Welcome to The Crazy Pre-K Classroom! Please enjoy your stay, explore my posts and join for more to come! Blessings, Christine

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About Me

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Round Rock, Texas, United States
I am a wife, a mother to 2 boys, and a Christian Kindergarten Teacher. Besides spending time with my family, I enjoy sewing, scrapbooking, quilting and creating innovative, hands on lessons for my students.


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Why teach Pre-K?

Because, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

Because, I love it and am called to it!

For my children and my husband!

Because I am me!


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Saturday, March 30, 2013

50% off my Teachers Notebook Store!!!!!

My Teachers Notebook store is 50% off this weekend in Celebration of Easter! Enjoy some great deals while you can, sale ends Sunday at midnight!http://www.teachersnotebook.com/shop/cropingchristine

Bullying at 4? Yes it can start this early!

So I need to address a hot topic at the Pre-k level. We all know what bullying looks like in Upper Elementary, Middle and High School but did you ever stop to consider it can begin much sooner? I am fully convinced that the roots and beginnings of bullying starts much sooner than Elementary School. Up until 4 years old children are mimicing appropriate and inappropriate behaviors borrowed from those they see the most; parents, grandparents, other family and family freinds. The child sees a behavior and believes it is appropriate and copies it to gain approval. Kinda like the first time you hear your three year old repeat the curse word you just said because you cut your finger cooking dinner right? Now add the fierce need for independence that comes with becoming a Pre-K aged child. Not only is the child going to be copying behaviors at home but now adding their own personality into their behavior. Anything can contribute to the bullying mentality in a young child, we already mentioned close family but now we need to consider the peers in the Pre-K class, the attitude of the teacher, other parents, exposure to older children and most importantly television. Believe me you may be watching a TV show and think your child is playing in the next room not listening, but they are! The bullying behaviors we see in Pre-K are often shrugged off as innocence and curiosity, which may be so for a first incident or a child who truly has no harmful intentions but it is a fine line between what is meant in jest and what is meant to hurt. For example the child who calls another a baby, not just once but daily, even a few times daily, this is verbal bullying. A child who repeatedly seeks out a weaker child to hit or pinch repeatedly, this is physical bullying. The child who refuses to play with a certain child who wants to play with them, this is emotional bullying. Girls are especially good at emotional bullying playing the "I'm not your freind anymore or I don't want to play with you today" mind games. Boys can be especially sneaky with physical bullying by using physical means to bully when the teacher isn't looking. While some of our 4 year olds are still very innocent there are some very manipulative young children in the world who have caught onto how things work socially much faster than others. I find that those with older siblings have a better sense of social awareness than those who are first or only children. So what is my point in tearing apart the four year old mindset, simple, we as teachers and parents need to be looking for the signs of bullying behavior much sooner than elementary school when children are impressonable enough to correct the behavor. I believe the intervention needs to be swift and have consequences. Parents should be informed as soon as a pattern is noticed and vice versa. The teachers and parents need to work together to model proper behavior for the child who is struggling to know what is socially acceptable and what is not. Communication between the parent and teacher is vital, even if it is a simple email to say so and so had a great day or a phone call to discuss a situation that has occurred. Together the bullying mentality can be corrected and the socially appropriate behaviors can become automatic. Positive reinforcement will also help correct these behaviors. As teachers we also need to keep meticulous notes when we see a child expressing any type of bullying behavior. Administration will need documentation should a serious situation arise. As parents we need to talk to our children about acceptance, how we are all different and that is wonderful and make sure that situations the child is exposed to are showing appropriate social behavior. Recently as a parent of a 10 year old and a five year old I had to ban a neighborhood freind from coming over for playdates. This little boy is seven and everytime he would come over he would make it a point to be mean and call names at my 5 year old, trying to gain acceptance from my ten year old. It was a hard decision but when this child started talking back to me and calling my five year old curse words that I will not repeat I had to make a decision for my children not to be bullied and not be exposed to that type of behavior to follow. We want to raise strong, happy children who are leaders and not followers. We want to believe that our children will always be nice to everyone and would never bully. We need to understand that without proper modeling and an environment that does not tolerate bullying behavior that we can end up with a child who is in the office for bullying often during upper elementary, middle and hgh school. Training children in socially appropriate behavior early is key! Till next time, Christine

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Sale!!! 15% off my entire TpT store

Hello All, After such a great giveaway I wanted to express my appreciation for yuo a bit more. I have placed my entire TpT store on sale from now till Sunday. This includes my newest worksheet set, my best selling Where do animals live? Unit and customer favorite Read the Room Mega Pack. Get it while it's hot on sale!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

and the winner is.......

Doreen van cott Bednarski! Congratulations Doreen you have a huge amount of free learning resources coming your way!I want to say a great big thank you to all of those who donated to this giveaway and all of those who took the time to enter. If you didn't win this time don't fret I will host another soon! Christine

Friday, March 22, 2013

Celebration Giveaway! Free entry, huge collection of products!

Hello Everyone, I am celebrating my biggest milestone on TpT, breaking $5000.00!!!! To celebrate I am giving away a $25.00 gift certificate to my TpT store and a huge bundle of products from some very generous teachers who have donated some of their best products. These teachers are so talented that I hope you take a few minutes to visit each one of them after you have entered the giveaway. Entries will be accepted from now until Wednesday, March 26th at midnight. I will announce the winner on Wednesday afternoon. Also, the bundle of products will keep growing throughout the weekend as more fantastic teachers donate their wonderful products. If you wish to donate a product link it below. 32. Telling time to rhyme:hickory dickory dock a Rafflecopter giveaway Best of luck! Christine

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SomeBUNNY loves you Kindergarten Smiles!

Kindergarten Smiles
Christina over at Bunting Books and Bainbridge had a great idea to highlight blogs that we love in order to support other teachers and introduce newcomers to some of the best teacher blogs on the internet. I am highlighting Kindergarten Smiles by Caitlin Clabby. Caitlin is not only my cousin but a wonderful teacher whose blog is dedicated to excellence in kindergarten. Caitlin has inspired me to become a TpT seller and blogger myself and her blog posts are amazing. Thank you Caitlin for being such an inspiration to me. Click her button above to stop by and see her sometime soon!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Right brained thinkers: 5 ways to help visual spatial learners!

Hello Everyone, This past week a colleques and I attended a wonderful seminar given by Summit Professional Education and taught by Lori Benson Adams, M ED. I have to say this was the single most informative and educational seminar I have ever been too. I typed 7 single spaced pages of notes in the first 2 hours!!!! Besides Mrs. Adams being amazing, the information we gleamed from her expertise will now impact various parts of my classroom and teaching. If you ever have a chance to attend one of her seminars I would highly recommend it! This blog post by no means has all of the information we learned but I feel these 5 tips could make serious beneficial changes for our Right Brained Visual Spacial learners. (1) Always use a picture schedule, all the way through elementary school, even into middle school if necessary for the child. (2) Add pictures with color to every lesson, as school progresses it becomes much more auditory in nature and needs to have a balance for our right brained thinkers. (3) Classroom must be welcoming, loving and inviting from their point of view, not ours, these children are very sensitive to tone and emotion. (4) Give think time when asking questions and assigning tasks, auditory processing in these kiddos takes longer than left brained thinkers their same age. (5) Provide organizational strategies and color coded systems to help organize the thoughts in the brain, help them stay on task with reminders or a gentle hand on the shoulder. I want to share a personal story with you now to help you understand the trauma that can occur for right brained thinkers when teachers are not sensitive to their unique needs. See I happen to be a right brained thinker: disorganized, low mental energy, ADD, highly sensitive, sensory integration disorder(self diagnosed as an adult since they didn't know what that was when I was growing up)and extremely akward with no freinds. It was my first year of middle school (6th grade) and I was totally lost. Homework never made it to class, locker a mess, couldn't copy from the board. You name it and it was against me. I was not yet diagnosed with ADD and was not on any medication. My middle school was large and I was lost in the mix. Now to the meat of the story: My English teacher had something against me, maybe I wasn't perfect enough for her, I don't know, but she picked on me quite often. The single most humiliating thing in my life happened in her classroom that year. One day we were having an open book test and I had forgotten my book, I was not allowed to go to my locker or given an extra book to use. As you can imagine I failed that test, getting a 25 probably just for putting my name on the top. Well, my teacher decided to make an example out of me. Once she had graded all of the tests and given tham back to everyone but me she called me up to the front of the room. She held up my test, announced that I had recieved a 25, that I was going to fail the semsester and that others needed not to be like me. Ya, like I said humiiliating! I think the single most important thing we can do for our kids, all of them, is to understand each of them is different. They look different, act different, learn differently, have different personalities and are all impressionable CHILDREN! I cannot express how much damage this teacher did to me, the thought of this incedent still makes me loose my appetite. So please celebrate the differences, be patient and love the children. Till next time, Christine (crying for myself and others like me)

Friday, March 15, 2013

And the winners are!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Linky Giveaway! Here are the winners: (1)Habitat Unit: Simon Perkin of Oddball Science (2)Shamrock Shenannigans: Heather Nance of Heathers Heart (3)Insect Invasion: Erin Blecki of Creating and teaching Congratulations!!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Animal and habitat teaching ideas for pre-k and a freebie!

O.K. so we all remember those famous dioramas that we made in elementary school were meant to teach us about animals and where they live. While these are cute projects with a purpose they are best suited for elementary students not pre-k. But with curious minds and a natural love for animals it only makes sense to introduce our kiddos to facts about animals and where they live around the world. For pre-k there are so many great easy ways to incorporate animals into our classrooms. I like to make animal masks for each habitat we are working on as well as read the room cards and recording sheets. The kiddos can record the name of the animal by reading it on the other childs mask. My class also enjoys making animals out of construction paper and gluing some facts that I have typed and printed about the animals. I like to try to decorate my room to mimic the habitat we are working on, I have to say I am a huge stuffed animal collector so I have many of the animals needed in beany baby size to help me acomplish this. For the rainforest I make a rainforest scene on my large bulletin board and place rainforest stuffed animals all around the room along with bug catcher nets, bug catcher containers, paper butterflies and magnifying glasses, test tubes and other exploration items. For my Arctic study I lay light blue sheets along the floor as the ice and use paper plates as snowshoes attached with rubber bands to each childs sneakers. You cand do very simple or very elaborate scenes and decor to help your students get interested in your theme. I also like to hang photographs of the animals with their names next to the stuffed animals. I have also used this for a read the room on a lined sheet of paper. This year I decided to step it up a bit and make minbooks and habitat matching centers for my class. The kids love them! They have been having a blast sorting the different animals onto habitat mats and coloring habitat coloring sheets. The pictures below show you what we have been up to in our forest study. We have made our interactive animal facts book and our animal habitats coloring sheet with the animals glued on the side. O These pictures do not show the animal photographs we have been using to learn the fatcs (I just glued the facts to the back of the photo) and the forest animal matching game: I have put all of this together for you in a mega-unit on TpT which includes 11 different habitats with everything you see for the forest for $12.50. I have also listed each habitat seperatly for $3.00. Please click on the pictures below to see this unit on Tpt. I hope your kiddos enjoy this as much as mine have. Link:http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Where-do-animals-live-11-habitats-animals-minibooks-206p Link:http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Animals-In-the-Forest-facts-minibook-craftivity-centers Here is a freebie of the matching center from my habitat unit, enjoy! Link: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Animals-in-the-forest-matching-center-freebie Till next time, Christine

Saturday, March 2, 2013

20%-50% off Read the Room sale!

Hello All, I am so excited to offer you my newest read the room unit for 20% off through Sunday night (3/3). My first unit is a set of 26 different read the room sets with recording sheets, enough read the room for the entire school year and more read the room sets will be added for no extra charge as I grow my stash of read the room. My regular price for this set is $12.00 so get it while you can for $10.00: Read the Room Mega Pack My 2nd set is 50% off!!!! Read the Room A-Z, this offers a picture for each letter of the alphabet and can be differentiated by choosing either the letter recording sheets or the picture recording sheets. You can get this set for $2.50 right now, Monday it will be placed back to $5.00:Read the Room A_Z Please make sure to check out my past posts on read the room with suggestions and other ways to use these cards! Please follow me here on my blog, I have lots more to share! Till next time, Christine

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Linky Party and Giveaway!

March Linky Party and Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway