#Giving Tuesday

Black Friday…
Cyber Monday…
Give back on #GivingTuesday
This year, on Tuesday, November 27, a new initiative of giving will begin.  #GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving – charities, families, businesses and more will come together to create a new movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the Holiday season.
#GivingTuesday will create a movement to celebrate giving during a time when consuming is so prevalent.  I challenge to to be a part of this new tradition.
Let me take a minute and share my story with you.
These are my daughters: Nora and her big sister Kamilla.
December, 2005
Nora was only able to celebrate one Christmas with us.  Just days after this next photo was taken (May 2006) she lost her life to SIDS.  She died just 10 days before her first birthday.
Every year at Christmas and on Nora’s birthday, we make a donation to First Candle.  First Candle is a national non-profit health organization dedicated to helping grieving parents, the research of sudden infant death, and awareness of infant fatalities as well as educating others about how to reduce the risk of infant death.
First Candle is a charity that is close to my heart.  We have established a fund in memory of sweet Nora that is dedicated to finding a cause and hopefully a cure to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  (Nora Elisa Kristvaag Pedersen Fund)
Whether you choose a charity like First Candle to make a donation to, the Red Cross, or a Salvation Army Red Kettle, you could give $1, $10, $100 or $1000 – know that every little bit helps.  I challenge you to dig a little deeper into your pockets this year and participate with me on #GivingTuesday.

Sight Words, Brag Tags & a {Giveaway}!

My kiddos are LOVING our Scooping Up Sight Words wall!  Each time they learn a new set of 10 sight words, they get to add a scoop to their ice cream cone!  Most kids are right on track with their sight words – yippee!! (This picture is a little bit old – it doesn’t reflect my last assessment!)
Here’s how it works…I test each student as often as needed on sight words – usually once every other week.  They have a ring imageof words at home and a ring of words at school.  As they learn their cards, they can add a scoop to their ice cream cone.  When the kiddos have learned all 70 kindergarten sight words – they earn an ice cream party!  
They are so excited to add to their scoop and they usually are reminding me to do it ;)
I thought I had a picture of my word wall, but I guess I don’t!  I’ll snap a pic and upload it soon.  I use my magnetic white board for my word wall.  My words are color coded like the student cards.  I introduce two new words a week (and review other words too), and then we add those to the word wall.  I put magnets on the back so the kids can take them back to their seat during writing time if they need to.
FINAL WORD WALL PACKET_Page_01If you’re interested in my Scoopin Up Sight Words, you can find it {here!}  This file is programmable, so you can also add your own sight words!
I’ve recently added a new little surprise to my Scoopin Up Sight Words wall!
Introducing…..Brag Tags!
If you haven’t seen these cuties before you must go over to Boost Promotions website and check them out!  They have all sorts that you can choose from!
Boost Promotions sent me 4 varieties to try out with my kiddos – I choose Star Student (for my kiddo of the week), Super Star Reader (for when then read 100 books at home – {parents}), 100th day, and I know my Sight Words.  As the kids earn their brag tag, I hang it with their ice cream scoop! How fun is that?!
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How would like to try out Brag Tags in your own room?!  Boost Promotions is going to give some away to one lucky Growing Kinders reader!
Here’s what you need to do to enter (you can get one entry for each!)
1. Sign up for Boost Promotions blog newsletter  {CLICK HERE} 
2. Follow Boost Promotions on their blog {CLICK HERE} 
3. “Like” Boost Promotions on Facebook {CLICK HERE} 
4. Retweet or Re-Post this contest on your Twitter or Facebook!
Good Luck!! *I'm having a few issues getting the options to stick in rafflecopter! If you do everything, you will still get 4 entries* a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are You Ready? HUGE Silhouette Sale!

Have you had your eye on one of these bad boys?

Portrait with CAMEO

Here are a few things that I have done for my classroom using my Silhouette Cameo:

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I use my Cameo to cut vinyl, letters for bulletin boards, student manipulatives, decorations, and so on! I love that I can go to the Silhouette store and ONLY purchase the cut out that I need.  If I need a spider for a spider graph, I can go and purchase ONE spider (usually for 99 cents or less) and not purchase an expensive cartridge! AND I can do it at ANY time – if I feel inspired to make something at midnight, I can go to the online store and buy what I need!!

And do you love FONTS?!  With the Cameo and Portrait, you can use ANY font that you have installed on your computer!! How awesome is that?!

So, if you’ve had your eye on one of these for a while, now is your chance!!

TODAY ONLY…….Check out these amazing deals at the Silhouette Store!  They are absolutely amazing deals…..scoop one up for yourself or let Santa know that you want one!!

Here’s what you can get!

The Silhouette CAMEO® + 1 copy of

Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition (MSRP $349.98) for


The brand new Silhouette Portrait™ is only $179.99!


40%  off at silhouetteamerica.com!

(Use the code: KINDERS)

(Offer only valid at silhouetteamerica.com. 40% off offer expires November 30, 2012. Rain checks not available.  % discount excludes Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait™, downloads, download cards, subscriptions, and gift cards).

You have to CLICK HERE to take advantage of the

Cameo and Portrait prices!

What are you waiting for?! Go SHOP!!!
(I know I will be filling up my cart with some supplies!!)

Be sure to use the code KINDERS when you shop!


happy thanksgiving

I have so many things in my life to be thankful for – not just today, but every day.

Including YOU – my wonderful, amazing readers.

You inspire me every to keep creating, improve my teaching, and strive to do my best every day.

for taking the time to visit my blog, support my endeavors, leaving comments, and just being great.

Have an amazing Thanksgiving filled with great food, family and friends. (and don’t be afraid to pull out your Thanksgiving pants ala Joey Tribbiani)

Thanksgiving Centers

Sorry, friends! I’m a little behind on my centers post!  Too much going on and not enough time to do it! (Isn’t that the story of our lives?!)

So, here goes – centers for last week and this week:

Math Centers:

Most of my kiddos are pretty secure in counting by 10s, so this was a great assessment for me…just to make sure!  They simply cut out the numbers and glued them on the paper strip in sequential order.  When they finished they could color them in a pattern (which they totally ROCK at because of our daily calendar book!)


At this center, the kids roll 2 dice, count up the dots and dob the correct number.


Here, they are measuring with non-standard units.  They use both unifix cubes and linking clips.


Here we are counting the pies in the oven!


At this center, the children count how many of each item are on the table and then graph their results.


Literacy Centers:

This is a write the room center.  I have sight words hung up around the room, and they have to find them and put them in the correct spot on their paper.


This one is from Cara Caroll’s Thanksgiving Pack.  I made the cards into a flipchart for my IWB.  I wish I would have taken a picture of it for you!  If you have an IWB, and know how to use it (this is key!) you can turn any of my centers (or anyone else’s) into flipcharts for a center! (Hint: I import the PDF and then I use the camera tool to take a snapshot!)  *Just be sure you don’t share those flipcharts because that would be a copyright violation. :)*


This center is also from Cara.  The children write the beginning and ending sounds with dry erase markers (or you could use letter tiles) and then transfer it to their recording sheet.


At this center the children are rolling a dice and writing the short a word.  This is good practice for them, and it allows me to see who really understands CVC words!


If you’re interested in any of these activities, you can find them in my Let’s Talk Turkey pack or Cara’s Talk Turkey to Me pack!

Educational Insights Hot Dots! {Giveaway}

A few months back, Educational Insights sent me a super fun product to try out.
Hot Dots!
Inside the box, you’ll find a variety of cards – the above box is a beginning phonics box.  There are cards for beginning sounds and ending sounds, and rhyming.  There are 36 double sided cards in the box. 
You need one of these cuties to play with these:
Purrrfect for preschoolers!
I love “Kat” since that is my nickname, but I figured both the girls and boys in my class would prefer the dog!
To play, you simply choose a card, read the directions (I keep all the same out at the same time) and put the Hot Dots pen on the correct dot.   The pen makes all sorts of fun sounds when you choose the correct answer.
<br><i>Target phonics skills with talking pen and 80 interactive cards.</i><br><br>
I have these cards and pen in a basket in my room for the kids to choose during free choice.  They love to take turns with the pen and cards. I LOVE it because they think they are playing, (and they are), but they are learning too! 
I have also tried out the numbers and counting set:
There is some great skill practice with this set too – number matching, number id, number words, and counting.
There is plenty of room in the box to store both a pen and the cards, so this could easily be a “grab and go” center for children.  The pen can get a little noisy – I would love to see a volume button, or have it just light red or green with the correct/wrong answer, but it is fun either way – and the kids love it!
These would make great holiday gifts for the little people in your life too! They are affordable and offer a lot of fun and learning!  There is even Hot Dots for older kids.  Be  sure to stop by Educational Insights to check out all of the options.
But, hey, how would you like to win a set? The awesome people over at Educational Insights want you to try this in YOUR classroom!
Here’s what you could win:
Any TWO hot dots sets AND a cool pen!!
Here are the rules for the giveaway:
1. You MUST follow Educational Insights on Pinterest.
2. You MUST like Educational Insights on Facebook
3. For an additional entry, follow my little old blog on Facebook
4. For an additional entry, follow my little shop on TpT
Use the RaffleCopter below to enter!  Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grocery Store is Ready!

Spice up your dramatic play center with some meaningful learning activities that children can choose from during your free choice time! (Or use the activities during your literacy center rotations!)


Also check out:

cover fire house  Slide1

Included in each packet are common core correlations, math and literacy games and activities, opportunities for writing, vocabulary cards, signs and so much more!

Here’s what teachers are saying:

Wonderful! Really makes my house center more of a learning center!

I can't wait to show how play is important too! Thank you!

Great activities to use the dramatic play center during literacy and math time!

Incorporated into my Work Stations. My students loved Set the Table! Principal walked in and I felt good that the children were actively engaged in a math activity while in the housekeeping station.

This is an amazing resource to have in a time where they are trying to rid exploration centers in kindergarten. Thank you so much for offering it.

Stop by and take a peek!!

Daily Schedule

This is something that is CONSTANTLY changing in my classroom.  I really work off of the vibe of the kids and how well they are working in different subject areas.  Some subjects may need a bit longer, and some a bit shorter.

Here is what my schedule looks like right now:

8:05-8:15 Morning Jobs:  exchange books, make lunch choice, sign in, get ready for calendar time
8:15-8:30 Morning songs (phonics songs right now), Daily Calendar. (We do SO many math skills during this time, it really does count towards my math block)
8:30-8:45 Daily News – this also included a lot of math and language skills.  I base my Daily News on what I want the children to review.
8:45-9:00 Poetry, sight word, letter/sound sorts, word family activities – We do something different each day.
9:00-9:30 Reader’s Workshop – I use Kim Adsit’s (AMAZING) reader’s workshop lessons for this.  It’s a life saver since I’ve never really done Reader’s Workshop in a format like this. (I’ll read with individuals and small groups during this time too)
9:30-10:00 Writer’s Workshop – I use a combination of my own lessons based on what the children need and Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump’s writing units for this.
10:00-10:30 Literacy Centers – here is another time I will pull small groups or individuals.  This is also our Tier 2 Intervention time.  We have our reading specialist and Title 1 paras pull our most at –risk kids during this time to work on skills.
10:30-11:00 This is kind of a squish space – some things take longer in the morning, some shorter.  I will also use this time to read books and do activities related to our theme.
11:00-11:30 Recess  - this time might be shorter or longer depending on the amount of layers we have on!
11:35-12 Lunch
12-12:30 Rest – during this time I read a story or watch a Tumblebook, assess kids, pull kids for intervention, or pull small groups.
12:30-1:30 Specials
1:30-2:00 Math Centers
2:00-2:20 Science/Social Studies – we use parts of the FOSS curriculum and part that was written by our Kinergarten Science Committee for science and TCI for Social Studies.
2:20-2:50 Play Time – This is a really important time for social development. (and remember they ARE only 5!) I can really see how kids interact with one another, if they share, how they speak with one another.  If I need to, I’ll also pull kids for intervention or assessment.  It’s usually short, because I know their minds are on chilling out with their friends!
2:50 Clean up and get ready to go home
3:00 Dismissal

I hope this helps! I am always struggling to fit things in.  We are CONSTANTLY moving throughout the day. We take advantage of ALL minutes of the day!

Let me know if you have questions!

Turkey War

Here’s a fun and easy game to add to your  math centers or send home with families!

turkey war

Just click on the picture to grab it!

The Great Cookie Election

Did you hear about the historic election that took place today?  It took place in our very own classroom.  There were some intense opinions happening and it was a suspenseful race, but there was a clear cut winner.

Meet the candidates:


Oreo VS. Chocolate Chip

We conducted a taste test….

Stood in loooooonnnnggggggg lines to cast our votes…

And carefully analyzed the results…..


There were cheers of joy and tears of sorrow when the final results came in…

And the winner is…..


Voting in Kindergarten sure is fun!

You can snag the pages we used if you would like to do this in your classroom!



Thinking about Thanksgiving? + {A Giveaway}

Planning ahead?? Here are some center ideas from last year…


All of these ideas and more came from my Let’s Talk Turkey pack.

lets talk turkey

Here are some of the other goodies that are included:

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and there’s a ton more!

My blogging BFFs also have some great Thanksgiving Packs.  Easily plan your month of November with these fantastic units!

From Erica:

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From Cara:

cara talk turkey

From Michelle:

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From Amanda:

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From Cheryl:


From Deedee:

Thanksgiving Math Work Station Preview

From Kim:


From Anna:

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From Deanna:


and of course from me:

lets talk turkey

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have all of these units for your classroom?  Here’s your chance!  These lovely ladies have agreed to give away these units!!

Just use the rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway