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Friday, September 14, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

I have to tell you about this great resource that I learned about from Laura over at Kinder Kraziness. Its called The Kindergarten Common Core Workbook. It covers both English and Math standards. It has both worksheets and activities for you to use with your kindergarten students. The book contains over 600 pages of activities and worksheets! What an amazing resource to supplement your students' learning!

Even though I teach in Ontario (and we do not formally have the Common Core Standards) many of the Ontario Curriculum expectations link perfectly with the Common Core. I can not wait to get my hands on this amazing resource. I am constantly searching for activities for my students that have purposeful practice opportunities and I think that this resource will provide them. I am already planning to use one of the activities this week during my small group instruction. I think that my students will love these activities.

If you are a blogger, and you act fast you can grab a copy of this awesome resource here by following the instructions provided. I hope that you will enjoy this amazing resource! I know that I will!

Change is a good thing...right?

Well it's been awhile since I've posted, but a lot has happened since my last post. Remember that over the summer I was preparing for my combined Grade One/Two classroom. Well, the week before school started my principal called me to offer me a position teaching kindergarten. That meant switching classrooms if I accepted. I said I would call him back the following day, but ended up calling him back a half an hour later to say yes I would accept the kindergarten position. So remember that beautiful classroom I had all ready and set to go...dismantle it, and start over from scratch at the complete opposite end of the school (which I swear is like a kilometer away) Thankfully, I have great friends and family that helped me make the switch.

We have just finished our second week of school and I would have to say that I am extremely happy with my decision to switch. I love teaching kindergarten and my students are great. I also get to work with a full time Designated Early Childhood Educator in my classroom. My DECE seems wonderful and our personalities/styles are a great match. So we have 22 students (an even mix of JK and SK) that we will teach together. There are also two other kindergarten classrooms, so we have a great team to work and collaborate with. I think its going to be a great year! A lot of stress the week before school started but it was worth it. Hopefully now that things are settled I will be posting more regularly. I will be creating a post about an awesome kindergarten blogger opportunity that hopefully I will post tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My First Freebie

I have been searching for a classroom library label set for quite some time now. I never found one that exactly fit my collection of books. It never had the right categories, or Canadian spelling. So I decided to create my own. I figured I would offer it as a freebie to anyone else who could use it. If there is interest, I can change the spelling of favourite to the American version. Just leave a comment below. All of the graphics for this freebie come from The 3am Teacher.
She has lots of easy frames to start creating. I will be posting the pdf document to Google Docs. Eventually I hope to open a shop at TPT and I will add it there as well. Just click on the picture to grab the labels.

I hope that you enjoy this freebie. Thanks for reading and following,

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day Jitters Link up

Well I survived our family camping trip. The weather was certainly not great. It rained the first night but the tent had no leaks. Then a big storm rolled in on Saturday afternoon and broke all the poles in the back room of our tent. Everything got pretty wet inside. Yuck, wet sleeping bags = miserable Mommy. We managed to fix up the tent the best we could with rope, duct tape and a tarp. Luckily it stopped storming after dinner. Cameron absolutely adored our camping weekend. He had a great time with the other kids in our camping party. A great trip despite the yucky weather.

A special thanks to Laura over at "Kinder Kraziness" for featuring me on her "Someone New" Sunday post and a friendly welcome to any new followers who found me through her link. Here's a link to her post that featured my little Canadian blog.

 Once school starts back I hope to be sharing lots of classroom ideas that work well for my combined Grade One/Two class.

Though my constant blog stalking I have heard many people mention this lovely book First Day Jitters. I am on the hunt for my own copy. Hopefully I can pick one up on our trip to the city this week. Anyways, Jessica at "A Turn to Learn" featured this great jitters inspired linky. I just adore her blog. Her tutorials are so simple and easy to follow. I have learned so many awesome things! So to show my bloggy appreciation for all the great things she shares on her blog I am linking up to the party.

What are you feeling 'jittery' about?  I hope that you can join in on the fun too!
Back to School Jitters Linky Party

Thanks for reading and following,

Friday, August 10, 2012


Happy Friday! It looks like its going to be a rainy weekend:( We have reservations to go camping and Cameron was so excited. Now the forecast is calling for rain all week. Not just rain though but thundershowers. Double yuck.We have a tent. I'm not a big camping person but I was excited for camping with my little boy. Camping in a tent in during a thunder storm just doesn't seem safe to me. We will cross our fingers that the forecast is wrong or will change. Send some good weather vibes our way!

It looks like I will have some shopping to complete before our hopeful camping expedition. TPT is having a Back to School Sale! Awesome!

My wish list is getting quite large, so I think that I will definitely grab some those fantastic deals! Some sellers are offering additional sales at their stores too, so you could save up to 28%!

While checking google reader this morning I came across an awesome blog hop where some sellers are featuring one of their Back to School products. I think I've added ten more products to my TPT shopping cart already! I love to gather a little bit more information about products before I purchase them. So if you feel the same way go check out the blog hop.

Also don't forget to enter the Cameo giveaway.

I can't believe how amazing everyone's creations are turning out! Every trip I take to Michael's usually involves me eying up the Cricut machines. I could never justify the price once considering the cost of buying additional cartridges. But the Cameo seems like a dream. My understanding is that you don't have to buy any cartridges! The cameo works with your existing clip art and fonts. Sounds fantastic to me! It's definitely been added to my future wish list. Maybe Santa can deliver one to me for Christmas, although I'm not sure I can wait that long!

I hope that everyone has a great weekend. Hopefully the storms stay away, I'm OK with rain but please no thunder and lightning. Thanks for reading and following,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Made it

I'm linking up again with 4th Grade Frolics for Made it Monday.

I didn't have much time to craft this week because we were celebrated my son's sixth birthday yesterday with my side of the family. (His actual birthday falls on Wednesday) I did make a cake, does that count? I'm kind of embarrassed to even post a picture. Normally, I would buy a cake but Cameron recently fell in love with a cake that my sister in law made using Dream Whip for icing. He raved about that simple cake for weeks, so I had to bake one for his birthday. I figured I would pick up some green coloured icing to write Happy Birthday and was swayed into purchasing this lovely product.

I thought that I could write on the cake and then switch tips and make some decorative 'thingys'. As you can tell by my cake decorating vocabulary, this is not my hidden talent. Anyways, the star tip made some lovely star 'bursty' like lumps. However, that can of icing was not user friendly when it came to writing. Certain times tons would come out. Then nothing came out for the next letter. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong. But hey it tasted good, so I guess that's all that matters in the end.
The masterpiece - notice skinny P versus fat P in the word HAPPY
I did make one thing for school this week. I printed out and put together my teaching planner binder. I used the free printable from The Resource(ful) Room.

Amy has lots of amazing things on her site. Be sure to go and check out her website. I ended up organizing my things into two separate binders. One binder contains my lesson plans, calendar, standards, student info/IEPS, meetings. The other binder will contain my reading information - groupings, conferences, tracking/assessment information, etc. I think that they will really help me stay organized next year.

I can't wait to see what everyone else was creating. Thanks for reading and following,

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August Currently

I am linking up for the first time to the 'Currently' linky party over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade. I've been wanting to link up since I first started blogging last month, so here it goes.

I am currently loving the Olympics, and to my surprise my five year old son is loving watching them too. I kind of expected him to put up a fuss to watch his Disney Channel shows but he hasn't at all!

Today I finished Cameron's yearly shutterfly photo book. I make one every year just before his birthday. This year's book includes photos from when Cameron was five years old. If you haven't created a photo book you need to right now! I am horrible at printing off photographs, but each year I create and order a photo book for Cameron. They are my most treasured possessions. You can check mine out at the link below.

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

The next three items all involve B2S of course. Squeezing every last bit of fun out of summer, getting some pampering for myself, and dreading the organizational task of sorting books.
My B2S must have items are pretty self explanatory. #1 - Love my laminator, couldn't live without it. #2 Love my sharpie markers, need to get the 80's set before its gone. #3 Need my checklists to survive. Love technology and now I use my iphone for this task all the time! Thanks for reading and following,

Friday, August 3, 2012

The challenges of a combined class

Happy Friday bloggers and blog stalkers! In Ontario, we teach until almost the end of June, but we don't go back to school until after Labour Day in September. This means that I have exactly one month of summer vacation remaining. Wow, that first month of July just flew by! We had a quick visit to school earlier this week and I took a couple pictures of my classroom but I only had my cellphone. Please excuse the quality of the pictures.
My word wall will go here

Checking to see that my Cafe Strategies fit so I can add a space for the post it goals

My teachers desk along with a small work table.

As many of you are aware, I am scheduled to teach a combined Grade One / Two class in September at my new school. Among my efforts to work smarter and not harder I was searching for a document that would easily let me compare the expectations in each subject area across the two grades. Well I searched and searched and came up empty. There doesn't appear to be any document available that shows this information in an easy to read format.

I decided that I should attempt to put something together myself. I figure it will allow me to easily compare the expectations and plan accordingly to accommodate both sets of expectations within my lessons. I don't have the time or the energy to present two totally separate lessons so this comparison document will allow me to easily visualise the differences between the two grades. I'm hoping that I can deliver my whole group lessons to cover common expectations, and use my small group and guided instruction to cover the unique expectations. Hope that all makes sense.

So far, I have completed the language and math comparisons for the Ontario Curriculum in Grades One and Two. I have uploaded the documents to Google Docs, hoping that some of my fellow Ontario colleagues can also benefit from the information. Here are the links.

I am hoping to complete the other subject areas over the next few weeks and I will continue to post the links. I am hoping there are some Ontario teachers who can benefit from their use. Thanks for reading and following,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It

Although I've only been blogging for just a few weeks now, I have blog stalked for a bit longer. One of my favourite linky parties to stalk has always been the Monday Made It Linky. So I figured it was time to get a bit crafty and join in on all of the fun.

I created a few things for my classroom. First off, I printed and laminated some awesome signs for Whole Brain Teaching. Click the link below to grab these awesome freebies for yourself. I would love to chat with anyone else who is beginning to implement this system in their own classroom. Hopefully we can share and collaborate together.

The other thing I created was the popular birthday favours I've seen on so many Monday Made It links. I decided to place mine on crazy straws instead of pixie sticks. I'm very happy with the way they turned out. I haven't found a container for them yet, so they are temporarily sitting in my travel coffee mug.

Can't wait to see what everyone else was creating this week. Thanks for reading and following,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New {School} Year Resolutions

I was catching up with some blogs tonight when I stumbled across an awesome linky by Amanda over at Teaching Maddeness.

It makes perfect sense to make our resolutions now rather than in January, so here we go.

#1 - Stay organized - I'm lucky to be switching schools because I will start the year off in a completely clean and organized classroom. I intend to keep it this way, including my dreaded teacher's desk. I really need to make one of those teacher toolboxes.

#2 - Embrace change and try new things - New school, new administration, new students equals lots of change. I'm also embarking on a new journey with two whole new teaching 'strategies/systems'. I'm so excited to employ whole brain teaching strategies with my students and also to change up my literacy block with the Daily Five.

#3 Connect and Communicate with Parents - When I first began teaching I felt quite uncomfortable with this aspect of teaching. As time has passed I have begun to feel more at ease with this challenge. I'm also super excited to employ technology to my advantage and use it to help keep parents informed.

#4 - Use my time wisely - I really want to have a balance between home life and work life. I also need to squeeze in some time for my new found blogging life as well. I usually arrive early to school, so I want to make the most of the time before my students arrive each morning. Less gossiping around the Keurig in the staffroom and more planning and preparing.

Do you have any resolutions to share? Be sure to link up and share. Thanks for reading and following,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fabulous Find Friday

Wow! I can't believe its Friday already. Time is simply flying by. Friday means one thing - Fabulous Find Friday at Fun in Room 4B

Maybe some of you already know about this product. I first saw it a few months ago at Walmart in Canada. Perhaps those of you in the U.S.A. have had access to this product for quite a bit longer. This always seems to be the case. Here's my fabulous find for the week.

They cost about $4.00

The back of the package shows how many of each letter is included

I finally broke down and purchased these the other day.  I love this product! Basically they are like a post it note in the shape of letters. Which means you can reposition them on your project until you achieve your desired layout. Which is amazing! I used them on a project that I was creating for Made it Monday, but I'm sure there are many more uses for this fantastic project in the teaching world. I am thinking they would be great in kindergarten. I would give each student a letter to stick on their shirt and ask them to tell me their letter/sound/something that starts with that letter. Anyone else have a great use for these letters? Please share it in the comments below. Have a fantastic weekend! Thanks for reading and following,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Classroom Update & What I'm Pinning Wednesday

Cameron and I have spent the last few mornings working away in my classroom. I have all of the bulletin boards covered and bordered. I had heard that someone used plastic tablecloths to cover bulletin boards so I thought that I would give it a try. We ran into a slight problem, the plastic tablecloths were too thin so we had to double them. Not a big deal, just slightly more time consuming. I put up my number line, and alphabet line. We arranged my letter headings for my word wall, and arranged my Cafe strategy board. We also arranged the desks and organized some stuff in the drawers of my teacher desk.

Still lots of jobs left to do, but it doesn't feel like such a huge task when we go for a few hours each week. The following still needs to be done before school starts - organise my classroom library, set up Daily 5 center areas, and beg/borrow/steal more manipulatives for my classroom, set up plan book and plan for first week. Still lots of time - School doesn't start here until September 4th.

Anyways, it's time for one of my favourite linky parties over at Kinder Kraziness.

Ahh how I adore pinterest! I swear I am absolutely obsessed with it. There are just so many awesome ideas out there. Here are some of my favourite pins for the week.

I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a sale on "teacher toolboxes" so once I score my deal I can print these awesome labels off and save myself some time and frustration hopefully. You can grab these wonderful labels here. (Teachers pay teachers is currently down for maintenance so I can't verify that this link is correct right now, please comment if it doesn't work)

I've also been planning on organizing my students by number this year. So these are some great free printable number circles. I hope to use one set for my book boxes and another for documenting who's out of the classroom (bathroom, office, etc..) I like these numbers because I can print them on coloured paper and save ink. You can grab these awesome numbers from Runde's Room.

These are some awesome printable math games from Mrs.Clapp over at Serenade to Second Grade. They only require simple manipulatives like dice and cards. Be sure to visit her next post to grab the labels for the game if you want them too.

My last pin is this awesome treat to celebrate the start of the Olympic games! I love watching the Olympics and this treat will be a great way to celebrate tomorrow night. Bake some yummy cupcakes in ice cream cones and then decorate with some flaming icing. Looks easy enough, right? I hope I will find the time to make these before the ceremony starts, wish me luck.

Thanks for reading and following,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tell Me More and I'm a Winner!!!

Wow, I am just sooooo excited!!! I had been planning to join Amy's Tell me More linky party, so I logged into my computer this morning to begin composing my blog post. I decided to quickly check my email first. I won a $50 Amazon gift card from Amanda Madden over at Teaching Maddeness to celebrate her 500 followers milestone!!!

Teaching Maddeness

Wow, I was so shocked! Of course I had to log on immediately and start shopping! I had commented on Amanda's blog that I would be purchasing more non-fiction titles for my classroom library because my personal collection is lacking in that area. So I stayed true to my word and bought 7 National Geographic for Kids books! I can't wait for them to arrive. Here's a picture of my titles. (I spent a little over the $50.00 once tax was added on)

Anyways, a huge thank you to Amanda. I cannot wait for these awesome books to arrive!

Now for Amy's awesome Tell me More linky party. I've only recently started blogging but I am totally addicted. I love reading everyone's posts. I get so many helpful tips and resources to use in my classroom. But I love this linky because it gives me a little glimpse into the lives of these wonderful bloggers. So here are a few random things about me.

I love everything Disney! I'm slightly obsessed actually. I even read forums about visiting Disney World, even though I don't even have a return trip planned. Two years ago we took our dream trip to Walt Disney World and stayed onsite for eight days! It was a magical trip! I would love to visit the world again, but I would also love to take a Disney Cruise. Maybe I can convince my husband to let me do both, right?

Sundays are family dinner days. Family has always been very important to me. When my Grandmother was alive she held Sunday dinner at her house every week. A normal Sunday usually involved at least 15 dinner guests. If there was a birthday or holiday to celebrate the typical guest roster floated around 30+ people. My mom now hosts Sunday dinners and the crowd is much smaller, but my entire family still gets together for holidays and special occasions at least a few times a year.

I adore Dutch licorice! I don't know many people who even like regular black licorice but I love Dutch licorice, even the 'dubble zout' (double salt) My mother's parents immigrated to Canada from Holland when my mother was just a baby. So my childhood was filled with numerous dutch treats like chocolate sprinkle sandwiches, speculass cookies and olliebollen. But by far my favourite treat has always been salty Dutch licorice.

I recently conquered one of my many addictions. Unless you're Canadian, I don't think you would really understand this addiction. Some say a 'double double' (two cream, two sugar) is the quintessential definition being 'Canadian'. Near the end of the school year I gave up my daily Tim Hortons cup of coffee. Every morning began with dropping Cameron off at daycare and then swinging through the drive thru for my large 'double double'. I still have my morning coffee, I just grab one from my Keurig now. My favourite current flavour is Jamaica me Crazy by Wolfgang Puck.

 Anyone have any other favourites they would recommend? Thanks for reading,