Saturday, February 19, 2011

Awww, I’m beaming!

What fun to open up several emails today to find that I had been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award from several amazing bloggers. I am constantly amazed that even one person reads my blog, so it’s humbling to be given an award by people who have the same passion about education as I do. Thank you!


I received the award from the following fabulous bloggers:

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

Seven things about myself:

  • Being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened in my life! I don’t know what I would do without my precious son, Cole  and precious daughter, Audrey. They are growing up way too fast for me. I hope that they always know how much they are loved! 


  • My husband and I met at Dunkin’ Donuts. Two years later, we were married in front of a waterfall at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. It was a beautiful place and I can’t wait to go back someday soon and take our children. This May we will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.



  • I was electrocuted by a refrigerator when I was young. It was old and was out in our garage. I went out barefoot to get bread out of the freezer to make something for breakfast and little did I know, there was a short in the wiring. Everyone in my family was asleep and my hands were literally stuck to the handle so I couldn’t pull myself away. When my brother finally heard my scream, he ran to wake my mom up. However, when she tried to pull me away, the electricity went through me to get to her. Every time she would pull on me, she would be shocked, too. Finally, she threw a towel on my shoulders and was able to pull me away. It was very scary! I remember her calling the hospital while rocking me and repeatedly checking to make sure my heart rate went back up.


  • In 1998, I miscarried my first baby a few days after my husband and I got back from an anniversary trip to Tennessee. Then, when I got pregnant with my son, who is now 11, his due date was the exact same day as my first baby's due date.  God’s timing is so perfect!


  • I have an unhealthy love of Dr. Pepper, Reese’s peanut butter cups, mashed potatoes with cottage cheese, Little House on the Prairie, exclamation points and commas!!!


  • I LOVE reading home d├ęcor blogs, magazines and watching all kinds of home shows on TV when I can. However, I live in a tiny 100 year-old farmhouse that will never look anything like the houses I see.

(Sorry, I couldn’t just pick 5.) I would like to pass the award to:

Friday, February 18, 2011

I need your help!

Bing is currently offering $3 DonorsChoose Giving Cards for projects submitted by teachers. I am desperate for donations! I have 4 projects submitted right now and I REALLY need an easel. This only takes about 2 minutes total if you are willing to help. Getting $3 at a time really adds up. I am currently $189 away from having my project funded.

In the last year and a half I have had 11 projects funded with over $4,500 in donations. DonorsChoose is amazing! - Give the gift of learning - Go

1. Click here to start. (Bing's Education site)
2. Click the yellow 'Choose Bing and Donate' button.
3. If you are willing to temporarily change your home page to a Bing search page, a box will likely pop-up. You can go back and change your home page right back to what you were using before if you don't like it.
4. Enter your email address twice and click the yellow button to get your donation code.
5. Check your email and copy the code.
6. Go to my project 
7. Give $3 and check-out.
8. At check-out, either sign-up or sign in.
9. In the payment section there is a box that says I have a gift code: ________________ Redeem Code. 
10. Enter the code you received in your email and click "Place your donation".

I would really appreciate any and all help. It is $3 FREE money that will help support my classroom and we desperately need an easel. My kids cannot reach mine right now and they have to stand on a chair to write from the top to the middle.   

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Some of my favorite fonts!

My favorite fonts by far are by DJ Inkers from the Fontastic CDs. I think DJ Framed has been my go to font for the year. :)

Thanks to Kathy from the Yahoo! group KindergartenD5 for sharing the link to this valuable font. It is called ABC Print Arrow.


The following link has dotted lines for practice, too.

Here's a link to some others you might like if you are teaching D'Nealian and need a free comparable font. 

Heart fonts for Valentine's Day

Dr. Seuss Font


Smiley Monster (One of my favorites!)

I'm still a huge fan of the Tinker Toy font. 

The following links have lots of fun fonts for scrapbooking, but they are also very cute for games, printables, bulletin boards, etc. 

If you have some favorite fonts you'd like to share, I'd love to hear about them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tap Light Segmenting

Several people have asked me about the use of the tap lights in the picture above. This idea was not mine. Unforunately, I don't remember who I learned it from, but I remember it was a Kdg. conference in St. Louis earlier this year and it was put on be the Bureau of Education and Research (BER) in case anyone else remembers.

The idea is to have 2-4 tap lights out. I have picture cards that I keep with them. I have just been using black and white pictures copied and laminated from the book Letter of the Week. It has great picture cards for each letter of the alphabet. The child takes a card and then taps a light on for each segment they hear in a word. Then, they have to tap the lights off to begin the next word. For example, rock would be be 3 taps (1 tap per light /r/ /o/ /k/).

The lights were 4 for $3.96 at Wal-Mart. I think they take AA batteries, but I can't remember how many.

Common Core State Standards

I'm curious to find out from other teachers where your schools stand on switching from your current state objectives to the Common Core State Standards. I realize there are several states that have not adopted the CCSS, but I'm wondering how much others' administrators have left trickle down to the teachers at this time. 

If this is the first you are hearing of CCSS, check here to see if your state has adopted the standards. 

Our admin. hasn't really said much yet, but checking into the standards for Kindergarten leads me to believe we will be making some pretty big changes to our curriculum in the next couple of years.  I'm really excited about some of the changes.

What are your thoughts?

$5 Eric Carle Plush Toys & Books at Kohl's

Photo Source
Kohl's Cares program is currently offering Eric Carle plush toys and hardcover books like The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Mixed-Up Chameleon and The Foolish Tortoise for only $5 each.

Please pardon the mess!

Welcome to my blog! I'm currently changing a few things around, so please pardon my mess!  This is what happens when you're on snow day 4 for the week!
Photo Source

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nursery Rhymes in Kindergarten

One of the top three searches that lead people to my blog is Kindergarten Nursery Rhyme Printables. Since I'm getting ready to create several Nursery Rhyme notebooks for my students to use to read to themselves and others, I thought I'd pass on some links that might be useful to other teachers, as well. I decided not to limit it to printables, but include several links to things that might be beneficial to you.

First off, you have to have Jack Hartmann's Rhyming To Read CD. My students and I love his songs and this is a great CD. You can listen to audio clips on his site, too.

Online Games
SMART Board Lessons
Nursery Rhyme Products
For Students Needing Help with Rhyming
If you have any suggestions or other great resources I'd love to hear about them!

$10 for a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card + 315 SwagBucks!

Children’s books are my weakness! I buy for my kiddos and my students. Normally, I do most of my purchasing from Scholastic book orders, ebay, or garage sales. However, I found out about this deal earlier today and I had to pass it on.
Groupon is offering a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble for only $10. This can be used online or in stores. It is valid on all items, including sale items.  (Be sure to read all the terms before purchasing.)
If you are using SwagBucks, go here to purchase the same deal and receive 315 SwagBucks. I purchased mine earlier and the SwagBucks have already posted.
If you have never signed up with SwagBucks, but are interested, please click here to sign up and find out more. See this post for one of my freebies I received by using Amazon gift cards I purchased through SwagBucks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Daily 5 in Pictures

As our Kindergarten classrooms begin implementing features of The Daily 5, yesterday my co-workers and I brainstormed a list of things our students could do while we are working with our Guided Reading groups.  For myself, the hardest part of getting started with Guided Reading is the whole, “What do I do with the other kids while I’m working with a small group?” problem. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
For my students, I felt visuals were necessary so each child would know his options a little better when it came time to choose what to do independently. Here are a few things from our list. We have already added more since we made our list at lunch yesterday. I will try to update as I can.  I accidentally left my paper at school and we are snowed in today and will likely be for the rest of the week.

I have only taken pictures for about half of the things we’ve come up with because not everything has been created or we didn’t have kids in the room at the time to take pictures with them. At one point, I was in the hallway pulling other teacher’s kiddos so I could get more pictures taken.

Check out for lots of great ideas, pictures, printables, etc. 

Read to Self

Book Boxes
Whisper Phone
Word Family Flip Books
Reading Binders (Charts include: alphabet, color words, numbers, and poem of the week.)
Big Books


Read to Someone

Read the Room (Can also be done independently for Read to Self)

Word Family Sliders (Can also be done independently for Read to Self)
Read to a Friend
Read to a Stuffed Animal/Reading Buddy

Listen to Reading

Books on CD

We also included Tag Readers and Computer Games that read to students. I would love to get portable DVD players for our HeidiSongs DVD’s. I think I’ll have to write a DonorsChoose project for that one.

Work on Writing

Write with a Word Family Slider
Write the Room – This is one of my kids absolute favorites! They are so good and I am always amazed at how my otherwise reluctant writers can fill pages with words in no time.
(There are some great Write the Room pages at
Rainbow Writing

Word Work

Letter/Word Tiles
Squeeze a Segment (Students use the tweezers to place one rock per segment in a suction cup circle.) We are using manipulatives (like the bear below) instead of words right now.
My Word Book (Could also be used for Write the Room)
Tweet-Tweet Letter Treats (This is from the book Shoe Box Learning Centers: Alphabet.)
Choose a Letter (Students choose 3 letter tiles and write words beginning with the letters they’ve chosen. For our struggling readers/writers, we have alphabet soup cans and other charts for them to look at to find words beginning with the letters they’ve chosen.)
Sign a Name – These came from a resource book, but you can find something similar here.
Stamp the Alphabet
Tap Light Segmenting
Word Puzzles

Wikki Stix
Trace a Letter – You can find the tracer pages here.
Envelope Games