Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Swap and Hop with Monica from Treasures for Teaching

Hello and welcome to our blog party!  I'm excited to have Monica from Treasures for Teaching here today as my first ever guest blogger. Be sure to visit her blog after reading here and then hop over to for my guest post. Grab your favorite drink and take your time visiting the talented bloggers as they share their creative ideas and some freebies along the way.

Hi, I am SO excited to be here at Melissa's blog for my first ever guest post! It's a good thing I am not in front of you, 'cause I would probably be talking really fast (but that's probably just a Texan thang). I'm Monica from Treasures for Teaching. I will begin my 9th year of teaching first grade this fall. I can't believe how time passes so quickly. I absolutely love watching my firsties grow and learn over the course of the year. Since we all know the wide range in abilities that are found in a kindergarten and first grade classroom, my post will include ideas suitable for K-1. I know I want to get to know my students' strengths and areas of concern as soon as possible. So, I thought I would share with you some fab.u.lous freebies and ideas that I have found that will help get you started in the fall, so you can spend more time welcoming your students. First, I wanted to share with you this Multiple Intelligence Chart that a fellow blogger, Marsha, from Differentiated Kindergarten created.

get your copy here

I think it is so important those first few weeks to get to know the kinds of learners you have in your classroom. I would keep a copy of this chart on a clipboard and as your students are completing tasks, I would take a sticky note and jot down the names of students that are showing a particular trait. You can use this data later to reflect on improving tasks or working with students on using different intelligences. I love read-alouds, especially at the beginning of the year, because I enjoy visiting old favorites and having my students make text-to-self connections right away. One of the wildly popular books in my classroom is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. My friend, Tammy, from Live, Love, Laugh Kindergarten, has a super cute mini-literacy unit based on the book that includes uppercase / lowercase / beginning sounds matching cards and story retelling cards.

Laura Numeroff

get your free copy here

Another great beginning-of-year activity is a freebie from another friend, Heather, from Hojo's Teaching Adventures.

grab this freebie

I like that this activity is differentiated by having letter sorts for 2, 3, and 4 letters. She also includes letters in different fonts, which will help letter recognition for letters like a and g. If you want more letter sorts, she also has a larger unit for sale. As for math, Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants! is offering a number-word matching game for individuals, partners, or small groups. I love that this set has a number-word reference page and a recording sheet.

grab it here

For all you The Daily 5 fans, I would like to share my I Can...Picture Displays. I got this idea based off the idea of anchor charts. I think, as teachers, we tend to use a lot visual reminders as support in math, due to the learning concepts, and need to remember to support other content areas with visual examples. Here is what I used last year in my classroom.

I took and displayed pictures of my kiddos after they had built their stamina for each of their literacy choices. I would refer to the pictures when someone needed reminding, after a long break or holiday, or when I got a new student (which was quite often last year). I wanted to expand on that model more this year. I thought as I introduced each literacy choice, I would have my students draw pictures of what they should look like and you could focus on what you see: student being on task, busy the whole time, getting started right away, building their stamina, etc. Then I would take photographs and use these same frames (copied on cardstock or themed paper and laminated) to display students showing those traits. You know how they love having pictures of themselves around the classroom. Plus, it is helpful for subs to get a visual of what they should be doing if they are not familiar with the D5 (or if your students decide to deviate from what they should be doing...but that doesn't ever happen, right?). So, I came up with this:
the daily 5

get your copy here

This is the first place that this freebie is available! I will add it to TpT later :) Kinda a bonus for doing the Blog Swap and Hop! I would love for you to stop by my blog sometime!

Treasures for Teaching
Enjoy the rest of your browsing :)   

Friday, June 29, 2012

Blog Hopping and Swapping Tomorrow!

Remember to hop by tomorrow morning for a special guest post full of freebies and to find out where I will be guest posting for the Blog Swap and Hop! I will be sharing about a wonderful app that I use to track during Reading and Writing Workshop time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teacher Tech Tuesday - Technology Tailgate

This week I wanted to share an AWESOME teacher blog I found this week from Ginger of 

Isn't her button the cutest?!?  Ginger just did a post on a new blog that is AWESOME!

Hop over and check out this great new resource. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Top Teachers' Blog Hop

I am so excited and honored to be a part of a wonderful Facebook/ Pinterest group Top Teachers. I know my teacher friend must have added me by accident because I am a small fish in blog land but I'm going to post this badge and hope I can earn my spot :) Click on the badge to see the Top Teacher Pinterest board. 

The wonderful Facebook party this last weekend was from this group and the fun is just starting! Next Saturda is a blog hop and swap! I'll be guest blogging on another blog and I'll have a guest blogger here. This is my first guest blog so I'm super excited and nervous.  

Check out some of the awesome bloggers that will be hopping and swapping AND sharing freebies :)

Facebook Party Time!

Come join me on my Facebook page and meet a bunch of my teacherific blogging buddies! Many will be posting special freebies on my wall. The fun starts at 6PM Pacific time!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday

It's Power Pic time this week for Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday! Click on over to my WBT page for info on PowerPics and a template to make your own :) 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teacher Tech Tuesday: Copyright

One area of concern in today's digital age is copyright. What can I show or share? How much of that video can I show? Can I use that song in class? Should I make copies of that for my class or team members? The questions are endless and everyone seems to have a different answer. I thought I would share a few of my favorite places for copyright info for teachers today. is an AWESOME site all about technology and teaching and this is my favorite tool:

For those of you that teach older students or have older children this is a great site with a full free curriculum you can use to teach copyright. I found the lessons really helpful just for myself :)

I have also been reading up on copyright for creating materials to sell on sites like TeacherPayTeachers and think that this page is the easiest to understand:

I would love to hear where you go to for copyright info and what issues questions you have had.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Daily 5 Kinder Book Study Chapter 1

Ok I am a little behind schedule but here are my responses to  
click on the pic above to visit Tammy and the other Daily 5 kinder teachers.

1. How do I teach new behaviors?

I use a combo of the Sisters' correct/incorrect/correct model with Whole Brain Teaching gestures and score board. This has really helped the year to start off on the right foot. The kids of course love to model the incorrect way and I have found that going over WHY this is correct and WHY this is incorrect has made a big difference. 

2. How do I teach expectations?

Model, Model, Model and then model again :) We use the I Do, We Do, You Do set up at my school and I have come to realize that if I model and check for understanding a lot in the first few weeks I will have fewer problems then if I jump to the We Do and You Do.

3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?

I use a clip chart based on Rick Morris' for individual and the  Whole Brain Teaching Scoreboard  for whole class. I hope to use the clip chart less next year but plan to still introduce it.

4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?

I have students practice what ever behavior the correct way for a few minutes of recess or choice time. I also have this card I send home for students that need more practice

5. Whose classroom is it?

It is our classroom but I have the last word just like at home parents have the last word because they have been around the longest :) I try to make the classroom a community, a family of learners but I am still the final say.

6. Locus of control?

Prizes and stickers work :) I do believe in reading for the joy of reading but also think that in the real world you work because you get paid so I "pay" the students that work hard during the day. Sometimes that is just a high five and "Great Job Sally!" other times it is a sticker, stamp or prize.

7. Where are supplies stored?

I have table supplies in caddies and community supplies on a book shelf. This is easier to manage. Students get book baskets to store their books, writing notebook and a fluency folder.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kinesthetic Sound Spelling Cards

Finally finished this ABC album! Photos are from a power point by Santa Maria-Bonita School District I got a few years ago. Be sure to leave a comment :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Spotlight On Heather's Heart

This Saturday's Spotlight is on a new favorite of mine 

Heather's heart

One read of her blog and you know Heather shares her heart not only with her students but loves fellow teachers too :) You have to check out all the cool freebies like this one for Hungry Hungry Hippo Hungry for Letters. Heather is also part of a great Pete The Cat giveaway and you know I LOVE Pete the Cat :) 
Click on the pick below before Wednesday to enter

Thanks again to Hilary at  Photobucket for starting the Spotlight linky party :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday

One of my favorite teacher finds has been Whole Brain Teaching or Power Teaching as it was first known as. If you want to manage your class and engage your students you have to try Whole Brain Teaching. The best part, everything is FREE! There are webcasts, ebooks, PowerPoints and a wonderful forum at

Click on the My WholeBrain Teaching Blog link above to see my dedicated WBT blog and check out this 
if you want to see more WBT bloggers or have a Whole Brain Teaching blog please be sure to join the linky party at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I want it now!

Today was the last day of school and though I was sad to see my students leave, I am so excited to start getting ready for next year. The problem is there is sooooooo much that is undecided, up in the air with Transitional Kindergarten I really am not sure where to start. I want everything ready.  I want it all set up and looking great. I want it all done, done NOW! So one of my favorite stories and favorite movies came into my head tonight:

I don't want to be a bad egg so I will have to be patient and take my time to get things done right :) Guess what I did get emailed to me tonight though? A TK pacing guide from my district teachers in charge of collaboration :) Check it out below
Transitional Kinder Pacing Guide from PUSD

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Check out these great giveaways I pinned this week!

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business: A HUGE Sweepstakes For Kindergarten Teachers Only all of my FB fans can get an additional entry by typing their name, email and the code TopTeacherMO

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Spotlight On

Hilary at  Photobucket just started a great linky party: 


I want to shine the spotlight on.....

One of my favorite teacher bloggers is now going make to kindergarten! I have to shine the spotlight on her 15 Days of K posts which have been full of great info. Check her our and be sure to also like her on Facebook here

Wonderful Giveaways

Part of me doesn't want to share these great giveaways because I want better chances but they are so great I have to :)

First 2 great blogs that each reached 500 followers! Both are AWESOME giveaways that feature many other great bloggers so be sure to follow everyone and be prepared to spend a awhile reading great posts and downloading freebies :)
Sharing Kindergarten

Teaching With Love and Laughter

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blog Button??

Playing around with creating a button for this blog. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


 I am linking up for my first currently, head over to Farley's blog and link up too!!

Teacher Tech for cheap

So we all love technology and technology that helps us teach is even better right? Problem is technology costs money, something that schools and teachers have less and less of.  I am blessed to be at a school that recently was able to get lcd projectors and ELMOS for every classroom last year but that was a long time coming and there is little money for other tech goodies like Smartboards or IPads. Here is my list of Cheap Tech and Macgyver Tech in order of what I think you should get first. Hope this helps some of you add some tech to your school rooms. :)

LCD Projector

The main tech tool I use every day is my LCD projector and they can be very expensive but since they have been around for years it is easy to find them on ebay for cheap. The main thing is to find out if you can still get the bulbs for the model. It might not be the newest and best but it will get the job done. 

Cheap Document Camera

Here are 2 options if you do not have an ELMO or similar document camera. I made one like the video below and it worked great and took up less room then my ELMO does :)

Smartboard alternative with a Wii remote

This is my favorite thing once I had a projector and is AWESOME! Here is a great site that you can get everything you need including info about how to set things up

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Favorite Things Linky Party

So I was doing ok not spending too much time on Facebook until one of my teacher friends added me to a great facebook teacher group and now it is one of my favorite things. One of my fav kinder people who is on the group started this linky party Mary from 
Sharing Kindergarten
So I can't list everything but here are a few of my favorite things:

Educational Books

You can still read it online here

You can read it online here

This is what we are using in my district to guide our Transitional Kinder

Teaching Tools

L O V E-LOVE my ELMO and LCD projector

My cheap Smartboard

Read Aloud Books

The most fun ever!


Transitional Kinder with Mrs. O Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design