Friday, July 22, 2011

Hoppy Birthday!

In celebration of my birthday (July 23rd)...a few birthday gifts for you to enjoy! I usually do some birthday related things as part of my beginning of the year. I will be honest, my beginning of the year unit is a HOT mess! I do a combination of Krazy for Kindergarten, All About Me, and Colors and Shapes. I do so many assessments and the kiddos are so not use to being in school for that long, you would think that I'm ADD, which I very well could be ;-). I thought I would separate the birthday stuff out, well because it is hotter than two cats fighting in a wool sock here and the pools not open yet!

I hope you find some things to use in your classroom! And, if you are feeling ultra generous, you can send me you favorite birthday related item that you use in your classroom to my's right folks, I am not above asking for gifts myself :-)!


All documents contain fonts that are copyright DJ Inkers. Virtually all documents contain graphics that are copyright DJ Inkers. They are used with permission. Please visit, for wonderful clipart and fonts.

Books We Love
Happy Birthday, Moon (Moonbear)Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty (Bad Kitty (Quality))Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday PartyHappy Birthday, Dear DuckFroggy Bakes a CakeHappy Birthday to You!

The Birthday Goods
I know I already have this Jack Hartmann book uploaded but it ties in so nicely and my little Kinder-Hoppers ALWAYS love it, so I thought I would include it!

Our Birthday Wishes is a Class Book. It is actually in my Family Literacy Birthday Bag which all the students take home at one point during the year. I glue the cover on cardstock and laminate the front and back.
Our Birthday Wishes

ABC Cupcakes is a simple worksheet for students to write the ABC's on.
ABC Cupcakes

I use these ABC cupcakes for several things at the beginning of the year; matching upper to lower case and ABC order during whole group instruction. I use them for Go Fish with small groups.
Birthday Go Fish (Upper to Lower)

Counting Candles is a book that is for literacy, as well as, early in the year math instruction. I make a copy for each student and staple it together; however, you could certainly have students put them in order themselves, we read the books and then students must draw the number of candles indicated on each page. Then we practice reading our books using candles as pointers!
Counting Candles Book

A traditional Spin and Graph Game. Very simple for the beginning of the year. The dashed boxes are for the totals in each column.
Spin and Graph Birthday Spinner

Spin & Graph Birthday

Here is a Shape Color by Code. My kids adore anything that is color by code, so I try to be inventive!
Birthday Cake Color by Code (Shapes)

The Birthday Cake Math Mat is something that I use in the Family Literacy Birthday Bag, but it can be used as is for higher students OR for the beginning of the year, you can make multiple copies of the cakes and write numbers on them. You can use the paper candles or real candles and have students match the number of candles to the cake.
Birthday Cake Math Mat

Present Arrangement is a worksheet that gives students the opportunity to practice putting objects into order from smallest to largest. We practice this as a whole group with boxes before doing the worksheet.
Present Arrangement Seriation

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poetry Journals: Making them Matter (October Edition)

It seems a tad early to be posting something for October; however, the masses have spoken! I completely understand wanting to be prepared for the upcoming school year! It's blistering hot here and I can't even fathom working in my non-airconditioned, windows facing the courtyard, oven of a classroom! The summer has suddenly kicked into high gear and seems to be moving at a very fast pace...I just want it to s.l.o.w. down!

Before I post the actual Poetry Journal portion, I must address a small issue that I am having. Believe me when I say...I LOVE that people are reading my blog and I love sharing things with everyone!! Most of you know that #1-It takes some time and $ to create materials, #2- It takes time to upload everything you want to have on your post, #3- Creating a post that contains a lot of uploaded material is a time consuming process, that being said...any issues that you may have with Scribd, I simply cannot really help with. I can't see your computer, Mac, or laptop to know what the issue is. For those who use Apple products...I know there is some sort of issue, I don't know what it is and you need to take it up with Scribd. I don't mean to sound harsh at all, but I get TONS of emails about issues, and I just don't know how to help. I cannot send all my documents out personally to your email because well, see #1-3 above. I love you all, but I will not be sending out anymore documents that are already uploaded on the blog.

Anywho, the themes for October are the basics: spiders, monsters, pumpkins, Halloween, and fall...inventive aren't we? I have the new version followed by my old ones and a picture of the poster if I remembered to take one :) . As always, I truly appreciate you reading! I hope the rest of July is fabulous for you!


All documents contain fonts that are copyright DJ Inkers. Virtually all documents contain graphics that are copyright DJ Inkers. They are used with permission. Please visit, for wonderful clipart and fonts.

All of my Poetry Journals can now be found on TPT, as well.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Itsy Bitsy Spider



Jack O'Happy

Jack O'Happy

Five Little Pumpkins

Five Little Pumpkins

Gray Squirrel

Gray Squirrel

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Poetry Journals: Making them Matter (A Users Guide)

The main questions about using Poetry Journals in a Kindergarten classroom have been...

  • When do you begin using them?
  • Are they used in class?
  • Are they sent home to complete the Homework, as well as, the illustration?
  • What day are they sent home?
  • How often are they used?
  • Can they be utilized during center time?

I am certain I am missing some questions, hopefully this post will answer all your questions!

My schedule of utilizing Poetry Journals changes each year. First, I get bored like an ADHD kid taking a standardized test. I NEED change in my classroom. I like to keep things fresh and fun! I begin using the first poem on the first full day of school, mainly because it is a lengthy poem! The actual routine of the Poetry Journal begins the following Monday. This year  I will begin utilizing the Poetry Journal on August 29, 2011.

The Routine

  • Monday
I introduce the poem. I display the poetry poster that corresponds to the week. I read/chant/sing the poem first...because my voice is nothing, if not spectacular, or at least my little Hoppers think so! Then I read/chant/sing it again using a pointer. I love to start off from the get go properly displaying tracking of print. Then, I read it a line at a time and students echo it. Depending on the length of the poem, students echo it at least twice in one sitting. We will echo it again at the end of the day.

  • Tuesday
I read the poem and try to get the kiddos to say/chant/sing it with me. The first time it sounds be honest, the second time doesn't sound much better!! I usually have the Mystery Helper come up to the poster and attempt to track the print. 

The first Tuesday we start, I pass out the students 3 prong blue folder that is used for Poetry Journals. I find it easier in my classroom to have all folders color coordinated. I keep extra blue folders for parents that didn't think the color really mattered. I have students sit with their folder in a large circle on the carpet. I talk about their folder and how important it is for them. We talk about learning how to read with them and how by the end of the year, their folder will be full of poems and songs that they can read! This excites them like nothing else...I show them a folder that is full (they are all too amazed that they will be able to read all of them!) I then proceed to show students things that will destroy their folder. I show them how shoving them into their backpacks will rip and bend them. Then I show them how to carefully put them into their backpacks. I show them what it looks like to have potato chip fingers on the folder and pages...ewe greasy! I show them what happens when you "accidentally" spill juice on it. I show them my illustrations and how when they lose their journal, they lose their important work. We go over how to care for them, where they are stored, and general housekeeping. We practice putting them into our backpacks and into the blue basket they are housed in.

  • Wednesday
We read/chant/sing poem as a class. The Mystery Helper comes up to the poster and attempts to track the print. We do this twice.

Seated in a circle, I then talk about illustrators. I show students several books with great illustrations. We talk about colors and the area of a page that is covered with pictures. I show them several copies of the first poem that I have illustrated. We talk about which ones are good and which ones could be better and why. 

At their tables, I introduce possible materials use. I show students how to use a pencil, a crayon, and a colored pencil to illustrate properly. I talk about the variety of crayons and pencils we have...large crayons, small crayons, twistables, glitter, metallics, etc.. I do not allow markers for Poetry Journals...just too messy! Then I pass out their Poetry Journals. Word of is easier at the beginning of the year to have the poem in the folder BEFORE you pass them out! I made the mistake of having students try to put their poem in too early in the year and it ends with half the class in tears, two that are able to do it, and the rest chanting my name. I plan on getting a volunteer and then doing serious teaching late in October on how to get those papers in. How you do up to you! 

I then display how to use a finger to track the print as we read s-l-o-w-l-y. Then we put them away...properly.

  • Thursday
We read/chant/sing poem as a class. The Mystery Helper comes up to the poster and attempts to track the print. We do this twice.

Students sit at their table. We talk about how illustrators take their time and use lots of colors. We discuss things we could draw and how they make sense. We review how to use materials. I introduce the timer for Poetry Journals. I will set the timer for 10 minutes for illustrating. You are not allowed to say you are done. When you are done drawing/coloring, you may read the poem, use a special pointer to read the poem, read to stuffed animal, or read the poem to Mrs. Martin. When the timer goes off, we go to the carpet and students may share their illustration.

Students then put their Poetry Journal into their backpack...carefully. Journals are to be practiced at home...Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I send home reminders of how to practice them. I do not allow anyone to return their Journal on Friday. They are collected the first day of the following week.

  • Friday
We practice reading/chanting/singing the poem. I have the Mystery Helper add the poster to the Poetry Journal Poster basket. I then introduce the next weeks poem. I also tell students that if their Journal is returned next week with the homework completed and initialed by their parent/guardian, they will receive a sticker or a smartie (yep, you read that correctly...a single smartie will get you results!)

Poetry Journals/Posters as a center
I begin teaching our work centers in the middle of September or early October depending on my students abilities and needs. You can look at my Work Center post here... When students are taught the Poetry Journal work center at the beginning of the year, they are taught to utilize the Poetry Journal Poster basket. The basket includes the posters, a binder of illustrated poems, and black and white illustrated poems in a folder (the last one is new...I will let you know how it goes!) Students may read the posters or the binder using special pointers, they may read to a stuffed animal or a friend, or they may use Wikki Stix to underline words they know. The new folder I am going to put in there will be for later on in the year for students to practice reading with, color, and underline or circle words they know. Towards the middle of the year, I also teach them a game they can play with the posters. They call out words as their friend tries to find them quickly.

Any other questions??? Let me know :)

All of my Poetry Journals can now be found on TPT, as well.

As always, thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Poetry Journals: Making them Matter (August/September Edition)

It's July, it's beautiful outside...I should be lounging at the pool (my favorite summer activity); however, here I am...writing a well over due blog. It's hot and my head is here I am :)

I've gotten some emails requesting my daily schedule, pacing, and new standards. I am not ignoring you, I promise! My daily schedule changes each year due to our specials. I love having specials, but it does make my schedule a bit chaotic. Our Kindergarten program is "extended day" which means our kiddos are there from 8:05-1:30, our specials include...3 days of PE (30min), 1 day of Music (30min), 1 day of Art (30min), 1 day of Library (30min), 1 day of Computer (35 min), and 1 day of Learning Center (2 30min sessions). So, my schedule is as routine based as I can get it, but as I said it will change for next year. Here is the link to the post from last year Our school is in the process of making sure the new Core Standards are included and paced out correctly. Once I have them, I will post them!

I have begun to pace out the Poetry Journals. In this edition you will find the poems for the last week of August 2011 and all the poems for September. I have the new page listed first, followed by a picture of the center poster (if I have one), and lastly the old journal pages. I hope you can find something to use for your classroom! 


All documents contain fonts that are copyright DJ Inkers. Virtually all documents contain graphics that are copyright DJ Inkers. They are used with permission. Please visit, for wonderful clipart and fonts.

All of my Poetry Journals can now be found on TPT, as well.
Poetry Journals for the Primary Classroom Poetry Journals for the Primary Classroom: Emergent Reader


Shape Song

The Shape Song



Apple Tree

Apple Tree

Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet

Friday, July 1, 2011

Show Some Love....Please

Hello all!

My little old blog was nominated for Really Good Stuff's Blog Contest. I am ever so grateful to everyone for reading my blog and sending kind comments my way as would mean so much to me if you would vote for my blog Kindergarten Hoppenings! There are so many other fabulous blogs and teachers out there, I am sure it will be a difficult decision. A shout out to all those who are dedicated to sharing their ideas and materials with others, we all deserve to win!

Please vote before July 7th!

Thanks Again!