Sunday, April 29, 2012


Sorry about being MIA for a bit. To say that I have been stressed is probably the understatement of the year. Someone stole my husband's identity. If you have been through this, you know how horrible it is and I truly feel for you. If you have not, holy cannoli, all I can say is SAFEGUARD all of your important numbers like they are a child's life! Someone took his important info and has had a field day with it. Money Our entire savings is gone. Bank statements have been hacked into. The amount of time that has gone into the whole ordeal has been crazy. His bank has been, to say the least, less than helpful. We had to file police reports, close accounts, will have to hire an attorney to sort it all out, had to contact the States Attorney, put hold's on credit reports, and will most likely need a new social security number. To top it all off, his job is still rocky. (I crossed all this out on July 12th... I am not sure if I will ever know the truth about how my life fell apart.)

The only things that are keeping me from completely drowning right now are my cute lil' pumpkin's face

and all things school related! School is one of the best distractions for me. It gives me focus. I am ever so grateful to have a job that I love. I'm creating new things for the end of the year, working on wrapping up the end of year with a bang with my Kinder-Hoppers, and also, thinking about all the new and fun things that I will implement next year!

I believe that once upon a time I had said I would post what I do for homework in my classroom, so today is the day! I begin sending homework home in September. It's a HUGE packet for the entire month.

Here is the explanation of homework that I send at the beginning of the year.

The Homelinks are part of Everyday Mathematics. I cannot post the Homelinks, please do not ask me to post them or send them to you. They are copyright protected. Beginning in October, I have students practice writing a letter each week. I send the practice sheets home attached to the homework calendar. We use Zaner-Bloser Handwriting. These are also copyright protected, but I am sure you could find practice pages to use.

I've gotten LOADS of questions about how to get parents/students on board with completing their homework packets, and unfortunately, I have no miracle for you. I will tell you that each year is different. Some years I have wonderful participation and others are not so great. I give a very lengthy talk at Kindergarten Orientation about why homework benefits our kiddos and my expectations. I also give students incentives to complete their packets. If they return the calendar with 5 initialed assignments a week, they get stickers stapled to their calendar. When they turn in their family project, I usually will give them one Smartie (that's right...a single Smartie, lol, it does the trick). Their Book It count is also on the bottom of the calendar, which is a motivator, as well. I really try to make a big deal out of homework that is returned, but to be honest, I do not make a big deal out of homework that is not returned. I just don't believe that holding a five or six year old completely accountable is appropriate for my classroom dynamic.

Here are the calendars for next year, yipee! One thing I can cross off for next year, exciting!! I have attached the games and such that I have, some I haven't had the chance to adjust yet or create yet. I hope you find something that you can use for your classroom. I don't mind if you change them or just use pieces to suit your needs, but please, please, please, give credit when it is due and do not sell or post them as your own.

I love all the comments and emails, you all make me feel so loved. I truly appreciate it! If you download or use anything, please leave a comment. Thanks so much!


September Homework Calendar (September )Letters and Sounds Go Fish October Homework Calendar November Homework Calendar November Homework Sight Word Uno December Homework Calendar Meltdown (December Homework) January Homework Calendar Sight Word Memory (January Homework) February Homework Meltdown Pig Game (Feb Homework) March Homework Pop Flip It Down April Homework Crazy Carrots (April Homework) May Homework Calendar

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Poetry Journals: Making Them Matter (May Edition...Finally)

This has to be the loooooooongest week E.V.E.R! I am typing this on can it only be Tuesday? I got the nicest comments and support from all of you and sincerely, I can't thank you enough. I preach to all of my friends constantly that "this too shall pass" and I know that I will get through this rough patch. Just need to keep praying :0) and reminding myself that it could be A LOT worse. I know that. I have a blessed life.

I don't know why it surprised me to have readers comment about the Common Core, but I was. I just read all those blogs out there and just assumed that I am the only person who is nervous. It comforts me to know that others are feeling the pressure, as well. 

I want to answer some of the questions that I received in response to my last post. 

Our school is adopting all the Common Core. For us, it means that everything that is a Common Core is a mastery skill expectation. 80% of all students will master each Common Core Standard. The new standards along with a Common Core Standards based report card are expected to be implemented at the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Can I get a YIKES?!?

Our classrooms in Kindergarten are averaging 21-23 students. Most classrooms do not have an assistant. Assisted classrooms are determined by students that have IEP's. IE- one of the classrooms that has an assistant has three students with IEP's that require additional assistance. It varies from year to year.

Our program is "extended day"- students arrive 8AM and are dismissed at 1:30PM. They have gym for 1/2 hour-3 days per week, art for 1/2 hour-1 day per week, music for 1/2 hour- 1 day per week, computer lab for 35 minutes-1 day per week, library for 1/2 hour-1 day per week, and Learning Center for 1/2 hour-1 day per week. They have a 35 minute lunch/recess period. We have lots of specials :0)

I can't imagine getting all those standards mastered in only a 1/2 day program. Someone will have to let me know how that goes. God bless you!!

All right the questions are answered, onto something that many people have waited for....for too long. I am not sure what happened. I dropped the Poetry Journal ball. I have my poems all set for the remainder of the year. My themes include; Mother's Day, Insects, Frogs, and Bye Bye Butterfly (end of year). All I have are my new versions because I stunk at doing them in May previously. 

I am planning to create Smartboard versions of all my poems...soon. I promise. It's a promise I have to keep because it is part of my outline for presenting at the IL K conference next March. 

Hopefully, you will find something you can use. Thanks for all the love and hopefully this post finds you well. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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

May There Always Be Sunshine The Fuzzy Caterpillar In the Pond Head Thorax Abdomen Good Bye Friends

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ramblings of a tired girl

I am at a loss of what to blog about. Lucky you! I keep wanting to start taking pictures at school of some of the cuteness that is going on....all because of my Pinterest addiction, but I have several things that are preventing me from doing so...

  1. I can't-for the life of me, remember where I put my old camera. It normally resides at school, but I brought it home when I went on leave.
  2. I am only working 3 days a week and I feel like I am in a time crunch with teaching. I am not even sure I have time to take silly little pics.
  3. I live 32 miles from my school, so at the end of the day...I want to zoom home to see Mr. Cooper.
  4. Also, I constantly see pics that link to a blog, but then I see the same pic on another blog. I live in fear of not giving the right people credit.
Here are some tidbits about life right now, some school related....some not. I am UBER stressed lately. I have had some serious issues. 

First, our landscaping company is suing us. That's right, actually taking us to court. It turns out the bill that we paid back in May never actually made it to their company. They never told us and our check was cashed. Now months have gone by and we found out the check was stolen. Blahblahblah...we are in the middle of ick. Stressful, ick. I am not handling it well. I am sure everything is going to be fine, but it is sidetracking me from everything.

The husband's job is looking rocky. I feel terrible for him. I feel terrified for us and our sweet little man. Nuff about that.

The Common Core has me quite worried over the state of Kindergarten. Common Core is here, I accept that, it just leaves me wondering if people realize that they are still babies and they still need time to adjust to a classroom, time to explore, time to play. I know, I will calm down...just a bit stressed.

Add to it, our school doesn't have half day or full day, we are in an extended day limbo. I believe the Common Core really requires full day, but I guess half day teachers are saying at least you have a little more time. I know. I'm just worried about the implications of some pretty hefty expectations.

I am trying so hard to keep everything together with a smile. I think I am doing a decent time staying upbeat. It's all the ick that constantly plays in my head.

I am trying to be a better blog reader. I will be completely honest, I haven't been great about reading blogs since the summer. I am trying to keep up with the bazillion of blogs that I love and just keep finding more! I am trying very hard to comment and show the love because I respect all of the work and dedication I see out in blogland. There are truly amazing teachers out there. We are blessed to live in a time that we have the opportunity to see the greatness in classrooms all over the country! I am inspired by so many. 

I am working on the May Poetry journals...I swear. I've been AWFUL every year once May comes around. I'm on it. I am also working on a frog unit....we'll just have to see how that works out. So, today, I don't have anything for you....just the ramblings of this tired girl and I am really not looking for sympathy or anything like that...I just needed to blog :0)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Holy Guacamole! I can't believe how many comments I got for The Great Giveaway. I really thought it would just be a handful of people. Everyone left such sweet comments, it made me want to run out and buy up every flashdrive that Best Buy had! Thanks so much for all the kind words, I really do appreciate each and everyone you!

Now, if you are not the "winning-est winner of all," do not fret. I will be hosting two product giveaways within the next month or so! I will also do another flasdrive giveaway probably to kickoff the summer.

If you are one of the lucky two, I will be sending an email your way tonight about the specifics.

And, the flashdrives go to....

Congratulations to Chelsea and Tammy! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hey Peepsters

Spoiler Alert: This post is all over the place....

It's Tuesday, Coop-a-Loop is taking his AM nap and I'm sitting here staring at this bowl...
Those are Peepsters. Have you tried them? They are de*light*ful. It's 9:30AM, you cannot eat candy before noon....nomnomnomnomnommmmmmm. The crazy thing is I HATE Peeps, but those little treasures get me every year!

Today I will be trotting over to the Dollar Tree in search of cute plastic eggs...thanks Fran! I have been searching my podunk town for cute ones for a couple of weeks. I've been to Target, Walmart, KMart, and the Dollar General and all I came up with were Hello Kitty and Camouflage Eggs....what am I suppose to do with those?

I should just PJ it up today. I am thoroughly exhausted. Have I mentioned that my little ball of sunshine is almost four months and still wakes every 3 hours to alert the masses that he is starving? I love the little bugger, but when, oh when, will he sleep through the night? And yesterday, was the first day back after Spring Break and the kiddos acted like they were at home, taking their shoes off, sitting on tables, and walking around chatting during work time....I came back home comatose.

I told you I was going to be all over the place (stay with me). The other day I got the cutest Subtraction book from Marlana at Lil' Country Kindergarten. I LOVE it! She is selling it on her TPT for $1.25. Make like a bunny and hop over there to see it :0)

Oh and here is my first Currently...I have been living in a cave...a cave in the middle of a cornfield, but a cave nonetheless. Join the party with Farley here...

I needed some Wake Up Work for my lesson plan this week and realized that I haven't given the Hoppers a sight word color by code in a loooong time. They love doing them, but I am torn, I have the kids that scribble the colors as fast as they can and in the other camp....the kids that are so meticulous that it takes them days to finish! Anywho, thought I would share it with you (the mistake on there has been fixed...I still don't know my color words, lol)! Thanks for all the kind words, love to all!

PS...only a couple more days until the winners are announced. Be sure to enter, The Great Giveaway.

Thanks for reading!

Spring Sight Word Color by Code

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Keepin' it "Rural"

After "Cue the Banjos...We're Going to the Farm," I had a difficult time coming up with a title for this post. I've created a few more farm activities for my classroom. We do a HUGE unit that combines chicks and farms for the entire month of April. I LOVE it. Have I mentioned that I live, almost quite literally, in the middle of a cornfield? Our subdivision is new and we really thought there would be houses across the street but alas, the market changed and now all that you can see to the East of our house is cornfields. I like a good farm as much as the next guy, but by late summer I start to worry that I may see Malachi or an eery crop circle...either way I'm keeping my distance.

I totally ADORE my current schedule? I really feel that I have the best of both worlds. I'm tired as all get out by Friday afternoon, but I love being at home a few days and being in the classroom a few days. I am sooooo scared of next year, I will have to go back to reality and work five days. I guess I just shouldn't think about it.

Anywho, chick season is upon me. We get our eggs on Tuesday. I ended up with a good hatch last year, so I am hopeful. Chick season inevitably becomes high stress for me. First the kiddos end up being so excited that it is difficult to keep teaching. And, second I am always fearful that I won't have any hatch or that the ones that do hatch will end up "not right" or worse....eventually dead. There is nothing worse than A-walking into your room in the morning and finding one dead or B-having one die in the middle of the day. The kids love doing the unit and it's really educational and fun, except when it's not. I will let you know what happens :0)

Here are the links to the previous Farm and Chick posts for your reference...
Let's All Do the Chicken Jive
Peep Peep
Farm Thinking
Cue the Banjo's....We're Going to the Farm

Also, if you are interested I am having a giveaway, it can be found here...

Here are some of the newest things I've got going. I hope you find some things to use in your classroom. As always, I truly appreciate all the love you send my way!!! If you download, please take a few seconds and leave a comment :0)  Have a wonderful week!!


Literacy Goodies
Farm Sight Word Color by Code Farm Frenzy Rhyming ABC Order Chick Worksheet On the Farm-At the Zoo Sort Math Goodies Base Ten Teen Number Match-Up Numbers to Crow About Worksheet Find the Sheep Sequencing Numbers Center Farm Friend Squeeze Chicky Ten Frame Match Up How Many Chicks Ten Frame Worksheet Cow Puzzle 10-1 Pig Puzzle 10-19 Barnyard Adding