Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Better Late Than Never Classroom Reveal

Today was day number 15 and I am just now getting around to posting pictures of my classroom!  I don't know why I've been such a slacker.  But, I figure late is better than never.  Drum roll...

Classroom library.  I left it in the same spot as it has been for a while.  New this year are comfy pillows and a cozy chair.  I covered the backs of the cabinets with purple cloth to round out the cozy feel.  The white tubs that hold picture books are now on a wire shelf.  

To the left of the library is our Magnet Center and a little desk.  It is a popular place for independent work.  I think the Kinders like the idea of a desk - it feels grown-up!  :-)

Here's a better look at the blue chair.  I was a little skeptical about bringing it to school; I thought it might cause some struggles and falls.  But, happily it works!

A work area behind the library.  I really had to scrounge to find this ~ there are not too many rectangle tables not being used.  (This is actually a computer table that one of our fabulous firsties didn't need it in her room anymore, so it found its way to my room!

The back of the library is made up in part by this wonderful cabinet.  Other teachers who have one of these use it for student mailboxes.  I thought I'd give it a try & am happy with the results.  My traditional mailbox system I'd always used was not the best for Kinders ~ it got crowded when we were packing up for the day.  Now, my kids can grab their mailboxes & load up at their tables. I have seventeen students so I still have plenty of bin for Work Work activities!  (Those pretty baskets on top are also Word Work containers.)

Our new and improved Word Work Station.  This is right across from the cabinet pictured above.  We are shifting to Daily 5 for our entire literacy block, so I needed more space for materials and the kids to work.  I got the white shelves at Aldi ~ they are actually for closets, but they make perfect space savers for this area.  I found the colorful little crates at Walmart for a dollar.  

This is the view to the right as you enter my room.  The table backed up to the library is another great work space.  The shelves in my library are still those unfortunate ones formerly held together with duct tape.  Last year my husband steadied them with a sturdy backboard.  But, they were still pretty ugly, so I covered them with some bright floral fabric.  The tubs in the cabinet hold math manipulatives.  The blue and yellow baskets are overflow Word Work containers.  Two computers and a listening station are on the right.  My table & the focus wall are in the background.

The table I use when working with small groups.  The inserts show a little more detail of what is on either side of this area.  I added a couple more crates & a pink lamp this year.

The focus wall.  This year I put the shelves that were under the white board last year in front of the focus wall and covered it with a plastic table cloth.  The little brown table and chairs are a popular Read to Self area.  

Here's a shot of the back of the room.  I have four student table groups.  As you might have noticed, I went a little bucket crazy at Target this summer!  I got all of those wire baskets at the Free Teacher Store last spring.  They hold four little buckets full of shared materials.  The little white boxes  (actually Q-Tip containers without lids from the Free Teacher Store) hold each student's crayons.  I decided to keep their crayons separate because the crayon-breakers tended to break all of the crayons.  This way the crayon breakers have their own set of crayon pieces & everyone else has nice crayons.

More student tables and my desk.  (Confession ~ I didn't even take pictures before the kids came.  I really was a slacker!)  The table in front of my desk used to hold personal CD players, but now it is another work area.  I put the three remaining players into tubs in the library.

Hey ~ there's another work area!  I really wanted to create a space that was really usable for my students.  Like all the other areas this one has a wire basket with buckets of tools.  It backs up to a wire shelf that holds our Math Baskets & Math Tubs.

We are going to implement Math Daily 3 this year ~ Math on My Own, Math with a Partner, and Math Writing.  The baskets hold Math on My Own activities, and the tubs are for partner work.

More math baskets & a tub on some hand-me-down furniture.  Not too pretty, but it works.  The colorful drawers are a bargain find at Aldi & will hold our Math Writing activities.

I combined our Dramatic Play & Manipulative Centers.  I wasn't sure if it would work (I was kind of afraid of a big mess...), but so far, so good!  I have since added another wire basket with buckets to this area to create yet another work area.  The tools sit on the counter until needed.

Our Writing Station.  We haven't started using everything in this area yet.  The pink tubs on the right hold the kids' Writing Workshop folders.  The kiddos love to sit around the table during our after lunch quiet time to color.

I turned the puppet show around so I could store Writing Station tools on the shelves.  Our famous blue mushroom tubs are neatly stored on the bottom shelf ~ ready & waiting to hold little things!  The shelf on the left holds our Morning Work & Notes baskets.

Last, but not least, the little white table someone gave my daughter when she was moving into her college apartment several years ago.  She didn't want it, but knew I would.  My husband shortened the legs to Kinder size.  I think I should give it a fresh coat of paint.  Next year...

Well, that's my classroom in a nutshell.  I hope you enjoyed looking around.  I'd love to hear what you think.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back to School BBQ

It's hard to believe that summer is coming to an end.  I had a fun, busy summer, and am sort of, kind of, a little... ready to start thinking about school.  It's always hard to give up lazy days spent relaxing on my front porch, and getting to spend lots of time with my darling granddaughters.  But, the calendar tells me that it's time to get back into school mode ~ ready or not!

But, here's a fun Blog Hop that will make the transition a little easier. 

In this blog hop you will find resources and recipes!  I can't wait to see what everyone has to offer.  It is just like a big picnic.

My first offering is a link to my newest product ~ Serving Up CVC Words.  Kinders & Firsties can always use lots of practice with CVC words, so in the spirit of this hop I created a fun food themed set of activities.  There are four different activities, each with differentiated worksheets for additional practice.  Want to try it for FREE?  Click HERE for a sample.


And, now for the food!  We try to eat yummy, healthy foods (we eat lots of fruit, veggies & salad), and I like to find new items to add to our list of yumminess.  I found this recipe for Quinoa & Rice Bites on Pinterest & we LOVE it!  I've actually made it twice in the past ten days.  (See pin HERE.)  The first time I made them I used a regular size muffin pan.  When I made them this week I used a mini muffin pan.  I liked them better small because they were crispier.  These would make a great alternative to tator tots.  Quinoa is has lots of protein & is very filling.  Little tots lovers would have fun dunking them into ketchup or their favorite dip.  I think leftovers would be good in my lunchbox with hummus.  YUM!

My delicious dinner ~ Free Range chicken (raised by next door neighbor 4-H member), roasted eggplant, zucchini, and candy onions from the farmers' market, blueberries picked at a local farm, and
Quinoa & Rice Bites.  I was soooo excited to eat this meal!  (Yes, it was delicious!)

Fresh veggies from the Farmers' Market & fresh basil from my herb garden.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black rice (I used a mix of rice)
  • Cooking spray, for the muffin pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup finely chopped Vidalia onions
  • 1 cup dairy-free shredded mozzarella cheese (I used real cheese)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 chives, chopped finely, for garnish
  • 2 cups homemade tomato sauce, for serving* (We ate ours without sauce)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the quinoa and rice according to package directions. Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa and rice with the remaining ingredients, except the chives and pasta sauce, and mix well to combine. Transfer the quinoa and rice mixture to the muffin pan. Using a tablespoon, fill each muffin cup to the top, then using a spatula, press down on the mixture to create a flat surface.
Bake until golden brown, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Using a teaspoon, gently remove the rice and quinoa snacks from the muffin cups. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with the chives, and serve with the tomato sauce on the side.
Now, hop over to Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations to see what's cooking!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July Sale!

It's time for another sale!  Visit my store for savings of 20% or more, and then click on the linky to find more great bargains.  Happy Shopping!
Click HERE to shop.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday!

It's Friday again & time for another Five for Friday!  This week just flew by (like all of the weeks have done this summer...).  It has been unseasonably cool this week ~ a little bit like fall.  boo!  This has been an unusual year weather-wise ~ with e Polar Vortex & the cool summer temps.  The fair started yesterday, and as a former fair mom, I know that cooler weather is actually nice for fair week.  I remember summers spent melting in the horse barn.  Actually, while I didn't like the humid weather, I did love time spent with my girls at the fair.  4-H was an important part of our life.  In fact, I still am involved with 4-H as a project superintendent.  I am excited for the day when my darling granddaughters are old enough to be 4-Hers.  

1. First day at the fair!  Isabella & Olivia love their little cousin Amelia.

 Ride swap! 
Olivia had fun riding in Amelia's stroller & Amelia had fun riding in the wagon with Isabella. 
 I have never seen a big bag of cotton candy disappear as quickly as the one we ate yesterday did!  Isabella & Olivia are fans of the sweet treat.  Amelia wasn't quite sure what to make of it.

 My granddaughters & their mommies.  We watched a high diving act warm up. 
It was pretty exciting ~ I can't wait to see the whole show!
2.  I have spent lots of time with my little darlings!

 Olivia really likes ice cream drumsticks.  Isabella had fun playing with her mom's old
Polly Pockets.  I took this selfie one day while holding a snoozing Amelia. 
Isabella loves to color.  Olivia gives her dolly a kiss. 
Amelia's new favorite activity ~ standing & walking!
3. Serious pain in the...toe!  I will never claim to be graceful or light on my feet.  I walked into the corner between the dining room & kitchen.  Everyone in the dining room heard the crack.  :-(  My toe is definitely broken (but, I did manage to hobble around the fair).  Luckily, I have my little pup to keep me company.  Macie loves to hang out with me in the sunroom or on the porch.

4.  Rainbow!  This was not only a full arc, but a double rainbow.  I took the pictures with my phone, so the double part doesn't show up.  It was really beautiful!

5. Covered Altoids box.  I was in our local Halmark store & saw some cute covered metal tins.  They had a tiny note pad & a little pen inside of them, and cost about $12!  I was able to make a replica for a fraction of the cost.  (And, I do think mine is better ~ I wrapped the paper around the top edge so it won't lift off & lined my box!)  I'm not really sure what I will do with it, but it was fun to put together.

Have you entered my giveaway?  Click HERE to enter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Christmas in July $1.00 Sale

Here's the code to add the linky to YOUR blogposts. Remember to link up by midnight tonight....the linky will close then. Also - make sure to use this graphic with the dates. Happy Dollar Sale, everyone!! :D

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    <div class='InLinkzContainer' id='426430' >
    <a rel='nofollow' href="" title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up</a></div>
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Who doesn't like a $1.00 Sale??  (Asks the person who can't walk past the Dollar Spot at Target).  I'm teaming up with some bloggy buddies for a Christmas in July $1.00 Sale! 

Here's what you can get for $1.00 in my store:

  Animal Themed Literacy Activities aligned to the CCSS
Click HERE to purchase.

Animal Themed Number Sense Activities aligned to the CCSS
Click HERE to purchase.
My Piggy Bank ~ learning about US coins
Click HERE to purchase.
We Can Read CVCe Words! literacy activities
Click HERE to purchase