Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!

Are you celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s birthday tomorrow with your students? Click HERE or on the picture below to receive your free Johnny Appleseed song.

johnny appleseed song

After teaching students to sing this song, I glue it to the back of a craftivity. When the craft item is sent home, students have a song they can proudly sing to their parents.

Hope your students enjoy singing this song as much as mine do!


If you enjoy this song, please leave a comment or send an email. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Behavior Management Tips

Beginning the school year can be difficult trying to get students to conform to any teacher’s classroom expectations. Each year teachers, administrators, resource educators, volunteers and parents complement my students on their exemplary behavior.

Below are just a few of the strategies I use. Check back for more as the year goes on!


class competition

This strategy is very simple to use. During whole group direct instruction, when the students follow directions, sit correctly, raise quiet hands, and participate in our discussion they receive points for each time they do these things.

The first month of school there is a daily reward. Once students understand, this becomes a weekly reward. Rewards are such items as: additional recess, extra computer time, another dramatic play station rotation, books on DVD (Scholastic), special seating, etc.

I take the time to brainstorm ideas each year with my students to be sure to reward them with items they want (within reason of course).


group competition

In addition to the above strategy, this is quite simple to use as well. During independent station learning, students once again receive points for each time they follow directions, work cooperatively, share, complete their independent station work, and work as a kid of character (Character Counts).

Students also lose points for not following the above information. Therefore, they are in competition against each group but also learn to be a kid of character in their own small groups.

The first month of school students in the winning group receives a prize daily. After getting into the routine, this reward becomes a weekly reward. Prizes are usually donated or purchased. Click the picture below to purchase various toy assortments on page 10.

prize assortment

You can purchase these inexpensively at The Kinder Cupboard on page 10.


behavior management chart

I’m sure you have seen the above behavior chart floating around on Pinterest. Every one I have seen is very cute and with great intentions. However, as a Kinder teacher, 7 items to recall is a bit much. Research has proven many times over that ADULTS can only recall 3 to 7 items at any time. So, how do we expect our Kinders to remember 7 stages of behavior?

I subscribe to the picture below. Super easy for Kinders to look at because it is a picture. In addition, the background corresponds to their behavior (green=happy face, yellow=slow down and think about your behavior sad face, and red=problem behavior crying face)

individual behavior

Most days, I never move a name from the green great day face! Also, to help make this easy to manage, I write the girl’s names in red on the clothespin and the boy’s names in blue. Additionally, I place the boys on the left and the girls on the right, both in alphabetical order. It’s makes it easy for me to move AND once we get past Christmas, students can easily find their own names if they do need to move their clothespin.

Students who do not move their name from the green happy face get a happy face stamp on the back of their hand at the end of the day. They get excited to show their parents what kind of day they had AND it’s a great way for me to communicate student behavior with the parents each day! To purchase various happy face self stampers click the link here or click the picture below. Find on page 10 of the link.

happy face stamp


star student certificate    168056_STAR_STUDENT_PPSTK

Everyday I hand out 1 star student certificate for the student who I believe was the best behaved and / or performed their best on their work. Also, I give lots of stickers! If you’d like to purchase these, click the pictures above or here. Find on page 11 of this link.

Hope you found this post helpful!


I would love to know how you manage your students behavior! Please leave a comment or send me an email at:


Sunday, September 9, 2012



blog hop must have monday

What items do you absolutely LOVE having in your classroom? Here are some of mine.


I love them all!



Did I say coca-cola? So refreshing & definitely addicting! AND ONLY $1.00 at McDonalds!!!



If you don’t have these, go get them now!

favorite heidisongs


What primary teacher doesn’t own these?



These are my favorites…



I love using these acrylic picture frames! I use them for all sorts of things like framing exemplary student work, work samples, directions, etc.

picture frames


Be sure to hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to link up with us and share your must haves! Just click the Blog Hopper button below…


I would love to know your must haves… Please leave a comment or send me an email!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Stop Interruptions Fast!

Do you find your students often interrupting your small literacy or math groups during independent work time? If so, here are a few solutions.
question chair
I love my question chair!
All you need is a classroom chair and black jumbo sharpie. Not to worry, if you need to remove the permanent marker, it comes right off with a little elbow grease and degreaser that your janitor can provide you with.
Place your chair strategically when deciding upon where it should go. To minimize interruptions,  I have placed mine about 3 to 4 feet away from my kidney table where I teach small groups. By doing so, students who have questions or need help will sit quietly until I call on them because they are not physically a part of the small group I am working with.
I have one rule regarding the question chair. ONLY 1 student at a time may come up and sit in it. If it is occupied, students must stay at their independent station until it no longer has a student sitting in it. This rule helps prevent constant interruptions and in addition, students begin to learn it’s okay to ask their peers for assistance too.
Have you seen these terrific gadgets?
learning resources mini recorders
This small group saver, also known as Talk Point, can be found here or at most local educational retailers for about $7.00 each. They are definitely a bargain and worth every penny.

Just flip it over, push it to the record mode, and press the large button on the front to record your voice and the instructions students need to complete their independent station. When all done, place it in the regular mode once again. Your students will learn to become more independent and better listeners as they love to push the button and hear their teacher’s voice.

AND, how about these!


Lots of teachers place these on their tables or desks to help students learn when it’s okay to ask for help and when they need to stay at their independent work station.

How do you get students to not interrupt while you’re focusing on small literacy and math groups during independent work time?


If you haven’t already signed in as a member, please be sure to join! Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please leave a comment. Thanks!