Monday, September 15, 2014

Take a peek inside our room!


Welcome to our home away from home!  Come on in and take a little tour of kindergarten!

Here’s a picture from the hallway.  I think if you look in all the way to the fireplace, the room looks huge!


As you go in the door, you will find our mailboxes.  This is where we keep our folders, our papers that are completed and ready to go home, lunch count, our office folder, and morning work.  It’s a busy place!


Behind the busy mailbox area is our coat room.  We keep our backpacks, jackets, and rest things on the hooks.  On the shelves and in the cabinets, I store everything from flashcards to tissues to craft supplies!  We use every inch of this space. 


We spend a lot of time on the floor in our classroom, sometimes on the big rug by the fireplace (my favorite place to be!) for stories or other whole group activities, and sometimes spread out all over the room.


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Sometimes we complete work as a whole group at our tables.  Here we are in our seats!


There are times when we need to work as a small group as well, such as reading groups.  Here’s a group hard at work at the reading table.

IMG_5472[1]While some children are working at the reading table, other children are working at other places around the room.  (We call this time “Reading Rotations”)  Here’s what some others are doing…

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I hope you enjoyed this look around our busy, busy room!

PS It does get quiet for a while each day…




Monday, September 1, 2014

Welcome to a new school year!


I’m so excited to be posting my first blog entry of the school year!  This kindergarten blog is kind of like a year-long scrapbook, documenting the happenings of a school year and giving parents a look into what their kiddos are doing all day!  It’s also a great place to connect our classroom to kindergarten classrooms across the nation.  I hope you enjoy it!

Meet my family…


I have two girls in high school (a senior and a sophomore) and two kids in grade school (8th grade and 5th grade).  After school, I can be found at cross country and track meets, musicals, choir performances, volleyball games, show choir competitions, and dance recitals with these four!  The furry one is Daisy, and if you haven’t heard about her yet, you will.  :)   Being with these people is my MOST favorite thing to do, but being at school is a close second!


We’ve been super busy at school so far, getting to know each other and the routines of school.  Everyone has learned so much in the first 15 days, and there is so much more to learn!


Check back later in the week for a tour of our classroom!





Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Writing the Room!

I’ve been using “Writing the Room” as one of my reading rotations during my small group reading time for several years now and my kiddos really love it!  If you’ve never done a ‘Write the Room” activity before….here’s how I do it! 

With “Write the Room” activities, I hang several laminated picture cards around the room for children to find.   Each card has a picture and a word describing the picture.  Sometimes I use color pictures, other times (to save ink!) I use black and white.  The kids don’t seem to mind either way!

Since this is a reading rotation used during small group time, I have a small group of children, armed with clipboards and pencils, quietly walk the room on the lookout for our “Write the Room” cards.  When a child finds a card, he/she writes the information from the card onto their answer sheet.  (During this time, other small groups are doing other things, including teacher time with me!)


^picture card^


Here’s the answer sheet for the clipboard.  On this day, they are ^writing the words for members of a family.^

They love the clipboards, the walking around the room, the hunting for the pictures.  I love the way they are engaged all year long while they practice phonics, hand-writing skills, letter/sound association, and any other skill I like to throw at them.  My kiddos look forward to new “Write the Room” activities each week!

Here is a link to my store on Teacher’s Pay Teachers if you’d like to see my newest Write the Room activities for the beginning of the school year…Write the Room: ABC, Write the Room: Family, and Write the Room: School.

Click here:

Mrs. Minton's Busy Kinders


In other news, I fixed my Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree and it’s ready to to go back to my classroom!  (It had a little accident last year.)  Here it is in my kitchen, ready to head back to school soon!


And don’t tell my husband, but I visited IKEA!  The stools are for my computers and listening station, the blue cart is for Busy Bags for my Busy Kinders when they finish work early!





Monday, June 23, 2014

Mission Monday

It’s been a fun summer so far…a little work at a camp, fun with my kids (here we are at an Indianapolis Indians baseball game!) and time to get organized at home.  My favorite part of summer is time, time, time!  I’m trying to make good use of it, but there is always so much I want to do!10461972_865550820141020_4335276364949297552_n
My mission today was to spend some of that time getting organized for the new school year.  Many changes will come  for me with the new school year, including a much bigger class (yay for increased enrollment!), some new furniture, a new classroom arrangement, and a new school wide theme.  Our new theme for the school year is “Anchored in God’s love.”
I made these signs for my classroom door  today to celebrate our theme:

I’m going to link them together with red polka-dot ribbon that I bought at Walmart today with a cute bow at the top and hang them on my classroom door.  That little anchor will be included on much of my classroom decor for this year, but what fun is that without a few pirates!  These cute clipart pirates are from Scrappin Doodles.  Their clipart is just so adorable!
I also made these cute pirate classroom rules for my classroom. 
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These were a first attempt, and I wasn’t completely happy with them, so I made another version that looks like this:
You can download these at my store on Teacher's Pay Teacher's by clicking here!
Hope you accomplished whatever your mission was for today!  And let me know if you have any great pirate ideas!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer's Here!

It's been quite a while since my last blog, so it's time to get started again!  This school year ended just as happily as it began. Here we all are on the last day, proudly holding kindergarten certificates.  Behind their certificates in large plastic bags were sneakily hidden summer homework packets and a handprint keepsake.

I'm going to miss these little ones!  I really enjoyed this class, and I'm not sure I'll ever have another one like it!  Of course, I think that every year so I'm sure I'll enjoy my next class of kiddos just as much!  :)

Here are a few Oscar inspired "selfies" from our last day. 

The Whole Class

The Girls

The Boys

I spent some time packing the room away, getting rid of old things to make room for new, and getting everything set for a deep cleaning by our wonderful maintenance crew over the summer.

Now it's time to begin thinking of the next school year and the next crew of kiddos heading my way.  Our school theme for the next school year will be "God is our Anchor" based on Hebrews 6:19, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."  I am envisioning lots of anchors, ocean things, and a few pirates in my classroom!
Stay tuned as the planning begins!  (I've already started my "pinterest planning!"


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five for Friday

So I started Friday with great intentions and so many things to get done, and I ended Friday with a list just as long….including this Friday blog which is now a Saturday blog.  Maybe I should change it to “Six for Saturday!” Naaaah, I’ll stick with my original five.  Here we go…a peek at 5 amazing things things we did this week!

1.  Dr. Suess’ Birthday!

We started our week celebrating the birth of Dr. Seuss!  He turned 110 this year, and left the world with some wonderful books.  I love that his birthday is at this time of the year, because when I bring out the Dr. Seuss books the kiddos are so excited to discover that they can READ them!  It’s so much fun to watch the discovery. 

In honor of his birthday, we made hats and ate Green Eggs, which the kids LOVED!


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Here are a few of our work stations for the week…

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2.  hand-writing practice

Getting kids to write with “proper D’Nealian” is always a challenge!  When we are ready to print on our hand-writing pages, I first have the kiddos put their papers into a large (freezer size) baggie.   They use dry erase markers to practice formation, and when they are ready, they pop those papers right out of the bag and try with pencil.  The dry erase part makes it fun  and less tedious (who really WANTS to practice hand-writing?!), and adds invaluable practice.


3.  dividing by sharing

Snack time became an extension of math time when we used our fruit snacks in a “divide by sharing” activity.   The kiddos pretended to have 2 plates, and divided the fruit snacks equally between the two.   (And we learned that there are 8 Scooby Doo fruit snacks in a package, in case you ever need to know that!)


4.  Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday, we began lent with the reception of ashes in church.  I found this cute activity from Kinderkay at Faith Filled Freebies.      


click here for activity 

Here is a picture from after our time at church, where the kiddos are checking out their ashes with hand held mirrors.


5.  The end of indoor recess

And finally….even though THIS is still outside our window,


it has finally warmed up and thawed out enough to get back outside.  The kiddos are happy and sad at the same time.  I think they’ll miss those indoor recess toys that normally stay behind closet doors.

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But their teacher loves that they are running off some of that delightful energy once again!

Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Two for Tuesday

We've been busy already this week...  Here are two activities that were lots of fun!

1.  Acting out subtraction story problems

I'm always a fan of doing anything other than a worksheet to teach or practice a standard.  When I can work in a craft to practice, then we are a happy class!  This week, in our math station, the children are writing number sentences about losing teeth! More on that station later in the week, but here is one little guy with his number sentence!  (We called the toothless guy Joey!")

To make a connection, we also made individual "Joey's during our math time.  I call this a mathtivity!

We made our faces, and gave them each ten teeth.   After adding a few more details, like hair and little pink cheeks, the children decided how many teeth their little friend was going to lose today!

We colored teeth black to show that they had been lost, and then wrote a subtraction number sentence to match.  Here are a few of the finished products.  I thought they turned out cute enough to hang in the hallway, so we now we have lots of little faces with toothless grins decorating the area outside our door!

2.  Journal

Today we used our journals to help with writing standard K.w.3, using a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate an event, telling about the events in the order they happened.

First, I modeled (and illustrated, much to amusement of my kindergarten friends!) how I get ready for school in the morning.  I didn't get a picture of it, so you don't get to see my great illustrations, but my morning hair was a hit!

After we worked through my example, the children tried it themselves!  This was our first time to write 3 sentences in a sitting, and I thought they did well!  Here are a few examples...

I get up from bed.  I put on my clothes.  I eat breakfast.

I wake up and get out of bed.  I eat breakfast and get dressed.  I go to school.

I put on my clothes.  I get up to brush my teeth. (Teef! My heart is melting!)
I get my shoes.

I hope you enjoyed our "two for Tuesday" installation!  Have a great week!