Saturday, December 31, 2011

Final Post of 2011

I will keep this short as I am getting ready to head out.  Mr. M and I are going to a friend's house to ring in the New Year (our kids are spending the night at another friends house so I'm already celebrating)

Just wanted to wish all my friends & followers a Happy New Year!  I hope you've all had a wonderful 2011 and will have an even better 2012.

I have many things to look forward to in the upcoming year, but most of all I look forward to being able to ring in another New Year with Mr. M.

And to all things my daughters will accomplish this next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

11 in 11

Who am I to pass up a top ten list (or top 11 in this case) Hadar at Miss Kindergarten and Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher are hosting a . . .


If you want to link up head on over to either blog and join in.  Here are my 11 in 11:

11. Favorite movie you watched: Super 8 (this was hard because I really wanted to say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2; but Super 8 was such a surprise and I'm a huge Science Fiction fan)

10. Favorite TV series: The Walking Dead (this again was hard, how do you choose just one?  Currently it's Grimm since the The Walking Dead is on it's winter break; but I cannot wait for it's return in February)

9. Favorite restaurant: Currently it's Laurelwood (probably because we were just there on Christmas Eve) The food and drink are always delicious and my girls love it there so it's a great place to go with my whole family.

8. Favorite new thing you tried: Blogging!

7. Favorite gift you got: I know this will sound a little material, but my favorite gift was a pair of black boots I got one morning after breakfast with my family.  They are so cute and comfortable and they were an unexpected gift from Mr.M!

6. Favorite thing you pinned: Again how to pick just one - this is a pin that inspired  my daughter's 2nd birthday party and it's something I actually recreated!

5. Favorite blog post: My post about Going back to school and Teaching Kindergarten!

4. Best accomplishment: Running the Warrior Dash!

3. Favorite picture: This was taken at the tree farm when we were cutting down our Christmas tree.  I think it shows the true personality of my family.

2. Favorite memory: I have so many memories from this year and all of them are great, but something I will remember for many, many years to come is going camping with  my dad and sister.  We only lasted one night (it rained) but we made it work the best we could.  It was just like when we were young!

1. Goal for 2012: To survive kindergarten!  Oh yeah and I'm running 2 relay races this summer.  I would like to survive those also!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm on Vacation!

Winter vacation officially begins for me today!  So of course my little one had to wake up at 6:30 and Mr. M forgot to turn off his alarm (it went off at 6:15) so I'm awake.  But I can stay in my PJ's for awhile. (At least until I have to take my other daughter to art camp)  I'm also linking up with Oh Boy Fourth Grade for a currently party.  So here is what I'm currently doing right now:

 Head on over to join in the fun (and see what your other blogger friends are up to!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Son of a Nutcracker!

6 weeks, 6 weeks, it's been 6 weeks since my last post.  I had such fabulous intentions of posting all of my wonderful Thanksgiving and Gingerbread activities and then report cards happened and assessment happened (which I had to do individually, every child reading AND math) and data charts happened and inputting the data from the assessments happened and then BAM it's December 14th and 6 weeks have gone by.

Luckily there are many wonderful bloggers out there who were keeping up with their blogs and offering fantastic resources so that I could be able to put together some fun lessons for my students.  I have especially enjoyed all the gingerbread ideas floating around out there in blogland. I have always taught using the different gingerbread stories but now I have math stations and write the room stations and word work to go with it.  THANKS!

I had intended to post this last night but I was finishing my data charts (that are due today) so now you have a Wednesday top ten.  Enjoy - maybe this will offer you some Christmas cheer to take you through the end of the week.

Here are my favorite Holiday Movies!

1. Elf

2. Christmas Vacation

3. It's a Wonderful Life

4. Love Actually

5. A Christmas Story

6. The Muppets' Christmas Carol

7. The Family Stone

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas

9. Miracle on 34th Street (The Original)

10. Home for the Holidays

I am hoping that along with some much needed time off, I will be able to post more during winter break.  Thanks to all my new followers, I appreciate you checking out my little blog.

Here is a little goodie I am sending  home in my students' report cards.  Something to keep them busy over winter break!
Breaking the Winter Doldrums

Also I found this gem on Pinterest (where else) and it is currently hanging up on my classroom door.

Found at
What are some of your favorite holiday movies?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Have Schema for Schema!

Ok, it's a little bit cheesy I admit, however keep in mind I teach kindergarten and am surrounded by these comments all day long!

Yesterday I promised I would show pictures of our latest work on schema.  Here they are!

This is my anchor chart of Ronald doing his job of being a wise reader!

Here is Ronald's brain - he sure is a busy thinker!  We just added schema to it last week.

This is my brain and all the files in my head.  I used this to show students that when we organize all the experiences we have, we put them into little files in our brains.

Then my students write about the things they have schema for.

Then my lovely neighbor across the way introduced her students to Willamina the Writer.  I LOVE this.  I think Willamina will be paying my class a visit very soon!

Here is an outline for when I teach schema & connections.  It's based off of Debbie Miller's book Reading with Meaning,  or I as call it "the bible".

Microsoft Word - Schema_&_connections[1]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday Top Ten . . . books for teaching Schema & Connections

I tried to think of something more clever for my Tuesday Top Ten list, but frankly I don't have it in me tonight. So I thought I would share with you my favorite books for teaching schema & connections.  I've just introduced this concept to my kindergarten class and they seem to have picked it up very quickly.  I don't have my camera with me tonight, so tomorrow I will post some pictures of our anchor charts and work around schema. This will be hard to keep it to just 10, but I will try.

Activating Our Schema and Making Text-to-Self Connections:

1. ANY Kevin Henkes book.  How's that for getting around the rules.  Most students have some schema about what it's like to be in school so using Chrysanthemum, Owen, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Wemberly Worried, Sheila Rae the Brave all give students a connection they can use to help them understand the character.

2. ANY Tomie dePaola book.  His books are so easy to relate to.  My favorites are Oliver Button is a Sissy, The Art Lesson, Nana Upstairs  Nana Downstairs, Now One Foot, Now the Other.

3. Frog and Toad are Friends (or any of the Frog and Toad books) by Arnold Lobel.  Students find it easy to relate to these characters and most students have a large file of friendship in their schema.

4. Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.  This books also lends itself to a fabulous writing project that you can connect to reading!

5. Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber

Text-to-Text Connections: these books should be read together

6. My Best Friend Moved Away by Nancy Carlson
7. The Lost and Found House by  Michael Cadnum
8. Ira Says Goodbye by Bernard Waber

Text-to-World Connections:

9. ANY Eve Bunting book. My favorite this time of year The Wall.  It really  helps open student's eyes to what is happening around us.

10. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

I've put all the books into a printable document for you.  I'm also including a response worksheet I use.  Enjoy!

Mentor Texts for Teaching Schema and Connections

I Have Schema For

What are your favorite books for teaching schema & connections?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mentor Texts to use in Writing Workshop for Adding Details

Kimberley over at Funky First Grade Fun is having a linky party to share Mentor Texts for Writing Workshop.  I love this idea and cannot wait to check out what the other teachers are posting, but here are a few of my personal favorites.  I tried to narrow it down to just a few ( I could go on and on) 

Currently in my kindergarten classroom we are teaching the students how to add details to their stories.  Most of their story is told through the picture so our focus has been on using wordless books to show the students how to tell a story through pictures.  Here are some of my favs:

By Barbara Lehman

By Jae Soo Liu

The Red Book by Barbara Lehman

by Istvan Banyai