Year Long Dinosaur Unit

Teacher Tuesday



This year I am decorating my classroom in Dinosaurs.  One day a week (Fridays) we will be exploring one topic or Dinosaur.  This will last for the whole year.

Below I will share with you my Lesson Schedule, Dinosaur Journal Templates, Journal Answer Key as well as the activity and art craft that will go along with our study of fossils.


Dinosaur Journal

(Click Picture)



Dinosaur Journal Map (not included in Journal Doc)


Dinosaur Friday Schedule and Journal Worksheet Key


Dinosaur Map (Graphic Organizer) Completed


This will take you the the teachers pay teachers free download (where I found it)


To help with all we’re learning I also created documents labels and found photos of each dinosaur that can be printed out on card stock, laminated and displayed.

Dinosaur Photos

(Click Photo to access file)




Lesson Labels

(click photo to access labels)

I hope you enjoy these.  I know it seems like a lot for Kindergarten but spaced out over the year I do think it will be enjoyable for the students and they will learn some about Dinosaurs.

I’m curious as to what you think and what changes you would make or activities you might add (I haven’t planned many activities related to the subject).

Comment and Let me know!





Updated Math Wall

Teacher Tuesday


I posted previously about having walls that worked in the classroom.  Making them interactive rather than just pretty.

This was what my math wall looked like….




I decided this year to redo it so that everything was uniform and yet still held the same idea.  I have uploaded my files to Google Drive and I am going to share them for free.

My inspiration for these changes came from various sources on Pinterest. Here they are….




I took a few ideas from each of these and made my own special to what we will be working on in our classroom.

Math Wall 1 (School day count, place value and add)

(use number cared with this)

Math Wall 2 (Labels for subjects)

(plan on getting two decks of Trends 0-100 # Flashcards with number on one side word on the other)

10 Square (to go with “looks like”)

Piggy Bank

Clock Recorder

And this is the clock I plan on making to use with my classroom.




What else would you add to your math wall to make it the best it could be?


Planning for the New School Year

Teacher Tuesday




Planning for the School Year


It’s that time of year!  It’s time to start thinking of classroom arrangements and *gasp!* LESSON PLANS!  This year to save money, I didn’t buy a planner, I created one for myself and personalized it so it would be best used for my classroom.

My planner is separated into

  • Circle Time
  • Phonics
  • Reading
  • Numbers
  • Language Arts (Literature/ Reader responses)
  • Language Development (Vocabulary, Spelling, and Writing)
  • Art/Music/Drama
  • Science/Social Studies

And then I left a space for notes

I do believe you can edit my categories to fit your needs.

 You can find my Lesson Planner here.

For long range planning (monthly themes) I also created a Long Range Planner that worked for me.  It is a blank template so maybe it will work for anyone else who would like it.

You can find my Long Range Planner here


I have not had the time to make myself a grade record book so I went searching online and I have to say (for home schoolers) is a great resource for grade recorders.  I chose to use her 10 Subject grade keeper.  I love it because you use one page for each student, you can keep grades for every subjects on that page and it is set up in a way where at a glance I can watch progress throughout the year, there isn’t any flipping pages to see if said student is doing better this semester as compared to last, it’s all on that one page for the THAT student.

If you would like to check out the Donna Yong Grade Recorder you can do that here

I hope this helps with your planning!

Share with me by commenting if there are any online resources that you love when planning for the next school year.

Classroom Walls that Work (not just look pretty)

Teacher Tuesday


Last year I had a small classroom.  A really small classroom.  On the weekends it was our church’s nursery.  During the week, it was the classroom for the Pre-Kindergarten class.

I wanted to do more than decorate my classroom.  I wanted walls that worked.  One part of the classroom I had the alphabet that we could use for recognition and practicing letter sounds. I had a wall with our sight words on it and a wall where we played our popcorn game.


Our popcorn game had blends on each piece of popcorn, and I lamented a popcorn box (bought at dollar general).


The most useful wall of my classroom was my math wall.





In our class we worked with number concepts up through 20 (but learned to count to 100 and skip count by 5 and 10’s).

The wall is set up for the students to interact with.  I can ask questions and they can use the board to explain and demonstrate their answers.



I love this board, but I had the idea to make it right before school started and didn’t take the time to make it like I wanted it.. With everything uniform (I have been accused of being OCD)

This was my inspiration


I do plan on making some changes to this board before I use it again.  I also plan on adding to it in hopes of making some more abstract concepts something we can work with in the concrete.

I am also planning on improving my calendar/weather center.

Much to my husband’s chagrin all my new ideas come from pinterest.

My clock from last year….



The clock I want to make for my wall



To make tally mark making a more concrete project a little sticky tac and some craft sticks and use this (instead of writing them on the board, we’ll still write them on the paper).





With my number wall I also used number pages 0-20.  We did them twice actually.  We did each page the day we reviewed the number and then we did them again at the end of the year as a full number review.  The second set I had made into books so each child could take their “Number Book” home.



I did not create these pages. They were created by an amazing teacher who runs another blog.  She has many other number page options available that may be more suitable to your classroom or children.


Check her out at

I am also pulling from another awesome Home school teacher and blogger for some Calendar Inspiration.

I love the idea of a flip chart for the Month, Day of the Week, Date, and Year, as well as the “Days in School” counter, and Weather Chart.

I plan on making these (maybe even using something similar with my children for enrichment).

This is a wonderful addition to the morning routine and can be modified to fit whatever age group or school type you are working with (i.e. a public school classroom wouldn’t use the prayer, but could post the Pledge of Allegiance).

MamaJenn has some amazing resources for home school parents and I have found some home school parents have ideas that work wonderfully in the classroom.

You can check out MamaJenn here

As I put some of my new ideas into action I will take pictures and keep you all updated.

What are some ways that you make your walls work in your classroom?

Please comment and share.





Summer Break for Teachers: The Reality

Teacher Tuesday


Beginning in late August every day is pretty much the same.  I get up early, really early, a time of day normally only seen by emergency workers and 3rd shift people getting off of work.

I get up and start preparing for my day.  I have had classes as small as two children and as large as twenty-eight (though that was student teaching).  Here’s the thing, the same amount of prep as it takes to get ready for a class of twenty-eight is the exact same amount of prep one puts into teaching just two (you only make less copies at the copy machine).

I get myself ready, then i get my children up and ready.  Most of the time my husband takes our son to his mother’s (sometimes i need to because he is at work), and I get my daughter off to school (this year she starts kindergarten).  I then get myself to work, hopefully with an hour before school starts.   At the private school I work at kids could be waiting for you when you arrive even if you are an hour early.

The year goes by and before you know it it’s Summer Vacation!!!  Woohoo!!!


It must be nice being a teacher, you get holidays and summers off.

I have heard this so many times and it is times when I hear this that I wish it was socially acceptable to laugh in someones face (or just back hand them).

Sure, I have three months each year where I do not need to drag my butt out of bed at 5:30 am (unless my kids decide otherwise)  I have three months where I do not need to wear dress shoes or dress professionally (yeah I kind of live in a-frame tanks and yoga pants all summer long – and go barefoot as much as possible).  I have three months to hang out with my children and make up for the school year where I was either at work at school or working on lesson plans at home.

For a teacher, summer break is not a vacation — well not a full three month vacation.

If you are in the public schools you have training meetings, staff meetings, curriculum development meetings, professional development classes.

In all schools (public or private) teachers are thinking about last year.  What worked, what didn’t, what activities you should NEVER attempt again, which ones you can refine, how you should refine them to make them more effective? What would you like to add?

Oh and if you find yourself teaching a new grade level the next year you can scrap all your hard work from the year before because now you get to develop completely new lesson plans.  This also holds true when after three or four years with excellent lesson plans that flow and work the school district decided to try a new curriculum that completely changes scope and sequence of your school year.  You can pull from past lesson plans but once again they’re scrapped and you’re back at square one.

I love teaching, this is by no means a complaint.  But for my non-teacher friends – I want to show you the reality of a teacher’s summer break, or any break at that.

Our day doesn’t always end when we leave school. Many nights I will come home, make dinner, spend some time with my kids (bath time is often our best one on one time), get the kids to bed and them  I am up till 1 am preparing for the next day.

And holiday breaks allow me to catch up on classroom projects (Lamination fun!!!)

For my Teacher friends:  Here are the links to my teaching pinterest boards for your school year inspiration (Parents: some of these are excellent at-home activities).

Click the picture under the subject and it will take you directly to my pinterest board for that subject




Phonics/Reading/Language Arts







Social Studies



Character Education



Classroom Management

Would you please share your favorite educational pins with me?  

Please leave them in the comment box (with links)

The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven


By Jack Prelutsky

The turkey shot out of the oven,

It rocketed into the air,

It knocked every plate off the table,

And partially demolished a chair.

It ricocheted  into a corner,

And burst with a deafening boom.

Then splattered all over the kitchen,

Completely obscuring the room.

It stuck to the walls and the windows,

It totally coated the floor.

There was turkey attached to the ceiling,

Where there’d never been turkey before.

It blanketed every appliance,

It smeared every saucer and bowl,

There wasn’t a way I could stop it,

The turkey was out of control.

I scrapped and scrubbed with displeasure,

And thought with chagrin as I mopped,

That I’d never again stuff a turkey

With popcorn that hadn’t been popped.

This amazing poem comes from the book “Something Big Has Been Here”.  My class loved it and when I told them that we needed to pick one poem to learn for our Thanksgiving/Christmas Program that is coming up in December, both of my students requested this one.

The issue with this is that there are some big words in it for my Pre-K students.  So I sat down with them and asked them to raise their hand every time they heard a word they did not know what it meant.  The words that I have highlighted in red were the vocabulary words that they chose.


demolished to destroy

ricochetedto bounce around

deafeningextremely loud

obscuring to cover completely, unclean

appliancegadgets; in this case machinery used in the kitchen



I will have to scan in and add our turkey mask template to this post later on.

Here are a few cool ideas to go along with this poem.

Paper bag turkey with popped popcorn



response to poetry



If anyone who reads this has any additional ideas on how to do more with this poem in reading/language arts or even math I would love to hear your suggestions.  I love this poem, it’s funny, it’s fun, and it really gets the kids engaged.

By the way if you’re looking for the book this is in it looks like this

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything


 Fall is here and Halloween is quickly approaching. This week we are working on a Literature unit on The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything”.





Language Arts Concept



Teaching Heart Blog – The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything

Book of the Week: The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything

Golden Gang Kindergarten

One would think Onomatopoeia would be difficult for kindergartners, but they love the sound words and really get into the story.

In fact they seemed to get so much more out of storybook units rather than themed units that I hope to do more of these in the past.

Here is our Onomatopoeia wall with our Vocabulary words.


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