Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pre-Primer Sight Word Intensive Practice

I just posted a product I've been working on for a couple days. It came about after I noticed that a pack I purchased back in August isn't exactly meeting the needs of my students. (Don't ya' hate when that happens!) So, I played around and designed my own practice sheets that are a little more intensive than the ones I've been able to find online. They are more thorough, require more practice and even some reading comprehension skills when students are required to fill in the word, read the easy sentence and draw a picture. (That is my students' favorite part!)

My students have completed two pages now from this pack, one as a review of a word many aren't identifying and another for a new work introduced recently. THEY LOVE IT! I will not be using any other versions now because my own creation is catered perfectly to fit the needs of my students. That is exactly what I was hoping for!

 If you think your students could benefit from it, check it out on my TpT store: Pre-Primer Sight Words: Intensive Practice

God Bless!! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dr. Seuss Daily Rhyming Annoucements FREEBIE!

I have this song playing on repeat in my head today… something about wishing it was Sunday? That’s my fun day? I don’t have to run day? Yeah, I’m sure you know which song I’m referring to, especially if you are a Kinder-Teacher or  if you’ve every had a too long, too stressful and too exhausting MANIC MONDAY. 

But here we are, at the end of another one and I made the best of it. Our 3 hour Math training today was exactly three hours and although it occurred on a Manic Monday, it was still Manic Marvelous.  I love my district; we are truly blessed to have such wonderful trainings and support from our leaders.  I really feel like they are providing me with all the stuff I just couldn’t figure out on my own; the stuff that I hit my head on my computer screen about because even Google doesn’t have the answer sometimes. Scary moment when that happens, by the way.  D: 

So, I’m about to hit the hay. Call it a night. Count some sheep. (Insert your own axiom here cause I’m too tired to think of another.) Before I do though, I have an INCREDIBLE freebie to share. I don’t usually think of my own work as INCREDIBLE but I created this a year ago during my Student Teaching and when looking back, I can hardly believe I was so creative at that time.  GO ME and my former, over-achieving, college-attending, no-idea-what-the-real-world-was-like…. Creative self.  

 I helped at my school with a Math/Literacy Week centered on the theme of Read Across America. I wanted to do something unique (which usually gets me hours of extra work unfortunately) and I came up with a pretty good idea. (Even Google nothing like it at the time.) What would make a week more special than having DAILY, SEUSS-LIKE, RHYMING, INTERACTIVE and FUN Morning Announcements?!?  So, I set out on a mission and this is my creation, free for you to use in any way you please. 

This freebie includes five AWESOME daily announcements to use over your school intercom system for each day of the week. We had the assistant principal do the reading and she later told me a student came up to her and told her she had some “mad rhyming skills!” LOL!  Some pages mention a theme day that we used during the week, but you can easily just mark through that part if it doesn’t apply to your school’s own themes. My favorite parts are the Book Title Trivia, Character Trivia and the School-Wide READ ACROSS AMERICA Pledge.  Here is a preview for you: 

I hope you USE THIS FREEBIE and reply with the responses of your students. That is the only payment I’m asking for.  Be sure to choose a cheerful and prominent school leader (Principal, Librarian, Counselor) to do the announcing so that all students recognize the speaker. FUN! FUN! FUN! 

HERE IS THE DOWNLOAD LINK: Dr. Seuss Daily Announcements

I’m also including a picture of my very first Dr. Seuss bulletin board from last year as well. It was created with some dollar party decorations from Wal-Mart, a blue tablecloth, some bright-green construction paper and some print-outs of famous Seuss characters. The students loved it and that made it totally worth the elbow-grease I poured into it. <3 

Hope you have a SEUSS-TASTICAL Dr. Seuss Week! It is coming up very soon.

God Bless! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

100th Day Hat FREEBIE! :)

What a week it has been! Oy! Four full days of unfiltered, unstoppable and uncontainable… KINDERGARTEN exposure. (DUN! DUN! DUN!)  I'm not even sure we banked four days total in the last two months, so this first four-days-in-a-row-without-snow-week has put me in the category of zombie beings that are lacking movement in one leg. In other words, I’m barely dragging around tonight. But, it was an AWESOME week with new experiences, lots of hugs and Kindergartener humor. Not to mention, after a few consecutive days of hearing my big mouth spurt out forgotten procedures, my students are finally getting back into the swing of things. I’m crossing my fingers for NO MORE SNOW!

So, next week is my very first 100th Day Celebration as a Teacher! I’m beyond OBSESSED, just as I am all things Kindergarten. This means I’ve been searching the manifold riches of Pinterest and Google without ceasing for weeks. I’ve been seeking out those perfect activities to incorporate and I’ve found several I love.  I also have quite a few ideas of my own that I plan to share.  I’ll update when it all actually happens and I have pictures to prove it.  But for today, I have a FREEBIE. (I get tingly feelings in my tummy when I spot that word online. Hehe.)

I took a few minutes tonight and created something for my students (and yours too if you’d like) to use on the 100th day. A snazzy little hat which goes with the “100 Days Brighter” theme I’ve seen floating around. Throughout this school year, I’ve learned that anything with a rainbow on it throws my kids into a tizzy. Every. Single. Time. They love the idea of filling it in I guess, so this is customized for them. They truly are BRIGHT little sunshines too, so this is just perfect. <3  


 I decided to practice my own coloring skills (which obviously need some improvement) and give you a preview of what it would look like completed. You just need to print, copy, and have some construction paper strips prepared. It is going to look incredible on their cute wittle heads, everything does.  My kids will love it! I hope yours do as well! 

Follow this Link to dowload this PDF file from my TpT store: 100th Day Hat :)
God Bless! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Freebies for Followers Giveaway!

In case you couldn't tell, I am brand-spankin' new to the land of blogging. I've wanted to do it for years but never found the right purpose in my heart. Now, I definitely have stories, advice and insight to share as a Teacher, Christian, Wife and just plain ole' Human. So, to celebrate my beginning, I am sharing some of my products with you! Yep, that is right! My first 10 followers are going to get my newly-created Kindergarten Spring-Inspired Math & Literacy Packet! The entire list of pages included can be found here, on my TPT store: Spring-Inspired Math & Literacy Packet There are 20 pages in all and you can have them FOR FREE! Here is a preview of what is inside:

Okay, the rules are simple: FOLLOW ME and IMMEDIATELY COMMENT on this post with your e-mail address. I'll email you the PDF and that is that! Super-easy, just the way I like things to be. :)

Welcome to my World!! Thanks for reading!

God Bless!! 

Bible-Inspiration for this Kindergarten Teacher

Throughout my entire experience as an Education Major in College, I couldn’t wait to graduate and land my dream-job as a Fourth-Grade Teacher. I didn’t care what subject, what school or what circumstances, I just knew that Fourth Grade was exactly where I wanted to be, and I would settle for no less.  Well, as you can probably tell from my blog title, the Lord had different plans. Completely. Different. Plans. 
Long story short, I am now a Kindergarten Teacher. This was completely uncharted territory for me, more than I could even imagine at the get go. For an upper-grade loving, five-year-old-fearing, new-kid-on-the-block.. the idea was downright terrifying. During my interview for the position I tried terribly hard not to cringe at the thought of being propelled into a grade-level I had no experience with, and somehow managed to secure the job. This is where the fun began.
What you may not know about Kindergarten Teachers is that they are a breed of their own. I mean, some sort of crazy-hybrid, insanely-patient and chaos-handling superhero. I totally lacked all of those qualities when I began, but somehow adapted to my surroundings. As a Christian, I do not believe we as humans evolved from monkeys. But, I am a true testament to the form of evolution involved in becoming a true Kindergarten Teacher. I transformed from a calm, raise-my-hand-and-silence-the-room-classroom-management, fourth-grade type... into a running in circles, holding hands and cleaning up poop from the hallway floor Kindergarten type. I am a completely new person and I can say that with my head held high.That is something not many people can claim to be.
Thankfully, there are things and people built into my life that helped me maintain my sanity and passion through this life-changing experience. My husband, co-workers and friends had a large part in this, but ultimately, it was prayer and communion with the Word of God that kept me grounded at times of pure confusion and defeat. So, I’m going to share with you some verses that inspire me and pick-me-up when I question this adventure.

 Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

The first six weeks of my teaching experience where tougher than I could have ever fathomed as an onlooker. It was beyond my perceivable abilities and many times I took it as far as to question my purpose as an educator. Had I made the wrong decision for my life? I cried a lot, I questioned a lot and I wanted to give up a lot. That is when this verse helped me. I knew that I loved the Lord and wanted to do his will, but I focused too much on myself and what I thought and felt.  One of the positive turning points for me was when I placed all of my humanly-understanding aside and trusted in him. I prayed for guidance and help and that is when I received it. When we forfeit our control and understanding, the Lord will guide us to a brighter day.  I know that from experience. As teachers, the greatest profession of all, it is so important to allow God lead us into the place of our greatest teaching potential.     

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I learned very quickly that to be an effective Teacher, the number one quality you must possess is love. We want the best for those we love and our students deserve no less.  In Kindergarten, where all the adorably funny and kind-hearted five year olds reside, that comes easy. But at times, although I had a clear love for my students, it was very easy for me to get impatient and agitated with my job and yes, my kids. During the first week of teaching, I had an experience where four boys went into the bathroom and peed on each other. (Sorry for the bluntness, but that is just the simple truth!) I thought I would die! This was even before many parents sent extra clothes and before I had help in my room full time. So, here I am all alone with 25 kids, four that reeked of bodily fluids and no idea how to handle it. Somehow, I survived that experience (after I lost my cool and put my grumpy-pants on).  Unfortunately, I didn’t relate my true sense of love for my kids in my actions that day and on many occasions before that. A true sense of love brings about the things this verse explains. Kindness, patience and endurance. As teachers, these qualities will make you or break you. This verse reminds me what love looks like and how I should portray my feelings under tough circumstances. 

 Matthew 18:3 “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I have always loved this verse, but never comprehended it to its full extent until I was blessed with the opportunity to be around children every day. Now, as a teacher, it relates to me just how much the Lord loves children and how many incredible qualities he instills within them. They naturally love others, want to be kind and contain a unique trait of utter honesty. (Never ask a Kindergartener how old they think you are, by the way.) When I feel like I can’t bear to type up another lesson plan, attend another PD or wake up at 5 AM, I remember that I am in the profession of nurturing God’s most innocent creation; children. What could be more important than that? That is a wonderful reason to keep doing what I do. 

 Psalm 128:2 When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.

No one knows the labor a passionate Teacher endures unless you are yourself a passionate Teacher. I (very foolishly) thought that my Student Teaching experience would prepare me for the workload that I was about to undertake. That was a Big mistake with a capital B. Teaching is an all-consuming profession, I know that now. It consumes my time, my energy, my creativity and my sanity. I often feel zombie-ish after a 12 hour day and wonder how I’ll find the strength to drag myself away from my pillow the next morning. That is when I try to remember this verse and the Lord’s commands about working hard and laboring in this life. That is what we are supposed to do, because it brings about so many enjoyable rewards. Although a Teacher’s salary is nothing compared to a professional football player’s, our earnings go far beyond the perishable paper green stuff that is so easily spent this day in time. I go home on the weekend knowing that I’ve made my indentation in the hearts of the future. I am paid with hugs and drawings of hearts with stick-figures inside, which is all that a child can afford to give. To me, that is worth a million dollars and I am happy and all is well. Teachers need to keep this in mind when our paychecks lose that elasticity that allows us to stretch them out until another one rolls around. We can be proud of what we earn because we truly earn it.

There is so much inspiration for educators ready to be discovered within the pages of the holy word of God. I would love to hear about your own personal “Teacher Favorites.” Please share in the comments section! <3 

 God bless!