September 25, 2017

Books to FALL In LOVE With!

My Kinderfriends and I are so excited to bring you our next blog hop! It is filled with some of our most favorite books that we use in the Fall!
Many of us begin the school year as Fall is fast approaching! Much of that time is spent teaching rules, routines and expectations. So, each year I begin the school year with talks of active listening, trustworthiness, personal best, truthfulness and no put downs. These words help me create a sense of community, accountability, and friendships in my classroom. These are known as the Lifelong Guidelines! When you are a teacher of young Kinders and Firsties, you have to teach specifically what these Lifelong Guideline words mean; what they look like, sound like and feel like. In order to teach it in a meaningful way I use 5 books. These books and their characters help the kiddos build a connection with each of these important words!

1. Active Listening - someone who fully concentrates, understands, responds and remembers what is being said. That's a mouthful for 5 and 6 year olds so I LOVE the story A Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head.  It is a story of a cat who mixes up her mother's see, she can't hear what is being said because she is wearing a pot on her head which covers her ears. Listening is important!

2. Trustworthiness - the ability to be relied on to be honest or true. I LOVE the story, Being Trustworthy. This is a story about a little boy who does trustworthy things.  It's great because many of the things he does the children can immediately relate too. The kids recognize many of the things and note they do them at home (and school) too. We celebrate that!

3. Personal Best - the best achievement one has ever had. I LOVE the story, Being Bella. The little girl in this story thinks she is too young to do things right. She has conversations with important people in her life and she realizes that her best is good enough for now. We are ALWAYS learning right?

4. Truthfulness - the fact of being true. I LOVE the story Ruthie and the Not So Tiny Lie. When Ruthie finds something teeny-tiny on the playground she thinks it's okay to put it in her pocket and call it hers but quickly learns that lying doesn't feel right at all. Telling the truth is always the best answer!

5. No Put Downs - a remark intended to criticize or humiliate someone. I LOVE the story Words are NOT For Hurting. There are 26 letters in the alphabet and those letters make up all the words we will every speak. Be careful what you say!

I have a matching poster which features all of the titles of the books we read...I hang it up in the classroom. So, long after the books may have been put away, we are still reminded of our important Lifelong Guidelines! Interested in using these books to teach? Would you like to have a copy of this poster? Just leave me a message below with your email address and I will gladly send this poster to you.
There are lots more books to FALL IN LOVE with! Please hop on over to Mrs. Byrd's Learning Tree to hear about even more!


August 14, 2017

Back to School

Happy August - Happy Back to School!
My Kinderfriends and I have gotten together for a blog hop. I hope you will join us!
Kindness. It sure matters. It matters in a very BIG way. I am in such dismay over the events of this past weekend. It almost feels hopeless. But I can only dwell there for a moment and then I want to do something to help, to make a difference. Teachers can do something.  We can continue to teach acceptance. We can continue to teach kindness. We can continue to teach tolerance and we can continue to teach love. Isn't it wonderful how books have a way of making big concepts just a little bit easier for young students to understand? It makes them relatable, meaningful and are terrific conversation starters which can lead to big ideas and powerful activities!
Here is one of my favorites books about kindness:
Here is the link to a read it online.
It is a fabulous story! I know you will love it and your students too! There are tons of ways to extend this story. How about creating a kindness bulletin board? Get your students involved and brainstorm specific ways to show kindness to one another at school. Why not print them (or write them) on hearts and hang them up! 
Teaching students to chose kindness above everything else will make a difference! I created a free reader and it is available in my store to you. Please use it with your students and continue to make time to teach kindness....because it truly matters.
Hop on over to Pocketful of Centers! Pam has a great blog post waiting for you.  

March 20, 2017

Spring Is In The Air with Kinderfriends!

Welcome to the KINDERFRIENDS Freebies Blog Hop! This is Hop is going to be filled with terrific Spring resources and fun freebies too!
Spring is in the air and with that brings warmer weather and for us here in Florida, bugs! This year my class is SO fascinated by non-fiction text. They can explain many of the non-fiction text features that make it so, but I still hear...Mrs. Harrington, is that really "REAL STUFF?" Whether it is a trip to the school media center to browse the non-fiction books, or reading our Scholastic News Magazines, or a close read of informational text…they are in awe! And as a teacher, I am in heaven…because they are hooked! Teaching Kindergarten and First Grade has its challenges and among them are finding cool, interesting, non fiction text that is at a level where they can feel successful as readers. Like many teachers, if I can't find exactly what I need for my students…then there is only one thing left to do - CREATE IT!  Just  this past week, St. Patrick's Day was upon us and among the excitement of that little, green, leprechaun fellow...I decided to feature something else that was just as exciting and intriguing…and well, GREEN! So, I introduce my friend praying mantis. There was a quiet, collective gasp as I projected this picture of him on the screen in the front of the classroom….you might say I had their complete and undivided attention (and that my friends, doesn't necessarily happen every day!)
I followed up with a few more photos and a little discussion, then gave them a short & sweet close read about this fascinating creature. The students were anxious to get their hands on the information and off they went to read. After reading, I asked for them to turn and talk about something that they learned. I could hear things like "It said it can be green BUT it can be brown too" and "I read it eats its prey head first" (ewwwww!) and "It got its name because it looks like it is praying!" 
The discussion lead to another task which was rereading the information to answer
questions about the praying mantis. I've taught them to find the evidence in the text with a yellow crayon. I like to call it "buttering" which is better known as highlighting; but for Kindergartners and Firsties, I make the analogy - "it's like when you butter toast." So, off they went to read the questions on the front of the flip book, reread, butter the evidence, and write the answer in their own words.
Talk about being busy…and super engaged! WOW. I SO love that!
Do you have a special way that you like to share non-fiction/informational text in the classroom?
We would love to know your secrets and tips of how you hook your students and get them excited about ….the "REAL STUFF."
Speaking of bugs, how about a little Caterpillar Math FREEBIE from my Class of Kinders store? Perfect for morning work, homework, or even consider laminating them and putting in a math station or center to be used over and over again.
I hope you will enjoy! Now, hop on to Mrs. Byrd's Learning Tree for more


February 10, 2017

Sharing the Love with YOU!

It is no lie, being a teacher is one of the toughest jobs ever. I do LOVE it - but I tell you without my teacher BFFs I can not even imagine how much more difficult teaching would be. Can I get an amen?! With that being said, some of my teacher BFFs are rallying together to spread a little love this February. What does that mean to you? Well, if you comment below on my blog with something you LOVE about teaching, you will be entered to win ANY resource from my store. That means if your name is one of the 2 randomly selected from the comments below, I will notify you by mail (on 2/15) that you may pick any 1 item from my no charge. I will then send it to you via email to use in your classroom. Not only that, but I will be donating 10% of my earnings from my Teacher Pay Teacher Store from 2/10-2/14 to Suncoast Hospice.
This organization has helped many people in my family, three just within the past year. I will be making this donation in loving memory of my Brother in Law Jim, my Uncle Barry and my friend Jeff.

The inauguration of a new president sure did prompt me to spend some time in my classroom promoting the ideas of peace, love and kindness. I felt like it was one way I could channel some of my disappointment in what I was seeing on television and reading in social media. So my students and I used several of the resources from my Be a Peacemaker Pack. 
We came up with this little directed drawing using crayons and paint too. The kids loved it....we added what peace meant to them and hung them in the hallway.
I followed up with compliment writing. Teaching the children in my classroom to look for ways to make friends feel good...sort of "catching" them doing kind works and writing to tell them so. "I like the way you..." "You are really good at...." "It made me smile when you..." After teaching my students how to use one of my writing compliment pages, I then put several others in the writing center and that love spread like wildfire. I want to give you one to use with your students.
My hope is that you will find a few minutes during the upcoming week to share the love of spreading kindness, by writing compliments with your students. The only "rule" is, if a student writes a compliment to a student, then that student must write back. Please grab one of these compliment pages to try with your students from my store and open up the preview. It is there for you. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will continue to let us share the love by hopping on over to Cara's Kindergarten Boom Boom blog

January 13, 2017

Warming Up With Sneezy the Snowman!

My kinderfriends and I have gotten together this month to bring you some stories to warm your hearts! It is a January blog hop of sorts and we hope you will enjoy.
Living way down south (even in the Winter) we have plenty of warm days. We had some cold weather, it lasted 2 days and then we were back up to 80 degrees. So my students can only share experiences of being in the snow, dream about being in the snow ...or read stories about being in the snow. After all, we are in Florida!

Last month, I stumbled across this book Sneezy the Snowman! The illustrations caught my eye first and then well... I bought it! (The life of a teacher!) It tells of a snowman who is cold and all he wants to do is warm up! So his friends help by doing all sorts of things to keep him warm. They give him hot cocoa,  a cap,  a jacket,  a scarf, etc. But each time - he gets too warm and melts! It really is a cute story - just perfect for teaching and giving students practice retelling and sequencing story events.

You can get the book from amazon just CLICK HERE. If you would like to read it to your students online you can just CLICK HERE.

I have created this little freebie to go with the story! I hope you and your students will love the story and this activity too! Stay warm!
To grab it from my store CLICK HERE.

Thanks for stopping by....please continue our #kinderfriends blog hop by heading on to Cara's page at KINDERGARTEN BOOM BOOM! I am sure she has another story that will warm your heart too!

December 12, 2016

Holidays Around the World

I have joined together with some pretty fabulous teachers to bring you some Holiday Around the World ideas. It is our December Blog Hop! We also have put some items on sale in our TeachersPayTeachers store. Just search #kinderfriends to find those resources quickly! Need a vocabulary activity to help with your studies of Holidays Around the World in December? Here is one perfect for Hanukkah!

It's FREE from me! Merry Christmas! Grab it here from my Class of Kinders Store on TpT!

Now, click on over to check out Wendy with First Grade Fireworks, she has something for you too! But before you go, scroll to the bottom to enter to win a $25 TpT gift card from all of us at #kinderfriends! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

October 10, 2016

What a Treat!

Happy October! Today it is all about TREATS for TEACHERS with #Kinderfriends!!
Why not? Afterall, it is October! This is the month of Costumes. Candy. Pumpkins. Jack-o-lanterns. Treats. Who wouldn't be excited??! Well, maybe not teachers as much. Halloween is on a dreaded Monday this year! Yes. A Monday! Well, for doesn't HAVE to be October to give my students treats! I don't exactly call them treats, but that is basically what they are! Treats are fun, they are positive and they are motivating. Throughout the year, I do a math fluency weekly check. It's called Gumball Math. When a student masters a level, in a given about of time they earn a real gumball. What a treat!
My daily behavior is a light system (star, green, yellow or red.) And as a bonus, if a student earns three stars in one week, they get to pick from the classroom Star Jar. Inside there are little folded cards with things like: shoes off for the day, a new eraser, bring in a small stuffed animal for the day, extra ipad time, a new pencil ...and even the coveted school lunch date with the teacher! What a treat!
I also use a mystery walker incentive when we travel in the hallways. Basically I randomly choose a stick (with a student's name) from a jar as I exit the classroom. Students don't know who it is and I watch this person all the way to and from. If they were a fantastic example, they get one of these items on their desk until the next mystery walker earns it. Then it gets passed on. (These are random little things - some seasonal. Some's like gold to my students!) What a treat!
I also have this old wood teacher chair that I gave new life to with some paint. I sit in it in our whole group area. This chair is up for grabs in my room. It can be traded for a student's chair as a special reward too. What a treat!
 On Friday, we have FROG time, which is just an acronym for Free play Rewarded On Good Behavior (it is tied to returning homework too.) I bought these Jelly Beadz on amazon and put just 4 teaspoons (which was not even a 1/4 of the bag) in a container with water for 6 hours and they all swelled up to be the size of a small marble. Tons of beautiful colors and absolutely irresistible to not touch! Place them inside a good size clear plastic tub with some spoons and small bowls, even perhaps a few oversized plastic tweezers and it instantly becomes a sensory tub with an opportunity to strengthen fine motor. Why not sort the colors? Throw in some plastic letters and now there is an academic twist. What a treat!
 I try to keep seasonal things in my Literacy Centers to keep them interesting; like these Halloween pencils from the Target Dollar Spot. Now they all want to write, write, write! What a treat!
And finally we have a birthday spot in the classroom. It is the place the birthday boy or girl goes on their special day and chooses a crazy balloon straw and a birthday bracelet! What a treat!
Treats! They are fun and the kids really respond well. I also have a treat for all Teachers today on my blog! A chance to win a $25 dollar gift card to All you have to do is follow my store to be entered for a chance to win it. Please enter the rafflecopter below and the winner will be announced on the 15th of October. So check back to find out who wins this teacher treat!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Lots more Blog Hop Giveaways with my other #Kinderfriends. Next check out Cristina with The Primary Besties! Don't miss her giveaway.