Sunday, July 15, 2018

Reward Coupons for Classroom Management

I like to give my students rewards that aren't always candy. These 18 rewards are free or almost free and the kids seem to like the change of pace. Click here.

Product Rating
19 Ratings


Saturday, July 14, 2018

August- September Calendar Numbers Apple Theme Classroom Decor

Apple theme for your August and September calendars.
Extra squares are added in case you lose some.
.                             FREE.    FREE.     FREE

Product Rating
2 Ratings

First 100 High Frequency Words Phrases and Sentences in Power Point

These phrases contain the first 100 words from the Fry Instant Word List, which represent 50 percent of all the words children encounter in elementary school reading. Timing for each PowerPoint slide is set at 3 seconds. It can be changed if necessary. This can be used as an end of the year assessment for first graders, or a beginning of the assessment for second graders.

Click here.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

First Day Jitters Packet

The first days of school are always scary for the kids and the teachers. These activities my make those first days easier.

Craftivity: Students write about how they feel on the first day of school. They can then choose a face that looks like them and complete the face. The face is cut out and glued to the top of the paper, Hands are included to hold the paper. Have also included faces for children that might wear a kufi, kippah, turban, head scarf, hijab or rasta wrap. 20 different face included.

Word Search: Vocabulary from First Day Jitters.

Venn Diagram: Compare how the teacher in the story compares to how the student felt.

Emojis: Create emojis for different feelings.

Graphing: A graph worksheet to practice graphing, tally marks and word problems.

Jitter Juice: Poem and recipe for Jitter Juice.

Click Here

Product Rating
2 Ratings

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Classroom Procedures

I hope some of these classroom procedures help you as you plan for the new year.

Welcome to Third Grade!  

I am delighted to be working with you and your child this year.  We will be seeing some new faces in the halls this year. Some will be teachers and some will be students. Please greet everyone with a smile to make them feel welcome.

Our Classroom

Our days will be full of many different areas of study - Reading, Phonics, Math, Language Arts, Spelling, Social Studies, and Science.  Each week the children will also have different Special Classes: Library, Art, Music, Computers and P.E. Our theme this year is Down on the Farm. I have many activities planned to help make Third Grade fun.

Drop-off & Pick-up Procedures

Children will be dismissed at 3:12 pm.  Please, do not take them from the classroom before this time.  We will dismiss walkers and children being picked up through the front doors. The children may be picked up there. Children riding the bus will exit the east doors to the bus pick-up area.

Tardies & Attendance

In order to maximize the educational opportunities, classes need to begin promptly. Students should be in their classrooms when the bell rings (8:15 A.M.) Students not in their classrooms will be marked tardy. Chronic tardiness will be addressed by administration. Students arriving late to school must report to the school office before going to class. The principal will make the determination per the handbook of tardy or not and give the student a pass to enter class. 


At times your child may have appointments that require him/her to leave school early.  Please remember that all students must be signed out in the office.  It works best if you stop by the office first, then someone will call the room and I can get your student ready to go.  This way you can be signing out while your child is getting ready to go and possibly save some time.  When possible, please let us know in advance when your child will be leaving early, either through a note or a phone call.  (See school handbook for more information on this matter.)


If your child has a birthday during the school year, you are welcome to bring in a treat item for their special day.  We will celebrate in the afternoon. Send all utensils, plates, napkins etc. I do not have these items on hand. Please remember this is not meant to take the place of a birthday party. It is just a special snack. If your child has a party planned during the year, he/she can hand out the invitations to the class.  Please make sure there is an invitation for every child.  If it is a boy party all boys should be invited if the invitations are to be passed out at school. The same holds true if it is a girl party. You are also welcome to mail the invitations if you are limited to the number attending although I am unable to give out student addresses.  Be considerate of each child's feelings. No one would want their child left out.  


Please leave all toys at home.  If a child does bring something to school and it is out during class time, it will be taken away and kept until the end of the day.  If this happens repeatedly the toy may be taken away for a longer period of time.


Periodically, your child will bring money to school for lunch, field trips, book club orders, etc. When sending money to school, please remember to place all money in an envelope clearly marked with your child's name, what the money is for, and the amount enclosed. Please try to send exact change when sending cash. 

Book Orders

I will send home a Scholastic Book Order form with your child occasionally.  This is a great way to add to your child's library.  Of course, it is completely optional. 

Field Trips

We will take a field trip in the spring.  We sometimes rely on parents to be chaperons.  Unfortunately, we are unable to include younger siblings on these trips. If you wish to chaperon you will need to make arrangements for siblings.

I have many things that must be done in the morning to get ready for the day.   As such, if there is an issue you wish to discuss, please set up an appointment for after school or another day.We are going to have a wonderful year.  I so look forward to getting to know you and your child! 
Mrs. Kestner

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tips for New Teachers

I asked teachers to give one tip they wish they knew when they first started teaching. This is a list of what they wrote. Share this with a new teacher you know.

1.         Don’t try and do it all your first year! Set small goals to work toward! You have a whole career to meet all your expectations!                                                 
2.         If you get an email from an irate parent, have a veteran teacher read your response before you send it. Sometimes you over react in the heat of the moment. Save all correspondence with parents in an email file. You may have to go back and remind parents what was said.
3.         Along with this, teaching is really a customer service job. Keeping parents informed and having open communication can go a LONG way to preventing issues in the first place. Respecting parents as partners instead of seeing them as obstacles is very important.
4.         Put your name on your stuff.
5.         Take care of yourself! Figure out what that looks like to you and make it happen. Leave the work at work at least once a week. Unless there's an absolute deadline (report cards) it will all be there tomorrow and it'll be easier to manage if your head is clear.
6.         It’s ok to ask another teacher for help on something you’re unsure of.
7.         Don’t be afraid to do it your own way!
8.         Run before you’re trapped. Lol
9.         Pick your battles
10.     Be organized!
11.     Invest in good shoes and a wheeled bag. Your feet, legs, neck, shoulders, and back will thank you in the future.
12.     You are teaching students, not the curriculum. Make connections with them 1st, then you will have them in the palm of your hand with less behavioral problems.
13.     Don't be afraid of veteran teachers. Find one you like and can trust and listen to their advice.
14.     I teach kindergarten and I always say that I should have written down every funny or special thing that the kids say each day. It would just go to show how they have enriched our lives.
15.     Think about if it was your kid how would you want things handled, communicated, spoken to. Becoming a parent changed my perspective as a teacher...
16.     Do your best, but don't forget about yourself!!
17.     If a parent is upset, it is ok to get the information you need and get back to them. Don't take their upset personally, they are only concerned for their kid. But, if you say you will get back to them, then get back to them, even if you don't have the answer... yet.
18.     Teaching is like housework, it’s never done! Don’t feel bad about leaving some for the next day.
19.     When planning to assess, try to get more than one mark out of each assignment (a math activity could give you math strand (s), writing and learning skills - for example
20.     Also limit how much paper you keep. Have a USB on your key ring to save files. You'll try to keep paper, but just end up a hoarder who never checks their paper files anyway...
21.     You cannot evaluate everything your students do. Pick a few key pieces in each concept....and remember, children need time to apply descriptive feedback in order to improve.
22.     Keep as much out of their desks as possible with different table storage options. The less they have in their desks the less they will have to play with during instruction
23.     Take everything admin says with a grain of salt
24.     Have a laugh as often as you can. You are going to need that sense of humor!
25.     Pick your battles and do not argue with a student.
26.     Be flexible!
27.     Write down everything students say that make you laugh or you're never going to hear again.... you'll have quite a book and those are fun to look back on!
28.     Please learn exactly what differentiation is and be sure it is used daily in your instruction. Every child will succeed.
29.     Be empathetic, take into account your students' needs all the time.
30.     It’s not your fault if you don’t know - especially because you don’t know what to ask. Take what ppl say (and how they say it) with a grain of salt.
31.     Start tough, it’s easier to become softer but harder to gain control once you have lost them. You’re their teacher not they’re bestie!
32.     If you teach more than one subject learn how to Integrate the subjects. If it's languages, integrate Reading, writing, speaking and listening then you can cross assess.
33. Work as a TEAM in grade levels. Be open to your TEAM. Stand tall and firm.
34. The work NEVER done. Be ok with that.
35. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
36. Start saving for retirement your first year. Ask for help if you need it. Find an outlet for your frustration
37.  Be teachable! Listen to people who are seasoned
38.  Save up your coins! You will want to retire by the age of 50. I was told this by veteran teachers.  I wish I had listened.
39.   All behavior serves a function. Figure out the function.
40.  Don't sweat the small stuff! And pick and choose your battles. 
41.  Follow your instincts
42. Listen to all the advices and tips. Use the ones you think will suit your audiences well
43. Don’t let the kids sit the entire lesson. Have them move around, work collaboratively, and be engaged with them.
44.  Don't take it personal
45. Don't take someone's burden be confident to say no
46. Don’t be arrogant, over confident and listen to advice.
47. Close the classroom door and teach from the heart.
48. Positive praise for behavior management.
49. Work on developing positive relationships with every member of the school community.
50. Listen to the children and observe behavior patterns - some have things going on outside of school that they are dealing with on a daily basis. Nurture them and they will thrive.
51.  Never expect to do everything on your ‘to do’ list. It’s impossible. Be kind to yourself and prioritize.
52.  Take the words from the mouths of your students. Trust them they will only tell you truth. Every student has a key. Get to know them more it helps. Love is the magical key to a wonderful class. This is based on my experience with students who were labeled by other teachers as bad (sadly). These students were awarded best students by the end of the year.
53. Listen to your children
54. People will be quick to throw you under the bus make sure you document not only students and parents but also certain interactions with administration/ staff
55. They are all YOUR children. Build understanding and relationships, a positive, encouraging class culture and foster thinkers and risk-takers. Then relax (despite the hard work), enjoy and foster a love of learning - yours and your students’!
56. Start out strong or tight. You can always loosen up but never tighten up.
57.  I'm still new, but all I want to know are tips and tricks for being in this work environment, building community with my peers... stuff like that. They teach you SO much about the classroom in college, but hardly anything about the SCHOOL.
58. Be willing to share. Try to be a team player with teaching partner even if a bit out of your comfort zone. My teaching   partner and I duplicate a lot of things for each other and we keep a file of stuff we can pull from for emergencies. We both fill it and be sure there are class sets for both of us if one of us is ever away.
59.  Some boards offer a mentoring program that pairs you with a more experienced teacher as your mentor. Check your board or see if someone on staff would be willing to sit down with you a couple of times a year to plan, answer questions and help you. It's nice to have a go-to person on staff that you can ask for help...
60. Never promise something (positive or negative) that you can't, or don't intend to, follow through on. Your credibility will be ruined, and they will walk all over you.
61. Try to get all your plans done for the next week before you leave on Friday. You need a weekend too!
62.  Be emphatic with both teachers and student. Everyone's trying to be their best. Help where you feel you can and think and save for retirement as soon you start.
63. Be careful who you choose to trust. It can get very political so say nothing to anyone that you don't want to come back to bite you.
64. Document everything!  And travel lightly, don't hoard materials
65.  Start with files right away. Keep 2 copies of items. With 1 it may get lost
66.  Stop what you are doing and look the student in the eyes as they speak to you. Hear what they are trying to communicate to you. Then say, I heard you say...what would you like me to do? Sometimes they just want to be heard or they want you to know.
67. Don’t be hard on yourself -mistakes will happen
68.  Trust your gut feeling
69.  Never use your cell phone or home phone to return calls. Return calls from work!
70.  Don't get too friendly with parents or care takers.
71. YES! And don't friend parents or any students on Facebook.
72. Never get in the middle of parents going through a divorce.
73.  Keep where you live a secret.
74.  Do not tutor after school. It's just a free babysitting service.
75.  Don't trust everyone in the PTO!
76.  Work your contracted hours only.
77. Always go home early one day a week. Decide which day at the beginning of the year and then         stick to it!
78. Foster friendship with families, while remaining in charge of your classroom. Teamwork makes the dream work!
79. Ask for help don’t try to be a hot shot.
80.  Have a procedure for EVERYTHING. If the kids don't follow the procedure, have them do it over and over again until it's to your liking. If they are doing the wrong thing, it's because they don't know how you want them to do it. Take plenty of time to go over your procedures at the beginning of the year. You'll think yourself mid-year and end of year.
81. Exactly...teach procedures first and then curriculum.
82. Incorporate "brain matching" into your lessons. Really gets kids engaged.
83. Whole brain thinking
84. I have been teaching for 30 + years and just got into trying more student engagement techniques. It really pays off!
85. Take the time to organize your classroom library!
86. Plan for the unexpected!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Addition and Subtraction Pocket Chart Cards

Students can use the pocket chart cards to match the number to the apple tree that represents the same amount. They can also match the number to the matching word. Students can work in pairs with flashcards. One student will choose the flashcard and the other will use the cards to show the problem on the pocket chart using pictures, numbers or words. You will need to supply flash cards for the facts to ten. Click here.

Mother's Day Gift

These are some seed packets children can make for the garden. One is a template that can be designed for any seeds. One is a Mother's Day gift that can be filled with Hugs and Kisses from their child and the others can be filled with seeds and used to plant in a school garden or at home. If they are going to be used outside I would print them on card stock and laminate them for durability. Click here.

End of the Year Classroom Helper Gift

The end of the year will be here before you know it. Don't forget to thank those who have helped you make it through the year. This will make your job a little easier. Just cut and paste the pictures on the outside of a white bag and add a little something as a thank you. Click here.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

$10 TPT Gift Card Giveaway Begins at Midnight 4/7/18

One lucky customer will win a$10 TPT Gift card. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway 

The winner was Dana Niblett

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Roll and Easter Egg Party Game

This is a Smartboard activity that can be played by teams or individuals. The class can also play against the teacher. Kids love this. Players take turns rolling the die and put the corresponding number of counters on the Easter Egg(1 per circle). When the Egg is filled up, you win! To extend the game you can roll to take them off. Play as many times as you can in the time allotted. This is such a great game for number identification and counting! Click here to purchase.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

We're Learning to Tell Time

Telling Time can be hard for kids. They need a review every year with more practice. This packet should make your job easier so you can spend more time with your students.
Packet Contains:
Time on the Hour
Time on the Half Hour
Quarter Past and Quarter to the Hour
Time with Five Minute Increments
Time with 1 Minute Increments
Clocks with Missing hands to draw in
Digital Time
Word Problems
Anchor charts
Five Minute Increment Labels or your Classroom Clock
Answer Keys 
33 pages
Purchase Here

Egg Timers

We have been working on to to the hour and half hour.  I created this matching game to practice telling time.  The complete game can be found on my TPT site.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Reward Punch Cards

Kids love to earn reward in school, but not everyone wants to earn the same reward. I have created seasonal and holiday reward punch cards.  Kids can choose the reward they want to work on earning.  Some may want extra computer time, or to change a seat and sit by a friend, or eat lunch with the teacher. The only cost to the teacher is the reward punch cards that you can print over and over again.  I have over 30 different cards to choose from.  The reward cards have 10 punches to be earned before they receive their reward.  Go to my store Kestner's Kreations Primary Pickins and search Reward Punch Cards to see the selection.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Number Picture Match 0-20 Growing Bundle

These counting activities can be used for differentiated instruction. You can use all the cards for more advanced students or just use the number cards and one of the other groups of cards. This can also be used in small group instruction with your guided math groups. I will be adding pictures each month for the picture counting. November will be Thanksgiving pictures, December Christmas, January snow, February Valentines and Presidents, March Leprechauns, April showers. May flowers, June the beach, July patriotic and August back to school. I will let you know each month as the bundle grows. Click here to purchase.