Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eleven "Thank You's" for 2011

     2011 was the year of blogging for me.  This was the year that I discovered blogs.  This was the year that I created my own blog.  This was the year that I discovered so many new blogging friends.  I don't think you realize the impact that you have made on me  and I just wanted to say Thank You.

     So I generated a list.  Here goes...

#1  Thank you Fran at Kindergarten Crayons.  Fran is the blogger that I aspire to be someday.  She has the cutest ideas and some of the best product at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I just loved her excitement this year during the Halloween season, when she planted seeds inside of an actual pumpkin. Then she kept posting pics of it growing.  She keeps me excited about what I am doing in the world of teaching.

#2  Thank you to Kristen at A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  Kristen's blog provides me with the laughter that I need on a daily basis because lord knows that teachers need a little laughter now and then.  Especially me...after all, I am working with a bunch of five year olds that haven't quite developed a sense of humor yet!  But I have to admit...I do laugh at their attempts at creating knock knock jokes.  Some day they will get it!

#3  Thank you to Marlena at Lil" Country Kindergarten.  Not only was Marlena MY VERY FIRST FOLLOWER but she also went out of the way to help me create my button for my blog and didn't even ask for anything in return!   I can tell she is a very sharing and caring person.  I am sure the two of us could be best friends!

#4  Thank you to Tammy at Live Love Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten.  Tammy always has wonderful ideas to share and lots of freebies.  She is also a very active mom but always find the time to add something to her blog.  I don't know where she finds the time to do all of this, but I am very grateful!

#5  Thank you to Pam at Can Do Kinders.  If Pam only knew how many of her freebies I have used in my classroom this year already!  She is so wonderful to share!  Oh...and she is one of my followers too!

#6  Thank you to Julie at Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.  Mrs. Lee's blog is probably one of the most recent ones that I have been following.  A blogging friend at school introduced me to her blog and since then, I have found myself stalking her older posts to find cool ideas to use in my classroom.  I just love all the pics she posts showing her center ideas.  I am a visual learner and pics really help!

#7  Thank you to Krissy at Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business.  Krissy has an awesome, inspiring blog and is one of my followers as well.  She also sells some terrific product at  Also, I just love blogs with monkeys!  Monkeys make me laugh!

#8  Thank you to Shannon at Kindergarten Hoppenings.  Shannon has just been blessed with a beautiful baby boy and is on maternity leave.   I know she is going to LOVE being a mother.  Again, I think her and I could be best friends!  I have just about downloaded everything that she has posted on her website.  She is AWESOME to share so many freebies with the blogging world!

#9  Thank you to Deedee at Mrs. Will's Kindergarten.  Deedee is another blogger that I would love to be some day.  She has so many wonderful products at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I just love following her "Peek At My Week."  I don't think she realizes how much that "little peek" helps me with my lesson planning each week!

#10  Thank you to Deanna at Mrs. Jump's Class.  I can tell that Deanna is a very talented teacher who loves to share.  Again, she has incredible product at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I know it sounds silly, but I would love to be a fly on her classroom wall someday!

#11  And the final thank you goes to Charity at Kindergarten Klub.  Christy has created this wonderful blog that not only has an updated, rolling list of recent blog posts but you can even add your blog to her list!  The traffic on my blog has increased tremendously since I added it to her blog roll.  Another added benefit to following this blog is that you can find new blogs everyday!  It is so nice to know that there are highly creative and tech savvy people out there that can make blogging easier for us newbies.

     Well, thats it!  It was so difficult for me to narrow it down to just eleven blogs.  Each and every blog that I follow has inspired me in some way to be a better teacher and I thank you as well for doing what you do on your blog.  I hope that I have too inspired someone out there in the blogging world.  In our career, it is nice to know that our inspiration can reach beyond the walls of our classroom.

     I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2012.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking for some new blogs?

Merry Christmas blogging friends.  It has been a busy Christmas season for my family as I am sure it has been for yours as well.  However, I have found a little time here and there for some blog stalking and pinterest.  Boy have I found some wonderful ideas to use when  I get back to school.  Here is a sneak peak at one idea I found (Sorry, I didn't jot down where it come from...remember...I am learning at all this blogging stuff).

Snowflake Crayon Resist
(Isn't it beautiful?)

Anywho, here is my Christmas gift for you!  Two new blogs!  You might want to check them out.  Both sites have been created by co-workers at my school who are incredible first grade teachers.  I was so lucky to work with them last year when I taught my K-1 multi-age class.  They have some wonderful ideas to share.

First Grade Fun

Sunshine Sand and Scissors

Lastly, I will end with some photos from my Christmas cruise (just one of the events that kept me so busy this Christmas).

My kids at Blue Lagoon's Aqua Park.

My kids at Blue pretty!

My daughter loved the aqua trampoline.  Isn't she a cutie!

My husband and I drinking from a coconut in Freeport.

My beautiful children on formal night.

My family at the Southern Most Point in Key West.

Just one of the amazing pictures I took while visiting the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West.

My husband and I in front of our ship...
we just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary while on the cruise.

Me RELAXING on the ship!

Anyone ready for a cruise now?  Just let me know!

Happy Blogging!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Favorites

     There are so many wonderful books to read aloud to your students at this time of year.  So many that it is sometimes hard to fit them all into our busy, fun-filled schedules.  However, every year I always find the time to read the following story to my class:

     This would have to be my all time favorite.  If you have not read this before, it is about a little boy named Edward who does not know how to read yet.  Everyone thinks that he should be tested to see if there is a problem, but his mother says to "just have patience."

     On Christmas Eve, Edward discovers that Santa has accidentally left his book of names in his house in front of the fireplace.  Edward races outside only to see Santa's sleigh pull away.  Edward knows that Santa will not be able to do his job without his book of names so, he has to help Santa.   Since he doesn't know how to read or spell yet, Edward decides to make a large B in the snow (since book starts with the letter b) in the hopes that Santa will return in search of his missing book.  It works!  Santa returns and asks Edward to help him on the rest of his journey.  Edward agrees after explaining to Santa that he can't read yet.   Santa tells Edward that he can hold the book of names and turn the pages for him.  All is well until a bird accidentally knocks Santa's glasses off his nose and they fall into the sea.  Oh Santa can't read his book.  Will Edward help save Christmas?

     Of course, I can't tell you how it ends; but I will tell you that it is one of those read alouds that make you feel all good inside when you are done.  Also, it is one of those books where not a single child makes a peep during the read.  They are always sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear the outcome.  I just love books like that!  Don't you?

     What is your favorite read aloud at Christmas time?  I would love to hear about the book or books that are must reads for you.

Happy Blogging!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Family Photos

     Yes, today was the day that I made my kiddos and hubby get all coordinated for our annual family Christmas card photo shoot.  Although there were lots of moans and groans, I think the final product turned out pretty good for an amateur.

     Amazing...even the dog cooperated!  I just love it when all goes as planned.

Oh....and check out the flip flops!  Yes, we live in Florida and, yes, it is December.  You gotta love it!

Happy Blogging!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

A New Blog!

I have a fellow teacher who has created a first grade blog.  Her name is Meredith and her blog is soooo cute and filled with some innovative ideas.  Please check her out @  First Grade Fun.

Happy Blogging!

Have you read this version?

     It was everything Gingerbread in my kinder classroom last week.  We had such a great time reading all kinds of versions of The Gingerbread Man and this was the newest version.  One of my teacher friends shared it with me when she heard of my literary focus of the week.  I just have to share!

     In this version it begins in a classroom with a some students mixing up the ingredients to make a Gingerbread Man; after they pull him out of the oven they decide that he needs to cool off so the students leave the room to go to recess.  The Gingerbread Man becomes extremely concerned and starts running around the school trying to find them and, of course, he is chanting all the while.  As he is chanting and searching he runs into several different school personnel (art teacher, coach, nurse, etc.) that give him clues as the where the kids may have gone.

     My favorite part would have to be when he is missing a piece of his toe due to an accident with a soccer ball.  The coach sends him to the nurse to get fixed.  As I was reading it for the first time, I couldn't help but remember the Esteban's finger Story that Kristen posted around Halloween at A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  If you haven't read her post is probably the funniest teaching story I have ever read.  You will understand why I had that text connection.  Click on the link if you want a good laugh.
     Anyway, back to the book, this was probably the cutest version that I have found in a long time.  It has a happy ending but I will let you read it for yourself.  I don't believe in ever giving away the ending of the book.

     Here are a few other versions of the Gingerbread Man that I use during our unit:

What versions do you use when teaching about The Gingerbread Man?  I would love to hear from you.
Leave a comment.

Happy Blogging!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

It is the GIVING season!

Hey!  I just discovered a new blog who has a great giveaway going on....

Molly over at Classroom Confetti is offering two teachers a chance to win.  Please check out her blog before the end of the weekend.  I am sure you won't be disappointed.  If you want, you can tell her I sent you.  

Happy Blogging!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anyone else feeling a bit frazzled?

    Sorry it has been a few days since my last post!  I have had a busy past few days....daughter's dance recital, son's band concert, setting up the Christmas tree, a full day of Christmas shopping, faculty meetings, professional development day at school,  parent/teacher conferences, report card assessments and a teacher of the year reception.  I am feeling like this cute little kitty who is looking a bit overwhelmed and not sure how to get out of this unfortunate situation.  Maybe it's the holidays....maybe it is all the activities and all the responsibilities....I am not quite sure but I hope I look as half as cute as this kitty when I am frazzled!

But I do have some good news!  Marlana over at Lil' Country Kindergarten has offered to help me with creating my button.  Hopefully I will have that up and working here real soon.  It was so nice for her to offer to help little ole' me.  It is so nice knowing that there are wonderful people out there in the blogging community!  I feel like I am meeting new friends.

Also, I was so excited when I logged on and found out that I was up to 10 followers.  Wow!  I know that isn't much to many of you out there who have hundreds of followers, but that is AWESOME to me! After all, you have to start out small...

Anyway...I sure am having fun with this Elf on the Shelf dude, ours is referred to as Elfie.  He seems to be helping a bit with my little ones.  I just love when he leaves little notes on the tables of the "good ones" to let them know what Santa really likes!  The notes seem to be reinforcing those positive behaviors that we want to see happening in the classroom and, thankfully, for me I am seeing them happen more and more often each day.

Now I am just wishing that Elfie could stay a little while longer.  Why does he have to leave! brain is thinking of another character that could stay a stuffed animal that maybe Santa could bring to my class as a gift...also as a helper who could "report back to Santa " every so often and leave positive notes around to continue to reinforce the correct behavior.  

Let me know what you think?  Or...maybe you have a better idea!

Thanks for reading my blog and making me feel special!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Elf is on the Shelf

You know the little guy I am referring to:

This one!

Yes, he arrived this morning straight from the north pole!  At least that is what my kinders think!  

Each year I try to come up with a unique way for this little guy to arrive.  One year it was a package that I really sent to myself through the postal service with the return address as The North Pole.  Another year, the principal delivered it to my room covered in snow (which is amazing since I live in Florida).  I've even had "Santa Clause" call my room and send us on a scavenger hunt through the school to find the elf.  

This year, I guess I toned it down a little due to the wild overzealous interesting behaviors that I have in my classroom.  I know that you understand because I am sure you have students just like this in your class.  I am referring to those certain individuals who have a difficult time calming back down after an exciting event (Oh!  And I just have to mention that yesterday was our school's annual Walk-a-thon.  I discovered that listening to "Who Let The Dogs Out" for 30 minutes will drive any sane person to their brink!)  

So, back to the elf story...I simply had our head secretary call into my classroom stating that a Christmas gift had been delivered to the front office for me.   So I selected the two students who I knew wouldn't peek most responsible students to retrieve the gift bag. 

When the gift arrived...I really played it up.  It went something like this... "Wow!  A Christmas gift for me and it is not even Christmas yet!  I really must have been a good girl this year to receive a present from Santa so early!"  

Of course, when we opened it up...who was inside but The Elf On The Shelf!

You know the rest of the the book...discuss the the elf...put the elf up on a shelf...yada...yada...yada.

It went my only hope is that the Elf works it's magic on my few students who have wild overzealous interesting behaviors.

So I have heard that there are many others out there that use the Elf in their classroom and I have seen some wonderful ideas in the blogging community.  So I was wondering....How did you introduce your Elf On The Shelf?  Share your story with me...Maybe next year I will have a class without those wild overzealous interesting behaviors.  Maybe I will ask for that for Christmas!

Happy Blogging!


Oh...PS  I was successful in making a button for my blog but got extremely confused when it came to getting a text box to show below.  If anyone knows a simple way to do this...PLEASE SHARE!  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

HELP! I was able to create my button but I am having a difficult time with the text box below.  I have looked at several tutorials and have tried every one of them, but nothing seems to be working.  If anyone has a simple way to get the text box below...please let me know.

I am bound and determined to create a working button for my blog!


I am working on creating my button.  I am having some difficulties but I will never give up!

Keep you posted!

:) Ann

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I'm back from my wonderful vacation with my hubby to Sanibel Island, Fl.  The weather was beautiful and the shelling was fabulous.  We had a great time!  I highly recommend this vacation destination to all of you!  One of the highlights...we went on a speed boat name Sanibel Thriller...look it up on the internet.  What an awesome tour!  We had dolphins playing in the wake of our boat.  Not just one...a dozen or more at a time.  What an THRILLING experience!

Any who, while on vacation I didn't turn on computer once...can you believe it?  Not once!  So now, as I am catching up on all of my favorite blogs, I am noticing a seasonal trend!  The excitement of Christmas is in the air.

All this talk of Christmas even got me excited...especially tonight while at Wally World, in the seasonal section mind you, my seven year old daughter spots a pink Christmas Tree.  Seriously, it was pink!  The twinkle in her eye told me that we just had to buy it for her bedroom.  I guess you can call me a softy because I gave in and now she is the owner of a small (but I have to admit cute) pink Christmas Tree.  There has to be a story in there somewhere.  My brain is thinking something like Pink Christmas tree...Pink Christmas tree...What do you see?  I see a blue Christmas tree looking at me...etc...etc...etc.

So there was my daughter, in the car on the way home, proudly carrying her pink Christmas tree on her lap for the entire ride home.  She already has it on display in her heavily pink and black decorated bedroom.  So...apparently Christmas is in the air and, although it isn't even December yet, it is time to change the appearance of my blog to keep up with the seasons.

Let me know what you think of the new look.  Oh...and I will be posting a few of my favorite Christmas ideas that I have found within the next day or so.

Lastly, if anyone out there knows an easy way to create a button for a blog,  PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT.  I am a self taught blogger and there are some things that a just a bit too complicated for me to figure out.  I would love to have a button to share with all of you.

Happy Blogging!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hello fellow bloggers!  Is anyone as happy as me that we are on Thanksgiving Break?

Today was our annual Thanksgiving Dessert Feast.  Yes, I did say dessert!  My team came up with this concept a few years back and it seems to be a hit with the little kiddies.  We ask each child in K to donate some type of dessert and the entire grade level meets in the cafeteria or outdoor pavilion to feast together.  It truly in amazing the amount of desserts we get.  And what is more amazing and that most of it gets eaten.  We never hear the words "I don't like that!" or "Do I have to take that?"  All kids love desserts!

I know!  I know!  You are do you possibly survive the day with all your kiddos on a sugar high?  We don't feast until around 1 pm and they go home at 2 pm.  The sugar rush seems to hit them right about the time of dismissal and I am sure the parents love us for it.

Anywho, it is a fun day filled with Pilgrims, Indians and the best part of Thanksgiving...sharing desserts!  You should try it some time.

If you have the time, let me know what your team does to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  I love to hear new ideas.

Oh...and for Christmas...we do Donuts with Santa.  I think I see a theme team loves to eat...especially desserts.

I send out my apologies now...I will be gone from the blogging community for the next few days.  My husband and I are taking a much needed couples vacation to Sanibel Island.  I'm looking forward to the R & R.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Where are all those Storytelling pieces?

I bet if you have been around awhile, you will remember Monkey Mitts.  I love them and use them often; however, either I or my students were always misplacing the pieces that go with each story.  This kept getting frustrating and I would often find myself not using them because I didn't have time to locate the pieces.  I knew I had to find a way to keep all the pieces together and make these storytelling mitts more useful for kinders.

The solution:  Hot glue gun and cheap fabric gardening gloves from the Dollar Tree.  

This summer, I brought home all of those  Monkey Mitt sets that were dumped into a bin and sorted through all of their pieces.  I hot glued all of the pieces onto a fabric gardening mitt and now store them in a ziplock baggy with the book.  I can very quickly find what I need to model retelling a story with my kinders and the added bonus is...the pieces can't get lost.  After modeling how to use the retelling mitt, I add it to a bin at my puppet area with it's corresponding book.  I am finding that this method is much more user friendly for my little ones and more storytelling is taking place because they don't have to go hunting for the missing pumpkin or monkey.

Here are a few pictures of my user friendly Monkey Mitts:

     Also, here are a few pictures of some Thanksgiving Day Crafts that we made together.  I just thought I would share them because they turned out so cute this year.  I just love our scarecrows; however, I think they are too cute to spook anything away.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday's Funny!

If our student's parents could hear the conversations that take place in our classroom, wouldn't they be shocked!  Here is one from today:

Student:  "Look at my nails, Mrs. ????.  My mommy painted all of them and she put crackle on it."

Teacher:  "Those are very pretty and your mommy is very talented.  Do you think she would come in and do mine?"

Student:  "I bet she would because she is the Crack Queen."

You gotta love what they say.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What in the world are QR Codes?

I bet you have seen these around everywhere lately.

This is a QR code.  I really didn't pay much attention to them until this afternoon. 

 I mentioned in my last blog that I work at a school that is using a great amount of Apple equipment.  In addition to all this wonderful equipment, we have a group of teachers who meet once a week (on our own time) to discuss new and innovative ways to use this technology in the classroom.  Well today, I learned how to make my own QR code.

Now I know what you are thinking!  How can this be useful in kindergarten?  Especially when the kids can't read yet and it wouldn't be feasible for the teacher to be walking around all day reading everyone's scanners.  Well, the neat thing is that when you create your own QR can type in ANYTHING.  

So, my brain got thinking...what CAN my kinders read?  Sight Words!  Color Words!  Number Words! Numbers!  Letters of the alphabet!  Names!  So there began my "AH HA" moment on how I can use this amazing new technology!   

Yes, there I was, incredibly excited about inputting our 31 District Based Sight Words into the QR Code Generator so that I could create codes just like the one above.  I am going to place these codes in various locations around my room for my students to scan with their iTouches (Think of it as a "Techy's" version of read around the classroom).

If you are interested in how to create your own QR codes to use in your classroom, just click here.  It is amazing how technology keeps creating new ways for us to teach our students.  Don't forget to download a QR scanner app on your phone, iPad, or iTouch to complete this activity.

Let me know if you try this.  I would love to hear from you!



Monday, November 14, 2011

Got Apps?

Hello blogging friends!  I was just wondering if any of my fellow bloggers out there use iPad's or iTouches in the classroom.  If you have any favorite apps?

Last year one of our wonderful teachers wrote a grant to the Apple Corporation and our school benefited greatly!  Our school and several other schools in the area received $750,000 worth of Apple Technology to use in the classroom.  In kindergarten, we all have one MacBook, one iPad and four iTouches.  I am currently learning how to use this AWESOME technology and trying to find the most effective way to use it in the classroom.  I have found that I can use the four iTouches as a work station and I am currently using the iPad during whole group and small group instruction.  Also, the kids will do JUST ABOUT ANYTHING to use the iPad so I use it as a reward on those "special" occasions.  The MacBook is mostly used as a charging station and another computer with internet capability.

Anyway... here are a few of my favorite apps:

1.  Little Speller 3 Letters/Little Reader 3 Letters (made by Grasshopper Apps)

2.  Letter of the Day (made by Lakeshore and is free until December)

3.  Sound Sorting (made by Lakeshore and is free until December)

4.  Candy Count (made by Camigo Media and it is free...there is another version you can pay for that is just as awesome)

5.  Howie Hungry Monster (Build Words) (made by PlaySmart)

I would love to hear from you about your favorite apps.  Most of the ones that I listed are free, but I am more than willing to pay for an app if it is great to use with my kindergarten students.

Thanks for visiting my little blog. I am a newbie in the blogging world and I get so excited when I see new faces following me.   It makes me feel special! :)

Happy Blogging!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Thought For Thursday!

I just thought I would drop a line before school and then my family heads to the "Most Magical Place on Earth" for the weekend...yes, we live close to Disney World and sometimes I think we go WAY too often, but my kids love it.

Anyway...over the years I am sure all of you have collected a vast number of pictures that go along with your Letter of the Week instruction.  I use to spend a large amount of time on my Friday afternoon, recreated a bulletin board to display all of these wonderful pictures.  Well one day I had an epiphany!  Why not just glue all of those picture to a permanent display?  Not only would it save time for me, but it would free up a bulletin board for another valuable teaching display!

So, here is what my Letter Focus boards look like...

They are great to put at my writing center for the children to refer to when writing sentences.

I hope you can use this idea or it helps you to have an epiphany of your own!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and some of my favorite bloggers have shared some TERRIFIC ideas to use with your kinders.  If you haven't seen them yet, here are two of my favorites for your Tuesday viewing...

#1  Tammy from Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten has an awesome freebie that you will want for your writing center.  It is a November Write the Room Packet.  It includes some great picture word cards for your students to write sentences about Thanksgiving including what they are learning about Pilgrims and Indians.  While you are there, check out her November Read and Write the Room freebies. They are wonderful too!

#2  Pam at Can Do Kinders has created some adorable Turkey Counting Mats using ten frames.  Gobble them up while you can!  Also, while you are there, check out her other Thanksgiving Freebies.  Her Thanksgiving Write the Room activity is just as cute and is a great way to integrate writing and math.  Thanks, Pam, for sharing such awesome ideas.

Well, that's it!  That is the top two for Tuesday.  It could have been a top twenty, but I have other duties calling my name (cook dinner, help the kids with their homework, laundry, you know the drill!).

Until next time...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interactive Charts Anyone?

I don't know if anyone even calls them that anymore?  

Years ago (I am not going to say how many)...when I was in college and immersed in the "Whole Language" format of teaching reading...I was introduced to the concept of making interactive charts to get the child more involved with the words they were reading.  For some reason, this strategy stuck with me all of these years and now I have accumulated quite a collection that I use with my kindergarten students. 

I model using these charts with my whole class several times before I place them at the interactive chart center for them to use independently.  What makes them interactive?  Many of the charts have something that the child can manipulate such as adding a name, changing a number, or counters.  All of the items that are manipulated on the chart have velcro on the back.

Here are a few that are currently hanging at my Interactive Chart Center:

The Birthday Song

      On the birthday song chart, the children can manipulate the number of candles (I use to teach Pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds) and attach the name of the child they are singing to at the appropriate place.  This one stays out all year as we use it on every child's birthday.  They just love being teacher on their birthday while wearing a birthday crown and using the special birthday pointer too.

Farmer Brown

      The children can manipulate the number at the top as they pull off the apples.

Way Up High In The Apple Tree

     On this chart, the children can manipulate the apples on the tree as they read the rhyme.  If I were to redo this one, I would have made it so that you can change the number at the top as well.

Pick A Pumpkin

     For this rhyme, the children can pick the pumpkins at the bottom.  When I do this chart, we also write down subtraction sentences (5-2=3, 3-2=1, so forth).  If I were to ever redo this chart, I would add a lot more pumpkins so that we can do more subtraction sentences.

Pumpkin Face

     For this rhyme, the children can manipulate the shapes at the bottom to give the pumpkin a face.  I tell them they can use any of the objects to create a face in any way they want.  They love seeing what the Jack-o-lanterns face looks like when they are done.  As I use this whole group, I ask the children to tell me what shapes they used for the eyes, the nose, and the mouth.  This is great for reviewing shapes at Halloween time.

Leaves Falling Down

     The students can manipulate the colored leaves to retell this rhyme.  This is great for reviewing color words.

The Leaves are Falling Down
(tune: The Farmer In the Dell)

     Again, the children simply manipulate the colored leaves on this rhyme to then retell it in their way.

Ten Little Indians

      For this chart, the children can manipulate the indians at the bottom.  We practice putting them up as we count from one to 10.  We also can put them in a pattern (boy, girl, boy, girl, etc.).  I have considered writing numbers on the indians and having the children put them in number order.  I just haven't done it yet.

     So is anyone wondering, how do you store all of these charts.  Well, here is a picture of what the center looks like.  My husband built it for me years ago.  I don't know if you can see it, but it has a white hook on the end of it for the children to hang the chart they are working with.  Sometimes they like to take the chart over to my easel to use, since that is where I model using the charts with them.  All of the charts are hanging on plastic hangers.

     Any charts that are not in use are stored in a coat closet.  We are an older school and I actually still have a coat closest in my classroom.  I have many interactive charts that go with various literature as well (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Napping House, The Bus Ride, I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly).  

     I am always looking for new interactive chart ideas, so if you know of any, please share.

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, November 6, 2011 it has been quite some time since I have shared one of my own ideas, so I thought maybe I should do my part.  

Our fabulous First Grade team of teachers decided to implement a new project with their students this school year for Halloween and it turned out to be a hit.  The students were asked to decorate a pumpkin like their favorite storybook character.  They had to bring the book and their finished pumpkin to school the week prior to Halloween.  All of the pumpkins were displayed in the media center and the entire school voted on their favorites.  The finished products were absolutely adorable.  Some of our favorites were Nemo, Hello Kitty, SpongeBob Squarepants, Spiderman, and The Cat in the Hat.  Here is a few pictures of my daughter (who is in first grade creating her Storybook Character Pumpkin).

Abby Painting her pumpkin...

Abby painting the face of The Cat in the Hat...

We painted whiskers, ears, and a bow...

The final product (without the was stored in a bin in my classroom).

Here is the final product on display in our school's media center.  I am so proud of my little Abby.  She did an awesome job.

Like I said, this was a great and fun project for the first graders.  You may want to try this next year. 

Happy Pumpkin Designing!