Monday, February 28, 2011

Highlights from the first day of celebrating Dr. Seuss

The bulletin board outside our classroom told the school what we were reading, wearing, and who our "mystery reader" would be for the day.

My sister, Elizabeth read Green Eggs and Ham to our kiddos. She has been a part of our class before. She helped them make ornaments for their parents for Christmas and painted their faces at our Christmas party.
Of course, you can't read Green Eggs and Ham without cooking some up and having a taste!

Our students predicted if they would like green eggs and ham before tasting them. Some of the ones that predicted no, were wrong!! We had plenty that came back for seconds!

Tomorrow..... Fox in Socks, wearing silly socks, and another "mystery reader"!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Dr. Seuss Ideas

We are planning to celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss the whole week of Feb. 28 - March 4. As part of that celebration, we have decided to dress a certain way each day to go along with a theme from one of Dr. Seuss' books. We sent a letter home with the students Friday so that the parents would have a week to prepare. Here is the schedule:

Monday 2/28 - Green Eggs and Ham, wear something green
Tuesday 3/1 - Fox in Socks, wear silly socks
Wednesday 3/2 - Dr. Seuss's Birthday and Read Across America Day - The Cat in the Hat, wear black and white (we will be making striped hats)
Thursday 3/3 - The Eye Book, wear crazy glasses (we told the parents to have the children decorate an old pair of sunglasses)
Friday 3/4 - Dr. Seuss' Sleep Book and/or I'm Not Getting Up Today, wear pajamas

We have also scheduled a "mystery reader" for each day that week. 2 of our assistant principals have volunteered to come read to the class. We also have our ELL teacher coming to share a bilingual book one of the days that week. And, one of our PE coaches will come read to the class. The other "mystery reader" will be my sister, "Ms. Elizabeth". They love my sister because she came to our class and helped the students make Christmas ornaments for their parents and she came back for our Christmas party and painted their faces to make them look like reindeer. They will be so excited to see her!

How are you celebrating Dr. Seuss??

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thank you, Thank you!

Thank you to and for the Stylish Blogger Award! How exciting to get an award for something so fun! I have to say though that Cindy (my dearest friend! and co-teacher) has done most of the work on this blog. I have only posted 2 times but I am going to do better in the future! So...Cindy has already awarded 15 more bloggers with this award and posted 7 things about her, so here are 7 things about me!
1. I have been married for 19 years February 28th! Actually, our anniversary is on leap year - February 29th so I guess I have really only been married about 4 years! LOL
2. My oldest son will graduate from high school in May and will be a freshman at the University of Alabama this fall - Roll Tide! My youngest son will turn 16 in July and begin driving! WOW! Where has the time gone? Cindy has been helping me "cope" with having a senior this year and next year I will do the same for her as her daughter graduates! Our graduation gift to our son will be a cruise this July to Cozumel, Jamaica and Grand Cayman!
3. I just purchased a new Canon DSL camera in November and am now taking a beginning photography class. I don't want to become a pro or anything, just be able to take some great pictures and know how to use my camera! :)
4. We just bought a new boat last weekend! It is a 22ft bay boat and we are looking forward to taking it on our annual St. George Island beach trip in May! We have a lot of boys who LOVE to fish!
5. I have my administrative degree and actually was an assistant principal for one year in 2004.
Although is was a learning experience, I do not see myself going back until I get ready to retire! In Alabama, your retirement is based on your highest salary amount during your last 3 years of teaching!
6. I collect Willow Tree figurines! I love all of them but my favorites are the mother and son figurines! Wonder why?
7. I absolutely LOVE team teaching with my best friend! There are times that we cannot look at each other or we would just crack up!!!! It is so much fun to share what you love with the people who mean the most to you!

Stylish Blogger Award

Thank you, thank you! and awarded us with The Stylish Blogger Award! That really made our day!
Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

Here are Cindy's (Mrs. Hutter's) 7 random things:
1. I L-O-V-E cowboy boots! No, I do not own a horse or drive a tractor. Nor do I live on a farm. I have just collected cowboy boots from special trips and I wear them all winter long. I have four pairs (red, black, and 2 brown) and one of those pairs was given to me on my 40th (shhh! don't tell anyone that I am that old) birthday by my very dear friends! I hope that next pair I get are turquoise!
2. Dancing is one of my favorite things to do. We dance almost every day in our classroom. I put on old disco music and let the kids bust a move! We play "freeze dance" and sometimes we play "follow the leader", where one student is the leader and we all have to do the dance they are doing. I also will call out a body part and that is the only part of the body that can move while dancing.
3. My 16 year old daughter has wanted a dog for years. She used to beg us for one. So, my sweet hubby decided that a Welsh Pembroke Corgi puppy would be the perfect Christmas present for her. Roxy is the newest addition to our family and we adore her little rotten self! And of course, my hubby and I are the ones that take care of her most of the time.
4, My 13 year old son and 16 year old daughter go to the school that was the biggest rival to the school I went to growing up. My kids play baseball and tennis for their school and there is almost nothing I would rather do than to watch them and cheer for the team. But, it was kind of strange at first to root for the school that I grew up rooting against all the time.
5. I think I would teach even if I didn't get paid for it.... (really couldn't do that and feed the kids but, you know what I mean!)
6. My husband and I have been together since I was 17 years old. He was my date to my senior prom! I still have the dress I wore!
7. I am addicted to all of your fabulous blogs and get such great ideas from you all! THANK YOU!!!

15 great blogs are getting this award from us:

Friday, February 18, 2011


So I just have to add to Mrs. Hutter's last post about "Things They Say"! Everyday after lunch we take a restroom break before beginning the afternoon! The restrooms are right across the hall from our classroom, so we are able to watch our kiddos in the classroom as well as "monitor" the restrooms. Today as one of our boys ( I will call him "A") was waiting to go into the restroom, we had the following conversation:

A - "When Q is by itself, it makes the /k/ sound."
Mrs. Wildman - "Q is never by itself! It always says /qu/."
A - "What about Iraq?"
Mrs. Wildman - No comment!!!!

Don't you just love being corrected by a 6 year old, especially when they are right! Just one more reason you have to love kindergarten!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Things They Say" Thursday

I L-O-V-E having conversations with my students! Especially this time of year, when they feel totally comfortable with me. There were a few exchanges that made me not only smile but beam today.
* I called my ELL reading group to my table. One of the boys is the youngest student we have. He didn't turn 5 until Sept. 2! He has learned so much English since school started and we are very proud of his progress. I will call him "Little S". So, Little S comes over and sits down. He says, "Mrs. Hutter, I really like the Valentine stations." (he is referring to the Valentine math stations we work through last week) I said, "You did? Why did you like them?" He smiles and tells me, "Because they were beautiful." My heart just melted!
* We live in the state that has back to back National Championships in college football. (RTR!) Anyway, "Mr. C" is a huge fan of the team that won this year. At least twice a week, he will wear a shirt that shows his love for the team. Today he had one on that I had not seen before. So, as we are walking out of the classroom door for lunch, I ask him, "How many of those shirts do you have?" He just smiles, shrugs, and says, "A lot!" The little girl behind him chimes in and says, "Tons! Plenty!" Hahaha! Maybe she likes crimson and white more than orange and blue..
* Our school has an after school care program. Several of our students attend this program. We are in the process of benchmarking our students in reading. I still need to do this with most of my students. So, I was in my classroom late this afternoon and walked out to use the restroom. When I saw that a few of my students were still at school, I decided to ask their after school care counselors if I could take one of them back to my classroom and read with him. He was excited to come back to the classroom with me. He walks into the empty classroom, looks around, and says, "You know what this makes me think about?" I said, "What does this make you think about?" He says, "That everyone else in the whole class is absent but me." CUTIE!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The "Quiet" Bag

Do you have chatty students? Who doesn't? That's what I would like to know...haha! We all know that there are just times during the day when the classroom needs to be quiet. The "quiet" bag is a visual reminder for your students to stay on task without talking. Take a simple gift bag that doesn't have "Happy Birthday" or other holiday on it. Make it a little festive with some tissue paper. Inside the bag place some little trinkets like stickers, erasers, etc. Make sure to put enough for each student that sits at each of your tables or groups of desks. (Our students sit at tables of 8 so, we put 8 of whatever the prize is in the bag.) Somewhere in your classroom, have a chart that displays a spot for each table and a place to place tally marks for each table. During the day, move the "quiet" bag around from table to table. If the students at a table are working quietly and staying on task, then put the bag in the middle of the table. When another table is doing the same, move the bag to that table and so on. Place a tally mark on the chart for the table each time the bag is placed on it. At the end of the day, the students that sit at the table that has the most tally marks get to keep whatever was in the "quiet" bag. The students get very excited over the smallest prizes. There are always some students that keep the bag from visiting their table as many times as other tables. :-( I tell the students at those tables to encourage the ones that are talking and keeping them from earning many tally marks and to also lead by example like putting their fingers to their lips to show those being noisy to quiet down. This idea worked for us for several weeks at the beginning of the school year. We are thinking about bringing it back after spring break.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dr. Seuss Part 1 Again

Sorry, I am new to posting things that you can actually download! Click below to download the One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish activity...

One Fish Two Fish

Dr. Seuss Part 1

So, I am starting to pull out some Dr. Seuss activities. I just realized today that his birthday and Read Across America Day will be here the week after next!! I got so wrapped up in the 100th Day, Groundhog Day, Valentines, and everything else that February brings! Here is one activity that a co-worker and I created several years ago. Of course, back in the day, we drew it free hand and the kids loved it just the same...

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Mystery Person" Prize

In our classroom, pencils are kept in a caddy in the center of each table. In order to keep the students from arguing over a special pencil, we just put plain ol' yellow #2 pencils in those caddies. So, when pondering what kind of prize that should be offered up for being the "mystery person" and being caught doing the right thing at the right time, I decided to put all those FANCY pencils to use! I wanted to jazzy up the plastic jar I was going to use so, I made up the little poem that is in the picture.

Here is the poem:
The "Mystery Person" was me!
So, now I get to see,
Which pencil I want to keep,
Because I didn't make a peep!
I'll write with it for the day,
Then take it home, where it will stay!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mystery Person / Lucky Duck

Over at one of our favorite blogs, we saw her "Mystery Person" and "Lucky Duck" ideas. Well, I finally made these to use in our classroom. We have used equity sticks (we use the equity sticks to call on students to answer questions or share ideas) since last year but we have just had the sticks in a plastic cup with flowers on it. So blah!! We are thinking that when we show our students the new "Lucky Duck" can, they will stay even more engaged to see if their stick gets pulled! But, we are even more excited to see how they will re-act to the whole "Mystery Person" concept! If you haven't read about these cool ideas, take a look at the link above.

SNOW in Alabama?

SNOW in Alabama? YES! And a measurable amount at that! Luckily our roads were fine and we did not have to use our last weather day! Our kinders were so excited about the snow and knowing some of them had NEVER played in the snow, our first "assignment" this morning was to put on our winter attire and go outside! It was so much fun to experience this winter wonderland through the eyes of our kinders! To see their excitement, joy, and smiles was, as always, PRICELESS!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Since it is the week before Valentine's Day and the big day is on a Monday, I have decided that our class will do some activities and read some books about being a good friend. We always do a big unit on friendship and getting to know one another at the beginning of the year but now there seems to be some little groups formed in our large class and I thought it might be a good idea to remind the students how to be respectful of others. We will end our week with a few Valentine's books and activities which will include making Valentine card holders.
Today, I read the book A Friend Like You. I can't remember the author and I will try to let everyone know tomorrow. Anyway, after reading the book, the class helped me fill out the "Friends" tree map from Kim Adsit's unit. The tree map says "Friends like to.... can... are...."
The kids came up with some awesome answers like, "Friends are sorry when they do something wrong" and "Friends can hug." We did this activity before lunch and it must have really stuck with some of them. I over heard the students using kinder words and one of the girls that brought her lunch said to me, "I told everyone that brought their lunch today that I liked their lunch boxes." Awwwww, how sweet!!

I was thinking afterwards that the lesson went really well, sooooooo... I have decided to read Do You Want To Be My Friend? by Eric Carle tomorrow and then do a "Friends" tree map that reads "Friends don't like to... can not... are not...." to help remind the students and get them to think about actions that may hurt other's feelings. I know you are all hearing the song, "Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends....." right about now! I will post a picture of the new tree map when it is finished.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter Math Station

Here are two of our kinders playing Winter Symbol Number Mystery Game. I got this great activity from Kim Adsit's unit Winter Wonderland. Here is her website Of course, you can also see all her incredible units on I am planning to use math activities from her Hearts, Friends, and Valentines Math and Literacy Games and Activities next week for some of our math stations. Another station that I am excited about our students participating in is Deanna Jump's Valentine Card Sort and Graph from her Valentine's Day Math and Literacy Fun. Check it out on TpT, too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cowpokes of the Week

This is sort of our way of having "show and tell" or "student of the week". Our classroom has a western theme. So, we decided to have Cowpokes of the Week. We draw names on Thursdays and send home the poster (which the students fill out and decorate) and a letter explaining that the student has been chosen as a "cowpoke" and what that means. In the letter, we suggest that the student bring in 5-10 family photos, a favorite book, an award they have won (soccer trophy, any kind of participant's certificate, etc.), an item from when they were babies, etc. In the letter, we also suggest to parents that it would be super fun if their little cowpoke had a guest for lunch sometime during their special week. The cowpokes bring to school all their special loot on Mondays in a drawstring bag that is made from fabric that looks like bandanas. We display all the special items, poster, and photos for the whole week. On Fridays, we read all about the cowpokes, talk about the things they brought in to share, and let them tell us about the family photos. The anticipation and excitement of the weekly drawing of names is almost as fun as when we present all the cowpoke's stuff. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to be a Cowpoke of the Week??? We start the school year off with posters, photos, etc. all about Mrs. Hutter and Mrs. Wildman to show our new kinders how it is done.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


After discussing shadows and Groundhog's Day, we made our predictions about if the groundhog would see his shadow or not. We did this yesterday and checked the results today. Only 10 out of 38 of our students made the right prediction. They loved watching the video of Punxsutawney Phil! One of our sweet little ELL boys looked at me and said, "Is that a dog?" while watching. Haha! I just adore seeing them start to understand new concepts. We are all hoping that Phil was right and an early S-P-R-I-N-G is on the way!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Listening Station

One thing we love about a new month is when we get to pull out a whole new group of books on CDs for our kiddos to listen to at our "Listening to Reading" literacy station. We have started using the incredible Deanna Jump's reading response sheets from her "Templates for Reading Workshop & Reading Responses" unit sold on TpT. Here is an example of the response sheet we used last week for setting. After the students listen to the selected book, they fill out the sheet we are using that week with words or pictures. What do your students do at your listening station? We would love to hear your suggestions...