Monday, July 28, 2014

Parent Communication {Facebook}

I don't know about you, but I loooove the convenience of technology! As teachers, we have so many options to keep the lines of communication open with our parents. When we communicate consistently and effectively...we build strong relationships with our families. Parents know what is going on, what is being taught, and what is expected of their children AND from them.

Let's talk Facebook! Facebook is growing each year. Chances are the majority of your parents already have a Facebook account. Let's take advantage of that!

First decide whether you want to set up a group or a page. I personally have a group set up. I will gear most of this post towards that option, but please know that you need to choose the option that best suits you. 

I have created a couple of FREEBIES to help you get this set up! Here are two printables that you can use. Simply click the images below to download your freebies.

FREE parent communication FB printables

FREE parent communication Facebook printalbes

Now, decide what you will use Facebook for. Facebook is NOT the only thing that I use. I want to make sure that all parents are getting information. I love it because this way is easy to share photos easily.

Here is some information on creating a FB Page. These are OK too, but if you are concerned about privacy, then a group might be your best option.

 I have a new pack to help get you through the year! You will be able to remind parents via Facebook and Instagram of upcoming events. Some events included are: conferences, class parties, spirit days, tests, library days, and more! To see a full description of what' included click on the cover page below.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Parent Communication FREEBIE

Good evening blog surfers! It is a Saturday night and I sit on my computer...EXCITING! When did I get old and boring? How did this happen? Is it happening to you too? LOL! 

This week I have been reflecting on my last year and thinking of what I want to do this year. I think that as teachers, we are so lucky...we get a fresh start every year. We change furniture arrangements, add decor, scour pinterest and the blogiverse for ideas! When I think about this year and things that I want to do....I also ask myself what do I want to share with  you? What are my strengths as a teacher? As you know, I am co-founder of Freebielicious with my dear friend Crystal. We work with some pretty talented and amazing ladies. I think that I use something from each of them in my classroom. Back on track Tammy....I think I am good teacher. I love my job and enjoy coming to work each day. If I had to choose one are that I think is a strength of mine...parent communication and building relationships with parents. 

I want to share with you ways I keep the communication going in my classroom. SOCIAL MEDIA people! Wow! We have so many options now. Here are some of the fabulous things that you can do in your classroom. 
I am going to use my classroom blog like a virtual newsletter. I will post on Friday (or weekends) and share what we did throughout the week. 

I had a private Facebook group last year and LOOOOVED it! :-) I use Facebook for reminders, post documents (via google docs) for parents to be able to download at home. Most of what I post here are pictures...even the reminders. 

I haven't used Instagram before, but plan on using it this year. 

This is a FABULOUS app! I am a softball coach and use this to communicate with parents continuously. I can send group messages and parents don't have the option to reply no umpteen million group text replies. :-) 

Next week, I will post about each one of these options individually and have some free resources for you to use too. I hope that you will come back!

I do have a freebie for you today to get you started with great parent communication! A new binder.....
with lots of cover options.....
Date: I always mark the date the contact happened. The PI and the TI stand for Parent Initiated and Teacher Initiated. I simply circle the appropriate choice. I check the method and the reason. As for the action, there is a reason for a contact...what am I going to do to follow up? What are the parents going to do? I hope you can use this. 

I am teaming up with my Freebielicious gals and throwing sale! I know that lots of you are getting ready to go back to school. I only have one more week (sob) before I have to report back! My entire store is on sale for 20% off!! Click the image below to go to my store!
For the next two days, I will be putting some of my back to school things on sale for 50%, but it will only be for a limited time! Make sure you follow me on Facebook to find out which items and when...FUN! :-) 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Kindergarten Assessment Notebook

I love my Summers at home! However, this Summer has been...well, not the best or most relaxing Summer. Oyy! My husband had to have surgery (spinal fusion) and he has been home AND in a neck brace for my entire break. Now, don't get me wrong...I love him to the moon and back, but let's just say that when he gets a cold...he's pretty sure that he is sicker than anyone has been....EVER! So, surgery + neckbrace=me losing my mind. To top that off...I have had some health scares myself. We still don't have any real answers yet. I went to the Dr with some chest pain and difficulty breathing...and then BLAMO they are taking me to the ER by ambulance. That was not fun! I go so a cardiologist tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers for some better news. ANYWHO...I haven't been able to do anything strenuous! I have been working on my computer. I have a few things to share with you!

The first thing is my Kindergarten Assessment Notebook! I simply print this cover and put it in a see through binder.
I have included a beginning of the year letter assessment (upper case, lower case, and beginning sounds)

 I print one of these for each students. I use a different color of pen for my baseline, mid quarters, and each quarterly assessment. I place the notebook in front of the student. I have their recording sheet in front of me. The assessment sheets and recording sheets have the letters listed in the same order.

Come back this week for more literacy assessments to add to your notebook! Next week I will add Math assessments.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back To School With Educents

Back to school is just around the the corner!  Something about the back to school aisles starting to show up, commercials on TV, and getting your classroom ready brings a little excitement to teachers lives!  Don't get me wrong, we enjoy our time off but the start of a new year is so exciting!

And so me and my girls at Freebielicious have teamed up with Educents to get you ready with some instant downloads for you! Loaded with great products for back to school including book studies, craftivities, classroom prep, and content materials for back to school!  With 23 instant downloads... you have to check it out!  

My product included will surely need and get lots of love!  Phonemic Awareness Fun - rhyming edition!  Rhyming is essential to being able to read in a few months so it's SO important!  This fun product will give you cards to use, games, and printables! 

But that's not it.  This bundle has 22 other products!  Isn't that crazy?  And it's for a limited time it is $34.99 from Educents which is 69% off!  Twenty-three products total for your kinder and first grade classrooms and over 1200 pages of materials from some of your favorite teachers!  It's a bundle you are sure to LOVE!

Take a moment to take a peek at some of the other teachers featured in this bundle - what that have going on for back to school and what they are featuring in this deal too!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fine Motor Pencil Practice

One of the things that my team mates and I talked about at the end of the year last year was focusing a little more on fine motor skills! We jump right into handwriting without really going over proper strokes.

I have created a simple "Back To School" themed fine motor packet. It includes tracing vertical and horizontal lines. Students will use their pencils to trace straight, curved and zig zag lines. There is also an option that they draw their own lines. 

You could use these for small group instruction, homework, or even morning work.

I just created a fine motor board on pinterest. Come follow me. If you have a good fine motor boar on pinterest, then please leave your link in a comment below!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sight word activities and a give away!

Why is it that we countdown the days until Summer break and then all we do is think about next year?! LOL! I have been working on some fun things for sight words! My kinders loved playing sight word games that had to do with sports....even the girls!

My district uses Reading Street. There are things that I love and things that..ehhh....not so much! I am very fortunate that a majority of my kiddos come to me knowing most/or all of the letters and sounds. They also know some sight words. Reading Street only has 40 sight words. I sometimes feel like that isn't enough. So, last year I also started introducing the Dolch words on my own! I had several students that were able to read pre-primer through 3rd grade words by the end of the year.  

I will start with the Dolch pre-primer words in September. We actually start school in August, but will wait to introduce these words until September. I have several items for the pre-primer words and working on adding the other lists also! 

First, is my Stamp A Word set. They LOOOOVE stamping!! I have included three options for each page: all upper case, all lower case, and first letter upper case.

I have created a few football themed sets for the pre-primer words.

Let's have a give away! I will give away the combo packs (the play doh mats and the all stars games)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Table Numbers FREEBIE

Happy Summer friends! I am OFFICIALLY on Summer break. My last day was last Thursday. I haven't been out for one week yet and I am ALREADY thinking about next year....what the what?!  Why do I do this? I am sure you do it too! LOL!

I love this ecard! It is so true! You know what I love though....when I see someone at the store or at the ball park and they give me one of these, "Wow, must be nice to only work 9 months out of the year and get paid for 12!"  I told my hubs that I am going to start carrying a taser with me and every time someone said that to me..well, they were gonna get tased! LOL! Ok, not really, but would like to sometimes! 

I have some new freebies for you! I still love the bright neon colors! I also love chevron, polka dots AND stripes! ;-) I made some new table numbers. I will use the circle ones above my tables. I couldn't decide if I liked the black or the white I made both! 
 I will use these on my board to keep track of table points. 

You can download your FREE table numbers by clicking the cover page below!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Top Ten Things I Want To Do This SUMMER

I am linking up with Deanna over at Mrs Jump's Class! SUMMER! It's so close...for me anyway! I go back Tuesday and Wednesday with students, and Thursday is my last day. I can't tell you how much I despise going back after this holiday weekend! Uggg!! Has your Summer started yet?

I think this last year has been the busiest...well, in the history of EVER! :-) I know that you are probably just like me. You love your job. You love spending time on the computer (blog hopping, pinterest, and Facebook) and your own kids have your running to volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball. Sound familiar?! I know that it does!

I have so many things on my Summer TO DO LIST! As I am sure you do too! Here are my top ten things I want to do this Summer! 

I AM going to Vegas this Summer! I can't wait. I am finally going to get to meet all of my online friends in person. I will be attending the Kindergarten conference and the TpT conference. I have never been to Vegas.

I currently have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I looooove how I can find ideas...well, let's face it....for ANYTHING! However, I pin and never seem to get it done. So, my #2 is organize my pin boards and all of my digital clip art and fonts. We won't talk about how many clip art sets I have or fonts. 

I NEED to learn how to use this thing!! LOL! For Christmas I got this fabulous camera! Well, I have NOOO idea how to use it. I am looking for a photography class to take this Summer. 

This one is simple. I need to enjoy these 5 fabulous kids! My oldest is out of the house already and number 2 and 3 are in high school. It won't be long. Poor Paxtyn lol! He is doomed with 4 older sisters....and for the record....the next person that tells me that my grandson is adorable, might just get a punch to the forehead...just sayin! Yes, I am 42 and I could be a grandma, but I am NOT...not yet! :-) 


Believe it or not...used to be quite the runner. I ran cross country and track in high school...never mind that was 25 years ago. I recently ran (use that term very loosely) a 5K with some teacher friends of mine. My goal this year is to run at least one 5K every other month! 

I WANT to get a tattoo! I know...I know...I know! I AM 42. I have always wanted one though. I will be honest though. I have been a little scared...not a huge fan of needles. A simple one....nothing over the top. I just need to decide what and where! :-) 


We are FINALLY going on a family vacation. I don't care what our softball schedule looks like. It seems like my Summers get shorter and shorter and softball goes on longer and longer. We are going on a family vacation to the Wisconsin Dells. I am super excited. I hope that they can get along with each other long enough! LOL! 

One area in my classroom that I totally want to makeover is my classroom library! I want an AMAZING space for my students to go to! I will be shopping for a new rug, shelves, bean bags, and a lamp! 


Book Studies with my Freebielicious gals!! We are planning on doing a Daily 5 study in June!
I admit it...I HATE talking on the phone. I am terrible! So, my number 10 is call the people that matter to me more! I will be better! :-)