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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
Image Map
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Graphics by: MareeTrueLove.
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Pre-K Happenings and Five For Friday

I have survived my first week in pre-k after teaching first grade for ten years!  Let's just say Monday was exhausting but the growth in just a week was amazing!  Establishing classroom routines was on the top of the agenda E.V.E.R.Y day!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching with Five for Friday to give you a peek into my week!  Yes, I know it is Saturday, but didn't I tell you I just finished my first week back in pre-k!  Hands on fun was the name of the game this week!

We counted with bears, snapping cubes, themed erasers, beads, actual children and anything else we could think of! Children love the novelty of a variety of manipulatives!
The sensory table was filled with pom-poms and it was a HUGE hit! The kids sorted by colors, counted and worked on fine motor with tweezers all while thinking they were playing at centers! 
This week we were working on letter recognition in our names!  Most of my students do not recognize ANY letters so we backed it up to the first letter of their names.  We learned how to glue collage squares onto the letters, we practiced writing the letters on dry erase boards and we practiced letter formation in salt trays. 
Fine motor is the developmental skill that is weaved into so many hands on activities in pre-k.  My pre-k kids worked on stringing beads, rolling play dough,  gluing paper squares, squeezing tweezers and even correct pencil grasp! 
I have teamed up with my sweet friend, Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room with The Ultimate Wonders Giveaway.  It will include everything you need to supplement your Wonders instruction in Unit 1 for first grade. I will be back tomorrow with all the details so be sure to check in!
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Mrs. Wathen
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Interactive Alphabet Anchor Charts

As I am preparing my classroom for back to school, I have scoured TpT for the perfect alphabet for my new pre-k class.  I have seen so many amazing alphabets, but none were exactly what I was looking for.  I really want my students to interact with the letters, pictures and words. Hence, the birth of interactive anchor charts!

As I formally introduce each letter and sound, I will model how to match the beginning picture sound to the letter.  The alphabet anchor chart activity will then be available for my pre-k friends to manipulate during centers.  The alphabet anchor charts will be backed with magnets and find a home on my metal cabinet for students to use for review. You could easily use Velcro or sticky-tack to make your interactive alphabet anchor charts too or leave it all off and just use it as a table top center.

I love the storing this activity in the plastic pockets that I ordered from Amazon.  You can find them HERE.  I  store the alphabet letters in the large pocket and the picture cards in the smaller one.  I am planning on ordering more as I want store all my pre-k centers in these.  Did I mention that the slide at the top of the folders are different colors for even more organization!

All of the letter and picture combinations are also available in a pocket chart size for whole group lessons and additional review!  These are great for sorting activities during centers and small group instruction as well.  You can view the pocket chart cards in the product preview HERE on TpT.

Both the interactive alphabet anchor charts and the pocket chart cards are available in Interactive Alphabet Activities.   This unit was also featured in the Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School E-Book.

This resource is full of fabulous back to school tips, freebies  and product resources to get your year started on the right foot! Just click on the picture above for the pre-k & kindergarten edition.  Other grade level links can be found there as well.

I hope this helps out as you head back to school in the coming weeks!
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Mrs. Wathen
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Orange Ya' Glad It's a Blog Hop

Glad that you were able to join us for the third annual Orange Ya' Glad it's a Blog Hop!
I am the
If you have hopped with us in the past, some things will be familiar, and some things will be new  This year, all of our bloggers are focusing on FREE tips or ideas that they can share with you to get your school year off to a great start.  Some ideas will have a freebie, others might just be a stand alone concept.  
Let's get started!  This year, I am moving from First Grade to Pre-K so I have come up with this idea that works in the primary grades.
My students and I started saving water bottles from the classroom to recycle after Earth Day last year.  I later read that the recycling companies do not recycle the water bottle caps.   So, we continued to recycle water bottles and saved the caps in the classroom. 

I realized the caps were the perfect size for the word work center.  I knew when my students were building spelling words, they would usually run out of certain letters, usually found in the pattern. It would be key to have the exact letters they needed.  Plus, I can color code the words for easy storage and organization! 
In pre-k, I will be starting the year with a name card for each student.  Each student will have matching  bottle caps with letters (color coded of course!) in a snack sized baggie to build his/her name. 
So would you like to join me?  To get started, I printed a set of alphabet letters inside of circles on colored cardstock.  I then know they needed to fit on the top of the water bottle caps so I used a one inch circle punch to cut these out perfectly.  If you do not have a punch, you can certainly cut them out by hand. I then Mod Podged the circles to the top of the bottle caps and let them dry.  I have also included an editable page so you can edit the words and number of lines (to place the bottle caps on). 
This will make your word work center run smoothly and your students will have the exact letters they need cutting down on time wasted and improving time on task! It is a win-win!  If you'd like to have Bottle Cap Letters FREE for your own class,  please click the apple below.
The Orange Ya' Glad Its a Blog Hop girls will be having an Instagram giveaway again!  You have the opportunity to win $10.00 in product from each store!
At the bottom of each post, there will be a letter. The letters all work together to give you the name of a type of orange!  This year is a bit's a two word name!  **Hint: Start at Mrs. Russell's  Room and go through in order to give you the right answer!** 
Once you've solved the puzzle...take a picture of the answer.  
Post it on instagram and hashtag it with #orangehop2015.  We love original, do something fun with your image!  We will go through the pictures and select a winner!
Next up, a blogger I absolutely LOVE! :)
The sweet Meredith Nardone from Creativity to the Core!
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Mrs. Wathen
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Florida Blog Hop Preview

Happy back to school season!
I'm excited to announce a fun Florida-centric blog hop!
I'm joining with some wonderful Florida bloggers to give you some great back to school ideas that will give you all you need to start the year off right!  You can look forward to seeing tips from the following Florida PreK-5 bloggers!

So come on back on Saturday at 12:00 noon
for fun back to school ideas and freebies!
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Mrs. Wathen
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What's Cookin' in Your Class- August

August is here and that means back to school is around the corner!
My mind is already working overtime planning for the upcoming school year.
Planning and prepping ahead of time makes it a smooth transition
for back to school, so I am joining Tamara from Mrs. Russell's Room
with her "What's cookin' in your class?" linky.
This year will take even more planning that usual as I am leaving the first grade
classroom after several years and moving to pre-k! I have been exploring
a whole new goup of bloggers and Teachers pay Teachers stores for Pre-K inspiration!
I have started to organize plan for what I need from TpT-both paid and free products .
Here are some of my must have back to school paid products. 
Just CLICK on the picture to find it on TpT and read more about it!
I love to check out free resources.  It gives me the opportunity
to use a product and see if the seller's style matches my teaching style.
Don't forget you can just CLICK on the picture to find the FREE product on TpT.
Alphabet Letter Tracing Book
 The BEST news of all is the TpT Back to School Sale is Monday and Tuesday!
I am joining in and my entire store will be 20% off including bundles.
 Don't forget to use the TpT code BTS15 to get an extra 10% off!

 And last but not least, do not  forget to go back and leave feedback
for what you have already purchased this year!

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Mrs. Wathen
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