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Monday, August 31, 2015

Teacher Week On Blog Hoppin!

11891208_10103017229469842_3416492539685556764_nHey Guys! Megan and I are linking up over at Blog Hoppin this week for Teacher Week! You can join the fun, too.
So here are 5 interesting facts, or maybe not so interesting, about us!
First Kim:
1. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I met my husband at a square dance! I come from a family of dancers! We even danced at our wedding reception! I die! We haven’t danced in years. But, I met some of my favorite people there!
Square Dancing at My WeddingThrow Back Thursday
2. I was a Girl Scout all the way through school. This was during my senior year!
Kim's Daisy Award
3. I grew up as a military brat. This is a picture of my dad. I am so proud of him. He grew up, without an education, joined the military, got his GED, worked many jobs, coached us all in softball, went to every event our kids were even in…..I miss him. Sad smile
Harry II
4. I worked as a camp counselor and a swim instructor to put myself through college. This was my Girl Scout song book. Yes, I typed each of those songs on a portable typewriter!!!
5. I am the middle of 5 girls. Left photo was taken in England. My grandmother came to visit, and we were acting silly! Which one is me? My baby sister Jenni, wasn’t born yet so there ae only 4 of us girls in the picture.  The right photo is from my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration. My sister Debbie wasn’t able to attend. Check out that black hair!!!
Road TripPicture_0126

1. I teach in the same city where I was born.
 2. I was in a Christian sorority, Sigma Alpha Omega, in college. These girls carried me through college and they are still my best friends!
PicMonkey Collage1
3. I have one little boy, Matthew. He is named after my best friend who passed away when I was 19.
4. I met my husband, Nick, on eharmony.
5. I love art. I did pottery all through high school and college! I don't have many pictures of that time in my life...that was before Facebook!
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Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Leader In Me: Peek at My Week Family Style


Megan’s new school is a “Leader in Me School”. Each year they pick one of the habits to be their focus. This year they picked Habit #2: Begin with the end in mind.  So we did this goal setting activity with the kids.


Here’s what we did:

Day 1: What is a goal? What would I like to see happen by the end of 2nd grade? The kids made a list of possible goals.

Day 2: How can you make it happen? The kids each picked one of their goals. Then, they had to think of three things they could do to make it happen.

Day 3: We made the craftivity to hold our goals.

You can get the reproducibles and the head pattern here as a free download.


Now, back to kindergarten. Here are the plans we are using in Kristi’s room this week!


We are starting our new unit, Family.  Reader’s and Writer’s…just keep on keepin’ on! We are really working on building that stamina and encouraging the children to work longer. We aren’t pulling small groups, instead we are moving around the room making notes about what we see happening. We are also doing some abc assessments and a few running records on some of the kids who we think are actually reading!


Can I just say….adding the mini lesson before Centers has made a HUGE difference. This has worked great to scaffold our kids to become more independent in centers. It has also helped to remind us to SLOW down! It keeps us from getting ahead of ourselves!


In Math we are beginning our unit on shapes. We really didn’t do a unit the first two weeks. So we are excited to get going! Last year we started the small group DI lessons! So we are excited. Super happy that we can plan one activity, tweek it and do that same activity with all of our groups. You can download a copy of these lesson plans here.


Here are the resources we used this week to help  us plan.



Now hop on over to Deedee’s blog and see what others are doing this week.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Peek at My Week: More Back to School and Literacy Centers

What causes you the most stress with centers? I bet, if you are like me, it isn’t finding enough activities! There are tons of ideas out there floating around. So…you prep your centers and you are ready to go. They look good, you’re proud of them. You bring them out and…’s a disaster. I mean you feel like just crying. All that hard work, and it didn’t even work! I bet if you are like me, at some point you have felt that.  So what is it that makes centers so challenging? The Management!  So here are a few tips that might make your center time a little easier to manage!

  • •A center is never a new teach.
  • •Centers practice previously taught standards.
  • •Center activities have been taught in a mini-lesson.
  • •Sometimes an activity requires further explanation in a small group setting before it can become a center activity.
  • •Some centers are “have to” activities. These are activities that you expect all children to complete. These are the ones that maintain previous learning.
  • •Some centers are “can do” activities. These are activities that the children may choose from once they finish their “have to” center.
  • •“Can dos” are open ended and student led.
  • •“Can do” activities are modeled in mini lessons.
  • •Children may create their own learning in the “can do” centers.

Here are a few of the “have-to activities from this week.


We sorted the letters in our names.


We drew picture cards and then added detail to our pictures.


We found two pictures that started with the same sound. All these ideas, and that all important management component, are in this resource.

So here are some other things going on this week:


This week we are introducing the word family journal (for some kids this is just rhyming practice), practicing with the abc chart, and starting the book of lists.

We are still developing that all important stamina! They get tired out pretty quickly. I’ve added in some guided reading books. We aren’t going to pull some groups quite yet. But, we are going to use these whole group as read a louds and start that “Look at the picture.” strategy as well as introducing the concept of a label. This will be great for both reading and writing!


We are going to concentrate on those center time mini lessons! These are really super important. This is where we are laying that foundation for the rest of the year!


The kids are still free exploring some of the manipulatives.  I’,m just rotating them through these for now. We are pulling small groups to teach some of the basic games that will become our “can do” math centers. I love these easy to play centers! We are also doing some basic assessments…..I know, I was going to share those this week, but I just don’t have them ready quite yet! So excited to be partnering up with ESGI to get some math assessments to match the units Michele and I wrote for our small group math units! (You can find a link to them in my sidebar.)

Here are the resources I used this week to plan:



Have a great week! Be sure and hop over to Deedee’s blog to see what others are doing this week.

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