Sunday, July 10, 2016

How Organizing my Word Wall saved my Sanity

word wall sanity

Hey Friends!! I hope you are having a FABULOUS summer!! I feel like mine has been flying by!!! I have made a trip to Topeka, KS to see my inlaws, a trip to Branson, MO to go shopping and am currently sitting in the airport in Dallas, TX headed to Omaha, NE. I can’t wait to share with you all WHY I am going to Omaha. It is going to be HUGE!!


Anywho, As I was cleaning my classroom and getting rid of all my kindergarten stuff, I came across this BRILLIANT reminder of how I used to store my word wall words. This is before I moved to magnetic words and it no longer worked.


Drumroll please….


I had a binder with baseball card holders. Very similar to these.


It was simple and efficient. All the words were in ABC order so if I needed the word “you” I could easily find it.


Now that I am moving to PreK I won’t have quite as many words for my wall. I also have to figure out a way to store my beginning sound pictures for they are easily accessible. So if you have any ideas on how to store those other than the ziplock bags they are currently in, let me know Smile

word wall

Here is my word wall pre-sight words, but with almost all my beginning sounds pictures! The link to the vocabulary cards are here:

picture it

I can’t wait to see what this will look like in PreK!

Have a great Sunday!!
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

5 Things to Take to a Teaching Conference


As the school year is winding down, and summer is heating up, it is now time for Teaching Conference Season! For the last five summers I have been SO lucky to go to a conference of some kind. There are SO MANY options! I have gotten to go to the two biggies, I Teach K in Vegas and Frog Street SPLASH in Dallas!

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This summer I am going to be going to SPLASH again! And as I am prepping for all the great sessions, I thought I would share with you what I will be taking with me!

1) Bag:
I am a bag hoarder! I have like 20 bags I learned my lesson the first year I went to Vegas for I Teach K. DO NOT TAKE A HUGE BAG! Sometimes you are treking across a huge hotel, and after a while the bag gets heavy. I love my Retro Metro bag from Thirty-One. Sad news is, they don’t sell them any more. But that means you can get them cheaper on eBay! (Or you can get them on Amazon?!)
2) Notebook:
I always buy me a new pretty notebook from Target before I leave. Polka Dots, Chevron, Stripes, Flowers, ANYTHING that just screams Buy Me Kaci!! I take notes in the notebook, and since I am a little ADD, I also like to doodle while I am listening to the session. (It also is helpful to keep a running todo list, I always think of things I need to do when I am sitting in a workshop!)
3) Pens:
Hi, My name is Kaci, and I am addicted to pens. When I go to a conference, I have to buy a brand new pack of Flair Pens. And by the time I get home, I will have lost over half… You can’t just have one, you have to have multiple colors. This way you can color code your notes and doodle cute pictures in the margins! (They are also on sale right now at Amazon for $10, I might have bought two sets….)
My laptop fits perfectly into my Retro Metro bag, and it goes with me every where! I like to have my laptop so I can type notes during sessions (when I get tired of writing notes, I like options!) I also can use it to look at Facebook if I get to sessions early. Some people like to bring their iPads or Tables, for the same reasons and they are lighter. But I prefer a full keyboard.
5) Snacks:
I am not a size 4 by any means, and I like snacks. I make sure to bring something sweet (peanut butter twix) something salty (trail mix) a bottle of water AND a Dr. Pepper!
I hope that you enjoy your conference this summer! If you are at SPLASH in Dallas, be sure to say HI!!!!

This post does contain affiliate links to Amazon. However, there is nothing in here that I would not purchase myself for my classroom. I hope you can find something that you need for your room.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

PreK School Supply List

prek school supply
It is Sweet Summer Time! Although I am still trying to close up my classroom, I am also beginning to think about next school year! If you will look at that image, I have a little news for my followers. I am moving to PreK! (Pending Board Approval in two weeks!) I am pretty excited about the move, but it really shouldn’t have any affect on my blog.

So back to the business. As I was preparing for the big move to PreK, I needed to prep a school supply list. So I did what any teacher would do, and I googled it! So here is my, in a perfect world, school supply list for PreK! I do have affiliate links to Amazon in my post, these help fund my classroom supplies.

The Basics:
Markers: I will fully admit that I am a school supply snob, and I will only use Crayola! I prefer the 10 count, classic colors box.
Crayons:  I have asked for two different types of crayons (Again Crayola.) The jumbo sized and then 3 packs of the regular 24 pack size.

Glue Sticks: I prefer glue sticks. I have heard about the glue sponges, and how great they are, But this teacher prefers the glue stick. Eight of them to be exact (and yes I fully expect that I will have to buy some in December!)
Pencil Box/Pouch: For the last few years I have used pencil boxes. I have waited until the school supplies go on sale and scoop them up when they are a quarter. But this year I am changing things up! I can’t tell you how many boxes broke this past year. We do flexible seating in my classroom, so boxes are spread across the room So This year I am going to the zipper bags, so if I step on them they wont break quire as easily.
Nap Mats: We have always napped for about 15 minutes until October in Kindergarten. But PreK is a new breed. So I have asked for a Kindermat and a blanket for the kids to sleep on.
Art Supplies: I have aso asked for a couple of art supplies to suplement our Art Class at our school.

Odds and Ends: There are also a couple of supplies that are no fun but every classroom needs, Such as ziplocs (both gallon and quart), germ-x and kleenex!
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These are all the tings I have asked parents for on the school supply list. But I do have a couple of items that I do ask for on a giving tree. You can see those on this blog post!
must have supplies

This post does contain affiliate links to Amazon. However, there is nothing in here that I would not purchase myself for my classroom. I hope you can find something that you need for your room.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

All About Ladybugs!

I have not been shy to talk about how much I enjoy teaching about insects and life cycles. So as I am preparing for Insects week next week, I thought I would share what we do in our classroom! So I will start out with ladybugs, my favorite!


We always start our thematic units with learning about the life cycle. We first read a couple of books about ladybugs. Here are a couple of my favorites. The last book is actually on BookFlix! I need to find a hard copy.


After I have introduced them to the ladybugs, together we create an Anchor Chart on the life cycle of a ladybug. When I start to teach an insect a day, I skip over the KWL charts. We have a general KWL chart on Insects. (if you have bought my insect life cycle unit before, I apologize, I made a mistake! I fixed it though!)


We do a whole group anchor chart. then we do one of our own!


This is such a nice way to see if the kids are getting the life cycle. I also use this to asses their vocabulary.


We also look at the parts of a ladybug. We label them on the SmartBoard.
I also found this video on youtube, we will be watching this on Monday as well.

Well, I am off to fold the mountain of laundry that is on my bed! Have a great Sunday!

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Frog Street Splash Ambassador

I have some VERY exciting news to share with you today! Have you ever heard of Frog Street SPLASH? If not, let me tell you how AmAzInG it is! It is an Early Childhood conference in Dallas. I went last year and there were some amazing presenters!

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Don from The Learning Station was there! So was Travis and Presley! I went to some amazing sessions! My favorite session was on Conscious Discipline! I sat through the entire session and CRIED! I am the best teacher that I can be, but sitting in that session made me realize, I can be an even better teacher!

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Not only were there big names presenting, but there were some pretty fabulous bloggers that were there as well! I got to sit with Debbie Clement, Jennifer Kadar and Crystal Radke! And I could see Vanessa Levin! Here are Jennifer and Vanessa doing a periscope! So fun!!


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And did I mention the beautiful location?! This hotel is amazing! I can’t wait to go back this year!


Now for the best part, they have asked ME to be an Ambassador for them this year!


I CAN NOT WAIT!! Some of my Bloggy Besties will be back! Some Freebielicous girls will be there too! And did I mention, some AmAzInG  Presenters! I would LOVE it if you went and read about it! It is a conference you DO NOT want to miss!!




Saturday, April 2, 2016

Chicken Life Cycles

How I love spring!! I swear there is nothing better than spring in Kindergarten! They are reading, they are independent and we do a TON of Science!
chicken ife cycle
When we come back from Spring Break we start life cycles, and start with frogs. But that week, we get our incubator out and get chicken eggs.
I let them keep an eye on them for about a week, continuing to teach about the frog life cycle, and feed their curiosity. They want to know what is in that box. What is it doing? What is going to come out of those eggs?! Why are you turning the eggs every day? They are just bouncing on their little bottoms on Monday when we start our Chicken Life Cycle unit.
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We start off all of our life cycles with a KWL chart. By this time of the year the kids are champs at making these charts! On Tuesday I bring in the flashlight and some new books.
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My kids LOVE the Gail Gibbons and Let’s Find out Books. We read them whenever there is a book for whatever theme we are on. However; these books do talk about fertilization and how the egg forms inside the hen. I just skip those pages. So Teacher Beware!
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It is time to candle the eggs. (Excuse the fuzz it was a humid day!!) We look at every egg to see how many are on track to hatch. They think it is so cool to see the shadows inside the egg!
Then we get to the fun part. I crack two nonfertilized eggs. It is gah-ross! We talk about the shell, skin, yolk and albumen. Then I hang them up in the hallway.

They love learning about life cycles. I love hearing their little voices use big vocabulary. When they talk about embryos and oviparous animals, my teacher heart grows!
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After we learn about the life cycle, we do an activity to reinforce them. Last year we made these cute little life cycles from Kindergarten Rocks:
Did I mention they were free?! So Cute!

Then we do some more waiting. Twenty-One days is a long time for Kindergarten.

Then it finally happens. They start hatching.
The kids beg me to hook up the iPad to the SmartBoard so they can watch the eggs hatch.
Not only do I have happy kids, but there is also a happy teacher!

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This is truly a fun unit to teach! We love life cycles in kindergarten! We do almost a month of life cycles, a week of frog, chicken, butterflies, plants. Then we do two weeks of Insects, a bug a day, and talk about all those life cycles too!

Can’t wait to share those with you too!!

Mrs. Hoffer's Spot is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to