Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making Waves in Second Grade is having a Giveaway

Congrats to Making Waves in Second Grade for getting 100 followers on her blog!  She is have a 100th Follower Giveaway and I have included my Koosh Ball activity in her giveaway!  Check it out!

Old school technology?

When I came to my school 9 years ago, there was hardly any technology in the classrooms.  The overhead projector was the biggest piece of "technology" there was.  We taught sitting by the projector and were 'interactive' when we let the students come to the projector to write on it.

Now, while that is hardly the gadget of choice to most teachers anymore, I DO have to admit AT THE TIME the kids loved it! The loved being able to come and write on the glass.  The biggest treat was giving away the baby wipe that was used when I wiped down the glass.  The wipe was all tie-dye looking and the kids went crazy to see who was going to win it!

What old school piece of technology was a favorite in your classroom?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Forever Calendar

I am excited to say that I finished my Forever Calendar and have it posted to TpT.  There is just so much to the calendar and I'm very proud of it.

The Forever Calendar is for EVERY month of the year! You might not have to ever buy another Morning Time, Circle Time, Carpet Time, Meeting Time, whatever you call your Calendar Time ever again.

This calendar includes so many Common Core essentials including:
Calendar Skills: placing the numbers in order, discovering patterns, reviewing days of the week, reviewing months of the year, yesterday-today-tomorrow, calendar questions for each day of the month.

It also includes videos/songs for eight different colors and four different shapes to get your students up and moving and having fun while they are learning.

The Spell-a-Word includes the first 25 words of Fry's List of basic sight words. From there, use your own spelling words, letter of the week, word of the day or just use the letters to make your own words. Practice the alphabet. Use this page as a language arts literacy center to keep your students interactive.

The Hundreds Chart page lets you count out how many days you've been at school using counters, money on the piggy, and with base ten blocks.

Best of all you can use this calendar year after year. It will never expire. The dates will never be wrong as you go into the next school year.

What do you think?  I can't wait until March to use!  I love that everything is in one place and that the file is still small enough that we're not going crazy wading through a ton of pages.

Talk to you soon!  I think I actually might get to take a breather tonight!  JoAn

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Technology Fair

I am part of our district's Geek Squad and love it! I am Geek inside and out whether I like it or not. Recently, our grand GeekMaster invited us to join in on a Technology Fair for our district to show off the kinds of technology we use in our classrooms. I am so excited about this! I love using technology in my Pre-K classroom. From the SMARTboard to the computers to iPad and iPods, we use a little of everything. In fact, this is our schools FIRST year for our Pre-K to use anything with technology!

I had an idea of what I wanted to present: re-telling a story on the iPad using the Puppet Pals app. If you've never used Puppet Pals it is so much fun! The kids love it as it it completely kid friendly. I bought the upgraded version for just a few bucks to get all the good characters. It will also include any new characters the app brings on. There is a page for characters, a backgrounds page, and an accessory page. On the character page you can even take a picture of a student, use the cut out button and use YOUR STUDENT as the character!! I love that part of it! Once you choose your characters and your background and any other goodies you want, you hit the RECORD button and you can make your very own video.

My project? Well, our story folder this week was "The Great Enormous Rock." Just a short story about an elephant, a rabbit, a turtle, and a snake who wanted to play at the top of the hill but there was a great enormous rock at the top of it and they had to move it. The first three animals couldn't move the rock, but the snake came along and said he would help. Of course, the elephant laughed at him because he was too small to help. But the snake ignored him, rolled himself into a ball, and whacked the giant rock and sent it rolling down the hill. (Sorry, I just gave away the ending and didn't even give you a spoiler warning!)

So, I chose my sweetie who can TELL A STORY!! Oh my, she can go on and she is very creative as she goes on and on and on. Shall I mention that this is my sweetie who is my only spitter, kicker, runner, hitter? Yeah, she is. BUT, she is also my little genius! She is too adorable to even put into words, but she does have her moments! =D

So, I read her the story again (just the two of us) and asked her to use the characters to re-tell the story. In ONE shot, she retold it with expression, with different voices for each character, and with details. Yes, she has just turned five! I can't wait to see her when gets into UIL once she hits second grade!! Anyway, that will be my entry for the Technology Fair. If you have an iPad or iPod I strongly recommend Puppet Pals. There are American History characters, farm animals, fairy tale, famous people, and many more with matching backgrounds for each.

Has anyone else used something similar to this with their kiddos? I'd love to hear about it!

Image for my blog.

Monday, February 25, 2013


OK, so you all are really making my week! I see you over there following me and I REALLY want to follow you back. But if I click your picture it asks if I want to follow MY blog. Should it be taking me to YOUR blog? I think I am missing something super simple. But I know I can count on you to fill me in. Also.. I need a 'grab my button.' It's coming next! Can't wait for this to be completely set up. =D Jo

Really? March is THIS week?

Apparently time DOES fly when you're having fun! I've been so busy working on getting this blog set up that I didn't realize that March was this week! My days are just flying by! I have an incredible (saying this modestly) calendar coming out for March that I am super, super excited about! But, had I realized it was THIS week, I'd have been working on it a little more diligently. However, I am going to have it ready in the next day or two. I call this my FOREVER calendar...and in a couple days you'll see why! I can't wait to post some screen shots when it's through. It's 10:30 now and I'm so tired.. but this calendar is taking FOREVER!! that's NOT why it's called the forever calendar..but at the moment I'm kind of thinking it is! OH MY GOSH! I can't wait to tell you about another sweetie in my class and the project we've been working on. Does it ring of technology? Why, yes it does. And tomorrow I promise to tell you all about it. Is there something you're working on now that you can hardly keep to yourself? You can tell me... It's not like I'll share it with the whole world... oh, wait... =D JoAn

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The cute little red-headed girl.

OK, so she is NOT a red-head, but when I think of this little girl, Charlie Brown's little red headed girl comes to mind!

We have a new girl in Kindergarten at our school who is, shall we say, out of the box. I only get to see her during bus line duty in the afternoons where you can find her rolling around the floor. I won't go into the rest of the behaviors, but there are many. After a few days of her being here I knew there had to be SOME kind of solution. Well, it was as easy as a box of crayons. This little one needed to be loved. I am now her "art teacher" in the afternoons. Actually, this only entails a coloring book and some direction, but she has my heart! Recently, she has been asking for a page that has dinosaurs on it. Which leads me to my story...

I was so happy to find just the right dinosaur pages for my sweetie. I was giddy with excitement (yes, I really was) for the end of the day to come so that I could show them to her. She was thrilled to see her dinosaurs! I was watching my bus line and she'd run over and ask which color to use and I'd walk her back to her desk (which she is the only one of about 500 kids in the gym with a personal desk and entertainment at her disposal). We talked about which colors would be fun to use for the little triangle pieces on the dinosaurs back.

She comes to me again with some interesting dinosaur facts. Case in point... Her: Did you know that pterodactyls are purple? Me: Yes, I did know that! Her: And they also pee. Me (trying to breeze right past that one): Yes, everyone pees. Her: NO!! I said they are also PINK!! Me: OH!! You're right, they surely are! And, yes, I quickly walk back to my bus line trying to not let her see me laughing at my mistake! =D

Have a fun bus duty story? I'd love to hear it! JoAn

Totally Tiny Toes

I am thrilled to finally have the Tiny Toes blog up and running!

I am JoAn. Wife to a fabulous husband of 26 years, mother to four incredible children, breast cancer survivor of 6 years, and teacher of many tiny toes for 9 years. I taught 2nd grade for 8 years and thought I would never leave that grade level. But, I currently teach Pre-K and absolutely love it! I love the innocence, the purity, and the wonder of these four and five year olds. I adore making SMARTboard or Mimio lessons for these little guys to interact with on the whiteboard. So often I hear that they are just too young to do the technology type learning. My kids have definitely disproved that!

I am part of a Title 1 school with about 85% of our students on free or reduced lunch. I participate and have been very successful in Donor's Choose. We have gotten ipods, school supplies, and this year a large color-block 'morning calendar' carpet all FREE and donated through generous anonymous people through Donors Choose. If you've not ever been there, go check them out at . You won't regret it!

I am also part of Teachers Pay Teachers. The community there for teachers is astounding. The selflessness of the sellers there is hands down the best anywhere. I started my TpT store, Tiny Toes, in January 2013. I mainly gear my lessons to SMARTboard or other interactive lessons. I have recently started designing printables too to go along with my interactive activities.

So, welcome. Make yourself at home. Join me on this journey of life and love of children. JoAn