Data Notebooks


What I Did Right This Week!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

Well, another week down, and I'm not counting how many more to go!
I am tired, so, so, tired, and I think that it's a good thing.
I feel like I've been teaching my butt off this week!

I'm here for another installment of...

So, as you all know, I've been on my soapbox about wanting to be more
intentional in my teaching. It's been awesome to have the support 
from my principal, and the state superintendent to do whatever it takes!
I tell you guys all of the time about how our state superintendent said that
you have my permission to break the rules. 
You can read that article here

This week I went all out. I straight up did my own thing the entire week,
I looked at the standards, and I just simply taught!
And I must say, it's so freeing!!
I also feel like my kiddos got more out of it. They were engaged, so they
were learning even more!


I'm off of my soapbox.

For now.

Another thing that I did right: We wrote every single day this week!!
I'm so proud of myself and my kiddos, because there were some days that we definitely
were not getting to it. This is such an important skill, and I am determined
 that we ARE going to do writing EVERY DAY!!

Feel free to link-up about what you did right this week!


Talking About Books ~ Nightsong

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?
I'm linking up with Deanna Jump this week for

 It's bat week in my classroom, and there's nothing that I love better than a good read-aloud.
The book that I'm going to talk to you about today was brought to my attention 
by my sweet friend Sarah Cooley over at First Grader...At Last!

Nightsong tells the story of Chiro, a young bat who must fly out 
into the world for the first time. He is nervous, because the night is dark,
and when it is that dark outside, he cannot see.
His mother gently reminds him that there are other ways to see.
She tells him to use his good sense, which is the song that he sings out to the world,
and then the song will sing back to him. 
(I thought that this was a good way to explain echolocation!)
She also tells him not to fly to far, not unless his song is sure.

He begins to fly on his own, realizes that he cannot see, and he is frightened.
He remembers his mother's words, and begins to sing softly at first, and then louder. 
As he sings, something sings back to him, and his path is made clear.
At the end of the story, as the morning dawns, he begins his journey home.

I really feel in love with this story, and I hope you will as well. 
Click below for more information!


What I Did Right This Week!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? 

The seasons are changing, it's getting cooler outside, and I love it!!

However, it also comes with the crud!!

I don't have the full-blown crud, but I definitely 

feel cruddy-like, let me tell you!

I'm back for this week's 

It's no secret that the push for using every second of your day is the rule.

In their (you know who they are) ideal world, there would be no recess, no nap time, no nothing!

It's been a struggle for me, because I believe that they deserve recess!!

Come on, they're five!

I also believe that they deserve nap time, you can tell they're tired!

However, we have not been getting to every subject like I want to.

We do reading and math of course, but I wanted to find a way to get everything in!

As time has gone by, and they learn to do some things faster, we're starting to

be able to get more and more in. 

I have been doing some tweaking with my schedule, and with how I've been teaching!

I'm so happy to say that I've been fitting everything in, including writing,

which was my biggest concern!!

It's a great feeling as a teacher to know that you're getting to everything that you need to!

I plan and hope to get better and better at it!!

What did you do right this week?

Feel free to link up below!


My Favorite, Pumpkin Week!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going!

It seems like Fall just got here, and it's speeding

like a bullet train!!

I'm here to share with you what we did this week for Pumpkin Week!

Students were out on Monday, Columbus Day,

and once they came back to school on Tuesday, I realized that I'd 

scheduled Pumpkin Week on a short week!!! 

What in the world was I thinking!!

So, we didn't get to everything like we usually do,

but we did a LOT of stuff!!

We started off by taking a survey of who liked and didn't like pumpkin.

I created the survey.....

...and we used the recording page from Rhonda Baldacchino's pumpkin unit. 

I bought a pumpkin, and we used adjectives to describe our pumpkin.

Then, we discussed the pumpkin life cycle,

which can be found in Deanna Jump's Pumpkin Patch unit

Next, came our pumpkin investigation.

We counted the lines on our pumpkin...

...measured the circumference of our pumpkin...

and we learned if our pumpkin would sink or float!

While the kiddos were recording their results......

....I was recording our results as well on a large version of the recording sheet.

The most exciting part was when we cut the pumpkin open!!

We talked about what it looked like on the outside,

and wrote down our observations.

After we cut it open, we wrote down our observations.

For our taste portion of the week, I baked pumpkin muffins!!

I don't have a secret recipe, this is what I use....'s fabulous, and it gets the job done!!

I had planned for us to read/watch Spookley the Square Pumpkin,

but they watched it in counseling instead (go figure). 

That's ok, because we were definitely doing our Spookley craft!

Oh, by the way, here are some pumpkin freebies, hope you can use them!!

Just click on any picture to download!

Also, if you like to graph the Autumn Mix Candy, which my students

love by the way, here's a freebie for that as well!! 

Just click the picture below!

We love to practice math in the fall by graphing autumn mix candy! This engaging activity has students using their math skills, and they don't even realize that they're learning!


Bright Ideas: Organizing All Of That Stuff!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going on a Saturday morning?

It's been a crazy week, and I had a ton of fun, but I must say,

I'm so very glad that it's the weekend!

I'm back with the...

Today, I want to talk about organization!

After moving back into our school after a two-year absence,

and we all got shuffled around to new classrooms.

My current room is in the original kindergarten wing, and you guessed it,

it has the smallest classrooms in the school!!

I've been trying to find a way to keep up with my growing stack of centers 

and materials, but it's a mess!!  These are the size of all of the cabinets under the counter... let me show you the inside!!

Yup, I told you, it's a mess!!

A few years ago, I came up with the bright idea (or not so bright idea)

to put everything in these humongous ziplock bags, since the bags would be

large enough to hold the center materials, including the recording sheets. 

Go ahead, keep scrolling so you can get a good laugh!

Um-hmmmm.....I hear you laughing.....keep scrolling...

I even tried to label them.

I'm sure that you can only imagine how things can get 'lost' in a bag that big!

I'm in the process of trying to convert to using what I call back to school crates,

and hanging file folders, etc.

The picture below is my playing around with it, to see how I liked it.

I think that instead of having individual activities,

I'm going to have months. 

For example, I'm going to have October through December in one crate,

and have about 3-4 folders for each month.

This way, I can fit every center and recording sheet inside!!

If there is enough room, I may even begin to pull different materials

such as thematic books to place in the file as well.

Can you imagine how easy this would make my life?

Now I've got to go ahead and get started on my January - March crate,

so I can be organized!

If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, join me on Facebook,

Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more great ideas!

There are more great ideas available, just click through the link-up below!


What I Did Right and a Freebie

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

It's Thursday, that's right, it's Thursday!!!!

I'm back for another edition of...

Now yesterday, I was talking about how short weeks ended up being

longer weeks, but today rocked!!!

Students were out for Columbus Day, but we had a PD day.

We watched this awesome video that featured our state superintendent,

Dr. Tommy Bice.

Let me be the first one to tell you, he awesome!!

I think that he's a rebel, in a good way. He fights for the kids in this state,

and he wants teachers to do the same thing, by any means necessary,

and he actually gave us permission to break the rules!!

We also have a new principal this year, and he is great at letting us

do our thang, which is phenomenal!

This week has been our pumpkin week, and I decided that for Thursday and Friday,

I was just going to drop our programs, teach to the standards, and do it using pumpkins.

Now, I know a lot of you do this, and a lot of you want to do this.

Today was the best day of the entire school year!!

Everyone still learned, they had fun, and we did reading, math and science!!

I'm so glad to have a principal who will allow this,

and let me tell you, I plan to do more of it!!

Come back on Sunday to see everything we did for Pumpkin week!

Oh, we've also been working on our counting books in math,

it includes numbers 0-10. 

Click on the picture below for your freebie!!

Don't forget, you still have a few days to enter the giveaway over at Primary Powers!

If you would like to share what you did right this week, then link up below!!


Ka-Boom! Here We Come To Save The Day!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

We're smack dab in the middle of the teaching week,

and let me tell you, students didn't come to school on Monday, 

and we all know that short weeks are the longest week EVAH!!!!!

Anywho, today is the day that I've been waiting for since this summer,

I get to share with you the launch of an awesome, new, collaborative blog.....

Primary Powers

To celebrate all of this awesomeness, the awesome bloggers

of Primary Powers have something special planned just for you!

Click here for your chance to enter this awesome giveaway!!

Wait, this isn't it!! 

The news gets even better because we are celebrating the

 launch of Primary Powers with an exclusive deal with Educents!

21 instant downloads, over 1,000 pages of materials that are ready to use, and variety of topics to pull your through months of teaching!  $100.75 retail value available for a limited time for $29.99 which is 70% off!  Extreme value alert!

Concepts covered are:  addition, subtraction, graphing, time, money, reading, fluency, spelling, writing, close reading, grammar, story element in fiction and nonfiction, and much, much more!  

Products are thematically correct for the upcoming seasons!  
- spiders and camping for October
- turkeys, Thanksgiving, scarecrows for November
- winter, penguins, the holidays, and New Years for December

Other great items include:
- a calendar that could be used as a parent gift
- a data folder to track student growth
- literacy and math centers
- printables
- units of study

Click on the picture above to get it before it's gone!


What I Did Right This Week

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

Well, today I had to visit Apple, 

because I have a iPhone 5s that had a battery problem! 

Two nights ago, it went off by itself, and wouldn't come back on for two hours!!!!! 

So I made a genius bar appointment, and of course I was out of warranty

by 20 freakin days!!!! 20 people, 20!!!!

So, the lady was like, let me see if I can find a nice manager, they might 

say it's ok to get you another one. 

Of course, the nice ones were with customers, but I told her 

that I was willing to wait patiently until one was available!!

Sure enough, the nice manager, said we could switch it out for another one!

God bless you sir, whoever you are!!

So we're rocking and rolling again!!

Anyways, we're back for another installment of...

I shared this picture of one of my kiddos work.

Here is a view of more of the worksheet, the shapes that he was copying are on the side.

In our data driven world, it seems as if we are only allowed to assess kiddos one way.

If they aren't proficient in one way, then it's a bad grade for them.

As I've told you before, I have a student that I think is somewhere on the spectrum.

Now, it's very hard for him to do the traditional work,

but he is truly brilliant.

On the worksheet above, he was supposed to color and then cut out the shapes,

and then put then in the appropriate categories.

Obviously we were going over rectangles and although he didn't do

it "correctly", I still counted it as right, because he obviously knew the shape 

that we were discussing, and he knew that this is what I wanted on the paper.

He didn't draw circles, squares, or triangles on the paper, only rectangles. 

So, I think that one of the things that I did right this week was to allow a child

to learn and respond in a way that makes sense to him!

He was so happy, and that made me the happiest teacher that day!!

If you feel like linking up, please feel free to do so below!!


Apples & Shapes, Shapes & Apples

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

The past few weeks we have been working on 2-D shapes,

and somehow our apple unit ran for two weeks.

It was probably because we were in the middle of testing for report cards,

which can take FOREVA!!!!! Especially since it's one on one testing!!

Anywho, here we go!

We labeled an apple.....

...and then we talked about how apples grow.

We also did an apple taste test....

.....and graphed which apple we liked best!

These activities can be found in Vickie Plant's apple unit!

We also used some words to describe apples, which we took from our

big apple where we used adjectives, 

and then we made these awesome apple glyphs from First Grade Blue Skies!

Umhmmmm....see that big apple next to the gumball machine? 

Yup, that apple.

Moving on to shapes!!

We did some patterning with some good ole' pattern blocks that you can find here...

Freebie play doh shapes, which you can find here!

And we also used this awesome pack from First Grade Blue Skies!!

I love how it covers math and literacy skills in one!

The next slides show activities from Vickie Plant's 2-D shape pack!

I really, really love the shape people! They're a hit all over the school!

Ok, I just had to share this last picture.

A lot of times, kids come to school, and we want them to be just like everyone else.

Sometimes they work differently, and that's ok!

The following paper belongs to one of my sweet friend who I've been working with,

and he's had a tough time adjusting to Kindergarten.

He was supposed to sort the shapes, but instead he just started drawing the shapes

that he was supposed to sort. 

I thought that it was amazing that he could copy the clipart exactly!!

Just think of what could be done if he was allowed to learn the way that fits him best!!

Have a great day!

Oh, by the way, here's a sneak peek......