Google Adsense

Friday, June 29, 2012

Link Between Kindergarten and Crime??

Think that sounds a little crazy?
Well, apparently, a representative in New Hampshire has come up with this theory. 
Check out this article and see what you think: 

The article quotes Kingsbury as saying "We're taking children away from their mothers too soon." Personally, I don't believe that Kindergarten is the main thing taking children away from their mothers too soon, and furthermore, I feel that the more educated a person is (whether a child or an adult), the better prepared they are to deal with problems in their life. Therefore hindering them from making choices such as committing a crime. 

These are merely my opinions. I don't usually like to get into politics, but when I read that, I was sure that some of my readers might find it interesting as well. Please feel free to leave your comments below!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thinky Linky Thursday

Preschool Teacher

Here were the most clicked links from last week's Thinky Linky Thursday:

The first 2 links both come from Mama of Many Blessings!

5 Easy DIY Father's Day Gifts

And this link comes from School Time Snippets:

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Thanks to everyone for linking up!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teaching Blog Addict ROCKS!!!

Ok, if you are a teacher and have not checked out Teaching Blog Addict, you are totally missing out! This is probably THE best resource for teachers of all grades. There are so many authors who are great teachers, bloggers, and have tons of wonderful ideas and resources. So, in short, don't be the last to join this great blog, click below and find out for yourself what fun TBA can be!!!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Planning Preschool Activities

Planning Preschool Activities 
Hi! My name is Trina from Teaching My Blessings! I am a former elementary teacher and the Mommy to my three sons, who are my most amazing blessings. I am honored to be guest posting here today at Tutorial Tuesday. Today I will be discussing how to plan preschool activities and match activities with books.

One of my most favorite things to do is PLAN! I am a planner by nature. My calendar is my friend! When I was teaching full time my planning period was always my favorite time of the day. When I first started teaching I always loved getting a freshly, sharpened pencil and my empty lesson plan book! Then as technology progressed I began to type my lesson plans and then I loved looking at my blank excel spreadsheets to fill in. Oh how I do enjoy the planning piece of teaching. I learned over the years to be flexible with my planning. The ideas in my head can often be so much greater than the “real” world of teaching and learning.

In August of 2011 I decided it was time to engage my sweet boys more at home, therefore my new adventure began. I decided I would teach them concepts that I felt they needed to know at home at least two mornings a week. As the year went on I learned to be flexible with this piece of the planning process too and we did “preschool activities”, as we like to call them, anytime.

I began planning preschool activities for my children. First, I ran to Target to purchase an empty lesson plan book from the dollar section. I was so excited to have a blank lesson plan book again!

First, I planned the year thematically by choosing a theme for each week. I included monthly themes to coordinate with holidays. Then I researched online preschool themes to get more ideas. I found a ton of great resources! Including an amazing community of bloggers all blogging about teaching their children. I also asked my boys what they wanted to learn about this year and I included those themes in my plans. One week we learned about dinosaurs because that was what my son was interested in at the time. Another week we learned about Big Bird and Ernie at my son’s request.

I love to match our learning activities with books. I have a huge love for the public library. During the planning process I use our public library’s online card catalog to search for books to match each theme. I write the coordinating titles in my lesson plan book next to each theme. Then I put the books on hold to match each theme according to when I need them. I try to plan ahead and reserve the books to coordinate with each theme. Reading to my boys is one of my most favorite things to do as a parent and it is so important!!

I then search many of the blogs that I follow to find activities and printables to match the themes. I preview the activities and if I feel they are age appropriate for my children I bookmark them and write them in my lesson plan book.

This past year each week I planned:
Letter of the week
Bible Verse
Character development Trait

I also plan crafts, cooking projects and field trips to coordinate with the theme when appropriate. The more hands on, creative, and fun activities I can plan, the better!

I hope this simple tutorial of how to plan activities has inspired at least one reader. Happy Planning!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Hello and happy Monday to you all. Thanks for stopping by Cachey Mama's Classroom today. I have a nice poem for you that was shared with me at a training last year. So without further ado...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

20 Toddler Goals Fulfilled at the Beach

Well, we are here at the hot, sunny Lake Erie (except for that one day of crazy thunderstorms we got stuck in) for the week and I thought I would share some of the things with you that my toddler has been learning. The objectives I am using come from the draft of the new early childhood content standards for Ohio. The age group is "Younger Toddlers."

1. Show a sense of satisfaction when making things happen. (Approaches Toward Learning)
2. Recognize self as a separate person with distinct characteristics. (Social and Emotional)

3. Using trial and error to discover how things fit and move in space. (Math)
4. Use trial and error and repeat actions to explore objects. (Approaches Toward Learning)

5. Repeat actions intentionally to achieve goal. (Approaches Toward Learning)
6.Use objects in new and unexpected ways. (Approaches Toward Learning)
7. Explores the environment through a variety of sensory motor activity. (Approaches Toward Learning)
8. Use both hands together to accomplish a task. (Physical Well-Being and Motor)

9. Pay attention to quantities when interacting with objects. (Math)
10. Notice changes in quantity of objects. (Math)

(disclaimer: my son did not do this, it is just an example)
11. Match 2 objects that are the same. (Math)
12. Shows awareness of the size of objects. (Math)

(disclaimer: my son also did not do this)
13. Use a full-hand grasp to hold a writing tool to make scribbles. (Language and Literacy)

And here are the rest of the goals/objectives that we covered at the beach while doing all these activities:

14. Purposefully try behaviors to make things happen. (Science) 
EX: scooping and pouring sand, throwing rocks

15. Try out different things with an object to see what happens or how things work. (Science)
EX: throwing rocks at different lengths, at different angles, or different heights

16. Focus on an activity for brief period of time (Approaches Toward Learning)

17. Show emerging signs of responding positively to limits and choices offered by adults to help guide behavior. (Social and Emotional)
EX: reminding child to share toys with other children

18. Walk with increasing coordination and balance. (Physical Well-Being and Motor)

19. Participate in active physical play. (Physical Well-Being and Motor)

20. Follow adult intervention/guidance regarding safety. (Physical Well-Being and Motor)
EX: reminding child not to go too far out into the water

Friday, June 22, 2012

DIY Feltboard

Here is a felt board I made for the classroom awhile back and now use it with my son. It is just a piece of cardboard with black felt glued on and then a cardboard border with colored masking tape to decorate it. Very simple. I also made another one which I can't find now, but it was thicker. I used 2 empty fabric bolts from the store and taped them together. It takes a lot of tape, but was quite sturdy actually.

 Remember, you don't have to use felt to make pieces for your felt board. Laminated pictures with velcro on the back works as well. I made 4 sets of some different things that L is familiar with. The first is food as shown above.

Farm Animals



To make these, I photocopied the images from a book I got at the library, colored them with crayons and then laminated and added the velcro.
I think this way is easier than cutting out felt, although I have made some of those as well. I like the idea I saw at library storytime for making felt pieces, using fabric paint for the details.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thinky Linky Thursday

Preschool Teacher


Congrats and here is your featured button:
Preschool Teacher

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Animal Homes Books for Toddler/Preschool

We have been going to the library toddler storytime this week and I wanted to share some of the books we heard. Unfortunately my sweet little boy was being not-so-sweet today and we didn't get a chance to write down the names of the books that were read, but nevertheless, here are the ones I did remember:

Also, I have come across 2 great sites with lists of more books about houses/homes:

Have fun reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Words Their Way

Hello, this is Beth Ann from Taming My Flock of Firsties.

I wanted to thank Lori for letting me guest blog on Tutorial Tuesday. What a great idea!

Words Their Way came into our classrooms one Monday morning. "This is what you are going to use for your Spelling program." Hmmmm?
The first and second grade teachers all got together and "learned" what this program was about. Some teachers took the initiative to dive right in so that others could learn from their expertise. It's a good thing we have some penguins in our school. :)
Now that we have been using it for two years, we have all embraced it.

Once you get into it, you will LOVE it!

One of my colleagues developed a system for each day. We pretty much followed by the book but we tweaked some things to make it our own.

Monday: Hand out sorts.
Discuss with groups.

This is the part they love.

Name: They write their names REALLY BIG on the back of their sorts.

Scribble: They scribble...really, on the back (this is usually a lighter color than their name).

Highlight: They highlight their features.

Cut: They cut out their sorts.

Sort: They sort their sorts.

There is usually a lot of discussion going on about connections and other things they have found.

After they have sorted they put their sorts into their baggies and off they go to Daily 5.
They are given two copies (one for home and one for school).
I send home a little note each day in the beginning to explain what the parents should be doing each day.

Tuesday: Speed Sort
I have found that my firsties have a really hard time reading the clock in our room...really???
I put a timer on the Smart Board and we all do the speed sort together.
The timer counts up and when they are finished they record their time on their sheet.

Click on the image to download a copy for you.
I have to explain to them that their sorts are not the same. They are comparing their time from before and not to compare other students with their time. It worked pretty well for me this year. If they beat their time from before, they get a sticker on their page. :) I LOVE stickers!

Wednesday: Buddy Sort
They find someone in their sorting group.
I broke their groups up into berries this year (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.). When they find someone, they work together to "quiz" each other. "What word would go in this feature?" "Where does this word belong?"

Thursday: Word Hunt
Using their Daily 5 Read to Self  bags, they have to find words that go along with their features. I started out with trying to find 10 of each. Boy, was that a nightmare! I finally figured out that what worked best for the students and me was to go through all the books (there are only eight) and try to find some words that fit in the features. If they cannot find any (which happens a lot), they can look at the word wall or try to think of some words that would go with that feature.

Friday: Test
The students sort their words and then glue them into their Spelling Journals. After the entire group was finished with this I would call them back for some extra testing. 
I would give them 5 words to spell (from their features) and a bonus word (maybe an oddball word).

The kids really looked forward to Spelling.
They made some great progress.
We have them take a pre-test to see where they fit in groups and then a post-test to see how much they have grown.
I enjoy this program so much! 

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Neon Worm Picnic- Sensory Play

I have been wanting to do this activity that I found over at Tutus & Tea Parties for quite some time now: Colored Spaghetti Sensory Play. There is a great video over there that shows exactly how to color the spaghetti as well. 

Well, here is how our colored spaghetti "worms" as I call them, turned out.

But, we decided to do ours more of a picnic style. I got out some of L's picnic set and some other cereal bowls and a spaghetti scoop.

Here he is serving me up some yummy spaghetti! Although the tongs would have worked better than a spatula, I wanted him to figure that out on his own.

Digging right in!

I set up a sorting station as well, but L wasn't too interested in this. Although I have seen him sort colored blocks before, I did this one on my own.

L really enjoyed this one. It is the longest I have seen him stay at one sensory bin recently. I hope the noodles stay good for a while in the ziplock freezer bag so we can keep using them!