Saturday, April 22, 2017

Easy Earth Day Kindergarten Stations!

Happy Earth Day! 

April 22nd is Earth Day.  I've always felt that environmental stewardship and awareness is really important to teach to young children.  These lessons about the environment will help shape the adults they will become.  

I always like to start by reading the book, Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg.  It is the story of a boy who thinks littering is no big deal.  He scoffs at people who recycle or plant trees.  He thinks that his choices would have little influence on the future.  Then he has a dream that changes his life.  The boy travels to a dystopian future, where the air is smoggy, the trees are all cut, and the trash makes mountains.  It is a frighteningly realistic vision.  At the end, the boy realizes that if everyone makes those same choices there won't be much left for us.  

The students in class always walk away with a good understanding that their choices matter and will have an impact on their world.  

Earth Day Stations

1) NASA's Earth as Art App 

I love this iPad app.  Students get to explore different satellite images of the world like mountains, desserts, and rivers.  These satellite images are amazingly colorful and really really cool.  

 This app is totally free and available on the iTunes store.  

2) Dot Stamper Globes

Students use the green and blue dot stampers to make the land and water on the globe.  The ink blends together to make a really cool globe.  You can also use markers and a spritz of water.  Super easy!  

3)  Earth Day Writing

Found in a pervious post, my Earth Day writing activity is an easy station to put in the rotation.  Students draw a picture of the Earth and write about what they would do to take care of it.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring 2017 Stitch Fix Review

Stitch Fix means I never have to go to the mall again.  

I haven't tried on clothes in a store in MONTHS.  It is glorious.  

As a petite girl, finding clothes in my size has always been a struggle.  And I always wish I had the right shoes to try on, or a different bra, or a necklace.  With Stitch Fix I have my whole wardrobe at my fingertips to put together a great outfit.  

I haven't been getting a fix every month, because my budget just couldn't take it.  Not to mention I quickly ran out of closet space.  

But I knew I wanted one for the spring.  I asked my stylist, the wonderful GG, to grab me some springy pieces and a pair of pastel skinny jeans.  

She delivered.  

Check out the 5 items I got in this great Spring Fix!

1) Skies are Blue Anslee Embroidery Detailed Top

Decision:  Keep

I loved the summery white top with the pretty blue embroidery.  I could wear a denim jacket or cardi over top for work, but be cool outside at recess (that is what I usually ask for, recess wear, lol).  It was also a petite, so it FIT.  

2) Crescent Nicolas Lace Detail Blouse

Decision: Keep

I love the neutral floral.  It looks so cute with the purple skinny jeans.  I already have a teal cardigan that looks fantastic with it.  This top was also in a petite size, awesome.  

3) Papermoon Sashy Drape Front Knit Top

Decision:  Return

I wanted to like this top.  It is super cute and really comfy.  But it wasn't a petite.  So the drape, which should come to just my chest, came down to my belly button.  NOT ATTRACTIVE lol.  Sigh.  

4) Ink Love & Peace Kuna Cross-Back Keyhole Knit Top

Decision: Keep

This top is really comfy and super stylish with the cut outs in the shoulder.  If you don't have a cold shoulder top yet, where have you been??  I love it for going out with my girlfriends.  I paired it with my ripped hem skinny jeans and cute booties.  Bonus it was a petite, so it fit me just right!

5) Just Black Adorra Skinny Jean

Decision:  Keep

I think I may have jumped for joy when I saw these.  PURPLE skinny jeans?!?  It is like 10 year old me and 30 year old me had their dreams come true, haha.  I love the color, the fit it awesome.  They are a petite, so they fit perfectly.  

So.  4 out of 5.  

That is a good fix!  I wanted transitional pieces that could be worn in March and May.  I love what I got!  

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet??  If not, feel free to follow my link HERE to sign up.  Getting a box put together is $20, but they will apply that towards any purchase.  Even better, if you buy all 5 items in the box you get 25% off.  That is HUGE.  Like getting one top free.  It is awesome.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

$25 Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway!

Who else loves coffee?!?!

I LOVE coffee.  My husband is the architect for a coffee company (big shout out to to my FAVORITES over at Compass Coffee! If you are ever in DC you  should GO, and if not, they ship!!) so he feeds my caffeine habit on the regular.  

But if I'm in Virginia (where, booo there isn't a Compass Coffee shop YET) and I need a quiet space to write a grad school paper, then Starbucks is where you will find me.  

Do you like Starbucks?  Then you should totally enter this giveaway.  

Giveaway Details:  


A $25 Starbucks Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by:

Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)


Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway ends 3/17/17 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love Giveaways?!?

You might also like my $10 Teachers Pay Teachers giveaway! Click HERE to enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kindergarten Letter of the Week - over it or still loving it?

Letter of the Week.....should we or shouldn't we?

I have been teaching a single letter a week for my entire career.  It is the way we have always done things.  I figured that if students are coming into K without letter knowledge, then throwing all 26 at them would be too much.  Right?

Well, recently we (myself and my team) have been under scrutiny from the reading specialist (who was never a primary teacher) about this practice.

She argues that because most kids come into K with letter identification skills, so we don't need to teach the letters in isolation.

Hmm.  I don't disagree with her on that point.  However, I would like to note that we don't do a whole week of only Bb themed work.  We aren't making Bs out of beans, for example.  Our letter work is more phonemic awareness and handwriting based.

Let me explain...

ABC Notebook

We have a Letter of the Week notebook, which we use a handwriting tool and picture dictionary.  We would put this in their spiral notebook every Thursday.  You can find a link to this resource at the bottom of the page.

ABC Handwriting Pages

For morning work, or on a slow day, we would having our letter of the week as handwriting practice. You can find a link to this resource at the bottom of the page.  

What order do we teach the letters?

We consulted with the Occupational Therapist and created a schedule for teaching the letters.  We started with letters that start with a tall stick like L, F, D, and B.  This helps the students get in the practice of starting at the top.  If you follow Handwriting Without Tears, it is a similar order.  

We also chose to save the vowels for the end, understanding that the vowel sounds are much more difficult for kindergarten students to grasp.  

So, what did we decide??

After hearing about the Letter of the Week a LOT, we chose to only re-word how we talked about it.  I figured, if the words, "Letter of the Week" gave the impression of Bs made out of beans, then we need to flip the script a bit.  

So, now we call it our, "Weekly Handwriting Focus Letter."  Figuring they can't be mad at us for teaching handwriting, right?!  

So far it has worked well.  No more complaints from the reading specialist or the Administration. In the end, because of scheduling demands we have started doing the Notebook as a Literacy Station activity, which works out great!  

Click the pictures below to find these ABC resources on my TPT store!  Or you can grab them HERE and HERE.  

So, Kindergarten Teachers tell me...

Do you do a letter of the week?  Comment below with your two cents on this controversial issue! :)

Monday, March 6, 2017

$10 TPT Giveaway!

I love my followers!

I am fairly new to the blogging game, but I am so appreciative of everyone who takes the time to read what I write.

As a big thank you, I am giving away a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card!  The only mandatory entry is a comment on the blog post,  I want to get to know the people that read by blog every day! But there are many other opportunities for extra entries too!

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway