Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Prettified Polka Dot File Folder of Power, Fabulicious Fall Trees, Indy Illustrator, and The Girl Who (Almost) Quit Kindergarten

Happy last day of September folks!  Lindsay here . . .

I'm just dropping by to share a few tidbits with you all, and to remind you that today is the last day of our Fall TPT sale!  Hurry up and head on over . . . well, after you read this amazing post, OF COURSE!!

First off, I wanted to share one of my newest classroom assessment tools that I am so excited about . . . Now I now that the word "assessment" doesn't exactly make us all jump for joy, but I think you will love this idea too!  I had seen an idea on Pinterest using a file folder to keep notes about students in using post-its.  The great thing about this idea is that as you fill up notes on a particular student, you transfer the sticky note to their work portfolio, assessment file (or whatever you use) and replace it with a new one.  As I was perusing the isles of Lakeshore last weekend I found these ADORABLE file folders and new they were my inspiration! 

I used regular square post-it notes, cut them in half, numbered them (to keep it more confidential - all of my students are numbered) and ta-daaaa!  My Prettified Polka Dot File Folder of Power!  (Henceforth known as M.P.P.D.F.F.O.P.) 

Anyhow, with November conferences right around the corner I am excited to put this new note-taking system into place in my classoom, and I hope you will find it helpful too!

Next up to share: fall trees.  Yes, I know the first day of fall was LAST weekend, but I wanted to share this easy peasy art project that my kinders did and LOVED! 

I typically do this project with red, orange, and yellow tissue paper squares, and my kidlets create leaves by scrunching the squares and glueing them into the tops of their trees.  However, on the morning of the day of the project, I realized that I had stupidly forgotten to get the tissue paper (mommy brain?) so we tried tearing regular old construction paper instead.

I must say, my kiddos LOVED the ripping of the paper. Well mostly.  I did have one little darlin tell me that she quit. As in kindergarten. Altogether.  After assuring her that she could, in fact, rip paper, my little cutie reconsidered and decided not to quit her educational career over our little fall art after all.  Phew!

Last but not least, I have been working with my kiddos during Writer's Workshop on showing details in their illustrations - with the help of the Wee Ready Writers and Indy Illustrator, of course! (If you wanna check out my Writers Workshop pack in my TPT store, click the image below)

My kiddos have been doing such a great job!  Last week we did a comparison drawing of what my kiddos did when they were little, and then things that they can do now that they are big! 

This kiddo drew himself as a baby with a rattle, and then playing basketball now that he is big.

This cutie drew herself in a stroller as a baby (love, love, LOVE the two curly hairs on her head!) and performing on a stage as a big girl!

Next up: introducing Labelling Lucy to my kidlets and talking about labelling words in illustrations. 

Well, that it all I have to share right now!  Don't forget to take advantage of the fall sale going on in our TPT store - it ends at midnight!

I'm off to grade some papers and watch football!  Happy lazy Sunday afternoon!


P.S. One more thing!  I was honored to be a featured teacher on Teacher's Lounge Radio today!  Head on over and check out the blog at!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's FALL!! We're having a SALE, y'all!!

Can you believe it's the end of September already?? I know I can't!! 
I also can't believe I have a daughter who is becoming a teenager next week, but that's a different story. How is that possible?? I'm only 25! :)

We're having a little FLASH sale to celebrate Fall, even though it's supposed to be 95 degrees here on Monday and Tuesday! Don't even get me started on that one-I am SOOOOO P!$$@D about this ridiculous weather.  Come on, Mother Nature. It's FALL! I need some chilliness, already!

So anyhoo, click on either of our store links to the left to get your shop on, friends!!

XOXO Kerri + Lindsay

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brag Tags and Character Counts!!

Happy Wednesday Evening, Friends! Kerri here...

I LOVE teaching Character Education in my classroom. I think it is SO SO important, and is something that most kids really need reinforced at school. 

I  love to teach my kiddos about the character pillars- Fairness, Caring, Responsibility, Trustworthiness, Respect, and Citizenship. To help my kidlets learn all about Character Education, I created my Character Kids! Character Building Pack...

Here's what's included...
I plan on saving all of the circle maps, sentence scrambles, and character trait writing samples and binding them into a book at the end of the year, after we have learned about all 6 traits. I think the kids will LOVE it!! And, the posters are just so darn cute. Take a looksie...

I am also uber-excited about the classroom certificates that I will give my kiddos when I see them showing a particular character trait. I think the parents will be so proud to get one of these sent home!!

Another way I reinforce character education is by giving out Brag Tags from I am sure you have seen these floating around Blog Land. These are RAD! 
I started this program last year, and my kids LOVED it! My new pack just came in the mail and I am sooo excited!! Here's what I got...

And I also got these...
YAY for the 100th day!!!

kill me now. This is the cutest thing EVER!!!
These will fit oh-so-perfectly with my Character Education program and I can't wait to get started teaching my little ones how to become Models of Character! Stay tuned, because next week I will have a HUGE announcement about the FABULOUS brag tags you see above!! You're gonna LOVE it!

XOXO Kerri B

Monday, September 24, 2012

Johnny Appleseed/Apple Tree Art!

Hi Bloggy Friends!! Kerri here... aren't these just ADORBS??

This is just a little quickie post to let y'all know that I posted step-by-step directions for my Johnny Appleseed/Apple Tree Art Projects over on Blog Hoppin' yesterday!! So, hop on over and check it out!! And, while you're there, become a follower! Come on, everyone's doing it! :)
click above to head over!!

XOXO Kerri

Friday, September 21, 2012

Good old Johnny Appleseed!!

Happy Friday, Friends! Kerri here...

Oh my SNAPS! Thank the Lord it is Friday! I am SOOOO over being hot and sweaty in my classroom all day. Like, seriously OVER IT. Today it was over 80 degrees in my classroom all day, with extra humidity thrown in just for kicks! Get this...Last Friday, it was 93 degrees in my husband's classroom!! I kid you not-93 DEGREES! My poor hubby-7th graders AND scorching heat?? Excuse me for a moment while I go and throw up!

We have been BUSY little bees this week, despite the heat. We learned all about Good ole Johnny Appleseed, with my Johnny Appleseed Math and Literacy Centers. Here's a little sneak peek (minus the 2 centers we will be doing next week!)...

Juicy Rhyming Center

Applicious Short Vowel Sort

Johnny Appleseed Sentence Scramble
Johnny Appleseed ABC Order

Apple Pickin' Bar Graph

Appley Patterns

Johnny Appleseed Number Order

Apple Season Missing Numbers
My kiddos also brought in a bunch of apples, which we sorted and graphed...
The poor little yellow/red apples had no place to go on our graphing mat! Oh well...

applicious graph

Click HERE to download the Applicious graphing FREEBIE!!

I also made this little Johnny Appleseed Sentence Scramble that we will use this coming week, along with my Apple addition center and Apple LifeCycle Center from my Johnny Appleseed Centers! Click on the picture below to download the sentence scramble...

On Monday, we will be making applesauce with the SLEW of apples my kidlets brought in, and watching this CLASSIC Johnny Appleseed video. Guess what?? It's on YouTube!! Woo Hoo!

BTW, I'll be back this weekend with direction on how to make this 
A-DORABLE art project, incorporating apple trees and Johnny!!

Okay, I'm out! Off to get ready for date night with the Hubs!! Check back on Sunday for the art project directions. Your kiddos will LOVE this project, I promise you that!!

XOXO Kerri 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just tired...and some Fall Words!

Good evening, Friends! Kerri here...
You ever have one of those weeks where you have something EVERY SINGLE NIGHT of the week, and all you really want to do is blog stalk, watch your stories (I am sooooo happy that my Parenthood is back!! I am counting the minutes until 10:00 p.m.!), and MAYBE create some fun stuff on the computer??
But, NOOOO, here is my week:

MONDAY-PTA Meeting for my older daughter's school. I bailed after the first hour and skipped yoga to go to it. What a slacker!

TUESDAY-Ahem...Lady doctor appt. after school (highlight of the entire week. I couldn't wait to get in there. GAG.), followed by a church training at night.

WEDNESDAY-My hubby's Back to School Night. Single mom for the evening. Not too bad, actually. Plus Survivor starts, and I CANNOT wait!

THURSDAY-My youngest daughter's Back to School Night. I love going to this! :)

FRIDAY-My sister-in-law's dinner theatre show at The Old Spaghetti Factory (carb heaven!) and date night. This will be fun, but by Friday nights, I am a crabby, tired, sweaty mess. My hubby's dream come true!

SATURDAY-Collapse in a tired heap all day. Oh wait, NOPE. Laundry, grade papers, weekly Target run, blah blah blah.

Have you figured out by now that I LOATHE having something to do every night of the week??

I know, I know, I need to put on my big girl panties (You know, those HUGE comfy ones we all wear to bed??) and get over myself, right?? Just needed to vent, peeps...

Last weekend, I managed to bust a move on my Fall Words Writing Pack for all of you out there who don't celebrate Halloween (I don't blame you. Halloween is a pain in my arse.) Here they are...

Here are my October Words for the rest of us heathens out there. Halloween is coming. It's true! Target already has all of their Halloween stuff up, which makes me DIKKILOUS!

And, here is a writing pack that was requested by a sweet follower, and it is just plain ADORBS!! Makes me want to re-watch the Wizard of Oz right now!!
Alright, I'm out. Gotta go get ready for Parenthood. YAY! Did I mention how much I wish I was a Braverman? Kerri Braverman, it has a nice ring, don'tcha think??

XOXO Kerri B

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Poetry from A to Z, Big Giveaway Winner and Apples!

Happy Saturday folks! Lindsay here . . .

Well, yesterday marked the end of our second week of school here. It was a long week. A hot week. A looooooooooong hot week of sweatiness and classroom procedures. We also celebrated the letter A and all things pertaining to apples, naturally.

Here are our cutie "Parts of an Apple" art (courtesy of Peace, Love, Kindergarten - labels from What The Teacher Wants):

Then on Friday we made crockpot applesauce - and it was delicious!  I was an applesauce-making rookie, and I was SURE most of the kids wouldn't like it, but they gobbled it right up!


There was definately no short of fun activities as we learned all about our first Letter of the Week this week!  One of the weekly activities I do with my kiddos for our Word Work practice in the morning is our A to Z Poetry Book.  We learn one new poem every week (for our new letter) and the kiddos are always SO excited to see what the new poem will be!

First, we learn the works to the poem (or song).  We then practice singing or saying the poem and tracking the words on each line with our "Go-Go Gadget Pointer Fingers" . . . after lots of "finger push-ups" and finger warm ups, of course. 

Then . . . the magic happens.  My kiddos get to take out their *coveted* highlighters from their pencil boxes and begin their search for the letter of the week throughout the poem or song, highlighting the letter wherever they find it.  As the year progresses I might also have my kids look for familiar sight words, word family patterns, etc. 

Finally, after the letter search is over, we get ready to illustrate.  Before I have my kiddos begin, we talk about the characters, setting, vocabulary words that might be unfamiliar, etc. so they they have a better idea of what they will be drawing.  Then Mr. Ding-Dong gets set (the timer) and off they go! 

This is a page of one poetry book while we worked on the letter A this week:

This poetry book is such a powerful tool for practicing phonemic awareness, letter recognition, tracking, rhyming and other important literacy skills.  Each week before we learn our new poem, we first go through ALL the previously learned poems, so that by the end of the year our class knows all 26 by heart!  There have been many a bus ride to and from field trips when my kindergarteners begin singing songs from their poetry book - they just plain love it!

Here is a preview of my Poetry From A to Z that is now on TPT: (click the picture to check it out in my TPT store)

One last item of business . . . We need to announce the winner of our cutie Burlap Wall Hanging courtesy of Must Love Art Studio on Etsy.  And the winner is . . .

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We have already emailed you Kristi!! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who participated!!

Well, that's it for now!  I am off to staple Scholastic Book Club catalog pages on the couch in my PJs and watch some Real Housewives.  Yes, just another exciting Saturday night here folks! Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fantastic Fairy Tales Writing Packs, and our Giveaway!

Hi Peeps! Happy Thursday...Kerri here!

Well, It has been SWAMP sweaty here for over a week and I. AM. OVER. IT! I feel like I am sweating from 7:30 until I get home at 4. DISGUSTING! We live in So. Cal and it is NOT supposed to be humid here, DARNIT! AND, it's supposed to be even hotter tomorrow. GADS!

Okay, enough ranting about the heat. I have to make it quicky quick because I have Back to School Night tonight (NERVOUS! Why?!? I have been teaching 16 years already! Why do I still get nervous??) and I my daughter has GOBS of homework (every single day including the weekends), which is another story altogether. To make a long story short, Homework BLOWS.

I have created 3 new writing units for 3 of my favorite fairy tales!! Introducing...

You can also purchase My Fantastic Fairy Tales Writing Pack Bundle, which has 6 fairy tale writing centers for the price of 5!

What’s Included:

writing mats, mini book covers and writing paper, plus story writing paper for the following 6 fairy tales:

*Jack and the Beanstalk
*Goldilocks and the 3 Bears
*Alice and Wonderland
*Snow White and the 7 Dwarves
*The Three Little Pigs
*Little Red Riding Hood

Click each picture to head right over to my TPT store and check them out!

Wish me luck at Back to School Night! One good thing about it, I'm most definitely NOT making dinner. The hubs will be picking something up on his way home! :)

XOXO Kerri B

P.S. Don't forget to enter our giveaway to win this:

The giveaway ends at MIDNIGHT!! HURRY HURRY, CHICKEN CURRY!! :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Classroom Pics, Color Freebies, and a FAB giveaway!!

Happy Sunday, Friends! Kerri here...
Well, I survived my first week in first grade and to be honest, it was pretty darn great! I totally love my little munchkins, and we are already having lots of fun! Of course, I do have a couple of kids who are going to give me a run for my money, but that's okay. Here's my mantra with those types of kids...As Ivan Drago said to Rocky in Rocky 4 (best movie ever in 1986) in a Russian accent please, "I must break you." In a battle of wills, Mrs. B will reign SUPREME! Right, ladies??

I finally got around to taking pictures of my room., It hasn't changed THAT much from last year, but there are a few new things. Let's take a tour, shall we??
Our Wowzville Writing board with our first piece of writing!

My vintage Peanuts gang (bequeathed to me by my 5th grade teacher!) and Abby's First Grade is... activity!

Our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Art! My firsties cut out every piece by themselves-NO PATTERNS! I'm so proud of them!

Bucket Fillers art and a view of the front of the room-see here for Bucket fillers post

My new word wall that I bought from Teachery Tidbits (I LOVE IT!) and my half-labeled library. Put it on the to-do list...

Focus Wall with Lindsay's Wee Ready Writers signs in top left corner! I can't wait to introduce these to my kiddos! The super cute FACE signs are from First Grade Owls!

My Calendar Wall (bain of my existence!) but at least it's cute! My Math Wall cards are to the right...

My corner, and our bucket fillers anchor chart!

I love my front door! I'm telling you, Dots on Turquoise literally threw up in my classroom! 

Our welcome center! I love this place the most!
Whew! That's alot of pictures! Thanks for hanging in there and checking them out!!

I also have a couple of FREEBIES for you! This week we will be working on our color words, so I created a little color words graph and spinner for my kids to use with a partner. They will basically spin a paper clip on the color wheel, find the color word, and color it in on their graph-Easy Peasy, and I think they will LOVE it! Click on the crayons to access the file via Google docs!!

Okay, last but certainly NOT least, and DEFINITELY the best, are you ready to win this (or something similar)??

When I saw this I. ABOUT. DIED. Seriously, the heavens parted, angels flew down around my head, the choirs sang, and I busted out my credit card so fast (actually I have the number memorized-it that bad? That's probably bad, right??)  I mean this thing is GINORMOUS! We're talking over 24 inches long, and almost as wide! I CANNOT WAIT to hang it up tomorrow and I have the PERFECT SPOT (which has been empty waiting for this to arrive, and I have had HIVES looking at the glaringly white wall all week!)

I contacted Sherri from Must Love Art Studio on ETSY and asked her if she would PRETTY PLEASE do a giveaway for our followers, and she said YES!! SO HAPPY! She is the sweetiest lady ever and her products are so darn deliciously cute, I just can't stand it!
She said you can win one of her back to school burlap wall hangings. Here are some of her other choices...


I think I need this one too!
For all of you chevron fantatics!!
Classically cute, and I love me some polka dots!

Lindsay and I will also throw in a product from each of our stores for the lucky winner, cause why not?? Enter through Rafflecopter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. Guess who is now a contributing author on Blog Hoppin'?? Little ole me! I am seriously in shock to be among such an awesome group of ladies! Head on over to read my first post (sooo nervous!) and join Blog Hoppin!