Monday, December 31, 2012

December Crafts

It's been a while since my last post.  Time sure does fly!  I have spent my entire holiday break ill.  :(  I have finally decided to post the crafts that my students made during the month of December.  I know it's too late for anyone to make them this year, but you can pin this page and make them next year.

We started off the month by making these cute footprint trees.  I try to make something with footprints or handprints each month.  I think it's a good record of how much students grow during the year.
Then we started making ornaments out of cinnamon dough.  These ornaments smell great and take a few days to air dry.  We painted the cinnamon ornaments with glue and sprinkled them with glitter.  We also made reindeer ornaments out of craft sticks.  I gave each student a brown marker to color their craft sticks.
After all this ornament making, we made large swirly ornaments to hang in our classroom.  To make the swirls, fill a paper plate with shaving cream.  Add a few drops of paint.  Give students a craft stick to swirl the paint in the shaving cream and then press the cutout or shape onto the shaving cream and remove.  Scrap off the shaving cream and you have paint swirls left on the paper.
Last is a craft that my students made with the librarian.  I just thought they were cute and I ended up assisting with this during my planning.  I do that sometimes.  I go in early and end up helping.  I actually don't mind.
Now that 2012 is coming to an end, I have began thinking about my goals for 2013.  My number one goal is to get more organized at home.  It seems that I have one idea where things belong and my hubby as another idea.  We need to get on the same page and get with the program if we ever want to get ourselves organized.  My classroom could use a little more organizing too since I moved into a different room this year.  Let's just say I am the happiest ever teaching at my new school, but I do miss my old friends.
My number one school goal for 2013 is to focus more on writing.  I just don't feel like I am giving it my all when it comes to teaching students to write.  I will be looking for new ways to add in some writing where I can.  If you have any ideas, I would love to hear from you so leave me a comment and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

It's a new month and I am changing out my sensory tables.  Today, I scooped out all the beans and rice that I had in my sensory tables and I added fake snow to one.  This is the kind of snow that you buy for a Christmas village and it is sooo cheap.  Only $2.50 for a large bag at Wal-Mart.  Yes, I broke down after 6 months and went to Wal-Mart.  I only went because I couldn't find this stuff in the other stores nearby.  Here is what the empty package looks like if you want to go pick some up to use in your classroom.
So the photo is giving me fits.  Sorry it's sideways.  I bought three bags of this stuff to fill my sensory table.
I plan to add some holiday stuff in with the snow.  I'll have to take a pic and repost later.  I was in a hurry to get to an appointment after school so this is as far as I got today.
I have changed the center activities that my students are working on this week to fit in with the holiday season.  This first center is one of the freebies here on my blog.  It the Penguin Color Word Match.  Students match the color word to the color.  This can be played as a concentration type game or use them as an assessment to see which color words students recognize.  If you missed the post, here is the link.
Another center this week is a gingerbread word family sort.  This is from my Gingerbread Math and Literacy Centers packet.  You can get it in my TPT or TN store.

I also have my Ten Frames puzzles out this week for my students to practice ordering numbers.  It is also from my Gingerbread Math and Literacy Centers packet.
I have one last thing to share.  I bought a few things at the Dollar Tree recently.  The books are dry erase and allow students to practice writing words, letters, shapes, and numbers.  The cards are matching games.  One of the games makes a picture when you have the correct match.

Yeah, for some reason the pic will only upload upside down.  Well when I figure out how to fix that, I will.  I even flipped it on my computer, but it still shows up like this.  That's what I get for taking pics with my phone. :)  It's almost as bad as spell check.  Well, I hope I have given you some new ideas.  What kind of centers are you doing this week?
One last thing, Tips for Top Teachers is having a giveaway and this one's HOT!  Not only are they giving away lots of classroom teaching materials, but one lucky winner will win a Nook!  Check it out and enter yourself to win.
Tips for Top Teachers: A Smorgasboard of Teaching Resources

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Santa Sight Words Game Freebie

I went shopping online this week and I bought a few things on Cyber Monday at Teachers Pay Teachers.  One of the things I bought this week was "It's Calendar Time!  Daily Calendar Book" by Growing Kinders.  You can purchase this item here.  I have been looking for a way to keep a few of my students more engaged during calendar time so I thought doing a calendar book would be a great solution to this.  I'll let you know how it goes as I plan to start this in December.

After reading Smedley's Smorgasboard post this week, I learned where he got his great hat projects from so I popped over to Teachers Notebook and bought "Alphabet Phonics Headbands" from The Moffatt Girls.  You can see it here.  We made the letter R headband today.  My students loved them!  I also purchased "Phonics Watches" from them and my students LOVED these!  I was a little skeptical about the watches at first, but I haven't seen my students this excited about anything in a while.  I even had to repair a few that got torn off.  They did not want these to fall of and they did the best coloring ever!  You can check them out here.

Ok, so a little shopping has inspired me to make a new freebie.  I just finished creating a sight word game for my students to play during reading groups.  I used 66 words from the first 100 Fry words list.  Many of these words are also in the Scott Foresman Reading Street units 1-3.  You can get your free copy here.  Enjoy!

What kind of activities do you have your students do during reading groups?  Which activities do they like doing the best?
Freebie Fridays

Sunday, November 25, 2012

December Planning and TPT Cyber Monday

I started planning out the month of December today.  There is so much that I want to do for the month.  My teammates are using the senses and the holidays as the themes for this month.  I want to add in Christmas Around the World and do their themes at the same time.  Who knows, they may want to do some of my stuff.  I'm new to my school this year if your wondering and I am loving kindergarten again.  Sometimes it seems we need to go on a little soul searching journey to figure out what we really want to do teach.  I tried out a few other grades and realized that I truly am a kindergarten teacher.

So for the month of December I am going to be teaching the following:

  • Hanukkah
  • Kwanzaa
  • St. Lucia Day
  • Las Posadas
  • Christmas
  • The Five Senses
I am going to be using my Gingerbread Math and Literacy Centers that you can get in my Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook store.  Tomorrow I am throwing a sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Everything is 20% off plus the additional percentage offered by TPT.  The last day for my Teachers Notebook sale is tomorrow.

I will also be using my Christmas Fun Literacy and Math Activities.  This item is also located in my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.  This packet has a great snowman glyph with a data collection tally sheet and a mini-book.  There is a fingerprint Christmas tree craft, a syllable sort step book, a letter writing form, an emergent reader written by me, and more.  I do want to say that the snowman glyph can be purchased separately.

I hope everyone had a great break!  Happy shopping on Cyber Monday!  I know my wishlist is full. ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Survived the Day and a Sale!

I survived the day!  It was tough going to school today even though it was a half day for the students.  I kept thinking that I should be home getting things ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Anyway, Teachers Notebook is having a sale and I am throwing a sale to give everyone an even bigger discount so hop on over to the Teachers Notebook and check out my shop as well as others.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I finally finished making rekenreks for my kinders to use during our number talks.  I started making them in September.  My husband cut a quarter inch thick board into 4" by 12" pieces.  It only took one big piece of wood to cut out 20 student rekenreks and one larger teacher rekenrek.  I have to finish up the larger teacher version.  I was worried about splinters even after sanding the sides down.  My solution.... pretty duct tape.  I had to buy one bag of red and one bag of white pony beads and some elastic cord.  They aren't perfect, but they will last a while and serve the intended purpose.  My son had fun playing with them and wanted one built to keep at home.

I would love to know/see how others have made rekenreks.  If you have made them, leave me a comment or the link to your blog so I can check them out.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Center Freebie!

Well, I wanted to post a Friday Freebie, but it has now turned into a Saturday Freebie.  I fell asleep last night in front of the laptop, sideways on the bed, with an empty plate beside me.  Yeah it sounds real comfortable.  I was still fully dressed too.  I must have been tired.  Well, I created this Penguin Color Word Matching Game just for my blog followers.  You won't find this in my shops.  Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

Freebie Fridays

Friday, November 16, 2012

Today has been really busy.  I felt like I was in the circus and I was the main clown. Lol  Anyway, my school has a great librarian who does a lot of crafts with the kids.  The kids made these cute little Indians Native Americans from rectangles.

I just had to hang them from our classroom clothesline.

During math, we made pattern necklaces with colored noodles and yarn.  FYI, to color noodles: place dry noodles in a Ziploc baggie with a little bit of alcohol and several drops of food coloring.  Shake the bag.  Let the noodles dry on wax paper in a pan or tray.

The little orange strip that you see is tape.  I used it to write the kids' names on their necklace.

We also added feathers to our headdresses today and we practiced songs and fingerplays for our little performance next week.

Well, I'm going to go work on a few things.  Check back later.  I hope to have a new FREEBIE! because everyone loves a good freebie.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hanging Art and Painting Leaves

It seems that every teacher I know is always struggling to hang up artwork and classwork.  It seems we never have enough wall space or bulletin boards.  Last year, I came up with the idea to use a binder clip with a Stikki Clip.  I was frustrated that I had to use more that one Stikki Clip to hang up papers, one at the top and one at the bottom.  So I stuck a small binder clip in the Stikki Clip and attached it to the wall.  Can we intelligent ;)!  Here is what it looks like.  I took this of one hanging outside my classroom in the hall.

I also have some classwork hung up with clothespins that are hot glued to the wall.  I didn't hot glue them to the wall, but I know who did and I'm not tell.  They hold work up too, but they are not easily removed and repositioned. 

If you notice, I also have a strip that I can hang work on too, but it's just not enough to hang everyone's work up.  Do you like our fall leaves?  My students did a little finger painting with red, yellow, and orange.  Then I gave them a leaf cut out to trace.  After they traced the leaf, they cut it out and I hung it up.  Kinders love to finger paint and I was surprised at the many that had never done finger painting until we did these leaves.  That just means we need to paint more often. 

So next week we go to school Monday - Wednesday and then we are off for Thanksgiving.  I know many of you get the entire week off.  Let's just say I am a little jealous, but I do have a lot that I will be doing with my class and one thing we are doing is taking a field trip to a nursing home and singing Thanksgiving songs and rhymes to the people there.  We have a lot of practice left to do on our singing and we are dressing up as Native Americans.  We are tie dying shirts brown for this, and we are making some pretty patterned necklaces.  We have already made our headdress which I have already posted about.  We just need to add some feathers. 

I also like to do a pilgrim costume and let the kids eat lunch with them on.  More on that later.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Teacher Tip Sunday!!!

Miss Kindergarten is have a teacher tip linky so I thought I would share my tip to keeping the classroom clean.  When we have a paper that requires cutting, I put mini trash cans on each table.  This keeps students from wandering strolling around the classroom and it keeps the floors and tables cleaner.  The kids love being the responsible one at their table that gets to empty the trash can after everyone picks up around their chair.  I no longer have to remember to pass out the trash cans as one of my students will remember and ask to do it for me.  Can we say "Wonderful!"

If you want to link up or check out the other teacher tip post, you can do it here.

I hope everyone has had a great Sunday.  I'm off tomorrow for Veteran's Day and to celebrate, I am having a sale at Teachers Notebook.  Up to 40% off.  Check it out here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Freebie Turkey Colors Emergent Reader Book

I just created this little turkey emergent reader for my students to practice their color words.  I left the pages unnumbered in case you don't have a certain color in your crayon box.  I know some boxes don't have pink, so you can just leave that page out.  Enjoy and happy Friday!  You can get this freebie here.

Handprint Turkeys and Indian Headresses

We got a lot of things accomplished today in my classroom.  Maybe it was because we had several students absent or it could be the fact that it is Friday.  So right before lunch, I decided to have my students work on their Indian headresses that they will wear when we sing Thanksgiving songs at a local nursing home.  I like to use natural materials to make these as I feel Natives Americans would use natural materials to make theirs.  So I had the students use brown beans, black beans, and split peas.  I would have liked to add white beans too, but I didn't have any.

To make the headress, I gave each student a sentence strip.  I explained how one side had three lines to write our name and the other side had one line for our patterns that we were going to make.  I demonstrated how to lay the pattern out and pick up each piece to put a dot of glue under it to hold it on.  I was Amazed at how neatly they did at gluing their pieces down.  Maybe it helped that I made them sing the glue song from Dr. Jean's CD.  Anyway, here is what they look like.

Here is a close up.
Here is a different pattern one of my little made.
So now that we have that done, we can write our "Indian names" on the front and start earning feathers for things that we can do, such as tying our shoe.
We also made handprint turkeys today.  I had a wonderful volunteer who came in and assisted while the kids did traditional centers.  Yes, I work somewhere that allows us to have housekeeping, blocks, and a sensory table.  We actually got NEW toys too.

My volunteer is willing to come help out next Friday too!  Oh, I am not sure where the poem came from with our turkeys.  I have had it for years in my Thanksgiving files (Yes, I said files.  Six hanging file folders stuffed full to be exact.).  My next project.....clean out my files. ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Seasonal Sensory Tables

I have been changing my sand and water tables to match the season and the themes.  I know it's a little late, but I here is my Halloween themed sand table.  I put rice in the table and Halloween toys.  All the toys came from the Dollar Tree except the mini pumpkins and the couldrons.  They came from Michael's.

Today, I changed out both tables.  I left rice in the red table and added some silk fall leaves and a few styrofoam gourds that I purchased at the Dollar Tree.  I finally removed the split peas from my clear table and added brown beans, foam leaves, and stryofoam gourds in different colors.  I also added some new scoops and a few scarecrows.

I would love to see what other people are doing in their classrooms to add to the season.  Feel free to shoot me a comment and tell me about it.  Maybe I have inspired you to change out your sand table or to even create one at home for your own children.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving Writing Freebie!!!

I have been really working on my Teachers Pay Teachers store this week.  I have posted a new freebie.  This is a Thanksgiving writing prompt paper.  Check it out at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store here.

Snowman Glyph

I just added this to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and my Teachers Notebook store.

This is the snowman glyph from my Christmas Fun Literacy and Math Activities packet. I have included a the directions to create the snowman glyph along with the patterns that are needed. You will get the glyph key that can be displayed along with the finished student products. There is also a glyph mini data booklet, a form to write about the data, and pictures of examples.

Teachers Pay Teachers Sale

I'm throwing a sale today for Election Day!  All items in my Teachers Pay Teachers store are 10% off today and tomorrow.  This sale includes my Thanksgiving Fun Literacy and Math Activities and my Christmas Fun Literacy and Math activities.  I will be adding some new things soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Turkey Time Thanksgiving Packet!

I added a new Thanksgiving packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop and my Teachers Notebook shop. 

This packet contains the following:

*Turkey numeral cards 1-30
*Turkey dot cards 1-10
*Turkey number word cards 1-12
*Turkey uppercase and lowercase alphabet cards
*Sight word roll a word graph and cube
*Blank sight word roll a word graph and cube
*Syllable Sort step book patterns and photo directions
*Thanksgiving dinner journal writing page
*Venn diagram to compare Thanksgiving long ago and today

I have included a list of ways to use the alphabet and number cards. The cards are great to use in your calendar or in a pocket chart and can be used for matching game. 

Check it out!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Christmas Fun Math and Literacy Activities

I have been working hard on a new item to add to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and Teachers Notebook.  Check it out.  Here is the item description.

This packet contains the follow activities:

*Fingerprint Christmas tree craft with an original poem rhyme written by me.
*Roll and Color number word and color word recognition sheet and cube.
*Santa letter writing form
*Snowman Glyph, tally mark data sheets, and data mini book.
*Syllable Sort Step Book directions with photos and patterns.
*Christmas word building activity, letter tiles, and recording sheet with teacher directions.
*Christmas theme emergent reader written by me.

All the patterns needed are included and I have included photos of the finished product along with directions.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sand and Water Table aka Sensory Table

I have been surfing around the net and I came across some cute ideas for my sand and water table.  Yes, I'm lucky to have one of each.  I want to make sure I keep students interested in playing in these areas.  Also, I want to make my tables go with the seasons or what we are studying.  Here is what I have in my tables right now.

Sand Table:  I don't have sand in my sand table, but I am sure it did at one time.  When I moved into my kindergarten classroom this year, this table was empty so I decided to change that.  I noticed that I had lots of these puff balls in my classroom so I poured them all into the sand table.  I added a few cloth bags for students to stuff with the puffs, some tongs and a few clothespins to practice picking them up, a couple of measuring cups, and some ice cream scoops from the Dollar Tree.  The only things I bought were the orange and green ice cream scoops and the green handle tongs.  All the other items were already in my room.
 Water Table:  Obviously, I don't have water in my water table.  Unlike my sand table, I have a lid for my water table.  I'm going to have to purchase one for the sand table to keep little ones from playing in it when we are lining up.  I did purchase the items for this table, but they will be reused next fall.  I filled my table with split peas.  It took about 16 bags, but the bags were small and $1.08 each.  I bought two cute little scarecrows, two cute little tin buckets, styrofoam apples, and decrative cheeries that I pulled off the wires to make the smaller apples.  I bought these items from Michael's, then I bought a 3 pack of funnels at the Dollar Tree. 

Let me just say, the kids really love playing at these tables and they are popular areas in my classroom during center time.  I am so happy that kinder teachers are being encourage to do traditional centers in kindergarten now.  I plan on changing my sand table soon to fit with a Halloween theme so come back and see what I do.  Maybe I will inspire you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kindergarten and Keeping up with Deadlines

     I decided two weeks ago to take a kindergarten position at another school.  I am excited to be going back to kindergarten and nervous about going to a new school.  The school I am moving to is closer to home and smaller than the school I am leaving.  I know it's a great school because I use to sub there a lot for the kindergarten teachers.  I'm excited that I will now get to work with these wonderful teachers.
   As I am thinking about going back to school in 4 Weeks, I have been doing a little summer reading.  I was at Books-a-Million about a month ago and came across a new book, The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time by Maia Heyck-Merlin.  I am only on page 46 but I am finding it very helpful.  I am usually forgetting appointments and other personal things that I need to remember.  Yeah, I think my beautician is no longer accepting my calls because I forgot another hair appointment.  In this book, the author talks about ways to keep yourself organized so that you don't forget important dates.  I haven't read past that yet, but I think this book was worth what I paid.  I know many of you might want to check this book out also as it may help you organize and manage your time better.  I'm going to keep reading and I will let you know more about the book later.

     By the way, I have been laaaazzzy this summer so I haven't been doing much of anything.  I think I am just so relieved to not have anymore grad papers to write or papers to grade. ;)

Friday, July 6, 2012


     So far summer is turning out way different than I planned.  My internet was down for a month because of something the cable company did.  When it was finally fixed, the electric went out for 4 days.  Well I finally have everything working.

     I have been taking a break from my computer since I finished my masters degree.  I needed a break.  I felt like I was glued to the laptop.  I have finally decided that I want to start working on school stuff again.  It's hard to believe that it is already July and I haven't done much this summer except take my son to the free summer movies every week and go to the library.  Well, look for me to post what I am working on soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fraction Flowers

I haven't posted much lately because I am taking a break.  I just finished up my grad classes and I am waiting on my final project grade.  It is such a relief to not have any more assignments to do.

My class has been working on fractions and one of my coworkers shared this fraction flower idea with me so I thought I would share it with you.  I gave my students construction paper with premade circles on them.  I ran the same page on two different colors.  Each student needs 4 circles that are the same size.  One circle is left whole.  One circle is cut in half.  One circle is folded and cut into fourths and the last circle is folded and cut into eighths.  Here is a few student made examples...

I had students label their pieces with the fraction.  They really loved making these.  So here is my circle pattern to save you some time.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Grad Classes

I wish I was able to post more this past week, but I am finishing up my last grad class.  Next week, I will be back and stronger than ever.  I will be sharing my Mothers Day card idea that I have used for several years.  It's cute!  I'm going to make one with my son this weekend to give to my mother and I will post some pictures.  I hope everyone has had a great week and here's to the start of a great weekend!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Study Jams

Last week, I started using Study Jams in my class.  I've heard about it before, but I hadn't checked it out until last week.  My class loved it!  The site has short videos that teach math and science concepts.  Some of the lessons include karaoke songs so the class can sign along as they learn.  There are also step by step directions with audio recording and pictures that teach students the skills, such as measurement.

Once you get on the site, click math or science to see a picture menu.  Select one of the categories and a list will come up for you to select a lesson by topic or skill.  The site is easy to use and navigate and your students will love it.  The videos are short so they can be easily incorporated into what you are already doing.

If you haven't checked it out go here.  The best part of the site is that it is free.  You can't beat free and engaging.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cute Suffix Words Matching Game Freebie!!!

I wanted to post a new freebie last night but I fell asleep instead.  Yesterday seemed like the logest day ever!  It wouldn't have been so bad but it seemed like no one wanted to be at school yesterday.  I'm going to claim that it is spring fever.  Well, I'm working on some new stuff to add to my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.  You can get this freebie here or here.

Only 31 days until Summer!!!
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