October 2013 - Miss Kindergarten

#ScotchEXP {teacher to-do frame}

When Scotch Expression Tape contacted me and asked if I would be interested in using their tapes again to create more projects, of course I said YES!! I love all the amazing designs they have and their tape is so easy to use! This is project one of five that I will be making and I am really excited to share this project with you!

This fall I am all about staying on top of my to-do's and being as organized as possible! I am pretty sure I am losing my memory {does that mean I'm getting old!?} and I honestly cannot remember anything unless I write it down! 

So I just knew that my first project had to be a Teacher To-do Frame!
Here are the materials I used:
{to find these on the website, click on the link provided and then click on "product catalog" in the gray box}
*8"x10" wooden frame
*Scotch Expressions Shipping Tape (Black & White Fishnet)
*Scotch Expressions Magic Tape (Turquoise, Blue Circles)
*To-do list printable {click here to download}
*Dry-erase marker

I decided on a wooden frame since it would be easier to adhere the tape to it, and I didn't care what it looked like because I knew I was covering it up ;)

Step one: Carefully wrap the wooden frame with Scotch Expressions Shipping Tape. Start at the top, aligning the base of the tape to the inside edge of the frame.

 Step two: Fold the ends of the tape over the back of the frame to secure the tape in place.

Step three: Press the folds of the tape against the top edge of the frame.

Step four: Using the same method, wrap the bottom and sides of the frame with Scotch Expressions Shipping Tape. The entire frame should now be covered with tape.

Step five: Along the side edges of the frame where the tape has been folded over, add a strip of Scotch Expressions Washi Tape to cover the edges for a cohesive look.

The frame I found also had that adorable mat so I thought it would be fun to decorate it too! If your frame doesn't have a mat, or you want to use the whole 8"x10" surface for your to-do list, you can skip this step!

Step six: Remove the inside mat from the frame. Align one strip of Scotch Expressions Magic Tape {turquoise} to both the top and bottom edges of the mat. Fold the extra tape over the back. Slightly overlap the Turquoise tape with a second strip of tape at the top and bottom of the mat. For the second layer, I used Scotch Expressions Magic Tape {Blue Circles} to add dimension to the mat.

Step 7: Place the mat inside the frame (with the tape facing the glass) and then lay the to-do list on the mat. Cut the list to fit inside the mat's opening, and use tape to secure the edges of the to-do list to the back of the mat.

Step 8: Use a dry-erase marker to add tasks to your to-do list. {I covered my dry-erase marker too because I'm cool like that ;)} There's also a box for you to check off each item as you complete it.

When you've finished all of your tasks, just wipe the surface clean!

I hope this post gave you an idea of how to stay organized and complete your to-do list in style!


Happy Birthday Freebielicious!!


One of the BEST things about the blogging community is all the great friendships that are made. Last year, I was invited to be a part of the most amazing collaborative blog, Freebielicious. It's not only the best place to find amazing freebies, but the bloggers behind it are some of the *sweetest* people I have ever met!! I just can't imagine my life without any of them!

To celebrate Freebielicious' first birthday, we are inviting you to our party! We are SO excited to host a birthday party like no other! {Don't worry, we won't ask you to buy us presents, although we do love chocolate ;)}. Instead, we want to help "tech up" your classroom with a pretty *sweet* giveaway.

You can win a prize package valued at over $500, which includes an iPad mini!! Sweet deal, right?!

To enter, head on over to Freebielicious and fill out the rafflecopter!
You have three chances to win!! Enter to win by October 30, 2013 at midnight. Winner will be drawn on October 31st, 2013 and announced on Freebielicious. One entry per person and entries will be verified. 

Happy Birthday Freebielicous!!!

Literacy Center Ideas!

I've been getting tons of questions about literacy centers lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all what we do!

First of all, our students are half day, so we only get to teach them for about 3 hours a day! Fitting it all in is tough, but we sure do get a lot done! We do literacy centers for the first 30 minutes of the day. This is when I pull my intervention group and the rest of the class chooses what they want to do. Two students go to the listening center each morning, and two get to paint at the art center. The rest of the students choose what they want to do.

Here's a look at some of our literacy centers:

Handwriting Center:


{These pages come from my A-Z Practice Pages}
 Each week we focus on a letter so I just change the alphabet practice page inside the write & wipe pocket. I found these in the Target dollar spot a few summers ago, but they also sell them at Lakeshore. My students love the novelty of practicing their letters and then erasing them. They will do it over and over and over again ;)

Word Work Center:

 We've been using Caitlin Clabby's magnetic word mats! They love using the little magnetic letters to match letters and find beginning sounds.



  {these activities are from my Fall Math and Literacy Centers pack}

Writing Center:
We are starting to use our high-frequency words to build sentences. I introduced this center as a whole group first so that everyone understood what to do.



Then they completed the recording pages independently.
{this activity is from my word cards pack}

Read to Self:

We use handmade "whisper phones" and these awesome Vocabulary Builder Books from Lakeshore.

Listening Center:
We have a seasonal books on tape for our students to listen to. They love this center! {even if they have no idea what the word "rewind" means LOL}

Our reading groups run 3 days a week for an hour and our students rotate through three groups. One group always works with the teacher, one works with our assistant and one group is independent or works with a parent if we are lucky enough to have a volunteer! I put a center at the rotation with our aide and parent volunteer/independent table for the kids to work on when they finish their "must do". It is definitely busy, but it works for us!

Reading Groups:

 I always pull a small group with me and we work on reading sight words, decoding, fluency and accuracy. This is where we also work on Elkonin, word chains and guided writing.


{this writing activity comes from my Sight Word Practice pack}

Sight Word Center:

{these activities also come from my Sight Word Practice}

Play-doh center:


 {this activity comes from my Let's Learn our Letters pack} 

My class love, love, loves the play-doh center. It may or may not have to do with the fact that I had the play-doh out taunting them before I let them use it ;) They use the play-doh to form our letters and then practice writing them with the dry-erase marker. Soon we will practice spelling CVC words and our sight words with play-doh!

Along with my general centers, I have a ton of seasonal centers that I love to use in my classroom! The kids are just so much more engaged when you change it up a little! It is a lot of work to prep everything monthly, but it's TOTALLY worth it!

I have centers up in my shop for every month! You can find all of them in a money saving bundle {here}!

I hope this was helpful and gave you some ideas!

Have more questions? Leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them!


November Games and Centers

My class has been doing *such* a good job with their center work! They are all working so hard and need less and less reminders to stop rolling around on the carpet stay on task while they're working! I looked around my classroom the other day while they were all working and I thought to myself "is this really happening right now??" Seriously, I think I have the best class EVER!!! 

Okay, enough of the mooshy stuff ;) I think the reason they are doing so well is because they genuinely ENJOY the centers that we do. Their eyes get all big whenever I introduce a new center, and they literally run to the basket when I excuse them. Melt my heart! I really try to make the centers at their level and something that they feel successful doing, while reinforcing our important concepts. So far, it's working! And not to toot my own horn, but "toot toot" ;)

I am finishing up preparing my November centers to set out in a few weeks. {How in the world is it already almost November?!} Here's a peek at what we'll be doing!

Count the Room
Hang the picture cards around your classroom and have your students record the cards they find on the recording sheet. They love walking around with the clipboard. I think they feel professional ;) After each student has a chance to walk around, I will put this center in a basket. Then they can pick the cards from the basket, and record the numbers on the sheet. We've started to use sheet protectors and dry erase markers at centers to save paper. It works like a charm!

Pilgrim Problem {finding missing numbers}

Turkey Trot {ten frames}

Set the Table {more ten frame practice}

Counting Bingo
I like to use this as a small group game. If I have a parent volunteer, it's perfect for that center! Sometimes I might even choose a student to be the "caller". They love that!
This game helps reinforce one-to-one counting and vocabulary. For example, the caller will pull a card and say "two pumpkins". The students have to find the correct number and type!

Rake, Rattle and Roll
We have a center like that almost every month. The kids get really good at it! And it feels like a different game when the clip art is changed ;) Most of my kids aren't ready to add two dice yet, so instead they just count the dots. But it's great differentiation for my kiddos who are ready!

Basket Full of Sight Words
This is one of my *most favorite* centers! We're working hard on reading and writing our sight words. They will use the letters on the apples to build the sight words on the basket. Then they will practice writing their words.

Scrumptious Sentences
Unscramble the cards to make a sentence.

Pile 'em Up! {Short vowel sort}
The kiddos will use the little rake to sort the leaves into the correct basket. This is a very tricky skill ;)

CVC Bingo

Sight Word Memory

You can find all these games and centers in my November Games and Centers pack on TpT!

I put it on sale for 20% off today only!

Want a chance to win it? Head on over to my Facebook Fanpage and leave a comment there!