Video segment about me, by the school district

Thursday, February 4, 2021

New Blog!

I'm so excited to announce that I have launched a new blog along with two amazing colleagues!  We're all primary-grade educators, and we have over 50 combined years of teaching experience.  The new blog is called Early Childhood Oasis, and I hope you'll stop by and check it out!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Kindergarten Resources for Learning at Home

Hi all!  I'm home taking care of my twins, and I wanted to offer some resources that might help parents continue their children's learning at home.

ABCMouse is a colorful, engaging website for students ages 2 to 8. It offers a wide variety of reading and math activities that can be organized and selected by parents. A separate profile can be created for each student to start at the appropriate level and take them to activities chosen by the parent. Student motivation is enhanced by choice of avatars and currency they can use to “buy” electronic rewards such as pets.

National Geographic for Kids as an information-packed website with a huge collection of facts, pictures, and videos about all kinds of plants, animals, and environments. Featuring kid-friendly navigation, this is a great resource for science research projects at a variety of grade levels.

SightWords offers a well-thought-out selection of free games and activities to teach sight words to young students. These are accompanied by effective teaching strategies and tips that teachers can use to improve their instruction. This website has also expanded its scope to include phonemic awareness and counting and addition.

Dr. Jean and Friends is a blog that offers ideas and activities from Dr. Jean Feldman, one of the most well known inspirations to teachers in recent decades. She is a resourceful and enthusiastic educator and accomplished singer who has released dozens of CDs of songs to teach language arts, math, science, social studies, and more. This blog gives teachers access to her latest advice.

Starfall is an exciting source of online games and activities that are fun and educational for children from pre-k through second grade. Produced by a publicly supported nonprofit organization, it features a great deal of content that students can explore independently to enhance their classroom learning.

Reading A-Z is an in-depth resource for language arts instruction, featuring free and paid content. This website includes some features that are not often found on similar sites, including webinars, information on teaching standards, leveled readers, and the ability to manage classes of students with a great deal of customization.

PBS Kids connects familiar PBS television shows to dynamic learning games and activities for children age 2 to 8. Students can choose a show or character they like and access educational content linked to that show or character. The site features exciting animations and sounds that help keep young children engaged and looking forward to the next game.

TeachersPayTeachers is a resource exchange site for teachers. Educators looking for products to use in the classroom can find a diverse collection of free and paid downloads including documents, worksheets, games, slideshows, books, and more. Teachers can also put their own products up for sale, or offer them for free. Detailed search options are available, letting you filter by grade, subject, type of resource, and price. The huge library of resources ranges from pre-k to higher education.

ABCTeach is an archive of resources for teachers from pre-k through high school. The resources consist mostly of printable files such as worksheets and workbooks, many of which are free. You can purchase a subscription to access the full library of content. The search engine allows you to focus on key words, and the list of results shows you at a glance the grade range relevant to each resource.

Songs For Teaching is a diverse resource for educational songs, poems, and plays. Selections include dozens of categories and feature well-known artists as well as some whose songs are hard to find elsewhere. The plays are a unique resource that can motivate students and help them become active contributors to class activities. Most purchases are available as CDs or downloads.

Let me know if you try these websites and if anything works really well for your child.  Conversely, if something does not work, I'd like to hear about that too.

Be well and take care!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello

Hi all!  I've been feeling very musical lately, so I wanted to sing about this beautiful book named
I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara Garriel.  I collect as many books as I can find in the pattern of "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."  This one really strikes a note with me because it's all about different instruments.  It introduces young children to vocabulary that they might not hear in everyday situations or books.  There are words like "sizzled," "tooted," "bellowed," "flashed," "strummed," etc.  I really enjoy books that give me an opportunity to teach my students a wide variety of super-cool words!

I also made this Musical Instruments Writing Folder to go along with this book, if your kindergarten children want to write what their favorite instrument is, and why.  The folder allows them to independently spell the instrument of their choice.

The Songs For Teaching website has a cool album that I just found called Instrument Friends by Wendy Rollin that is in perfect concert with this book!

Here are a sequencing paper and graphic organizers that you can use with this book:

Have a melodic week!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Saying Goodbye

Hi all!  Friday was my last day of kids for this school year.  I always have such mixed emotions.  I'm happy, of course, because I get to sleep in a little later and, well, summer vacation!  I'm sad because the 26 kids I have this year are all going be in a different grade next year.  It's so tremendous thinking about all the progress they made this year.  I wanted to share this card that I made for the last day of school:

You can print the pages double-sided (using the short-edge binding setting) on a single piece of paper or card stock so that when you fold it in half, everything looks right.  My kids really liked it, and if you print out more than one for each student they can write to you, to other favorite teachers, or to special classmates.  We all have to put away a lot of things at the end of the year, so I find that this card is really helpful when many of your centers are packed up, and it gives the kids a real sense of closure to say their final words to you (or whoever they address the card to).

Hope this helps!  Leave a comment below if you would like to share your end-of-the-year thoughts.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Addition in Outer Space

Hi everyone!  Addition is a key topic that many of us need to cover in math at this time of year in kindergarten, but it can be challenging for some students.  Therefore it's important to provide kids with hands-on, engaging activities to get them excited about diving into the subject.

Music is always one of the best ways for me to reach my students, so one song that I love to use as a warm-up for addition (or subtraction) is "Countdown to Blastoff" by Jack Hartmann.  The kids get so excited for the space ship to blast off, so the numbers really hold their attention.

When it comes to hands-on toys with an outer space theme, some of my favorites are Lakeshore Alphabet Rockets and Lakeshore Number Rockets.  Assembling each component of the rockets is so much fun for early learners!, a resource website that I love to browse for ideas for my classroom, has fun downloads for addition as well as other topics.  Here's one with an outer space theme to give kids that extra bit of motivation:

Math fun is out of this world, thanks to this addition worksheet.  For more educational fun, visit!

Happy spring, everybody!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Sweet Treats

Happy February, everybody!  The kids in my class asked me to make a cupcake sight word board game for them, so of course I did!  I think this idea was so attractive to the children because they love cupcakes.  These Cupcake Sight Word Board Games are free on TPT, and made for two different levels: kindergarten and first grade words.  I also made them as cards on a ring, which you can cut out, laminate, and cut out again:

Sight Word Cupcakes by on Scribd

My students love them so much that whenever we have a free moment they ask me to test them on their cupcake sight words.

I did some searching, and I found the book If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff.  This book is very much in the style of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and I think it's really good for building short-term and long-term memory.  The places that the cat visits are really fun and well-known to the children, including the beach, the gym, and the park.

I placed the ring of sight word cupcake cards inside this cupcake for easy storage:

I also tend to lose my sight word rings, and I thought if I put this one in a larger container I would be able to ask the children to look for it and find it, and they would bring it right to me.  Whether you're a blind or sighted teacher, it really helps to include the students in finding things that you need for the daily life of the classroom.

I hope these sweet-treat ideas are helpful to you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Cassie's Quilt

Book Cover of "Cassie's Quilt"

Happy New Year, everyone!  I am going to try to be much more consistent with my blog posts this year.  It's my New Year's resolution!

In December, I read a wonderful book for my list-and-label unit that I wanted to share with all of you: Cassie's Quilt by Faith Ringgold.  This book is really cool, because it's very much on the kindergarten level and it really inspired my children to write about their own homes.  What subject is closer to our kids' hearts than where they live?  My students were eager to draw pictures of and label their living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms with great detail after reading this book.

This book worked so well, I decided to make a writing folder with additional items that are better suited to modern times.  If you want to take a peek, here it is on TPT:

Home Folder

It's always a pleasure to hear from you!  You can leave a comment below.