Monday, February 25, 2013

Let It Snow & a Hall Pass

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But, the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow!  Let it snow!  Let it snow!

Another major snowstorm is brewing!!  I rushed out of school after dismissal amid a flurry of huge, wet snowflakes.  I had to hit the grocery store on the way home (yes, I'm one of those-last-minute-people) and it was CRAZY!!  I managed to snag the few things we needed, and of course, a bunch of stuff we don't need.  So, now I'm home and chillin' with my sweet little family in our cozy jammies.  Love!!  We just had 2 snow days, but I'm totally hoping for another one!!  
Pinned Image

I stumbled across this fun linky party over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits!  It's such a fun and creative idea, that I just had to join in!!  


So, I'm seriously diggin' my brand new creation..."Sight Word Snapshot" Sentence Writing Fluency mini-book. (It's FREE, so go grab a copy!)  I've been using a very basic version of this resource in my classroom for several weeks.  I knew it was good because there were significant differences in my kids' writing after using these little books.  They were writing more fluently, more confidently, more accurately, and with more enjoyment!  However, my journals just had a plain-jane cover with a sight word sentence frame written on it and a few blank pages stapled behind.  I had SO MUCH FUN creating this sweet little book!!  I tried out my new & improved version today and the kids and I absolutely LOVED it!!  Here are a few pictures from today.


My Small-Group corner is my favorite spot in my classroom.  I adore teaching in small-groups!!  I just love that feeling of gathering those little sweeties around me and being able to give them really targeted instruction.  I cherish being able to witness the great leaps and small steps of growth and learning that happens during small-group time.  There's just something pretty fantastic about the connections that happen between all of us in those groups.  It's gooood stuff!!
The back counter looks pretty cluttered, but I am incredibly fortunate to work in a school where I have HEAPS & TONS of support.  I have 2 kindergarten aides (shared by 4 classrooms), 10 regular parent volunteers, and Watch DOGS (dad volunteers) that work with student groups each week.  So, I keep all of their materials on the back counter organized in baskets.  It took me a while this year to get organized for all of those helpers...but I think it's finally under control!!  My super-crafty momma helped me sew all of those curtains to cover the shelves.  It was just too much visual clutter for me!!


According to our listening habits on certain days, I think this must be what my students are hearing!  haha
When I knew I was going to be teaching kindergarten this year, I went to spend some time with one of our fabulous, long-time kinder teachers. She taught me the cutest attention signal.  I use it sparingly, but it works like a charm!  We say in a sing-song rhythm, "Tootsie Roll, Lollipop, We were Talking, Now We'll Stop!"  I added some hand movements for fun and to get the kids to actually STOP and put down what they were doing before.  (URGH...It drives me nuts when they follow-along with the "attention" signal and then go right back to what they were doing before!!)

Another one that's lots of fun that I learned from a former kindergarten teacher in our building is to say (again in that classic kindergarten teacher sign-song rhythm), "Hands on your head, Hands on your shoulder, Hands in your Lap, CLAP CLAP CLAP, Drop your clap in your lap!"

However, the one I tend to use most regularly is just clapping in rhythm and the students echo the clap.  But, the first two are great to pull out every once in a while to keep the kids on their toes!


;)  Gotta love kinder-chaos!!

Yep.  :)  Sanity is a very limited resource at times.  I have to say that my incredible, awesome, creative, talented, patient, encouraging, dedicated co-workers are my sanity-savers!!  I love them dearly and consider myself so very truly lucky to work where I do.  Anytime I start to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, all I have to do is open the curtain and chat with my neighbor or walk down the hall.  Instant relief!!  :)  

Speaking of sanity, if you're looking for some fun...grab a "Hall Pass" and head on over to the linky party!!

I also linked up here:


  1. Hey Amy! Thanks for your comment, it was so sweet. Who are you on PT? I'm so glad to meet up with a fellow PT'er. I'm following your blog and can't wait to read more (I'm on vacation this week so I have tons of blog reading time!!)

  2. Love your area. It is so cute. I would love to have all that storage and counter space in my classroom!!! :)
    I am your newest follower!

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  3. Amy,
    Thanks for commenting on my blog! Glad you found me because now I'm your newest follower! I'm hoping for a delay tomorrow. Your storm is supposed to bring a little freezing rain to Indiana. Fingers crossed!!
    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

  4. Wow, I love your blog, I am your newest follower. That is awesome you have so much help. I have 24 kids and we have a para that comes for 45 mins a day. She divides herself among six kindergarten classes. I will check out the hall pass

  5. Love the jammie poster... says the blogger from her couch, in her jammies!!! I am right there with you, sister: let the snow fall. I'm cuddling up with the fam, and we're all in our fleecies! Enjoy the evening, and hopefully the day off tomorrow, too!


  6. Hi Amy!
    Thanks for visiting my blog! You have a lot of great material here, which I'll definitely need when the babies get a little older :) I'm your newest follower, so I'll be checking back often!

    I love the snow fort--it is so awesome! Here's to more snow :)


  7. I am officially jealous!! I love all the storage. You have a beautiful room.

  8. Love those Sight Word Snapshots and that you call them "camera" words. I will have to remember that because I don't think kids really grasp the concept of "sight" words. Thanks for the freebie!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  9. Love your room! Your small group reading area is HUGEEE! Going to have to go grab your freebie now! =)

  10. I am super stoked you stopped by my page because I found yours. It is absolutely awesome! I love the song you sing with the kiddies. I have 27 Firsties this year and it easily gets chatty in my classroom. Can't wait to see what else you have to share! Thanks!!

  11. Love your small group area! I love peeking into other classrooms!

  12. Hi, Amy. Your small group area is well-organized and very appealing! I'll bet your kiddos love it as much as you do. What a cute freebie! Oh, and love your blog name :)

    Treasures for Teaching

  13. I love your hall pass! I did one too, stop by if you get a chance! I'm your newest follower!
    Science for Kids Blog

  14. Your small group corner looks so cozy and organized. I love the curtains your mother made. It's nice that you have the resources of paraprofessionals and volunteer support. I was able to comment on your blog with Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.
    Zoom Zoom Classroom


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