Sunday, August 31, 2014

500 Follower FREEBIE and GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited and blessed to have reached 500 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers. Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and everyone of you that is following my store, my blog, and my facebook page. I really appreciate it. To thank you, I am celebrating with a Giveaway....

and a new freebie.

This has 36 different schedule cards and I am willing to modify it if you need anything else added. You get this free at my store

I also have these adorable polka-dot cards free for FACEBOOK fans. You can find my Polka-Dot Classroom decor in my Store.

I have asked a few of my favorite bloggers to donate a product for my 500 follower giveaway.

Sarah at Educlips has donated her Apple Clip Art Bundle.
Molly at Kinder Molly has donated her Chalk Classroom Library Labels. 
Tara at Little Minds at Work has donated one of her best selling items Teacher, Teacher How Do I Spell...?
Tiffany at KTeacherTiff  has donated her Interactive Math Notebook.
And I am donating my Beginning Sounds Mega Pack.

You can enter below by following all of these fabulous ladies on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can get a 5 point bonus by following me on Facebook and a 10 point bonus by sharing this Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Letters on the Bus and Introducing Centers

Whew. Another busy week down. I am stilling saying this is one of my best classes EVER. I LOVE them. This week, we worked on our letters, I introduced 3 literacy centers, and we started Math rotations. 

As you know, the first few weeks of Kindergarten are EXHAUSTING but once we get started on centers, the year seems to start to FLY BY. Oh, beware, I did not have my camera at school this week so all of my pictures are taken on my phone...and my phone is not the best, especially on rainy days like we had this week. I keep hinting to Mr. Fabulous that I need a Samsung Galaxy 5 because I hear it takes great pictures.

Every morning this week, we looked at which letters were in our name. This chart was Pinspired by this pin. The pin takes you to an old version of KinderGals. I created my own cut up sentence and you cab get it FREE HERE or by clicking on the picture.

This letters on the bus song comes from Mrs. Williamson's Room 36. I like to project it on the Smartboard and write  4-5 letters everyday. The kids LOVE it.

I thought it would be fun to combine the two and make a bus with the first letter in our name. It was a simple cut the corners project...and it turns out we need A LOT more practice with that.

Bus Measurements
 1 Yellow rectangle 9x8.5
 2 black squares cut 3x3
4 white square cut 1.5x1.5

Make sure the students have the yellow rectangle longs ways (or hot dog style). Have them cut the top two corners. Then cut all four corners of the wheels. This may be hard for some. For students who may be struggling to cut the corners, I draw where they should cut. Then, they use the white squares to draw the bus driver and their friends. I created a FREE sheet with one line of the poem here. To make it more fun, I let each pumpkin place his or her bus under the document camera and everyone sang the song.

For more Back to School ideas, check on my Back to School Pinterest board

This week, I introduced three literacy centers. The first one that I introduced was word work. I placed four activities in word work. All 4 focus on letter identification. I have students who are ready for beginning sounds, but I wanted to start with simple activities.

 On the first day of literacy centers (which was day 8 of school), we only only did word work. I showed students where the word work center is. We talked about using quiet voices and how to put the materials away. I modeled each activity. After all that talking, we were ready for a brain break. I love  Then, I had students go back to their tables and I placed a bucket on their table. The first day is the only time I tell them what to do and require them to sit at their table. I watched to see how long they stayed engaged. The initial rotation lasted almost 15 minutes! But of course, that wore off and the next two rotations lasted about 10 minutes. My hope is to be up to 15 by the time I pull guided reading groups.

The picture on the left is from my Beginning Sounds Word Work Pack.

The picture on the top right is a FREEBIE from Caitlin Clabby at Kindergarten Smiles and you can find it HERE

The bottom two come from Tara West at Little Minds at Work. It is from her Wand-erful Guided Reading Activities.  I have to tell you all, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this pack. It was the best investment EVER. It has activities that can be used all year in kindergarten. They are designed to go with Bingo Wands, which i want to get, but for now, I am just using transparent counters that I already had.

On the second day of introducing centers, I introduced the Listening Center. I played The Kissing Hand on CD. I modeled under the document camera what I was drawing while the kids sat at the desk drawing. At the end, I let everyone come up and share their picture. I found a strength in every drawing, of course. You can get this simple Listening Center template FREE HERE.  For now, we are focusing on drawing our favorite part, writing the title, and rating it. As we begin to work on writing, I will encourage my students to label their picture. Later on, I will switch to a recording sheet with some lines to write. On Day Two, I also introduced read to self., which I will talk about more later.

On Day 3, Friday, we rotated through the three centers. It went well. Okay, it was loud and it took FOREVER to rotate. But, it was only Day 3! On Tuesday, I will introduce the writing center.

I LOVE dice rolling games. The kids had a blast with these two. They are a great way to develop number sense. The top picture comes from my Back to School Math Centers.The second picture is my Star Stacking FREEBIE. Both games come with a dice version and a numeral version to meet the needs of your students.

Guess what??? I almost have 500 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers. I have a freebie and a CELEBRATION planned. Are you following me??? now is the time!!! Look at the freebie I have planned for you!

Have you gotten my Job Chart freebie on Facebook????
To get this freebie, you just have to like my Facebook page!

Friday, August 22, 2014

5 for Friday

I am tired. I had the best week with my adorable Kinders. I LOVE them. This may possibly be my best class ever.
But, they 

I have been going so fast, I haven't even thought about blogging. 

I decided to link up Doodle Bugs to share 5 things from my fabulous week.

Divider 1

First off, my Kinder team and I took the challenge. The ALS challenge. I am the short one on the right. The two teachers that are dumping the bucket {Tub?} of water are also amazing Kinder teachers that didn't want to get wet.

It was cold. It was fun. It was for a good cause. It was cold. The New Mexico winds filled the bucket with sand before it got dumped on our heads. Did I mention it was cold???

Divider 2

On the first day of school, we we read The Kissing Hand.
Then we searched the school for Chester. We visited the front office, the cafeteria, the gym, the art room, the music room, the library, and the nurse. At each stop, We found a sweet note that Chester left , telling us where to visit next.
When we got back, there was one last note.

And we enjoyed these yummy cookies. I had seen hand shaped cookies on Pinterest, but I could not find a hand cookie cutter. I think these heart shaped ones came out fabulous.

Divider 3
I wanted to see right away who could cut, so we made these adorable crayon friends.

You can get these crayon friends FREE from Cara Carroll HERE.

Divider 4

We started with some simple math centers that focused on one to one. I walked around the room and took notes on who had one to one correspondence. 

My kids have had a blast with this star stacking freebie. You can get it here.

Both of these activities are from my Back to School Math Centers.

Divider 5

I started to introduce a few activities that will become our first word work activities. I put one activity at each table. I have four students at each table. They covered up the matching letters with these adorable bus erasers. This was a hit.

During circle time, I passed out these adorable chalkboard letters. We sang the abc song to put them together in alphabetical order. It went surprisingly well. You can find both of these in my Back to School Word Work.

Okay, I am beat! Time to put my feet up and relax.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Classroom Decor

Monday was the first day I was able to get into my classroom. We have a wonderful new head custodian. He noticed the walls were pretty banged up. He has been working diligently to paint everything before the kids come to school. 

He asked us to please not use staples in the wall. Yes, we are a staple happy school. We LOVE to hang student work, anchor charts, posters, and more.

But he is A-mazing, and we all want to respect his wishes. We have all been talking about different ways to hang environmental print on the wall. I thought you all might be able to use many of these ideas in your classroom, especially if you have cabinet doors, bricks walls, or a no staple policy.

First, you need your materials. I LOVE Command strips and you use them for pocket charts, but I did not know you could buy just the Command Strips. BRILLIANT. They hold strong without destroying the wall. I also got clear velcro and hot glue (TRUST ME).

I can also share what does NOT work. Tape - even packaging or duck tapes will NOT last all year. Also, skip the expensive putty you can buy at a teacher store. It will not last all year. 

First, lets talk about hot glue. I used it to hot glue my borders onto the dry erase boards. In the past, I have used magnets, but they still fall off. They are 2 IMPORTANT rules to remember when using hot glue. 

1. The material MUST be laminated or the hot glue will ruin it. 
2. It will remove paint - so stick to cabinets or wooden doors

Look at the months of year picture. Can you see the Velcro when August should be? NOPE. I LOVE clear Velcro for items that may be moved throughout the year.  I use Velcros for my entire calendar center. It works perfectly. You do not see the Velcro when the item is missing. I also use Velcro for my write the room centers. When I put those up, I will share the pictures with you.

The last picture shows the Command Strips that I cut in half. They will hold EVERYTHING all year long.

 Here are a few pictures of item secured without staples. I used command strips to put the Dollar Tree pocket chart on a cabinet. I placed a piece in each corner. Then, I had Addison play some math games from my Back to School Math Centers to make sure it was secure.If she does not pull it down, none of my Kinders will either. The color words are glued onto the cabinets in the back of my room. I did not work fast enough, so the corner of green is lifting slightly. Easy fix. The red borders are also glued onto my sliding dry erase board. I used Velcro on the ABC poster because I may change out the poster...more on that later.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Getting Ready....

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Pin It to Win It game. Congratulations, Gina. I just emailed you.

Tomorrow is the day people. The day I finally get back in my classroom. Teachers taught summer school in my classroom. I locked EVERYTHING in my closet. I hope that I can get everything organized that way I had it before! Maybe it will be better then before.

I just finished updating one of my first projects - Apple Math and Literacy Centers for Kindergarten. I added new games, updated the clip art, and of course, updated the fonts. There are now 12 activities.

I LOVE how it came out. I can't wait to teach this in September. You can win it tonight on my Facebook Page.  To win it, you just need to like my facebook page, leave a comment under the picture and tag a friend. I will pick a winner tonight.

While you are on my Facebook page, pick up this apple Ten Frame freebie.

Since we are talking about apples, don't forget about my September Word Work centers.

Have you heard about what is happening tomorrow????

It is time for TPT's Back to School Sale. My entire is store is 20% off for Monday and Tuesday. But it gets better. Add the promo code BTS14 and you will get an additional 11%.....for a total of 28% off! 

Are you looking for Back to School products for Kindergarten??? Click HERE to go straight to My Back to School products.

My Favorites for Back to School

Friday, August 1, 2014

Back to School BBQ Blog Hop

Can you believe it is already August??? This was my last full week of summer so I took the week off from blogging. Monday is the first day I am able to get into my classroom. I am excited, but I will miss my summer days with my crazy sweet, little girls.

I am so excited to be joining a wonderful group of bloggers this weekend for a Back to School Blog Hop. We will all be sharing some kid friendly recipes. If you stay with me until the bottom, you will get a FREEBIE that is perfect for Back to School and a chance to WIN my Beginning Sounds Mega Pack that is perfect for Guided Reading and Centers.

I made Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas with my girls. Perfect for a hot day. They are simple to make and the girls LOVED them.

  1. 6 bananas
  2. 10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  3. 12 popsicle sticks
  4. Your favorite toppings
First, we cut the bananas in half and placed a wooden stick in each half. Then we placed them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and placed them in the freezer for an hour.When the hour was about up, we put our toppings in a bowl and then we started on the chocolate. We placed it in a microwave safe bowl and melted it for 30 seconds. Then we stirred and repeated for 15 seconds. We repeated until the chocolate was smooth. Once the chocolate is ready, you can take the bananas out of the freezer. Place one banana in the chocolate. I used a frosting knife to make sure the entire banana had chocolate. Then you sprinkle the chocolate covered banana with sprinkles.  You have to move FAST to make sure you get the sprinkles on before the chocolate hardens. Continue until all the bananas are done and you will have a yummy semi-healthy treat!

I'm not a fan of sprinkles so mine is the one without sprinkles.

Have you seen my Beginning Sounds Mega Pack???? It is perfect for Back to School.

This MEGA pack has 9 Beginning Sound Activities that are perfect for Centers or Guided Reading.

Would you like a chance to WIN my Beginning Sounds Mega Pack???? I am doing a QUICK pin-it to win-it. Just pin any image above from my Beginning Sounds Mega Pack (Sorry, the bananas don't count!). Leave a comment below with a link to your pin and your email. I will pick a winner SUNDAY night.

Didn't I PROMISE you a FREEBIE???? Check out this Beginning Sound Freebie. I would love to hear what you think about it so please leave me some feedback. Knowing how much you appreciate my activities puts a HUGE smile on my face.

You can find more of my Back to School activities here. Be sure to like me on Facebook for more ideas and freebies.

Now it is time to keep on hoppin' for more recipes and Back to School ideas.
Check out what is happening at Teaching Monster.