Monday, September 1, 2014


I know, twice in one day! Had I remembered it was September 1st, I would have saved my earlier post until tomorrow. I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade. Hop over and take a look at what other fun things are happening all over the world.

Listening: I just took my two boys to the water park. It's crazy to me they are old enough to do things like this on their own. And they are meeting GIRLS! When on earth did this happen

Loving: Living in Las Vegas I can hardly wait for June, July, and August to be over. I love the cold weather and living in this heat is not something I enjoy. 

Thinking: Lesson Plans, Lesson Plans. Lesson Plans... After meeting my new students last week, I have decided I need to rethink my entire plan for the rest of the month. I'm going to have to do a lot of small motor skills, beginning writing skills, and early literacy skills. They are not ready for any of the centers I made over the summer. 

Wanting: I have two favorite places. The beach and the mountains. I'm a good 2 hours from the mountains and at least 4 from a beach. So for now I dream.

Needing: My computer printer has seen its last piece of paper. I am trying to decide if I bite the bullet and by an expensive one, buy another cheap one, or just take my flash drive into office depot and print there. I'm leaning toward buying a more expensive printer. Any suggestions would be helpful.

3 Trips: I am obsessed with anything Southern. My father was born in the south and I have always longed to see where my family is from. Greece, I love the architecture of Greece, the beaches, oh the beaches. They are calling my name. Paris, the museums, the food, the shopping, the food, and did I mention the food. I can see myself walking the streets of Paris eating a croissant. I am a people watcher. I just know that I would have a blast watching people in whichever place I was lucky enough to visit. 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a super month!!!!!!

Glue Sponges

"Teacher, I can't find the lid to my glue!", "Who's glue does this lid belong to?", or "Teacher, mine doesn't stick!" I'm sure we have all heard and said these things. I have been battling glue sticks for years! But, NO more! After seeing glue sponges on Pinterest for years, I finally decided to try them. 

 I went to Dollar Tree and bought these containers and sponges. I made a class set of 12 for  $7. My school provided the glue. 
I cut my sponges in half, put glue in the bottom of the container, placed the sponge on top of the glue, and then drizzled glue on top. The next day I introduced them to my cubs. With very little instruction, students went to town gluing color words.

We have used our glue sponges everyday. We have never lost a lid, students don't get messy, and best of all, their glued pieces don't fall off. Overall, glue sponges are the answer to this teacher's prayers. If you want to see how they were made, Mr. Greg at Smedley's Smorgasboard posted a YouTube how to video on how he makes them for his classroom.
Glue Sponges YouTube

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Coloring, before beginning my sojourn back into Kindergarten, I really thought that all parents colored with their children. Folks, that is NOT true. I have children entering my room having never held a crayon. While I would love it if all of my cubs knew how to color, the simple fact is they don't. So what to do? TEACH COLORING!!! Why have I not done this before? I have seen coloring rubrics all over and decided I would make one for my class and spend the time teaching coloring (when I say time, the lesson took 5 minutes tops). I began by going over the rubric. I just took my PDF to Office Depot and asked them to make it poster size. Easy peasy! 

  My 3 Star Coloring
Click above if you would like the rubric to use in your room

After going through the entire process and all of my expectations, I handed out our first coloring sheet. I was amazed at how much time and effort my cubs put into these monsters. Taking five minutes and teaching how to color has already made a huge difference. I still have a few students that scribble. But, we are working on that and after all, it is only the third day of school. 

As you can see, my cubs are focused and being very careful. The only little cub in the corner has turned her crayon so she can "shade" her monster. Not sure where she learned about that. I thought I took pictures of the final product. But, nope. I must have seen something shiny and was distracted. 

Happy HUMP day! Week one is half way done :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Classroom Tour!

Yesterday was my first day with my new group of Cubs!  I finally finished my room and I am excited to share the final product with you. In the past, I have done Bears, Jungle, and Fairy Tales. This year I did not do a theme. I chose to focus on color and making my room as inviting as possible. I think I accomplished that goal.  

This is the view from my teacher area. My whole group teaching area is in front of a giant bookcase. You can also see my technology cart. I love the technology, hate the cart. 

Back of my room.

Another view of the back of my room and computer area. My class library is currently in front of the big pink curtain. Not ideal but it is a work in progress.

Close up of my writing bins and  "What can I write about?" bulletin board. The basket will be used for math stations. 

This is where I will display student work. 

Here is where my differentiated reading centers go. 

Storage wardrobes and my sensory table. My plans are to put a tree in the big open space above the sensory table. 

Focus Wall

Small group/teacher area. The bright paper on the wall just above the floor is where my sight words go. Above the word wall is my Smart Board (love). The bulletin board is my Data Wall. We are all required to have a data wall and display our student growth. 

Close up of my data wall. Watch Me GLOW! I made the pom poms and found the "glowworms" at Dollar Tree. The Neon lines are really shoelaces. The students will use clothes pins with their class number on them to track their growth. 

So that's a peak into my room. I love the bright colors and had fun putting it all together. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Getting Ready!

As I mentioned the other day, I have started working on my room. My little Cubs will be here in less than a week. I thought I was totally ready. After all, I spent hours working on new things for my room. However, I don't like it. UGH!!!!! I like the idea, it's just not working out the way I want. I have my welcome to Kindergarten banner up, it has a glare, hard to read the letters, and is too small. I have my focus wall up, I don't like the heading. I have my boarders up, I just don't think they are working. What to do, what to do!?!?!?!?! Redo almost everything. That's what I am doing today. I was so unhappy with the way it looked, that I didn't take any pictures. With hindsight, I should have. I might as well show the bad along with the good.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back to School!

Vacation is over!!! Hit four states in two weeks and had a great time with family and long time friends. I went to school yesterday to assess the damage. Not horrible, but not great either. Here's the before picture.
I was able to move all of the furniture where I wanted and exchange some furniture. After I was all done, our custodian came in and told me I would have to move 3 of my bookcases. NOT a happy camper! For the last 3 years they have been in the same place. That being said, it forced me to rethink EVERYTHING! While I wasn't thrilled about having to rearrange my room. I do like how I rearranged things. So, lesson learned! Being forced to change is often times a good thing. 

I also went in today. I got NOTHING done! The air was out and it was HOT!!!!!!!! Tomorrow is another day and I will get a lot done! Really, I will :) 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Week Lesson Plans

Typically I spend my summer working on plans for my room. I like change and try to do a new theme in my class every year. However, this year I decided that I would keep elements from last year and not really have a "Theme"! Shocking!!!!!!

By making this decision, I am freeing up my time to plan! So far I have my first week plans completely written, with all of the centers, stations, and word work completed. Here are my plans. I have linked the items that I purchased or got free of a site. If I forgot to link one, I'm sorry it wasn't intentional. Let me know and I will put the link on. First Week Lesson Plans

I did not link the photos of books, pins, or crafts. Sorry I just goggled what I wanted and then skimmed the images until I found what I was looking for. As  a disclaimer, I don't know when my specials will be. For the last two years I had the sames schedule. I will adjust if needed. 

Happy Planning! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monsters, Monster, and more Monsters!

My first theme of the year will be monsters. I have been busy making centers, finding good books, and writing lesson plans. For years I have done edible math on Fridays. This year I want to connect Food Fridays to my theme. So, I have been very bust planning out my year of Food Fridays. Today I want to share my first Food Friday for Made it Monday.

My boys and I made these Monster Cupcakes.

This is the finished product. They are super cute and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Step 1: Gather your materials. 

Cake mix (I used Blue Velvet)
Ingredients for cake
Dum Dum Suckers
Peach or Green Apple Rings
Frosting ( I am a big fan of homemade cakes and frostings! However, for making character and fancy cupcakes, cake mixes and canned frosting works best
Food coloring. I use Wilton gel. 
Make cupcakes according to directions
Scoop into lined cupcake pan ( I tried to use 1/2 of an ice cream scoop)
 Helpful Hint: You can make ahead and freeze. I prefer them to be frozen when we decorate. Little hands can't squish them as easily.

Step 2: Prepare Decorations

Poke Dum Dum through bottom of Peach Ring. We made two for each monster, but one would work also.
Color frosting - I use FREEZER quart storage bags. Place bag in a cup, put in frosting and color 
Mix color in bag by squishing (make sure you get all the air out before you zip close).

Step 3: Decorate

Glue marshmallow to the top of the cupcake. (use frosting as glue)
Snip off a small (very small) corner of freezer bag.
Frost by swirling frosting over the top of the cupcake. If you hold the bag above the cupcake
it makes strings, and they lay over the marshmallow. 
Once frosted, poke the "eyes" through the frosted marshmallow

I have made these cupcakes with children ages 5 and up. The kids have a blast and they turn out really cute. For my younger kiddos, I put the frosting in the bag but let them do the coloring. If they struggle with the "eyes" I will do it for them. On a side note, I do ask for parental help. I never have a problem getting parents to come in and help. I will be doing a post on how to involve parents when teaching at an Inner city, high ELL, high poverty school soon. 

For more fun ideas, hop over to 4th Grade Frolics, to link with lots more Made it Monday posts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday WOW! That's a great idea!

So, I mentioned before that I was overwhelmed after I left I Teach K! I learned so much and I am still trying to process that information. However, there were a couple of WOW moments that I want to share today. I do all of my teaching on the carpet. I love the proximity I have to my cubs and I can keep my eye on everyone. A pretty important thing when you have over 30 kids. One thing that I have struggled with is the amount of time it takes for supplies to be handed out. I now have a solution: CARPET BAGS! Thank you Kim Adsit from Kinder Gals! Such a simple solution to a big problem. What is a carpet bag. It is a bag assigned to each student that contains all the supplies the children are likely to need in a day. I found some on Oriental Trading that may work. They are reasonably priced and the colors I want. Carpet Bags
I also found my next WOW product on Oriental Trading. During one of the sessions Mr. Greg, from Smedley's Smorgasboard presented, he talked about these white boards. In the past I have attached my white boards to my clipboards. This year I wanted to go in a different direction. While they were a little more than I wanted, they are perfect. Shhh, Mr. K doesn't know I bought them yet. These paddles will fit in my carpet bags perfectly.
What’s the Answer? Dry Erase Paddles
I can't wait to make my carpet bags. I am sure they are the perfect solution. I will share them when I have them all put together.

What WOW moments have you had this summer?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Made It Monday!

Wow! It's been a "monstrous" week. My how time flies when you're having a blast! I spent the last week filling my brain with the most amazing information. Even though I live in Vegas, I have never been to I Teach K. It has been my goal since I went back to the classroom. This year I was fortunate enough to be able to go. I left feeling excited, invigorated, and overwhelmed. Knowing that school starts in a few short weeks and that I am going to visit my mom at the end of the month, I started working on my back to school lesson plans and centers.

Today I am linking up with Tara, from 4th Grade Frolics, I am sharing what I have made since I've been back. The clip art I used is from DJ Inkers and the font is KG. While I don't have a TPT store, I am willing to share my creations. If you see something that will work for you, leave me a comment and I will email it to you. You can always private message me on Facebook if you'd rather.

Wishing you a fabulous day! 

Monday, July 7, 2014


Today was the first day of I Teach K! I had a blast. I loved the sessions I went to. I will say, I changed one of the classes I had signed up for because I just wasn't feeling it. Yep, I said it. I'm sorry. But let's face it, I Teach K is expensive, I am glad they encourage you to change classes if you are not getting what you need out of the class you are attending.

I am a watcher! I can't tell you how much fun it was to sit back and watch all the people. I recognized so many of my favorite bloggers. Mr. Greg was a ROCK STAR! People were waiting in line to take pictures with him. It was fun to watch. I didn't get many pictures I was to busy watching. I will be better tomorrow.

Later Gators, I'm going to bed so I can be refreshed for tomorrow!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Five for Friday - July 4th

Today I thought I would link up with Kacy from Doodle Bugs and give you a little peek into my world.

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I LOVE the 4th of July! I am PROUD to be an American. That being said, let the celebrations begin. 

Love my handsome father. 16 years old and off to fight in WWII! 
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On Sunday, my family and I took a ride on the High Roller! If your coming to Vegas for I Teach K, I recommend taking a ride.
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Participated in my first ever Twitter chat, hosted by Debbie Clements.  Perfect for a first timer. Super fun! Will be doing this again.
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Trying to decide how to cut my hair. I have long hair now and think it's time to go short and sassy.
Maybe an A-Line. My boys have told me NO Willy Wonka hair cut!!!!!
Apparently, last hair cut looked a lot like this. HEE HEE!!
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Finally, I'm having a GIVEAWAY!!!!!! 

That's it folks. Looking forward to I Teach K and going to this,