Saturday, August 24, 2013


I finally gave in and created a K-3 Connection facebook page. I really have no idea what to do with it yet, but I have created a fan FREEBIE for you! Read about it below and then click here to "like" K-3 Connection and grab the freebie!

Star Tables Behavior Management System

I have added "Star Tables" to my Behavior Clip Chart as a part of my behavior management system. This is a group system where students are rewarded by tables or groups. I find this can help keep the classroom under control more than when you reward/punish an individual student's behavior because the groups start to work together to earn the reward. Students will redirect their peers behavior because they want to earn a star.

How to Use Star Tables

Basically, when a table or group is making good choices, they earn a star. Groups can also lose stars when they are not doing what they are supposed to. Each group earns as many stars as they can for a week (or however long you'd like). At the end of the week, the group with the most stars gets a reward. 

To stick the stars to the table posters I use Tack it Over. I learned about it from a professor in undergrad and its pretty awesome! Basically you paint it on the back of something laminated and it dries tacky so you can stick it on things and pull it off again! It is cheap and it lasts a long time which is a major plus in my book.

In my class, the "Star Table" gets a small trophy that sits on the table for the next week. This is the smallest, cheapest, dinkiest, trophy in the world and the kids WANT it SO badly. They really work hard to earn it. Click the picture below to see where I got my trophy.

Head on over to the K-3 Connection facebook page for this freebie!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday (August 23)

As always... TGIF! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday and sharing five random things about my week.

1. We finally started our modified version of The Daily Five this week. We started to build our stamina for Read to Self. It seems like it takes about a billion years to get the kids to a decent amount of time, but once they are there it is amazing. So far, we are up to two and a half minutes.

2.  I started back at Vandy for the semester. I don't even really want to think about it yet.

3. I finished my classroom jobs display and we started to use them this week. Woohoo! Jobs make a teacher's life a little bit easier. I like how they turned out and it matches my other classroom decor!

4. Have you heard of this stuff? I learned about it from a professor in undergrad and its pretty awesome! Basically you paint it on the back of something laminated and it dries tacky so you can stick it on things and pull it off again! Great for centers or putting things on the board you need to move around. I use it for my star tables which is my number 5.

I looked for this stuff at every craft store in town and finally ended up buying it from amazon. I just love amazon.

5. This is a new addition to my classroom management system. I plan on posting about this tomorrow. It is going to be my first Facebook Fan Freebie! So be sure to "like" K-3 Connection or come back here to grab it!

The FREEBIE is up! Click here to read more about it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five for Friday August 16

It is Friday! WOOHOO! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

1. I am participating the the Back to School sale on TechersPayTeachers this weekend (August 18-19). You can get 28% off of my entire store! Just use the code BTS13 at checkout to receive the full discount. I have a few things myself that I've been eyeing to buy during this sale! I always love a good sale.

(I borrowed this graphic from Doodle Bugs--too cute!)

2. I have created a link party where you can share your "Must-have" item/product/etc. every month! Click here to link up and see my monthly must-have!

3. Here's a look at my word wall. I added the kiddos names with a picture of each of them. They LOVE seeing themselves up on the wall!

(This is from my Word Wall Set.)

4. I finally received my paper daisies to display my table numbers. I have seen these all over pinterest and I just HAD to get some myself!

I bought three daisies from Amazon. Click below to have a look at them.

5. Grad school starts back for me next week. It feels like I just finished the summer session. Boo!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Monthly Must-have Linky!

Are you as happy that tomorrow is Friday as I am? A lot of you probably have not gone back to school yet and I am so JEALOUS of you! But hey, you’ll be jealous of me when my summer break comes before yours! ; )

I am starting a monthly linky party called “Monthly Must-have”. In this linky you can share your “must-have” resource, product, etc. for each month. I’d love to get some new ideas from my fellow bloggers!

My August “Monthly Must-have” is A Year of Poems for K by the very sweet Elizabeth Hall (from Kickin’ it in Kindergarten). I just started using it and I am LOVING it! It includes 50 poems that are themed and kindergarten appropriate. I wanted to do a weekly poem last year, but I got off track because I had to search all over for them. This problem is now solved!

 Here is how I have been using it:

Monday- We introduce the poem. The kids echo read the poem as I point to the words.

Tuesday- We recite the poem together as a class. This day, we practice using different student’s names in the blank. Not all poems will have a blank. In the future we may practice the poem in different voices. (For example: say the poem in a whisper voice, or a vampire voice, etc.)

Wednesday- We look for something specific in the poem. This week, we looked for the letter/word “I”. You can look for whatever you are working on… sight words, rhyming words, syllables, etc.

Thursday- We add the poem to our poetry notebook. We use a composition notebook and the kids glue it right on one of the pages.

Friday- We complete an activity to go along with the poem. (Elizabeth has 5 already made activity pages included for you to choose from.) This week we will practice “visualizing the poem”. The kiddos will draw what they visualize when they read the poem. When we finish the activity, they glue it on the page beside the poem in their poetry notebooks.

The notebooks go home with the kids on Fridays to practice over there weekend. There is even a letter to parents included telling how they can help their kiddos.

I can’t wait to use this product all year long! My kids absolutely love practicing the poem each week.
What is your “Monthly Must-have” for August? Link up below!

All you have to do to join in on the linky is include the linky picture above in your post with a link back to this page. It would be nice to visit a couple of other posts and leave a sweet comment. You know how we all love comments. =) Check back next month on the 15th to link up with your September Monthly Must-have!

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Week Five for Friday (with FREEBIES!)

Well, I barely survived my (second) first week of school. I feel like I need a month to recover, but I made it out alive. That’s all that matters… right? New kinders are so exhausting, but they’re pretty darn cute. I have some teenie tiny ones this year! I have also absolutely loved seeing all my kiddos from last year in the halls. Not gunna lie--I've missed them a ton! Here is a peek at what we did during our first week of school.

(Don't you love the new Five for Friday linky pic?)

1. I made some labels for my take home folders to help my kiddos organize their papers that go home. I like these because I can say "put this paper on the red or green side" and it is easy for them to do. You can grab this freebie here.

2. My mom got me this amazing straw dispenser to use for pencils! I am absolutely in love with it and it helps avoid the kiddos searching for the "perfect pencil" since it dispenses one pencil at a time AND they think it is just about the coolest thing ever. 

Click here
 to see where she bought it.
(It doesn't cost 50 bucks like a lot of the other ones I have seen either.)

3. Of course we talked about rules and procedures over and over and over this week. Some of the activities we did came from Growing Kinders' Monster Manners freebie. It had a great story (The Day a Monster Came to School) and sorting activity to go along with our rules discussions.

It also has these pictures that we used to talk about good vs. bad choices. This is definitely not my cutest anchor chart, but it really helped the kids think about what is a good or bad choice and why.

4. Tattling is one of the things that drives me CRAZY at the beginning of the year. The kids run and tell the teacher every. little. thing. My favorite "tattle" I have heard is "so-and-so said my last name!!". What?!? I just had to laugh at that one.

One of my favorite books to read to help cut down the tattling is A Bad Case of the Tattle Tongue. It talks about tattling vs. reporting and gives "Tattling Rules" for kids to think about before they run and tell the teacher. The kiddos really don't want to "catch the tattle tongue".

5. I changed up my behavior chart a little bit from last year. I added another positive space for the kids to move up to. You can get this freebie here.

The different pieces say:

Pink- Way to Go!!
Purple- Great Job! 
Blue- Ready to Learn (Students start here)
Green- Think About It
Yellow- Make Better Choices
Orange- Slow Down!
Red- Uh Oh!!

Students start on blue. They can then move up the chart for good choices or down the chart for bad choices.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Currently August and Back to School

I can not believe school starts on Monday. Where did the summer go?! It went way too fast.

I have been working like a mad woman trying to get my classroom ready. It is still not as finished as I would like it to be, but it will have to do. I went with a polka dot and bunting theme this year. Here is a look at some parts of my room.

This is how my name is displayed on my desk (without the black blobs of course).

These color posters are part of my Number, Shape, and Color Posters set.  My classroom has zero bulletin boards, so I have to create my own. I used a plastic table cloth for the background and the border is from Frog Street Press. You can buy it here from Amazon.

These posters are also part of my Number, Shape, and Color Posters set. 

Above are the hooks where my students hang their backpacks. They each have an assigned number and hook. You can grab these numbers here.

Today is Open House at my school. We have a morning and night session where the parents and kiddos drop by to meet their teachers before school starts on Monday. I'm excited to meet the rest of my new students! When they drop by, they will pick up a folder of information about the year ahead.

Some of the things I include in the folder are:

  • Student Info Card--Parents will fill this out and leave it with me, the rest of the folder they will take with them. I keep this card for reference all year because it has a ton of important information on it. Grab this info card for free here.
  • Introduction Letter--I write a letter to parents letting them know a little bit about myself (where I graduated from, the things I like to do in my free time) and welcoming them to my classroom.
  • Discipline Plan--This informs the parents of the class discipline procedures and how they will know how their child behaves each day. (I will post more about this in the future. You can see and download the behavior chart I used last year here.)
  • Homework--I write a small section about kindergarten homework and the consequences if it is not completed.
  • Class Website--I write a little about how to navigate the class webpage. Our newsletter is on it each week, so it is really important for them to know.

And because it is August, it is time for Currently!

Now off to nap before I go back to school tonight!