Everything you should know about nasal allergy

Nasal allergies might have symptoms like a chilly -- watery eye, runny nose, sneezing, and congestion -- that won’t appear to go away just. If your a reaction to pollen, mold, dirt, or pets is serious enough, it could change your day-to-day existence.
But you can perform what to stifle your sniffles. Focus on these basic suggestions from allergist in New Albany, OH.
Get Your Home to be able
It must be your fortress, a new ship on the angry ocean of nasal allergies. If you are allergic to pollen, keep carefully the outdoors out.
Shut the windows and crank the fresh air conditioning regardless of how nice the elements. It might furthermore be considered a good idea to place a filtering in the furnace and AC to display out allergens.
Next, if the budget is had by you for a difference, he recommends you obtain rid of just as much carpet and upholstery as you possibly can. Replace it with hardwoods and easy surfaces in which a wet rag or mop can simply grab dust or pet tresses.
Mold can arrive in the home, too. Keep bathrooms dry and clean. Be quick to correct and seal leaking roofs or pipes. Damp basements might need a dehumidifier, but make sure to empty them regularly.
Take special care in order to allergy-proof your bedroom. Avoid down-packed comforters or pillows, a popular of dust mites. Make use of zippered, hypoallergenic covers for mattresses and pillows.
Be Smart ONCE YOU Venture Out
Pollen counts are higher in the earlier- to mid-morning hours usually, plus they let up because the full day goes on.
Pollen is less sneezy for you personally after it rains always, too. Mold, however, will be worse after it rains, and in the evenings during occasions of higher humidity. Windy times, when allergens are usually stirred up, great aren’t.
Hitting the street? When you go on holiday or for company, take your personal pillow, encased in a dust-proof cover. Pick a resort that doesn’t allow animals or smoking cigarettes, since allergens can put on smoke particles.
Medication: THE PROPER Tool for the proper Job
Most of these prevention actions won’t eliminate allergens from your own life. There is symptom-by-symptom tips for meds:
Irritated eyes: An awesome compress and sporting sunglasses outdoors could help, but antihistamine eyes drops may also do the trick. Steroid and antihistamine nasal sprays can provide you some benefits, too.
Runny nose: Try salt water (saline) sprays.
Congestion: decongestant nasal sprays decrease blood circulation to the nose, so when they put on off, they can result in more congestion. We recommend instead using a mix of antihistamines and a steroid nasal spray to help ease swelling of nasal passages.

Your winter home cleaning tips

cleaning_productsGet hectic indoors this full 30 days with a while spent cooking, improving quality of air and prepping for spring
Outsmart the winter season by making your house inside a clean and light housekeeping, healthy and cozy haven. Place a pot of soup on the stove, strategy a vacation or get yourself a jump-start on springtime cleaning with a whole-house refresh, from the fresh air you breathe to the floors underfoot. And since it is a leap 12 months, you’ll have a supplementary day this 30 days to obtain it all done.
Purify the fresh air. In winter season, we’re more prone to keep the warmth on and the home windows shut - making for a warm home but not very climate. Refresh your area by cracking a windows for some minutes once in a while (even though it’s cold!), buying air-cleaning houseplants or establishing an fresh air purifier.
Do a true house safety check. It doesn’t take lengthy to check on home safety products and update (or buy) a crisis kit, and the satisfaction is well worth your time and effort.
·    Test smoke cigarettes detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, altering batteries as needed.
·    Check the expiration day burning extinguishers and replace while needed.
·    Check emergency source kits and restock while needed - make sure to include sufficient water in bottles for all users of one's household (at the very least 1 gallon per person each day for at the very least three days) and also water and food for pets.
Create a few freezer foods. An individual afternoon spent cooking food big-batch foods (believe chili, soup, casseroles) makes it so much less difficult to obtain weeknight dinners up for grabs when you don’t feel just like cooking.
Don’t have time and energy to prepare a whole meal in progress? You may also freeze additional cooked grains - getting ready-to-go grains readily available makes a wholesome bowl dinner fast to prepare (just put in a roasted veggie and new greens).
Tidy up cleaning areas. Prepare for spring cleansing by neatening and decluttering the laundry area, and any accepted locations where cleaning supplies are stashed. Toss expired items, consolidate half-empty containers, and clean down shelves and cupboards before changing items.
Clear walls, floors and inside windows. A midwinter cleansing can help lessen dust - especially very important to allergy sufferers. Vacuum cobwebs from higher corners, baseboards and walls; vacuum and mop flooring; and clean interior home windows and sills.
Change furnace filters. Changing the filters regularly helps your furnace run more and keeps the air in your house cleaner efficiently.
Protect entry floors. Street salt, sand and melting snowfall can wreak havoc on entryway flooring. Protect your flooring through the use of interior and outside mats, and a tray to get wet boots. Choose stack of washable rugs, so that you can keep a brand new always, dried out rug in the access.
Show your house some adore. Valentine’s Day time is Feb. 14, why not give your house a little additional TLC? Grab a bouquet of new flowers just because, hang a new impress on the walls or sponsor a cozy collecting with plenty of candles and twinkle lamps.
Start prepping for a new spring or summer house sale. If you’re likely to put your home in the marketplace in the springtime or summer, start working together with your agent to compile a listing of repairs to deal with. Hire any benefits you will need (stager, painters, contractor) and develop a schedule for function to be done.

Kids and Cleaning

house-cleanHere are several ways to involve kids into cleaning.
Play expiration-date detective.
Have your older child sleuth out older, unwanted items inside your refrigerator and cupboard by showing him just how to study expiration schedules. Have him make a pile of all of the removed items, then show him how to properly remove of them by sorting them directly into three classes: Recycling, composting or waste. If you don’t already have separate containers for each of such, let your kid generate labels and laminate them for long-lasting use.
Alphabetize the liven drawer.
Your younger child will receive a little reading and sorting practice while your spices get organized, making it quicker and easier to find what you require in a pinch. Encourage your kid to familiarize himself with all the seasoning by reading  smelling the spices, labels and even tasting them. Describe how you frequently make use of them regarding cooking or baking.
Enjoy “Follow the Leader.”
Give each child an apron and tuck a vintage rag or towel and also a squirt bottle filled with a non-toxic cleaning fluid to the wallets. The designated leader have to walk by means of the house and make multiple prevents to clean or put away an object and the rest of the group must stick to suit. Switch leaders every single five minutes.
Put on a family fashion show.
This foolish activity is useful for a few laughs and doubles like a way for everyone to clear outdated or ill-fitting clothes from the depths of their closet. No matter how you look, ensure that you flaunt each outfit with attitude befitting of the catwalk. Ahead of time, agree that the majority vote establishes whether the outfit (or certain parts of it) stays or goes. For all those all completed, bring the discarded clothing to a consignment store or donate it to charitable organization.
Hold a garage selling.
After the cleansing is said and done, is actually a great time for a garage or yard selling. This is especially the case when you find yourself still left with the bunch of stuff you may not donate or isn't very accepted by consignment and retail stores. Have got your kids help make colourful indications and write-up them up in the neighbourhood to advertise the date and time of your sale (and don’t forget to remove individuals signs when you’re done).
Older children can assist you price items, handle the swap of cash and get a chance to test out there their marketing skills! Young children can assist too, by demonstrating to potential customers how their particular belongings work and positioning items out on “display. ” Remember to share the profits with your kids to reward their particular hard work!
Washing doesn't need to be a drag. Consider this opportunity to have several fun along with your kids and incorporate several learning in with the cleaning! For other interesting tips you can visit the maids raleigh.

Keeping Centers Super Simple

Hi there. I have not blogged in a long time but I am begging for forgiveness. I am trying to wrap my head around a new classroom structure known as staggered day. This might not seem like a big deal but for 25+ years I have worked with a partner. So now I am totally on my own and have to rethink how to set up for this. It took me a long time to figure out a functional room environment down to where to put my tables and how to set up my centers. I struggled and kept changing it up until some of my friends came in and tossed half my furniture out the door and reconfigured my room. Thank goodness they took pity on me! Without another adult in the room I had to change up my lesson plans and plan activities in a very different manner. Centers could not be monitored by another adult and we are not given aides. With that being said I had to fly solo and figure it out. 
I realized that my centers would really need to be super simple or they would crash and burn which would be a total disaster. I also saw from my roster that I had a roomful of boys that needed to be more physically active before I hit them with the real work of kindergarten. So I want to share some of the ideas I came up...

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Pirates! (Set the Stage to Engage)

Did you know that National Talk Like a Pirate Day is this Monday, September 19th? I've got you covered with this Set the Stage to Engage unit all about PIRATES!!! This unit is also perfect for kicking off the year with a pirate theme, teaching -ar, or it can be used as an End of the Year celebration. This unit is packed full of literacy, math, and science fun.

Here are some pictures that Holly Ehle took of this pirate unit in action:

First, we "flip" the classroom so it looks like our students are going on a real pirate adventure. This increases student engagement because they are automatically excited to learn and participate in the lessons.

Next, we make costumes.  These are super easy and super cheap! We have all of the directions and patterns in our pirate unit. 

 I think this picture shows the high levels of engagement going on. As students are working on their math, STEM projects, writing assignments, etc. they are focused and excited about what they are learning. 

We played a fun Walk the Plank game to review some of things we've learned.  SO FUN!  {All of the pieces for this game are included in our unit}

And look how cute the pirate glyphs turned out!

Here's another pic of...

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Case of the Missing Cookies: A Cookie Detective Unit

I am happy to report that I just started my second week of school with students and I have the cutest group of kids to love on each day. It's so great to be back in the classroom this year! I will share more about my new classroom later, but today I wanted to share the fun unit that I did with my students last week.

As you probably know, student engagement is very important to me. In today's world, getting students excited about learning is the key to success and motivation in the classroom. I am happy to say that I have teamed up with Holly from Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connection to bring you a series of engaging lessons that we have named: Set the Stage to Engage. 

Last week, Holly and I were both able to put our Cookie Detective unit to good use. We transformed our classrooms into Detective Agency Headquarters and prepared for a full day of activities and learning for our students. 

Very Bright Students (VBS) Detective Agency Headquarters

Who took the cookies from the cookie jar? It looks like they left behind a finger print! Join our Very Bright Student Detective Agency as we solve the case! 

Our student detectives found math problems written on balloons. Once they solved the...

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Back to School Bash GRAND PRIZE!

The Back to School Bash 2016 has been so much fun! Thank you to everyone who joined us this year. BUT...it's not over yet! We have one final chance for you to win! When we say win, we mean WIN BIG! Anyone needing some updated technology for your classroom? I give you the B2S Bash Grand Prize...

Yes! This is real life!
Yes! This could be in your classroom very soon! 

But you have to enter first! Here's how you do it: 

1) Begin the insta hop by locating @stepintosecondgrade on instagram. You will want to begin with Amy so that you collect the letter tiles in order. Each blogger will link to another letter. Click on the letter and hop to the next location. As you hop...

a) follow each blogger 
b)  collect each letter

The letter tiles look like this....

2. The letters will reveal a question. (Don't worry...the letters go in order so you don't have to unscramble a thing!) 

3. Once you have figured out the question, hop on over to any of our blogs to enter the Rafflecopter to win! You will be asked to answer the instaHOP question! 

You only have 24 hours to enter, so go get your hop on! ;) 

 Yep! That simple! So have you finished your hop? 

Enter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway...

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Back to School Bash 2016 Prize

Hey Friends,
Well, friends, the time has come!  It's time to HOP HOP HOP around to 24 blogs for your chance to win some major giveaways!!!  We've teamed up to bring a little fun and excitement to this crazy time of year for teachers.  Our bash baskets are sure to bring some style to your wardrobe, materials to your classroom, and a smile to your face!

Here's how it works...  You'll have a couple of days to hop around blogs and enter the giveaways using a Rafflecopter.  At the bottom of each post, there will be a button that will lead you to the next giveaway!  The more blogs you enter on, the better your chances are of winning :)))

 If you have followed my blog for very long, you know that I LOVE books.  I'd rather buy books than a pair of new shoes or an outfit.  Children's books are especially my weakness!  If you love books even half as much as I do, then this prize is for you!!

I'm giving one lucky winner a $100.00 Amazon gift card to use toward the purchase of some of your favorite books.  All you have to do is follow me on Facebook to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After you've entered, make sure you click on the image below to hop on over to my friend, Erica's post!  Good Luck...

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Planning Your Instruction

Curriculum Map for Kindergarten and First Grade

Can you imagine if I were to jump in my car and decide to drive to California? I point my car west and drive... no map, no GPS, just a general direction.  I would probably get there, but it would not be the most effective method.

That is the same idea behind a curriculum map.  It helps you find your way.  It helps you to know you are on the right track.  Can you take detours?  Absolutely!  But you HAVE to know where you are going BEFORE you start the car!

Curriculum Map for Kindergarten and First Grade

Start with a Curriculum Map

We have included the "Big Ideas" for word study, reading, writing, and math.   That was easy!
Curriculum Map for Kindergarten and First Grade

Read Aloud Suggestions

Whether you are following our Guiding Readers Series or not, you can still use these text suggestions to have meaningful and deep discussions in your classroom.  It just takes some planning, but starting with a great book helps!  If you don't have the time to invest in the planning, don't worry!  We have done it for you.  You can see these units HERE.

Curriculum Map for Kindergarten and First Grade

Writer's Workshop Mentor Text Suggestions

We believe that authors learn about writing by studying the work of other authors.  Deedee Wills and I have compiled a list of books that work perfectly as mentor texts for kindergarten and first grade....

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Back to School Bash 2016

Hello friends!!  It's that time of year again...time for our BACK TO SCHOOL BASH 2016!!!  This year we have teamed up with even more bloggers so that we can bring prizes-a-plenty to you!!!  Mark your calendars for August 7th because you will NOT want to miss out!!!

Each blogger will host a Bash Basket that contains a prize valued at $100 or more!  Make sure to follow the blogs below so you don't miss a single thing!  Check back in on August 7th so you can get your hop on!

See you August 7th!

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15 Dollar Store Finds to Use in Your Classroom...Right Away!

This week I had 13 of my sweet friends staying at my house for the Teachers Pay Teachers conference, and we had a blast!!  Some of my friends went home on Friday morning so the rest of us decided to hit the Dollar Tree to see what we could find!!   We decided to do our very first Facebook live video and share what we found.  Many of you asked us to do a follow-up blog post so you could grab the pictures of our ideas, so we decided to do a blog hop. Be sure and visit all five blogs to see all 15 of the ideas!

Here are the ideas that I shared during the video:

Hungry Shark Missing Addends Game

Materials Needed: Plastic shark sand toy, goldfish crackers
Here's how you play:
  • The students will play the game with a partner.
  • Determine what number your group of students will be working with and have them count out that many goldfish and say the number.  "SIX"
  • Player one will hide his or her eyes while player two has the shark "eat" some of the fish.
  • Player two will open his or her eyes and try to determine the missing addend.
  • They must frame their answer like this, _____ and _____ is 6.  So for example, if player one had the shark eat three fish it would sound like this,  "3 and 3 is 6.
  • Have the...

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Addition Games to Build Number Sense

If you've ever worked with primary children, you've undoubtedly seen the look of frustration on your student's faces when they can't quite grasp the understanding of addition and subtraction.  Usually, the problems stem from teachers introducing abstract symbols before students have had a lot of real experiences manipulating objects to help them develop a sense of quantity, number combinations, and number relationships. "Symbols come to have meaning only when they are associated with these real experiences." Kathy Richardson  So put away the workbooks and flashcards and break out the games.  If you've used mine and Deedee's Kindergarten or First Grade Math Units you know that we are a firm believer in giving kids conceptual experiences to help them develop a deep understanding of number sense.  Here are a few ideas for things that you can do in your classroom to help your students build number sense for addition and subtraction.  

Use the “Five Little this and five little that” poems to work on addition and subtraction.  Let the kids be the manipulatives.  Use language like,  "3 and 2 is 5," so that when it comes time to introduce the symbols for addition they will already have...

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That's A Wrap: My Kindergarten Year

Yes I am still around but it has been a crazy year with a teaching partner out on medical leave and lots of littles who needed a program and activities to meet the standards and keep them engaged. It was a tough year but now that it is over I can catch my breath and share those last few days with you! How did I manage? I had lots of help from amazing parents, a principal who provided as much help as she could grab, and a few friends who came out of retirement to lend a hand when they could. It was a stressful, hot mess but I survived to tell the story. I even had one sub that the kids fell in love with that we are hoping to hire this year. That is another story for another time. Basically I learned a lot about myself and how hard I am capable of working when necessary. So here are some ideas I came up with to bring the year to a close.
We had a beach theme on our final day together and wrapped it up with "Finding Nemo" which I loved move than the kids. It is adorable. "Finding Dory" came out the day after school ended which was such a bummer. I made the sign that you see above for each student to hold and a parent snapped a picture. The frame is from Ikea and only cost a couple...

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An Amazing Vegas Giveaway for Teachers

 Can you picture it now?  YOU in LAS VEGAS?
The “Primary Chalkboard”
Team of Bloggers
Wants to Send You
to Vegas!

How about YOU in LAS VEGAS attending a one day session of the SDE conference? Primary Chalkboard is giving away a 1 day session at SDE!
You get to pick your day at the SDE conference! I know you are going to pick Monday so that you can see one of our own super stars, Katie Knight present!

So, will it be Singapore Math, Differentiated Instruction, I Teach K, I Teach 1st, or the  newly added I Teach 2nd? How incredible is this little giveaway?
BUT, that's not all,
we're also including a $25 gift card to the SDE bookstore,

So, NOW can you picture YOURSELF in VEGAS?

Oh, you say you need money for airfare, hotel accommodations, or just some spending money while you are here?  Well, we've got that covered, too.  How about ….
NOW, can you picture YOURSELF in VEGAS?

Here's how to enter for a chance to win.
  1. Hop through our Facebook pages
  2.  "Like" each page as you hop through so that you can collect the tip.
  3. Each tip will have a number on a playing card.
  4. Add the numbers together....

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Egg-actly What We Need Now That Assessments Are Over!

Have you seen plastic eggs just about everywhere you look and wondered what you can do with them in the classroom. I posted about this last year but I thought it was worth repeating because my kinderkids loved them so much. What is it about things that are "mini" in size? These activities reflect the skills I am pounding on right now! Yes, they are CCSS aligned. What are you working on that I missed? Leave me some suggestions!

I am bringing these in on Monday as a surprise for my students and I hope they love them as much as I do. I made response sheets for the activities and I will have students work with a partner.
Where can you buy the eggs? I got them last year in Dollar Tree and Walmart and I have more than enough to make these and about 2 million more (hoarder issues). The smart thing to do is buy them after Easter so that they cost pennies! These are in my tpt store if you click on each picture.  I have an additional set entitled Scrambled Eggs that you can find here. I hope they make your day EGGCITING!

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Be Aware and Please Take Loving Care of Our Earth

Earth Day is one of my favorite themes to use in the spring. It is celebrated on April 22nd but I love to do activities related to this for several weeks. Friends of the Earth is a Common Core packet that has been carefully designed to meet the needs of your primary learners. It will help to raise student awareness of the importance of recycling and taking care of the earth.
I have included both literacy and math stations that will build the academic language of your students and promote student engagement. Writing activities are also included and scaffolds have been provided to ensure student success. It also addresses the needs of your English language learners.Many of the printables serve as a record of student understandings and can be used for assessment and homework. Check it out and see if it looks worthwhile to you. When I was a Common Core coach the kinder and first grade teachers used this and got beautiful results.

Students even make a simple necklace using straws to add some bling! If you would like to purchase this packet it is available in my TpT store. Be sure to pick up the headband freebie too! Help our children learn to care for the earth and each other. What do...

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Earth Day is Around the Corner: Grab this to get started

Don't you love this time of the year? The weather is getting warmer (okay I live in Southern California) and your students are actually showing some progress and becoming much more independent. Whew... I bet you thought it would never happen and before you know it you will be hugging them all goodbye and telling them to have a great summer. Before it all slides past you why don't you do a mini unit on Earth Day instead of  just spring? You can teach a lot of different skills but also give them some understanding of recycling, reusing, and reducing. I think this is worthwhile and goes along really well with any unit you do on plants. Today I am offering you a freebie that might force encourage you to try this next month. You can pick it up right here if your kids will have fun making a little crativity. It's a headband that you can sponge paint and add a little info to. No fuss just easy to put together. Who doesn't want to wear the Earth on their head as an accessory? 
This packet is finished and it has been carefully aligned to the Common Core (naturally). I think it is one of my best products. I even included some writing that has been differentiated for young students. This...

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Attention... Doing Intervention

Can your students blend and segment? 
Sorry that I have not been blogging lately but with report cards and conferences I was busy with school 24/7. As I created assessments and checked off the skills my students were suppose to have mastered I realized that many of my students were not picking up on many phonemic awareness skills. They are all English language learners and they are just not ready to blend or segment.They were unable to hear subtle differences in sounds. What does a teacher do? We are assessing our students on these skills earlier than ever and often they struggle with these demanding skills.
So how do I help them achieve these goals? I knew I needed to create some materials that would help to scaffold their learning. I want to share some of these ideas with you.
First, I needed to stay organized and pull students who needed additional support. My middle group needed to refine these skills so I needed good materials to build on their understandings. 
I found the perfect box at Target that had 2 drawers that snap together and hold so many games and cards. I labeled each game and placed them in slider bags that I purchase at a fantastic store called Daiso where all...

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Where Did The Year Go?

I cannot believe how the year is flying by right under my nose. Here we are in May and I am slamming past Mother's Day and moving right along trying to plan for closing out the year. This has been one crazy, demanding year for me with Common Core and a new teaching partner. Whew, it makes me reflect on how lucky I am to be a teacher but how little down time there is.
This is Teacher Appreciation Week across the country and it forces me to stop for a minute and acknowledge all the amazing teachers that have influenced my life in so many important ways. Teachers who have encouraged me, stretched my thinking, tried to organize me, enlighten me, and just plain love me for the mess that I am.
Kindergarten teachers are the mostly loving, generous people on the planet. There, I said that out loud and I mean it.  When I attend conferences I am flabbergasted by the kindness of my peers. Everyone loves "their kids" and spends endless hours prepping and planning to give our youngest learners the best and most engaging activities to make learning powerful. We have a huge influence on our littles and their attitude towards school. If you are reading this I am sending you a huge cyber hug and...

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Mothers Are Magical

Mother's Day is right around the corner and this year I decided to try something a little different. One of our grandma's is a professional photographer and I asked her if she would be willing to take a picture of each student for a Mother's Day card. I loved the idea of it being in sepia and looking like an old fashion picture. She was so sweet to agree to this and bought a "brick" backdrop to use. I think these will be sensational. Now what do I use for a card? I thought about this for a long time and came up with this:

I knew these papers would be perfect for this kind of picture so I bought both and luckily they were on sale. I was rolling along when I found this little number on another aisle...

I decided to add a little pizzazz to the card and make it look a little more antiqueish (okay not a word) but you know what I am sayin'

 I made this for my students to cut and paste on their card but they can do this any way they want to. I will try not to be a total control freak but I will show them some samples like this one:

The picture will go on the other side (right) and the set comes with an envelope they can decorate as they please. I will share some of these when they are...

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Grab a Teachable Moment In Your Classroom...

Have you ever brought a pet to your classroom? I can't think of a better way to engage young children in learning. They will be full of questions and this provides an authentic opportunity to learn about an animal. It's a great way to take a break from your standard curriculum and have some fun.

My teaching partner brought in her leopard tortoise for the class to see and touch. They were speechless with happiness to see an animal up close. We seized the moment to explore the life cycle of this animal and just a little information about her.

We learned that a tortoise hibernates like a bear and Daisy had just started to move around to let her owners know she was awake and hungry! 

We talked about how you have to care for a pet and what to put in her habitat to keep her happy. We learned what a leopard tortoise needs in their environment and what they like to eat. Who knew hibiscus flowers were on their list of tasty treats! 

Students could gently touch her shell but we explained the need to wash your hands just to be safe. They loved watching her move around and were fascinated when she ate the dark leafy lettuces in her habitat. 

When we took her outside for recess she loved moving...

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It's "Bean" A Long Time

We have done a great deal of planting in our classroom recently which was part of a Common Core unit that I wrote with some of my teacher friends for our district. For the first time I got to actually try out my own materials and see how they worked out. This is the Greenhouse I came up with but my friend recommended trying this with corn seeds instead of Lima beans. I found out she gave me great advice! We sprayed a paper towel with water and put these in a baggie that I attached to the back of this little house. The kids loved coloring this in and were so excited to hang these in our window. We crossed our fingers because I have not had much luck with this in the past.

My teacher friends who are amazing gardeners told me to soak the beans or corn first to get the germination going. This was fun because the beans really puff up and the kids are shocked when they observe them the next day. They loved looking at this using a magnifying glass and drawing what they saw. Great activity for you to try next year or even in a summer program.

Here are the corn seeds growing in the Greenhouse and here is a clear cup with a few seeds. Obviously the soil makes a real difference. We also...

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Special Events and A Freebie to Boot

Our school does a Parent Volunteer Tea as a thank you to all of the parents that work endless hours in our classroom. I could not run my program without them. They make countless books for me, trace pieces for art projects, and work with children to help them gain confidence and be successful learners. I have so much gratitude for the moms and dads that come through my door each week, filled with enthusiasm and energy! 
I wanted to do a few special things for the tea but I had very little time to pull this off. Here are some simple ideas if you ever get stuck and need "quick and easy" solutions. Any candy in little clear bags with a topper is appealing and easy to throw together. I had tons of skittles so here is what I put in a bright colorful basket (Dollar Tree is my friend). If you want the topper you can grab it here and use it for any special event. It says, "You are better than any treasure found at the end of the rainbow." Leave me a comment if you like this and tell me what you are using it for!

My daughters were in town for Mother's Day (so special for me) and suggested making shortbread since this takes very little effort and the results are gorgeous. We used Barefoot...

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What Should Kindergarten Teachers Be Reading This Summer?

Every summer I promise myself that I will clean closets, catch up on friendships that I sadly neglect, and do some professional reading that is essential to staying on top of educational trends. Here is my beef. Often books have suggested grade levels (k-5) and kindergarten is mentioned in just a few places. The information is great but not for our "littles" and I get frustrated by this since it rarely changes my teaching practices or relates to my classroom experiences. We often hear that "kindergarten is its own animal" and I find this to be so true. What is out there for kinder teachers that is worth reading during your precious summer weeks? Here are my top picks for you:

This book is huge and expensive but it looks like it is a terrific resource for learning aboutflexible reading strategies. It is laid out in a very simple, powerful way. Goals are clearly stated. What are you working towards? Skills students need to practice are provided and finally, specific strategies for getting there are offered. It is set up almost like a "cookbook" and you can look up topics that you need more help with. Levels are clearly provided and there is plenty at the...

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What's New In My Store With A FREEBIE!

Hi there friends. I have been working on several products for my TpT store over summer break and I finally have a few to show you. This is Spotlight on Numbers which can be purchased in my TpT store. Take a look at these pages to get a sense of what is included. 
My students are addicted to bingo daubers and will do anything to get one in their little hands. Does that sound familiar. Daubers are beginning to show up in lots of places now but I particularly like the ones in Dollar Tree and at the Target Dollar Spot. I found Darice Bingo Markers in a Teacher Supply Store and they were fairly inexpensive. You can purchase them at Amazon too. 

Here are some photographs of this product so you can see  actual pictures in "real life." Students make their own Number Book which focuses on numbers from 1-20. It has been carefully aligned to the Common Core, just so ya know!

I thought it might be fun for you to have an actual page from this packet as a freebie and what page could be better than one with my friend Pete the Cat! Right! When you click on the picture below you will be able to download this document. Please do not forget to leave me a comment too. Thanks for being a friend.

If you...

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Life at the Target Dollar Spot...freebies on their way

Target Dollar Spot:

I can't decide if Target Dollar Spot is a friend to me or not. It is summertime and I should be relaxing. School will be looming in front of me in just a few weeks. But... I was in Target and the Dollar Spot was calling to me (once I grabbed a Starbucks coffee). I just glanced over. You know where you just sort of sweep the bins cause you are totally in summer mode and not ready to think about your classroom. I resisted the call to check them out.
The bins were pretty chaotic so I was even less interested in exploring them and hit the main part of the store first. I raced down the first aisle (those bins were calling to me) and slammed around the corner.  Believe it or not School Supplies had taken over the entire back end of the store. Who knew? Nothing was on sale that grabbed my attention so I made sure I didn't even slow down. But then I noticed  black charts hanging on a back wall. BLACK. I swear if they has been any other color... Yup, black pocket charts for $1.99. I was sucked right into the Target School Supplies drama. I was not leaving those in the store, no sir.  So I threw 2 into my cart and knew I was now hooked. OMG. Target has hypnotized me...

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Where Have You Been?

Hey there. Sorry I haven't been around much lately but I have been busy for the last few weeks trying to get my classroom ready for my students. The air conditioning is not working too well so it was rough in the heat but somehow I pulled it all together and thought you might like to see some of my projects.
The theme in my room is Pete the Cat so I did a board with shoes that have the names of our students on them. This is not quite finished but you get the idea. The banner looks really nice and brings out the colors in the room.

I have lanterns hanging over each set of tables and Pete is hanging off of them with a label. This is an easy way for children to identify where to go.

I redid the bucket seats that I made last year because they were used each and every day and were pretty filthy by the end of the year. I saw these fabrics in Walmart and could not resist them since they match the room perfectly. Each seat only cost 2.00 to redo and it was a huge improvement. I covered these right on top of the original fabric, using a staple gun! Easy.

My husband was sweet enough to make mini anchor charts for me and I have one on each set of tables for the children to use when needed....

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Can You Believe It?

Tpt is busy helping teachers get ready to go Back2School and one of  my Chalkie friends created this darling sale button to rock your teaching world. My entire store is on sale and guess who has a few new products? Yup, do not fall on your face.
Check these out girlfriend:
Click on a picture to "shop till you drop."

I hope you find some packets that will help to make your year easier. I work really hard to make these packets worth your money and filled with content that is useful for young learners. Please click right here for my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and remember all of this has been carefully aligned to the CCSS.
Have a wonderful start,
Fran Kramer 

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Literacy Gems: Make Learning Fun

Can you believe it? I actually created another packet that I really love. How many of you have been making letter gems to use in your classroom? They are all over the internet. I decided to make a packet that used these gorgeous gems to make word work throughout the year more fun for the kids. As an extra bonus I threw in a few math activities just because... Do you want to check this out? Take a peek at this.

In this packet I show you how to make the gems with photographs to help support my directions. They are easy to make and hopefully you won't go crazy and make endless amounts... just sayin'.
I also give you advice about organizing these treasures (maybe I was a pirate in a previous life) so they will be easy to manage.

This packet also included cards (many, many cards) that provide students with word work practice that is more fun and more engaging than what I typically provide. Who knew it could be so much fun? Lots of skills are covered, from letter identification to cvce words. Sight words are included and building sentences is included too.

Many teachers have told me they like having related response sheets and I recommend using this for assessment purposes or homework....

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Tips for Taking the Littles to the Lab

Our school has a computer lab where kindergarten students are expected to log in on their own with a a six digit student number. This is crazy since most of them cannot even read numbers and have never touched a mouse (the one used for technology) in their lives. What does a teacher do to hold on to her sanity, which is slowly slipping away?  Create a scaffold.
This works for me so don't go insane yet... there is hope.
First, I make a card for each student with their first and last name and their student ID#. I pop this up pretty big so they can see it with ease!  The number is placed in a grid so younger students have an easier time tracking it with their young eyes.  On the right side is the computer they are assigned to. Once they learn where to go you will love that they just come into the room and sit down quietly. Okay, that was a lie. This can all be done in Power Point or Publisher.
Notice that I have a boy or girl graph on the left side. I recommend changing that to a photo of each student to make this easier for buddies, (I am getting to that) the lab tech, and your poor sub who has to do this.
Are you with me so far? Once you have all your names listed in alphabetical...

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