Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fan and Pick

8 years ago my school was chosen as a Title 1 school of the year. As part of the award, we received a grant and invitation to the National Title 1 conference. Although I didn't go to the conference, my administrator did and while there, went to a class on cooperative learning presented by Kagan. When she returned to school she started us down a road we are still on today. That summer she sent several teacher to attend Kagan Summer Academy in Florida. While I have a feeling some went to enjoy the benefits of Disney World what happened was they caught the Kagan Bug and brought it back to our school. With a core group of teachers trained in Kagan's philosophy and using the grant money to bring a Kagan trainer to our school her vision for change was implemented. The goal, have every teacher trained and using Kagan's structures in our daily teaching. Every month, we have a structure of the month and are expected to train our students and use it in our instruction. Kagan has become part of our culture and I doubt I will ever go back to a more traditional way of teaching.

This month's structure is Fan and Pick.  Fan and Pick is based on groups of four students (most of Kagan's structures are for cooperative groups of 4). I have these mats in the center of each table to help students.

This structure is one that I use everyday in my classroom. My Cubs love it. Here's how it works:
(most of Kagan's structures are based on cooperative groups of 4. Each student is assigned a number and letter. This is introduced at the beginning of the year. By now all of my students know their name and letter)
Step One: Student 1 takes the stack of cards, fans them and turns to student 2 saying, Pick a card, any card.
Step Two: Student 2 picks a card and shows it to student three.
Step Three: Student 3 reads the card aloud (We use sight words).
Step Four: Student 4 checks for accuacy and coaches if necessary, cheers if correct.
(I have added a little something here, if student 3 does not know the answer, he/she asks student 4 for help, if student 4 does not know the answer, anyone at the table may help. If no one at the table knows the answer, the students raise their hands and I come to help)

Here my little Cub is picking a card
Now she is showing the card to student 3.
This structure has been very successful when reviewing sight words. Other Kindergarten teachers have used numbers, colors, and letters. All of my students are engaged and actively learning. It is an awesome sight to see.
If you want to learn more about this structure or any others, I have provided a link under the picture of the management mats.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

If you don't follow any other blog...

Follow this one!

I have found so many wonderful free downloads AND some wonderful blogs I have not seen before. So, hop on over and see all the amazing freebies today. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm Back!!!!

It has been a long time. I appreciate all those who have kept checking back. Wednesday was the big day. I had to say goodbye to 6 of my little cubs. What a hard thing to do. It is amazing how fast you get attached. Now that I have "only" 27 cubs, I can't believe how quite it is. Now that things are a little more manageable, I made a freebie just for next week. Hope you enjoy this fun Fire Prevention activity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


As you can tell from the date of my last post it has been a while. After finishing my graduate credit courses, I was on a mission to get ready for my little Cubs to join me. Well, school started! I have 33 students, 5 of which have special needs. I am completely overwhelmed! The challenges of this year are unlike any I have ever faced before. However, things are looking up! We are getting a 5th Kindergarten teacher!!!!!! That means, I will be losing 6 of my little Cubs, super sad. But, with 6 gone, I will be able to better service the needs of the remaining students. As soon as I have reformed my class and finished Kinder testing, I will be back blogging on a regular bases. Thank you to those who have continued to check back.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Give With Target

Don't know if you have heard about Give With Target, it is an amazing way to get gift cards for your school. My school is working hard to get the 10,000 votes and could use your help. Please click on the link below and vote for my school. As soon as we reach 10,000 I will be willing to vote for your school.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Finally Done!

I have been MIA for a while. I have been taking 2 graduated courses (need to renew my license). These classes took a lot more work than I thought - could be I'm a little obsessed with getting an A. So, now that I have those classes done (I promise I won't wait until the last minute next time) I am ready to focus on my classroom. I just finished these clipboards. 

. I love my clipboards. One side is a traditional clipboard and the other side is a whiteboard. I use these everyday with my class. Last year I painted them my table colors and used coordinating colored ribbon. This year I changed my classroom theme to "Wild about Kindergarten" so I HAD to change my clipboards. It's pretty easy, just time consuming! I bought my clipboards at the Dollar Store and the whiteboard is a shower panel cut to fit (Lowes cut them for free). The covering is a large piece of vinyl I found at Walmart (in the clearance section for $2.50 - I love getting clearance items for 50% of clearance prices)
Each piece of vinyl covers about 20 clipboards. My biggest expense was the ribbon. I didn't realize that there was only enough ribbon to cover 2 boards. I need to make 36 yep, 36! I bought the ribbon at Walmart. I have 6 tables each assigned a different color. So, my ribbon coordinates with the color of my tables and they are either zebra or cheetah print.

Once I covered the clipboard, I glued the whiteboard to the back of the clipboard.After they were glued together, I went around the edges with ribbon. There you have it! My wonderful clip/whiteboards.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Learning is Something to Treasure: Let's Celebrate with a Back to School 650 Follower...

Learning is Something to Treasure: Let's Celebrate with a Back to School 650 Follower...: Hi Friends...Lisa here! I have some great news for you today! It's time for a giveaway!!! :) I was trying to think of something creativ...

Ways to Save Wednesday!

Today my tip for savings is, you never know where you will find the perfect school supply. Today while running around, I ran into Walgreens. As soon as I entered the building I checked the 75% off table. I ALWAYS check this table. What I found was these wonderful pointers:
They light up and have glittery paper inside. I am so excited to show them to my Cubs! BYW: I paid $0.74 a piece.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Never Hurts to Ask!

I went to Walmart today to do some grocery shopping. One place I always make sure to visit while there is the clearance aisle. I have been searching for storage containers for a while and never found one I like that cost something I was willing to spend. So, they had these amazing boxes to store Legos. They were $11 a piece. NOT going pay that. So, I asked how much the sell price was, $7.00. Still not going to pay that.  I asked to speak to the manager, because each box was suppose to have a Lego plate and most were  missing. When asked how much she was willing to sell them to me for, she said she would sell them for 50% of the clearance price. Well, I was will to pay $3.50 for them. I could only buy 10 today. But, I may go back for 10 more. Here they are:
Thank you Walmart for helping to organize my classroom! I love a great bargain!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thank you Chris at The Kinder"garden" for awarding me the Liebster award. Such a nice thing to find in my inbox. 

The Kinder garden Teacher

This award is named for the German word "Liebster," which translates to "beloved" or "favorite", and is given to a "new, up and coming blogger."

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

I am giving the award to:

Miss A's Kindergarten
Kindergarten Cupcake Crumbs
Krazy in Kindergarten
Kelly and Kim's kindergarten kreations


Monday, July 16, 2012

It's a Jungle Out There!: A NEW GIVEAWAY

It's a Jungle Out There!: A NEW GIVEAWAY: I just started a new page on Facebook :) I am super excited about it.  You should go check it out and "like" the page :)   http://www.fa...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Brown Bear Freebie Day 3

Stations or Centers? I use stations. When I first started doing what I thought were stations I hadn't read Debbie Dillar's Math Work Stations book. I have to admit, I am still reading it and have been looking for a book study (kind of like the one bloggers are doing for Daily 5). But, I have not found much. The one thing I keep finding is how much people love doing Math Stations. So, as I have been making my Brown Bear Freebies, I have tried to make sure that they would be usable with stations. On the last day of school this year, I was projected for 30 students. At the same time the year before, I was projected for 25. By September, I had 36 Cubs in my room. Fortunately, we got a 5th teacher and took my numbers to 26. So, this year I'm planning for 35 and hoping for 30. That means I need 17 stations! What! When I read that you should have 2 students per station and I did the math, I have to admit, I freaked out! Now, that I have wrapped  my brain around 17 stations and figured out I really only need 5 DIFFERENT stations. I am not so freaked out. Just trying to figure out how to manage the 17 stations.  How do you manage your math stations and do you stick to the 2 students to a station suggestion?

Enough rambling, here is Brown Bear Freebie Day 3.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brown Bear Freebie Day 2

Last year at this time I was a big ball of nerves. I was less than a month away from meeting my Cubs. I was all over the blogs trying to figure out what I was doing. Thanks to great bloggers out there, I was able to chart my course and have a great year. So, in order to pay it forward, I am taking some of  the favorite things I use to do with my class and sharing them with you. Hope you enjoy my series of Brown Bear freebies.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brown Bear Write the Room Freebie

This summer has been super busy. The one thing that has kept me the busiest-  taking two classes. One on Phonics and Phonemic Awareness , the other on Understanding Number Operations. Taking 5 graduate credits in 6 weeks is CRAZY! However, in all the craziness, I have managed to do some shopping, traveling, and work on school! To celebrate making it to the half way point of my classes, I made a freebie. I always start my year doing Brown Bear with my class. I also love doing write the room with math so I combined the two and came up with this FREEBIE! I have two answer sheets, one that ends on five and one that goes up to 10. I hope you enjoy:)

Graphics by

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Last night when I was not able to sleep, I checked my inbox and found a wonderful surprise, I had been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award.
Thank you Nicole from Lanier's Lions
Lanier's Kindergarten Lions
There are a few rules for the award and here they are... 1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. Again thank you Nicole 2. Include a link to their blog. See that cute little button above this, that's her blog. 3. Include award image in your post. See above:) 4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.. a. I LOVE Diet Coke b. The only place in the US I haven't been is the Deep South. It's on my bucket list. c. My family is my world d. Reality TV is my guilty pleasure e. I am an animal lover f. I am a glitter fanatic 5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award 6. When nominating, include a link to their blog. Here they are...
Kindergarten Korner
My Kindergarten Kids
Love Those Kinders!
Jens Kinder Kids
First Grade Blue Skies
Krazy about Kindy
Kindergarten Sparkles
Joy of Life 2011
So, those are my choices. Thank you again Nicole:)