Monday, July 24, 2017

Communication Calendar Update!

For all of you amazing teachers, home-school teachers, day care providers, and moms (or dads!) who use my Communication Calendars to communicate your child's behavior, you are in luck! I have updated the file so that you will have access to a new school year free of charge! I hate buying something, only to have it need to be renewed soon after. Because I know the struggle of trying to maintain a classroom on a very (VERY!) limited budget, I did not want to make those who have already purchased this product pay for another year. I appreciate your business and hope you have had success with my Communication Calendars.

If  you have NOT used my Communication Calendars in the past, let me introduce you to the most powerful tool I use in my classroom on a daily basis.

Communication Calendars are more than just an event calendar, more than just a behavior chart, more than just a model for classroom management. Communication Calendars are a way to COMMUNICATE to parents on a daily basis about events, behavior, successes, homework, set-backs, whatever you need to communicate. The reason they are so useful is because they are EDITABLE. Communication Calendars are a PowerPoint file and all you need to do is insert a text box to add what you need to the calendar. Please see my post on how to edit the calendar. :) I use these calendars every day for behavior. I put field trips and school event on them. I add holidays, homework due dates, and even a place for parents to initial that homework has been completed. They stay in my students take-home folders for the entire month. Take a look:
 By giving parents the ability to see, daily, how their child is doing in school and giving them the opportunity (in advance) to see upcoming events and homework due dates, parents are empowered and support the kiddos. I think of these calendars as my most important tool because they are so versatile. I hope you download and enjoy this resource. I know me and my AMAZING team have used them for years and cannot live without them.

New Home, New Adventure!

Hi everyone! I know it has been awhile (a long while, I know...) but, it is because I have moved! My family and I relocated to Portland, OR this month and are still getting adjusted to our new lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Needless to say, I am on the hunt for a new school and a new adventure. I am so excited to get to know the families in the area and find a spot of my own in which to teach. My husband is the newest employee at the Nike World Headquarters and I could not be more proud of him for getting his dream job. Not it is my turn to get my dream job! I will keep you posted on where I will find my next school In the meantime, I will be posting new products on TpT and giving away freebies! Happy Summer!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Butterflies are Out!

Our butterflies have come out of their chrysalis! We actually saw 2 of them nibble their way out, just this morning! Our life cycle is complete and we are so happy to have them.

Fun Fact: A caterpillar's body completely dissolves inside the chrysalis. They will basically get "put back together" as a butterfly, with pigment to dye the scales on their wings. That is the red stuff you see on the white disc.

Fun Fact: We will feed our butterflies the juice from a Cutie until we let them go in the wild. They love to eat everything from flower nectar, to rotten fruit, to turtle tears!

The metamorphosis of a butterfly, ladybug, and even honey bees is incredible. A true demonstration of life itself. It is always a great day to see my students see a butterfly emerge. 

Your child has brought home their Butterfly Observation Journal. Take a few minutes to talk to them about it and how amazing butterflies truly are.

Earth(worm) Day!

On Friday, we celebrated Earth(worm) Day!

This is a fun day where we get to investigate earthworms. We learned about the special job they have and how they are so important to the earth and our garden. One of the amazing books we read was Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser.

Then the fun part began! We got to get up close and personal with some real earthworms! Because Kindergarten already had a worm house, we had the worms visit us for a couple of days.

 Bella was extra brave during her investigation!

 Avery and his worm got along just fine. 

After we had a little time to get to know each other, each student did an investigation page. Then we tallied our responses. Needless to say, most of the worms were slimy, wiggly, and long.

Today we made Worms in Dirt!
If you don't already know, Worms in Dirt is chocolate pudding and crushed chocolate cookies to make the soil. Then we put in gummy worms. (No one wanted the real worms in their cup, go figure!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ladybug Time!

We have been studying the life cycle of a ladybug this week! We have watched them change from small larvae to big  larvae and they are now in their pupa.

Ladybug Larvae

Ladybugs in their pupa.

Ladybug Art

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Little Carrots Bunny

With Easter coming up fast, I thought I would post a craft that I do with my Kinders every year. This craft would work with any elementary grade, too. His name is Little Carrots and my kids just love him. Click on the image to download the template.
Available for free on my TpT Store.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Learning About Our Food

We began our garden unit by discussing where our food comes from and all of the different types of food. We discussed food groups, portion control, and what is healthy and not healthy. Here are a few of our activities:
 The Food Pyramid
We learned about the different food groups we should be eating at each meal.
We discussed where we get our food. Answers varied from restaurant to grocery store to garden at their own house.
We learned where food is grown and how important farms are to everyone.
We read the story Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. This funny book is about a Hare who tricks a Bear into harvesting either the tops or bottoms of the plants. Of course, the tricky Hare gets to choose the plants!
We sorted our fruits and veggies into where they grow. 

This week we are building our knowledge about food so that we can actually grow a garden together!
All of these activities can be found in  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Butterfly Observation

Each year my Kinders observe metamorphosis right before their eyes! We watch caterpillars change to butterflies and Ladybug larvae change into ladybugs. We are still in the caterpillar stage and are documenting all of our observations. I thought I would post a FREEBIE of our journals.

Caterpillars Day 5

My Science Journal: Growing My Food

Spring Science is here!

My school has really embraced Inquiry-Based Learning and the idea of giving kids the opportunity to learn about things that benefit our community. One of the biggest projects on our campus is a school garden. We have vegetables, flowers, chickens, geese, ducks, hummingbirds, quails and even goats! The garden is run by 3rd grade students, but is assisted by all of the other grades. As an outreach to the little ones, we have partnered with the Tractor Supply Store and are working to have every grade level learn how to grow their own food!

Adapting big projects so that little hands can participate is one of my favorite parts of being a teacher. My newest unit is just that... Growing My Food. Take a look.

We are just beginning this unit, so I will keep you updated on our adventure into farming!

Monday, January 16, 2017


I am a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) teacher. PLTW is a program that uses computer science, engineering, and biomedical science to engage students in the type of world they are growing up in. PLTW is a curriculum that spans from Kindergarten to high school, and I love how it makes my students think, problem solve, and collaborate.

We are working on computer science during this unit, and it directly corresponds to our NPDL Big Cat Project. In this unit, students will learn what an "algorithm", or process is and how to apply it to a problem. In this case, our problem is to help an animal meet its needs.

Students will use an algorithm, and later a computer "program" to help an animal find 1) food and 2) shelter. We are studying big cats in our class, and the program they design will create an animated movie to support their project.

The first step to learning how to code is to understand that they have to design a path, or an algorithm, for their animal to follow. In this lesson, we used a grid board, magnets, and dry erase markers to create that algorithm. Students were required to design it, then test it to see if it worked. They would test it by writing their code on a seperate piece of paper, erasing the steps in the grid, and using the code that they wrote to see if the process still worked. If it didn't, there was a "Bug in the System" and they had to try again. Take a look:

 Placed animal, food and shelter on the grid.
They drew a path, with steps going through the food and shelter so that could pick them up. 

 Writing the code.

 Testing the code.

 Re-working the code.

On their forth try, and not giving up!

My students were AMAZING at this lesson. Our next step is to use a program called Scratch, Jr. to create an animated movie, using a code of their own design.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Adding 1 More

We are working on adding one more. The idea that each number means a quantity and that the quantity goes up by 1 at each new number, is a powerful concept and is easily taken for granted. By visualizing 1 more, students can see the power behind their numbers.

Using SumBlox, we can see that numbers grow and that each number has a bigger quantity.

 Partner game where one person puts down a number card the other person puts down a card that is 1 more. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter is Here!

Ok, so it's not here in the sense that there is snow. But, it is super cold and we have been exploring the idea of snow and reading some amazing winter books!

My favorite snowman story is Sadie and the Snowman. She has to rebuild her snowman every time it melts! Another one of our favorites is Snowmen at Night. We read this story and thought about what our snowmen would do at night. Take a look:

If you would like a FREE temple please click here

We also learned about how snowflakes form. My students were amazed to see that water is made of molecules and that when they freeze they can make cool designs. We did a Fun Food snack in which we started with the basic shape of a snowflake, a hexagon, and built symmetrical arms coming off of it. It was a difficult talk to create, but they did an incredible job. Plus, it was delicious!

09 10 01 09 10