Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Have you read this hilarious story? My kindergartners love it! It is a great book to teach rhyming, word families, or just as a great read-aloud. I decided to make an activity to go along with this book. Take a look!

First, if you have a Dollar Tree, you can get all of the materials for the project in one place. If not, any craft store or mega-store will have them. You will need cotton balls, foam circles, google eyes, and pom poms. Here is what he or she will look like:

So cute! On the back, I made a sheet for the students to list rhyming words or word families.

A project directions sheet is here:

Enjoy! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Max the Monkey, our class mascot

Hi everyone! Slowly but surely, people are joining!!! Wahoo!!! Please feel free to spread the word about the blog. Well, as you can see from the title of my blog, I love monkeys! In fact, my class mascot is a stuffed monkey named Max. Do any of you do a traveling mascot with your class? My kiddos love it! They each get a few turns during the year to bring home the stuffed animal along with a journal and some of Max's personal items (toothbrush, comb, bedtime story, and journal). They play with him at home and even bring him out for family events. In the past, Max has been to the pet store, a soccer game, and even the airport to pick up a relative! The child also writes a few sentences about the trip in the journal and illustrates the page. In the beginning of the year, parents typically assist the child with the writing but as the year progresses the children become more independent. The next day, the child gets to read the page and show the picture to the class. The other children can ask questions. This is one of the most popular activities of the day.

P.S. It is a good idea to try to have a duplicate mascot. Once, Max had a dangerous encounter with a family's over friendly Golden Retriever. The outcome was not pretty.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

I love this book.

This is such a beautiful story with a powerful message.

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Classroom Volunteers

Hi everyone. I have been really busy making new things for my classroom and Open House. Although Hurricane Irene was rather annoying, I had a lot of time on my hands!!

One of the new forms I created was a classroom volunteer form. How do all of you use parent volunteers? We are very fortunate at our school to have some really amazing parents who are always willing to lend a helping hand. Here is my volunteer request form:

I also pass out a sheet for parent information. I copy one form per family and punch three holes on the side for my lesson plan binder. That way, all of the information is readily available. Take a look:

OK - I have to run. Thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011


Welcome to my new blog! I am so excited to begin this adventure into blogging. I hope to share some activities and lessons I use in my classroom as well as gain advice and inspiration from all of you.

I teach in upstate New York, so we do not return to school until after Labor Day. Although I am still enjoying these last few lazy days of summer, I am also gearing up for September. I have been busy making new activities, organizing my classroom and materials, and preparing for our Open House.One of the many sheets I pass out is a request for play dough. Here is a copy for you:

Play Dough Request

One more thing...Why did I title my blog "Climbing the Monkey Bars"? Well, as I told you, I teach kindergarten. As teachers we have so many goals that we have for our students. We want them to learn lists of sight words, read new books, identify numbers, etc. Do you know what the one common goal most of my kindergartners have year after year? Yup, to climb the monkey bars. Let's never lose sight of how unique our little ones are in kindergarten and the importance of play. They all do their best to achieve the academic goals we set for them, but always remember they have their own special goals, too. Thanks for stopping by!

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