Sunday, May 15, 2016


Lisa: As I look back over this year, I am amazed at the progress my students have made!  Many of them entered school with very few skills and yet they have come so far in all areas.  But the most progress has been in the area of writing.  Check out these samples from the last few weeks.  You will be able to read their stories! 
Love these cheerleaders!
Parents are the best!
Who doesn’t like a rainbow?
We start the year with very simple writing pages that have a big box for drawing and only one line for writing.  The children can label their pictures or write one word on the line.  A suggestion from the Lucy Calkins program, A Unit of Study, that works well with our students is to let them use black Flair pens (felt-tip pens) for their drawing.  The pens allow them to incorporate more details into their drawings and then they have more to write about! 

During the year we decrease the size of the drawing box and increase the amount of lines for writing.  By the end of the year, they are using dotted lined paper which they love calling “first grade paper!” 

Linda: You can get a FREE set of six templates for your classroom by clicking this photo!  These are available only here - not even in our store yet!  
We also have a great product with 21 NO PREP activities for writing.  We developed these when we realized that many children were getting tired of “draw a picture-write a story” journals.  These activities include writing pages for haircuts, ou-ees, science observations, and many more and instructions on how to create writing folders from pocket folders to use year after year.  Check it out here: 

Happy Teaching!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


What a great week to be a teacher!  We’ve seen posts on FB of so many wonderful activities that students and parents are doing for all the great staff members around the country!  We hope you’re on the receiving end of some fantastic happenings at your school too!

Just in case you aren’t aware of what’s happening on Teachers Pay Teachers, there is a site-wide sale today and tomorrow and KinderLit is participating too!  Everything in our store is 20% off.  If you use the code word Celebrate at checkout, you can get an additional 8% discount.  But the sale is good only for today and tomorrow, May 3 & 4.  Stock up for the remainder of the year and get a headstart on the back-to-school season! 

Happy Teaching and Shopping!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kindergarten Graduation or a Day of Celebration?

There are only 3 1/2 more weeks of school for us and the parents are already asking, “When is kindergarten graduation?”  
We decided many years ago not to have an official graduation ceremony for several reasons: 
*It would be a hardship on some of our families to purchase or rent caps and gowns.  And the school can’t afford them either!

*Although it doesn’t happen very often, we do have children who will be retained in kindergarten for the following year.  What happens to those children during a graduation ceremony?  Do they sit aside?  Do they have to stay home? We never felt it was fair to those children to have a ceremony they couldn’t participate in. 

*Graduation/commencement from High School should be something the students look forward and aspire to as a great accomplishment and a stepping stone to a new phase in their lives whether it be on to college, a vocational program, or out into the work field.  Commencement means a beginning or start and our students aren’t starting a new phase - they are just going down the breezeway to the first grade wing! 

We still wanted to recognize the hard work and effort of all our students and decided to have a Day of Celebration with the parents and families.  

On the last day of school the parents and grandparents come into our rooms for about an hour with their students showing them samples of work and activities we have completed over the year.  And of course, each child reads the last book they made for the year, I Bloomed in Kindergarten.  

This KinderLit book, based on Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus, is a self-assessment book for the children to discover how much they have bloomed during the Kindergarten year!   There are 12 different pages to choose from, most based on Common Core standards.  Be sure to click on this cover photo to read more about it: 
Here are some of our families from last year’s Day of Celebration, enjoying the time together with donuts, drinks, and lots of reading!

Each child receives a Kindergarten certificate before their parents leave.  Sometimes we run out of time during that last week and have to use ready-made certificates but we really like to customize the certificates for the children to match their uniqueness. And you can get a set for free below! 

We have a FREE set of 4 blank certificates for you to receive by clicking here and 8 blanks based on I Bloomed in Kindergarten!  Each set has two for boys and two for girls.  All you need to do is sign and date the copies and then print a set off for your students.  Hand-print your students’ names and their accomplishment! 

Here are some suggestions for wording on the certificates.  We select a quality of each child that may not always be based on academics so that every child, even those who are being retained, can celebrate their accomplishments! 
perfect attendance
fantastic reader 
superb writer
awesome speller             
marvelous mathematician
wonderful number counter
sensational skip-counter
outstanding backwards counter
first-rate addition star
terrific subtraction star
cool scientist
extraordinary runner
excellent skipper
magnificent climber
astonishing singer
stupendous poet
spectacular painter
fabulous line leader
tremendous block builder
brilliant puzzle solver
incredible door holder
dazzling smile
out-of-this-world laugh
super friend

After our parents leave, we have a fun Water Day with slip-and-slides, bubbles, sprinklers, and spray bottles for squirting each other from the neck down!  A great way to end a great school year!

We are participating in a K-2 Blog Linky party so be sure to check out the other links below.  This month there is a raffle too!  Be sure to enter! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway