Monday, December 12, 2016

Holidays Around the World with Kinder Friends

Holidays Around the World with Kinder Friends

The teachers of Kinder Friends are celebrating holidays around the world with a fun blog hop. Check out each blog with sale items and a raffle for a $25 TpT gift certificate! 
{Link to the next blog at the bottom of my post.} 
Also use the hashtag #kinderfriends on TpT to see all our sale items. 

Holiday Stress

Holidays can be a mix of emotions for different people. I love all the family time we have but I am also easily stressed out with a full calendar of events. Recently I have been reflecting on my priorities and the amount of work time I put in, compared to the amount of family time I put in. Both my husband and I are completely guilty of working too much and not being fully present for our children. I have learned a lot about prioritizing and putting ‘first things first.’ This year during the busy time of year, set aside time to read holiday books to your children, bake cookies - just because, and sit and read a good book. The hustle and rush of the holidays can sometimes over take the actual moments and meaning of each of these holidays. 

Here are a few of my items that are print & play ready for your classroom. 

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year. Hop on over to KindergartenBoomBoom 
to some of her holiday activities for your classroom. 

Enter our raffle to win $25 TpT giveaway... 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 10, 2016

Treats for Teachers

Fall... First thing that comes to your mind - GO!
Were you thinking leaves, scarves or boots? Because I was thinking 
Oh how I love when their faces light up when we play bingo with candy corn or when we start our pumpkin investigations. I live too far south for all those other Fall things... so candy corn does the trick!

We love playing our follow the path games with candy corn or spider rings. 
{Click on each of the pictures to see a preview}

This month all of our Kinder Friends are blog hopping for some TpT gift cards and amazing product give-aways. So I have a confession, I am not a fan of raffles. Only because I NEVER win. I know I sound like a 5yr old - but seriously NEVER! SOOO I am giving away 5... oh yeah brace yourself (5) $5 TpT gift cards! I want 5 of you special teachers to break the 'I never win curse!' All of my kinder friends have some exciting Fall activities as well as more TpT gift cards! Enter my raffle as well as hop over to POCKETFUL OF CENTERS for more treats! 

Enjoy your boots and changing of the leaves! I am jealous of all those amazing Fall days you will have. I can't wait to see who the lucky 5 winners are! Happy Fall! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back In The Swing Of Things

Getting back into the swing of things is always difficult. I forget how long it takes me to blow dry my hair, pack school lunches, find a lovey for my 2yr old, and take care of the other 300 things I need to do each morning. During the summers we stay in PJ's or go right to our swimsuits and just relax. I always remind my family and friends that during the months of August and September I will be a complete mess... all over the place.. and off the map (drinking a lot of chocolate milkshakes!)! But good news - I am back in the SWING OF THINGS NOW!
We are approaching the 20th day of school here in Florida and I finally feel like my sandy toes are brushed off and I am back in the swing of my normal schedule. This year our school schedule even shifted a little and our summer break was shorter than normal, so it took some extra time in the morning to get myself moving.
Each year as I am prepping for school I reflect on some practices that I have been doing over the past 12 years as well as think about some new ideas I would want to implement in my classroom. With the new buzz around homework I took a good look at what my homework procedures have been. I have always been an advocate for meaningful and purposeful learning. My favorite time with my own children is when we are curled up on the couch or in a comfy chair with books. I love reading to my boys and love hearing them read to me.
The main focus of my students homework is their "Book-in-a-Bag." These books are sent home each night on their independent reading level. Some students return the book the next day while others will keep the book for a few nights and then switch it out. I feel like this is helping my students and parents because they are coming home with new books and ready to read each night.

As you are brushing off that summer dust take a look at my Book-in-a-Bag for your classroom routines. It is providing my families with meaningful and purposeful learning each night.
Wishing you a great 2016/17 school year. May you have quick blow dries and drink a few chocolate milkshakes on the way home from school.


Continue our blog hop with Paula - CLICK HERE

Use the hashtag #kinderfriends on TpT to find our special sale resources!
Here are my resources that are on sale: 15% off 9/12/16 - 9/15/16

Primary Data Tracking

Rhyming Work - Pocket Chart, Sorting, and Assessment

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Unforgettable Characters

Even though I have been teaching for 10 years, every year I seem to get amnesia and can't remember certain milestones in our classroom. For some reason I remember these milestones after they happen, year after year I have these "ah-ha moments." The other day I stayed at school and mapped out the next few weeks of objectives and standards I needed to teach. I have to spread my notebooks out over 2 tables, I have a few post-its stuck to me.. you know the kind of planning session I am talking about. As I was combing over notebook #2, I instantly remembered how these lessons changed my readers. I was so excited to start our journey with characters and explore fiction in a way my readers haven't done before. 

 Taking  a Journey with Characters

The first step in planning for meaningful reading mini lessons - selecting perfect read alouds. Ok, this is the hardest step for me. In fact, it's so hard for me to narrow down the books I will use during my unit about characters. I also have issues with stashing books to the side on my bookshelf so I make sure I don't read them to my students until the most perfect time and the most perfect lesson. It's a problem...I am working on it! Ok, maybe next year I will work on it! These books have been patiently stashed on the bookshelf for these lessons with 'unforgettable characters.'

You want to select books with unforgettable and interesting characters. I know I said that before but this is the most important part. We want our students engaged and wanting more. We want the book fair guy to be scared when our students are running down the hall to buy more and more Elephant and Piggie books... TRUE STORY!

In these lessons I focus on the following teaching points:
* readers can identify the characters
* readers notice the characters throughout the story
* readers notice the feelings of their characters
*readers must do thinking and noticing to get the most out of their character
* readers predict their characters feelings based on clues and things they already know 
*readers compare and contrast characters (adventures & experiences) in different stories

Adding to your anchor chart each day or even with a new text will allow students to start comparing and contrasting characters within different stories. I love using Elephant and Piggie books because the students start to notice how Piggie is always so happy. Gerald is such a predictable moody character and he provides such great learning opportunities for your students. 
I also love using Goodnight Already and Too Many Frogs to compare and contrast characters. The main characters have such similar attributes the students will be able to do some deep thinking: What if Rabbit was in the story Goodnight Already?

This is the point in the year when my readers just bloom. 
Right before my eyes I have 1st graders...sniff sniff.

This year I promise I will remember how much my students gain from these lessons. Oh, and I won't stash all my Elephant and Piggie books on my bookshelf... Oh yes I will, who are we kidding!

Who is your unforgettable character? Help us add to our collection by commenting below. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Welcome to The Primary Besties Blog

Welcome to our  blog!
We are excited to start this new adventure. Jenny and I have been friends for over 10 years. We met waitressing in college and then taught together at a primary elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida. Now life has us in two different cities but more connected than we ever have been. We both are teaching kindergarten and have plumbing husbands. I think we talk at least 5 times a day and good thing text messages are free! Our friendship makes me a better mom, wife, and teacher. My life has forever been changed by our friendship and life-long bond. I hope you enjoy our thoughts and we can't wait to read your feedback. Thanks for getting to know us!