Friday, July 26, 2019

The First Day of Kindergarten

Schedules, Activities, & Some Great Literature!

Day 1's Schedule-
A simple, generic plan
Boomer Goes to School, by Constance McGeorge 
Click the graphic to get the book. 
Rules/Logistics/Tour the School:
I keep my rules short & sweet:

1. We use quiet voices.
2. We listen with our whole bodies.
3. We walk across the classroom.
4. We are kind.
5. We follow directions.

I even made a little poem about it.
It goes like this:
(And there are hand motions to go with it.)

We raise our hands before we talk,
(Raise right hand up.)
We listen, 
(Right hand cupped to right ear.)
we always walk,
(Fingers of right rand walk along the top of your left forearm.)
We're kind,
(Touch both pointer fingers to the sides of your mouth as you smile.)
We follow directions. 
(Clap, clasp your hands, and place them in your lap.)

Teaching logistics is easy if you explain what you want the children to do and then have 1 or 2 students model it. 

-how to walk to the tables
-how to create the table activity
-how to use the manipulative activities at each table. 
Have 1 or 2 students model moving to the tables and YOU model how to create the table activity and use the manipulative activities. 

By the way, I place the manipulative tubs on the tables and students may play with them when they finish their work. Each day of the first week I rotate the manipulative activity tubs to the next table. That way the children get to explore different manipulatives each day. 

Here are 3 of my 5 tables.
I move the manipulative tubs from one table 

to the next at the end of each day. 
Then, we tour the classroom and discover our 
Class Mascot, Boomer.

Here is Boomer! We found him by my Show & Tell Apron!
If you want a teaching apron like this one, visit
Simple, Independent Activity: 1st Day Hats! 
Something simple like this hat is perfect for the first day of school because they can wear it home. 
After they cut it out and glued on the red band and white star, I called them up to take their First Day Photo. I used this laminated hat for all of the photos. 
The words on the red band:
I had a superstar day in kindergarten!
Go outside and tour the playground 10 minutes before recess begins and find your mascot on the slide or on a swing. 

Have you seen this book yet?
Harriet Can Carry It,
by Kirk J. Mueller
Click the image. 

 An adorable story about Harriet, a kangaroo who wants to spend a day at the beach with her little son, Joey. Harriet is asked by her friends to carry everything from a surfboard to a pair of swim fins. 
If you bring in a beach bag  this story can become an interactive activity as your students place graphics of the items Harriet is asked to carry into the beach bag. There is also a cute activity you can create with this kangaroo:  
Click the image to grab your FREE kangaroo & beach gear. 

Simple, Independent Math Activity: Sorting!
I staple the bottom 5 inches of a lunch bag to Harriet. We sort the graphics and place the images that were in the story into her pouch and we place the images that were not in the story outside of the pouch.  All of the pieces fit nicely in the pouch so students can take Harriet home and retell the story to their family: 
CLICK HERE for the FREE graphics. 
Click the link to get the free graphics framed in boxes.
Click the graphic above to get this FREE set.

Think of Harriet as 
a summertime version of The Mitten. 

Lunch & Fire Drill:

We walk to the lunchroom and discover our mascot there. 

After lunch, we discuss and practice a fire drill.
Then, we do a group activity like a movement song or a game like one of Heidi's Songs.
Click the image to see all of Heidi's products. 
I LOVE HeidiSongs! She has amazing DVDs about letters, sounds, numbers, sight word, and so much more. You can see all of her products by 

2nd Table Activity:
Chick-Chicka-Boom-Boom, Welcome To Our Classroom! We read the book and then, this activity stays at school to create a cute bulletin board. 

Give students the random letters or the letters in their name. 

Isn't this a cute bulletin board?

Here is a 2D version of this activity.
It makes a great page your your memory book too!

 Literature or Complete 1 Page of Our 
Letter Name Book:

We Look for "A" or "a" in our names:

We look at each nameplate and the students tell me if they see an "A" or an "a" in any of the names. I list all of the names that have an "A" or an "a", we count how many we have, and fill in the first page of our class Letter-Name Book. We look for 1 letter each day for 26 school days. Then, this book becomes part of our class library.
Click the image to grab this Letter-Name Book. 

CLICK HERE to grab my Letter-Name Book. 
It is also part of my 
CLICK HERE to grab that bundle. 

Daily Closure Activity: (Do this every day, all year.)
Have the class help you to complete the first page of your daily diary: This re-caps the day and helps your students remember what they did in school that day so when their parents ask them, it is fresh in their minds. 
Click the image. 
to grab your Daily Dairies for the entire year!
This set is also part of my 
Beginning of the Year Bundle.
It contained 1st day certificates, 
a Class Mascot Book, 
Daily Diaries for the year, 
and the Letter Name Book!
CLICK HERE to grab that bundle. 

Have you signed up for your 
FREE trial of ESGI yet? 
Use my code, KFUN
to get $40 off of your 1st year 
and you will be entered to 
win one of 11 Amazon Gift Cards 
valued from $50 - $500!

You can view Part 1 of my "Back to School" series 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Can You Tell 2 Truths from 1 Lie & Win A $50-$500 Amazon Gift Card?

Join The FUN & Win Big:

First, tell me which one of these is a lie.
(There are clues 
included throughout this blogpost.)

How To Get This Sweet Deal:
Continue to read my blogpost for clues!
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3...

1. Above, are 2 truths and 1 lie about me. 
All you have to do is leave a comment 
telling me which one is the lie!

(You can win even if you 

Just make sure your account is active.)

2. Then, sign up for a FREE Trial with ESGI using my promo code: 
(There is no credit card required to do this step and it automatically qualifies you for $40 off of your 1st year if you should choose to purchase it.)

3. Last, share your post with your guess along with #ESGIBTS19 on your own social media account.

Teachers who complete these 3 steps 
will be to win 
one of ten $50 Amazon Gift Cards 
AND the $500 Grand Prize!

Seriously, what are you waiting for??? 

What? You say you must use your district's assessments? 
~No problem. You can still use ESGI and once your administrators see how much USEFUL DATA you get, they will want you to use ESGI with, or maybe even without, your district's assessments.
~And, you can even create your own custom test to match your district's tests or use one of the Built-in Tests like mine! 
to see my ready-made tests.

If you want more info (& clues for the questions), here it is...

This was me:
Click the image above to get started.

ESGI to the rescue!

Click the image above to get started.

I started using ESGI in my kindergarten classroom in 2009 and I immediately gained:
1.  Instant data on EVERY student's skill level.
2.  User-friendly reports for parents &  
3.  Students who begged to be tested! Really! :)
to get started!

And, if you sign up for a FREE trial now,
 (no credit card required), 
tell me in the comments which one of the questions above is a lie, 
(Find more clues 
by reading the rest of this blogpost.)
and post about it with #ESGIBTS19,
you will be entered to win one of 
eleven $50-$500 Amazon gift cards!

And, did I mention that if you 
use the code KFUN 
when signing up for your FREE trial 
you will automatically qualify for 
$40 off of your 1st year?

This is win-win-win!

So, let's get started:
and sign up for your FREE trial.
Remember to enter the code KFUN.

The summer is the PERFECT TIME 
to explore ESGI & get started with it.
When you get your class list, 
just enter the 
names of your students, 
their gender, 
& home language. 

You will love all of the built-in tests available on ESGI's website...

...but if you need to use specific assessments, just reproduce them using ESGI's built-in test builder. You can ALSO create your own unique tests! They even have built-in fonts and graphics to help you. Visit their site and check out their video tutorials and see how easy it is!

Let's Get To Testing:

Your students will BEG YOU to test them so they can watch their data circles fill up and turn green
You can test on a desktop, a laptop, or even an iPad. 

My in-coming students LOVED testing with ESGI.

How it Works:

The teacher asks the question seen on the screen and then clicks "yes" or "no" based on the student's answer. Easy, breezy, lemon squeezy!

And Then There Is The Data:

Incredible data on each and every skill tested.

This is why I LOVE the bar graphs:
If you click on the grey part you see the names of the students who did not get that question correct! That grey list is perfect for creating your RTI re-teaching groups!

ESGI also tracks each individual student's progress. The grey circles turn green as each student masters the skills on each test. Your students will LOVE to see their circles turn green, so they will often beg you to test them! 

Click the chart for more info. 

Then, There Are The Flashcards:

Individualized flashcards for each student!
I travel all across North America presenting professional development workshops for teachers and using flashcards as "skill cards" is one of my favorite ideas to share.
I called them "skill cards" because I stored each child's cards in a sandwich-sized ziplock bag to use as a reference as they include only the skills each child needed to work on. 
These cards become RTI kits to re-teach skills to students in class or to send home for parents to review. You can also use the cards as brag tags as students master the skills!

And Then, There Are The Parent Letters:

These are so much better than any report card, so I just stapled the parent letter to the front of the report card because it was easier to understand. 
And there is so much more!

Sign up by Sept. 30 and get in on the FUN!
You will get:

ESGI saved me so much time, I was able to actually go home and plan fly fishing trips around the word!
Here I am fly fishing in Chile:
We fish barbless & always catch & release. 

And here we are fly fishing in Alaska.

My husband fly fished in Ireland, but I didn't. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Flip Your Small Group Table With Today's Tip:

Find Out How I Use This To Teach Writing:

Click the image above to grab these.

(If you click the image above, it will take you to a set of 30 sheets of 8 1/2" X 11" lined sheets.)

1st: Laminate a blank sheet of construction paper.*
2nd: Attach a sheet of lined dry-erase contact paper to the laminated construction paper.
It looks like there is a bubble of air under the dry erase
paper, but it's only the glare.
 (Leave room at the top for sample letters &/or numbers.)
The red mat has a red cup of dry erase markers and
an eraser.  The orange mat has an orange cup, etc.
3rd: Attach letters and/or numbers to the top with clear tape. 
*Or... you can attach them with a glue stick before you laminate the construction paper. 

Now, each child has their own lined dry erase placemat to use during small group time.

The little dry erase markers and erasers from Target's Dollar Spot finish this off!
 If you want the 8.5" X 11" size,  Click HERE for the link from another source.  

The best part about using these is that you can flip them over if you are doing a cut and paste lesson and the laminated mats keep the glue from getting on the tables.  The mats wash up easily and you won't have any more glue drying on your tables!

So, How Do I Use These To Teach Writing?

1. When using a writing prompt, the teacher writes what the student dictates on the dry-erase paper for the student to copy.
Here is an example of one of my writing prompts
While students are illustrating & tracing the prompt, the teachers asks them what they are drawing and writes it on their dry-erase paper for them to copy.
Click on the image above to grab the set of prompts.

2. When a student needs help spelling a word, the teacher can help the student to sound-blend the word on the dry-erase paper and then copy it from there.

I created writing cards to help students build sentences that are a lot cuter than these.Find them by clicking on the image above. 
3. When a student needs to practice letter formation, they can practice on dry-erase paper.

For Whole Group Time:
Cover an old easel with the poster size lined dry-erase contact paper for your morning message or that teachable moment!
Spaghetti & Meatballs:
Leave enough room between the letters in a word for a piece of spaghetti
and enough room between words for a meatball.
I made this from a bamboo skewer & a wooden bead from a craft store. 

Click the image to grab these.
ALL of these ideas allow you to erase and the dry-erase paper may be used again and again! Now, that's sustainable! 

I will post Part 2 of 3 Next week.

Palma :)

You might also like:
Our First Day of Kindergarten Note for Parents

The Royal King of Ing

Number Formation & Chants
See you all next week!
Palma :)

My Crayon Confession: (+24 FREEBIES)

My name is Palma and I'm obsessed with organizing crayons!

It's true, what can I say.  
~I would often spend hours after school checking crayon boxes to make sure everyone had ALL of the colors.  
~I've been known to stop everything and have every child hold up each crayon as I called out the color names to make sure every student had ALL of their crayons.  
~I obsessed about this until I came up with not 1, but 2 solutions.
This FREE template fits inside the jumbo crayon boxes.  
The ones with the separate lids and the ones with the flap.
But you also get the one that fits in the 
regular-size 8-count crayon box!
Click the image above to grab your FREE copy.

My 1st Solution:

For crayon boxes, 
I came up with two templates 
that fit perfectly inside the jumbo 8-count box 
and the small 8-count box.  
(Click the image below or scroll down 
for the FREE templates.)

Just cut them out and glue them into the crayon boxes.

Students match the colors of their crayons to the colors on the template and they instantly know which crayons they are missing so they can replace them from my "Extra Crayons" box. 
(Just a box filled with lost crayons.)
A well-used small box of 8 crayons.
The template fits inside.  Just glue it in.

My 2nd Solution:

You might have seen my idea 
for table crayon storage in 
Scholastic Magazine. 
They featured my idea in their 
Back-to-School issue 
a couple of years ago.

~I use the popsicle molds to hold crayons on the tables.  
~It promotes sorting and there are always lots of crayons available at each table. 
~This is a great time of year to pick up these popsicle molds. 
Look for them at your local Dollar Store or Walmart. 

This pop tray can hold 6-7 small crayons 
or 3-4 jumbo crayons in each section.
 Don't throw away the little popsicle holders 
that come with the molds.  
They make great great counters, 
AND they can be used in your estimation jar, 
or you can tape numbers to half of them 
and sets of dots to the other half for 
a matching activity at a center.  
A great idea is to include a "reference jar"
 at your estimation center.
This one has 4 pop holders and 
says, "This is what 4 looks like."

So if you're as obsessed as I am 
about keeping your classroom crayons organized, 
you can pick up my templates 
FREE by clicking HERE.  Enjoy! 
And while you're there, 
grab the other 23 FREEBIES in my TPT Store!

Check out my:
FaCeBoOk:  Click Here to see my Facebook. 
(Tons of FREE ideas.)

PiNtErEsT:  Click Here to see my Pinterest Boards.  
(Oh, the ideas on these boards!)
TeAcHeRs PaY tEaChErS:  Click Here to see my TPT Store 
(Did you say, "24 freebies?!")

Check out more organization ideas by clicking HERE.

See you all tomorrow!
Palma :)

Buttons, Bows, Eric Carle, & Van Gogh!

Art Really Teaches!

Join us for some hands-on fun this summer, 
earn up to 3 graduate-level semester units
& receive a free gift:

Discover how you can link math 

to almost ANY of your 

favorite art activities!

Come and create an adorable hat 
using unique art materials from 
and learn how your students can 
"buy" everything they need 
to embellish their creation.

This workshop is Presented by

the CKA Art Team with special guest 

Palma Lindsay!

For Pre-K/TK/Kindergarten 

and Grade One Educators

Tuesday, July 30th

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Click the image above for more info.
Contra Costa County Office of Education
77 Santa Barbara Road
Pleasant Hill, California

A Gift from the Art Team:

Each attendee will receive a copy of CKA’s publication, 

ART Really Teaches!

This book is filled with amazing art ideas.
$40 value!

Your day will include: 

~both CA Visual Art Standards 
& Pre-School Learning Foundation Standards

~the style of 7 master artists

~techniques on how to integrate 
oral language, literature, and math with art

~a rich portfolio of project ideas

~a hands-on session where you will 
get to express your own creative talents

This sample is from Creative Connections for Kids. 
To Register:  CLICK HERE