Happy New Year's Eve!
I'm linking up with my blogging buddy Jen over at The Teacher's Cauldron!
So let's talk resolutions... I usually don't make any. Not that I'm against them or anything, I'm just horrible at sticking to them! ha! You've got to be dedicated! So now you all {my fabulous followers} can hold me accountable!

1) My personal resolution- to keep our house clean and de-clutter a LOT! See...we are putting our house up on the market this year- hopefully in early Spring so I realllllllly do not have a lot of time to do this! I want everything in my house to go from this:

{kid's bathroom cabinets before- how embarrassing!!}

To this:
 {kid's bathroom cabinets after}

I worked on those cabinets this summer and I was really proud of them...then, I stopped! ahhh! The one HUGE gripe we have about our current house is there is NO storage- we have 2 hall closets that are teeny tiny. One holds coats and a lot of seasonal decorations, and the other holds suitcases. Now that people are going to be opening the closets and everything in between- they've GOT to be more organized. My whole classroom is SUPER organized and neat... I don't know why I struggle with my house! So, resolution number 1. You've got to stay on me, people!

2) And for my blogging resolution, I want to post at least twice a week. I LOVE blogging. I love sharing things we do in the classroom and the community and support that you all provide professionally for me! So, I want to be a little more consistent with my blogging. Probably once during the week and once on the weekend. I can do that, right?!

So head on over to Jen's blog and read up on what everyone else is committing to this year!
Have a Happy New Year!

Kindergarten Comprehension

Good morning!
I hope you all had a fabulous and blessed Christmas! Ours was great! AND today is my little boy's birthday! Happy 2nd birthday LUKE!
 He's pretty much the cutest little boy ever, right?! ;)

I've been working on a few things on and off the past few weeks and FINALLY had time to get this little bugger finished up, and I am so excited about it!

Some of my kids really struggle with comprehension as they are reading out guided reading books. They have no problems during read alouds, but when you're focusing on the letter sounds and stretching the words out and punctuation, I can imagine it would be easy to lose meaning for these emergent readers!

So I created this little packet:
There are 3 different levels of reading passages and 5 "create a story" pages included all with visuals corresponding to the passage AND graphic organizers for any story you can imagine! Now one of the best things about teaching Kindergarten and having a daughter almost-Kindergarten age?! I get to use her as a guinea pig!
I read the passage to her and we went through and colored the words by the key and she helped to put the matching visuals onto the story board. (I put magnet tape on the back of the board/ visuals and slapped it onto a cookie sheet)

{To get this page for free click on over to my product page and "download preview}
And the best part- I have it 50% off until tomorrow only so you can get 60 pages for $3.00!

p.s. One of my SUPER sweet and fabulous followers recently became a blogger herself! I'm so excited we can officially call each other "blogging friends". She has a super cute emergent reader freebie up! Head on over to her blog {it's adorable!!} and tell her I sent you!


Last minute?

Looking for something short and sweet to keep your kids busy tomorrow?!
Click on the pictures to snag 'em up!

Have a fabulous day!


Oh my!
2 days left?! We've had our Christmas lunch and Christmas party so far this week- still have Polar Express pajama day to go and then all the craziness will be over! whew! 

I've had a super busy few weeks- my little sis graduated from A&M last weekend and I went down with my family to see her- so glad I was there, but I *could've* done without the 16 hour car ride round trip! 
{you wouldn't know it but I was standing on my tippy toes for this picture- I may be the older sibling but I'm definitely not the "big" sister!}

She's going to be a teacher, eventually, too- but she's going to teach BIG kids. High school Chemistry- can you imagine?!?! "Not I" said the Kindergarten teacher in me!

Looking for an ornament to make as parent gifts?
I've made these craft clay ornaments the past 2 years and they are always a big hit! 1) I get to cook with my kiddos (LOVE it!) and 2) the kids get to choose what they want 3) you don't have to bake them and 4)they include a picture of their kids... who doesn't want to look back in 15 years and have a picture from their kid in Kindergarten?!

{after rolling out the dough I let my kids choose what they want to cut out}
 {I punch holes out to put their pictures in after they dry and we paint}
 {almost finished!}
I write "Kindergarten" and the year underneath their picture. Aren't they so cute and individual?!
Now I just need to make these ornaments with Ella!




12 in 12

I"m linking up with my fabulous blogging friends Hadar and Kristin for their 12 in '12 linky!
 So here favorite things in 2012!

12. Favorite movie you watched:
Everyone's been saying Hunger Games here... but I wasn't a huge fan of it. I know! Shame on me! I LOVE the books but the movie just wasn't as good... and I haven't even seen the last Twilight yet, but I just know its going to be a fave... my best friend is in PA school and when she comes home for Christmas we're going to see it together.. it's kind of a thing for us- we've seen all the movies together and got each other onto the books when they first came out!
11. Favorite TV series:
Absolutely Modern Family! This is largely in part of Phil Dunphy... he reminds me of my husband- that goofy, funny, impulsive and lovable guy!! Just love him! {I know you wanted to see a picture!}

10. Favorite restaurant:
mmmm...Chuy's! And it's a fave because we just got one here in Lubbock! I always loved to visit when we were in Austin, but now it's even better that there's one close to home! Plus, who doesn't need a good excuse for happy hour?!

9. Favorite new thing you tried:
Absolutely blogging!! I've "met" so many wonderful wonderful people and networked and learned and have definitely become a better teacher because of it!

8. Favorite gift you got:
 ok, so this one wasn't in '12, but it was just about a year ago. My sweet hubby surprised me with a car! Exactly the one I wanted! I had NO clue! {and for no special occasion... he's good like that ;}

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
6. Favorite blog post:
ANY of my "Monday Made Its!" I loved with a capital "L" cranking out these posts every week this summer! I got a lot accomplished and my creative juices were flowing like crazy! 

5. Best accomplishment:
Definitely putting myself out there in blog-land! 
4. Favorite picture:
This one's not that "great" but it is so funny! Our best friends have twins and for their first birthday they did a "moustache" themed party- SO fun! I'm sure Luke will love this one when he's grown!
3. Favorite memory:
Alderson family vacay 2012! We rented a house close to the river and hung out by the pool the whole time! Jamie {my sister in law holding nephew Davis in front} is one of my best friends and I could talk to her for a million hours without running out of things to say! {she's a sped teacher}

2. Goal for 2013:
eesh... work out more! I'm good at it during summer, but then school comes along and my schedule gets all wacky!
1. One Little Word:

All around the world!

Hi friends!

It's been *that* kind of a week around my house- sick kids, doctor visits and fighting germs from school! On top of that, my email got hacked- I'm so sorry if you received an email from me about being mugged- I PROMISE I did not leave the U.S. nor did I get mugged and need money from you. Oh, and when I was putting away groceries today I dropped a bottle of olive oil and it broke ALL. over. the. floor. Do you know how hard it is to clean up a bottle of olive oil off of tile?! Thank goodness it wasn't on the carpet! Boy would that have been a mess!

Anyway... notice I have a new email address. I tried recovering my email account, but it seems its too far gone. (sad face!) My NEW email address is if you need to contact me (Jill!!)

We're starting a Christmas around the World unit for the next two weeks and I am SO SO excited to teach this!! Our social studies curriculum this six weeks is a few weeks short of going all the way through so we're expanding upon celebrations (what we have been focusing on) and relating it to what's coming up! I'm using a few awesome resources from fellow blogging buddies to do this! {click on the pictures to visit!}

We're making the suitcase freebie from Erica and will stuff their suitcase with writing activities, crafts, and all sorts of goodies that we learn! 

"America" won't be until very last because we're celebrating on one of our last half days with a Polar Express party. I always make these little trees with my kids to decorate for our Christmas party and they will be perfect to incorporate into our Social Studies lesson! They're fun because they're 3D and I let my kids go to town using glitter, stickers, and markers to decorate them as they please!
 click {HERE} to snag up the little templates to make this guy!

Christmas Kindness part 2

OK, I promised you all a little peek into what our Christmas Kindness Advent season will look like, and better late than never, right?!

I compiled a little list of the 24 acts of kindness we'll be doing over the next 24 days. I got the ideas from several blogs like this one and this one. Really, I want to do them all! I just can't help but be excited about how it will {hopefully} teach Ella to celebrate this holiday season!
I printed out {these card I made} and inserted them into our Advent calendar. Today's RACK was to tape notes to our neighbor's doors. Ella loved doing this!

If you want to use the RACK cards I made, click {here} to snag them for free!


Winter sound boxes!

Hi friends!

Have I told you that one of my favorite things about the Christmas season is ABC Family movies?! So, I have this favorite Christmas movie from my childhood that is about a mannequin from a department store coming to life and she starts to date the family's dad. (The mom had died previous to the beginning of the movie) Anyway.. I can NOT for the life of me figure out what movie it is. Any takers?! Anyone have a clue what movie it is?? I've Googled it and nada!

So we've begun the all the fun Christmas themed things I have in my classroom. My kids FINALLY got to read "Pete the Cat Saves Christmas" (they've been dying to read it since they discovered it on my shelf) and the lights and tree are up in my classroom! 

I like to change up the sound boxes I have in my teacher table. We're working *really* hard on stretching words out and listening to each sound in the word. My kids are getting really good at it thankfully and I've got some budding little readers at bay!

I created these little cute sound boards that will go along with Christmas or Winter themes for CVC and CCVC, CVCC words if you want to snag them up! {for free!}
We were working on the -it family, can you tell?! This was one of my favorite words that my kids came up with- ha! If only they knew! 

{click on the picture to snag them up!}

I would love to know if you grab them! Hope you can use them in your class!


DIY Advent Calendar!

So now that Thanksgiving is over, I've got Christmas on my mind!

This is the first year that my four year old will *really* understand what Christmas is about. We've been talking about how it is Jesus' birthday and I really want her to understand that Christmas isn't just all about gifts and Santa and elves (although we'll do all that fun stuff, too!) but that it is a season of giving.

My first two years of teaching I worked in a private Christian school. I would always go to the mall and pick a boy and girl angel from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree. My class would donate money or gifts toward the child's wishes. We bought bicycles, games, clothes and a lot more! I loved teaching my students about giving of themselves and compassion for others. They were only 4 and they really seemed to get it.

So now that my little girl is 4, I want to reinforce the same in her! We were in the car the other day and she said "The peace that passes understanding is in your heart with Jesus" made this momma proud! So, this year for our advent calendar we are doing "Random Acts of Christmas Kindness" or "RACK"-ing. I'm so excited to bless others and my child with the gift of giving! I read a lot of blog posts about it last year, and I'm so excited to incorporate it into our Christmas traditions for years to come!

First things first, we needed an Advent calendar. I had an old picture frame sitting in the garage, so I spray painted it.
The inset piece of it was ugly, so I covered it with some chevron fabric (from Hobby Lobby)
I found some *awesome* little mini- rick rack in the ribbon section at Hobby Lobby and hot glued 4 strips to either side of the frame so that I could hang the envelopes on them.
I slid the chevron-covered back piece on and the clipped on the envelopes. (Mini clothespins and little paper sack both from Hobby Lobby)
I had some green and red sparkly scrapbook paper (also from Hobby Lobby) that I cut into circles with my Cricut. A circle cutter would do the job, too! I made some labels for the Avery 2" circle labels and printed them out. I love how it turned out!
{here's a little close up of the labels}

If you want to snag the labels to make your own Advent calendar, here they are!
 {be sure to click on both pictures to get all the numbers}
graphics from Ashley Hughes, DJ Inkers, and KPM doodles.

I will post more about our RACK-ing journey as December goes on and what is actually IN each bag of the Advent calendar!
Back to Top