Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Word Wall Alphabet Labels

My summer vacation has officially come to an end.  Goodbye sleep-in mornings and lazy days!  We had our first day back today (no students yet though, thank goodness!  I'm not ready!) for professional development.  All I could think of was what I need to get done in my classroom.  I don't know if this is normal across the U.S., but we only get ONE teacher workday to get our classrooms ready for students.  Do you have more than one teacher workday to prep for the new year?  Wait, maybe you shouldn't tell me so that I don't get jealous if you have more than one.   

Anyway, welcome back to school!  I am going to work on my word wall tomorrow and wanted to share with you my Word Wall Alphabet Labels.  I'll post up some pictures once I complete it.  

Here's whats included:

26 Alphabet Cards with matching beginning sound pictures. Vowel fonts are red and consonant fonts are green.

Size: 3” x 6”

Print on white cardstock and laminate for durability.  

Click HERE to get it from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  It will only be available for free this week until Sunday, August 4, 2013.  Please rate my product if you decide to download it!  

FREEBIE IS NOW CLOSED, however, you can still get it on my TPT store!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Must Have Songs For Your Kindergarten CD Player & How To Download Songs and Videos from YouTube

We all know that kindergarteners love to move and can't keep still for very long.  My solution for this is MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC!  I use music for everything: transitions, cleaning up, learning new concepts, lining up, you name it!  I've accumulated so many CDs over the years that its become time consuming when I have to find a particular song that I need.  So...I've compiled all of my favorites onto one CD and this stays in my music player at all times.  

If you are trying to compile your own mixed CD, here's some suggestions:

1.  It's a Brand New Day  by Jenneane Thompson:  I use this for morning transition.

2.  7 Days in a week Rap by Jack Hartmann:  Great for calendar time.

3.  12 Months In a Year by Harry's Kindergarten:  Great for Calendar Time

4.  Hip Hop To The Alphabet by Jack Hartmann:  Alternative to the regular ol' ABC Song.

5.  Who Let The Letters Out by Dr. Jean:  Great Movement Activity to break up your morning routine.  Click here for my previous blog post about this song!  I've also made a free song chart that goes along with this. 
6.   Number Rock by Greg and Steve

7.  Counting by 5's by Jack Hartmann:  Great Movement activity.

8.  If you're a kid by Harry's Kindergarten:  Great movement activity when your kids are restless.

9.  Chicken Dance:  My kids love this dance!

10.  Jack Hartmann's Get on Board the Transition Train Songs (Buy the entire CD, it's great for classroom transitions)

11.  It's time to clean up by Harry's Kindergarten

12.  All About Helpfulness by Harry's Kindergarten (I use this song for clean up time after play centers.)

13.  We Walk to Our Seats by Harry's Kindergarten (transition song)

Unfortunately not all of these songs are available for purchase online.  I'm still waiting for Harry's Kindergarten (awesome youtube videos) to come out with CD's so that I can buy them all up, but I think he is working on it!  In the meantime, for songs that I like on YouTube and are not available for purchase I download these songs using a website called:  It is my secret weapon to downloading educational videos and songs from YouTube or the internet.  My school blocks me from accessing many fun and educational videos.  

Here's the steps to use

1.  Find the link of the site that holds the video or song you would like to download and copy the link.  

2.  Paste the link into the text box on then click on the download button to the right of the box.

3.  You may come across a pop up window that says:  "The website “” contains a Java applet. Do you want to allow the applet to load?"
 Click allow so that you can download the file.  

4.  It should then bring you to a new page.  Click on Download MP3 if you want the music file or click on download MP4 if you want the video file.  (Don't click on the buttons that say iLivid, because they are advertisements)

5.  Enjoy your new song or video!

Hope this helps!  If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to contact me!

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday: Computer Center Management

Hi Friends!

It took me several years before I finally felt my computer center management was running smoothly.  Computers are very common in households today; however, I work in a community where most of my students don’t have access to a computer at home.  They come into my classroom with little to no experience on the computer.  Therefore, I always start the beginning of the year with the very basics.

I want to share some simple tips on how to fix common problems that you may run into when managing your computer center. 

Problems and Solutions:

1.       Students click on areas of the computer that you don’t want them to.  For example:  folders get renamed with random letters and numbers, settings on the computer change, random applications are opened up, etc. 

Remove everything from the computer’s desktop that you don’t want them to click on.  I literally hide all of my folders and only leave things on my desktop that students can click on.  If you have macs, my dock at the bottom of the screen only has safari and applications my student can use.  I remove everything else and don’t leave anything to chance.

2.      Students interrupt my small group because they don’t know how to play a game or need help troubleshooting.    

I usually have one or two students that are proficient on the computer and I utilize them A LOT.  They become my “computer wiz”.  I train these helpers one-on-one so that when students need help, they become troubleshooters.  Students ask my computer wiz for help and if they can’t solve it, my computer wiz asks me for help.  If you train your students well, students will rarely ask you for help.  The only time students would ask me for help was when they needed a password or the Wi-Fi was down. 

3.      Students don’t know how to quit a game/website and change to a new game/website.

Have students ask your computer wiz for help. 

I also use a website called to help me manage all of the websites I allow students to go on.   Click here to read my previous post about it and get more info!  My only2clicks website is by far my favorite secret weapon for computer management.  It has made my students super duper independent on the computer.  You can make your own only2clicks web link and make it on your web browser homepage.  Since I use it as my homepage, I tell my students that if they want to change the website all they have to do is close the window by clicking on the little red circle at the top left corner, then re-click the safari button on the dock.  Then my homepage with all of my websites are up again and students can choose a new website. 

Here's what it looks like:

4.      Students wear headphones and can’t hear themselves getting loud.  Usually a student will start singing along with the computer and they don’t realize that they are singing really, really loud. 

Assign a classroom quiet monitor during centers and have them remind students to be quiet. 

5.      Children play the same game over and over.

Offer a variety of websites/games to play.  Make sure you teach students how to play each game so that they don’t just stick to one that they know.  Also, if students always choose the same game, you can remove that game from the computer for a little while so they no longer have that option.  

I hope this helps!  Let me know if you have any other suggestions or questions regarding this topic.  

If you would like me to cover a specific tech topic for my Tech Tip Tuesdays please feel free to let me know.  I'm open to blogging about your suggestions!