Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Goin' Batty and Just a Workin' on Our Numbers...

We are busy studying nocturnal animals in our room.  I am really trying to differentiate the work because I am working with PPCD kiddos and Kindergarten Resource...all on different levels and with different needs. I've also realized that my students LOVE all things fall/Halloween...which is great because I do too!  

We have read bat books, made a bat poster (that corresponds with our bat emergent reader) and made precious bat crafts!  We are just going "batty" in my room! Ha! Love it!

If you are interested in my bat emergent reader or bat craft they are available on TpT...
We have also been working extremely hard on numbers 1-10 by creating ten frames and using a number line...
These precious little numbers came from the number cards in Cara Carroll's Don't Forget My Number packet...I just cut out the numbers from the Anchor Chart poster pages! Super cute!

I also wanted to make a large ten frame that I could have out at all times...so I made one on the floor using some of that adorable duct tape that is out!  I have decided that I can change out the manipulatives that I am using in it to match each thematic unit!

A few of my teacher friends at school and I have developed a serious LOVE for chalkboard art...some might say we've developed an obsession with it!  I am so in love with it I purchased a HUGE chalkboard at a trade days and the darn thing wouldn't fit in my suv (this might be have something to do with the fact that it was already loaded down with goodies that may or may not have been purchased by myself and another sweet teacher friend) !  One of the other sweet teachers had to carry it back to town in her car!  Thank goodness for sweet friends who also have a love for chalkboards!  
Speaking of chalkboards, the sweet friend of mine who kindly brought my chalkboard back also taught me how to "cure" a chalkboard!  Did you know you had to cure those darn things??? Yeah, me neither!  According to Cara Carroll, (I don't want to take credit for this but I do want others to know this fabulous advice!!) you should take a piece of chalk and lay it on it's side.  Then you rub the chalk all over the chalkboard...kind of like doing a crayon rubbing!  This will help you avoid ruining your chalkboard by having lil' remnants of your first drawing remaining on your precious chalkboard!
This board was drawn by my precious friend Lori!  She is awesome!

Sight Words
My lil' man also gave me an AHA moment the other day at school...I don't know about you but I am always looking for new ways to work on sight words!  Well my sweet lil' man was playing with the large foam blocks in my room and said to me "Mama, tell me if you can read this word?"...he likes to play like he's the teacher and I'm the student...

Isn't that so clever?? Sometimes our best ideas come from kiddos! Love it!

What fun things are you doing for the autumn season?  Do you have any tips on sight word instruction?? I would love to hear them!
Have a great week!
Brandy K.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

All Things Fall and Nouns and Verbs...

I LOVE all things fall...I love blankets, leaves, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spice coffee, football, decorations, and cold southern nights...umm...well living in southeast Texas that last one is kind of a stretch...but hey, when we do get one, I LOVE it (and just to let ya' know the weather channel says we'll be getting our 1st one next weekend!!!)! I found a great recipe on Pinterest for pumpkin spice muffins...3 ingredients: 100% pure pumpkin in a 15 ounce can, one box spice cake mix, and 1 cup of water.  Mix together and then put in a muffin pan...it makes 24 muffins!  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes!   A little piece of heaven in my mouth!  I did add cream cheese icing and it was unbelievably yummy!

In my room, we have been working on any and all things fall.  Usually I organize each week and focus on one topic: leaves, apples, bats and then pumpkins.  But this year I just can't help it...I'm ready for fall weather so I'm just "mushing" it all together!  Fall makes me feel so happy and calm!

I also managed to created a L.O.W. FREEBIE for G...super cute! It is a craft of a guitar and I made the sentence to go with!
Click here to download the FREE letter G craft!
If you download it and you like it please leave positive feedback and let me know!  :o) Thanks!
I also needed to make a cute craft to put up for open house...we make cute things all the time but I wanted something special so I made this....

If you're interested you can find it on TpT!
We are also working on bats (nocturnal animal)! 
 I love...love...love teaching simple sentences.  There is this cute little ditty on unitedstreaming that has lyrics of " a simple sentence is a noun and a verb...a noun and a verb...a simple sentence is a noun and a verb...to make a simple sentence"!  I love that song (I wish I could find it to link to but you can search Unitedstreaming)!  In my experience, when you are working with struggling writers if you break down the most simple of thoughts for writer's workshop for them and explain what a subject/noun and a verb/predicate is....they are less afraid to write! By doing this you are taking away the overwhelming thought that they have to have LOTS of words...this is way less intimidating! I usually start this off by explaining that a noun is a person/place/thing and that a verb is what the noun is doing.  I use a lot of simple examples that I can easily illustrate...so this year I am using bats to start this topic.   Bats hang. Bats fly.  Bats sleep...you get the picture...right?
This is a little simple sentence reader I created that the students can illustrate and then on the last page create their own simple sentence.  The pattern for the adorable bat craftivity comes with it...if you are interested it is here!
YouTube has some awesome videos for explaining nouns and verbs as well...here is one that I love!

And here is a great verb song from YouTube...
Also I have to mention that my lil' man started i9 football...which is supposed to be a flag football league...but those little guys must not have got the memo because there was a whole lotta tacklin' going on out there.  My little man got to run the ball in and he played so good!  But...ummm...he may not have realized that it was a real game because at the end of the game he kinda of sorta might have yelled out "Who's ready to play some football?"...uhhh....did I mention the game was OVER and his team had won?? We *might* need to work on that....
Have a great week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Workin' on Some Fine Motor Skills...

Fine motor....what can I say about it?? Well, my own child struggles with it, he's got so much inside his little head and trust me there is no problem verbalizing...but those little fingers of his struggle to get his point across on paper.
So while I've been working with him at home, I've been thinking of fun ways to integrate fine motor skills into my academic centers...Here's are some of the things I am trying...

1. Have student hold the pencil in the correct grip...with the remaining fingers that are not gripping the pencil have them hold a soft pompom against their palm.
2. Have student practice writing with chalk...they can feel the motion a little more while forming the letters/shapes/numbers.
3. Write with the paper elevated on some type of ramp.
4. Use LOTS and LOTS of playdough...its exercise for those lil' fingers!

Gel Bags...simple and cheap!  Fill up quart size bag with hair gel (from Dollar Tree...) zip it closed and reinforce with duct tape!  I'm lovin' all the precious duct tape available....
Pinning Letters
I found giant push pins at Hobby Lobby and I cut out some cardboard...because I didn't have sample carpet squares...but that would work, too!  Then I made a letter and sound association push pin station. You can bet those little fingers had to work hard to finish this!
We are also working on sorting shapes...
I also made a cute little shape pumpkin craft...the first two followers to comment will get the pumpkin craft and the shape sorting activity above for FREE!

Have a great week!
Brandy Nicole

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Know All About Me and My Five Senses

It seems each year I try to find a new and fun way to decorate my room...this year I went with a little shabby chic theme!  It is fun and bright for the students and just a little more "home-like" feeling for me. 

Here is one of the projects I made to hang my "stuff" on each day...

I will post pictures of the new shabby chic look later this week...I was busy taking pictures of my students and my own little kinder baby!

He was so excited!  I just can't believe that he is actually 5!  Where did the time go?? I was asked this summer if I could learn to do anything what it would be to do?  I knew immediately...slow time down!  Seriously!

So since we used last week to get to know the rules and practiced (and practiced and practiced) walking in the hallway, we will use this week to learn "All About Me" and the "Five Senses". 
 I created this little packet if you are interested...

I am so glad to be back blogging!  I hope you all have had or will have a great first week!
Brandy Nicole

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Don't forget...

I know we all have really precious and creative ideas that we use to make our Mother's Day gifts, but one of my sweet teacher friends had a great idea...we should go ahead and make Father's Day gifts the same time that we make Mother's Day gifts...then the father's won't be forgotten!  Great idea!  But then the search was on...I wanted something cute...but also something that encouraged my students to write!
So I created this...
Then the same sweet friend reminded me about Cinco de Mayo...well I couldn't resist using this as an opportunity to work on writing and making a cute lil' craft!  I love having fun with crafts this time of year!  

AND...here is a freebie All About Mexico book to use with your class!  It is very simple and easy to read.
Thanks!  I hope you all have a great week!
The first two followers to leave a comment will get a free copy of both craftivities on this posting!

Brandy Nicole

Monday, April 29, 2013

Summertimes Callin' Me...

After a rainy weekend the sunshine today made me oh.so.ready for summer...and happy! 
We were so ready in fact that we couldn't resist a little dip...
Warning: This is a sidenote...
Umm...did I mention this lil' guy will be in Kindergarten next year?? My heart aches with this news!  It is a sad and happy and blessed feeling all at once...it is probably the biggest milestone for him...and this mama!  He is my one and only child...having taught kindergarten for 10+ years I have always thought I would be fine just dropping him off and leaving.  But oh no!  My heart is already aching on the fact that I won't get to walk him to class the first day...and summer hasn't even begun yet! AHHH!
OK...back to reality!
So...I mentioned last week that I would have a freebie and I really wanted to make it one that was good and would keep your kiddos busy.  So I created a lil' number line subtraction center/activity.
I hope you guys have a great week!
Brandy Nicole



Sunday, April 21, 2013


I hope you all had a great weekend and are feeling refreshed!  Just a few weeks left of this school year...where did the time go??
Tomorrow is Earth Day...so in my class we are going to talk about recycling, composting and conservation.  I like to integrate the water cycle with the rest of my Earth Day materials.
If you are looking for something to do this week, I have created two projects!  Check 'em out!
This lil' book allows your students to draw the water cycle, have vocabulary cards and write about the water cycle....and all of the pages are in the shape of a rain drop!
This activity will keep your kiddos busy!  They have to cut out all of the materials and then sort them by either materials that can be recycled or put into a compost!
I hope to be back with a freebie for you this week! 
Have a great week! 
Brandy Nicole

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring FREEBIE and End of the Year Memory Book Craft

So as the end of the year is approaching I am finding that I am having to over plan the way that you do for the first few weeks of school....anyone else feeling that way??

We have been so busy studying insects, plants, and getting ready for Earth Day.  We are also working on distinguishing the difference between addition and subtraction. Here are my addition mat freebies! This activity is perfect for math RTI!


I made a cute teacher read aloud book and emergent reader that focuses on the plant life cycle.  It also includes a sequencing page and a writing page.  So head on over to TpT to get your freebie!
Now I am so excited to show you my end of the year memory book school bus craft...wow-that is a mouth full to say (write)! I made a tag for the cover for grades Prekindergarten-4th.

If you're interested in it you can click here!

I hope ya'll are finding plenty of ideas to keep your little ones learning and engaged for the rest of the year!

Brandy Nicole

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This is how we freebie...

I went to the Council for Exceptional Student Conference this last week in San Antonio...it was amazing!  I came back feeling refreshed and excited to try new things!  Maybe some yoga...any takers??  I will post about that later...Everyone there was so amazingly energetic and encouraging!  I can't wait to go next year!

But today, I felt creative and created my first full set of themed readers leveled A-4.  The theme I focused on this time was Texas.  I also uploaded the Level 1 section of it as a FREEBIE!!

Click here to get your Texas reader!
If you like it...please rate it positively! 
 And...here is the link to the Texas Themed Guided Reading Emergent Readers full set...
Thanks so much for checking out my blog!  Have a blessed weekend!
Brandy K.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Center Picture Tour & a Ten Frame Addition Intervention FREEBIE

We have been working on addition and subtraction. I sometimes find that my students have difficulty recognizing the signs of addition and subtraction so I like to switch it back and forth from addition to subtraction...usually very dramatically!  This week...it is addition!

So today I found a link for an interactive dice...it is pretty awesome!  Then I came up with this ladybug addition game...
Do you see the dice???It is pretty neat! 
For this activity, I only used one die to "roll".  This is because we talked about how ladybugs are symmetrical.  I also thought this was a great opportunity to work on "doubles".  So they "rolled" the die and then whatever number popped up they put that many "spots" on each side of the ladybug.  They then wrote out the addition problem underneath the ladybug! 
We've also continued working on counting on and addition using a ten frame during math small groups...
FREEBIE in my TpT store...so click here for it!
I use binders to store my small group math materials in...I keep a pencil bag with a dry erase marker/eraser inside the binder.  All of the work./materials that I put inside the binder are stored inside in plastic page protectors...this allows me to:
1. Switch out work easily
2. Store the materials/materials that are needed for that particular activity directly with it
3. Save on LAMINATION...that's right...I said it...
I love lamination as much as the next girl.. BUT my husband says "I can't afford" he doesn't think it's necessary  to laminate every.item.I.own/use!!  So page protectors were my solution...and it allows me work on going green...right? 

So with that I make a enough binders so that each child in my small group has their own binder.  Then when it is small group time I just have them grab a binder and come to the table...every binder is assembled the same way.  All they have to do is open it and take out that page with what we are working on. Remember I told you I store the manipulatives needed for that activity with that page?? Yeah..that means that I tend to use "flatish" manipulatives: colored discs, small flat erasers, mini die cuts, pattern blocks, you get the idea...
So here are a few pics of THE binders...
To close, here are some pictures of the centers we are using this week...
Ladybug Addition Station
Compound Words...it just goes along so well with "ladybug" units...don't ya think?
Jelly Bean Sight Word Graphing...they take a jelly bean out of the bag.  They read the word and then graph it.  Once they finish reading/graphing it they put it in the candy jar.
Have a great week!
Brandy Nicole

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ladybug Learning Unit/Centers and a SALE!

I am so excited to go back to school tomorrow after a three day weekend!
My favorite thematic unit of the whole year is the study of Ladybugs! 
They are so CUTE! I use them as an opportunity to teach symmetry, compound words, and telling time!
So I have created a new unit: Learning With A Ladybug! 

Here is a sample freebie!
I have the unit on sale for 20% off right now! 
I hope you have all had a wonderful Easter and had opportunities to celebrate.
Thank you so much for being so supportive!  The first two followers to leave a comment with their email address will get a copy of my Ladybug unit for free!