such an amazingly awesome freebie!!  She has definitely been a life-saver in my classroom this year!!  I know you have all heard of, and probably love, the Pete the Cat books.  Well, my kinders LOVE Pete the Cat and his fancy shoes and buttons.  Recently we read one of our favorite books, Pete the Cat's I Love My White Shoes.  We talked about how Pete wants us to BE Safe (one of our Bainbridge BEs) and how he doesn't want us walking around without our shoes tied tight.  I told my littles that Pete is going to help us learn by creating a Pete the Cat Shoe Tying Club!  He has sent us all the materials we need to set up our club.

Each student gets to choose a pair of shoes that they can sign their name to when they learn how to tie their shoes.  This gets put on the wall so that everyone can see.

He also sent each of us our very own License to Tie that we can earn and keep forever and ever.  I laminated them to try and help them last a little bit longer!  My kiddos get SO EXCITED when they get to show off their license!!

Pete has also sent us certificates that we get when we have learned to tie our shoes, and he signed them and EVERYTHING!!!

I have  shoe-tying center in my classroom that my students are FINALLY excited about going to!  During our recess block,  I allow them to show me if they know how to tie their shoes.  If they can show me, they get to become a card-carrying member of the Pete the Cat Shoe Tying Club.  If shoe-tying is something you teach and/or encourage in your classroom, you DEFINITELY need to go check out Michelle's amazing freebie!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


  Holy Problems, Blog Followers!!  I have NO INTERNET at home!!  I haven't had internet at my apartment in over three weeks!!!  Yes, I am going CRAZY!!  I must apologize for not keeping up with my blog the way I had originally planned before life went all crazy on me.  Now with the internet....ARGH!!!
  For the majority of our science curriculum we do a study of and a focus on trees and how they change throughout the seasons.  We focus on the main parts of the tree; roots, trunk, branches, and leaves.  We do as many activities we can find about trees, and one of our favorites is when we go on a Nature Walk and about our very own class tree.  We will visit this tree during each of the four seasons to view how it has changed.  We will come back into the classroom and record our observations in our Class Tree Journal, and at the end of the year we will get to have a Teddy Bear Picnic with our 5th Grade Buddies out under our class tree.
  One of my amazing team mates found an incredibly fun activity on Pinterest (how much do you LOVE Pinterest???!!!) where we use pretzel rods, pretzel sticks, and grapes to complete a model of the parts of the tree.  After we used the edible tools, we had our kinders label the parts of their tree.  I took a picture of each student's model and used that picture to determine their science grade.  They had TONS of fun making their incredibly edible models, and after they were able to show me their work they were allowed to eat their models!!  If you teach anything about trees, you should totally try this 'Pinteresting' activity!!