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Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I was given 5 boxes of GBC 10 mil laminating pouches. Who-hoo! That's enough to cover me for the next 7 years of name tags, bus tags, & field trip tags! But wait, there's a catch! What is the best (yet cost effective) laminator to use with the 10 mil pouches?  Help me out, bargain hunters!

Monday, May 27, 2013

How Poetic...

Our butterflies emerged from their chrysalis on the very last day of school. Talk about procrastinating! We took them outside to release them which was a special treat for the Koalas. A fellow teacher was so moved by the coincidence of this moment that she took a picture and shared it in an email to the school staff.
She added this sweet comment to the email: "I couldn't help to connect the Kindergartners releasing the butterflies they have tended to since young caterpillars to what we do each year as educators: tend to them until they are ready to fly."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Summer Reading List

   Each year our school does a professional development book study. Last year we read the Daily 5 by Gail Boushey and implemented the Daily 5 in our classrooms. I can tell you that the Daily 5 structure helped our students in K-6 become confident and independent in their ability to work on each of the five components of Daily 5. Since we were the only one of 10 elementary schools in our district that took on the challenge of Daily 5 we had teachers coming in for classroom observations followed by lots of questions. As you know, most teachers want to be "over-prepared" for what they are planning to teach. We were not experts by any one's standards but we kept tweaking it and discussing it until we felt pretty comfortable with how it was running in our classrooms. Does it look the same in each of the five kindergarten rooms in our building? No, that's the beauty of it! It reflects our individuality of teaching as well as the uniqueness of our classes.
 A question for the kinder teachers: What do you use or how do you teach the kinders to keep track of where they have been throughout the week?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Five for Friday

My favorite part of Summer Vacation is the more relaxed schedule of my day. I can take my time cleaning and organizing the house. So often during the school year my family of five keeps me so busy that the house takes a back seat on the priority bus. I have found so many great ways to organize thanks to Pinterest- Now I have the time to try them out.

My fabulous find today was a braided Hibiscus tree for my front flower bed. It was 40% off and rang in at $10.00, cha-ching! Can't wait for hubbers to put it in the ground.

I invited a teacher friend over for dinner last night. In addition to having our first s'mores of the summer, I also introduced her to Pinterest and TpT.  Three claps and a woo for me! She's officially hooked! In fact, she pulled out a flash drive and started downloading some cool freebies while we were toasting the marshmallows!

Have you decided what your classroom theme is going to be for next year? I have! My classroom has been primary colors for 14 years (I know, gasp!). I honestly never really thought about changing it until I decided to start a blog. I have this thing about wanting everything to match so I asked Nancy Messenger at to design my blog based on some border I found at It is a part of their Black and White collection. She is truly creative! She is working on an avatar of me now. Can't wait to see it!

Finally, I am just starting my blog. I will post some highlights of what my Koala Kinders did this past year and include some pictures to show just how much fun we had in kindergarten. If you have any tips on how to make my blog reach other bloggers and cool looking like all of yours please send them my way!


Summer break is here but it feels like Spring!

The weather here in St. Louis is fantastic! Pleasant days and cool evenings mean planting flowers during the day and fires in the fire pit in the evenings.  Our semi-mild winter allowed us to be out of school on May 16th.  I look forward to a peaceful and creative summer.

Classroom Theme 2013-2014

I have been out of school for a week and I already have my room theme picked out for next year.  Mrs. Black's Koala Class is going black and white! I love being able to research and bargain shop at a relaxed pace. I'll post pictures on my blog once I get some of my new classroom ideas created. Pinterest has some great ideas for achieving my black and white goal!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nearing the end...
     We have 3 and 1/2 days of school left.  It is a bittersweet time for me. I am looking forward to some much needed R & R but I still feel like there are so many more things I want to teach the Koala Kinders.
Lifecycle update:
     We are anxiously awaiting the emergence of our Painted Lady butterflies. My kindergarten team ordered a hundred larvae and divided them up into 5 plastic containers. Two of the classrooms have butterflies emerging at this time. Two of the classrooms (including mine) are still in the pupa stage. The fifth classroom may not make it at all - I think her container was too small.  I am perplexed at the development rate differences. Any ideas?