About Me

My photo
I teach Kindergarten at a non-profit for at-risk and low-income kids. It can be the worst job and the best job, sometimes at the same time. It is also All-day (7am-6pm) and year round. No summer vacay for me. I love crafting but rarely have the time due to the demands of graduate school, a full time job and the rest of life.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Giveaway! Expo Markers at The Teaching Thief

The Teaching Thief is having a giveaway of a huge pack of expo markers. I never get to buy those huge packs because of the price... but I always stand there eyeballing them and hoping a pack will just show up from the Expo Fairy... right, sometimes I live in a fantasy world!

Giveway, Blogging in the nick of time, Teacher Blog I Follow

There is a CRAZY COOL multi-giveaway

Mrs Albanese's Class

I just found the blog and am super psyched to check more of it out... stayed tuned for more info... (I had to post this before midnight!)


Here are some posts I like

Center vs Centre (I wonder how long of reading it before I noticed? Reminds me of the printout that was circulating a few years ago about as long as all the letters are there your brain can read it because do not read letters independently)

Word Posters (I wish we could talk about/celebrate holidays, but in my school we do not for many reasons)

Check out her blog!

Blog Giveaway!

Kelly's Avenue Designs is hosting a blog giveaway.

Since I am in no ways an expert in this realm of blogging and blog design and such, from what I can gather it is a $40 value. She has some items in her gallery, which look so much better than the blogger basics!

Pretty cool if I do say so myself. Check it out!

Blog Hoppin'

Tell us a little something about you...

I am a Kindergarten Teacher, a grad student, a daughter, a sister, a godmother and more!

I am in a graduate program for Special Education and Teaching English Language Learners. I went straight through summers and breaks from 9/09 to 5/11. I had to take the summer off to deal with a medical mystery that ended in surgery and am scheduled to go back in Sept. I don't want to. I forgot what free time was and now I don't want to give it up!!! 1 more year, I can do it!!!

*I love crafting, which I forgot during grad school.
*I live with my parents (see more under "You might not know"
*I have two black cats who drive me bonkers and I am allergic to (I knew that when I got them)
*I am allergic to EVERYTHING it seems like. It actually makes my students more aware of other's allergies and to look out for others.
*I am no good at blogging! I am working on it.
*I am the oldest of 4 kids

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for a paycheck for over 6 years and at the same school for about five years (9/27/11, 5 year anniversary). My first year I taught preschool at a private daycare then took a position as a lead preschool teacher in a classroom with two other teachers at a non-profit agency for at-risk and low-income families. After 9 months there (we are year round) the kindergarten teacher retired, much to my excitement. I always wanted to teach kindergarten!!!!
I have been the lead kindergarten teacher for 4 years and have worked with another teacher for 4.5 years. Together we have gone through over 100 students and three other teachers (oops).

You might not know...

*I had my gallbladder out last month!
*I was engaged but ended a 5-year relationship when he decided he didn't want children. I had to move back in with my parents to manage finances and grad school.
*I have two blogs! Where's My Soda?
*This is my first time linking

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

A fresh start, 20 new students, 3 old (I have pre-kinders if I have open slots) and a new co-teacher. Also, my teacher partner of 4.5 years is having a baby in October!

What do you need to improve?

I want to work on making circle/calendar time more beneficial to the students.
I want to manage my time and commitments better.

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?

hmmm, notebooks and pencils, dry erase boards

Giveaway & A Teacher Blog I follow

A Place Called Kindergarten

I love the names of other Kinder/teacher blogs and I love seeing what others are doing in their kinder-world

Some of my favorite posts
Where do readers read?
Word Walls
(love the printable environmental print!)
Printable Pencil Grip Assessment

Mrs. Bell does a great job with this site!

A Place Called Kindergarten has a great Seuss giveaway right now with Pink Daisys.

I love Seuss!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


New addiction!  But better than the GAZILLION bookmarks I have.  These Pintrest People are GENIUS!
I start with a general board, such as "Things I Want to Make" and soon I have to break it up into segments such as "Bambinos" and "Ninos".  I am actually hoping to transfer all my bookmarks to Pintrest, but then I got nervous, what if Pintrest doesn't last????  But seeing how it comes up ALL over the billion blogs I follow, it should be safe...

Follow Me on Pinterest

(I don't want to tell you how many times it took me to get that to work, such a noob I am)

Friday, June 24, 2011


Most of the Kindergarten teachers are getting ready for summer vacation, a few weeks off to recoup from a long year and to dream up big plans for the new one.

Not me!
My school is a year round program, so my students going off to first grade can stay up until the day before first grade starts. The agency I work for then offers afterschool care (sometimes I get to peek in on my old students). Some will leave before then, most are staying right up until Aug 29th.

I do wish we had at least a few days between the new kids come, but as soon as one kid leaves, a new one moves up from a preschool room. It is a big deal to move to my room, very exciting for everyone.

So I am trying to prep for Sept while:
-Still having a full class
-getting a new "co-teacher"
-My right hand gal being 6 months pregnant
-having no access to our playground
-preparing for surgery!

I'm just a wee bit stressed

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Egypt Activities

My students love Egypt.  I think they love the mystery and wonder of pyramids and temples and mummies... definitely mummies!!!

We had a life size human cutout (from really thick foam board) from when we studied the human body.  As we learned about something, we would add it to the body.  So it had two brown paper lunch bags for lungs, cash register tape for intestines, etc.  The kids had named it "Coco Pretzel" and she had red curly hair, courtesy of my Ms. Frizzle wig.  The children decided that we would make her into a mummy.  We had a book that detailed the steps, so we removed her hair, removed her organs (but not the heart!!!)

and wrapped her according to diagrams with toilet paper.  The children had to interpret the diagrams, work together and problem solve.  It was really cute.  We then placed her in the sarcophagus and decorated it, including her name in hieroglyphics!

I do not remember history and anatomy every being this much fun!

MA DOE Curriculum Standards

English Language Arts: Discussion
K.L.1.1: By the end of grade 2, students will follow agreed-upon rules for discussion 

Science and Technology/Engineering: Skills of Inquiry

1.   By the end of grade 2, students will be able to ask questions about objects, organisms, and events in the environment.

Science and Technology/Engineering: Technology/Engineering:Materials and Tools
 1.3: By the end of grade 2, students will identify and describe safe and proper use of tools and materials (e.g., glue, scissors, tape, ruler, paper, toothpicks, straws, spools) to construct simple structures.

History and Social Science: Concepts and Skills:History and Geography

 K.1: Identify sequential actions, such as first, next, last, in stories and use them to describe personal experiences.

 K.2: Use correctly words and phrases related to chronology and time 

 Comprehensive Health: Physical Health:Growth and Development

1.1: By the end of grade 5, students will name the external and internal parts of the body and body systems (nervous, muscular, skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, and excretory systems).

Arts:Visual Arts:Methods, Materials, and Techniques

1.1:  By the end of grade 4, students will use a variety of materials and media, for example, crayons, chalk, paint, clay, various kinds of papers, textiles, and yarns, and understand how to use them to produce different visual effects.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I went to Egypt!!!!

I know that product with Arabic on them do not really narrow down the location because there are many different countries that use Arabic, but I couldn't very well show you pictures of the pyramids now could I?

My team and I ended up incoroporating Egypt into our curriculum a little bit before I left and while I was gone.  When I came back, it occupied almost a month of our curriculum, the children were enthralled!

I tried to remember to get pictures of things so that you can see what I am talking about.

Before I left, I put out all my books about Egypt and got some from the library, I really liked the following books:
You Wouldn't Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy (see it online)
You Wouldn't Want Be Cleopatra 
You Wouldn't Want Be Tutankhamen 
Fast Forward: Egyptian Mummy (see it online)
Fast Forward: Pyramid 
Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble 
Ms. Frizzle's Adventures in Ancient Egypt 
Magic Tree House #3: Mummies in the Morning  (fiction) and Magic Tree House Research Guide #3: Mummies & Pyramids (non fiction)
We're Sailing Down the Nile

Also before I left, we made an Egyptian Bulletin Board.  There was a 3D map of Egypt, the title "Amy is Going to Egypt" in English, Arabic* and Hieroglyphics, a clock with the Egyptian time, images of Egyptian money and a copy of my itinerary.  As each day of my trip went by, my team read the page in "We're Sailing Down the Nile" that corresponded to my current location and marked it on the map.

I cannot wait to share more of this theme unit with you!

MA DOE Standards incorporated:

English Language Arts
           Vocabulary and Concept Development 
                   K.L.4.2: Students will describe common objects and events in general and specific language.
           Understanding Texts 
                    K.R.8.3: Students will ask questions about the important characters, settings, and events.

                    K.R 8.5: Students will retell important facts from a text heard or read.Genre
                    K.R.10.1: By the end of grade 2, students will identify differences among the common forms of literature: poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction (informational and expository), and dramatic literature

Science and Technology/Engineering 
          Skills of Inquiry 
                    1.   By the end of grade 2, students will be able to ask questions about objects, organisms, and  events in the environment. 

History and Social Sciences 
           History and Geography 
                    K.2: Use correctly words and phrases related to chronology and time  
                    K.5: Tell or show what a map is and what a globe is.



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Where did I go?

Currently, I am enrolled in a Master's Program for Special Education.  In one of my classes (June 2010), the professor mentioned a 2-week study tour that would be happening in January 2011 and I knew I had to go. The trip was to one of my dream destinations.  A place I had books and videos about, a place I was intrigued by since 6th grade.

Because my school is year round, we get 4 weeks of vacation time, sick time, and personal time.  I always have an abundance of time available, so I asked for the time off.  I was unsure if my director would let me have TWO WEEKS off in a row, but it was the first two weeks after the holiday season so I was hopeful.

Where did I go?  Here are some hints...

Good Luck Guessing!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All About ME

Me, Me, Me... It's all about me... not in a classroom of 23 five- and six-year-olds.

I teach Kindergarten at a non profit agency that focuses on at-risk and low-income families.  I love what I do but it is not your traditional Kindergarten.  More on that later!

I am 28 and 1 week old at this moment and am seriously a little confused about how my personal life got to where it is now, but that is not what I want you to know...

Here are some things I do want you to know

*I am the oldest of 4 children
*My family is lower-middle class but growing up I did not notice
*I have a BS in Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology
*I am working on a Masters in Special Education and English Language Learners
*I care deeply about what I do in my classroom and for my children
*I have different colored hair... every few month I change the colors and placement of the different pieces... currently I have pink and purple highlights front and center
When I tell people I teach Kindergarten they ALWAYS SAY "With purple hair???"
*I am a perfectionist in my classroom
*I can be tough to work with.  My center is set up to have three teachers in each classroom (awesome, I know!) in a hierarchy and I have a reputation for being.... tough
*In my classroom I am the top of the hierarchy and I have high expectations for those who work in my classroom, not unreasonable, not unfounded, just high.  Do it right or don't do it.
*I refer to "My Kids"... I am single and have no children, My Kids are the 23 that I work with 40+ hours a week
*I try to make learning fun, engaging and meaningful while teaching them what they need to know to be successful after leaving me
*I am approaching my 5-year anniversary at this center