Friday, August 24, 2012

Kindergarten Pinteresting People

If you haven’t joined the great Kindergarten Pinterest Linky party, you won’t want to miss it! Either head over to Rainbows Within Reach and sign up or click on the Pinterest Kinder Teachers tab on this blogsite!

Since this is a blog hop, you can pin all the kindergarten pinteresting people on your blog like I did. Just follow these easy steps below.

1st – Go to PINTEREST Kindergarten Teachers k bloghop 2

2nd – Page down to the bottom of the party link and join up by clicking Click here to enter (1st picture below) Then enter your information on the Linky Entry Form (2nd picture below). Be sure to put your Pinterest URL. For example my URL is  

K bloghop

k bloghop 3

3rd – After submitting your link up, go back to PINTEREST Kindergarten Teachers and page down again to….

K bloghop

and click on Get the code here… copy the code. When the new code page comes up, copy the code.

Finally – Sign in to your blogspot, click on pages, click new page, then blank page

k bloghop 4 

Now click HTML, enter your title (K Pinterest People), paste the code in the box, and save!

k bloghop 5

Now you have your own page of Kindergarten Pinteresting People without having to always go to someone else’s blog!

k bloghop 6

If you found this resource helpful, please leave a comment! Thank you.


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Puppets & Puppet Theatre

With the pressure of standards and testing data, it seems teachers often times have a hard time letting go and allowing kids to explore and discover new learning through play. Understandable as sometimes we feel administrators might not understand the process behind our instructional strategies and expect to see a purely academic focus. However, it is so important for our students to have lots of language experience.

If you’re not sure where to begin, try using puppets and a puppet theatre. It’s easy to make and incorporate into your teaching if you’re just now starting out or even if you’re an experienced teacher.


puppet theatre

A puppet theatre doesn’t need to be expensive. I picked this tri-fold up from the school supply room, used a razor blade to cut out an opening, and colored it using markers and crayons! The kids love it.

While raising the level of interaction in group activities is important, some stronger results are most frequently seen from informal interactions between teachers and children, showing the importance of elevated language experiences during times such as directed play.

It only takes one short whole group lesson to demonstrate how to use your puppet theatre. Then, spend the next day during your language arts block of time calling small groups to participate retelling the story you read when you first broke it out during your whole group lesson. Engage your students in conversations and retellings that enrich their language using puppets or paper puppets laminated and hot glued onto tongue depressors. Finally, allow them to use this often for a richer language experience.

Gingerbread Boy Book

The Gingerbread Boy is a terrific beginning book. It has a repeating storyline that children are sure to remember along with an emotional ending they never forget!

If you give your kiddos the proper modeling and direct instruction how to retell a story, collaborate with each other in small groups, and interact with engaging stories, your students and their language ability will start to improve dramatically. And as a plus, you will be teaching the required standards and they will be mastering them through play.

 Standards Addressed


Use words & phrases acquired through conversations, reading & being read to, & responding to texts.


Participate in collaborative conversations within diverse partners about kindergarten topics & texts with peers in small & large groups.


With prompting & support, retell familiar stories, including key details.


Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose & understanding.

If you found this resource helpful, please leave a comment! Thank you.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keep Your Parents & Students Connected

Research proves students whose parents are involved and well informed tend to have higher achievement rates than students whose parents are not involved in their child’s education.
Although there are many ways to communicate with parents to keep them involved, one of my favorite ways to foster a positive relationship between parents and myself is to provide them with a parent information business card.
Parent Information Cards
You can make these yourself using the premade templates provided on Microsoft Word or by using a print company such as Several online companies offer these cards free of charge. In addition, if you purchase, you will be offered great discounts on other products like matching stationary and post cards.
However, if you’re going to spend the money, why not purchase the magnetized business cards? By doing so, you can be sure that your parents will put this magnet on the fridge and refer to it often. And, it’s not much more than purchasing business cards.
These days when we are all so busy, why not make your parents feel welcome to send an email, visit your website, or call during the office hours you list. Or better yet, include information like homework on your card or your district’s website! If you’re using an online site, all you have to do is type this information in any of the lines (address, fax number, etc.).
If you found this resource helpful, please leave a comment! My parents love it and I’m sure yours will too!
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

California McGraw-Hill Treasures & Reading Homework

Now that my school year is under way, it’s time to start thinking about homework in the near future. As professionals, we all assign homework based upon our student population . Personally, I am a busy parent myself and therefore believe my students and their parents should not be bogged down with random homework. Instead, I assign homework I believe to be most valuable from BOTH a parent and a teacher view. If you find this topic interesting, continue reading to get your FREE download.

McGraw-Hill Treasures

Since our district uses McGraw-Hill Treasures, we are fortunate to have take home books in both color and blackline masters. This allows for students to have a minimum of 6 different take home books per unit. In addition, I use several other blackline masters, books such as Hubbard’s Cupboard (FREE) and others that focus on high frequency words and sometimes themes we study.

Back to homework assignments…

I assign 2 things …

First, students practice their Treasures unit sight words daily. Although this is a rote activity, it’s an activity children can do by themselves when parents are unable to help them and still feel successful. I send this home each week on the first day of the week and have students return it on the last day of the same week.

Second, I assign the take home books as daily reading Monday through Thursdays after I have introduced these easy readers in our whole group, small reading groups, and independent stations. Again, hoping the parents will read with and to their children but if not, the children will still feel successful after having had lots of practice in the classroom before taking them home. Continue reading for more information and your FREE download.

Here’s How We Organize Our Take Home Books

SunWorks® Groundwood Construction Paper 9"x12", 10-Color Asst. (pack of 100)

Select 12 X 18 pieces of construction paper. Then, fold in half and staple along the 9 inch sides to make a pocket. Next, glue on the Reading Homework Strategies copy below, just click the picture below for your FREE download. After this, place in a filing area alphabetically. After you have finished the take home books you have taught, place in the pocket and send home each month on a day when you send homework.

Hwk Rdg Strats for Parents

I choose a different color for each month. I label the first month with the number 1, the second month with the number 2, the third month with the number 3, et cetera. Each month I send home one packet with the child. By the end of the year, each child should have 10 packets labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, …. 10 in a different color. By doing this, parents understand that the 1 folder includes the easiest books and each successive folder gets a bit harder.

Sending home books in this manner, I have found parents tend to keep them because of the organized format and continue to utilize them with their children during the summer months until the following school year.

If you found this resource helpful, please leave a comment! Thanks!


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Day of School–Picture Frame

Do you love taking pictures of your Kinder kiddos the first day of school? Well, I do! I love to have a first day picture to give to parents at the end of the school year party when I hand out their memory books. It’s amazing to see how they’ve grown and changed.

To make them more memorable, I have the students hold up the “picture frame” below.

Keep reading to see how easy it is to create.

first day of school picture frame

First, get one piece of your favorite color poster board from your school. Use an exacto razor to cute out the middle of the frame. Next, use another color of poster board to cut out a star. Then, I simply wrote the “1st,” “DAY,” “of,” and “Kindergarten.” After that, I cut them out of the yellow poster board and glued them on. Finally, I took the cute scissors, paper, glue and crayons cut outs and glued them around the frame as well.

Super Easy & Super Inexpensive!

COST $0.00!!!!!

If you would like to make this too, click on the picture below to download your cut outs.

scissor crayons

Hope you found this resource helpful!

By the way, I will be posting more about memory books soon! Please check back for more ideas.


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No, David!

Tomorrow is my first day back to Kindergarten with new students! I’m excited just like the kids. On the first day, I always read the story David Goes to School and No, David!  Not only are they fun books for the students but they help to establish good behaviors for the year.

David Goes to School

No, David!

If you haven’t already searched on YouTube for these videos, here they are. Although I enjoy reading the books much more, my students love to watch the videos too. So, we do both! Plus, the children enjoy comparing them. And, if you watch them the day following your read alouds, making an anchor chart or art project helps solidify your teaching.

So, if your district is like mine, YouTube along with many, many other sites, are blocked. It’s frustrating not being able to access so many great resources. Anyhow, if your district uses filters and you are unable to access YouTube, you can still watch this video if you are using Google Reader. Most districts do not block this reader. Therefore, project, click and play!

If you’d rather have your own copy downloaded on your school computer, it will take several more steps to do so. This is just one simple solution to having the video at your fingertips if you are receiving these posts. If you are not receiving The Kinder Cupboard posts, by becoming a member, you too can watch these at school.

Last of all, here are some wonderful pictures floating around the internet and Pinterest for follow up activities. In my classroom, we always make an anchor chart the first day after reading the David books. The second day of school, we review the movies and anchor charts. Then, we complete an art project. If you haven’t tried this before, you will love it.


writers workshop4_thumb[2]me and my school rules anchor David Goes to School

Tomorrow, I will be back with videos on The Kissing Hand and other great stories and short movie clips. I hope you found this resource helpful.

Have a great first day back to school.


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Pinterest & EduPinteresting People

Welcome back! Today, I am exited to announce I am joining Debbie at Rainbows Within Reach for a Pinteresting People blog hop.

So this is your opportunity to *find* others who are using Pinterest for educational sharing!!! All you have to do is add the URL for your Pin-Board Identity to the collection below. You do NOT need to be a blogger -- just a pinner!

Pinterest Edu bloggers

Of course the whole point is to find edu-people to follow..... so it behooves you to pop about onto Pinterest and see if these edu-pinners are a good fit for your level of focus.

When you link up, be sure to add the title of your Pinterest account and URL. This is how my entry looked when I linked up. Here is the sample picture.

Pinterest link 1

After linking up, copy and paste the pictures above into your blog along with the code. By doing this, we can all spread the word to help other educators find us!

I made a separate page specifically for Pinteresting Edu-People and added the code here. By doing this, every time someone adds their URL to my page link or Debbie’s link, it will automatically update my Pinteresting Edu-People page too! This way, I won’t have to go to her link every time I want to visit one of these URLs. You can do this too. It just makes it much less time consuming to have your own page and visit boards when you have time.

To do this, click on my Pinteresting Edu-People at the top of my blog, go to the bottom of the page, click on “click to enter” to link up and then get the code beneath your entry. Finally, make your new page, paste the code in HTML format and save. IT’S THAT EASY!

Hope you found this resource helpful!


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Friday, August 3, 2012

Display Bookshelves–Reloaded

Perhaps you recently saw the “Monday Made It” display bookshelves I made. If so, you will recall I was unable to complete them since I could not get into the school.

Well, here they are… all finished. 


Hope this inspires you.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Cold Lunch Solution

Every year I struggle with where to put all the cold lunches my students bring to school each day. This year I purchased the large bucket below at Wal Mart for $5.00. In fact, I bought 2! I figured if one was good then two must be better. Actually, I was thinking two buckets for cold lunches would be great for our field trips and when we eat outside on the patio.

If you have other solution where you store cold lunches, please leave a comment.



Now, all my cold lunches will be tucked away nicely and no longer in the way. I used a white Sharpie paint marker. On the back, I wrote my name. For more variation, use colored Sharpie paint markers to make cute decorations.

Hope you find this idea helpful.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FREE Reading Strategies Posters

Hi Friends!

Today I am posting six reading strategy posters. These aren’t anything new. They have been all over the internet. However, I made these a bit more friendly for my students in Kindergarten.

I didn’t want such wordy or distracting posters like I have been finding. Therefore, these are quite minimalistic.

My plan is to introduce each strategy, work on it whole group, and then finally small group and individually. After students understand the strategy, I am going to be placing these as 5 mil hard laminated pictures in their small groups during literacy time so they may help each other remember the strategy by looking at the picture.

In addition, I will be sending these home to parents as bookmarks, which will be COMING SOON.

Hope you find this resource helpful.


Click on the picture below to download.

reading strategies posters for blog

If you have trouble accessing this link,

please visit my TPT store at and search for The Kinder Cupboard.


please leave a comment with your email so I can send it to you.

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