A Bunch of Grouchy Kiddos

We kicked off our insect week off with reading and discussing the Eric Carle classic, The Grouchy Ladybug. I could have picked any day this week to study this book, but since it was the first day back to school from spring break, I felt that it would fit the mood perfectly because, let's face it, I was a tad bit grouchy about spring break being over. Ugh! End of pity party...

I created a great Grouchy Ladybug craftivity for my students for making a text to self connection. We talked about what makes us feel grouchy, we wrote about it, and then turned ourselves into adorable grouchy ladybugs. Check them out!

We ended by talking about whether we enjoyed the book or not. The wonderful exit slip was created by Kreative in Kinder

I look forward to getting buggy with my Kinders this week. Oh, and as promised in previous post about Easter Bunny Rabbit Glyph... I finally finished my spring/Easter bulletin board. I am in love. 

Glyph Love

Anyone who knows me, knows that I looooooove glyphs. I love that my students learn listening skills when we do glyphs, and they don't even know it. They just think they are having fun. They get so excited when they put all of the pieces together and see their final product based on how they answered the glyph questions.

For Easter, I have created, not to toot my own horn, but an absolutely adorable bunny rabbit glyph to put out on our bulletin board. This is my first time creating my own glyph, and I could not be more pleased with it. I failed to take pictures of my students while they were putting these together, but I will definitely have to post our Easter/spring themed bulletin board when I get their bunnies up. This is available in my TpT store if you are interested.

Click the picture below to see this on my TpT store.

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up

I had the wonderful opportunity this past weekend to attend a spring blogger meet up at the gorgeous French Lick Resort with 50+ other teacher bloggers. This was something that was completely done on each of our own time and money, and was completely worth it. I was able to meet teacher bloggers from around my state, Indiana, and from other states in the U.S. It really is a wonderful thing when you get to meet up with others who understand what your job is like and what you go through day to day. It is an even better thing when you get to bounce ideas off of other teachers. I came away with some wonderful friendships, and with access to blogs with great ideas.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend...

The girls from my district whom I got to attend this event with. Their blogs are on my 
Meet My Blogging Friends Page. Be sure to check them out!

 This blogger meet up would not have been possible without the wonderful Holly Ehle (pictured far left). She coordinated this entire event, and I can't wait to meet up again in the future.
Thanks, Holly!

There were some very generous sponsors for this event. To name a few, Vera Bradley, Kaeden, Jamberry, Scentos, Erin Condren, SDE, Crayola, and Schoolgirl Style.


I have recently opened my bloglovin' account. What is bloglovin'? That is exactly what I was wanting to know after hearing all about it. If you are in the same boat that I was, bloglovin' is a great website and phone app to help you follow all of your favorite blogs all in one place. For someone who likes convenience, such as myself, it is perfect. With that being said, if you would like to keep up with all of the fun learning going on in my classroom, click the bloglovin' button on the right of my page to begin following.

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11999947/?claim=uhxe4nwcfpq">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Open for business...finally!

I have had the intentions of opening up a Teachers Pay Teachers store since the beginning of the school year in order to share all of the things that I have made since starting school. Although I only have a few Easter and classroom decor/bulletin board items up, I have finally got it up and running. I am officially open for business, and I am so excited to share all of my creations. I am especially proud of the letter pennant banner and number line. They are going to go perfectly in my boho bird theme next year. Be sure to check out my store, and take advantage of my free Easter color by sight words, simple addition, and numbers papers. Also, coming soon, not to toot my own horn, but I have created an absolutely adorable Easter bunny glyph. Be sure to follow my store to check out the glyph when I get it uploaded.

Click the pictures of my items to get full description, pricing information, etc.


Tricky Lil' Leprechauns

My class LOVES to do graphs. I am not entirely sure why, but every week that we have graphs involved, they get really into it. Today was no different. In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, we used the Lil Country Librarian's leprechaun graph. 

We began with a discussion on whether we have been tricked by a leprechaun before or not. If they said yes, they got a pot of gold piece to put on our chart. If they said no, they got a rainbow piece to put on the chart. The pack came with a graphing paper to supplement our group chart and to analyze our data.

While doing the graph, I, of course, was receiving all sorts of stories of how leprechauns had tricked some of my students. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to get them to write! I passed out our writing journals and told my class to write about if they have been tricked by a leprechaun or not. If they had been tricked, they had to write what the leprechaun did. If they hadn't been tricked, they had to write what they would do if a leprechaun was trying to trick them. I got some wonderful responses. Those leprechauns sure can be tricky little fellas. ;)
"I have been tricked. He 'stilled' (stole) my baby doll."

"I have been tricked. He woke me up."

"I have been tricked. He said that the water was on."

There are still a couple days to grab this leprechaun graph from Teachers Pay Teachers to do with your kiddos. Hopefully they'll enjoy it as much as my class did. 

Digraph Pots of Gold

To continue on with our St. Patrick's Day theme, my small group today worked with the ch, sh, and th digraphs. They each had their own handful of gold coins and they had to take turns putting the gold coins in the pot of gold it belonged in based on it's digraph.

Flexibility at it's Finest

With the recent heat wave in Southern Indiana, my classroom can't seem to cool down. My kiddos came in from their last recess, sweaty and out of breath, and couldn't seem to catch a break to cool down because, even with the windows open, our room was so (dare I say it?) hot! We all sat in anticipation for a gust of wind to blow through our two open windows, that unfortunately, never came. Today we had reached our frustration level with it, and just had to get out.

As the result, some great activities popped into my mind. The first, not so original, but still, nonetheless, effective.

I borrowed some sidewalk chalk from a fellow Kinder teacher, and we headed outside.
We practiced our new set of spelling words and practiced a few addition and subtraction problems. The kids were having fun and were still practicing the same things we would have been doing in class, just having more fun while doing it, and let's be honest, more cool (literally) way. It definitely allowed us to get our excess energy out, and practice what I felt we needed to review in math. Practicing our spelling words was just an added bonus.

Following this activity, I continued to not want to be confined to my classroom. Pride aside, I literally just pulled an idea completely out of thin air. I don't typically like to do this because my OCD doesn't allow for it, but it really worked today, and my kiddos LOVED it. Here's what happened...

While outside working with the sidewalk chalk, I began to think about all of the ESGI testing that I really should have been doing for report cards that are due in a week and a half. I thought about the high frequency/sight/star words that we had not covered yet in class due to all of the snow days, but that will still show up on their test for their report cards. I absolutely despise testing over something that we have yet to cover in class; it is completely setting them up to fail. On Monday, I pulled the cards with the words on them that we haven't covered yet, but that are on the test, and have spent some time each morning devoted just to those words. (We always devote ten minutes each morning to our star words, but I have been spending extra time just on these words because they haven't seen them before this week.) So today was the second day of going over those words. So while I was standing outside with my mind going a million miles an hour trying to figure out a better method of getting them to learn them, and in a quicker manner, a star words musical chairs type of game was born.

I took pieces of construction paper and wrote each of the new words on them. We then headed for the cafeteria/gymnasium where I set the pieces of paper all around the floor. I had eight cards down at a time, and had nine students playing each round. Here is how the game went: nine students stood in a circle in the middle of the gym at the start of the game. The students on the sidelines said "Go!" and then began reciting our nursery rhyme this week, "Little Boy Blue." (The nursery rhyme played the part the music plays in musical chairs. Great way to get them to practice their nursery rhyme without them knowing it. *insert evil laugh here.*) The students who were in the circle ran around the gym until the nursery rhyme was over. At that time, they found a piece of paper with a star word on it and sat down next to it. Only one student per card.  Anyone who didn't have a card, was out of the game and had to go sit out on the sidelines. I then went around and had each student say the word on their card. If they knew it, they got to stay in the game for the next round. If they didn't, they had to sit out a round and wait for their next turn. In order to keep the game challenging, I had to come up with some provisions. **They could not go to the same card if they stayed in the game for more than one round. **They also were not allowed to sit until the nursery rhyme was over because you better believe a few of them would run straight to a card and sit on it and not allow anyone around it the moment they had the chance, unless they had this rule.

Now, it may sound cruel to you that I would have the students who get their words wrong sit out of the next round, when they had only spent two days working on these words, but you would be surprised by how many miraculously knew them all of a sudden. Not to mention, we played several rounds and they started catching on to listening when others were saying the words on the cards, just in case they didn't know it and ended up with that card when they had their turn.  We played several times, and everyone got numerous turns. By the end of it, my students were wore out, but were already asking me if we could play again tomorrow. I knew at that point that they had no idea that my evil plan for them to learn those words ASAP had worked! They just thought I was letting them play. Mission accomplished.

Now, I am not trying to put anyone under the impression that by the end every single one of my students all of a sudden knew all of the 10+ words on the cards, but they certainly knew them better than they did before. Also, I bet more than anything else, they will be paying closer attention when we go over them in the morning tomorrow, just in case we were to play again in the afternoon. Everyone wants to stay in the game as long as possible, at whatever cost it may be. Even if it is to pay attention and learn some star words from the teacher. ;)

St. Patrick's Day Nonsense

Since St. Patrick's Day falls on a Monday this year, our Kindergarten team's theme study this week is all about St. Patty's Day.

My small group is working on nonsense word fluency pretty extensively here lately, so I created a NWF activity with a St. Patrick's Day swing to it. This week, I really saw some progress and growth in their ability to stretch out the words, and they worked together to decide if the word on each shamrock was a real or silly word.

I was extremely proud at the end of our small group session today, and I can't wait to do the exact same activity later this week and see how they do. (I like to repeat the same activity such as this with this particular small group because they tend to understandably do better the second time around and they feel like experts at the end. The confidence boost works wonders!)

P.S. I am currently working on setting up my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and will have this activity as well as one other St. Patrick's Day literacy center activity on there before too long. I will be sure to let all of my fellow bloggers and followers know when my store is up and running in case you want this activity for your own class. Check back for the update. :)

If You Give a Mouse a...

Today we did a craftivity with a short writing prompt that continued our discussion on the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" book. The writing prompt said, "If you give a mouse a _________________ then it will want a _____________." As a class, we shared our ideas of what we could write about in the blanks to complete the sentence, just to get our creative "juices" going. We then worked on the writing prompt and put together the craft. Here was the result. I picked a few of the most creative examples from the class. Enjoy! 

If You Give a Kindergartener a Cookie...

Just a short post over a fun activity we did in class today. My kiddos loved it so much, I just had to share! We began our thematic study on Laura Numeroff books today with "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." Our follow up activity was "If You Give a Kindergartener a Cookie." We began by tasting both a chocolate chip cookie and an Oreo.

We then graphed which cookie we enjoyed more: the chocolate chip or the Oreo.  

Followed by, analyzing our data. Such a quick, meaningful activity that involved a lot of fun. I now look forward to our "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" day tomorrow.