Friday, October 23, 2015


Lisa:  Halloween is so much fun in Kindergarten!  If your school is like ours, we have to make every minute count towards our standards!  So we made a jack-o-lantern book to introduce new high frequency words while keeping the fun in Halloween!

Here’s what we did: 

Day 1:  Each child painted 2 orange “balls” at the easel at a literacy station.  The construction paper for the small one was a 4” square for the class book and the larger one was on a 9” square. 

Day 2:  The children painted the facial features and stem on their jack-o-lanterns.  After school we cut the jack-o-lanterns out and cut apart the wording they need the next day.

Day 3:  At a station, the children had to place the words in correct order to create the sentence on a piece of black construction paper cut down to fit into a protective sleeve for a notebook. 
Once an adult has checked the order, the children can glue the words down on the black construction paper and add their small jack-o-lantern and a stem.

We like to add a small photo of each child to their pages.  The children love to read these books over and over when they see themselves on the pages!  
And now we like to slide their pages into protective sleeves to put into 1” notebooks.  It’s so much easier to remove the pages to give back to the children at the end of the year or when they tire of the class book.  

On the cover we cut apart the new high frequency words to glue all over.  We hear the children go to our class library and say, "I'm going to read the 'See' book!"  

The larger jack-o-lanterns were put up on a bulletin board with strips of green construction paper twisted to resemble a vine.  Our pumpkin patch is adorable, don’t you think?  

Linda: Don’t forget to check out our newest One-and-Done project in case you don’t have time for these jack-o-lanterns.  Based on The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, I’m Not Afraid allows you to read the book one day, do one project, and you’re done! 

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dismissal Suggestion and a Sale!

Linda: My granddaughter attends a local church preschool and I wanted to share with you the tags they have to assist at dismissal time.  These photos are her actual tags, but I blocked out names and phone numbers for privacy issues. 

The children have a laminated name tag attached with a plastic cord to their backpacks.  This side has my granddaughter’s name and classroom number. 

The reverse side has all the information as to whom can pick her up and their phone numbers.  

Lisa:  Great idea!  I have to carry a clipboard with that information and if I forget to take it when I walk the children to the parking lot, I could could just check the child’s backpack!    

Linda:  I drive through the carpool lane to pick her up and have to hang this laminated sign on my rear view mirror for all to see.  This card is a half-piece of laminated card stock with her name printed very large.  A teaching assistant comes around with a clipboard to write down the names so that the children are brought to the curb in correct car order! 

On the back of the card, there are rules for using the car pool area.  
In case you can’t read them on the photo, here’s what they are:
  1.  Please turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices so that you are not distracted.  No excuses.  Safety first!
  2. Please display your car tag from the rear view mirror and leave up until after you leave.
  3. Please put your car in PARK.
  4. We will bring your child to you.  Parent/driver is responsible for securing child in car seat. 
  5. You may need to provide picture identification.
  6. Your child must have an age-appropriate car seat.
  7. Morning carpool begins at 8:50 a.m.  Please leave your child buckled in his/her seat.  A teach will unbuckle and take your child to class. 
  8. Afternoon carpool begins at 12:00 p.m. 
  9. Students not picked up by 12:10 will be taken to the preschool office and a late fee will be charged. 
All these suggestions might not be feasible at your school but we wanted to share the tags with you! 

Our store on Teachers Pay Teachers has reached 700 followers!  We are celebrating by having a sale!  20% off everything this Monday, Oct. 12 - Wednesday, Oct. 14!  

We have several new items that are included in the sale too: 
A One-and-Done Project 

(also included in Goldilocks and the Three Bears)

We are constantly working on updating our books to include different versions of the pages and/or journals.  Here's our latest update: 
 If you purchased our old version, The Three Bears, go to My Purchases in your account and upload this new one!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Lisa: Now that the children have adjusted to our classroom routines, we are off and running with reading!  We work at literacy stations every day in groups of 4 or 5 children who rotate through different reading tasks.  

One of the stations they move to is my guided reading table so to keep the other stations on task with little adult supervision or help (I have no para-pro or assistant!) I use these stand-up sign holders. 

Office Depot/Max sell them or you can watch for stores going out of business who are selling their fixtures.  Years ago a teacher bought them for a dollar a piece at a store that was closing its doors. 

Notice the clips on the top of the pages I have modeled for the children.  You can slide a piece of copy paper inside the sign holder but if the paper is a piece of construction paper, use the clips to hold it on.

The children at this table were working on creating the letter Rr with pattern blocks.  The stand up sign holder has the sample that they can copy.

At this table the children have to cut apart letters to sort and glue onto their recording sheet.  My sample is on the stand up sign holder so they do not have to interrupt me for verification of which letter is which. 

This is a work table for finding clipart that begins with Rr.  

Notice the yellow basket on the table! We have one in each color of our work tables along with many others for storing games like Bingo or dice toss games.  Years ago we found them in white at Michael’s Craft Stores at their sidewalk sales.  But now you can purchase them through Oriental Trading in sets of 6 different colors.  Or go to Really Good Stuff to purchase sturdier baskets in sets of 4. (No, we are not earning a  commission from these sites!)

Linda:  As you may know, I am retired but loved my baskets!  When I left the classroom I gathered up all my baskets and found that I had so many, the stack was about 2 - 3 feet high!  I sold them at my “classroom yard sale” but now I wish I had saved some!  

Being retired has allowed me to spend time with my grandchildren.  I take my grandson who is turning 3 in two weeks to a library program every week.  The first time I walked into the room, I practically drooled over the easel the librarian-teacher had! 
 Front view with a white board and a storage bin underneath.

Side views showing all the storage bins that slide in and out. 

Here’s a peek at the back with a chart stand. 

We hope these ideas help you in your classrooms!  Please share any ideas you have!