Thursday, November 17, 2011

My friend Sarah ( check out her blog!) is always finding great resources online and sharing them with me.  Her latest? The free teacher resources at .  Today I made flashcards and a name writing practice sheet to send home with one of my students at Parent-Teacher conferences.
Did I already say FREE and EASY?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Lucky Find!

I found a printout that had been left behind on the network printer at school and it led me to this wonderful site to help children with beginning of the year kindergarten skills.

Once the children mastered cutting on lines, I had them make a "skinny book" to help them practice following directions, cutting, sight words, and color words--phew!
You can download a copy here.  To make the book, the children color the pictures, cut on the dotted lines and staple. 
The children really seemed to enjoy making a book to take home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Daily Routines

Jill from the Kinder Korner Yahoo group asked if anyone had an interactive home page for a SMART board.  It sounded like a challenge, so I created one that I will most likely use with my class this year.  I have added it here--I hope someone else can use it too  :)
SMART board daily routines

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hot Dots!

When I was at ISTE at the end of June, the technology that I was asked the most questions about was my "Hot Dots" pen.  These pens have been around for a very long time, but they are still a good way for the children to practice skills independently. 
In a nutshell, when children select the correct answer on a card the green light flashes and a happy sound is heard; the wrong answer yields a red light and a cranky buzz.  The children always seem to like the "wrong" sounds better when they are first using the pens :) There are commercially available card sets, OR (my favorite) you can get extra "hot" and "cold" dots to make your own so that your children are practicing the skills that you know they need.
I did some quick (ha!) searching online and found the pens and dots are still available.  The best prices I found were at Amazon and Education Insights. (dots $5.99)  (pen $8.05)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Work Smarter, Not Harder
One way I use technology to help with my teaching is to use Excel to help create my reading groups.

My school uses the DIBELS tests to assess our students and as one of the measures the teachers look at to set up reading groups. I enter the scores into an excel spreadsheet. Then I use conditional formatting to have the scores totalled and color coded as I enter them. By the time I have entered the last score, my three main groups--intensive, strategic, and benchmark--have been created! Easy!
Here is my blank spreadsheet--with the formatting done--for the three assessments I will be giving this year. 

DIBELS assessment form

Friday, July 15, 2011

Free Books!

I recently found out about a great interactive website that promotes reading and helping others--a win-win. It is called "We Give Books" and is sponsored by the Pearson Foundation. The way it works is simple: you sign up (free) and select a book to read online. Then you select a group you would like to support. You can read it to your own children or to a classroom of children. When you have read your book, the foundation donates a book to the campaign you have selected.

I plan to do this regularly with my kindergarten classes in the fall, to promote and practice reading as well as to help them think about others.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Thanks to Carmen from the making Learning Fun Yahoo group I have found out about a really useful website. Sqworl allows you to gather several websites together on one page. The front page is displayed, and when it is clicked on, the site opens in a new window. This will be very helpful for my kindergarteners--they will be able to make some choices about which sites to visit, without wandering around in cyberspace!
Check out the page I made of some of my favorite language arts websites!