Elf in the CLASSROOM! Jesus Style! 

Hello wonderful teachers, friends, neighbors, bloggers! I am back and ready for some fun! I'm sure you've all heard of "Elf on the Shelf" but have you heard about the newest craze sweeping schools across the country? Elf in the Classroom! AND even more specifically, Elf in the Classroom, Jesus Style!!! I know many of you bloggers and teachers are in private schools, like myself, and are always looking for new and fun ways to incorporate Jesus' teachings into your other subjects. I wanted to give new life to the Christmas story for my students, and help them look at the different parts of the most well known story from the Bible with "new" eyes. That's when Elf in the Classroom, Jesus style was born! I know there are a few of you out there doing this same thing, and what an awesome way to share the message of Jesus' birth!

How do I introduce Elf in the Classroom, Jesus style?

Elfie came to our class in a most surprising way. On the 2nd of December (I was SICK on the 1st and SO very sad about missing day 1 of Elf!!) when the kids arrived to school there was a fancy box with a letter labeled "To: Kindergarteners" sitting on my teacher chair. I hid Elfie in one of my classroom decorations and HOPED no one would spot him! As many of you already know, Kinders are quite observant! Luckilly, no one spotted him until it was iPad time (of course!). Once he was spotted, we decided that the special package and letter were probably something to do with the elf. I read the letter to the class, which contained an explanation of the elf and his visit, as well as what he was going to DO while visiting. Here's what the letter said!

Dear Kindergarten,
Are you excited for Christmas? I am too! Can you guess what my favorite part about this time of year is? I LOVE telling others the story about Jesus' birthday! I love Jesus just like you. I have sent my special Elf to help you remember the most important part of Christmas, sharing Jesus' love. He likes making people smile, so he might be a little silly during his visit. Because he is your visitor he asked me to let you all name him. What name will you choose? Elfie, Buddy, or Scooter? I hope you enjoy his visit and I hope you all remember that Jesus loves you very much! Tell someone else you know that Jesus loves them too! :) 
From, HO HO HO
PS: Don't touch the Elf! He might get scared!!!

After reading the letter I introduced our Adventures of the Elf on the Shelf books to the class. In these books the students will be drawing/writing about the Elf's adventures each day. Here's Elfie from Day 1! His full name is Elfie Buddy Scooter, we couldn't choose just one.

Day 2 we found Elfie taking a snooze in the Kleenex! He shared another box with us so we weren't out tissues for the day. This made for a nice day of "teachable moments" where we talked about sharing, and the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000!

Day 3 we found Elfie propped up on top of our interactive whiteboard. Uh Oh! Some kiddies scared Elfie by getting a little too close for comfort!

Day 4 Elfie was a nice little Elf and brought us some Veggie Tales Christmas movies for our movie day! What a treat that we ALSO got some popcorn to enjoy with our movie!

Day 5 Elfie was dressed as a Shepherd, wanting to join us in sharing the story of Jesus with everyone! Check out the cuteness!

Day 6 (which is TOMORROW) the kiddies are going to find Elfie zip lining across the ceiling using a CANDY CANE! (uncontrollable giggles will occur, I'm sure) 

Check back for more ideas coming soon, as well as check out xo_teach on instagram each day for all the antics! Use #elfontheshelfjesusstyle so we can all see your cute elves! 

Thanks, pals! XOXO

We're SO busy!

Can you believe how quickly the first week and a half of school has flown??? I know many of you started a lot longer ago, and for some of you, today was your first day. I am already back into my routine, and feeling like this year is flying by! We have been so busy working on things that I have neglected to take a single picture of the class in the zone! They have been working so hard, and I am looking forward to how this year is going to go.

I am on Instagram (see the link up on my header, its the camera icon) and you can check out the September Photo Challenge that I am doing! 

Here's Day One! Labor Day Activities!! (shopping, One Tree Hill on netflix, and Mac&Cheese!)
Today we worked on a fun project that I like to call the Traveling Alphabet. Many teachers in Lutheran Schools across the country are exchanging letters. We made 25 Alligator A's to send out to our friends around the USA, and we will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rest of our alphabet! The kids even had to stop production of these for a fun filled FIRE DRILL today, and they still were able to come back and finish them. :) 

Alligator A!
I will keep you updated on all the fun letters we will be receiving in the near future, and maybe you'll see your school represented! Don't forget to follow me via email, on twitter, or on Facebook to receive updates as I post! Check the social media links up by my header for easy access to all things Little Miss ABC! :)

New Blog LAYOUT!

How cute is my new blog design!!! I want to tell you all about Diana at Custom Blog Designs, because she is awesome to work with, and was able to get my design done SO quickly! :) 

Her blog as all the steps written out for you, super easy to understand! If you are thinking of having your blog redone, or maybe thinking about sprucing up your Facebook cover photo or twitter background, I would totally recommend her! Her prices are very comparable as well, you get a lot!

SO take a look around, check out all the new things (social media buttons and navigation links on my ADORABLE new blog header) and let me know what you think! Please check out Diana's blog to see all of her designs, too!

Back to School post to come this weekend (YAY Labor Day! YAY 3 DAY WEEKEND) so keep your eyes out for that. 
Keep smiling!


Redecorated Room Reveal!

Alright Pals, its that time...Back to school!! I cannot believe that summer is actually over, but having a newly decorated room is making it a little easier to get back into the swing of things! 
I want to start off by sending out a big thanks to my new friend Karen at The Classroom Creative for some adorable decorations, and a new teacher friendship! Look for more of her and her business partner's items to come! Check them out on TpT and on their blog

Ok, let's get started! I started off the redecoration by choosing my color scheme. I decided to go with Primary Colors! They are perfect for Kinders!! Once I decided on the color scheme, I began searching for different supplies to coordinate. My pride and joy of this redecoration process were my crate seats (see the previous post!!) which fit in PERFECTLY and really tie everything together!

Crate seats!!!

Reading corner! Books all labeled using Kinder-Craze's
Library labels! 
Meet the Teachers bulletin board is a quick and easy
board for Back to School! :) 

Big Book bin from the Container Store! It is a large Elfa drawer!

Any questions please leave a comment! Feel free to share on Pinterest and take pictures and show me if you use any of this as inspiration for your classroom redecoration!!! Talk to you all soon! Happy Back to School!!


Little Miss ABC

Milk Crate Storage Seats

DIY Day - Milk Crate Storage Seats!

By popular demand, I am making a post all about my new Milk Crate storage seats, which I made this weekend! I want to stress that this project is very simple and very quick to complete, but you will need to use some power tools so BE SAFE! First of all, I did not reinvent the wheel with this little project, I did find a tutorial on Pinterest. There are MANY out there, so check them all out and find which one reflects the crate you prefer! This tutorial is for milk crates that I bought at Target in the summer of 2014. 

I made 6 seats using the following amount of supplies!


Milk Crates!
I found mine at Target for about $4 each.
They came in a few colors (red, teal, pink, white, and black)
I chose red for my crates because my classroom is a Primary Color theme.
You would buy the same number of crates as seats you would like to make.

2 yards of Fabric!
I love everything about chevron, so of course,
I had to go with chevron fabric for the seats!
I chose the navy and white chevron to match with the primary color theme.
I bought my fabric at Hobby Lobby, where it was $6.99 a yd PLUS 30% off!
I ended up getting each yard for about $4.50.

1 spool of ribbon (1.5" x 3yd)
Of course, the primary theme needs a little pop of yellow!
Polka dots are a cute complimentary pattern to the chevron.
Make sure you choose a ribbon that does not have wire inside,
as well as choose a ribbon that is thick (1.5" wide is perfect!)
This will be used for the handle to lift the lid out of the crate.
I bought my ribbon at Hobby Lobby as well, and each spool is $1.99 and 30% off!

Foam squares (1" thick is perfect! Make sure it is also 15" by 17")
The foam pads are a little expensive. But they are so worth it.
I had seen tutorials which instructed you to buy a roll of foam and then cut to size.
I found it cheaper to buy the pre-cut squares, and then cut those down to size.
I bought these at Hobby Lobby, and each was $3.

You will also need some plywood - I do not have a photograph of my plywood, but I can give you the measurements. The wood I used was about 1" thick (that's from my rough "girly" estimate. I don't usually work with plywood when I am DIY-ing ;) The wood will need to be cut into 14.5" by 12.5" rectangles. My suggestion is to measure the inner lip of the crates you purchase, just to be sure it will fit. This is the hardest step! We had to trim down our first cuts because they did not quite fit inside the lip of the top of the crate. I did not purchase my wood (thanks to some left over shelves that I took from my newly renovated closet) but from what I read you can purchase wood at Home Depot, and they will make cuts for you (and possibly for FREE!) If you are cutting yourself, make sure you have someone near who knows what they're doing with a circular saw, and measures correctly. My wonderful Dad cut my wood for me, so if you have any specific questions regarding this step, leave it in the comment section and I will get back to you!

You will also need my favorite power tool; a Staple gun! 


1. Cut your plywood! (1" thick, 14.5"x12.5" rectangles)

2. Trace the outline of your plywood onto the foam squares and cut the excess off. I used regular paper scissors to cut the foam, and it worked really well! It was very easy to cut. MAKE SURE to keep your foam pieces and wood pieces that match together. Some of the wood/foam were just slightly different dimensions (no one is perfect!) so I tried to keep them as a matched pair as best I could. This will help keep each seat looking neat and clean.

3. Lay fabric out on a large flat surface and lay a foam/wood match pair on top. Measure out so that you have about 2" inches around each side. I was able to get all 6 fabric pieces out of my 2 yards of fabric. Measure carefully so you don't waste!

4. Get out your STAPLE GUN! Lay out the fabric on a flat sturdy surface, place the foam piece down first, then place your wood rectangle on top of the foam. Make sure that if your fabric is patterned that you put it down the same direction each time. For example, my chevron pattern runs along horizontally on all of my seats. 
 - pull one side of fabric up tight around the foam and wood, staple all along that side. (If you do not know how to use a staple gun, have someone who does show you how to use it first. Safety first, people!) 
 - Next, staple the side opposite the side you just finished! Go along the whole side again.
 - To finish your seat top, fold up the remaining sides, similar to wrapping a present. Staple down the corners really well, as well as the remaining sides.
 - I always flipped my seat cover over to see how it would now look from the top! Make sure it is tightly pulled around, and looks good to you. 

5. Grab your ribbon and cut 6 pieces 1/2 yard long. Fold your ribbon in half to create the "loop"

6. Turn each of the finished seats over to the stapled side, and place the folded ribbon loop on one of the 12.5" sides of the seat. Make sure that enough ribbon is hanging off the side so that once it is placed into the crate it will hang out the side. You need the ribbon loop to lift the lid out of the crate. Staple the ribbon to the wood.

7. Place seat lid into the crate and ENJOY your new milk crate storage seats!!!

That's all I've got for you, pals. Please please please comment any questions you have, or let me know if any of the instructions don't make sense! I like to think I explained it well, but I also put them together first, so I may have left something out. Happy DIY-ing and make sure to share your finished products with me! Post them to the Kindergarten Alphabet Soup FACEBOOK page or follow me and tweet me your pictures @littlemissABC on Twitter or @xo_teach on Instagram!


Little Miss ABC

Poetry Week - DAY 2

Acrostic Poetry

Today we explored the wonders of Acrostic poems! This is a great type of poem to introduce to this age group because we are constantly working on breaking down the sounds in letters (distinguishing the beginning, middle, and ending sounds of words). We began our discussion by creating an acrostic poem about JESUS! I love learning about Jesus with my class. :)

Here's our poem!

J oy
E ternal life
S on of God
U nfailing
S avior

After we made our class acrostic, I explained to the class that they would be making acrostic poems all about them using their very own NAMES! This was a difficult, but super rewarding task for my class! It caused them to really dig deep into their creativity and think of not only some words that describe them, or their favorites, but also to match up some of those words with the letters of their names! They came up with some great poems!! To keep the privacy of my students under wraps I won't reveal any of their poems to you, but I can give you some examples of what they included:

  • M inions (minions are a MUST for my class this year)
  • H elper (I have some awesome helpers in class!)
  • E at cheese pizza (this little guy LOVES pizza, and was creative to use multiple words for 1 letter!)
  • L ove (a popular choice amongst the girls)
If you are looking to do this with your class, I definitely suggest having it as a small group activity if you are the only adult in the room. I was lucky enough to have an aide helping out, which allowed us to reach each student and help them think of words for their letters. 

Check out this Mother's Day acrostic poem idea from Scholastic!!

Make sure you check back TOMORROW for a post all about the beginning stages of our descriptive creative poems! 

PS: One of my kiddos brought these for a birthday treat the other day, HOW CUTE! I am so thankful there are people in the world with enough talent and patience to make cool things just like this. :)


Little Miss ABC

Happy Poetry Month!

We are celebrating Poetry Month here in Kindergarten!! I am so excited for what is going to come of this week, these kiddos are so creative! I can't wait to see what they'll produce. 

We had a chalk talk at the beginning of ABC time to discuss that burning question, "What is a poem!?" Check out the cute answers! :) 

I will be doing a quick post each day this week highlighting our adventure through the land of poetry, giving a glimpse into the classroom. Each day we will focus on how poems are written and the specific rules/guidelines for writing the different types of poems. 


Haiku's are incredibly short, and a great start when teaching kinders about poems! We used the standard syllable rule:

The first line has five (5 syllables)
The second one has seven (7 syllables)
The third, five also (5 syllables) 

(Hey! It's a haiku about haikus!)

We read a few poems from the book (click for link) Guyku (Bob Raczka and Peter H. Reynolds)  to introduce the idea of what haikus can look like. Such a cute GUY poetry book, with some funny ones as well as some thoughtful poems. 

After reading, I introduced the class to their SUPER AWESOME POEM BOOKS!

I made this super cute poem book up, and included blank pages for writing as well as space for drawing pictures. The kiddos will record all of our original poetry in these books. One of my kiddos suggested we take some of our poems and make them into a book! I love this and might just do it for their end of the year gift :)

Finally, we worked together and came up with a cute little haiku which is called Poem Haiku. 

There you have it! Poetry Week Day 1!!! Check back each day this week for updates and more ideas! 

Keep smiling

Little Miss ABC

Signs of Spring FREEBIE!!

Hey lovely followers, Facebook friends, twitter followers, and pinners! Guess what I learned how to do today?

Upload things to my very own Teachers Pay Teachers store! Please check out my new store, and grab yourself a freebie! I created this freebie for my class to use on our Signs of Spring walk tomorrow. My plan is to have them bring out our mini clipboards and a pencil, and each time we find a "sign of spring" they will be invited to write down or draw a picture of that sign.

I love taking seasonal walks to look for the signs of the season with my class. I love how it gives my kinders an authentic learning experience. It's one thing to read that spotting robins hopping around in the grass is a sign of spring, but when you actually SEE the robin hopping around, how cool is that?! 

Thanks for visiting and ENJOY THE FREEBIE!! :) 

Keep smiling!!

Little Miss ABC

Liebster Award Nomination!

Well, that Brittany Brune over at Nifty in First Grade is just the best friend a girl could have! She has nominated me for the Liebster Award!! Pretty fitting that the word "liebster" is a German word meaning such things as "dearest, sweetest, kindest..." because that's what my best friend is!! :) 

The Liebster Award is given to a new blogger with less than 200 followers.

Per the rules of the Liebster Award, Brittany has given me some questions to answer about myself. 

1.  What grade do you teach? What grades have you taught? How long have you been teaching?
I teach Kindergarten, I have taught Pre-k as well as I have worked in daycare and childcare settings. I have been teaching Kindergarten for about 2 years now, but have been teaching in the Early Childhood field for about 4 years. 

2. What book do you read to your class each year without fail? 
If you've read my previous post you'll know the answer to this question already. Any and all of the Piggie and Elephant series by Mo Willems. My kinders love them as read-alouds, but they also love to read them themselves!

3. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing? 
If I wasn't a teacher, I would be working in DisneyWorld somewhere. My ultimate dream would be to be a "friend" of a Disney Princess in Disney. To see the happiness of every visitor coming in each day would be so fulfilling. :)

4. What's one thing you're just dying to buy for your classroom?
New bookshelves! I have recently been very inspired by another blogger and her classroom (check out Maria Manore's blog KinderCraze). I am hoping to totally revamp my classroom this summer!! 

5. What's your non-teaching guilty pleasure?
Pretty Little Liars and Once Upon a Time. I am a little bit obsessed with both of these TV shows...Besides some great TV, I just recently bought myself an iPad and I have been spending way too much time playing around with it and figuring out what it can do!

6. Favorite book that is not teaching related?
The HUNGER GAMES series. These books got me back into reading recreationally. I love that the main character is a strong heroine, a great role model for girls today! The story is also incredibly compelling, I couldn't put them down!

7. What's one thing on your bucket list?
Travel around Europe. Hands down, this is the next big trip I will be taking!

8. Favorite restaurant?
The Cheesecake Factory. They have EVERYTHING, fabulous drinks, and tasty cheesecake. I also feel really classy whenever I eat there :)

9. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Rachel McAdams. I have been told she's my  celebrity doppleganger! And I just love her.

10. What's one thing you could eat everyday?
Mozzerella cheesesticks. Is that weird? I actually eat one of these everyday!

11. What inspired you to begin blogging?
I actually began it to help me get more organized. The best part about this blog (when I actually keep up with it!!!) is that I have an organized, easy to access lesson plan log! While the main purpose now is to share my ideas with other teachers, it is great to be able to look back on what I did this week last year and have it all organized for me, pictures and all!!! 

Along with answering Brittany's questions, she has also asked that I share 11 random facts about myself! Here goes nothing!!
1. I am Disney OBSESSED!!! "It all started with a mouse"
2. I am a Mac user. Apple all the way!!
3. I hate the smell of popcorn.
4. Spring is the best season, and it seems like it will be the SHORTEST season this year!!!
5. When asked what my favorite hobby is, I usually answer with "shopping"
6. I have a puppy (who lives at my parents' house) who is my favorite animal on the planet!!
7. I LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC! Especially Miss Miranda Lambert!!
8. I have to sleep with a fan.
9. I knew I was going to be a teacher since the 5th grade. Never changed my occupational aspirations after the 5th grade.
10. Tulips are my favorite flowers!
11. While you'd never guess it from my personality, I absolutely LOVE traveling to Las Vegas! 

There you have it pals! Here are my nominees!!! 

Keep smiling!!
Little Miss ABC


It's MO WILLEMS week!!!

Alright, everyone. This has been MY FAVORITE week thus far! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mo Willems' books, and think you ALL need to get some in your Kindergarten (Pre-K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade) rooms. Even big kids love these books, so get them NOW! 

We have been reading Mo's series Elephant and Piggie all year, but this week we read "Can I Play Too" as a mentor text and reference text for our activities. 
Tuesday was our Pigeon day. I love that Pigeon, and the kiddos do too. He is so CRAZY! I love how Mo Willems draws and writes the characters emotions in such a melodramatic way. I read "The Pigeon Wants a Hot Dog" to the class, also a great mentor text. We discussed how the words look when Pigeon talks (Mo likes to use speech bubbles for his stories' dialogue) as well as how the words look when he changes emotion (i.e. when he speaks excitedly you see many exclamation points, when he is angry the words are VERY big and different colors). After discussing the different identifying parts of the story, I taught the students how to draw "The Pigeon" 
(check it out here! http://www.pigeonpresents.com/activities/pigeon_draw01.pdf )
After learning how to draw the Pigeon, we made up our own "Don't Let the Pigeon..." stories! Some of my favorites were Don't Let the Pigeon Eat Sushi, and Don't Let the Pigeon Mow the Lawn. 
Here's a picture of Don't Let the Pigeon Ice Skate.   

Today we journaled about our favorite Mo Willems character (lots of my kiddos LOVE the Duckling featured in the Pigeon series). Tomorrow we will be making our own Elephant and Piggie comics! I will be doing a separate post about that activity.

LOOK in my next post for a FREEBIE of my "Don't Let the Pigeon..." story sheet! 

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to follow me on twitter (@littlemissABC), follow my blog via email, and like the Kindergarten Alphabet Soup page on Facebook! 

Keep Smiling! 
Little Miss ABC

Well fellow bloggers and friends, the time has come for a little throwback Thursday action. I am going to start a Thursday entry each week (hopefully!!) where I will share with you one of my favorite memories from school past, teaching ideas from my past, or funny stories from my childhood. In honor of Easter coming so soon here's a silly story --

One Sunday morning during the children's message in church, Pastor asked us all a questions. "Who is coming back?" He asked. I quickly raised my hand and yelled out, "MICHAEL JORDAN!!!!" (I assume this was the year that MJ was returning to the fabulous CHICAGO BULLS, but I think the answer Pastor was looking for is Jesus...)

PS: You can now find me on twitter!! Follow me @littlemissABC for funnies, teaching tidbits, and ideas!


Kindergarten Alphabet Soup is on FACEBOOK!

Hi followers, visitors, pinners, and teacher friends! Make sure you head to facebook and click "LIKE" for Kindergarten Alphabet Soup's new facebook page! The page is another great way to keep connected with the blog and teacher updates! :) Thank you so much for all the support! 

Little Miss ABC

Update post!! Letters to Mickey and Cinderella!!

We have heard back from the main Mouse himself!! Mickey sent my kiddos some cute little postcards in reply to the letters they sent last week to Mickey or Cinderella! I am so glad that we were able to get replies, and even though the kiddies were looking for actual letter responses to their writings and questions, they were overjoyed to receive a response from Mickey Mouse. 

Here's what YOU can do to  use this as a fun tool for a letter writing introductory activity! And (hopefully) you'll get a reply from the main Mouse too! :)

During Fairy Tale week, I thought it would be fun to let the kids do some letter writing to some Disney characters. I had seen the activity done all over Pinterest/teacher blogs, and being a Disney girl I wanted to give it a try to see if it would work! I introduced the kinders to a basic letter writing template, where we discussed headers and ending statements. (Dear __________,
 From, ___________)
I had read that usually the responses people got after sending letters to Disney were from Mickey or Cinderella, so those were the two character choices I gave to the kiddos. I wanted to be sure to do everything so that they would get a response! We had some ADORABLE letters to these characters, I was floured with how excited they got about writing!!! (see picture in previous post)

I put each letter into a separate envelope and addressed them separately. I didn't know how the postcards would be sent back, so I wanted to be sure to get one for each child. On the return address line I put each students' name and then the address of our school (make sure to inform your school secretary that you may be getting a package from the Mouse so they can get it to you! Our FABULOUS school secretary was totally happy to help deliver the envelope!)
We sent the letters to the fan mail department at Disneyland:

Disneyland Resort
Guest Communications
Attn: Character Fan Mail
P.O. Box 3232
Anaheim, CA 92803-3232

Within a little over a week we had received a big white envelope from the MOUSE! I was so ecstatic that we had gotten a reply, and a quick one at that! They sent about 25 blank postcards to us, which I then took and wrote (in Mickey's autograph, of course) each child's name onto the postcard. I handed them out and I have never seen such happy kiddos! Such a fun activity to get kids excited about writing, and learning in a different way!

Check out http://www.mousekatools.com/2013/05/07/disney-characters-respond-to-fan-mail/ for another example of how this activity works! Thanks for the idea :) 

Keep Smiling and have a MAGICAL day!
xoxo, Little Miss ABC

Hello fearless Kinder teachers! It's been a while since my last post...almost a year to be exact. My fault! I want to keep this up more!! This year has been insane, as many of you can attest to I'm sure.

Today we had a visit from a silly leprechaun who not only messed up our traps, but he got into our Lucky Charms stash AND left green foot prints all over. But at least he left us some gold before he skee-daddled out the door.

I have recently been traveling a lot for conferences where I have learned a ton of great ideas, interventions, and activities that I am excited to implement in my classroom. My next post will be a compiling of some of the great things I learned at the conferences! Some of the teachers I had the privilege of listening to are some of the Kinder community GREATS! So excited to share their ideas with you.

Keep smiling :)

Little Miss ABC

PS: Here's a picture of some of the ADORABLE letters my kinders wrote to their favorite Disney characters during Fairy Tales week. Love that my little lady asked Cinderella if she was having a "very nice day" :) <3