Writing Over Time

As I start to think about my incoming students, I like to have a document that will record their growth in writing over time.  Most years, I have students all over the spectrum in writing development; scribbles to phonetic spelling.  As a teacher, I need to praise all of this but I also want to show how much my students with little schema or tremendous amounts of writing experiences have grown.

For years, I have collected a monthly writing sample from my students.  At my previous school, this was based on the monthly writing prompts which we were required to give.  The prompts usually contained a sentence starter.  Over time, I have changed that to be more of "writing assignment" for lack of better words. Since I try to give this on the first day of the month if possible, students and I gather together and brainstorm about what the new month may have in store.  For example, September lends itself to thinking about school whereas in December children can only think about toys, toys, and more toys.  I make a year long writing journal.  Each month, I take it out and they write a new piece into this journal.  I like that it is all in one place and shows growth over time.

Happy Teaching and Learning!


A Sneak Peek...

I have been busily working on my classroom.  It is starting to finally feel ready for kindergarten.  Here is a look at my calendar.

My calendar is a mixture of old and new things.  The days of the week display is inspired by Today is Monday.  The months of the year are from DoodleBugs Teaching.  (Her stuff is so educational, creative and cute!) Inspired by her Brown Bear post, I made these color cards to go with my now Eric Carle calendar theme.
I  painted the white polka dots onto black card stock.  (It was an afterthought in design.) I purchased the graphics from KPMDoodles; a clipart artist and teacher.  Get these graphics here.  Better yet, the first three people who leave a comment and their email, I will send them the Brown Bear Color cards.  Otherwise, you can find them at my shop.

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Back To School Giveaway Winner


Three For Thursday

I'm Blog Hoppin'.  Today's topic is Three (or more) for Thursday.  Here's my list.

Favorite Blogs
I have lots of blogs that I read.  But some of my all time favorites are:


First Grade:

Other favorites:

Favorite Online Resources
Again, another long list. But these are my go to.

Thanks for blog hoppin'.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Back to School Giveaway

School is in full swing for many of you but for some of us, we are just gearing up for a new school year.  I could not think of a better way to kick off the new year than with a giveaway.

If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I love to incorporate music and movement in my classroom Well, I am happy to announce that Learning With Hip Hop has graciously offered to giveaway their latest CD, Get Up by Mark D. Pencil.  Plus, I am also giving away a $15.00 iTunes card to buy their previous CD (or for that matter anything on iTunes.)

Get Up is aimed at getting kids moving with songs like Teamwork, The Exercise Game #4 and the Mark D. Twist.   Listening to these songs will get kids moving, having fun and provide a brain break that children need in order to learn.  If you want to know how much I love their first CD read here and here about how I've used them in my classroom.

Here's how to enter. 
1.  Leave a comment on my blog with your email please.
2.  Follow Mark D. Pencil on Facebook.  Tell him Learning With Mrs. Parker sent you.
3.  Blog about it.  Send me your link.

Due to shipping costs, this is only for U.S. residents only. The giveaway ends Sunday, August 28th at midnight PST.  A random winner will be selected on Monday, August 29th.

So, Get Up and enter!

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Teacher Talk Tuesday

It's still Tuesday, here in CA.
So, here it goes....
Teacher Talk Tuesday!

My Advice for Teachers (new or not so new to teaching)

Be yourself.  
  • Kids will see right through you when they know you are not "into it."
Create a safe place for children to learn. 
  • School may be the only safe place that child has in their life. As a child, I loved school.  It was my "safe haven" from a sometimes confusing home life.  
Love your students. 
  • See the good in each of your students.  If you don't, they won't either.
  • Everyone needs to know that they are loved.  Show them but also tell them.  
Allow for mistakes.
  • Learning is all about making mistakes.  No one is perfect.   Everyone, including me, makes mistakes.  Learning from our mistakes is what really matters.
Love learning.
  • Education is always reinventing itself.  Keep up with it on your own or through organizations, professional learning communities.  (Does blogging and blog hopping count?)
Less is more.
  • Teaching is an exhausting profession.  Make time for yourself, family and other interests. My first year, I was in my classroom every weekend.  I was also sick all the time.  Over the years, I've learned to tackle one new thing instead of trying to tackle it all. 
Love what you do.
  • You deserve to love your job and so do the children we teach.  They deserve the best from us.  They are the future.  Let's give them the best.

Have a great school year! Let's make the best of it!

Happy Learning and Teaching!

Meet the Teacher 2011

Welcome to Learning With Mrs. Parker.
This week 

Today's topic is Meet the Teacher.
To read more about me go here.
(Don't forget to come back and take a look at my blog.)

Thanks for stopping by.


Target Find

Run over to Target if you are in love with all things related to Pete the Cat!   While shopping at our local Target I found these colored lunch bags.  This is unusual and I knew I had to have them.  The lady who was also in the aisle must have thought I was crazy as I was telling my son that it is not often that you find colored lunch bags.  Okay, so my son, looked at me a little weird, too.  Oh, well.  

Anyways, look what I made today from that lunch bag.  It is a Pete the Cat puppet!  I plan on reading Pete the Cat several times the first few weeks of school as we are learning the colors.  I think this will be a great craft project for my kinders to create.   I am also going to make a retell center with this puppet.  I am going to laminate it prior to adding the shoes.  Then, I will attach velcro on the bottom where the shoes go.  I am going to make several more pairs of different colored shoes.   Children will then get to practice retelling the story and learn their colors.  :)
If you'd like some Pete the Cat related freebies go here.  There are lots of activities for this and many other books.

Happy Learning and Teaching!

Common Core Standards Cheat Sheets

I have a few weeks before school starts.  As I start to think about the new school year, I can not help to think how the Common Core Standards will change some of my teaching.  Since I am learning the standards,  I created these "cheat" sheets to help me stay on track.  They are specifically for kindergarten but if others show an interest, I would be happy to make more.  You can find them here.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

PS- Visit my Teachers Notebook Shop for your copy of the First Grade CCS.  Second Grade coming soon!

Hello, Friends!

I'm back from vacation!  We spent a wonderful two weeks in the Northwoods of Wisconsin at the cottage which my husband's family built over 50 years ago.  I enjoyed every minute of our trip.  The hardest thing to overcome was no internet.

During my vacation, I learned something new about myself.  I discovered that I'm a lot more country than I thought.  I loved raspberry picking, canning, and pole fishing.  I loved the simplicity that this part of the country offers.  We all shed a few tears as we said goodbye but it's nice to know that we can return next summer and many summers after that.

Here are a few of my favorite photos.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Happy 1st Birthday!

My blog turns one tomorrow! It has been a great year!
Here are some things I've learned since starting my blog.
1.  Blogging is fun!
2.  I love comments!  It makes my day.  I read every one.
3.  I love linky parties.  Please join my Teaching the Alphabet linky party.
4.  Blogging has re-energized my teaching.  I love the virtual collaboration.
5.  Teacher bloggers are the best!

Thank you to those who Follow my blog.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

PS- I am on vacation right now and have very limited internet access.  I will be back to regular posting and commenting soon. 
Back to Top