Saturday, December 3, 2011

Elf Glyph

'Tis the students enjoyed making these adorable elves last week. I thought I would share the activity and the link to the patterns. I hope your kids love it as much as mine did!!!

Picture of Glyph Legend

 Santa's Helpers

Close up of elves

Friday, November 18, 2011

Indian Guided Art Idea

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I can't!!! I have been so busy with working on my master's degree that I have neglected my blog. This is an activity that my kiddos did this week and they turned out great! The idea comes from the 'Making Learning Fun' website. If you are not familiar with this site, you are missing out! Tons and Tons of ideas and printables for FREE!!! Teachers love FREE! I do this lesson whole group by drawing each part of the picture in stages and the students follow along with me. Later during developmental centers I have them paint their picture. Once it is dry, I outline the picture with a black Sharpie. This really makes it 'pop'. Cut out the picture and glue onto construction paper (this paper is 11"x18").  Below is the instruction page I followed. Click below to get one for yourself.

Here are a few of the finished products.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This Post May Be a Bit Corny

Long time no blog...yikes! Is everyone as busy as I am??? Between my two boys, working on my masters,  and training 21 little kinders to follow directions, my head is spinning! I have missed posting on here. SO glad to return to the wonderful world of blogging!  Any who... I thought I would share with you a lesson that I do every year at this time. We are in the middle of our Scarecrow unit and we have been learning a lot about types of scarecrows.
So yesterday I gave each table group a fresh corn still in the husk. They were asked to pass around the corn and pull a piece of the husk off one by one. I love watching them as the corn is exposed with all the strings of silk. One student asked, "Mrs. Wagner, is that hair?"  LOL...don't you just love them!?  Once they have the husk off the students are given a recording sheet to draw what the corn looks like. Then I give each child a small serving of corn (canned corn) to taste. There is also a section on the paper to record if they like the taste or not.  Next I give each student 6 pieces of candy corn. Man, do kinders get excited about candy corn! They illustrate what the candy corn looks like on the sheet and then they taste and record if they like it or not.
One table group's corn

Some of my kiddos enjoying the activity

The lesson is concluded with a comparison of the two types of corn with a Venn diagram. As a class we discuss how the 2 are similar (food, both have yellow, etc...) and how they are different (healthy/candy, grows on farm/made in a factory, etc...

Here is the recording sheet if you wish to use this lesson in your class:         Corn Recording Sheet

Let me know if you use the activity and how it goes!!!

Well, hope all of you are enjoying your kiddos! Fall has finally arrived in NC and I am so loving the cooler temps!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How Do You Differentiate Instruction in Your Classroom???

Well, I have survived the first two days of school. Cute little kiddos have been welcomed into their new home away from home. I was worried about getting everything ready by Open House but as always it came together.

Now for the true reason for this post. I am currently working towards my master's degree and have an action research project.  The topic is Differentiating Literacy Instruction in Kindergarten. I know that all you wonderful teachers out there have ideas and strategies that 'wow'. Could you please share with me what works in your classroom? I will be forever grateful!!!!

Have a great school year and thanks for making a difference in the lives of children!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pirate Back to School Board

Well, friends, I don't know about all of you but this time of year makes me feel a bit cockoo for Coco Puffs!!! Thursday was my first day back to work and the kiddos start next Thursday. Our Open House is Tuesday and GOOD GOLLY!!! trying to get ready for that event is a bit hectic! I worked in my classroom Thursday and Friday from 7:30am until 6:00pm and went back this morning for 3 hours! I might as well take my toothbrush and PJ's and just camp out! Y'all know how it is, we could stay FOREVER in our classrooms and find something to do.

Today I was able to get my hallway bulletin board up and ready. I wasn't sure what I was going to do but with the help of Dollar Tree and my thinking cap I came up with the board below. I know that this is the first impression that many parents have of our school and I want to make it a good one. So friends, what do you think??? Does it need something else? I am open for suggestions.

Also, I wanted to see if any of you that have kids are feeling as guilty as I am right now. I feel bad for my boys and my hubby. I hope they won't need too much therapy when they are older because their mama was always at school! 
 The brown paper looks like a treasure map and says Mrs. Wagner & Mrs. Gibson's K Treasures and then lists all the students' first names.
PS-These pics were taken with my phone and only half of the hallway lights were lit. Sorry for the bad quality.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Guess What I Am Doing Tomorrow Morning???

Oh my goodness, y'all!! I am so excited about an opportunity that I have tomorrow morning! Two friends of mine cohost a nationally syndicated radio show, The Ace & TJ Show, and have ask me to sit in as the girl cohost tomorrow!!! I am so flippin' excited I can't stand it! Anyone who knows me will tell you I have this crazy obsession with celebrity gossip and anything pop culture. I have a ridiculous amount of knowledge on useless info like movie titles, TV show, and actors.  Even though I am excited I am also scared to death! I mean I can entertain a class full of kinders but this makes me nervous.  Please pray for me! If you want to listen to the show, it is on every weekday morning 6am-10am. If they aren't in your area, you can listen online and they also have an app. Their website is Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Exciting News!!!

Teacher friends, I just heard some exciting news and I had to share it with you!!! Please check out either The First Grade Parade HERE or The Inspired Apple HERE. Cara and Abby have put their noggins together for a fantastic idea! Check it out!!!

The Inspired Apple                             

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School Spin a Graph

Well friends, the countdown is on...I have to be back to school (for real) next Thursday.  I am already beginning to feel the anticipation and excitement that comes with this time of year. Am I the only one who has these feelings? Any who....I was playing around and created a Back to School Spin a Graph activity. The idea is to attach a paperclip to the center of the circle with a brass brad. Have students spin the paperclip and color the corresponding block on the graph. Students will continue to repeat this step 9 more times. You can find this activity Here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Feeling Crafty!!!

While blog stalking recently, I came across a cute idea from Abby at The Inspired Apple. My classroom theme is 'Pirates' so I wanted to make a banner with fabrics that would go well with the theme. Honestly, I can create bulletin boards and things like that but 'sewing' is not my thing. Thankfully with the help of Abby's detailed instructions, this no sew project turned out pretty darn cute.  Here is a picture of one of the strands. I actually made two. I will post more pics when I have my classroom complete.  Have a great weekend!!!

Please excuse the basket and my hubby's golf bag in the pic.

 I can't wait to swag it across my classroom!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Love Getting Mail

My boys and I have been visiting my mom and stepdad at the beach for the past few days. When returned home yesterday, I was greeted by a package addressed to me in perfect Kindergarten teacher handwriting on my kitchen table!!! I was so excited! As soon as I put my bags down, I tore into the package.  Randee from 'How About Them Apples' had sent me a Christmas in July gift! She sent me This is the Sun along with a precious idea she created for the students to make their own book and I also received Pete the Cat! I feel spoiled rotten!!! Thank you so much to my new friend, Randee!!! I LOVE my gift!!!

My Goodies from Randee

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas in July Book Exchange- The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza)

So thanks to the idea of a Christmas in July book & activity exchange by Randee at How about them apples? (check her blog out), I now have a new teacher friend and our classes are going to be pen pals.  Our students can tell each other about the areas we live in and ask questions. The hope is we can even Skype with each other at some point!

Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza)

Any who...Randee was actually my partner and the book I sent her is one that my students love. During my farm unit, I always read the classic tale of The Little Red Hen. The kids always enjoy reciting 'Not I', said the dog, 'Not I' said the get the idea. Well a day or two after reading the classic tale, I bring out the book The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza). This is a great book and the kids love it too! I do a big Venn Diagram to compare the 2 stories. We compare characters, setting, how the Hen gets the ingredients, and the endings.

Another great idea that I use with this comes from Shari Sloane at I use her pizza glyph idea and they always turn out so cute!  Great idea, Shari! Thanks for sharing!

I hope some of you will try this in your classroom this year. Let me know how it goes! If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Shoe Unit Giveaway!!!

Please go to Another Day in First Grade's blog to receive your Shoe Unit for FREE!!! How generous!!! Just visit her blog and follow her directions on how to be a part of this great GIVEAWAY!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Christmas in July Book Exchange!!!


in July!

Hi y'all! Check out Randee's great idea for a book exchange on her blog. Such a wonderful way to meet new friends and get a new book.  Click on the link below to her blog!

Great Websites to Use in the Classroom

Do you find that sometimes during the school day you have a few minutes between what is planned? May I recommend to you the following websites. These are a great alternative to you reading a story to your students. If you have a SMARTboard or even a projector, you may want to try these websites. My kinders LOVE them!  Please check them out and let me know what you think! Thanks!

Speakaboos brings children stories to life. Some of the things on this site you need a paid membership but there is a lot that is free for teachers to use.

Storyline Online is sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild and has some of Hollywood's top actors and actresses read stories to your students.

Robert Munsch

One of my favorite children's authors is Robert Munsch. He writes the funniest stories and kids LOVE him. This is his official website and you can listen to the author himself reading his stories. It is great!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Testing Google Docs

Ok, fellow teacher friends, I really want to be able to create and share activities with you by posting Google Docs on my blog. I have created a simple character and setting sheet where students either draw what setting the character would most likely be in or the type of character that would be in the shown setting.  Hopefully this will work. Cross your fingers...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Letterland Day

As you may remember from a previous post, my school adopted Letterland as our phonics program for Kindergarten and first grade. Y'all this program is amazing!!! If it was a crazy busy day and we had to skip our Letterland lesson, the kids were so disappointed. Our principal was so impressed that the second grade teachers will be teaching it next year.

Letterland was created by a woman in England years ago. She created characters for each letter. The creator is in her 80s now but our school was lucky enough to have her son and grandson come visit our school!!! They manage the company now. My team and I were so star struck by meeting them. See we really do love this program.  Go to if you are interested.
To celebrate Letterland and all the kids learned this year, we had a Letterland Day the last week of school. The kinders were asked to dress as their favorite Letterland friend.  Below are some of the kids. 

                                             Peter Puppy                                                  

Red Robot

Oscar Orange & Annie Apple

Clever Cat

Quarrelsome Queen & Kicking King

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Wow! I can't believe it but my little blog was recognized as one of the 50 best blogs by Kindergarten teachers! What a compliment! A special thanks to Donna at for letting me know! All of you teachers out there have inspired me this school year and I want to thank you for that! Each and every one of you are a blessing to your students and your schools! I hope that you each have a restful summer but keep blogging because I love seeing all your wonderful thoughts and ideas. It's nice to know that there are people out there that feel the same way I do.  May God bless you all! Thanks for making a difference in the lives of children! 
Check out this wonderful organization that posted the 50 Best Kindergarten Blogs.  There are some great ones!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

10 Things I've Learned about Teaching...

Jennifer at 'Rowdy in First Grade' participated in a linky party and I thought I'd join in.  If you haven't checked out Jennifer's blog, you should! It is great!

10 Things I've Learned about Teaching...

1.  No college class can ever truly prepare a teacher for what happens in a classroom. You have to experience it first hand.

2. Good teachers never stop thinking about that next great lesson.

3. The Dollar Tree is a teacher's best friend.

4. The two people a teacher needs to befriend quickly at their school is the secretary and the classroom custodian.

5. True teachers love their job and spend about half their paycheck on things for their classroom.

6. The feeling a teacher gets when students finally 'get it' is one of the best in the world.

7. Teachers MUST have a sense of humor. 

8. You can never communicate too much with parents.

9.Teachers should be in the Book of World Records for the longest span of time without a restroom break.

10. There is no other job I would rather be doing.  I LOVE TEACHING!!! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Help!!! Space Themed Ideas Needed...


Okay fellow teachers, I need your help.  I am in the process of planning for next month and have a space theme planned. All of the activities I have used in the past work just fine, but I am ready to mix it up and try some new ideas.  So please tell me some of your wonderful ideas or where I could find some. You all are amazing teachers and I would love some suggestions.  Thanks in advance!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Great Blog Discovered!!!

Hello to all my blog friends out there! I want to share a great blog that I just discovered.  Even better is the contest they have going.  Check it out!!!


Monday, February 28, 2011

My Favorite Things

With being the blog stalker that I am, I saw that there was a Linky Party going on and I wanted to play along!  Check out to see who else is playing.  So here is my list...

1. My Keurig

This is the best!

2. My Nook Color

One of the best inventions ever!  I can not only read books but I get magazine subscriptions on this and can surf the web.

3.Hobby Lobby

What teacher doesn't love some Hobby Lobby?  I can spend hours in this store!

4. Diet Dr. Pepper

A little bit of this during the school day makes me a very happy Kindergarten teacher!

5. Panera

Love, love the Asian salad here!!!

6. Glee

I am a Gleek!!!

7. Flair pens

A teacher's all time favorite

8.  Celebrity Magazines

After a crazy day in Kindergarten, I love to read some fluff that I don't have to think too hard about!

Okay blog friends!!! What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

George and Abe


My class is now learning about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  There are so many wonderful resources out there to teach the kiddos about these famous fellows.  One of my kindergarten team mates shared these great links with me today.  My kinders really enjoyed the videos.

After reading different books about the former Presidents and watching the above video clips, I had my students use the template below.  Students colored and cut out George and Abe.  They were given a wide popcicle stick.  George was glued on one side of the stick and Abe on the other.  Once the stick puppets were complete, we gathered on the carpet and I read different facts about each President.  Students held up which president the fact was about.  They loved this activity.  I will post a picture of the stick puppet soon.  I left my camera at school.

Let me know how this lesson works out for you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Favorite Children's Books

I thought I would share a few of my favorite books to read to my class.  I love books that get the kids involved or that I can use different silly voices.  In a age full of technology, it is so nice to have the kids asked me to read an extra story on the carpet for them.  :)
Here are just a few of my favorites:

*Any of the Junie B. Jones books (Barbara Park has the voice of a kindergartner down to a science), I always use Junie B.'s behavior as a way NOT to behave.  :)


 *This a recent find.  It has a great beat and great for introducing your kids to adjectives in their writing.

*This is a great book to teach kids about point of view.  Older students can even hold a mock trial of the Big Bad Wolf to plead his case.  The kids love this one!

book cover of 
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs 
Jon Scieszka

*Sweet story about accepting all kinds of people no matter what they look like.  It is also great to teach the stages of the butterfly.

***What are some of the books you enjoy using in your classroom?  Let me know, I would love to hear about them!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dr. Jean Cheers

What kindergarten teacher doesn't love Dr. Jean?  My husband thinks I am crazy when I practice doing some of her cheers.  If you haven't used them in your class, you should!  The kids love it!  Here is a link to show you the cheers led by the wonderful Dr. Jean herself!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meet the Teacher!

The First Grade Parade
This is a great idea from 
Let's get to know each other!


Hello to all!  My name Cristy and I am a true southern gal!   I have taught Kindergarten for 14 years.  I LOVE my job! Luckily, I have the best team of teachers/friends that anyone could ask for.  My friends always say that I should be an actress (I'm quite a ham).  So if I can't be in Hollywood, I will take my acting ability into the classroom.  It is not unusual to come into my classroom and find 'Mrs. Wishy Washy', 'Zero the Hero', Cruella DeVil (101st day), etc...

                                                                        My family

 My wonderful husband, Bryan, and I have been married for 14 years.  We were high school sweethearts.  God has blessed us with two precious sons, Gus (11) and Ethan (8 1/2).  Last Christmas, we added another member to our family.  Charley is our Labradoodle.  He is spoiled rotten! 

                                Some of 'the girls' enjoy a night out in Charleston!

When I am not with my family, you can find me stalking other teachers' blogs.  Deanna Jump, Babbling Abby, and The Learning Parade are my heros!  They are the ones who inspired me to start my own blog.  If you ladies meet for lunch, I so want to be there (not to crash your lunch, but I am pretty fun!).  Finding new ideas for the classroom is my passion.  Now that my boys are a bit older I have just been accepted to begin working on my masters.  Pray for me!!!   My faith is VERY important to me.  I LOVE JESUS!!! Thankfully, most of my close girlfriends attend the same church I do.  Speaking of girlfriends, there is nothing better than some time with the girls!  Be it a weekend or just a fun dinner, I treasure the time to bond. 

I look forward to making new friends and sharing ideas.  Thanks for visiting my blog!  Now for a few more details about me:

Now for the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?                                             
A:  I would love to be either an actress or an entertainment reporter (think E!)

Q: What are your hobbies?                                                                                    
A:  Let me see...I LOVE to read.  My hubby surprised me with a Nook color in December and it is wonderful!  I am a part of a monthly book club which is so fun!  Also, stalking other teacher's

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?                     
A:  No doubt, a teacher!  I played school all the time.  My younger brother was always made to be my student.   
Q: What are your guilty pleasures?                                                                 
 A: People magazine,  any of the Real Housewives shows, Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha, and La Crema Pinot Noir.

Q: What is your biggest fear?!                                                                      
 A: Something happening to my hubby or my sons.

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?                                  
 A: Any beach where I can put my chair at the water's edge and read a great book.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?                                                   
A:  Go out into the world and be the hands and feet of Jesus or as I say be Jesus with skin on.

Q: What do you value most in others?                                                                   
A: Honesty, kindness, and a sense of humor

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?                                                                                                        
A: My out going has been said that I have never met a stranger.  Funny enough, my sons are on the shy side like their dad.

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?                                                                                                              
A:  Jesus or my Granny.  She passed away 11 years ago.  She was an amazing woman. God fearing but could tell a dirty joke too!  She was the perfect example of a true Southern woman, beautiful and graceful.  I miss her so much!

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
I was an extra in the made for TV movie 'The Ryan White Story'.  It came out in 1989.  I also won a Jello eating contest in high school.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Building 3D shapes

One of the math objectives that a kindergartner in NC must be able to do is build a 3D shape.  The particular 3D shapes they need to build are a sphere and cube.  Now, sphere is pretty easy.  A good old container of PlaDoh works great for the kinders to roll into a ball.  Where the tricky part comes in is with the cube.  My team has used the marshmallow and toothpick lesson for a while now and it works well.  However, I am always looking for another way to get the concept across.  So my fellow educators, how do you teach your students to make a cube?  Let me hear your wonderful ideas.  I know you have some.  :)
Each kinder is given 8 marshmallows & 12 toothpicks.

It is very interesting to watch the students problem solve.