Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Run, run, as fast as you can!

This week, we had lots of fun with the Gingerbread man in K4!  We read stories online here and here!  We also read Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. 

We colored our own gingerbread houses with gingerbread babies inside.  IMG_20111207_121437IMG_20111207_121432

The gingerbread house is from HERE!  You can print my gingerbread baby page here:

Gingerbread Baby

  We also made a huge, 3-dimensional hallway display of our gingerbread man glyphs.  You can read the glyphs using the key posted by our gingerbread house.  Come check it out soon!













For more gingerbread fun at home, check out my pinterest page!  (Click the pinterest logo below.)  You can decorate your own gingerbread houses and men on many different pages or practice re-reading/retelling the story!

Pinterest Logo


We will be continuing with more gingerbread fun next week since I have so many more fun activities to complete thanks to all the wonderful bloggers out there!  I will be using Deanna Jump’s gingerbread emergent reader from TPT - HERE!  Plus, I have several books I’m waiting to get my hands on at the library -

…and we still need to find time to read…

Whew…I’ll be running as fast as I can to Winter break!  A little over 2 weeks of the holiday craziness to get through.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Donors Choose–matched donations this week only!

Please consider donating to my Donors Choose project this week...all donations will be matched if you use the code SPARK - enter SPARK during check-out where it says "I have a gift or match code" - and voila! The donation is automatically doubled.


Thank you!


Giveaway at Mrs. Maya’s Kindergarten!

Ooooh, you can find a great giveaway over at Jamie’s blog!  She is giving one lucky reader a Heidi Songs DVD – Singable Songs for Letters & Sounds. 

Go check out the giveaway and enter HERE!

Mrs. Mayas' Kindergarten

Thursday, November 17, 2011

“Pie” Charts!

Just had to share a fun pie chart I’m doing with my kiddos next week.  We will be making pumpkin “pies” (crushed graham crackers, vanilla pudding with a smidge of pumpkin pie from a can, and some whipped cream) thanks to my smarty pants co-worker!  Then, we will create a pie chart of our favorite pie.  The kids will color their piece of the “pie” according to the key and then we will group them together on our chart.  I made the surrounding area look similar to a pie crust just to reinforce that this is a *PIE* chart.  I know they will love it!  We made a quick favorite veggie pie chart today using a simple circle drawn in paint divided into equal-ish parts.  The kids then used the paint bucket to drop color into the “pie pieces.”  Great way to explore graphing with the four-year-olds!


I have to say a big thank you to my previous co-teacher who showed me this fun way of creating pie charts with the kids!  Although, we had never made a pie chart about pies with the 5-K kiddos!   Smile 

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alphabet Sounds

My school district uses No More Letter of the Week to teach the letter sounds.  I created a half-page folded book for my little ones to practice the sounds with.  All images are from No More Letter of the Week found here.

Alphabet Book 10.31

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nutty November!

I can’t believe November is just around the corner!  This year has flown by so fast…Christmas will be here before I know it!  I’ve started making a few things for my November investigation stations.  I need my kiddos to continue to practice subitizing sets of numbers (easy practice with dice), so I created this printable using a coloring page from here.

Please leave me a message if you download and use!


Turkey Roll and Color


Also, completely off topic, but I had to share the photos taken yesterday of my little peanut!

Here’s one of my favorites:


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything

We read this story today before our Harvest Party and I made a cute little powerpoint to review the sequence of scarecrow parts.  If you touch the shoes, shirt, etc. they will move.  Touch the lady to move to the next page.   (Download from Scribd for best results!)



Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything

Monday, October 17, 2011

The most important classroom rules

In 4K, I need my students to learn their letters and numbers, write their name, and learn letter sounds; however, more importantly I need them to be a good friend, be responsible, and DREAM BIG!  I created this little poster for my classroom to remind my kiddos and those who enter what is most important in our classroom.


Classroom Rules Copy


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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Take a peek at my (next) week…

I always love reading the peek at my week posts over at

so I just had to share my own.  This is actually the first week this school year that I’ve been able to really sit down and type everything out.  So far, I had just been going off a list of things I wanted to accomplish/read/investigate and making sure I did as much as I could.  I’m sure that’s not the most effective way to teach, but it’s all I could seem to manage.  Next week, we begin our parent observations so I really needed to get organized!  Parents will come in and observe our class for the entire class period and then we will have a 15 minute conference – yikes!  This is going to be a long couple of months. 
Well, anyway, here’s my plans for next week.  (Keep in mind, I have an AM group and a PM group.  Each class is 2.5 hours long.)
Peek and My Week 10_10

Okay, enough posting from me for one weekend! 

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More Firefighter Fun!

Here is an activity I created to use this week with my little ones in our guided investigation stations.  The Kindergarten classes are working on labeling in their Stephanie Harvey unit, so I wanted to give my littles a taste of the labeling fun!  Please leave me a comment if you use this activity!  The firefighter image is from Coloring Pages for Kids.
Firefighter Labeling Actiivty

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fire Prevention Week

Next week we will be learning about the letter F and fire prevention.  My partner always uses the fingerplay Five Little Firefighters, so I wanted to create a powerpoint to use on our smartboards.  I love all the photographs that Microsoft Publisher offers, too, which ties in nicely with all of our nonfiction books!
The powerpoint looks a little odd in the scribd preview, but looks fine once downloaded.  Please leave a comment if you like or use this powerpoint!  Enjoy.  Smile
Five Little Firefighters

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Block Play Freebie!

Great way to post learning intentions/targets for all to see…block play is SO important!
Blocks - What are we learning?
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teaching (and learning!) Self-Control

I posted this on my classroom blog tonight, as well, but thought others could benefit from reading it as well!
My husband shared an interesting article with me this evening about how children acquire new knowledge.  He was intending it for me to read and relate to our 11-month-old daughter, but the following excerpt relates well to the four- and five-year-olds!
quotation marks
Teaching Self-Control
Aamodt and Wang also emphasize the importance of teaching your children self-control from an early age.
"This is really critical because there are so many things parents want to do when they read parenting books," he says. "They take steps to teach their children math or reading ... but a big thing we can do for our children is to do the best to foster the development of self-control and willpower. Self-control and the ability to restrain impulses is associated with success at every age, whether it means being able to read at age 4, or being able to restrain impulses at a later age, or even what your peers think of you in high school. At all of these ages, willpower and self-control is a stronger predictor of academic success than IQ."
When children are young, they can learn self-control by focusing on any fun activity — whether that means studying martial arts or playing with dolls and planning a make-believe tea party.
"It gives the child practice at planning and organizing a series of topics to achieve a desired goal," says Aamodt. "When you're planning a tea party, you can't be acting like a fighter pilot. You have to be acting like a lady having a tea party. So pretending is one of the earliest types of exposure most kids get to planning and organizing their actions. And the more you practice that, the better you're going to be at it."
Making sure your child has fun while learning self-control is vitally important. Aamodt and Wang recommend, for instance, telling your child to pretend he or she is protecting a castle instead of just saying, "Stand still."
"Taking advantage of a child's natural sense of fun is a terrific way to instill these things," says Wang. "This is not the kind of thing that works well if it's forced. It can be something as easy as pretending to guard the castle or playing a take-turns game where you say, 'I'm going to draw an ear on this piece of paper, and when you see an ear, then it's your time to listen. And if you see a mouth on this other piece of paper, then it's your time to talk.' So all of these things can be done in very simple ways — in ways that are often fun — and the more fun it is, the more likely the child is to pay attention for a longer period of time. These things are fun, they don't cost money, and anybody can do it." quotation marks

Read the entire article here.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

“Just keep swimming…”

Whew, I am feeling quite overwhelmed today!  We had a quick meet-and-greet this afternoon and I got to meet many of my lovely littles, but they left quite a mess to clean up before school starts tomorrow!  I feel a bit frazzled and completely unprepared for tomorrow – especially since my school failed to order pencils (or add them to a supply list) and had the most random supply list ever.  Ah well, I need to focus on the positive – so grateful to have a job in a nice school, a lovely neighborhood, and a great district.  I can do this!  Good luck to everyone on their first day of school tomorrow – kids and teachers alike.
Just keep swimming!
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Day Jitters!

I’ve seen these all around the blog world and just had to do it for my little kiddos.  I definitely have my own jitters this year as I start this new adventure.  As usual, I’m nervous about leaving my little peanut yet again…I just *loved* being home with her all summer!
I just wanted to share my fancied up first day jitters poem with you all!  Let me know if you want a copy with your name and room number and I’ll send you the pdf.
First Day Jitters

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Tour of Room 115


Welcome to our classroom!  To skip the description and see the slideshow, scroll all the way down. 


When you enter the classroom and turn right, you will see our computers, writing center, and word (letter/sound) wall.  I am not loving how this turned out and may switch things up a bit.IMG_20110824_130225

When you go past the writing center you will find our math manipulatives and the big easel.  Big thanks to my sister for letting me “borrow” her chair to use as my teacher chair!IMG_20110824_130255

This is the front of the classroom including the blocks shelf and what will soon be our calendar area!  I finally made it to the teacher store this afternoon so I can put up my new calendar next time I make it to my building.  (We have inservice for the next two days.)IMG_20110824_130301

Here you can see my desk, the smartboard, and another easel/big book stand.IMG_20110824_130305

These are some of the many books and some of my teaching supplies.


Here are a few of my favorite furry friends!


The housekeeping center:IMG_20110824_130336

Our reading area…could use a small rug in this area!








The back of the room – bulletin boards, easel, sand table, and our sink.  I love, love, love the Eric Carle fabric.  Found it at!








Thanks for checking out my classroom!





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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grade-Level Linky Party

I just linked up to the grade-level linky party at The Teacher's Lane.  Go check it out here:

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Weekend Projects

Just wanted to show off a couple of classroom projects I finished during naptime today.  Pardon the poor lighting due to the gray skies we have here in Wisconsin today!

Bunting for across my (many) windows:


For the bunting, I used these triangle patterns.  I made my bunting one-sided and stitched it to single fold bias tape to make things simple.  Ribbon would be another good option, of course!  I also used pinking shears instead of finishing the edges.


Not sure where this will go, but I just had to make this felt garland:


Tutorial here: Purl Bee - New Year's Garland  (I did not use the invisible thread as suggested in the tutorial since this will not be hanging at eye level and I was trying to be as thrifty as possible.)

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Classroom Management

Classroom management I feel I can always improve on.  As I start the new school year in a new grade level, I will certainly be looking for ways to improve my routines and management.  I have been a PBIS facilitator for 2 years and will continue to be a part of the PBIS team at my new school, but I’m always looking for addition techniques to use in my own room since PBIS is more of a school-wide expectation than in-the-classroom technique.  Plus, it never hurts to have more tricks to pull out of your hat! 

…Which is why I’m excited to see this new series over at Clutter-Free Classroom!  Go check it out!



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