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Five For Friday: Thanksgiving: So Very Thankful!!

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I haven’t posted on Five for Friday in FOREVER!! However, tonight I am getting the show on the road and getting it DONE!!

Thanks Doodebugs Teaching for sponsoring this fun link up!!

I thought it may be fun to make my five into thankful points at school.

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I am thankful for my blog!!

I know I don’t have thousands of readers to my blog….

yet…..(I am still hopeful that someday, my numbers will reach to a thousand….goal setting at its finest!!)

However, I think of my blog as a journal of my teaching experiences with my awesome Kinder Cubs

and the privilege of what I get to do with them on a daily basis!

I can’t tell you how often I go back on different posts of mine and look at things I may have done in the past to see what I did and how it looks so I can model it for this year!!

Well, this week, I had to do a lot of that because I ended up repeating a few things I did last year.

I know I could look back on my lesson plans, but Y’all!! I need pictures!!

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I am thankful for my home projects!!

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When I began teaching kindergarten 4 years ago, I decided to start having a monthly home project. Each month, I have something special that I want the families to work on together. For November it was a Thankful Turkey Feather. I get black poster board and trace and cut out turkey feathers.

I can usually get about 3-4 on a poster board.

Then, on their November homework sheet, I type this on it:

Thankful Feathers: Your child has a cardboard replica of a turkey feather. It needs to be decorated with things that represent what he/she are thankful for. It can be photographs, stickers, pictures from magazines. The sky is the limit!! This will give an opportunity for you to talk to your child about thankfulness and what that means. The feathers will be displayed on our turkey display. Before I display the feathers, each child will give a presentation and talk about the things he/she are thankful for.

Then, I set a deadline.

I had all but 1 child turn his/hers in and they all loved talking about their own feather!! Usually, if a child doesn’t turn in a home project, I send a reminder home or I get my paraprofessional or a volunteer to help the child complete his/hers. The child who was missing hers is not one who has done that this year, so I left a spot for her in case she brought it the next day.

I took brown butcher paper and found a large circle and medium circle in my classroom (a small round table and a base to my globe) and I traced and cut those out.  Then I free handed the feet, waddle, beak and eyes. I cut those out. Next, I found a nice big spot on a wall. I taped up the circles. Then glued the pieces on an…..

Voila!! a Thankful Turkey was created!!

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I am thankful for our Thanksgiving Feast!!

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Every year at our school, we have a Thanksgiving Feast for PreK, Kindergarten, and First Grade.

We all enjoy decorating our tables with items that our kiddos have made.

For the 3rd year in a row, I have used the burlap that you see pictured above to decorate my tables. It is so easy!! I’ve used butcher paper in the past, but this burlap is so durable. If anything gets on it, we just wipe it off, leave it out to dry and then I just roll it back up to save for the next year!!

I’m telling you!! I love it!!

For my decorations this year, I made my tried and true handprint turkey painted on a potholder.

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Here’s a little picture tutorial of how I do these little keepsakes. After the brown paint dries, I paint a different color on the other 4 fingers and they press them right above the brown turkey body. Then, with yellow, and red paint, I help them free hand feet, beak, and a waddle. Next, I get a black sharpie and make a little dot for the eye. To finish the keepsake off, I write the year on the back and tie a little yellow yarn bow around the loop.

This year, I used blue potholders instead of red and I liked that better!! These potholders were just 2 for 88 cents at Walmart!! What a bargain!!

Do you like the photo prop pics? I had the best time creating these!!

I found the photo props from Pinterest.

Click HERE to get your free Thanksgiving photo props!

I put a piece of blue butcher paper as a back drop on my board and then I let each kinder cub choose a hat and food prop or the “so thankful” sign. After I took each picture, I had the them developed. Then I cut cardstock in half lengthwise and glued the photo on 1 side. On the other side, I made a border using power point and I typed what the kinder was thankful for and typed his/her name with the year. I printed each one out and cut around the border and glued it to the other side of the photo card.

Then, I laminated each one.  As the decoration on the table, I folded them to set up like a placecard.

I have to say…..as I say A LOT….

I LOVED IT!!

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Here is a pic collage of a fun time at lunch!

I take pictures of each family with their child and got them processed.

Then, I will write a note to each child about what it is about him/her that I’m thankful for and put the picture in the note as well. I will get the notes in the mail before Thanksgiving. It is just a simple way that I make sure my precious kinder cubs know they are loved by their teacher!

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I am thankful for reading!!

I think just about every time that I blog, I add in about how I adore the Guiding Reader series that I use from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills! Well in the November packet, there is a unit about the book Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. I love reading this book aloud to the kids and they did a great job with comprehending it and writing about it. One activity that we did was to unscramble a sentence and learn how to draw the turkey when he was disguised like a rooster. Y’all!! My kinders love to see the step by step directions on how to draw and they do such a fine job with it!

Look at these drawings and see for yourself!!

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On Friday, a 3rd grade class came into our classroom and each 3rd grader took one (or 2) of my kinder cubs and read to them. My teacher friend of the class, had the student pick out the book he/she was going to read and they practiced the day before. Not only did they read to my kinders, they asked engaging questions to encourage my kinders’ comprehension skills.

Now here is the kicker…..

These 3rd graders earned a reward for making good behavior choices.

Guess what?!?

They voted on what they wanted to do as a treat and reading to my kinder cubs was the winner!!

Isn’t that just simply awesome!!

Here is a pic of a few of them reading:

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Doesn’t that just make your teacher heart go pitter patter!! I know!! Me too!!

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I love giveaways!!

This weekend, I have entered a few giveaways and it is time that I have one as well!! I am so thankful that you are reading my blog. It truly makes be feel even more blessed!! So to possibly help you with your Black Friday shopping, I am giving away ….

A $25 Walmart Card (applause inserted here)

a $25 Target Card (applause inserted here)

and a

$10 TpT gift certificate (can I hear applause here again! :)!

So just get on the Rafflecopter below and enter!!

I will choose the winners on Wednesday evening , Nov. 23rd around 10pm.

Well that is my Five For Friday!! Hop on over to Doodlebugs Teaching to see other blog posts that might help you out!!

Hope you have a thankful Thanksgiving!!

Bessings!!

Linda G.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Five for Friday: May 27, 2016

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Hello! I’m here linking up with my favorite linky Five For Friday. Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching!

I have to preface my post with saying that I’m cheating …..

just a little……because…..

some of my posts here are from last week, but I’m telling you what!!

Last week was a wild week for sure and now that I’m into my 2nd day of summer vacation, I can sit back and reflect on last week’s happenings.

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Last year, I was reading from one of my favorite bloggers Elizabeth from Kickin It In Kindergarten and she posted about her Vowel Surgery Day!! Click HERE to see that post if you’re interested. I just had to buy her product, but I NEVER had time last year to try it out. So….when I started my 2015-16 year off, I knew one of the things I would take time to do was Vowel Surgery Day. Well….we did it and it was soooooo well worth the effort!! It was totally satisfying for me to have an activity that day, that would be fun and yet VERY engaging for my kinder cubs. Another thing that I loved about it, was the fact that I was able to pull some 5th graders in to help as well. No that is not a 5th grader behind me in the pic. That is my awesome parapro, Mrs. Hartley. The 5th graders were at the other stations. I loved my little make shift FES Hospital!!

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We did vowel surgery last Tuesday, because Monday was our field day. Well, I just couldn’t leave math out…

I mean….all that attention to VOWELS….

NUMBERS had to be right up there as well….

so….

I created a resource called EQUATION EXCAVATION!! So the kinders got to be doctors of another type on Wednesday….

paleontologists!!!

Now this day was a little messier than the vowel surgery day, but again…

it was well worth the effort!!

I got 4 different sensory bins ready and the answers to math equations were buried in each bin. The helper, would show a subtraction or addition number sentence and that paleontologist had to locate the answer in the bin. I used dinosaur names for each station….like T Rex Tens and Stegosaurus Subtraction. I also had a station called Brontosaurus Bump It. This is the station where they would “rest” from all of their excavations and play a game of Bump It and eat none other than….DINOSAUR FRUIT SNACKS!! Click HERE to get my resource if you are interested!

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And here is our rendition of the grass critters you see on Pinterest. We did these on Thursday afternoon after our big end of the year celebration. That is one of my favorite times of the year. When the parents get to come see our little program in the classroom and marvel over how much their precious one has grown!! Lots of tears were shed at the end. It really pulls at the heartstrings for sure!! BTW….we do this on the day before the last day of school.

I posted about the way I do my End of the Year Celebration last year, so feel free to click HERE to see what we do.

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We had 3 postplanning days…

A local church provided lunch for us on the last day. They had a wonderful pavilion and had hamburgers, hotdogs and all the fixins for us….

not to mention TONS of desserts!! Then, when we left, they had the cups as a gift for us to take home. It was such a nice way to end our school year!

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HOWEVER!! Because I honestly didn’t plan out my last week with my kiddos very well…

I mean…

Vowel Surgery and Equation Excavation took up a lot of my time…..

I needed to go back to school that afternoon and make sure I had put away everything that I was told to put away.

And y’all…..

it was quiet……not a good quiet….but a sad quiet…..

believe it or not….I was missing my Kinder Cubs!!…I promise!! …..I really was….I had a grieving moment for sure!!

So I posted this pic on Instagram…

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With this comment:

Well….another year done! All things put on the back counter ….piled high!! It’s such a bittersweet day!! So ready for summer vacation but I’m going to miss my sweet and precious Kinder Cubs of 2015-16!! Great will happen here again August 8th!! Stay tuned!!

And that about sums it up!! Be sure and link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I always LOVE reading the posts from it!! Have a great weekend!!

Five For Friday: Earth Week

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It’s time for me to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! I love to take time and be a part of this linky party! What fun!

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On Monday, I began my Earth Day unit with the cartoon original of The Lorax. I love these old Dr. Seuss originals!

Since we had already had a Dr. Seuss week, the kinders were quite aware of what the cartoon was going to be like, so they were all excited to get to see it!!

I waited until the afternoon to show it and then when it was time to pack up, I gave each kinder a bag of Trufulla Seeds.

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I had them all look at the quote and I talked to them about how crucial it was for them to realize the importance of taking care of our Earth and that was what we were going to learn about the rest of the week.

Now, I found a picture of this on Pinterest, but the picture didn’t link me to a printable.

Because I REALLY wanted to make this bag topper, I quickly made one on Sunday evening.

Please click HERE to get to my post on Monday so you can get a bag topper freebie!

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This past Friday, we had a big event that our PTO is charge of called a Spring Fling. I’m sure many of you have something like this at your school. Part of the Spring Fling is the big Silent Auction of Spring Fling Baskets.

My families did a great job helping me fill up our “Welcome To My Garden” basket.

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This basket was so heavy, I had to get a rolling cart to carry it down to its resting spot.

When I last checked, someone had bid $50 for it. It was worth $100, so that person got a great deal on it!!

I love to help our PTO out on things like this! They truly try to help our school out so much!!

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For the Art Smart project this week, the Kinder Cubs made an I Love My Earth mobile. As I researched something to do this week for my Art Smart center (I do this during my literacy center time.) I found this on…

yes you guessed it….

PINTEREST!!

However, as I worked through it this week, the one I found was too much for my Kinder Cubs to pursue.

Therefore, I modified it a bit.

Here is a quick tutorial on it:

  1. paper plates- watercolor the back of it blue (they did part without supervision)

2. Once it has dried, sponge paint green tempera paint to look like land on earth. (yes this needs supervision)

3. Brainstorm ways we take care of the Earth and write the ways on an anchor chart.

4. Then, give them each 2 cut out hearts from white cardstock (I traced 2 to a page and cut them out)

5. Then, they draw 2 different ways that can take care of the earth.

6. They can write 1 word or phrase or sentence to describe it on each heart. (We just simply ran out of time, but I will probably have them do this when we come back on Monday)

7. Using blue and green construction paper hearts that were cut about an inch bigger than the white ones, the students glued one on each white circle.

8. Then, I hole punched holes in the areas that you see in the above picture and took about a 3 inches of yarn to tie it all together to form the mobile.

Don’t you think they are cute!! They really added some color to the classroom and I loved all of the different pictures they drew on their hearts!!

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Last week for my birthday, my biological kids and their sweet spouses gave me a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Oh. My. Goodness!!

Where has this thing been all my life!! I could not BELIEVE how awesome this apparatus is!

I could not get over how easy it was to mix my cookie dough and how I didn’t even need to put a spatula in it to make sure it was getting all of the dough that clings to the bowl.

All I can say is….

WOW!!

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What I made with this awesome contraption, were my Earth Day cookies.

I found the recipe HERE TRUST ME!!

These babies are super duper easy!!  You just use sugar cookie mix from a bag, put blue food coloring in one batch and green food coloring in another batch and roll a little of each color in your hand, pop them on the cookie sheet and let them bake and

VOILA!

EARTH DAY COOKIES

Here are how mine turned out.

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When I was rolling the 2 colors together, I found that if I kind of folded the dough over, the cookies turned out more Earth like than just half green and half blue.

As part of our Earth Day unit, I showed Wall-E. This movie has such deep meaning to me and it really speaks to the kids. Now, there is no way their brains can handle this movie all in one sitting.

So, I showed 30 minutes of it on Thursday afternoon and then the rest of it on Friday afternoon.

After the movie, we took a pledge to take care of the Earth.

As part of the celebration I gifted them with an Earth Day cookie and a reusable Earth Day bag from Publix.

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For our April Home Projects and to lead into our insect unit for next week, my kinder cubs create a Butterfly Design using reusable and recyclable objects. I show pictures from last year and then we talk about symmetry. We send them home with a butterfly silhouette of their color choice. Then, on Earth day they bring in their finished product and do their presentations. I am always amazed at the different butterflies that come back!!

Well….that is it for this week’s Five For Friday!

Oh I do hope you will participate and link up with

Doodle Bugs Teaching for this link up!!

Now, I’m headed to get a much need mani and pedi as I prepare to attend a TpT/Blogger meetup in North Atlanta .File_000 (82)

In honer of this meet up, feel free to step into my TpT store to get my resources for 20% off today and tomorrow!!

Linda Groce- Linda’s Learning Loot

Have a great weekend!!

The Lorax: Truffula Seeds Bag Topper Freebie

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Hello there!! This week my kinder cubs are going to learn about Earth Day (which is Friday by the way)! I have lots of activities planned for them and I’m excited what they will add to their schema this week when it comes to how we can take care of our Earth!!

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To start off our week with our Earth Day theme, I showed the kinder cubs the books that I have about all things Earth Day!! You may see some frog books and egg book mingled in with my Earth Day books. They love to continue reading books from the past few weeks!

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Then, I showed them Peppa Pig Recycle on You Tube. Just click HERE to get to it!

After we made it through the day with only about 45 minutes left to it, I showed the movie THE LORAX. Not the most recent one but the original cartoon. My kiddos LOVE these Dr. Seuss movies.

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Then, I pulled out the bags of “Truffula Seeds” and I read the quote to them. We took a little time to discuss what that meant. As they packed up, I gave them each a bag of “Truffula Seeds”! They loved it! I told them to be sure and talk to their parents about the AUTHOR’S PURPOSE of The Lorax.

I loved it!! I thought it was a great way to introduce Earth Day. Especially since the first Earth Day was in 1970 and Dr. Seuss wrote The Lorax in 1971 so people would be more aware of how we need to take care of the EARTH!

Now I hope the Seuss Police doesn’t come after me! I got the clip art from 2 designers on ETSY. They are credited on my resource.

When I tried to find toppers like these, I could only find pictures of them,  so I did this one myself.

Would you like to have a printable of this bag topper?

THEN……

Click Here to find my FREEBIE!

Below are pictures to see what I used to make a Truffula seed bag.

I’m telling you, my kinder CUBS loved them!!

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So, if you want something fun for this week to go along with The Lorax, try Trufulla seeds!

If you have trouble downloading these, then email me at

lbg415@bellsouth.net

If you liked this bag topper, then come on over to my TpT store and Follow me !!

What are your plans for Earth Day?

Have a great rest of the week!!

Five for Friday: {Linky Party- March 4, 2016}

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THIS. HAS. BEEN. A. CRAZY. WEEK.

You put Leap Day and Dr. Seuss Week together and get ………………

C RAAAA ZEEEEEE!!

However, I do it to myself! I want these kinder cubs to have a fun and engaging week. Therefore, I plan all of this and then my Friday, I crash on my sofa when I get home and I don’t move for several hours.

Does anyone else do that?

Please appease me and say that you do?!?!

To show what this crazy week was like, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching  This post gives a glimpse of some of the events that happened in and out of my classroom.

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I spent the weekend researching and making a resource to use with my Kinder Cubs for Leap Day. The last time I taught on Lead Day, I was teaching 1st grade. Therefore, I didn’t really have much to appeal to the kinders. This year, I put a free resource in my TpT store. Please get it HERE if you would like to save for the next time. Remember 4 years from now will be here before you know it!! In the packet I included some coloring sheets, a Leap Day reader, a social studies activity the emphasis on past, present, future, and some math counting sheets. In the collage above, I found a cute frog puppet with a leap year poem to glue and put on the back.

CLICK HERE to see a short video of our origami leap frogs in action. I don’t have a good pic of what they looked like.

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We ended the Leap Day Celebration with Leap Frog Floats. These were so easy peasy!! I bought store brand lemon lime soda, lime sherbert, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and vanilla frosting…..BTW, the last 3 items  were leftovers from the week before when we created Washington and Lincoln cookie faces. My parapro “glued” the mini chips onto the mini marshmallows using the frosting. To assemble the float, you just put a couple of rounded scoops of the sherbert in a small clear plastic punch cup, then add enough soda to not cover up the sherbert. Then, we gave the kinders 2 frog eyes and a straw and spoon and they loved them!! They were so quiet and don’t think 1 child disliked it at all!! Next time, I will use red straws, so it will look like a tongue. Of course, I had to save some for us to have as a family that evening. Dan and Jaden were slurping away on this tasty treat!!

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And now for Dr. Seuss!! I stayed late on Monday and turned the room into kind of like a Seussville. I had the book display covered in Dr. Seuss books. I found some bulletin board displays from Really Good Stuff and mounted those onto my dry erase boards. I set out manipulatives like erasers for them to use to pattern during morning routines. I put out all of my stuffed characters (these are treasures for sure!!) with the books they that match them. I had matching card games that I located in the $1 bin at my friendly Target.

These kinders were in awe when they walked in that morning. In fact, that morning, I had to change my Daily Five routine and just let them get books and stuffed characters and enjoy!! I loved it!!

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Now, if there wasn’t already enough to do, our grade levels had to come up with a spring display on our doors that related to our Habit. We are a Leader in Me school and we teach the 7 Habits of a good leader. We got plenty of notice about this, I just didn’t take the time to get ours finished until this week…..see…..that.is. crazy!!

Our habit to focus on was “Begin With The End In Mind”. Our grade level chair thought of using the sequencing of the Little Red Hen. We kept the decorative doors that we used in the winter and turned them into spring. My husband painted the Little Red Hen scenes. I think the finished result was so pretty!!

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Here’s a close up of the way the flowers were done.

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I stayed late that day completing my door and getting the signs ready. Whew!! Now we are ready for the spring!

Then, that night Jaden and I went to a Wilton’s cake decorating class at Joann’s. We had a lot of fun, but I’m telling you, I was whipped by the end of that day!!

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On Wednesday, March 2…..

Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, we get out the hats. Don’t they look precious. We continue with our literacy and math centers for the week and have a Cat in the Hat healthy snack.

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The next day, we had spring pictures!! I’m telling you…..the week of C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!!

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I just had to show this collage, because every one of my kinder cubs were looking mighty spiffy that day!!! This is just a few of them!!

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And then came Friday!! Friday, Friday……YES!!

That morning my focus was on Green Eggs and Ham. And I did cook Green Eggs and Ham. Only a handful of kinders didn’t like it, but the majority did and they asked for more!!

After lunch that day, we did a lot of Seuss writing.

They wrote rhyming words on a hat and then wrote a rhyming sentence. They wrote a sentence to go along with their CAT IN THE HAT Art Smart activity they worked on during the week.

Then, they did a response sheet on where they would eat green eggs and ham (I forgot to take a pick of that!! Oops!!). But here is a collage of the other 2 writing activities.

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Then, after recess, they watch a DVD of the OLD Dr. Seuss cartoons. If you find those in a store, GRAB. THEM. UP. I’m telling you they are treasures and the students absolutely love them!!!!!

Then…..for our SEUSS WEEK Finale……….we had a GRINCH CAKE WALK!! Yes a GRINCH CAKE WALK!! I made cupcakes the night before (using my new skills of cake decorating and decorated the cupcakes to look like Thing 1 or 2). The students walked around on the Grinch footprints. When I called out the equations, the child that was on that one got to go get a cupcake and sit down and eat. The last child standing got extra CUB CASH to put in her prize money cup. They loved this! Also, in the collage below is a math activity we did called: How many cats are under the hat? They loved it and it was a great way to teach missing addends!!

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Also click HERE to see a short video clip of the kinder cubs in action playing the game!

As we packed up that day, the kinder cubs got to choose a little Dr. Seuss notebook(got these on sale from REALLY GOOD STUFF), a pencil and a eraser. They were thrilled!!

Now, I am about to head to Orlando to attend Deanna Jump’s Conference: Get Your Teach On!!

I’m so excited!!

Please let me know what you did this past week and be sure and link up with

Doodle Bugs Teaching for this FUN Linky Party!!

Enjoy your weekend!!

Tomorrow is Leap Day!! YIKES!!

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Oh me oh my!! Not sure that I’m actually LEAPING for joy over this one but tomorrow is Leap Day and I just now finished up a FREEBIE so I can share it and have some things ready for tomorrow!!

I meant to have this done a couple of weeks…..

I promise…..

I always have good intentions, and then I get so busy that things get put on the back burner……

I have LOTS of back burners…..

But anyway……That’s for another post!!

Here you go…..

Here is a freebie of Leap Day Fun printables more suitable for kindergarten and first grade that I hope will help you as move through your day tomorrow.

Since Leap Year only comes ONCE every FOUR years, I find it very important to teach about it!

Just click HERE  to get to my freebie in my TpT store.

Also, click the pic below if you’d rather get it from Google Drive

Slide1My other plan for the day is to use orgami frogs to make them leap and then we will measure the distance they leaped using non standard measurement. I also will put numbers on green lily pads and the students will place their frog on every fourth number.

I also want to have students leap and we will measure how far they leaped using non standard measurement.

It will be a fun and engaging day and then BAM!!

Dr. Seuss week will begin on Tuesday!!!

Enjoy the rest of your evening!!

Valentine Bliss

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Valentine week! Aww…..the bliss of it all! Red, pink, purple, and neon green hearts….yes green….my boys like green and I want them to be blissful too! It is one of my favorite weeks. I fill it up with lots of HEART filled learning!

I begin with loading my book display case with all my Valentine books.

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Then, I like to start the week off with showing them a video on how Valentine’s Day began. BRAIN POP JR. has a terrific movie about it.

I love beginning my weeks with thematic poems. For this week, I showed them my Monster Love poem that I have from Deedee Wills Poetry station packet. I adore the poems in her monthly poetry resources. Monster Love is one of my favorites! Click HERE to find Deedee’s February Poetry Stations and Shared Reading Packet.

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If you are a fan of Teachers Pay Teachers in early primary grades, then I know you are aware of Deanna Jump. Well….last year, I got hooked on hers and Deedee Wills’ resource called Guiding Readers. I. Love. It! It is an essential part of my curriculum in kindergarten. There are so many choices of books that you can easily adapt  to fit what you are teaching each month. For my Valentine unit, they have lesson plans for Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane DeGroat. There are 5 days of plans for each book. Lots of writing ideas. A craftivity to complete that goes along with the book. Sentence activities, vocabulary and phonics activities. It is packed with lots of great ideas and ways to keep your students engaged in their learning. If you’d like to look at this awesome and I can’t say enough about it resource then click HERE

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Candy Heart Science observationsI ended the first day of our Valentine week with a Candy Heart Science Experiment. I found a REALLY good freebie that I used. My kinder cubs loved it!! I thought I had pictures of how I set it up, but I couldn’t find them (sad face inserted) . But the gist of it was to place candy hearts in water to see if they would sink or float. Then, you put them in water, clear soda (like Sprite), and vinegar to see what kind of reaction occurs. There are cute recording sheets on this freebie. You can click HERE  or on the picture above to find this experiment to use.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I have 6 literacy centers in the morning and 6 math centers in the afternoon. I rotate 2 times a day. Then, by Friday, we have completed all of our literacy and math centers for the week. That way, in case I want to have a special celebration like Valentine’s Day, I have time to work that in on a Friday.

My literacy centers for my Valentine Week consisted of:

  1. Sensory bin with matching CVC words with the picture. Then, they wrote the word they found. Lastly, they each wrote a sentence using one of the words. IMG_4126[1]2. Alliteration (well….sort of) writing. Using the child’s name and something he/she loves that begins with the same letter as his/ her name. An example would be: Daniel loves doughnuts.IMG_4155[1]

3. Tech Time

4. Writing Work Station: This is another one of my favorite Deedee Wills resources. This week the students had a sheet with Valentine Day related pictures and they had to label the pictures using the right words.

5. Word Family Matching. The students had heart shaped cards with word family pictures and they sorted them onto a Valentine themed work mat with that ending on it.

6. Art Smart: This week’s art smart project came from the Guiding Readers resource. The students made Valentine selfies. IMG_4227[1]

They worked so hard in each center. It does my Valentine heart good to see them so engaged through the week.

Here is what went down for our Math centers:

  1. They picked a Valentine themed Domino and wrote the equation that fit the domino on Valentine themed paper.
  2. Geometric Valentines: took shapes and formed them to create a Valentine. Click HERE to get the resource. It is not free, but it is definitely cheap. I had the pieces copied on different colored paper. My parapro (BLESS HER HEART) cut out all of the pieces and put them in sets…yes it was a lot of work! At the center, each kinder cub got a set and looked at the key that I had made and created one of their own.
  3. Tech Time
  4. Fine Valentines graphing work sheet. Even though I am not a fan of using a lot of work sheets, I like to use one in math that makes them practice their cutting skills and is somewhat interactive. This one fit the bill perfectly.
  5. Valentine making 10 sheet. We used 10 frames to make a number and then added more to make 10. Then we used a recording sheet to see the different ways we could make 10.
  6. Number word writing practice.

Last year, I found the absolutest cutest VALENTINE for the kinder cubs to make for their parents. This year, as I was explaining it to my kinders, I even made one of them cry because she thought it was so sweet!!

This is what the finished product looks like:

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You need the copy of the phrase printed in color on white cardstock. Get it HERE

The rest of this activity is from Kinder Alphabet. If you scroll to the end of the post, you will find the instructions. Click HERE to find her ideas and the instructions to this card. I made my own sheet for it, because I didn’t want the words in script. I wanted it in print. So you can have a choice if you decide to do it.

Friday was the GRAND FINALE of our week!! The kiddos were so excited, that I had to bribe encourage them to make good choices all day so we could get all of our LOVELY activities completed.

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During our spare time throughout the week, the kids made these Critter Card Carriers. Click on the picture above to find my post on how to create these little cutie patootie things. I’ve used them for years. My students love them and have such a great time putting their Valentine cards in them.

On Friday morning, everyone brought in their Valentine cards. I found some freebie Valentine coloring sheets for them to work on during the morning.

When we got ready to have our Valentine’s Day Celebration Stations , I had a parent helper, 2 parapros, and me at each of 4 stations. We took about 15 minutes at each station. Here is what we did.

  1. IMG_4192[1]Add and Cover a valentine. The students had a card stock half paper that had numbers on it from 2-12. I happened to have Valentine themed dice. The kinder cubs would take turns rolling the dice and add the 2 together. Then, that kinder would cover the number on his/her sheet. Whoever covered their board first was the winner.
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Colorful Candy Heart Graphing- The students took candy conversation hearts, and graphed the colors. The boxes of conservation hearts had blue hearts and no white hearts. So I decided to make a Freebie for my TpT store. Click the picture below to get this freebie.

Slide13. Valentine Bingo

4. Valentine Delivery: We found that it was much easier to take a small group at a time and let them take their Valentines and put them in the bags themselves. If a child got done before the center time was over, he/she would just go over to the butcher paper we had set up for coloring.

After our Valentine Celebration Stations were over, it was time for lunch!!

Then, in the afternoon, we had rest, recess, Valentine writing stations and then about 30 minutes before the day was done, we had frozen yogurt sundaes complete with strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries.

Yes!!……. I was SLAP WORN OUT and when I put the last child on the bus, I packed up and went and got a mani and pedi!! It was heaven!!

See you soon!!

 

Class Reunion

Well even though I’ve been moving forward to thinking about the new year, I just had to step back and visit with my kinder cubs from last year.

I know….

I just couldn’t make that last day of school to be my last with this little group.

I mean admit it…..

Don’t your kids become such a part of you during the school year that they seem like your own?

Just like my blood family…..there are good days and bad days…..but once the school year is over and you go through the lazy days of summer

( sidebar……my summer was not exactly lazy…..but you know what I mean…..)

You get a hankering (what my momma would say) to see your kiddos from the previous year.

Well here is what I do to help my homesickness for my kinders from the previous year.

We have a CLASS REUNION!!

So…

last night….

We had our class reunion at our local McDonalds. Fun and EASY PEASY!!

Here is what I do:

I send an email to all of the parents about 10 days ahead. I tell them that me and my paraprofessional are planning a class reunion for all of our 2015 students.

I tell them……

the date ……which is 2 days before I have to be back at work…..

the time is from 6-7……

an adult has to be with them the entire time…….

to please RSVP

THEN…….2 days before the “REUNION”, I send a reminder about it.

That’s it….so easy…..and so WORTH our time for being there.

They all come through the door with smiles on their faces, ready to play….most of them are ready to hug me….they almost act shy with me….but they warm back up to me very quickly.

Ive done this for several years, now!

This year, I had half of my kiddos come with their families. McDonalds love me for it! :)….I mean really….I helped keep the employees busy and help make McDonalds some money….It was a win-win!

This year, I got them all a little goody bag and sent them home with that. I brought extras and I’m so glad I did, because 1 little student came that had not RSVP’d and then I had a few things left over .

Here are a couple of pics:

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They had such a good time! I even had one kinder who didn’t want to leave and started crying a little.

Yep! I’m excited about my new school year, but I needed just ONE  last fix with my kinder cubs from last year.

This class reunion did just that!!

The kids think I do this mainly for them, but it’s really for me….shhh!….please don’t tell anybody. 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Five For Friday May 22, 2015

fiveforfriday2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2(Singing nice and sweetly) Goodbye, goodbye…..we had a happy time…….Goodbye….Goodbye….we had a happy time!

Wow! We’re done! 180 days of school for the year 2014-15 are complete!!

(huge sigh here)

This is the year where I truly felt that I learned just as much as my precious kinder cubs did.

And it is because, of great professional development I took, observing my kiddos more to see what made them tick, great educational resources I read, and knowing it was ok if something didn’t work then go ahead and change and do something new.

Well here is my Five for Friday link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching. Hope you get a tidbit from it and go on over to her blog and link up with us!!

Divider-1_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]IMG_6871[1]I spent last weekend and Monday and Tuesday working on my kinders memory books. Last year, I created them all digitally using power point and Picassa. This  year, it really didn’t take me as long as last year. I just love the way they turn out. And they are a treasure for my kiddos for sure! Since our mascot is a tiger cub, I use that theme throughout the book. Also, we have a behavior acronym for the word ROAR: Respectful, Obedient, Attentive, and Responsible. So it makes for an easy set up on these memory books. On the front cover, we glue the pawprint with the picture that we use on our display wall for the year. Here is a pic of where the paws were used all year: IMG_4807

The next page says: We got off to a roaring start:

Slide2Then there were 2 pages about “Grrr”eat Things That Happened and More “Grr”eat Things That Happened:

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Next was a page using our class picture:

Slide5Finally, for the last page, I had these cute tiger cubs that my husband made and we glued a head shot of each child on the cub. During the year, these cubs are in the classroom on a wall. Here, they are on my classroom door: IMG_3420

Here is the page where we glue them:

Slide6I get clear polymer sheets for the front and cardstock for the back. Then, I bind each one using our binding machine at school.

Picassa has a great collage making section. If you would like more details on how I did these, or even copies of my pages, please email me. I’m more than happy to help you!!! I can send you the power point pages and you can insert your own pics.

Divider-2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]IMG_6869[1]For our gifts this year, I found these cute tote bags for the girls at Dollar Tree. I wanted to make tags that said, “Have a “tote”ally cool summer!”, but I just simply ran out of time. For the boys, I found some sand buckets. For both items, I filled them with light up rings, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, princess wands for girls, hot wheels for the boys, candy, and flying disks. Yes, I go hogwild! I just can’t help myself!!

Divider-3_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumbIMG_6872[1]Since our End of Year Celebration was in the morning, I set up a table of light breakfast goodies. The pic above shows the yogurt bar: vanilla yogurt, granola, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. My mom helped with manning the table for me and she told me that a lot of the kids and parents loved this!

Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching, I decided to also have a cereal bar. It was a big hit!!

IMG_6873[1]IMG_6874[1]Then, on the table was also some muffins, mini bagels and sausage balls:

IMG_6877[1]It all was a nice spread of light breakfast foods. For drinks, we had coffee, and orange and apple juice.

We have a nice pod area outside our classrooms, so the parents and kids were able to eat there.

It was a fun morning!

Divider-4_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[1]IMG_6885[1]On Thursday, we went outside and played on the playground for about an hour. As we were out there, I noticed that one of my boys, found a cup and started working on this flower arrangement. He worked on it for at least 20 minutes! When we came in he gave it to me. I just had to take a picture! I thought it was just too cute and so sweet of him.

Divider-5_thumb3_thumb2_thumb7_thumbIMG_6897[1]IMG_6898[1]I don’t know about you, but I love getting these kinds of gifts for the end of the year. I went ahead an hung it up in my house.

My parents also collected money for a nice gift card for me and my parapro. All of it meant a lot to me and my para named Lois….sweet Lois!!

IMG_6886[1]IMG_6888[1]IMG_6887[1]All year long we have calendar time EVERY day!! It is very important and there is so much to teach during this time and they learn so many skills! These pics are from the last day. Our number of the day was our countdown to how many days left in school. Yesterday, we were down to ZERO!!

Well, that is about it for this week. I want to insert my end of year power point that just makes me cry when I watch it. I put it on You Tube so I got permission from my class parents to post it.

For our program, the kids come into the classroom singing our good morning song, and then they perform about 3 songs that relate to things they learned. Then, I present the power point and call it “A Year in Pictures”. Again, I make this using Picassa. Picassa has a sections called: make a move. It was not difficult at all!!

IMG_3694Enjoy!

Remember, you can link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and link up your Five For Friday!

Valentine Critter Card Carrier

IMG_5950I love Valentine activities in my class! My kinder cubs get almost as excited about this day than Christmas!!  They absolutely love bringing in cards and distributing them to each other. For several years now, I have had the children create these fun card carriers to hold their Valentine cards. These card carriers are not my original idea. I got the directions from a popular magazine, and I even pinned it a couple of years ago. However, the magazine has taken the instructions to make them off their website. So….I thought I would scan the patterns and post them today just in case you might want to try to do this in your class. Cutting out enough pieces for a class set does take time, but trust me…..they are worth it! The kids love them! Their favorite part is when they get to “feed” the cards into the critters’ mouths.

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Here is what you need to make these bags:

1. Colored gift bags: I get mine from Michaels- I like getting different colors. They are sold in sets of 13 for $6.99. I try my best to have a coupon when I buy them, because they are seldom on sell.

2. Colored cardstock for the arms and legs- For the legs, I cut the paper longways (is that a word?) 2 inches wide, and for the arms, I cut them shortways (again….I don’t think that is a word…but you understand…don’t you??) 2 inches wide. I like the sturdiness of the cardstock over construction paper.

3. Construction Paper for the Heart Faces- I only cut out red, pink, and purple- I print the pattern that I linked up below. Next, I cut it out and then I trace the pattern on the pieces of construction paper. You can also copy the pattern on the construction paper. I honestly trace 1 on a sheet and then I cut out 4 to 5 at a time. However, I do have to trace the mouth on each heart if I cut them out this way.

4.  Click here to get to the link for the Eyes, Hands, Boots, and Heart Face Patterns

5. White cardstock- enough to make copies of the eyes, hands, and boots

6. Glue Sticks

7. Scissors

8. Stapler

9. Sticky Back Foam Letters for the Names: I always keep a box of these in my art cabinet. Any style will do. Or you can just write their name on the front.

Instructions:

Print and cut out enough sets of eyes, hands, feet, and heart faces to make the number of carriers you need. Now, right here I have to say that my room parent did this for me this year. I couldn’t find my original patterns, so she made her own patterns and cut enough out for the students to use. So, when you see my pictures, you’ll notice that the eyes are white circles with black circles. The hands are actually small white hearts she cut out and she made the boot pattern herself. Also, I think the arms and legs are a little skinnier than what I usually do. However, I still think the carrier is really cute!! The day after she did this, I found my original patterns! Oh well….

Then, have the student choose the color of bag he/she wants to use. Next, have him/her glue on the heart face. Be careful that you help the student glue it where the mouth will be right below the ends of the handles that are on the bag. Then it is time to glue on the eyes. After the face is completed, take 2 “arms” and have the student accordion pleat (or fan fold) them. Take the arms and glue each one behind the face. Then, glue a hand on each arm. Next, once the child picks out 2 “legs”, he/she accordion pleats those and glues each one onto the bottom of the bag. Then, the students can glue a boot on each leg.

After everything has been glued on the bag, the student can find the letters for his/her name and stick them onto the carrier. I like to place our kinders’ names right below the heart face.

At this point, you can cut the mouth out of the Valentine face and through the bag. Be careful that you don’t cut into the sides of the bag. Honestly, I wait and do this after all of the bags are made into Valentine Critters.

Lastly, I open the bags and close the tops of them by stapling them with 2 staples.

Now the carriers are ready for cards and treats.

This year, I put the carriers at each child’s place on their table. They honestly squealed with delight when they came in on Friday and saw them. Once the kiddos unpacked, I had each child bring out his/her card carrier and I put them in order against our classroom wall.

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When it came time for our Valentine centers, I had small groups come out and distribute their cards by putting them in each child’s carrier. They absolutely loved doing this! It was also an engaging activity as they matched up the name on the bag to the name on the card.

By the end of the centers, the carriers were packed full of wonderful cards, candy, and treats from all of the students. They waited until they got home before they opened up their Valentine Critter Card Carrier. It was such a cute sight to see them leave at the end of the day holding their carrier.

I hope you’ll try these carriers out for your class next year. I promise you they really are not difficult to create and your kids will love them!!

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015!!