Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thinking and Writing with Pictures Fun Freebie!

If you could have been a fly on the wall...

Yesterday I put this thinking prompt on the screen for my smart kinders. 

Ooooh! Ahhhh! The critical, creative and precious thinking of my kiddos.

Who is the owner of these shoes?

Pete the Cat! He already stepped in lots of things.

Pete the Cat's brothers and sisters. There are different sizes of shoes.

They belong to a farmer. That looks like the things in a barn. The stalls.

They are in Africa. Some people in Africa don't have shoes, so these are out so that people can come choose their shoes to match their shirts.

The shoes are in New York City. They are at a market. You can buy them. They don't have matches. See the price tag?

Clowns. Clowns wear them in a circus.

Now it's your turn to try this out with your kids. Go get your freebie.

I would love for you to leave a comment and share of your own students' ideas about this photo.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Extreme Classroom Makeovers...Three Rooms!

Seriously? Some of you lovely ladies are just now going to back to school?! For me that was soooo yesterday. Soooo last month. Yep, my room already has scratch marks, carpet stains and a broken lamp. But here is how it looked waaaay back in July. Can't you just smell the fresh wax and the dry-erase board cleaner?

Here it is after the room fairy came...yeah, right.

My room is a fairly small space for 25 kids. The year I had 28 I took out as much furniture as possible. Where do the kids sit? More on that in another post.

This here is Tex. He's outgrown his habitat, you might say.

Ready for open house night! Yes. That does say July 31. (The good news is we get a one week break every nine weeks.)

Homey autographed copy of an Eric Carle book along with art and gifts from former students. I even have a book of mine from Kindergarten. That might be an antique!

The walls look bare now, but they are waiting for anchor charts and thinking maps.

This is how I organize some of my guided reading group materials.

My diffuser for my DoTerra essential oils is one of my favorite things in my room!

I think my room looks clean, organized and inviting. But if you want to win some contests you have to go down the hall. Two of our first-grade teachers had their rooms ready before the rest of us tip-toed back in for the first time. Please meet a wonderful first-grade teacher Laurie Bradshaw!

We love Laurie, but we also love her husband because he put all of our Ikea lights up in our rooms! 


This is my favorite part of Laurie's room. You see, the teacher who was in this room before her (yours truly) took the doors off the cabinets. I mean WHO does that?! She has cleverly covered the holes.

Next door is first-grade teacher Kyrsten Haynes.

How about those cutie chair covers that Kyrsten sewed over the summer? And did she paint chalkboard paint on the cabinet doors? Oh, yes she did.

I hope you've been inspired by a peek into these rooms. If you're ever in Macon, Georgia, come on in!

For more extreme classroom makeovers, be sure to visit The Primary Gal to see the linky.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bright Ideas: Teacher's Life Video

Do your students seem shocked to see you at the grocery store? Have you ever been asked where you sleep when you are at school at night? If you teach kinders, you know that sometimes the children are surprised to find out that you don't live at school! (Even though some weeks you feel like you really do!) 

Whether you teach younger or older kids, all students want to know more about their teacher's lives. After all, they love you and think you are a superstar, right? Why not make a quick video about your life after school?
See one of my doggies waiting for me by the door?

They might be surprised you go the gym. ("My mommy does that, too!) Or they might be interested to find out you have five dogs at your house. (That would be yours truly.) And don't worry about cleaning up...they are more interested in the 4 boxes of ice cream in your freezer than the dust bunnies on your floor! 
Introducing Harper Lee, one of my rescue dogs.
Feeling a little bit nosey like the kids? Well, while you are here, I'd love for you to follow my blog or visit my Facebook page.

For bright ideas from more than 100 teachers,  browse through the link up below for grades or topics that interest you.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Pete the Cat...It's All Good

It looks like Pete the Cat threw up all over my room. Yes, the picture is blurry...I think I was getting dizzy at this point. Just kidding. As Pete would say, "It's all good." 

We set out to complete our first art project with our 25 kinders today. It took all three of us (me, my parapro and the student teacher) to get the job done. And in case you didn't know, the reason you have a parapro, is because SHE gets to help unnamed student trace and cut a tail FOUR times. Ah, the patience, the commitment, the dedication of that sweet gal!

The first goal was to work on tracing patterns, cutting on the lines and following directions. Then we let go and let the children cut their own eyes, whiskers, legs, noses and shoe laces. The variety of skill levels created some cats that are simply PRECIOUS.

This week we used another chart I've had for years. (You know I love my old school stuff.) I'm sure you won't be surprised who stole the cookies. It's all good, though. Pete sent some cookies that really delivered on great math counting and conversation about whole and halves. 

Pete also helped us do some sorting and graphing this week. Here's a look at our favorite shoe colors.

Yep. Those are my feet. I get my teaching groove on when I'm shoeless.

Just in case you didn't know, there are some groovy downloads at the Pete the Cat HarperCollins site.

The beginning of our year has been just "purr-fect" thanks to Pete. What Pete activities do you use in your room?
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