Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Chapter 7

      I am finally linking up with Deanna to talk about Chapter 7 of Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites. Strategy 7 is manipulatives, experiments, labs, and models. We love these things in K! After all, as Marcia Tate puts it, "when is the last time a chemist walked into the lab, sat down, and took a pencil and paper test?" Here are some simple ways I am using manipulatives, experiments, labs, and models in my classroom! 




What I'm Working On Now... 

  • Providing students with the opportunity to choose the manipulative they would like to work with during math and READING. 
  • WOW! We need to do LOTS more experiments!!
  • Why do all of our models involve food? I want to do a model project that does not involve food! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekend In Review

     Y'all, I feel so blessed to have been able to spend a weekend with over 100 teachers whose commitment to being the best and doing the best for their students goes above and beyond. Just walking into the room with these women and man (love you Greg!) encouraged my heart. Every last one of these people below spent their own time and money to drive to French Lick and spend a weekend encouraging one another and bettering themselves. WOW! (Staying at the French Lick Resort was just an added plus.)

     We started our weekend off with lunch and a get to know you game! We shared snippets about ourselves on letters that were put together to make the word INSPIRATION. The entire afternoon was spent sharing and learning with one another. I may actually understand something about Twitter now, thanks to the amazing Sarah Young! 

     Okay, I LOVE prizes. Okay, who doesn't love prizes? Well we got tons of meet up swag. I'm talking Vera Bradley, Lakeshore Learning, Scentos, GoNoodle, Teachers Pay Teachers, Creative Teaching Press, and more!!!  Oh, and did I mention that Erin Condren gifted every single teacher at the meet up with a planner! I am still on cloud nine. 

      I loved getting to meet some sweet friends and inspirations in real life. Thankful for Deanna and Deedee's wisdom and their willingness to share it! 

      We met back up Saturday night for an amazing teacher dance/PJ party that GoNoodle and Teachers Pay Teachers threw for us! Talk about amazing companies!  We created our own pillows, played in a photo booth, and DANCED. I wore some amazing PJ pants thanks to sweet flutters on etsy. She found me some pj pants in target, managed to get that long applique on them, and had them shipped to me in about ONE WEEK... and ALL for an affordable price. If you ever need anything appliqued, sweet flutters should definitely be your go to! 

     I loved meeting Jessica Plemons in real life. She is an absolute doll and has been such a huge help to me! Thankful for my sweet friends!

    Down side of the blogger meet up? Leaving!!! We had breakfast on Sunday morning and had to say our goodbyes. 

       I could not be more GRATEFUL for Holly Ehle and Brittany Bannister. These sweet, sweet ladies put this ENTIRE event together. I cannot imagine the work they put in! Holly's mom even handmade the most adorable cookie gift bags for our PJ party! Please, please, hop over to Holly's and Brittany's blogs and show them some LOVE!

Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten ConnectionsMrs. Banister's Kindergarten Kids

     If you missed out on this amazing weekend you still have a chance to win some of the swag from some amazing companies that LOVE teachers. We are giving away 3 teacher blogger swag bags with all the goodies you see here! 

     Read what my friends have to say about our weekend below and make sure you don't miss out next year! All teachers are welcome. You don't even have to be a blogger! We even had a secretary show up this year! How awesome is that?!?!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Teacher Tool Gift Exchange


     I am sure you have heard the Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up buzz by now. Well let me tell you, it was a FUN weekend full of INSPIRATION! One of the neat things we did was a teacher tool gift exchange. We each brought a teacher tool to swap with another teacher at our grade level. (I brought erasable markers (Pilot Frixion Colors 12C SFC-120M12C (japan import)) that are great for anchor charts!) I loved just getting to see all of the different tools that people brought to the meet up. I got sooo many ideas for my classroom and I LOVED the dice and magnets I received from Michelle Gorman from Journey into TK

      I am on Spring Break (WOOHOO!!!), so I haven't gotten to use these cool dice yet, but I am planning on putting them in action as soon as I return. The possibilities are endless (numbers, blends, letters. sight words, coins, etc.). You can click the image below to find these cool dice on amazon! 
     Now,  hop on over to my friends' blogs to read about all of the other cool tools that were exchanged during this amazingly empowering weekend in French Lick! If you are a teacher blogger who attended the meet up, you can also link up below. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Knock Knock Joke Partner Plays and Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Chapter 6

     Today I'm linking up with Amanda from One Extra Degree for Chapter 6 of the Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites book study! Strategy 6 is HUMOR and it is perfect for my class because we are ALL about being SILLY, and we just got started with some really silly jokes....

      Last week at my blog meet up I was asked to share my inspiration with others. EASY. MY K5ERS! They inspire me so much, they even inspire my products. DUH! Everything I create is first and foremost FOR THEM!  So when I noticed them telling knock-knock jokes to one another, that lightbulb went off, and I immediately started creating these Knock Knock Joke Partner Plays! We started using these a few weeks back and we are in love. I enjoy hearing all the giggles in the classroom. 


There are three character sets and each set has a different level of difficulty.  I store my partner plays in colored folders so that students can easily find the folders that go together without needing to check the front. These could easily be stored other ways. You could use clear presentation covers, comb binding, or you could even print them on half sheets, laminate the sheets, and store them on small binder rings. 

Check them out in action in this video! I love how these are helping my kiddos with fluency and expression! 

Here is a look at some of the other ways we use humor in K5...   

Silly glasses for reading groups.

We wore mustaches for letter M. 

I dressed up in a costume as the Frog Street Press character, Cathy Cook, for letter C. I told my students that Cathy was my twin sister and would be subbing for the day!

I dress up as Dr. Nose A. Lott for science. 

We GoNoodle. Need I say more? 
Whip It! Sight word game.

Catch a Turkey beginning sound game.

We love reading silly books! Here are some of our favorites! 


     I am loving Marcia Tate's book and studying it with my blogging friends just makes it even better. It is changing my teaching! If you don't have the book, you can click the pic below to find it on amazon. I would love to hear your thoughts on chapter 6! Link up with Amanda or leave a comment on this post!