Kindergarten Language - New Product Alert!!!! (Limited Time Discount!)

Hi everyone!  I hope you are enjoying your Christmas vacation!  Today I wanted to share with you what I have been working on for the last couple of months.  I don't know about you, but I have a really hard time completing projects for TPT during the school year.  I get a couple pages done here and there, but when it comes to a big project like this, I need to have a big chunk of time off to give it all my energy and focus.

This project came to my mind when I was creating my yearly curriculum plan in August.  I  was looking at my year as a whole, and planning out when each standard would be covered.  I looked at all of the resources I already had, and what standards they covered Next, I looked for any gaps, where I didn't have resources to cover a particular standard.  I found out that I had HUGE gaps in my language standards!  Whenever I see a gap, I go to TPT, Pinterest, and Google, and type in the standard that I am missing.  Usually from those three sources, I can find some supplemental material to help me cover any missing standards.  Unfortunately, when I did this for my language standards I found that the materials were limited, and a lot of them were not appropriate for kindergarten level.  After discovering this, a language pack for kindergarten was put on my to do list, and today I finally finished it!

This thing was a labor of love!  I really wanted to make sure that I was covering the language standards, and that I was interpreting them correctly.  One of the things that I love about creating products for TPT is that through my research and development I get to dive deeper into the standards, and really get a better understanding of what mastery of a certain standard really looks like,

Making resources for kindergarten can be tricky, especially when looking at language standards that have a lot to do with grammar and word use.  Kindergarten kids are just beginning to grasp the concepts of reading.  Inside any classroom you will find a wide array of reading abilities.  I have some kids that come in with a second or third grade reading level, and some that don't know any letters or sounds.  Keeping that ability range in mind, I tried to create a product that would work for all levels.

I added posters and whole group sorting activities that can be completed together to introduce new concepts and review throughout the year.  I also created worksheets that can be cut out and placed in journals to practice concepts and assess learning.

When creating this product, I went down the list of language standards and came up with resources for each one.  While it has a linear standards format, you can move things around however you wish depending on your class needs.  For example, in my class, I would use concept sorts at the beginning of the year, letter sounds in the middle, and the more challenging subjects such as affixes and adjectives toward the end of the year, when their reading abilities have grown.

I hope that this is something that you find useful for your classroom, and a resource that helps you cover all of the standards in an easy and approachable manner!

If you are interested in this product, just click on any of the pictures above, and you will be taken to my TPT store.  This product will be 20% until the end of  2015, so grab it at a discounted price while you can, and start your New Year off prepared and organized to help your students master those standards!

Five Senses Freebie and a Peek

I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving break with their loved ones!  I slept a lot and didn't get as much done as I had hoped to, but I feel rested, and that's what's important : )  Here's a picture of my husband and I with our niece and nephew, and our two dogs on Thanksgiving.

Today I decided to buckle down and be productive.  I actually knocked out all of my lesson plans for December!  It's only 3 weeks worth of lesson plans, which isn't that impressive, but I'm still proud of myself : )

Click on the pictures above to get PDF versions of my plans with clickable links to all of the resources I use, and link up with other teachers with Mrs. Wills' Peek at my Week Linky

We are still hitting our beginning and ending sounds hard with reinforcement during morning work, and during center time.  When we come back from Christmas break we will really start focusing on our short vowel sounds and hearing and writing our CVC words.  

During Literacy and Math we are talking about our five senses, so I created a little five senses sort to use with my kids.

I usually do a couple days of science lessons talking about the five senses.  We touch on it during language arts and religion as well.  I created this hearing vs. taste sort just to give them a little extra practice on identifying our senses and how we use them.

Grab your free copy of this resource HERE in my TPT shop!  

Have a wonderful week, and let the countdown to Christmas break begin!


Weekly Recap and Peek at My Week

Happy 4 day week everyone!  Am I the only one who has Monday off instead of Wednesday for Veteran's Day?  It's so nice having a three day weekend, but every single time I have one, I get sick!  My body recognizes that I have time to rest and forces me to do so!  Oh well, I got caught up on some professional development reading and finished this book:

The Book Whisperer had been on my reading to do list for a long time. and I was happy to finally read it.  The book contains many interesting ideas, and challenges the things in your class that are just "educational wallpaper," systems that have always been in place, but maybe aren't the most effective for you or your students.  I will be passing this book on the our 6th-8th grade Language Arts teacher, who I am sure will get some great insight from it as well!

This last week was a bit hectic with parent conferences and an in-school field trip.  We had the Julian Mining Company come out to our school for a 2 hour presentation on early American life.  They did 4 activities with us.  The first one was making apple cider.

The field trip included students from Pre-K to 2nd grade and we split into 2 groups.  The students added apples to the grinder and the 2nd grade teacher and I took turns spinning the wheel to grind the apples down.  That wheel was no joke!  Definitely a good work out!  After we crushed all of the apples, 2 students were selected to do the press, and get the juice out of the apples.  The apples juice was strained, and everyone got to enjoy some fresh apple cider!

The cider was so fresh and delicious, all of the students enjoyed it.  After the cider, was candle making.  The students dipped wicks into 2 pots of wax in rotation and their candles grew bigger and bigger.  I don't have any pictures of that because I was anxiously standing by one of the wax bowls making sure no one was getting burned : )

Next up, we did old fashioned chores.  The kids rotated back and forth between washing clothes and stuffing mattresses with hay.  They had a lot of fun, and of course enjoyed getting soaking wet with the wash boards (Thank goodness for that Southern California sunshine in November to dry clothes quickly : )

We ended the field trip with some farm animals.  I couldn't believe how brave the kids were to have chickens on their arms!!! I am not a fan of birds, the field trip organizer had the first grade teacher put a chicken on her head, and I was like  -No way Jose!

They also brought a couple of goats for us to pet who kept fighting with each other.  They let the goats wander around our grass area, and it was so much fun.  One of my students was not happy about the goats, so she spent the entire time during that activity in my arms.  I didn't really mind, because carrying her around gave me a good excuse to steer clear of the chickens : )  The kids had so much fun that day, and I know it is something that they will remember for a long time.

Along with the in-school field trip as I had mentioned, were our parent conferences.  Have you all checked out A Teeny Tiny Teacher's conference forms?  I used to use the previous one that she created where you had to write out all of their strengths and weaknesses.  This new version, where you just have to check off areas of strength and need was a wonderful time saver!!!

She gives you an editable slide that you can modify to your needs.  I edited mine to include all of the things on our report card, and it gave the parents a clear view of what their children were excelling at, and what they needed some extra practice with.

The teachers at my school have been working so hard these past couple of weeks.  I was dragging myself to the finish line on Friday and that three day weekend, and I knew I wasn't the only one who felt that way.  To show my appreciation to my fellow teachers, I made a Costco run and got them some Starbucks Frappuccinos, and added a little note of thanks on each one.  This is a common pinterest craft, but here is a link to a Kinder Craze freebie if you are interested.

On to my plans for next week!  We are doing a mix of Thanksgiving and Veterans Day this week. If you would like to view these plans and download them as a PDF, and to get clickable links to all the products, click HERE

Have a wonderful 4 day week everyone!!


Peek at My Week - Spiders

Hello again for another peek at my week!   This week we are doing a little bit of everything, but our main theme is spiders!  Gearing up for Halloween craziness, and our Fall Festival on Friday, I am definitely going to bed early tonight!

We are hitting our beginning sounds pretty hard for the next couple of weeks with our morning work, in-class activities, and with our centers.  My students are really starting to grasp the idea of isolating that sound.

At the end of the week I am looking forward to doing this crayon resist art with my students that I found on Pinterest.

Spider Web Art Project for Children with Watercolor Resist *Great Halloween idea for kids

If you are interested in downloading my plans in a PDF form, click HERE

Follow this link to view what other teachers are up to week with DeeDee Wills'

Have a wonderful week everyone!!


What Worked Well Wednesday - Creating an effective spelling program

Good morning everyone!

   Today I am blogging over at the Kinder Tribe sharing my best practices for kindergarten spelling in one of our What Worked Well Wednesday linky parties!

Head on over to the Kinder Tribe's page by clicking on the link below, and joining up with our linky!


Pumpkin Peek at My Week with freebies included!

Hi everyone!

    It's that time again for Sunday lesson planning!  It's been in the 90's here the past three days, and the rest of the week looks like it's going to be just as bad : ( Our office is easily ten degrees hotter than the rest of the house for some reason, and  I am just so tired of the heat!  My husband and I decided it wasn't getting any cooler in San Diego, so we splurged a little, and bought a single room AC for the bedroom.  This weather is miserable, but it's a little more bearable when you can get a good nights sleep!  Anywho, I am prepping for a week full of pumpkins with this Peek at My Week!

I lined up my phonological awareness curriculum, Kinder Literacy, science, and art to all match my pumpkiny theme.

I love pumpkin week, and my students get so excited about it!  I love doing pumpkin dissections with them.  Making them reach inside and pick out seeds themselves never gets old.  I love the comments they make, "Are you trying to make me vomit?" Hahahahaha!!! I love bringing in pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and roasted seeds for them to try.  Now that I think about it, most of my favorite weeks in Kindergarten revolve around food! Hello apples and gingerbread!

To begin our dissection, my students feel the outside of the pumpkin, and we come up with adjectives to describe how it looks and feels.  We cut the top off and use our 5 senses to describe what we see inside.  We scoop out seeds to glue on to our papers, and add yellow string to imitate the pulp.  If you would like a copy of the pages we use for our dissection, click on the picture below, and it will take you to the freebie!

During science time, we talk about the pumpkin life cycle.  We learn pumpkin vocabulary, and even get a chance to plant our own pumpkin seeds, in the hopes that they will one day become a big beautiful pumpkin like the one we dissected!  I use the resource below to reinforce the pumpkin life cycle.  If you would like a copy of it, just click on the link below.


I found this really cool art project on pinterest today, and I can't wait to try it!  I love the idea of mixing black paint into the glue to give it that interesting texture, and I've never used salt to add dimension to any art work, so this should be interesting!

I hope all of you are in areas that are enjoying cool, fall weather!  Put on your riding boots and vests, drink you pumpkin spice latte's, and think of me! : )  Have a wonderful week everyone!


Peek at My Week

I'm linking up today with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share a Peek at My Week!

This week is all about bats!  We'll be looking at the text Stellaluna, both in our phonological awareness curriculum from Jen Jones, and in our Kinder Literacy from Tara West.

We have a ton of non-fiction bat texts to read as well, they are such interesting creatures!
Image result for bat books

We are still working on letter recognition with our morning work, and focusing on correct letter formation in our Open Court lessons.

Have an awesome week everyone!


Teaching Procedures - FREEBIE ALERT!

Hi Everyone!

  I'm blogging over at the Kinder Tribe blog today!

I'm talking all about the million and one procedures we need to teach at the beginning of the year!  Setting clear expectations with our kids, and getting our class to work like a team!  Click on the Kinder Tribe button to go on over and read about how I do it, and grab your freebie!


Planning the Kindergarten Year

Every year I like to spend some time during the summer mapping out what my year will look like.  I feel every year that I get further away from my basal text, and add more and more resources that truly fit the Common Core standards.  All through out the school year I learn about new TPT sellers, and fantastic resources that I want to include in my curriculum!  I take the summer time to weed through all of the information. I decide what worked for me last year. What I need to get rid of. And what new resources I would like to incorporate into my curriculum.

I am happy to say that I have finished my curriculum plan for next year and we are still in July!!!! It might be the end of July, but that's still deserving of an extra glass of wine tonight, as I watch the bachelorette finale, don't you think?!?!?

My curriculum planning guide is a popular resource in my TPT shop.  It is a simple power point form that helps you plan out each week.  I really feel like it helps me to align my resources by theme, so that the students are absorbing as much cross curricular knowledge as they can.

I got a little crazy with all of the separate subjects this year, and made a million split cells on mine.  I really wanted to plan out every little single part of the curriculum. Last year I found that by doing that, it cut my lesson planning time in half!  When you have that broad overview, and know what resources you are going to use, it makes planning a breeze!

I'm not going to lie, creating all those extra boxes was a bit of a pain, especially when trying to keep it in printing ranges.  The month of February and I got into an argument about what was possible in a print range, and I'm pretty sure that February won.

When I was a first year teacher (in a school that only has one teacher per grade), I really just wanted someone to tell me how they did it!  What was a year supposed to look like?  What topics was I supposed to teach at what time?  How long was I supposed to teach a particular topic?  I had no clue!  I don't have all of the answers now, but going into my 8th year  I have a lot more than when I started.  I am posting my year long plan here for teachers who need that help getting started, and for those veteran teachers, who just like to compare notes! : )

I included a list of resources at the end, with links to all the products, if you are interested in checking out what I use to piece my curriculum together.

I hope this is useful information for you as you plan out your next school year!  If you would like a free copy of my year plan, just click the pictures above!