Friday, June 29, 2012

Planner Possibilities People!

So I'm a little hesitant to share the newest blog I found.
Why?  I mean, it's a really cute blog!
Tammy has the  a lot of great ideas.
The clipart on her blog is so inviting.
And she has a lot of cool writing freebies.
I especially love the way she uses cooking terms on her blog, the Daily Specials, Chef's Choice, Sweet Endings.

So what's holding me back?
Why don't I want to share?
Okay, okay, she's hosting a really awesome giveaway, AWESOME, and I sooo want to win...
an  Erin Condren Life Planner!!!  

But seriously, go check out Tammy's Blog, you'll be so glad you did :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Daily 5

I feel more like a blog stalker than a blogger lately.
I've been reading The Daily 5, but then when it comes time to link up I get lost in OPP (other people's posts), and FORGET ABOUT IT if I hop on over to a Daily 5 Pinterest board, I get lost for hours.

Any...ways... we adopted the Common Core so I was planning to meet my Kinder Team this summer and plan our units, but I'm moving on up to First Grade.  I mentioned the Daily 5 book study online, so we're planning some D5 things out together.  
(Click the pic below, way below;) if you'd like a copy of a checklist we put together).

1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks.
I've always had a whole group carpet area, but I've got my eye on one of these and it would incorporate my love for polka dots.  I don't call it anything special, but we sing a cute song about going to the carpet.
2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books 
I love the concept of using Goldilocks and the 3 bears, (especially because we have it readily available in Spanish).  Thank you Tammy for your freebie!  I'm going to work on one in Spanish for my teammates. 

3. Create anchor charts with students 
I love creating anchor charts with my students.  I like to have them visible around our whole group area where we discuss strategies, phonics, etc.  After we work on a new chart, I would usually try to place it up high on my teaching wall/carpet area bulletin board so that we can easily make references it.

4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes 
I love the book boxes from IKEA!  They're cheap enough that I wouldn't mind replacing every year, the kids can decorate them, and did I mention they're cheap?  I love Kindergarten, Kindergarten, she has some really cute ideas, and I love how she put kids pix on the boxes, so Kinder friendly and just plain adorable!

5. Calm Signals and check in procedures
I've used Whole Brain Teaching class signals and have loved them.  But I don't think it would be as calm as using a xylophone or chimes.  As far as check in procedures I think I'm going to do some blog stalking and get some ideas. :)

6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors.
I absolutely love the idea of stopping when I see an inappropriate behavior so that students are not practicing wrong, practice makes permanent.  

And now for your freebie, hope you can use :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Best Practices For Language Learners

Good morning!
Can you believe it's summer and I'm still waking up at 5:15?!  (Xcountry practice for my girls)
Ahh, the job of a mama never ends :)

Anywho,  just wanted to let you know that Krista from The Second Grade Superkids is hosting an awesome week of the Best Practices for Language Learners, be sure to visit her and learn some great ideas that can be used in any classroom.  And Krista's so sweet to let me guest blog, I'm soo excited :)!

On another note, I'm still in shock that I was nominated for a Fascination Award in Kindergarten, but I would totally appreciate it if you would vote for me :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What I Learned In Kindergarten

I'm beyond excited about going to First Grade, but I wanted to share some things my Kinder Kids taught me during my years in Kindergarten.

Kindergarten is such an important time in a child's life.
Parents are undoubtedly a child's first teacher,
but as their first teacher in elementary school, it's our job to make sure we teach our kids all the basics.

How to line up and walk down the hall (Kinders really are amongst the best hall walkers).
How to sit, push in chairs, line up.
How to sneeze and cover up like a vampire.
How to:
wash your hands,
talk, not yell,
share, not grab,
follow directions,
and the all time biggy,
how to LISTEN.

All while teaching our Kids the Kindergarten curriculum,
Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, Music, and P.E.
Whew!  I'm already tired just thinking about it!

I learned that every child does not have to complete the same class or homework assignments,
differentiation is important at home and at school.
I would rather have some students learn all their letters or numbers,
instead of completing a worksheet.

I learned that teamwork really does begin with the teacher.
I had an incredible Kinder Team last year,
I will miss these ladies :(

I learned that Kids love, no require, routine.
I never heard the end of it if I skipped centers or calendar time got interrupted.

But I really learned the meaning of patience in Kindergarten,
exposure is not mastery.
We sometimes have to teach, reteach, revisit, reteach, and oh yeah, reteach.

Kuddos to Kinder!
Here's a freebie I hope you can use :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nervous But I'll Give It A Go

I've been thinking and thinking about it,
and I thought I would finally venture onto the world of TPT.
I feel a little scared (yeah right, A LOT)  on this new venture, but I thought summer would be a perfect time to explore ;)  I would really appreciate any feedback, comments, or advise :)

I would love it if you came by and followed me on TPT.   I will definitely be offering more freebies :)

I made this class sign last Christmas and they were a big hit!
I had it available through Scribd but thought I upload onto TPT and make it a little more accessible.
I have a Spanish version available as well.
Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


What an honor it is to be nominated, seriously, I'm truly touched by the thought :)

The Fascination Awards

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Are You An Oldie Or A Newbie?

Okay, I admit it, I'm still using the older Blogger Interface.
I keep trying to update to the new one, but I just don't like it.
Sure, it looks better, updated, streamlined,
but I just can't get used to it.

I don't like when I scroll down my Blog List the posts scroll up too.
I don't like that when I scroll down the posts, the dashboard information scrolls up as well,
so if I want to view my blog, I have to scroll to the top.
I don't like that when I saved my post I couldn't find it.

But I really don't like how I feel so technically challenged on this new interface
(insert grouchy face here!)
(oh wait, i know how to do that!)

Talk about feeling Techy Challenged,
my font on my blog looks italicized instead of the cuter font I had.
I tried going to Advanced section in Template Designer, and it says I have that font, but nope, it's not showing up...

Ho hum...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Planner Obsessed

Hi!  My name is Libby Allen and I'm addicted to planners.

I love, love, love planners!  Weird, I know!  But seriously, I can't help it.  Every time I go to Target  I have to go by this aisle and search for the perfect planner.  I'm a lot better now because I think I've finally found it.  Trust me, I've tried them all, but for me, the perfect one is made by Blue Sky. 
I have one requirement for planners.  They must have a monthly view.  No problem, plenty have them, but monthly views that are tabbed...aaaaahhhh, now we're talking!

But, I also need a weekly view, perfect for jotting down practice schedules, school events, dinner menus, and To-Do lists (oh! love lists too, but that's a whole other story). Blue Sky offers a variety of colors and sizes.  You could also start your planner in January or July.

  Which is where lies my dilemma.  I love the the 5x8 size and also the 3.625 x 6.125.  Well, they're reasonably priced, I could keep one at home and one in my purse.  But doesn't it make sense for me, being a teacher, to have the July-June planner also?  Ugh, I know!

My husband, being the awesome guy that he is, doesn't tease me or roll his eyes,
if I find a new planner in July, he justifies it for me and says, well, school is starting right, just give Vanessa the other one to draw in.

This is by far my favorite one for school, I mentioned it here.

Love the Month at a glance!

I use this section for Projects or Brainstorming Ideas.

And while I do have my lesson plans readily available, I love this Week At A Glance to write events/ activities I cannot forget.

I love the size, the color, and the layout!
Thanks for letting me share my little obsession with you :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Classroom Theme Anyone?

Okay, I'll admit it, in 18 years of teaching (yikes, has it been that long?!)
I've never had a theme.
I mean, I try to have an inviting, organized, colorful classroom, 
maybe add cute things like Polka Dots, DJ Inkers, and good old Suzy Zoo,
(hmmm, I wonder if cuteness counts as a theme), 
but overall, nope, no theme.

Any-whoo (get it? anyone? anyone?)
since I've been obsessed captivated with teacher blogs, I keep seeing themes that are just calling my name...
I do love the super cute owl classroom themes!

But when I asked my husband to guess what theme I was thinking about he said, "Superheroes?"
And my mind has been obsessing thinking about it ever since.

I've seen some adorable clipart already.
My students would probably love it, especially since I'm looping with most of them.
My family, (well, the boys anyways) would encourage it.
And my own lil' cutie pie would love it!

See if you can spot her below :)

I need me some feedback...
Parents? Teachers? Anyone? Anyone?
(Darn that Ferris Bueller)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

End of the Year Catch UP

I can't believe I survived the end of the year!
After spending a fun weekend in Santa Barbara and celebrating my boy's 21st birthday, (snif, snif, 21!)
I'm finally able to post some end of the year pics.

This is our end of the year Memory Books.
I post a writing sample with an art piece on our writing wall each month. 
My kids loved seeing how much growth they made and laughed when they saw how they used to draw and write.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Let Summer Begin

Yesterday was the last day of Kinder for me and my Kids, we are so ready for First Grade! 
We definitely deserve a break, but I cannot switch my teacher brain off.
I mean seriously, it's 5:00 a.m., I should be sleeping in, but instead I'm already checking out blogs and thinking of next year, summer projects, cleaning out closets, books to read, aaaaah!

Well, my favorite movie is on, this will surely help me to relax and bring me to Summer Mode.

A cup of coffee, a quiet house, an excellent movie,
yes, let my summer begin :)