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!!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Alternative Seating

So recently I have had some people ask me about how I run my classroom with alternative seating. It has been a gradual transition that has been going on for about 4 years now. My first year teaching I went to the Oklahoma Kindergarten Conference, and listened to Kim Adsit talk about how she does alternative seating. It has taken me a couple of years to get it down to a science! My first step was giving my students a bag of supplies. 

 Each of my kids has a carpet bag. In each of their bags is their clipboard (in my opinion the most important tool that they have!) their crayon box and a dry erase eraser. They also have a dry erase pocket that has an activity that they can do when they are done early or as their morning work.

I know that how they can access their tools can be done a couple different ways. This is actually the way I started handling their tools, and each year I have tried something different. 

Option One:
This is the ONLY picture I can find, and it is not front facing, SORRY! But each kiddo is specified a color. In the top drawer they put their crayon box. In the second drawer they kept their clipboards. In the third drawer they kept their glue sticks, markers and scissors. This was an easy way for them to keep track of their supplies! This puts all their supplies out and in one place. I also broke up the sterilite containers and had them placed around the room, so when we were getting supplies they were not all focused in one location.

Option Two:

Each of my kiddos has a cubby where they put their coat and backpacks. Right now they keep their crayon box in their cubbies too. When they need scissors/glue/erasers/pencils they go to the community supplies and get whatever it is they need. 

In my classroom we have different option of where my kiddos can sit! There are two different times of the day, where my kids have options. 1) Whole Group teaching. I am in front of the SmartBoard and they are sitting on the carpet. If we are working on an assignment together, they have their clipboards. 2) Individual Work/Center Time: This is when the kids can choose where to sit. This is where the fun starts!!

 Scoop Chairs. I bought mine at Walmart, but I have heard they are at Aldis this week. Or you can order from Amazon. The kids take their clipboard and can rock anywhere around the room.

My Bathtub. I have taken the pillows out of the tub. But they still LOVE working in it. Right now only one kiddo is allowed in there at a time. But eventually I will allow two in!

Crate Seats. I have these peppered across the room. They are at my kidney table, computer table and student table. They also are at random places where the kids have drug them. 

The famous Picnic Table. Officer Hofficer made this for my classroom two summers ago. It is perfect for little Kindergarten Booties. And behind the table, you can see the computer table. 

I have had a lot of people asking me how I manage the seating. I will add pictures tomorrow but here is a real quick run down!

Picking the Seats
My carpet has four rows of numbers, each a different color.

I call my students to pick their seats based off which row is doing what they are supposed to. This way my kids are sitting quietly. By now, I know who is going to pick what option. They are pretty set in their ways. I know which girls are going to sit at my table, which boys are going to grab the rockers. But this way it allows the kids to choose which ever they want (even if they pick the same thing)

We also have a rule that, you may not grab a chair, or get in the bathtub until you have all your supplies and are ready to learn.


This one I will have to add a picture to. I have been so blessed with a bathtub for my classroom. It once belonged to my mother when she taught, but that is my storage system. Ball Chairs, Bean Bags and Scoop chairs all get thrown into the tub.

Well I am off to bed! I would love to answer any questions you might have about how we do Alternative Seating in our classroom!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reflections on the Year

Hello Friends! Instead of me telling you why I have not been around {again} I am going to just jump right in! I am linking up with Hadar, Teeny
and Traci!
15 in 15 blog

I really branched out in January. I gave up my Clip Chart. I wrote about it here:

I got to go to Atlanta to the EdTech conference AND go to RCA! It was a blast and a half! I had so much fun! I got to see my blogging besties in the middle of the year!

Officer Hofficer’s twin brother invited us to tag along with him and his girlfriend to Las Vegas over Spring Break! We had SO much fun! I got to see Vegas through new eyes with my family.
Then we got to add a new member to the family! We can’t wait for May when I will get a new Sister-in-Love!
I also got to have my voice heard {okay, so they didn’t listen AGAIN to the 10,000 teachers standing on their front lawn, but I did my best} We went to the State Capitol and made it know that Oklahoma Kids deserved better!

No much happened in April, finals and all Winking smile

May was a big month! It took me two years, lots of late nights, stress and giving it my all. But I graduated, with a 4.0! I got my Library Science, with Technology Integration with a focus on Indian Studies Masters degree!

Not much happened in June. Dustin had surgery at the end of May, and we got to spend lots of quality time together!

I had my tonsils out..Yuck! But at the end of the month I did get to go see some of my lovlies again in Dallas at SPLASH!

August was the most difficult month of the year. If you have been around, you might know I am an only child and a BIG Daddies Girl! Well the unimaginable happened Last Labor Day. My Daddy was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and he battled it for exactly 365 days. Praise be to God he kicked Cancers Patooty! But during the month of August (the first day of school to be exact) He had to go to the hospital for a MONTH in OKC (which is 3 hours away from home) for a stem cell transplant. I missed my Momma and Daddy like crazy. Spent every weekend in OKC. But it was worth it, to hear them tell him You are in Remission!
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{September & October}
In September we started really working hard on Craft Festival stuff! We did our first one in September and had one every weekend for about a month time frame!

Ya’ll know I love me some football. Well my birthday present from my parents was to go to Bedlam (OSU vs OU) and I was on COLLEGE GAME DAY! It was AMAZING (and cold)!

December was a whirlwind, and not really sure what happened in this month other than I bought way too many pairs of leggings! But here is a cute picture of my honey and I!
Now.. I am going to say this, and I am hopefully going to keep my word, but I am ready to be back blogging and working on TpT! I hope you and your family have a great end of the year!!