"Snow" Painting

I few weeks ago, I pinned this cute picture. I knew I wanted to try the activity in my classroom but needed to "test" it out first to see how it would work.  I had my four year son and seven year old niece test it out for me!  It turns out this activity is great for all ages!

To get started, you will need:

 Step 2:

Let's create!

End results:

Need book suggestions? Check out these

Happy Teaching and Learning!


January Book Picks - Linky Party

I can't believe 2012 is upon us.  Luckily, school does not start until the 9th!   Most of these books will be used for teaching during science and social studies.

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

These books are great for all grade levels.  
I try to teach about the many people who
influenced the Civil Rights Movement.

Let is Snow. Let is Snow. Let it Snow.

No, snow in my parts of California!
But with these books we'll have "snow" much fun.

Celebrating Chinese New Year

The New Year begins January 23rd.
It's the year of the Dragon!  

I plan to share ideas, pinspirations and perhaps, a freebie or two to go with these book picks.  Now, it's your turn to link up or leave a comment about your favorites.

Happy Reading!


Do you Fold?

Have you used foldables in your classroom?  Recently, some of my students created these foldables during our study about Friends.  Here is how we created them.

Here are some uses for this activity. 

We used the graphic organizer above to help us organize our thoughts.  Since the kids were writing about a friend and needed to present it to their classmates, we practiced the vocabulary and the sentences many, many times as we made the Foldable.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Pinspirations - Linky Party

I am looking for some Pinspirations.

Here is a look at my board for January.  

As you can see, it is pretty bare.

Here is my social studies board.  Very sad.... :(

Share your favorite boards.  And because I have my Christmas shopping completed, let's make this a linky party.  Share your Pinspirations.  

Happy Pinning!


Counting My Blessings

During the holidays, I am often reminded how blessed I am.  Today, I would like to share with you one of my favorite Christmas stories.  So, I created a movie using my Flip camera.  (Sorry, if it is not the best quality.  It is hard to read and videotape but I tried my best.)  Every time I read this story, I cry.  So, please excuse my crying.


As I read, I am reminded of my mother who was a migrant worker and the tough childhood she endured.  But I also think of my students; many of whom live in poverty.  Some, may not have any gifts to open this holiday season except for the one I gave them.   I think of my former student, who sleeps on the floor because he has no bed of his own.  I can't help but wonder if they are okay.  No child should be without.

So, as I sit here, enjoying the warmth of my home and the wonder that the holiday season brings to many of us, I like to stop and count my blessings.  I am lucky!  I could be just like Panchito or many of the students that I teach; but I made it.  I overcame the hardships in my life.

Are you blessed?


100th Day Find

While shopping today, look what I found.
Happy Shopping!


I Survived!

Wow!  This week was one of the longest, busiest weeks of the year!

I survived 20 conferences,  a 2 hour Student Success Team meeting, our kindergarten Winter Performance, and a walking field trip to our local grocery store! To top it off, we were on minimum days for most of the week and rainy day schedule for two of those days.

Here is a sampling of the week.
We made these as our Parent gifts.  They turned out great.  I added "fake" snow filler inside the ornament.
Pinterest inspired

We also made stockings which I filled with goodies to help them with homework; two dice, dry erase board, dry erase board marker, and a book.  The kids were so excited when they saw the dice.  They love kindergarten Yatzee and Roll a Sight Word.

For our Winter Performance we sang Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciado.  Find a copy of the book here.

Click image to hear my students sing!
This audio clip is of my students rehearsing.   I wish you could see their faces.  

Happy Winter Break everyone!  I am looking forward to three weeks of thinking about school at my own pace.  :)

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Hanukkah idea....and More

Whew!  Assessments and report cards are finished!

We are performing for our families a collection of winter songs including The Driedel Song by Raffi.  Here are few Hanukkah activities we completed during our learning.

We made these pattern candles found here.  I used them to decorate the door. 

My students learned how to play the Driedel game which they loved.  Look at that smile! The kids could not get enough of this game.  

I also made a little book for my kids to read based on the song.  Unfortunately, I can't share because of the graphics but you can find the Hanukkah graphics here.
And totally, unrelated, we are participating in a Gingerbread Exchange.  This kids enjoy looking at the map to find where our Gingerbread is from.  They are eagerly awaiting getting a Gingerbread Girl. Here is our display. We made gingerbread houses after reading Gingerbread Baby.  It was a great independent activity while I finished testing.  

Five more days until vacation!  Yeah!

Happy Teaching and Learning!


I'm Busy

It's the busiest time of the year.....ASSESSMENTS!

I convinced  suggested that we purchase ESGI to use with our assessments.  I love it!  And, so do my teammates.  We are able to use some on the system tests and create our own assessments.  No more shuffling papers, gathering supplies, etc.  Just click and go.  Data in an instant!  (And, I don't know about your school....but we are all about data.)

Here is the problem! TESTING TAKES FOREVER!!!!!!  It is 1-1.  In the pre-reading section, there are 4 tests times 21 kids.  There are 3 sections. You get the drift.

My poor kiddos!  They loose valuable instruction time.  :(    I try to only test during center time.  But I still get those kids who want to show you their work or just stop by to chat.

So, I've created this little sign to remind them that I'm busy.  I plan to insert it into a little frame and display at my computer where I am testing.

Click image for your copy.
What are some of your tricks of the trade to keep kids at bay while you assess?  Let me know.  I hope I'm not the only one who has this problem.

Happy Sunday all!  I'm hoping to watch a lot of football while planning for the week and getting some report cards started.

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Word Study with a Holiday Twist

This week we tried something new for word study.  Our usual routine involves a teacher directed lesson and independent practice.  I remembered how much my students last year loved Write the Room activities so I created this one to meet the needs of my kindergarten students.

I "hid" cards around the room and the students searched for them.  I loved how engaged they were as they searched.  Some students worked together while others did it independently.  Afterwards, we read the words and sorted them into word families.  The kids loved it so much they have asked me to do it again.  So, it is now an option for Word Study during Daily 5; to maintain, I move the cards around each day to a new location.  Easy!

Would you like a copy?  If so, click on the image above. If you like, leave some feedback at my shop or better yet, leave me a comment on my blog.

I am also looking for more bloggers to link up on my December Book Picks. To do so, go here.  Lastly, I hope you didn't miss my post on TBA.   To celebrate the holiday season it included a freebie and recipe.

Happy Teaching and Learning!


December Book Picks

I can't believe December is almost here!  Where did the time go?  I will spend much of the month assessing my students and then, reporting out to parents about their child's progress.

In the meantime, I hope to be able to share with them a few favorite books that bring a little winter into our southern California lives.

Although, I love Christmas and so do many of my children, I try to teach children about other traditions that are celebrated during the winter months.  Instead, if time permits, I will spend a little time teaching about Hanukah and/or Kwanzaa.  Children will have access to Christmas theme books at the listening center or in the library.

Do you like this?  It is a slideshow widget from Amazon.  Go here to get yours.

What will you be reading this month?  Link up here. I'm always on the lookout for more books to add to my Gingerbread collection.

Happy Reading!


Let it Shine

Barbara from The Corner on Character and Mrs. McKown from Little Literacy Learners both awarded me with a Sunshine Award.
Thank you, ladies!  I admire both of you, too. 

Now, a few things about me:
Favorite color?  My favorite colors are black, white and lime green with a splash of hot pink.  Favorite animal? Pomeranians; my childhood dog. Favorite number? 7  Favorite drink? Coffee in the a.m. and Pepsi or Coke in the p.m. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook, I guess.  But I prefer Google Reader or Pinterest! Your passion(s)? Teaching, learning, reading, and being a good mom and wife. Giving or getting presents?  I love giving gifts.  Favorite day? My son's birthday.  I "officially" became a mommy that day.  :) Favorite flower? Gardenia
These bloggers truly inspire me. I'm sure you'll agree.

A Place Called Kindergarten. I love her Friday Favorites.
HeidiSongs. Another one of my must reads on Fridays.
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.  Have you peeked into her week?
Can Do Kinders.  I love her Ten Frame monthly freebie; so do my kids.
Doodle Bugs Teaching.  Makes me want to be a learner in her classroom.  
Little Miss Kindergarten.  She helped to spark my dice game obsession.  :)
ingles360.  Ana is so creative and has a line of products of MyGrafico.
Counting Coconuts. Great mom blog where I learned about sensory tubs and homemade playdoh.
Oceans of First Grade Fun.  She is a math Queen.   

Thank you for bringing a little Sunshine into my life.  

Happy Teaching and Learning! 

Thankful For...Linky Party

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I would like to stop and reflect about the many blessings that I have in my professional and home life.  I hope to share throughout the week including a special thank you to my Followers.  :)

Weekends are family days.  My son loves breakfast and pancakes in particular.  This has become a standard favorite in our home; in fact, we had it today.  I love that my four year old can help prepare this meal with me as he helps to peel, measure, and whisk.  :)
Click image for your copy.

What are you thankful for?  Link up here.



Thankful Turkeys

Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving card, my students will be taking home a Thankful Turkey to adorn their home.  Pinterest inspired, I love how cute they look.

Together, we brainstormed what we were thankful for.  Here is a typical sample.  (Is it ever to early to be thankful for presents?)  Afterwards, I assembled the feathers for them.
Click here for your copy.
If you grab a copy to use or tuck away for next year, leave a comment about what you are thankful for. Today, I am thankful that I survived our walking field trip. One more day until Thanksgiving break!

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Anchor Charts to Support Comprehension

Here are a few charts I have made to help support my students understand basic comprehension skills.  The key words are color coded so that the kids can make a connection between these words.

Be sure to include animals and people.
Some kids are literal and may think that
only animals are characters since many
early books have animals as main characters.
Both charts include pictures that have
a meaning or connection to our classroom.
Pop quiz: Can you name each
book the pictures are from?
We are putting these skills to practice during our read aloud time.  It has also helped my speech students who have difficulty understanding the W words (who, what, when, and where).

I will be back soon to share a tree map that I am working on with my ELD class.  I think you'll like it.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Writing Over Time Update

What a difference a month can make!  Here is a peek into what a few students are writing.  Look at how much they have grown in such a short amount of time.  Their hard work is beginning to pay off.
 No words in October. 
 Now, he has a sentence.  
Our next steps, work on rereading.

Here's another.
I keep lots of charts for the kids to use.
I don't help with spelling.  

I do help students stretch sounds in words.

Last one.
 She came to school with lots of writing experiences.
Look at the difference.

Would you like a copy?  Go here.  

I hope this new buy will also help my students as readers and writers as well.  It just came in the mail.  I can't wait to use it with my students.  If you would like to learn more, click on the link on my sidebar.
Happy Teaching and Learning!

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