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Dr. Seuss Week!

Dr. Seuss CatDr. Seuss HortonDr. Seuss Grinch


I don’t know about you, but I love to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday in kindergarten!! We celebrate for the whole week! Yep! We do different Dr. Seuss related activities the entire week! I stray away from my routine and build my learning targets around the well known classics such as: Green Eggs and Ham  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish  Hop on Pop  Fox in Socks There’s a Wocket in My Pocket and my personal favorite Horton Hatches an Egg. Also, throughout the week, I read aloud other favorites of mine. Then, on Friday afternoon I end with Oh The Places You’ll Go to try to inspire these little minds that are so full of wonder!!

My little kinder cubs have no idea what is in store for them this coming week! That’s what makes it so much fun for me! I can’t wait to see their sweet faces on Monday when they come in and see all of the Dr. Seuss books, with the stuffed toys to go with them sitting around the room.

For a few years, Kohls would have a Dr. Seuss book with a stuffed toy to match for $5 each beginning around January. Now, I don’t see them anymore, so you better believe I treat these items like gold treasure. I have about 14 in my collection along with a Horton from Macy’s that I bought in 2008.

Now to begin my mornings this week, I will put out Dr. Seuss related activities for my Morning Table Rotations.

I don’t think I’ve ever said this out loud, but I do not like morning work that are worksheets. Here are my reasons why:

I have to have a different one EVERY DAY! UGH…..too much thinking on my part because the worksheets need to be something that they can do on their own…..that is a difficult feat with differentiation…..and it’s better if the worksheets are something that do not require cutting and pasting!

Worksheets for each day end up in almost 100 copies per week! I don’t want to use up my allotment for that.

It is the same kiddos who don’t complete them because they get to school right before the bell rings.

It is the same kiddos who do complete them because they get to school as soon as the first bell rings and they are wanting something else to do.

And worksheets don’t grow dendrites!! (I’ll mention that again later in this post!)

So here is what I do: I put a hands on activity out at each of my student tables….there are 4….and each day I rotate the activity to a different table. Easy Peasy!! On Fridays, I allow the kinders to get a blank piece of paper and it is Free Draw Friday…..they love it!! This Friday may be different though because of Dr. Seuss Week.

Here are my morning table rotations for this week: BTW—-you’ll see Cat in the Hat Headbands on each table. Each student will get one Monday morning…….I’m hoping everyone will be there so I can take a class pic!!

The custodians ran me out of the building Friday night, so I didn’t get a chance to prepare the hats for the kiddos to wear on Monday……..I will do that first thing Monday morning when I get there!

Ok now for pictures:

Here is my green table:Dr. Seuss green 2I call it the green table, because there is a round green paper lantern above it. (My tables are specified by the colors: green, purple, blue, and pink.) I found these dry erase boards last summer at Target… place ever to find Seuss things in the dollar bin. (side line: Last year, I found some cute Seuss Story bags that the kids use for their Read to Self bag of books.) I have the word family cards that we have worked on and they will practice writing the words on the boards and will write sentences using the words. They really enjoy this type of activity and it is so easy to set out.

Here is the purple table: Dr. Seuss purpleAgain, these plastic plates and bowls came from Target. I’m telling you, whenever I see these type items, I go ahead and buy a set because I know I can incorporate them into my Dr. Seuss week. Well….I put these on the table, but….. I don’t have the activity ready…..because on Friday evening, I wasn’t sure yet what I was going to do.  I’m thinking I’m going to put Cat in the Hat number cards that I made out. The students will pick a card from a stack put it on their plate. In the bowls will be Dr. Seuss small erasers. The students will count out that number of erasers and put them in the plate next to the card to represent the number. I will encourage them to talk about which number is greater, less, etc. Then, they will pull another card and continue on until the bell rings.

Here is the blue table: Dr. Seuss blue table 3

Dr. Seuss Blue TableFor this rotation, the kinders will get to snuggle with a Seuss stuffed toy and read a book. I have the book that goes along with the toy paired up with each other. I have some animals in the red bin that I’m not sure which book they belong to. Do you know? Here is a pic where you can see they are a whale and a giraffe: Dr. Seuss blue table 3I don’t have a picture of my pink table, because that will be Dr. Seuss book puzzles that I have. I forgot to get them from my house, so I’m bringing those with me on Monday morning and they will be out before the kinder cubs step into the classroom.

So, I think this will be a great beginning to a fun and fantastic week! We are going to read, rhyme, read, graph, read, work on math subtraction problems with gold fish, read, sort nonsense words  from real words, read, write opinions about Dr. Seuss books, read, compare and contrast Dr. Seuss characters, read, watch old Dr. Seuss cartoons (I have some with exact dialog from the books, but they have songs in them as well….I am all about singing!!), read, create animals by combining 2 animals (this is what happens in Horton Hatches an Egg), read, work with tens and ones, read, working in a sensory bin that is Dr. Seuss related, etc….you get the gist of my week……..engaging….growing dendrites in kinders… least I hope so!!

Ok before I leave today…..the growing dendrites part…..I’m linking up with a great blog book study on the book:

Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites The author is a lady from Georgia and I’ve heard nothing but great things about her!! I just ordered the book from Barnes and Noble and it should be at my house in a couple of days.

There are some great bloggers who are going to lead the study. Here is a link to one of my favorite bloggers Elizabeth Hall. She talks in this post about the schedule and how it is going to work:


Click HERE for today’s first Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites book study (Chapters 1 and 2 post).

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend! I’m headed out to find some more Dr. Seuss stuff, and I need to buy some things for a bridal shower I’m helping host, and get some things for our school science night that we’re having this week. Wowsa!! It’s going to be a fun week! I hope you enjoy yours!!

The Night Before Kindergarten

I’m going to sound like most teachers here, but……I can’t believe school year 2014-15 has begun!! I came into summer knowing that it would be a whirlwind because I was involved in so many things during that break, but my busyness really made the time go by so very quickly. Well….. now that I have 2 days of school under my belt, I can breathe a little and tell about something I did   during this year’s Meet the Teacher and I loved it!! Let me preface this  to tell you that our Meet the Teacher may be different than other districts. For kindergarten, we meet at a different time than the other grade levels. All the parents are supposed to come at the same time….for us it was 8:00am. The students stay in the room for 10 minutes and then they go with the paraprofessional and a school staff person and take a tour of the school and also get to eat a snack in the lunchroom. The parents stay with me and I get their undivided attention for 50 minutes to discuss procedures and curriculum with them. It is very beneficial!! This year, I decided to finished the Meet the Teacher parent session with a read aloud. This is the book I read:

I loved reading this book to my parents! I would stop at certain parts like where it says, ” all their clothes were laid out for the first day of kindergarten with care.” and I asked, “How many of you already have your child’s first day outfit ready?” They all got a kick out of seeing who really did have their children’s clothing ready for the first day of school. The story ends with the parents crying as they stood at the door of the classroom and the students saying goodbye to their parents with smiles on their faces. After I read the story, I looked at the parents and yes, there were parents crying all around me. I have to say, it was truly a precious, “it’s pulling my heartstrings” sight. It reminded me that I always need to keep my heart in this profession and always make sure that these parents know that I care about their child. Then, I gave the parents a little goody bag which included tissues for tears, Hershey Hugs to remind them I would give their child a hug everyday, and my school business card on a magnet that they could put on their fridge for reference. Click on pic below if you’d like to get business card magnets for your school business cards:

The parents seemed to be happy with everything that morning, but the true confirmation I received was the next day. One set of parents came by during my last preplanning day (our last preplanning day was Wednesday and the kids started school on Thursday!!)  to change their child’s transportation schedule (by the way….that is so important to us!!….knowing how our kiddos are going home everyday…..) and while we were talking, they said, “You sealed the deal for us when you read that story and gave us the goody bag!” That made my heart take a leap and inside I said, “YES!” That was just what I needed to know! If we continue to have the same type of Meet the Teacher next year, I will definitely do this again. Here is a freebie that I just created that might help you with your Meet the Teacher day. It includes a poem for the parent goody bag, a “Getting to Know You” form, a Transportation form, and a Change of Transportation from. Hope you find it helpful!!

Night Before Kindergarten: Freebie Parent Resources for MeLet me know some cool ideas you have for “Meet the Teacher”



My First Year Journey as a Kindergarten Teacher

first day kindergartenHi, y’all! My name is Linda Groce and this is a picture that was taken of me on my first day of kindergarten….hmmm… a teacher of course from this year…..which was in August of 2013. I’ve been a teacher for 16 years, but this was my first year as a kindergarten teacher. My joke to everyone was that I just keep getting younger every year! Well, now after 1 year under my belt, I think it is time to start telling about this adventure! And adventure or wild journey is definitely the best way to describe it! As I’m just trying to figure all of this blogging stuff out using WordPress, I hope it will get better and will be LOADED with information to help any educator out with their craft. Since I’m beginning this after my first year with 22 sweet kinders and a paraprofessional…..oh yea……and kindergarten parents to boot, I think I’ll just go backwards through the year and blog about interesting and funny things we did throughout. So please come back and maybe this blog can be a summer hit for you!!

Now if you are curious about how I made the frame above and how I used it on the first day, read on! I was able to get the wooden frame and letters from Michael’s. Since we are the Tiger Cubs, I found some paws and a little tiger cub to add to it. I spray painted the frame purple (this color just matches my color scheme in my classroom). The top letters were spray painted in a teal blue. Home Depot was the best place to find spray paint. This store had a lot of colors to choose from! The bottom letters were already white with glitter. So I just left them like they were. I hot glued everything on the frame. When I took pictures of my students, I hung a sheet of orange butcher paper on my white board and the students stood in front of it. The pictures turned out so cute!! I’m printed the pictures at Walgreens (just a convenient place for me to go) and I mailed a note to the parents and told them how excited I was that their child was going to be in my class and that I was excited to be their kindergarten teacher. I got great feedback from the parents about this and it was a great way to show them that I care.