Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Fun!

I know I'm a little crazy obsessed unique but isn't that a good thing?  One of my favorite things about being a teacher is coming up with new, fun ideas to teach the content to my little ones.  My absolute favorite part of the weekend (other than sleep) is waking up on a Saturday morning to make new games and projects.  Strange, I know :)

One of my goals for this year is to bring you more pictures of how the products I create are used.  The problem with that is I always forget to take the pictures, lol.  Kindergarten is a very busy place, especially with 25 little ones.  Please know it is on my to-do list to take more action shots of the kids playing my games and products.  I do have a few to share, as well as some pictures of things I made and use in my classroom.

This first picture is a VITAL part of my classroom.  I teach this in the beginning of the year and reinforce it regularly.  All teachers now-a-days are required to do soooo much testing!  With older students, they can generally understand when to NOT interrupt.  The little ones however have no concept of this.  I can't tell you how many times I was assessing a student counting to 100 and had to start over because we were interrupted.  Can you say FRUSTRATING?!?!?!  Well, here is my simple solution and it works GREAT!

I simply printed and laminated a Stop Sign. I found the paperclip stand at the Dollar Store.  The kids know when they see the stop sign I am not available unless it's an emergency (bleeding or throwing up.)  Otherwise they need to wait.  Once I've introduced it and practiced it I've had no trouble with interruptions. It works great during my Guided Reading group time as well!

One of my favorite centers in my room is my Writing Center.  My former classrooms have never had enough space to have a "designated" area so I was thrilled when this room did!  It was the first center I set up.  You can't see from the picture but off to the right is a shelf with Writing Center Supplies.  Hanging on the wall are my Number and Color Word reference cards.  Click here for Number Cards (free) and here for Color Cards (free.)  My students go to the Writing Center 3 times during a 6-day rotation.  On the first day, they Rainbow write their new sight words and write a sentence using one of the words.  On the second day, they can finish their work from day 1 if needed or they move on to the second activity (varies.)  I keep lots of scrapbooking papers, markers, and other crafty-type things so on the third day they can write a card to their parents.  It's a great way to show parents how much progress they are making throughout the year!

I also keep a writing binder for our monthly writing journals.  This is our first year doing this and so far so good.  Each month, I put the kids writing journals in their binder.  It's a great resource to show parents during conferences and also to show the students how much progress they've made during writing conferences.  At the end of the year, I send the binder home as a keepsake for the parents.

Here is a cute picture of my kids playing Winter Roll and Record.  They absolutely LOVE this game!  This game comes ready to laminate and go!  The students roll two dice, add the numbers together and place a pom-pom over the number on the mat.  It helps with addition facts up to 12 and it's definitely helped my struggling students with number identification!  To download this game click here.  I am also working on another version so stay tuned.

The last thing I want to share with you is a game called Hot Chocolate.  This game is played the same as Crazy Candy Canes (which is pictured below.)  You place the cards in the center of the table. Player 1 takes a card and reads the sight word. If they read it correctly, they keep the card. If not it gets returned to the pile. Player 2 repeats the same steps.  Play continues until someone picks up a Hot Chocolate card.  That player loses all their cards!  The player with the most cards at the end wins.  Such a simple game but my students beg to play it, and c'mon....they don't even realize they're learning!!!!  To download Hot Chocolate click here.  I also have Hot Chocolate for 1st and 2nd Grade. They are grade-level sight words taken from the Dolch list.

Well, that's all for now.  I promise to get my camera charged up and bring you more photos soon!  Thanks for stopping and have a GREAT weekend!!!!




  1. Hi Lori! Congratulations on your engagement! Your blog is great, and it makes me wish I were teaching little ones! I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Stop by my blog for the info. I tried to use cut and paste it for an easy link to my blog, but I still don't know how to use it!Sorry!
    Darlene, from Meatballs in the Middle


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