Sunday, November 27, 2011

I won!

Ok I haven't posted in quite a while, but I spend too much time reading other blogs. I entered a contest for Miss Kindergarten and I won, so I thought I would give a big shout out to her sight.

Check it out! She has a lot of great ideas.

As for me, I have some great materials and pictures, but terrible technology at the moment. Maybe Santa will put a new computer and camera under my tree. Until then, I'll have to wait for the gremlin fairy make it possible to post something in less than half an hour. Please check out some of my favorite sites in the sidebar. That is where I spend a lot of my time!

Thanks again Miss Kindergarten!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Morning Work

I use a variety of activities for morning work (that time between when they first arrive and when school actually starts).  The children look at the board to find out what the work will be that day.  I have had handwriting practice, Math Boxes, quiet activities, books, puzzles, etc.  I created these to reinforce the color words we have just introduced.

Beginning color words

beginning color words 2

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life Saving Teacher Tips

Katie Mense at Little Warriors is having a linky party asking for some life saving teacher tips.  My number one life saver is the people that I work with.  I have worked in an environment where I barely spoke to the other teachers in the building.  I love where I am now.  I have a wonderful assistant in my class and I know I couldn't get through the day without her.
I also couldn't make it through the year without chocolate.  After the first few days of school all the kids in my class knows that chocolate is my favorite food no matter what form it takes.  The first letter we introduce it M and our first treat - m&ms.  Life is good.

Bowl of M&Ms

The final thing that I couldn't live without is music.  "Music soothes the savage beast" - William Congreve.  And that is certainly true of my kinders.  We sing in my class all day long.  I love Dr. Jean, Jim Gill, Heidi Songs, Frog Street press, Harry Connick Jr. (ok not a children's musician, but we love to dance to jazz), and Greg and Steve.  On Fridays (Fabulous Fun Friday) I bring my guitar for some extra music.

Dr. Jean Feldman Collection, Kiss Your Brain, CDImage Detail

Site logo

Harry Connick, Jr. : Oh, My Nola

Sing and eat chocolate with a bunch of great people.  That about sums it up!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day!

Our first day of school was today and I have a great group of kids.  It was only a half day, but I am exhausted.  Another half day tomorrow then a full day on Wed.  Whew!  Time to get back in the swing of things (and to Sonic for their $1 large Diet Cokes! Mmmm caffeine!)  Here are a few pics of my classroom.  For the coconut tree, I have some great friends who own a printing shop.  They gave me the end rolls of the vinyl they use.  Then I cut the leaves and had my WONDERFUL (6'5") husband hang them from the ceiling.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today it's my birthday and here is something for you - it's my absolute, all-time favorite playdough recipe. Yes, I know you probably already have one or have seen one like this, but one ingredient seems to make all of the difference. It's pretty much your standard cooked dough recipe, but right before it sets you add 1 tablespoon vanilla. When the dough is done it seems smoother than the other dough recipes I've tried and it smells wonderful.

Play Dough Recipe
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp oil
liquid food color
1 Tbsp vanilla
Mix the dry ingredients. Add water, oil and color. Cook over low heat. When it starts to set add Vanilla. Cook until set. Knead until smooth.

I just loved this picture when I saw it.  This image is from minieco.  The colors are made from natural ingredients.  Her site has some wonderful ideas.  Check it out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's Almost Here!

My birthday that is. OK, really I have hit the age where I no longer count birthdays - I don't really remember them. I forgot my birthday was Friday until my mom called wanting to visit. Oops. Anyway, here is a birthday present to you. When the children in my class have a birthday we make them a picture present book. I give the birthday child a piece of cardstock to decorate and we make a poster of things the birthday child likes: favorite food, favorite movie, favorite color, etc. Then each child gets the paper below. They write the birthday child's name at the top and their own name at the bottom and draw a "Picture Present" for the child in the middle. Then my WONDERFUL assistant Mona (I cannot say that too many times - I am blessed) puts wrapping paper over the picture - like a lift the flap book - and binds the book together. I'm going to my school today, so I will try to find my copy that a class made for me and take a picture. Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy! (I am trying scribd now - let's see if it works)


Friday, August 5, 2011

Take Home Folders

Every day the children in my class have take home folders.  I use frogs for my classroom theme, so our folders are F.R.O.G.S. (Fully Responsible and Growing Students).  This is not original, buy I'm not sure where I got the idea.  Here are the labels I use (2"x4").  This year I have poly folders, so I'm not sure how well the labels will stick.  I will report back.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back to School Ideas

My mind is starting to think about crayons, folders, games, letters, numbers ... it must be back to school time.  Here is one of my favorite links for back to school ideas.
Mrs. Nelson's Class
She has some great ideas for the first day of school.  I use her survival kit during our open house.  I include a laminated picture of me on a little business sized card that says "This is my teacher Mrs. Long."  It helps the kids on the first day remember that I'm that nice lady they met a few days ago.

I also use her classroom management system.  It is similar to the green, yellow, red system except it uses frogs staying on a lily pad.  The kids love it and they work very hard to keep their frog on the lily pad.  At the end of the year I send the magnet home and parents have told me they use it on their refrigerator for behavior management.  Here's a picture from her site.

frog behavior chart
 Here is the link for her classroom management page. Mrs. Nelson Classroom management

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Went to DC last week.  We took our boys to all the usual sights, White House, Captital, Archives and we went to a few unusual sights like the "International Spy Museum" where I picked up this CD.

Music to Spy By® CD

I'm going to use it when we go on a hunt for letters and words in our room.  Can't you just picture a bunch of K's looking for letters to the "Mission Impossible" theme.  I can't wait!

I also got this:

Einstein Talking Bobblehead

I couldn't leave the Smithsonian without it.  I will use it to remind my students how smart they are!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Storage Unit

This unit was featured in the Linky Party that studied Debbie Diller's "Math Work Stations".  I found it at Michael's and used a 40% off coupon for it!  Woo Hoo I love a bargain!
MultiColor Ten Drawer Storage Cart

I have small room that doesn't have much storage and always looks very cluttered (ok ... I admit, I'm a messy teacher - organization is my growing edge).  I am going to make this my math center.  Two children can chose (or be assigned) a drawer that contains a math activity.  If you want more ideas start at Mrs. Parker's blog  She has links to all of the sites that hosted chapters for MWS.  Great resource!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Name

The song in this video is the inspiration for the name of my blog.  If you would like to learn more about Barbara Bailey Hutchison go here

The First Day is On it's Way!

OK I know that it is early, but my kids are in TX and I have some "extra" time.  So I am cleaning and sorting computer files today.  Here is a page that I use with my kids on the very first day of kindergarten.  They get to draw a picture of ANYTHING with their brand new crayons.  The kids love showing off what they have done and the parents like having a keepsake of the first day.  At my son's school they host a "Boo Hoo" Breakfast for parents on the first day.  What other first day activities do you do?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Watch Out Newbie Blogger on the Loose!

OK...  I am new to this whole blogger thing.  I started this because I have been a "blog stalker" or is it a "blalker" for several months now and I thought it is time to give back.  I LOVE freebies and super cheap things for my classroom and I will try to share some of those here. 

Right now I have "labels" listed twice on the left.  I tried open page elements to change it and saw "http 400 bad request" whatever that means. So... it will either remain a less than perfect blog or I will figure it out one of these days.  Until then, enjoy my posts, give me some feedback and enjoy the rest of your summer break (if you are lucky enough to have one!)

Song Sheet Number 2!

Ok.  Embedding a document went so well the first time ... let's see how page 2 goes ... I created these song sheets to go with a workshop that I do for teachers on using music in their classrooms.  I learned a long time ago that music soothes the savage beast.  The tunes are easy or ... if you don't know the tune, make one up or chant the song.  It doesn't matter how well you sing - the kids don't care - just sing!

songsheet2[1] -

Monday, July 18, 2011

Song Sheet Number 1

Trying to embed a document.  Hope it works!  Eek!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thank You

I just want to thank all of the wonderful teachers who have blogs and sites with so many wonderful ideas.  I just started teaching again full time after taking a few years to stay at home with my boys and the information in the blogs has been a tremendous help.  I hope over the weeks and months to add some of my ideas to the mix in order to help others get a fresh perspective.  Keep up the good work!