First Week!

Hello from the great beyond......well ok, it's just feels like I've passed over. I have been dead tired this week. Summer is such a tease. During summer I'm always so full of energy, stay up till 3a.m. without a worry in the world.

 Then reality sets in during the first week back in school. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job....but first week in kindergarten is R-O-U-G-H! But I am a

 S U R V I V O R !!!!!

I did want to share some first week pics with you! We are well on our way to becoming independent learners.......

I'm always asked, "How do you start centers at the beginning of the year? What's the process?"

The pictures below show our "table centers" on Day 3 in my kinder class. "Table centers" are actually toys and games that will later be used during inside recess time (for rainy/cold days).....I use these items as my beginning of the year "table centers" because they are a great transition activities from items that children would normally play with AND it gives me an opportunity to show the kiddos how to use these materials.

 (Here the kids were building circles and triangles)......It's amazing what kids will do with materials even when given no directions. This is a great reason why kid-watching is such an important thing for kinder teachers to do. Think about what I can already tell about this little girl. She not only has a good understanding of circles and triangles. She understands how to put pieces together to create circles and triangles. She then proceeded to tell me the circles were like the letter o and also the number zero (she knows they are different).... She also told me the triangles were like capital A's. Good job, sweetie!

 (Here the kids were actually using the legos to build letters. This was the letter T before it got broken.....) One child kept fumbling the pieces and "breaking" the letters. He didn't mean to, but his fine motors skill seem to be lacking... Again....the wealth of info kid-watching gives you is incredible.

(I had to take pic of this one because it shows this boy beginning to sort the pipe pieces.....He was only using the straight pieces. It's just an easy thing to overlook, but it tells me he is ready for sorting and patterning. :0)

I use "table centers" because they are easy activities that the kids enjoy doing. It also  gives me the opportunity to teach my procedures which will later help during normal center time. I want to help the kids gain a sense of "we do this activity in this area" and then we will switch and do a different activity. 

My table center rules are:
1. I must stay in my spot.
2. I must share.
3. I must keep the materials on the table.
4. I must clean up when I hear the Tidy Up song (by Dr.Jean - I swear it is the BEST song to teach kids to clean up even if it does drive me crazy).

When kids clean up their center - they must sit at their table with their heads down - ready to listen for directions. They are learning well and we are almost there with this!

In addition to table centers, I begin introducing regular centers that are "almost play" centers, but will become a regular part of our center time -- good bridge between "table center" activities and regular centers. Yesterday, I introduced the sand table. This is the first center in which kids are NOT at their tables. I also use duct tape boxes around the centers to define the area and give kids a good visual of where they can and cannot be. 
 (See, you can see a little bit of the blue duct tape in the lower left corner.)

Today, I introduced the home center and the kids were SUPER excited. Home center is ALWAYS a big hit! Again, I will place a duct tape border around this center to help define the area and let kids know where their center begins and ends.

Tomorrow, we will learn more about the building center....By the end of the first week I will have taught and the kids will have practiced going to all the "play centers". I do believe in their important in the kindergarten curriculum. They are a great addition to all the purely "academic"centers we will be learning this year! 

How do you start teaching center procedures at the beginning of the year?

Oh, and I had to show you a couple pics of my table at the end of the first day of school. I'm sure you can empathize! :0)

It really was clean at the beginning of the day.... You can see my bag of marshmallow on the right side.....they go with my Marshmallow Mouth - Marshmallow Toes lesson HERE!

Classroom Tour 2012-2013

Hi friends! Well, I had Meet the Teacher tonight and got to meet my new little crew! I am so excited for the new year to start....I do have to say, however, I am EXHAUSTED!!! Anyone else out there as tired as I am?

Plus, my Meet the Teacher happened to fall on Meet the Teacher for all my own children so I didn't get to go to their Meet the Teacher....and it was also my daughter 12th birthday... Boy - the sacrifices we make as teachers.....

I swear I wished we were able to prep our rooms and get everything ready to go....and then have another week vacation. School doesn't start until Monday for me and I feel like I need a good rest!

Anyways, I decided to take some pictures of my classroom today before my kids stepped into the room.....because let's be honest.....this is as good as it will look this year ;) I'll want to remember way back in August when my room was organized and clean. So, here it is!

You will notice I don't go overboard with cutesy. I really try to make a calm, cheerful room set up for the real work of teaching.....:0)

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Color Mixing

I am so excited to share with you an awesome, wonderful activity all about colors!
We read the book...
{Click the picture to take you to Amazon to look. GREAT prices.}
I talk with my students about how I read about things in books like mixing colors, but sometimes I think it is more fun to try them myself. My kids in school agree. Then I ask them if they want to create colors like White Rabbit does in this book. They, of course, agree again!

So, we DO the science experiment with colors from the book... 
but we use cookies and frosting.
I get three cans of cheap frosting and food coloring. 
{I made a boo boo and got the frosting without BoxTops, which I normally don't do.}
I also buy three packages of the break and make sugar cookies in the cold section of the grocery store. Each package has 24 cookies in it. I need each student to get 3 cookies, so it works well. 
{And they do have BoxTops on the cookies.}

Then, we pass out the plates that are prepped for each child and a plate for me.
{See the middle picture above.}
Each plate need a blob of each color frosting, three small white cookies,
and something to mix the colors with like a plastic knife or even a Popsicle stick.

Next, I explain that the each child WILL GET TO EAT everything on their plate... but they have to follow all the directions first.  I show them that they have three primary colors on their plates, just like the rabbit had the three primary colors of paint. Each cookie will be a white rabbit.

Now, re-read the book to the class while they DO the experiment with their food. When the white rabbit {cookie} dips into red, put some red frosting on your cookie. Then the rabbit goes into the blue paint. You add the blue paint. Then you mix red and blue together to make purple.
{When you mix the red and blue frosting, it does make purple!}
When the White Rabbit takes a bath in the book, you lick the plastic knife, Popsicle stick, or what ever else you have on each plate.  Repeat this while reading the book out loud to create each secondary color. You will create purple, green, and orange.

Lastly, the White Rabbit can not take a shower, but mixes all three colors together to make brown. I let my students create these color on their plates, not a cookie.

Once we are done creating, we eat!
 I made FREEBIE labels to send home to let parents know what to ask their children about.
Head to my blog to check them out {here} for free!!!


Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten

WELCOME Sign Freebie

Just a quick post to give you a little present.... I hope you like it!

Isn't it a cute Welcome sign?? And it's so easy to make. Print, laminate, cut, and simply hot glue directly to a thick, long ribbon of your choice! My ribbon is black with white polka dots.


You can also see my footprint poem (borrowed idea) .....It's another freebie for next Thursday....stay tuned for that! :0) It is A-dor-a-ble!!!

PBIS and Other Behavior Management Freebies

Hiya Peeps

Its Shuna P (shun-nuh)

* Please indulge my rambles*

I do that a lot

I try not to

but it doesn't work very well

Don't say that I didn't warn you

This is me : )

My friends call me smiley and sunshine

Are you sitting there like me wondering where the summer went

I go back to school in under a week

While I am very excited to meet my new little kinders

I am not so excited for the first couple of weeks

My sleep pattern is messed up

I have gotten use to not eating at 10:30 am

My feet know nothing but flip flops and slippers

My body is use to going to the bathroom when ever it pleases

I am so not ready!

Ugh I just need a couple more weeks 

Anyhoo this is just wishful thinking

It is futile to resist!

When I started the summer I had all these grand gestures and thoughts of what I would do

Let me tell ya 

I have done 




Now that it is time to go back I now have a sense of urgency


Is anyone else like me?


I can't seem to get my behind into gear unless it is down to the wire

So if you are like me I have a couple of freebies to hopefully help you ease back into the school 


* Let me preface this and say that due to the BTS rush I can not customize any of the freebies*

This post is going to be FREEBIE heavy

but something tells me that you won't mind

Click on each pic to take you to your goodie

There are 15 themes included with each goodie

* jungle/zoo
*sweet treats
*ocean (2 versions)
*super heroes
* robots

All you have to do is find your theme and print that page

The first freebie is for themed voice tracker sheets

The next freebie is a set of PBIS/ Class  rule posters

There are 2 covers povided: Our PBIS Rules and Class Rules

If your school does not use PBIS you can still use this freebie and use the class rules poster

Simply find the set that has your theme and print only the pages you need

Set 1: jungle/zoo, sweet treats, ocean, dinos, space

Set 2: frogs, transportation, camping, pirate and monsters

Set 3: picnic, bugs, super heroes, 50's and robots

Have you seen the name tags from Jen @ Kindertrips?

They are adorable

I love the idea of have a visual of where each child goes during those hectic first weeks of school

These are Jen's cute tags

I love them but I needed them to be editable

So I asked her could I make my own and she said yes

I so love this blogging community

I love how everyone is oh so sweet and helpful!

Here is a simple tag that can be used for parent gifts at the beginning of the year!

Just print the tag and attach the the stem of the apple using ribbon or string

Here is a simple beginning of the year center

Here are a few more fabulous freebies to get you on the right track for the new school year

Do you use a clipchart?

Here is a behavior recording sheet for each month of the year

 A Craftivity from the Lovely Hadar @ Miss Kindergarten


I hope that you enjoyed my ramblings!

I would love to have you come over and visit my little slice of the blogging community

If you enjoy the freebies I would love for you to hop on over to my blog and follow me

See you over there

Peace Out Peeps

Story From the Great Beyond.....

Today was my first day back in my classroom since May 31st when summer began (ok well teachers were there on June 1st....but I really like the sound of saying that summer began on May 31st - doesn't usually happen here in Texas anymore....) .

Teachers don't have to be back until August 20th with kids starting August 27th. Still, my dad is having surgery in a couple weeks (right before school starts) so I know I won't be able to be in there when I really need to be. So, in I went to get a jump start on things....... To make everything a tad more interesting, summer school is going on and guess where kindergarten summer school is happening?  You guessed it - MY ROOM!

I totally forgot to take a picture of what it looked like before I began working. But since my friend already moved things around for summer school it doesn't really matter.

I have to tell ya I'm not really big on classroom themes (ok stop throwing the daggers you crazy kinder teachers)...... Perhaps I am the last kinder teacher without a classroom theme, but I finally decided on an ocean theme.

I acquired this gorgeous circle carpet from a teacher friend last year that looks like a big ocean.... I love this carpet and it inspired me!

(How stinkin' cute is this carpet of mine??? I really love it!)

So, the carpet sparked my interest in going with an ocean theme.....

Then, I visited the classroom of a teacher-friend and fell in love with her "blue-world".

(Ok so this isn't a good picture and of course I deleted the others, but this is the room that helped me fall in love with BLUE....:0)

So, back to my room today...........It's not nearly done - I literally have only spent 7 hours in it working (with 3 of my kids and a half-way cooperative husband), but here are some pics of MY blue world>>>>>>>.

Now, because it isn't done - please pretend like you don't see the bright yellow bulletin board is the smack middle of my blue's not really there..... Ok, so it is there, but won't be for long. I bought this incredible blue, sparkly cloth for my word wall and the little board beside the promethean.... I can't wait to get it up!

More pics to follow ........:0)

So......what do you think?
What "theme" do you use in your classroom?