November Arrival Bins

Thank you so much for all of your feedback earlier this month–I’m so excited to say that the November arrival bins are DONE and posted!!!! They will be on sale for a special introductory price of $4 through Wednesday, November 1st. That’s 50% off of the regular price! You can check out the bins here: November Arrival Bins

Here is a closer look at what’s inside…

Let’s start with the math goods!

I’m so excited about this non-standard measurement activity! You could use unifix cubes, like the picture below OR Pom-poms or erasers, really it can be whatever you want! Ooh, and think of the great conversations you could have with your kids if you measure with different types of objects!

Next up is 3-D shape puzzles!

These fall ten frame mats are perfect for practicing number recognition and creating sets! You can have students use play dough or erasers.

Fall comparing sets clip cards. There are three different kinds. Students can clip to identify more, then less & use symbols (< = >) to complete the number sentence.

Fall addition mats–students count the leaves and match according to their sums.

Number puzzles for the numbers 1-10 and 1-20.

And there are skip counting puzzles too! Students can practice counting by 5’s and 10’s to 100.

Students will be able to practice their counting skills and number recognition with these punch cards.

The last activity includes an editable version of number writing cards.

Both color and black and white versions are available for each activity. Simply print which version you prefer! There are also editable student direction cards.

Come back tomorrow to check out what’s inside of the ELA Arrival Bins!!!

July Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

June is over….and July is here!  This summer is flying by!  I see that stores are already preparing their back to school sections, but then again–craft stores are also starting to put our their Halloween and Christmas sections as well.  However, school is never to far from my thoughts!  I can’t wait to meet my new batch of kiddos in the fall!

I’m linking up with my blogging friends, Lisa from Pawsitively Teaching , Ashley from Just Reed, and Marissa at Inspired Owl’s Corner to share my top three Pinterest pins for the month of July.  Feel free to join in on the fun!

July Main Graphic

Here are some of my favorite teaching related pins for the month.


Do you do question of the day in your class?  I do this as an opening activity in my classroom.  I have students work with a partner and ask the question of the day.  Then as a class we graph our answers and write  a corresponding number sentence where we compare the numbers.  Later in the school year we work on creating tally marks for this activity.  I like this activity because it allows a daily opportunity for students to ask and answer questions in a complete sentence.    I love the idea of creating a designated question of the day area like the one above–such a time saver!


I have a ton of clothespins and popsicles sticks laying around my craft stash and my kiddos LOVE to build things!  This activity is absolutely perfect for them!  I also thought this would be the absolute perfect activity for my students at the beginning of the school year.  I love how students would be using their imaginations to build and they are developing their fine motor skills at the same time!


Another great idea for Popsicle sticks!  Have your kiddos explore and create shapes!  This is a perfect math station activity for my kiddos at the beginning of the school year!

July Main Graphic

Those are my top three pins for the month of July! I would love to see your pins as well!  Feel free to link up below:


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Spring Garden Ideas…

Yay!  I’m on Spring Break and just a tad excited about that!  It has been a really busy time at school, there are only 33 days of school left!  We have been having lots of fun the last month learning about Plants and Gardens, Bunnies and Eggs.  Here are some pictures of a few  fun plant activities we completed in the last couple of weeks:

We completed this fun activity when we were learning about the parts of a plant.

You can download the words for a part of a plant here:  Parts of a Flower Words.

We also painted paper, cut them out and made a flower, this was project will be part of our Science journals that we have been making.  Here is a picture:

You can download the Spring Flower page here: Flower Science Journal Page

We also had a blast learning and singing this Dr. Jean song posted on You Tube:

We also sang this song from Harry’s Kindergarten:

If you are looking for a TON of great ideas for your Spring Garden theme, then you must check out Mrs. Lee’s Spring Garden Post here.

I have gotten a lot of ideas from Mrs. Lee’s kindergarten, which is definitely one of my all time favorite blogs!  If you would like to purchase the clip art that Mrs. Lee used to make her worksheets, they are from DJ Inker’s May Doodler Download.  It is available to purchase and download for $4.99 from their website :).

Kindergarten Crayons also has a lot of Garden Themed printables available.  You will have to view her posts from the last month or so to find them, but they are well worth the search :).  Click here be taken to this great teaching blog.

Have fun with your little ones while you learn about plants and flowers!


What We are Doing Wednesday…

This week is a short week for us with the Veteran’s Day holiday and Friday is a furlough day for our district.  So, we’ve been busy doing all kinds of fun stuff!

This week we have been learning about the color purple, the letter N, and continuing our fall theme.  We have also started to talk about Thanksgiving and completed a few projects related to this theme.

Here are some pictures of stuff we’ve been doing:

This week we finished our November math journal page, which is a turkey.

Here is the pattern that I used for the turkey:  Turkey Project Directions and Pattern. The printable at the bottom of the page is from Martha Shehan’s kindergarten site.  You can print this page at the bottom of her November theme page here.

We continued our discussions about fall and made these lovely fall leaves:

We first fingerpainted and then the next day sponge painted the leaves to add texture with bright fall colors.

We also completed lots of counting activities:

Here is a picture of a station activity that I made with some die-cuts and fabric leaves I found at Dollar Tree.

Here is another example of an activity where I used the Dollar Tree leaves. We used these manipulatives to act out the poem Five Little Leaves.

In case you are interested here is a picture of the poem, “Five Little Leaves” that I got from the Mailbox Companion a few years ago:

We also started making our Kinder Lit Thanksgiving book.  Here are some pictures of what we have completed so far:

Here is the cover, which is a handprint turkey.

Here is the first page which features a pilgrim.

If you are interested in ordering this book, then visit the Kinder Lit site here.

We also finished the purple page for our TLC color book:

In case you are wondering about ordering information for the TLC book, then you can visit their site here.

Now, for some of my favorite stuff–FREE stuff!  I’m traced the die-cuts that I used for the leaves and tree so you can make your own fall themed projects:

Fall Leaf Patterns

Bare Tree Pattern


I’d love to hear or see what fall or Thanksgiving themed projects that you’ve been working on.  Leave a comment or post a link to your site or blog to share your ideas!



What We are Doing Wednesday

Hello everyone!  Welcome to my weekly “What We are Doing” post.  This past week we finished learning about the colors black and white and made life size skeletons with hand prints and foot prints.  I have to say, these did turn out pretty cute !

We also made another page in our TLC Color book for the color black (I’ll post the other pages later so you can see).

We have also been learning about patterning this month.  So, we made a cute art project with some bat and ghosts sponges.  This page will be their October page for their math journals.

I also used sponge paper to make the moon shape, which students sponged onto their papers.

I’m a little behind, but we also made our math journal covers.  This will hold our monthly Math Journal projects.  I’m planning on binding all of the pages and passing them out when we have Open House this year.

Last, but not least, we’ve been learning about spiders this week too.  We marble painted paper and then used a spider sponge to add our spiders.  Students later added some facts about their spiders on their papers.  Here is a picture:

In case you are interested, I thought that I would include the spider writing printable:  spider writing.

There are also more great spider activities listed on the Spider Theme page which you can access here:  Mrs. Kilburn’s Spider Unit.

That’s pretty much what we’ve been up to, what about you?  I’d love to hear about what’s going on in your classrooms.  Tune in next week for pictures of our pumpkin activities–I can’t wait!



Visual Token Economy Boards and Autism Resources…

So we’ve been back to school now for a couple of weeks and I’m starting to get back into my routine!  One thing that I’ve been working on is a visual for  students to reinforce the “First/Then” concept when completing work stations within the classroom.  I find that many of my little special education students need this visual reinforcer to keep them on task.  I’ve been doing my ‘teacher’ homework and started looking on the internet for some ideas and/or printables.

There really are some great things on the internet!  Check out this great example of a First/Then board from  Click the picture to be taken to their website–there is a ton of great stuff here and it’s FREE!

After I was amazed at all of the resources available on the internet, I decided to make my own with pictures of objects within the classroom.  You can see my visual choice board here:  What are You Working For Board.  I printed two copies and made sure to print them on card stock.  Also, you will need to laminate the pages and use velcro to manipulate the objects.  This is basically how the visual works:

  1. You give the child a choice of what they would like to do when they are finished working (these would be the pictures).    I simply ask them, “What are you working for?”.  Also, I only give them a few choices, no more than three max, when I ask them this question.
  2. Student gets a number for each thing that they complete (i.e. put your name on the paper, then they get and match the number 1).
  3. Once the student completes whatever 5 things the teacher designates for the task, then they get to have the highly preferred object that they chose from the choice board.

I also made a few simpler versions of this board:

Here are some wonderful links to Autism teaching resources and other printable visuals that you can use in either the classroom or at home:

  1. Autism Teacher Resources from Special Education Services
  2. Classroom Supports for Special Education Students from Tulare County SELPA
  3. Here is another version of a work board from ABA Resources online:  I Am Working For Board
  4.  has an amazing amount of information and printables:  Tin Snips Make and Take Page

I hope that you find this post to be useful!  I would also love to hear your suggestions and/or other links to great resources on the web for special education students.


Back to School Shopping

I love this time of the year!  All of the stores are starting to put out their back to school items, and there are a LOT of great deals out there!

So, it’s no secret and I love the dollar section at Target.  It is fabulous! There are so many things for teachers right now, that I found it a little hard to contain myself!

Here’s a list of a few great things that I saw in the dollar section at Target:

  • Mini-Alphabet Stamps and Colorful Letter Stickers (great for a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom project :))
  • Lots of Student Reward Certificates and stickers
  • Name Tag Stickers
  • Star and Apple Pointers
  • Googly eyes, pipe cleaners and pom-poms
  • Teacher planning books and record keeping books
  • Foam shapes for sorting
  • Lined dry-erase boards
  • Schedule pocket charts
  • Various storage containers
  • Shape, letter, animal and color puzzles

Here is a picture of some of the items that I bought:

I got all of this stuff for less than $15! I'm super excited about the table pocket chart.

Here is another picture:

These are the foam counter shapes that I plan on using for sorting. You can sort them by color and/or shape!

Happy shopping everyone!


National Standards–what do you think?

So lately I’ve been hearing all about the Core Standards iniative to make national standards.  California is one of the states participating in this project.    From what I have read, this is only a draft at this point.  I really don’t know when they are hoping to implement these standards, but I do find this iniative to be very interesting.

Here is the link to their website:  So what do you think?  Please share your opinions in the comment section.  I’d love for all of us to discuss our ideas and opinions :).


Dialogic Reading–a strategy to promote reading vocabulary and comprehension

I just took a workshop this morning about Dialogic Reading. This was so fascinating to me–as soon as I could I wanted to look up more research on this approach.

Basically, Dialogic Reading is simply a strategy to increase vocabulary and comprehension with early readers (primarily preschool aged students).   Dialogic Reading is simply a systematic approach to interactively reading with students.  Many of these techniques most of us educators instinctively use, such as story recall questions or connecting the text to something real-life, etc.  However, I’ve never really thought of putting all of these techniques together when preparing lessons.  I just had a complete “Aha!” moment in this workshop today.  When selecting read alouds for students, I should brainstorm questions to ask students, and I should really identify key vocabulary and consider the overall objective for using the book.

Here are some great resources, check them out!

Here is a great handout with examples of questioning techniques from

Picture Book Reading

Here is an example of how it used in the classroom:

Happy New Year!

The New Year is quickly approaching and soon it will be 2009! Can you believe it! Here are some great activities that you can use with your students to ring in the New Year!

There are lots of great activities at
Happy New Year Activities from the Holiday Zone

Here are some simple writing prompts that I created to use with my kindergarten students (note:  I will not use all of these worksheets, I just created three different variations of the writing prompt):

In 2009 Writing Prompt D’Nealian Trace

In 2009 Writing Prompt HWT Style

In 2009 Writing Prompt Lined

There are lots of printable activitities such as mazes, etc here from Activity Village:

New Year Printables

Apples4the has this adorable New Year’s themed writing paper:

2009 New Year Stationary

Here are some great classroom websites that have wonderful ideas for your New Year mini-theme:

  1. Mrs. Packer’s New Year Mini-Unit
  2. Happy New Year from Kindergarten Treehouse
  3. The K Crew’s New Year Ideas