Writer's Workshop: Getting Started!

I got to guest post on Kinder Tribe today.  I shared all my favorite links and ideas to get Writer's Workshop going in your primary classroom.  Don't miss it! 
Click on the pic to see the post!

Sharing Sunshine No More Interruptions!

It's the 15th of the month and that means it's time to share a little sunshine!  
I'm linking up with Hello Sunshine teachers to share a tip that brings some sunshine into my day.....and it's all about bathroom breaks!
You just gave the best lesson of your life.  You are eagerly anticipating the excellent responses from students because you obviously had them all at the edge of their seats.  You are a rock star and you know it.  

Hands up....here it comes....."Can I go to the bathroom?" Is THAT what you were thinking about while I was working so hard up here?  Ugh.  EVERY. TIME.

I do not enjoy being the keeper of the bathroom pass.  I really really do not like being asked 50 times a day for permission to go to the bathroom.  We encourage independence in our Kindergarten classroom so I figure the bathroom needs to be a place we can make our own decisions.  I started using these bathroom passes a couple of years ago and they are the golden ticket to the bathroom! 
 I put a "boys" and a "girls" tag on a large bottle of hand sanitizer. 
Here are the rules:
#1 If I am not teaching (or giving directions) students may get the bathroom pass and put it on their nametag. 
#2 As long as they are responsible and respectful in the bathroom they may go whenever they need to.  

 We learn this procedure early in the year and it works for us all year long.  The hand sanitizer encourages them to get that "extra" little boost of germ protection but I do encourage and remind about washing hands in the bathroom often.  OFTEN!

That's how I save my sanity when it comes to bathroom passes in Kindergarten. If this has been a struggle for you I hope this helps.  If you have another solution leave a comment!  I'd love to hear your ideas! 

You can link up with Hello Sunshine teachers to share a little sunshine too!  

What Worked Well Wednesday: SPINNERS!

After a long break from blogging because I've been completely OVERWHELMED (and my computer was broken!) I actually have something to share for What Worked Well Wednesday!
I found an awesome set of letter naming fluency pages from one of my favorite teachers.  After I downloaded it however I decided I didn't have the tools I needed to make the center and I didn't want to make a spinner.  Bummed right?  I will probably use this in the future, but for what I needed it just wasn't working.  

Then I remembered I had these........

They are plain plastic spinners with a really sturdy little spin thingy in the middle.  They are 4 x 4, so I created a little 4 x 4 template with some of the letters we have been working on.  I taped it to the spinner and we were ready! 
You can get a set of 5 for $3.79 HERE.
(disclaimer...I didn't buy mine there, I just did a Google search for you. 
Mine were free in something I got from somewhere...can't remember)

I made a quick table full of the letters on the spinner and filled in the extra spots with other letters.  

We started this activity by having students use one color to find all of the p's (that's our letter of the week and one we really struggle with!).  Then we switched colors with a friend and started spinning.

  I let them spin, say, and dab the letter for a little bit and then we put the spinners and dabbers away. 

Then we went to work! 
 We first read all of the letters we had just dabbed (I still don't know if this is the way you say/spell  that, but let's just go with it).  Then we went back and read ALL the letters as fast as we could.  

We topped it off by sending it home to go on the fridge so they could practice all week long.  Friday will be our last time to test letter naming fluency for the end of the quarter so I wanted them to be motivated to practice.  They loved this activity so I know they will! 

Bonus? Now it can be a center because I trained them to play it the RIGHT way!  Dabbers drive me crazy and this little training session will hopefully take care of the crazy dab fest that usually happens when I put these out. 
I think I will start using this strategy with my Letter Naming Fluency pages. You can see them in my store by clicking on the picture. 

 That is what worked well for me this Wednesday.  What worked well for you?  Link up with Kinder Tribe HERE!