Saturday, December 3, 2011

What's gnu? - CVC Game

I won $100.00 to use on my classroom for bring in the most used shoes. (They will recycle them to build a playground.) Our students brainstormed what they wanted us to buy with our money, and we Googled it to see how much each costs. I know kindergarteners don't have much of an understanding of money, but I wanted them to take more responsibly of respecting our materials in our classroom. While strolling around Target, I found this game. I have to admit I am probably more excited to play this game with them then why will be once they see it. I bought this one on "3 Letter Words" and a math, counting, matching game, from the same series. To be continued...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Are you pinning?

I have spent way too many hours on Pinterest these days! If you are, please let me know so I can follow, if you aren't you should! Let me know and I can send you an invite. There are so many teachers who are sharing wonderful ideas, between blogs, twitter, and Pinterest, my instruction has been improved more than ever!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Daily 5 Sign-up

We (my teaching partner and I) have finally came up with a daily 5 sign up that fits for our classroom. To be more studnet centered I have them sign up, which is a new thing for me. I used to only let them choose around our school vacations as a treat, but I noticed they were better during those days. Each square has stars in it so they know how many people can sign up for each. The buckets at the bottom have the student's name on them, and they are each a different color, Round 1 is blue, Round 2 white, and Round 3 yellow. This has been a work in progress but I finally got it the way it works for our room .

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Data Notebook Artifacts

Here are a few items we include in our Data Notebooks. My team-teacher and I created these. Feel free to use them, let me know how you would change them to work in your classroom. We will be using this to conduct our student-let conference. Look How Many Letters i Know How Many Sounds

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Iowa Did You Know? Video

I believe every educator in Iowa should watch this. It is very motivational to see where Iowa was and is going in the 21st Century. It gives us hope that change is happening, so jump on and enjoy the ride.

Daily 5 - Listen to Reading Sites

Make sure you bookmark this page! Here is a visual bookmarking site I created for free audio books. (Bookflix isn't free, but ia available for our students).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A favorite tweet!

I can't wait to share some of this with my parents at Open House. Does anyone do this? Has anyone had to deal with parents not open to this idea?

I don't decorate my classroom before school starts.

I stopped making elaborate bulletin boards for the first day of school. I stopped spending hours creating cute spaceships or race cars, each personalized with a student name and picture. I don't buy pre-made education posters to adorn my walls. I've even stopped making job charts, weather charts, calendar charts, behavior charts, editing checklist charts, how to write a paragraph charts, you name it charts. Yes, my students walk into a classroom where the walls are bare, the bulletin boards cry out, "Cover me!" and the absence of pictures and print in the room would leave enriched classroom environment enthusiasts shuddering.


I spend time getting to know my students before I even meet them.
I set up my class and student accounts in VoiceThread, KidsBlog, Voki, Animoto, Wikispaces, and Glogster
I go through my books and pull out the ones that I think my students will be interested in. I display those books with the covers showing and I put many of the other books away to be revealed as the year goes on.
I organize and add to my collection of classroom and online math games.
I compose my welcome back blog entry.
I clean up my class wiki, archiving last year's contributions, and making room for the new.
I collect pictures of all the parts of my life so that my students can get to know me.
I fold and glue together lots of blank Foldables; empty bound books for our beginning of the year class books, top pockets to hold our learning during our science units, 2-tabs and 8-tabs for side by side word study books, and pocket books for our life timelines.
I plan and prepare for a fun science lesson, a math game, and a team challenge on the first day of school.
I make bubble letter name tags for each student to personalize on the very first day.
I carefully choose the books I'll use for my beginning of the year book hooks and read alouds.
I work on my Writer's Notebook.

My room will get decorated.

I have no idea what it will look like, but I do know that over time the walls and spaces will be filled with things that matter to my students. Over time, my room will be a celebration of the personalities, talents, and gifts of the group of unique individuals that inhabit it.

Rainbow rice

Inspired by a pin, I am excited to use this in word work with letter beads and pop bottles as a shake and find activity.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Can Statements

I know a lot of people have been posting their I Can statements. We are doing a data board this year. So each of these will be a header, and before will be a box for every student, once a student can complete the statement, they will color in a box.

I Can Statements

Information Please

Here is a form we send out to parents before Open House to get some more information about their child before the first day of school.

Information Please

Look all the ways you can follow me!

I am excited that I was able to add a Pinterest button, Twitter, and I designed my own button. Phew...what a big day my blog had. Now for a glass of wine!

HELLO is anyone listening?

I have now spent quite a bit of time on my blog and looking at other teacher blogs, it seems to me I am very low in followers. Not sure what I need to do, any help would be wonderful!

Is anyone here? Follow me, so I can follow you!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gordmans Finds

We have seen so many "fantastic finds" form Target, Staples, Dollar Tree. Well I would like to add my own, from Grodmans. I found these chairs and books tonight. The chairs will be used in our classroom library, and the books will be placed in math/word work workstations. I look forward to finding more finds both online and in the store.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mrs Dahl's Kindergarten Supply List

I first got this idea from Mrs. Meachum. My classroom use to be an ELL pod, so most of our parents were English Language Learners. To help them when purchasing school supplies, I added pictures, along with items that were classroom specific. The twistable Crayons have been a wonderful addition, they last ALL year, as long as you teach them not to break them by twisting them all the way up. Also, I usually ended up with lost of the community supplies, so the parents choose 2 from the list above, that way I don't have to store so many items. If I run out, I nicely add it to my newsletter and I usually have parents help out.

Let me know what items you add to your list that are helpful.


Ilearn Supply List

First great read-a-loud!

My Mouth is a Volcano! I was introduced to this book last year by our Guidance Counselor. It helped our students use common language when talking about interrupting. I also had this book out during conferences for parents to look at any many of them commented that their children had talked about this book. I recently purchased this book from Amazon so I can have it in my own classroom library. I am interested in knowing what are your first read-alouds?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Formative Assessments

I created a Capacity Matrix with the knowledge I gained from attending the Quality Workshop by David Langford. I plan on using this in my classroom for the students to record their learning in their data notebooks. This will be used as a formative assessment.

Dolch List Capacity Matrix

Reflecting on the PLC Institute

My passion for working collaboratively is so high I can't wait to get back to school on August 17th. However, I know my enthusiasm will decrease as the summer continues and the stress of the first week sets in. I want to reflect and document all of the excitement I have now. The past 3 days I attended the PLC Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have never been to a workshop so rewarding, and beneficial in all my years of education. I can't wait to spread this knowledge and passion with my team as we work together as a Professional Learning Community.

Quick Thoughts:
If I were a tool in a tool kit, what tool would I be? A hammer, even though I may not be proud of all of the qualities a hammer has, I know what they are and I can work to be a bit more of a paint brush. 

One year, can, and will make a difference in a child's life.  

Before each lesson, or interactive with a child, ask myself, is this good enough for Brayton (my son)?

"Silence is consent." W.  Ferriter If you choose not to participate or speak up, you will be accountable for the decisions of the group. 

This year I want to work on working as a team, learning more, by listening more, and STARTING. It is a journey, not a destination. Get the road, and take the journey with me. 

In my next post, I will upload some documents I have created to use in my classroom as formative assessments. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I am excited to announce I will be team teaching with Mrs. Pfeiler next year. Together we will work to meet the needs of our students as we work off each other's strengths. My blog will take on a new look. For the next 365 days I will be documenting our journey of teaching 45, 5-6 year olds, in one great big pod. We will also implement QUALITY Learning tools, to put the student in control of their learning and problem solving. I look forward to sharing this wonderful opportunity with the world!

Monday, May 16, 2011

ABC Countdown to the End of the year Q: Q-Tip painting

End of the Year Poem

Dear Parents,

I give you back your child, the same child you confidently entrusted to my care last fall. I give them back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature then they were then.

Although they would have attained their growth in spite of me, it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch their personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.

Remember that I shall always be interested in your child and their destiny, wherever they go, whatever they do, whoever they become. Their joys and sorrows I’ll be happy to share.

Mrs. Dahl

Monday, May 9, 2011

Read 2 Self

We are making videos of Daily 5 this week to teach next year's kindergarten class how to do Daily 5.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Little Bird Tales

Students are using to write their stories during writers workshop. They used the storyboard from the Lucy Culkins Writer's Workshop series, then they were able to check out a laptop, log-in to their Little Tales account and go to work. Once we are done, I will share a few.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Activities

Our school has a tradition to sing this song all together during our school wide Earth Day celebrations. For our class party we planted seeds and ate our Earth Day Dirt Snack (pudding, oreos, and gummy worms).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day Hall Display and poem

I got this idea from a fellow blogger, The Techy Teacher

Earth Day

I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
And just as I
Need every bit
Of me to make
My body fit,
So Earth needs
Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here
That's why we
Celebrate this day.
That's why across
The world we say:
As long as life,
As dear, as free,
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Jane Yolen

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Rain poem

This week we practiced reading fluency with our Spring Rain poem. We also drew pictures to show what we would look like if we got caught in the rain, and what we looked like if were ready for the rain.

Spring Rain

The storm came up so very quick
It couldn’t have been quicker.
I should have brought my hat along,
I should have brought my slicker.

My hair is wet, my feet are wet,
I couldn’t be much wetter.
I fell into a river once
But this is even better.

Plant and Flower Diagrams

Today we used kerpoof to show what we learned about the parts of a plant. We added these to our blogs.  We also started our unit on the butterfly life cycle, and will be adding our drawings to our blog next week. Friday, we will celebrate Earth Day, come back to see what we made!

Friday, April 15, 2011


I am excited to finally start a blog. I am not sure the direction I will be going, so come back often and check out where it goes. I look forward to sharing students work, accomplishes in the classroom, along with setbacks. I need to figure out how to add a Voki, and I want a header, still a work in progress.