We have been working on building our read to self  stamina since the first month of school!
When my kinders got to about 8 minutes I then introduced work on writing, then word work, and listening to reading. I don't think I want to do read to someone, so far now I am doing the "daily 4."

Today they finally did it, and read to self for 20 minutes!! I am so proud of them! 

This is my favorite party of the day now. I was really going back and forth whether it was worth all of this training, and now I really see that yes it is worth it! I can finally work individually with student or do small guided reading groups. I can't wait! I want to finish building their writing, word work, and listening stamina until the end of the month, which is one more week. Then I will finally introduce choice as well as begin to include CAFE strategies.


This week we learned all about on of my favorite things...pumpkins!

As soon as it hits October,
I always love to put up the orange lights 
and my Dia De Los Muertos banner!
It makes the classroom so festive and fun.

These were all of the pumpkin books that I read aloud for the week. 
There was one book that I had to get, which was: 
How many Seeds in a Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara
and I had ordered it from Scholastic and I was so happy that
it came JUST in time when we going to count our seeds!

We first talked about how pumpkins felt on the outside and the inside.

We read "Five Little Pumpkins" many times.
We then identified our "heart word" the in the poem.
I like to call the sight words, "heart words" because they have to memorize them by heart :)

We then began our pumpkin investigations! (My favorite thing to do!)
We measured how many unifix cubes tall our pumpkin was.

We then counted all of the lines on the pumpkin.

We then made a hypothesis if the pumpkin would sink or float...
a lot of them thought the pumpkin would sink.

We then opened up the pumpkin and took all of the seeds out.

We also measured how many pumpkins tall we were!
This was a big hit, with not only my kinders, 
but with all of the other students walking down the hallway.

The next day we counted all of the seeds.
This was a great assessment to see which students had trouble counting 
and one to one correspondence.
Our pumpkin had 524 seeds!

Here was my Pinterest inspired seed anchor chart.

The next day we cooked our seeds!
We have an oven in our staff lounge, 
so I took my students up there and 
we make cinnamon sugar covered pumpkin seeds. 

We then talked about the pumpkin life cycle.
I found a great YouTube video with a song of the pumpkin life cycle.

I really love doing interactive science notebook activities,
so I was very excited when I found a free pumpkin life cycle 
interactive notebook activity on Teachers Pay Teachers.

The last thing we will be doing is painting our own pumpkins!
Can't wait to start painting!


It has been about a week since we have started growing our garden beans!

One activity that has always stuck with me from my teaching credential program was growing seeds in a plastic zip lock bag, so that is exactly what I did! 
I like putting the beans in a plastic zip lock bag, 
because you can really see the roots, stem, and leaves. 

I can't wait to move onto learning about pumpkins next!

Happy October!
The best month of the year! ;)

Plants and Daily 5

Oh kindergarten...
Learning routines is taking longer than I had anticipated.
I just want to press fast forward!

This week we learned about plants.
First we learned about the different parts of the flower.
I found a cute parts of the plants YouTube video from Dr. Jean with the 
tune of heads, shoulder, knees, and toes. 
This really helped my kinders remember the parts of a flower.

We then did a free activity to label the parts of the flower that 
I found on Teachers Pay Teachers from The Crazy School Teacher.
They turned out good! 
They had a lot of fine motor practicing as they cut everything out and glued!

The next day we talked about what plants need in order to grow.
I found this super cute free interactive science notebook 
on Teachers Pay Teachers from All Students Can Shine.  
I loved this interactive page!
It was a little tricky for my kinders when it came time to glue
and fold them into their notebooks, but they turned out great.

This is the first time I am doing Daily 5...
I really wish I could somehow magically find a website all about Daily 5 in kindergarten.
If you have any suggestions about the Daily 5 in kindergarten I would truly love to read it!

We have been doing read to self for the past few weeks.
The majority of the students can sit in one spot and read quietly, 
but they don't all read the whole time because of their stamina.
But we have been able to make it to 9 minutes!

BUT I have ONE student (my barometer student) 
who constantly makes noises and doesn't read the whole time. 
It is very frustrating, because the rest of the students can't build their stamina.
I did give this student a small basket with a sand timer and a lego car.
When the time is up, the student could switch the timer and play with the car.
Then when the time is up the student would switch the timer and read.
This would continue until the student would run out of stamina.
But I would sit next to the student to remind them...and this might take a while.
Today I noticed this ONE student is sometimes just looking at the timer waiting for it to run out...suggestions?!

Here is my "barometer" student in their own space.

Here are some of my students reading in my library and one in a basket!
The basket was a hit!

Here is my Read to Self I-Chart

My Stamina chart

New School Year

Wow did this summer fly by!

This summer I received my Masters in Education and 
I went on the most amazing trip to Portugal and Italy! 

I have lots of family in Portugal, and it was so nice to see them. 
The last time I was in Portugal was 7 years ago!
I also went to the island of Madeira for the first time, 
and that is where my husband's family is from.  

After being in Portugal for a few weeks, 
my husband and I also went to Italy, because why not! 
It was truly a once in a lifetime experience 
as we went to Florence, Venice, and Rome. 

I LOVED this amazing trip and I cannot wait to go back!

I have some pictures below,
but the pictures doesn't do the beauty of these places justice.

Madeira, Paul Do Mar, Portugal

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal
Hands down the most BEAUTIFUL beach I have ever seen!!!

 Fuseta, Algarve, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

 Florence, Italy

Venice, Italy

Rome, Italy
This was inside the beautiful Vatican, which is the most BEAUTIFUL church I have ever seen.

I started school this past week and I am teaching Kindergarten!
I am happy to say that I survived my first week!
Last year I taught a Kindergarten/First Grade combination class,
and the kinders are much different than the group I had last year...then again every group is different.
This year I need to really go over procedures many times throughout the day!

Here are some pictures of my classroom (chevron/hungry caterpillar theme):

My Word Wall

Where our work will be displayed 

Birthday Board

Here is my daily 5 board
I am going to try the daily 5 for the first time this year!
I started Read to Self and they didn't do too bad, 
but I have one student who likes to make noises...which makes us stop.
If you have any tips on the Daily 5 (especially in kindergarten) please let me know!

My personal board

My Whiteboard

Caterpillars and iPad app


Spring break is such a tease, but at least we get some time off! Although I spent the whole time working on my big clear credential program assignment...I can't wait to be finished with this program! It is so unfair to go through all the grueling work of the credential program to only receive an "unclear" preliminary credential, to having 5 years to take basically the same classes to get it "cleared" for a clear credential!! And you would think busy work wouldn't be assigned...but you think teachers have time for that? Especially combo teachers?! Is this only in California?! 

During my break I ordered caterpillars from Insect Lore. I really loved doing this with the kids last year, so of course I needed to continue and do it this year. It is also a great experience for the students to first hand see the change from caterpillar to butterfly. 

The kids were very excited when they saw the caterpillars. And I can't believe that we've only had them for a few days and they have already made their chrysalis! That was so fast! 

Also I wanted to share with you an iPad app I stumbled upon called: Too Noisey. This app monitors the noise level in the classroom. There is a free version and then a paid version. I am using the free version, and I think it works great! 

My kids can get pretty chatty so I thought, why not try it? Today I used it in the class for the first time and it worked so well! Of course they want to make the lever move all the way into the "red" so I had them test it out and get thier excitement out, and then we did it for real. I told them each time they got to red I would take a marble out. I don't know if they believed me so, the tested me off course and I had to take a couple of mares before they finally got it, but after that it worked like a charm! 

Until next time!
Take Care!