All About Seat Sacks

Hello friends!
I have been distracting myself with my new Thirty One business, which has been so fun! Check it out, by the way -- me some comment love on this post and I will choose a winner Saturday to get a discount of 15% at my Thirty-One store!!  Due to all the attention I have been giving to my Thirty One business I have been neglecting my poor lil blog here. It is fall break now and I have more time on my hands, so here we go!!

Seat Sacks

I used to go a little crazy with handling storage and organization of pencils, completed work, and library books - not to mention the alphabet strip and letter tiles for phonics. 

Solution - SEAT SACKS!!

These are simply extra large fabric stretchy book covers. I bought them for $1 at back-to-school time. 
"Bazic 8 Stretchable Fabric Book Covers Size: 8"" x 10"""
Here is what is currently in the seat sacks:
Top: Library Book, letter tiles, writing folder
Bottom: Ten Frame Mat, completed work to take home, pencil pouch (another great solution I am LOVING this year and will post about soon), and an alphabet strip.

Basically, essential daily items a kid would usually put in their desk, but I have tables.
Each table has a different color set of seat sacks, which helps with calling kids to line up, go to their seats from the carpet, and so forth. 

Storage problem solved!! :)
Try it!!

Reminder...Leave me some comment love and I will choose a winner Saturday to get a discount of 15% at my Thirty-One store!!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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September SLANT Box Reveal!

Hello my blogging buddies!

I am excited to share with you the treats I received in September from Angie!

First, she sent me plastic poly envelopes and colorful clothespins to help with differentiating my workstations! I got the idea for color coding what tasks I want each child to do in their math workstation tubs from Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten. So, the poly envelopes hold materials for kids coded a certain color on the schedule chart, and there are 2-3 envelopes at each station.

I use red, yellow, and blue as my colors, so the envelopes that didn't match that just get coded with a post-it sticker dot. 

I also got some treats that reflect some of my interests - cute gifts that just make me smile! Angie and I both love to watch "Psych" - so imagine my delight with my new "psych-o" sticker and pineapple. And the cupcake bookmark...too cute!!

The cupcake is currently decorating my new Home Organizer I ordered from Thirty One. I had a Thirty One party a couple weeks ago and loved the experience so much I decided to become a consultant. There are many items that are perfect for my classroom! I'll have to blog about my pretty new bags and the Home Organizer sometime soon. :)

If you are interested in SLANT boxes, go check it out at Lessons with Coffee.

Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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Hot Dot Pens Giveaway - We have a winner!!

The Hot Dots Pens giveaway winner is ..... *drumroll please* ...... Leigh R.!!! I have emailed you!

To all who entered, thank you so much! My students are in love with using these pens and after almost two months now they are still in perfect condition! You can get them on amazon at the following links:

Product DetailsProduct Details

Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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My Kindergarten Classroom 2013-2014

School has been in session over a month, I guess it is about time I do my classroom reveal post? 

Let's begin with some across the room views:

From the back:

From the left side:

Facing the back:

From my desk, looking toward the door leading out to the hallway.

From the doorway. Looking at student tables.

Next up, learning targets! 

Anyone else doing these now?? At first I was aggravated to have another thing to have to prep and post - but I am pretty much in love with these now! So helpful! I hung them under the front bulletin board on command strip hooks. The helper for the day puts up the Target for each lesson on my easel by the carpet.

Now some of my favorite areas:

Here is one of my favorite parts of my classroom, the Literacy and Math Workstations Pocket Chart! The pictures have dots that let the kids know what tiered materials to work on in their various stations. They are also able to be very independent about reading the chart to see where they need to go. I expand the Literacy side to "Round 1" and "Round 2" next week! 

Here is one of the Word Work stations: it's a "See - Bead - Write" activity from Marsha McGuire. You can find it on TPT - my kids LOVE it!! I am also pretty dang proud of my tackle box for the letter beads. It works beautifully!

Here is how I am storing the above center. There are different color-coded envelopes of various difficulties, and again, the kids know which one I want them to use by consulting the Workstations Pocket Chart. Differentiation for centers made easy! I love my new plastic envelopes by the way - I got them from my SLANTbox buddy for September! Thank you!!!

Here is the other word work station as well as where I store the iPads. Notice the Hot Dot Pens - these are going to be a year-long item with changing cards, I think! The kids love it! My giveaway for those ends TONIGHT by the way have you entered? Also, check out how I finally managed to add a paper with pictures of this year's kids modeling good workstation behavior.

Here are my math workstation tubs. I think I got the labels from Fran Kramer, maybe? The monsters are so cute! The blue lidded boxes are all math manipulatives. Also, peek those rainbow names on the word wall - so cute!

Here is some math! We made shape monsters! It's a glyph. Again, an idea I saw somewhere, so unfortunately I probably shouldn't throw the directions out for free. :/ I also really like my new numbers on the wall, especially the teen numbers. Got all that off tpt this summer, but can't remember from who. Holler if it was you and help me link to it! Too tired to dig for it at the moment...

 Slightly messy supply storage. I love my baskets! 

I am pushing journaling this year. So far I have writing journals for morning work and math journals that we do every single day. The math journals don't have fancy name labels - those are dollar spot name tag stickers from Target! 

My Wall of Wow. Currently featuring shape yarn art. Real nice. 

Right by the door, my transportation chart. I think I have blogged about it before...
This year I added Rit-dyed mini-clothespins in blue and green. They match pretty well I think.
You can also see our "Today's Password" sign. I usually put a sight word on it.

Below you can see the rest of the whiteboard. Right smack in the middle is more shape art. It's supposed to be houses on a waterfront made with a construction paper collage and watercolor paint. 
You can also see my writing conferencing schedule at the top right and magnets for visual directions. 
Oh, and my beloved "I need a pug!" notepad.

 To end this with something awesome - 
I had for the first time ever a kid bring in an apple for the teacher. 
:) Epic!!!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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Hot Dot Pens (giveaway!!) and Literacy WorkStations in Kindergarten

Hello, friends! It has been a busy, busy first month of Kindergarten. Although much time was spent on testing, I am still happy with how everything is going. I have a sweet class! Thank God!
One big part of our work in the last week was getting Literacy Stations rolling. I spend a couple weeks modeling the stations, then a couple weeks letting the kids practice independently while I supervise and coach. Then, I will begin pulling guided reading groups! 
Today, I made posters for most of the stations I use, and the good behaviors I have seen in the last week.

These show my kids this year, and to protect their privacy I am leaving the picture and file I made as private as possible. I assure you though...they are precious!! I wrote "I can" summaries of directions with each picture and placed each in a sheet protector AKA cheapo lamination. These will be taped near each station as visual reminders.
One station that the kids really like is the Word Work Station. I currently have HeidiSongs Jenga ABC houses and Hot Dot Pens at that station. 
Build a Jenga Block Alphabet House!  Freebie from HeidiSongs

I was graciously sent the Hot Dot Pens by Educational Insights to test them out with the many old Hot Dot Cards I inherited with my classroom. They have been in use for 3 weeks now and the batteries are going strong. The kids love the dog and cat characters and the happy noises. The pens also buzz when the child has correctly answered a few questions in the row - and that little buzz is a good incentive to get the answers right! The only downside is that my kids hold the pens around the animal's collar where volume control is at, so they keep changing the volume! That's ok though really, because even at maximum volume the pens are pretty quiet and do not disturb nearby workstations at all!
I am currently using Letter (cap to lowercase) Matching and Rhyming Cards, but as the year goes on I will just by swapping out the cards in this center. I love that although the content will change, the way this activity works never will. In my opinion, these Hot Dot Pens make a great center that is self-checking and easy to differentiate!
Now, don't you want to win a pair of Hot Dot Jr. Pens?!? Enter my giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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My Wishlist: Reddit Gifts for Teacher 2013

The fantastically amusing Reddit (if you are not familiar with's a social media news site) is being especially awesome right now! They are matching generous souls with needy teachers to send them care packages based on wishlists! Fellow teachers, if you want to share a wishlist,go check it out on Reddit: 

So, here is one poor teacher's wishlist. 
Dear Reddit, please help!
My two Android Tablets, plus pug hair. He thought the tablet photo shoot = pug pets time. It did. He sheds. :/ Yes, it is an old HP tablet and a nook color. Not a nook tablet actually. My husband has magic android operating system skills, I don't know how it works but it does!!
I teach all the basic subjects to Kindergarten kids, many of whom started this school year knowing barely any letters, numbers, or shapes. I have to have them reading, writing, adding and subtracting by May! To accomplish this, I LOVE to use technology and especially tablets. I have two old somewhat hacked android tablets and my Asus transformer already, but the school also just gave me two iPads to use with my students! Yay! 
What is missing, however, are good apps and tough headphones. I have bought many google play apps with my personal money for the android tablets, but as I am trying to pay off graduate school loans while saving money to start have my own kids in a somewhat fiscally responsible way... well, I just know I am going to hurt my budget buying more apps this year. Also, I will remind you I teach kindergarten and they literally EAT headphones, so I am always in need of new headphones that have not been severed by mindless chewing. 
I won't give an X amount needed because I really don't know  - so just surprise me! I am thankful for anything you could send! THANK YOU!!
Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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One Amazing Pencil Sharpener!

Hi everyone!
Pre-planning is behind me and school starts Monday! It's still a little hard to believe summer is officially over. 
With school starting back up, I knew I needed a new pencil sharpener, and was eager to try the one everyone is raving about: the interesting manual sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies. 

The graciously gave me one to review - and the following review is my unbiased opinion of their product. 
First, I have a video showing some features I thought were easier to show in action, complete with a demonstration from my baby sister at the end:
I believe I am going to like this sharpener because it can sharpen all sorts of pencils to a very sturdy yet long point. It sharpens pencils quickly, and you can tell when the pencil is done without peeking at because you can feel and hear when the blade stops touching the pencil. The bin that catches the shavings really catches them all, too! No mess! 
As a Kindergarten teacher - I was hoping it would be easy enough to operate so that a student could help sharpen pencils for me. This is something I would never usually allow...but I believe it is feasible with this! You saw my baby sister in the video operating the sharpener: she's only six and was able to use it after just one brief demonstration from me! Notice that she is sharpening a colored pencil - it worked just fine for that! She had already sharpened the other end...and wanted to do the other end for the video camera! 
The construction is mostly metal, which is so rare to find in this age of plastic everything. There is a little plastic, but it is rock solid. For example, I dropped the shavings bin from about 4 feet to my hard tile floors and it was totally fine! Because it is not electric, you won't have to worry about a motor burning out. Furthermore, the blade is easy to remove so if it does get gunky you can clean it off without a major disassembly project. 
In summary, and to quote my best friend who also was drawn into testing it while she sharpened over 100 pencils with it for me ...
"It's FABULOUS!!!"

Their website offers a ton of good information and videos all about the sharpener, so you'll want to go check it out. I would not hesitate to buy this now that I have tried it.
The sharpeners are only $24.99. Go check out all the other colors by clicking the button below, or share this review with some friends and persuade them to buy one too - there are discounts for buying 3+!

Thanks for visiting my blog!
-Mrs. Cobb
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