Monday, December 26, 2011

New Christmas Can

I know it's a little bit late for this year, but I wanted to show you all the latest can we made for our kiddos.  We have the cafeteria ladies save us those gigantic vegetable cans, then we (the K teachers) decorate them. The students carry all their holiday goodies home in them.  Aren't they cute?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

For those of you who do Elf on the Shelf in your classroom, you've got to hear what happened! My elf, Elfie, and my neighbor's elf, Alvin, obviously had a big weekend! When we came in to school today, we found both elves with Pete the Cat and a camera! You won't believe the photos they took!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Another Farm Freebie!

Wow! This has really been a busy week! We have had a blast studying The Farm. My students used this survey to find out what our class' favorite farm animal is. They just put the survey on a clipboard, walked around the room, asked each other the question, then wrote their classmates names in the appropriate column. They loved it and did a great job of analyzing their data when they were done. Please don't forget to become a follower if you like it. (Sorry, it's really just one page. For some reason, I can't get rid of the blank page!)

Farm Survey

Monday, September 26, 2011

My First Award!

Wow! Thanks to Barb over at Kinderzoo for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Seven Things About Me
1. Obviously I need help. I can't even get the Award image to show up!
2. I just got a new Interwrite Board. I need help with that, too!
3. I have 3 cat children.
4. I'm addicted to Pinterest and blogging. My husband hates it.
5. I've been teaching for 26 years, mostly in Kindergarten. I still LOVE it!
6. I hate coffee. I have a Mt. Dew to get me going!
7. I am my school system's Elementary Teacher of the Year!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interwrite Board

I am so excited! I have been wanting a SMART board for the longest and now I have one! Yay! I have seen so many neat activities that are free or on TPT to use with them. The problem is that it is an Interwrite board, not a SMART board. The files have a different extension. Does anyone know where I can find ready-made activities for the Interwrite? I wonder if the ones from Lakeshore can be used on Interwrite? Is there a way to convert .notebook files to .gwb? I know some of my blog buddies out there can help! Thanks!

Farm Freebie!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while! Busy, busy, busy! You know how it is!
I will begin one of my favorite themes this week - The Farm! I thought I'd share this labeling sheet with you. For the labels, I will use the easy words cow, cap or hat, pig and hen.
Farm Labels

Don't forget to become a follower if you use this document! :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Center Rotation Chart

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while! We've been back in school 3 weeks. They've been VERY busy ones as you all know so well! My class is great! I know we're going to have a great year!
The one thing that has been a problem for me is my center rotation charts. I've had a wheel to rotate for Literacy Centers for the last few years and it has worked well. It was right behind my table so all I had to do between groups was stand up and turn it.
This year I was determined to have Math Workshop rotation also. I used a chart with clothespins to show the kids how to rotate, but it was across the room from my table. After every group, I had to walk across the room to move the clothespins on the chart. It drove me NUTS! It's not that I don't need the exercise, but it was just a huge waste of time!
I decided it was time for a combination center chart. This is the result. I think it will be exactly what I wanted!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Free for All Friday!

Here is my FREEBIE!  It goes with Scott Foresman Reading Street Unit 1 Lesson 1 "The Little School Bus."  Of course, you are all welcome to use it! Just make a letter die (Aa - Ee) with a Sharpie and a foam or wooden cube.

Little School Bus

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three for Thursday

I LOVE cute fonts!  My favorites are:  DJ Squirrelly, DJ Bumble (both from DJ Inkers), and FanciHand (free).

My favorite blog:  Wow!  I couldn't possibly choose just one!  I just love being able to hop around and check them ALL out!

My favorite online resource: Man!  This one is hard too!  I have lots of favorites, but I guess Pinterest is my newest favorite!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where It All Goes Down Wednesday

I'm posting some general photos.  I'll try to post more specific close-ups later!

This is the view from my door, which goes out to the playground.  We don't have a hall!  Just sidewalks!

The table under the TV usually has 2 more computers.  These were damaged in the tornado and I haven't gotten them back yet.  Hopefully, they will be replaced with new ones!

This is my teaching easel.  Behind the easel is my iPod player and song props.  The shelf behind my chair is the Block Center.

This is my main focus wall.  The big white spot is where my LCD shows.  I'm imagining a SmartBoard here.

The tree house is my Reading Center.  Just to the right of it, the gray bins house my Word Work and other Literacy Centers.

This is my Word Wall with no words on it yet!  Under that is the Drama Center and Listening Center.

To the right of the restroom door is my Math Center tubs.

This wall has my Writing Center to the far left.  You can barely see it.  Then my Art cabinet and the kiddos cubbies.  Above all this is the area where I display student work.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

My advice for new teachers...

1.  Have fun every day!  No matter how stressful it all is, you've got to laugh and love what you do.  If you don't love it, do something else!  You will lose your mind if you don't!
2.  Don't ever think you've got it all down pat.  You don't.  Ever.  Keep reading professional books, going to conferences and reading these blogs.  The field of education is constantly changing and to be a great teacher, you have to keep up!
3.  You can make the parents be your supporters or your enemies.  It's best for everyone if you hold your tongue and make nice.  Be professional, respectful and friendly!
4.  Lastly, many kids today have problems at home.  Try to be understanding and be that friendly face that they need.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Blog Hoppin' - Meet the Teacher Monday

Tell us a little something about you...
My name is Karen and I'm tired!  It's amazing that I go to school early every day, stay late every afternoon and work every night , but I still can't get it all done!  Having said that.... I absolutely LOVE teaching Kindergarten!  That sounds kinda crazy, but I wouldn't want to be doing anything else!

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 26th year!  That sounds crazy (and makes me sound really old) but every year goes by SO fast!  Things have changed so much in Kindergarten over that time.  I love reading professional books, going to GOOD conferences and keeping up to date on the newest things!

You might not know...
I'm a terrible singer!  I love to sing, but I'm really bad.  One of the great thing about Kindergartners is that they don't know it!  They think I sing beautifully!  My favorite song for school is Jack Hartmann's "Silly Rock Star!"

What are you looking most forward to this school year?
I truly love every day with my students!  We have a great time!  But, I guess my absolute favorite thing is our end-of-the year program.  I feel such a sense of pride as I watch them stand on that stage and sing their hearts out!  

What do you need to improve?
I really want to work on my Math centers this year.  I'm determined to get it right!  Last year, I never got all the pieces to fit!

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
I LOVE my wireless headphones!  I had given up on the listening center (UGH!  All those cords!) until I found these!  The CD/iPod is right next to my small group table, so I can control it without getting up.  The kids are listening to the story WAAAAAY across the room, away from my small group.  They are expensive, but well worth the money.  Get them!
I'm a real geek, so some of my other favorites are my iPod, my Mac, the Elmo and LCD.  If my magic wand really worked I'd also have a SmartBoard!  Some of my less technical favorites are colored Sharpies, huge Post-It chart paper, my smelly markers, and of course all my books.  I have a thing about books.  Oh, and glitter!

Monday, August 1, 2011

And the winner is...

The winner of my book give-away is ... DONNA GLYNN!!!!
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this give-away!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back-to-School Give-Away!

In honor of Back-to-School, I am giving away a copy of both my books! They are intended to be read at the beginning of the school year in Kindergarten. They also go perfectly with a Fairy Tale Unit. Entering is SO easy! Just become a follower before midnight Central Time July 31 and leave me a comment that you would like to enter! The winner will be chosen at random from those entries. I will contact the winner to get their address by email, so don't forget to leave that as a part of your comment.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

King Wordsworth

Years ago, I put together this story to introduce the letter sounds to my students. I cannot take full credit for it, though. Long ago, I heard a teacher telling her class that the "Word King" made up the rules for words. Later on, I bought a set of flash cards from a Kindergarten teacher that had "The King's Cards" (Capitals) and "The Queen's Cards" (Lowercase). I just kind of put all that together into a story! It's best to TELL the story, rather than read it and using puppets for the King and Queen really keeps their attention. The story is rather LLLOOOONNNNNGGG!

King Wordsworth

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Design!

Oh my goodness! I LOVE my new blog design! Thanks so much to Alicia at DreamLike Magic!
PS It just hit me today... I'm getting excited about school starting soon!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dr. Jean's "Banana Dance" Songbook FREE!

Don't you just LOVE Dr. Jean's "Banana Dance"? Last year's class thought it was a hoot! I have made a book to illustrate the song. It's FREE to download here at my TPT store until the end of the month! If you don't have the song, it's on her "Better Bodies and Brains" CD.

Get it here without going through TPT
Banana Dance

Friday, July 22, 2011

Monkey Voice Levels: The others I've seen are so cute! I just had to make one with MONKEYS! I think the original was from Katie at Little Warriors.

Voice Levels

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nursery Rhyme Unit Uploaded!

My new Nursery Rhyme unit has just been uploaded to TeachersPayTeachers.  It is designed to be used the first week or two of Kindergarten or Pre-K.  I hope you'll try it out!

Click on the unit cover to go to my TPT store.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Top Ten Things About Me

1.  I can't live without a Mt. Dew every morning.
2.  I have a serious addiction to shoes!
3.  I have 3 cats that treat me like a mom.
4.  I love "key lime" anything.
5.  My favorite color is pink.
6.  I get SO excited when I receive packages!
7.  I want to be a runner.
8.  I am a Gleek.
9.  I want a pool really badly.
10.  I love anything Kindergarten!  I love the kids, the stories, the art, the science, the math, the blogs, the music... anything Kindergarten!

from Go Fourth with Mrs. Owens

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's fixed!

If you tried to download my "America to Me" songbook at TPT and it wouldn't work, try again!  I fixed the problem!  Tell your friends!  Sorry about that...

ABCs of Kindergarten

This is my version of The ABCs of Kindergarten.  I will have to update it for the 2011-2012 school year. Click on the link to download it.  I hope it works!

Freebie! "America to Me" Songbook

I'm a little late, but the Fourth of July inspired me to make a class songbook to go with one of my favorite songs!  It's on Jack Hartmann's "I've Got Music in Me" CD.  If you don't know this song, you need to give it a listen.  It's so cute!  We did it in our end of the year program and the parents LOVED it!
I am listing this cutie for FREE on TeachersPayTeachers until the end of July.  After that, it will be $3.00.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Two Words - Thrift Stores

I have never been the type of person who likes to dig around in other people's junk!  That is until a friend made me go with her to a thrift store.
You would not believe the bargains if you think creatively!  I know you probably won't be able to go and find these exact things, but it might just get you thinking and visiting thrift stores for yourself!

If you don't have the book "Bark, George," you need it!  George's mom tells him to bark, but he makes the sounds of several different other animals.  She takes him to the vet, who pulls out all these animals.  To make this, I cut open the mouth of this stuffed dog and took out part of the stuffing.  I found all the animals that were inside George at the thrift store, too, and stuffed them in his mouth in order so I can pull them out like the vet does in the book!

I bought this big stuffed alligator to make a purse for "The Old Lady with the Alligator Purse."  I just opened up the seam on top and hand-sewed in a little pocket.  I also added a wide ribbon for a handle.

Wide Mouth Frog that actually croaks!

Stretchy the Word Snake - Jack Hartmann song

Ollie the Otter - Jack Hartmann song

Willoughby Walloughby Woo!

You know what is the best thing?  These things were like 79 each!  You can find board games, electronic games, children's books, video tapes, small toys to use as manipulatives, blocks, etc...  

*Just in case you are in Alabama, I found these things and MUCH more at the America's Thrift Store just off I-65 at the Alabaster-Saginaw exit.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Great New Giveaway!

If you are interested in FREE beginning letter sounds activities, there is a GREAT giveaway over at   Check it out!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Good to be Back!

I hate to admit it, but I have really been useless since my summer break began!  I have taken naps and watched too much TV.  I have shopped.  I have played.  Now, I'm ready to get busy!  So, I am starting on a new unit for TeachersPayTeachers.  I should have it ready in a couple of weeks.  
I realized a few years ago that my students do not know nursery rhymes, so we have started doing a Nursery Rhyme unit during the first couple of weeks of school, before we begin our Reading series.  I am putting these activities into a beginning-of-the-year Nursery Rhyme Unit.  
Please leave comments about whether or not you use nursery rhymes early in the year.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Please Bug Me!" Unit Give-Away Winner!

And the winner is.......

Deedee Wills!
Thanks to all who participated!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tornado Update

Thank you so much for the comforting comments and emails from my blog buddies!  I got in to survey the damage in my classroom today and found water damage in about a quarter of my room, but compared to the devastation in this little community, it's nothing.  Seeing the town of Phil Campbell is indescribable.   So many people lost their homes, their families and even their lives.  The number of relief workers from literally around the country, is unbelievable.
I'm sure you will  understand that I will be a little late with my unit giveaway.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sad News

This is a very sad time for me and the thousands of other people in Alabama and all around the South who have lost friends, family, co-workers and homes in the tornadoes.  My school is in Phil Campbell, one of the most heavily damaged towns.  The death toll is high for such a small town, but numbers are uncertain because many people haven't been found.  Our high school is virtually demolished, but our elementary school survived with minimal damage to the building.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of one of our faculty and some of our students who have died.  Please pray for the people of Phil Campbell.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Free "Please Bug Me!" Insect Unit Contest

I will be giving away a copy of my new "Please Bug Me!" Spider and Insect Unit!
To enter, follow these directions.  Leave a comment for each one.
1.  Follow my blog.
2.  Follow my TpT store. (here)
3.  Blog about my contest and post the link on your blog/website.
Enter until midnight Friday, April 29.
Winner will chosen at random.
Winner will be posted by Sunday, May 1.

New Unit Uploaded to TeachersPayTeachers

It's been so nice to be on Spring Break this week!

I have completed another unit that has been uploaded to TeachersPayTeachers.  I hope you will stop by to check it out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Goodies!

I wanted to show off these two cute Easter projects we did this week.  We had the cafeteria save large cans for us that we made into Bunny Buckets for our kids.  They used these for their Easter baskets for our egg hunt.  There's a wide ribbon handle inside that you can't see in the photo.  There's also a jumbo cotton ball on the back for a little extra bunny touch.

This idea for this cute little project was given to me by a friend, and I don't know where she found it, but I thought it was precious!  Use a strip of colored paper, about 2" x 10".  Use the children's fingerprints to make white eggs in the first three spaces, then add a pinky dot to the top of the third egg for the little chick hatching out.  The fourth picture is just one yellow fingerprint chick.  Use orange and black Sharpies for the details.  Roll this up and put it in a easter egg!  The size that's a little bigger than a real egg works best!

New Earth Day Unit Posted to TeachersPayTeachers

I have decided to get on the TeachersPayTeachers bandwagon and begin publishing my units!  My first unit is "Hooray for Earth Day: An Environmental Studies Unit."  You can find it here
I hope you enjoy the activities!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Welcome to my new blog!

I hope to begin posting about my Kindergarten class' activities soon!

Saturday, February 19, 2011