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Solar Eclipse Day…What’s a Teacher To Do??

Hello there!!

Ok….

This post is going to start with confession time…..

I just need to get it out there to clear my guilt and I do hope I’m not the only one in kindergarten teacher land who did this! So here goes:

First of all- I didn’t even know there was going to be a Solar Eclipse until the middle of June.

I’m not a syfy kind of woman…

except I do enjoy watching Face Off on the Syfy Channel….but I don’t believe in Aliens…..

so space is not really my thing….

I personally enjoy keeping my feet planted on Earth…..except when I’m travelling in a jet.

Second of all- I had other things on my plate this summer where my mind did not even come back to Solar Eclipse Day! I mean…. I had Vacation Bible School, STEAM team meetings, workshop on learning about Monarch butterflies, a mission trip to Wales, TpT conference, the beach, and not to mention completing a remodeling project in my house. I enjoyed every second of these fun activities for the summer. ….

But THEN……

Preplanning began

and…………………..

I went to a meeting of all of the Science Curriculum Lead Teachers in our county and the words SOLAR ECLIPSE DAY came up in a discussion.

and…

It was a MAJOR discussion!!

like- What are we doing that day? Is there a plan for school to be cancelled? Is there any talk of our school day been extended? How much will our area be in the solar eclipse? Has anyone bought glasses for viewing the Solar Eclipse that day?

I’m telling you, It was stuff that I had not EVEN thought about!!

And I tell you I was slightly numb from it all……I thought…..

“YIKES!! This is a pretty important day!

But then to settle my whirling brain, I thought, ” However, it doesn’t actually happen until around 2:30pm in my neck of the woods and it will only be a partial eclipse for us, and my kinder cubs will be on a bus, or car going home. So I’ll just order some solar eclipse glasses for my class as a gift. I’ll attach a note about what they are for and I’ll be good.”

At that point my problem was solved, except I had not ordered glasses yet, but I least had a plan and I was good! I went on through the rest of my week with school meetings and preparing my class for Meet the Teacher Day and for the first day of school. And that is what I did…..

Until a week later!!

And Oh….but WOE was ME….and a few hundred or maybe thousands (I’m not really counting) more teachers in my county.

It became OFFICIAL!!

Our district was extending the school day on August 21st to keep the students safe while the Solar Eclipse was happening! And on a good note, the county school system was going to provide proper solar eclipse glasses for the event for every child and staff in our schools!!

WHAT?!?! An extended day?!?! Oh no?!?

School has JUST started and my brain can only handle the beginning of the year stuff for kindergarten!! I mean….

We’ve only been in school for 5 days!! FIVE days I tell you!!!!

Now I’ve got to add Solar Eclipse Day on top of  just getting my act together with a new set of super sweet kindergarteners?!?! Oh WOW!! What was I to do???????

After I slept on it and rested last weekend, I calmed down…..

I calmed WAYYYYYY down….

I knew I could make this work for me and my new set of kinder cubs. This WAS going to be a very important event for our country and I wanted my kinder cubs to understand and experience it. That is what my job is and I’m very passionate about engaging and helping my students understand the world around them.

so…..

Here is the last part of my confession….

I am sitting here on a Saturday morning.

I just wrote up my plan for Monday’s event. Yep…..I haven’t had time to fully think about it until I sat down early this morning and researched activities for the Solar Eclipse and what it was I am going to do!

Therefore, I thought, why not share it with you in case you are trying to figure out your day as well!!

So here you go!!

Songs and Videos

During snack on Monday, I plan on showing a short video about the solar eclipse. I found one through PBS Kids using one of their shows:

At first, I was questioning this 12 minute show’s relevance to the solar eclipse, but then about 1/3 of the way through you see the solar eclipse come into play. It even discusses why we should never view the solar eclipse with our naked eye and they create a pin hole box viewer when they get ready to observe the solar eclipse. The students are very familiar with this PBS show, so I know they will be engaged watching it. If you would like to view it too, just click the logo above to get to the video.

 

I love to incorporate songs in as many subjects as I can. As I was looking for a video to watch on Monday, I came across a cute song that has a catchy little chorus throughout just  using the words solar eclipse. It’s more like  a rap until you get to the chorus part, but I think it will still grab my students’ attention.  It also helps children not be so fearful of what the solar eclipse is.

Just click below to get to it.

Center Time!!

Within our county, we were sent many online resources to help with our instruction during Solar Ecplipse Day. I appreciate all that our county does to help us meet the needs of our students!!

However, being the blog, Facebook Teacher Group and TpT lover that I am, I found a resource that I decided would help me tremendously on Monday.

So here is a plug for one of my favorites…..

Simply Kinder, Jennifer Kadar!!

Thanks to awesome Simply Kinder for providing a super resource that is inexpensive with quick and easy resources for me to prepare and use on Monday!! There are several components to pick and choose from that will suit your instructional style and needs while your kiddos learn!

You can click any of the pics below to get straight to the resource!!

Since our day will be extended on Monday by 1 hour, I will have time to incorporate Science Small Group Stations that afternoon.

I have 16 students so I will have 4 groups of 4 students.

My center will be a reading lesson, using the Simply Kinder solar eclipse book that is included in her solar eclipse resource.

 

My paraprofessional will facilitate a math graphing center using Simply Kinder’s Solar Eclipse Count and Graph and Yes! It is a part of that resource!

Because these kinder cubs have only been in school for 10 days, there will be parameters on how they are going to complete this. My parapro will only give them 1 crayon at a time. She will have them color each group with only 1 color for each object. The colors will be green for earth, yellow for sun, and gray for moon.She will have them count each object in a group and then show them how to count that same number using the bars going from the bottom to the top of the bars. Then, she will draw a line across the top of the last bar in the number. That will give them a visual of where to color the bars. Then, they will color each set of bars to create the bar graph.

For an extension, I can have them write a sentence I see ________ moons, etc. or I think it would be great to have them count all of them and see what the total number is and compare it to the total number of bars that were colored.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my newbies will get this!! At least it will be great exposure to counting and comparing numbers.

 

Now….there will be two independent centers. At this stage of the game or year that is, it can be somewhat tricky when it comes to preparing an independent activity that won’t cause frustration or lots of “Teacher, teacher, I don’t know how to do this!” among my kinder cubs.

So one of the independent centers will be this Solar Eclipse Craft from Simply Kinder’s resource:

I didn’t really think of this as a craft. It is more of a model of  what will happen during the solar eclipse.

Now you may be looking at this and thinking, “How in the world are kindergarten students going to do this independently?”

Great question!!

And I am going to give you a crazy and obsessed kindergarten teacher answer.

My family and I are going to cut out the pieces and put the craft together. I know!! Crazy?!?! But I really think it will be worth doing!

All the students are going to do is color it. Perhaps they may get BORED with this!! But I think they will enjoy doing that and then they can manipulate the moving moon to mimic the solar eclipse. I will get out colored pencils along with the crayons for this. Again, because I want this to be realistic, I will only have out the colors of crayons and/or colored pencils that will make it more of a realistic model. I am going to glue the sun that is attached to the black paper on the back of the Earth. The moon will be the only movable piece.

Now for the other independent center…

I needed to have another math center because technically the time that I am doing these centers is during my math block.

So, I created a counting math activity with a solar eclipse theme. And I am offering it to you for FREE!! So please go to my TpT store and download it. Click the pic below to get to my store and download it for FREE!!

After the centers are complete, we will color and put together a special solar eclipse hat that is also in the Simply Kinder Resource. I keep debating about this, because we are making hats each day for our Alphabet Action Time….so we’ll see!!

Then, I will talk to the kids about safety outside. Around 2:25 we will begin to make our way outside to the front of our building. The front of building will not give direct access for our little ones to see directly into the sun. That is being done on purpose. We really don’t want any eye injuries that day.

While we are out there, I plan to get the kids to use their senses to find out about the Solor Eclipse. Then, when we come back in, I will have them draw a picture of what they noticed while they were out there watching.

Last but not least, I plan on sending home mini MOON Pies and Capri SUNS as a little gift for making through the day!

Whew!!

Now I feel so much better!! My day is planned and now it is time to get it all prepared. YAY!!

For the kindness you’ve shown by reading this post, I have a giveway for you. Please enter the giveaway below to try for a $10 TpT giftcard. There will be 1 fortunate winner. The deadline is 12 am Monday morning.
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I would love for you to tell me what your plans are for Monday, August 21st…..I mean…..

It IS a BIG deal….don’tcha know??

Enjoy it!

and

I hope God blesses you real good!!

My Dad Rocks!: A Gift for Father’s Day

Well hello there!

For  the first time in forever, (have you got the song in your brain now…yea.. me too!!), I decided it was time that I made sure my kinder cubs gifted their dads before the school year was over.

I’ve always felt that my dads got a bum rap when it came to their special day….

but not this year!!

NOPE, NADA, No!!

Since my thematic instruction was based on summer activities and we were also studying rocks, I would incorporate a craft that my kiddos could make for their dads for Father’s Day!

Now, for a little sideline here….

I love to help the kids make this special gift for their moms for Mother’s Day:

 

The moms in my class absolutely love it!! If you haven’t seen this before click HERE to see the post I wrote with instructions if you’d like to know.

 

Now…

back to the dads…

I searched and searched on Pinterest. I knew I wanted to use something with a picture of them incorporated in it. Then I found a post, that used the phrase: My Dad Rocks!! Click anywhere on the picture below to get to the post from Mommy Moment to find out how to make it! It’s really nice!! Don’t you think??

This DIY My Dad Rocks picture frame is the perfect DIY Father's Day Gift that dad could proudly display on his desk at work.

So, I used this craft to get my inspiration for a kid friendly Father’s Day craft.

I just loved it and I think my teacher’s aide loved it even more.

My kinder cubs had a great time making a special frame for their dad.

 

Now if you’d like to try this in your classroom or at home……

Here are the instructions to make the frame and also how I took the pictures:

You need to give about 2 days of drying time to make this correctly.

Supplies:

1 wooden frame that will hold a 4×6 inch picture ( I found mine for $1 at Michael’s)

Acrylic paint- I chose brown and gray that I mixed together to get a dark taupe look. (Honestly, it really didn’t change color that much.)

Tacky glue- that is the type of glue that really works best (you can find it at Walmart or any craft store. It is in a brown bottle.)

Small craft sticks- for the students to use to spread the glue

Aluminum pie pan- I used 2

Decorative Rocks (I bought 2 bags at Michael’s for $4.99 each. I took out any rocks that were really large. )

1 Chalkboard with the words: My Dad Rocks written on it with chalk (I found a decorative one at Michael’s that cost me $10 (with a 50% off coupon)

Blue Butcher paper for the picture background

 

How to take the pictures:

I wrote My Dad Rocks! On the chalk board sign. Writing the statement on the sign, took about 3 tries for me to get it JUST RIGHT! Next, I took a long strip of this pretty blue butcher paper and hung it on my dry erase board with magnets. Then, I had the student sit on a low shelf unit that I have in front of the board. Next, the student held up the sign and once I had the picture scene the way I wanted it, CLICK went the button(probably not the right word…) on my cell phone for a nice photo.  I love to use Walgreens  to develop  my pics because I can always find a good coupon to use.

NOW for the prep work:

These type of wooden frames come with a dowel rod to use to make the frame stand up on its own. I opened each frame, taped the dowel rod to the back of the frame and wrote the child’s class number on the back.

Next, I covered my work space with butcher paper that we reuse for painting projects.

Finally, I mixed the 2 paint colors together in aluminum pans. I set out craft paint sponges.

That was about it for the prep work.

Now!!

On to the fun part…..

Once the kinder cubs put on a painting shirt, they went to town on the painting!

We waited a day for the frames to dry before we glued the rocks on the frame. However, the paint really dries fast. So there is no need in waiting an entire day. A couple of hours should work.

We also decided to wait and put the photos in after the frames had the rocks glued on them. It would have been easier to have done that before the rocks were glued on, but glue would have DEFINITELY gotten on the pictures.

Next….

It was time to glue on the rocks.

For the prepping of this step, I put the rocks in paper plates. I really made sure that there were no big rocks in the plates.

Then, I poured TACKY glue onto small paper plates with small craft sticks set beside each plate.

Once the students sat at the workspace, they each took a craft stick and started putting glue on each space of the frame where they wanted a rock and placed the rock gently on the frame. I didn’t limit them to the number of rocks to use, but you can certainly do that. Of course in kindergarten, we had to demonstrate how to glue the rocks on the frame, and we stayed nearby to help. We noticed that if you push the rock too much into the frame, the glue would spread around the edges and not stay right underneath as well, so don’t push the rock down too much. We made sure they used a lot of glue!

This pic shows how I placed the rocks on the frame as a visual for the students.

No gluing has been done yet!

It took about a day for all of the frames to dry before we began to put the pictures in for display. Some of the rocks did “pop” off, but we just had tacky glue or a hot glue gun ready to fix it.

Here are the results:

During the last week of school, each kinder cub took his or her picture frame and wrapped it in gift wrap paper.

They were so proud of their gift for their dad!

Yep!…..

This is a project I will now incorporate into the end of my school year!

I’m going to send a message out to my class dads and see what they thought of their gift!

I hope they will consider it a treasure!!

Be sure and give your dad or special father figure a hug this weekend!

God bless you!!

Five for Friday: New Things I Tried for Dr. Seuss Week

Hello there! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching: Five for Friday to come up with my 5 new “things” I tried for my Dr. Seuss Celebration with my kinder cubs. We only got to celebrate for 2 days this year, but that is ok. Those 2 days were jammed packed with lots of fun learning that I hope they will not soon forget!!

Decorations! I decided this year to set the tone for our Dr. Seuss celebration with more decorations in my room! It is amazing how a few ceiling party streamers can just brighten up any kind of celebration! I just added some Seussy Pennants and signs on the dry erase board to add a little pizzazz. One of my students has a mom who teaches a couple of doors down from my classroom and he ran out of the classroom telling his mom that she just HAD to come and look at the classroom! It was full of Dr. Seuss!! My day was made!!

My morning routine activities are not new, but I just wanted to show pics of the sensory bin, and the books on my display. The stuffed animals and books just really drew the kids in on Thursday morning. After they unpacked that morning, they had the choices to write words on Seuss style dry erase boards, play in the sensory bin and match numbers, or read with the stuffed animals. Reading with the stuffed animals was practically unanimous!! No one even touched the sensory bin!!

Now doesn’t this pic just make your teacher heart go pitter patter!?

And this was happening around 7:30am!! WOW!!

The two older girls are my 5th grade tutors who come in every morning before the tardy bell rings to help my students with their academics.

They got right in on it all and had a blast!

 

I absolutely LOVED these photo booth props that I bought at Party City!! They are very high quality! I will for sure use them for next year!!

By the way….

As soon as they unpacked that morning, I had each one pick a couple of props and I started taking the pics. That way, the day wasn’t wasted by taking pics. Done and done!!

A friend of mine forwarded the directions for these fruit kabobs. After we watched the original cartoon of The Cat In The Hat on DVD. I knew this little snack would be a great activity for the kids. I made this into a “LOOSE” STEAM activity. Their problem was to make a CAT IN THE HAT fruit kabob with the parts they were given. The above pic gives the examples of the finished product. I gave them food writers to share, so they could draw on the cat in the hat face. They had already completed a Cat In The Hat directed drawing that morning. Therefore, they were familiar with how the face needed to look. Also, I put a picture on the screen to use as a model. The kinder cubs were so excited to do this and they had a great time from start to finish!!

After they ate it, they had to get their science journals and draw the kabob and label the parts of the snack. Click HERE for the directions for the Fruit Kabobs.

Last weekend while I was getting everything ready for the week, I came across a blog post in Bloglovin’ from Crayons and Cuties in Kindergarten .

She had lots of ideas for a Dr. Seuss celebration that I just absolutely loved!! Because Party City had given her some Dr. Seuss party goodies, she gave a free Dr. Seuss resource to her readers. Click the name of her blog above to get to the post with the freebie. One idea she had was to put her Fox rhymes in cute socks and the students would match rhymes. She also made green eggs using Wilton’s Candy melts in white and green. I decided to do the same thing and the kids loved it!

Also, the middle pic shows one of my students holding up a Dr. Seuss quote poster that I bought at Target last year. I had 4 different posters. So I decided to have each kinder pick one to have a picture made with it. I’m thinking about making cards out of each pic and mailing it to their parents.

This year, I found these precious Dr. Seuss outfits at Target! Target has got it going on when it comes to Dr. Seuss!!

This is my grandgirl Virginia showing off her cute dress on Dr. Seuss day.

My daughter was so sweet to make sure that Virginia wore the jumper that day!!

Isn’t she precious??

Well that is it for my Five For Friday. Hope you enjoyed reading through it! Please hop on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching , to link up with Five For Friday. Enjoy your weekend and I hope your week will be a blessed one!!

Teacher Christmas Treasure Tree

Well I am here on my Christmas (I still call it Christmas) break putting away all of my unit materials that I used for December in my little teacher shed……

So happy and blessed to say that I survived December with my kinder cubs!!

Yes!!

It was a tremendously busy time with them, but a fun time and a time I won’t soon forget.

If any first year or veteran teachers for that matter saw my plans for December they would have thought I was absolutely CRAZY!!

Which I am in some ways

BUT…..

It is a good CRAZY….if there is any such thing as being GOOD CRAZY!!….maybe I should say CRAZY GOOD…anyway….

I just LOVE all the units that can be taught in December so I practically teach all of them and then I’m “slap wore out” (another phrase for tired) by the time the last day of school for December gets here.

BUT…..

it is a happy tired!

Even though I was tired, I was still able to smile on the day before we checked out for the holidays!

This pic was taken of my cute little kinder elves on the day we had our Polar Express Palooza!!

The Polar Express Palooza was our party.

I don’t know if anyone else ever does this, but I take a class photo and I use my local Walgreens to create a Christmas card to send to my kinder families! Do any of you do that? This year I had to take 2 photos, due to kids being absent.

It is really soooo inexpensive!! I ordered a box of 20 cards for $11.00 (that was with a 30% discount). Adding the postage to it was about $20, When the families receive them in the mail, I always get positive responses back from them. I love doing this because I believe it builds that rapport that I always feel is important with my families!!

This year’s card turned out so cute!!

Another special thing that I do in December is put up my Teacher Treasure tree.It is a little table top tree that is filled with teacher ornaments that I’ve received throughout my teaching career.

I didn’t take ANY pictures of this special tree when it was in my classroom, so I put it up in my house and took a pic of it. I am getting to a point where it is almost too small to hold all of the ornaments! I try to remember to write the child’s name and the year on the back of each one so I don’t forget who gave it to me.

Here is the star on the top!! It makes me smile every time I read that quote!!

This year as I was putting the tree up in my classroom, I got this bright idea!!

Why not take a picture of each student, make the pictures into little paper ornaments and put those on my Teacher Treasure tree!!

I would also explain to the students that the reason their picture is on my Treasure Tree is because I consider each and everyone of them a TREASURE to me.

Then, on the last day before our holiday break, I would give the ornaments to the parents.

So, I would take a picture of each student, create each picture into an ornament and put a cheesy but cute little poem on the back.

Then…….

I got too busy to finish them up and to get them on the tree!! (insert sad face here)

I’m just going to send them home when we get back to school in January.

Next year, I’ll be READY!!

If you would like to have a freebie of the template and the poem, then just click

HERE !!

 Next year, I’ll be sure to blog a picture of what my Teacher Treasure Tree looks like in my classroom with the Teacher Treasure ornaments hung on it as well.

In the meantime, I’m going to get busy and finish the ornaments I have now and get them sent to my parents.

Blogging about it has given me the motivation. That is another good reason to blog!!

Wishing you peace, love and joy this Christmas season!!

New Blog Design! Time to Celebrate with Giveaways!!

I am super stoked today, to show off my NEW blog design!! Megan Favre from A Bird In Hand Designs set this up for me!! I love it!! She is a teacher herself and she does a terrific job in making the blog the way you want it. I use WordPress and I know that WordPress is more difficult to work with on blog designs than Blogspot. However, Megan keeps the pricing down low enough to make it affordable. Thanks, Megan for the great job!

If you stick with me through this post, I have a freebie AND some AWESOME giveaways!! I mean JELLY BEAN they are pretty AWESOME and you will definitely want to sign up to try to win one!!

To start off this blog post today, I have some pictures of some recent LOOT that I got from Target and from Kitchen Collections.

Target Swag

I was beginning to feel left out when I read other blog posts and I saw all of the great swag from Target! But, I would just stop by my local Target when I was out and about…

and then one day….

VOILA!!

There it was!! All of this cool stuff that I found to start my school year off right!

My coolest find here were the favor bags! Can you see them towards the bottom on the pic?

They are made with really thick material and have a drawstring. I bought 6. One way that I’m going to use them is to put letters in them and the students will draw out a letter and for the beginning of the year, they will say the letter name and the sound. Later on, I will have the focus letters in there for that week and they will pull the letter and match it to a word that begins with that letter. Or I have little objects that begin with a certain letter, so I’ll probably put some of those in there and the students will take out an object, name it and tell me the letter it begins with.

I’m also planning on putting numbers in the bag. The possibilities are endless with that one!! We can work on number recognition, number order, comparing, and counting. Later on in the year, I will play guessing games using them, Like: “What’s That Coin?”, or “What’s That Shape?”.

Now on to my next great finds!!……

Here’s the preface:

Last week I had to fly into Dallas TX to meet up with a group to talk about an upcoming mission trip.

I arrived pretty early and my meeting wasn’t until around 6:30pm

So, I decided to get some shopping in while I was there.

I found a really nice outlet mall in Grand Prairie, TX.It was as hot as blue blazes and I was working up a sweat, so I found a little snow cone kiosk and it was a great place to stop and get refreshed!!

sno cone time

Anyway……..

I love to cook and bake, so I decided to look around at a kitchen store there called Kitchen Collection. As I was looking around, I felt like I had struck gold!! Here are my finds from there:

Kitchen Collections

Don’t you just love those BUG SWATTERS!! They are shaped like a hand!! What fun can I come up with using those!?!

Lots!! I tell you!! Lots!!

I could have a High Five monitor who looks for kinders making good choices and he can give that child a high five.

I can play Swat that Letter, Word, Number, etc game!….

I can give High Fives using it…

I can raise it when I want the kinders to give me five….

Lots of uses!! These babies were just a dollar!

I really got excited when I saw the metal cookie shape cutters. They were $1 each and I even found a hexagon! They are a perfect size for little hands and they are very durable! These will work perfectly for my shapes unit. I love to use kinetic sand and these cookie cutters will definitely come in handy when I use my sand in a center!

Do you see the little dustpans and brooms. I am ALWAYS a sucker for little cute things and these caught my eye right when I was checking out! I just thought the dustpan and broom would be prefect to sweep up little things on the center tables. For $1 a piece….how could I go wrong!!

Now, do you see the red and pink items? Are you asking, “What the heck is that?!?”

Well let me tell you!!

They are silicone pot holders shaped like a chicken and a pig!! They are called, Kitchen Kritters.

Here is my idea for using these kritters!

I will be teaching using a farm theme during early October. I’m going to have a game set up called Farm Fetch. During Farm Fetch, there will be 10 table tennis balls with a letter written on each one. I’ll have the balls in a small container that will look farm like. Two students will have an oven mitt on and I’ll call out a word associated with the farm. Then, I’ll say, “1-2-3 FETCH!” The 2 students will reach in and try to fetch the correct ball by using the pot holder.

If you are interested in finding any of these items, here is the info about Kitchen Collection:

Kitchen Collection

 

If you’d like to try to play Farm Fetch with YOUR kinders, click the pic below to go straight to my TpT store and download it for FREE!!

Slide1Like I said earlier, I want to have a FANTASTIC giveaway Are you ready? Here is what I’m giving away:

Drumroll please…….

1- $25 Gift Card to Target

1- $25 Gift Card to Kitchen Collection

1- $25 Gift Card to Teachers Pay Teachers

2- boxes of kinetic sand

That is 5!! Count them 5 total giveaways from one post!!

 

 

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I hope that you will enter! I will choose the winners Saturday after 11:00am Eastern time. Thanks for stopping by and it will be a joy to have you stop by often!! I want to continue to offer many other giveaways and advice and open my classroom door to you through this blog. Enjoy the rest of your week! Bye, y’all!

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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!!

Easter Egg Dying Activity- From School to Home

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Ok….

I know….

Easter is over!! What am I doing posting about Easter Eggs!?

Well, I just HAVE to share a little about what happened last week after we completed a science activity in our class with dying eggs.

During the week before Easter, I love using The Easter Bunny’s Assistant as my Guiding Readers focus book.  I have posted before about Guiding Readers, I am a HUGE FAN of Deanna Jump’s and Deedee Wills’ Guiding Reader series. There are a TON of ideas in these resources and my kinder cubs get so much out of it! I’m able to teach ALL of the Common Core Reading Comprehension Standards and opinion writing standards by using these resources. Also, there are phonics skills and posters that I have used and posted in my classroom that have been great as well.

March Guiding ReadersClick the image above if you’d like to look at this terrific resource.

This particular book is used in their series to teach cause and effect, and sequencing.

Anyway……

For the activity, I took raw eggs…yes raw…..

and we BLEW out the insides!! I mean what can be more FUN and ENGAGING than blowing out the GUTS of an egg!

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Let me intercept here by saying this activity was done with a group of 4 kinder cubs at a time! There is no way in heaven that I could do this as a whole group!! My 55 (soon to be 56) year old body wouldn’t be able to handle that much “egg”citement with a whole group of 20 at one time!

I bought enough eggs for each student to have 1. I made sure that they were fresh store bought eggs. Before they put their mouth on the egg, I cleaned it with a sensitive skin baby wipe. I took a large push pin and poked a hole in both ends. I kind of wiggled the end where the insides came out to make the hole a little bigger. Then, I had the kinder cub stand over a large bowl and blow the TAR out (as my momma would say) of the egg. The white of the egg would come out first and if the white mucous thing started coming out, I would pull on that to get it out and then the yolk would come out last. As soon as it was all out, I would write that student’s number with a permanent marker on the end.

Was it messy? Heck, yea! Notice the butcher paper in the picture. I used it to try to capture all of the messes as they happened.

Did any eggs break during the process? Sure, I mean we’re working with kindergarten students….something is BOUND to break!! So, I came prepared with extra eggs.

Did any kinders get “GROSSED” out during the process? Only one had a funny look on his sweet face, but the rest of them were absolutely thrilled with the process!

After the numbers were written on the eggs, each kiddo in the group took a crayon (I let them choose a color first and then when I got to the 2nd group, I made them only use white crayons) and make designs on the empty egg shell.

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Next came the dying process.

For each group, I took food coloring, water and vinegar and used the directions that were in The Easter Bunny’s Assistant to make the dye.

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BTW….mixing the dye is SO easy!! You really don’t need an egg dying kit….just sayin’…even though I do love the type of spoons that come with them where the eggs can sit on the spoon. But I wanted my kinder cubs to see what happens when different liquids are mixed together.

I let each group choose 2 colors to make dye. Once we mixed the dye, they got to dip their egg in it and watch the magic happen!

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As the kiddos took out their dyed egg, I would make sure they shook the eggs a little to try to get some of the dye out of the inside of the egg. Then, I placed it in an egg carton where there was a paper towel in there and let the eggs dry. After school, I put clean paper towels in the carton and turned the eggs over to continue draining and drying.

This is how a few of them looked when they were completely dry. The white one was a spare! 🙂

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To encourage critical thinking, I used a How To Decorate Eggs writing response sheet that is in the Guiding Readers resource and the students completed it after they dyed the eggs.

So, once the eggs were dry…

which was the next day….

my parapro wrapped them nicely up and put them in plastic baggies. The kinder cubs didn’t put them in their book bags. They carried the bags…..

in their precious kinder hands…..

home with PRIDE!!

Now, the Georgia science standards we covered in this activity were:

SCI.K.SKCS1.a – [Element] – Raise questions about the world around you and be willing to seek answers to some of the questions by making careful observations (5 senses) and trying things out.

SCI.K.SKCS5.b – [Element] – Begin to draw pictures that portray features of the thing being described. (because they journaled about what they did and completed the How To sheet)

SCI.K.SKCS5.a – [Element] – Describe and compare things in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion.

SCI.K.SKCS6.a – [Element] – In doing science, it is often helpful to work with a team and to share findings with others.

SCI.K.SKP2.b – [Element] – Push, pull, and roll common objects and describe their motions. (we talked about how we used the air from our bodies to PUSH the insides of the egg OUT)

The entire time we discussed so much that was science related! I was even able to talk about liquid and what would happen to the inside of the egg if it were cooked. I just love teachable moments like that!!

Now!!

To conclude this post and answer why I called it From School to Home….

even though I did say that they carried them home….

but that was not why I titled my post From School to Home…

On Good Friday, after we had left our Good Friday service at church and we were eating dinner in a restaurant, I got this text from a parent. It was a couple of pictures!!

I gasped!!

I hollered out a little (we were in a restaurant!!…I didn’t want to be too loud!) because……

You want to know what it was a picture of……?!?!

You guessed it!!…or maybe you didn’t…..

It was the dad with one of my precious kinder cubs, BLOWING the insides out of an egg!!

That precious girl went home and told her parents all about what we did and insisted that they do the same thing at home!!

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Talk about making my teacher heart well up with JOY inside!!

I mean JELLY BEAN!!

Those pictures made that whole activity so worth it for me.

I know that my kinder cubs grew lots of little dendrites in their brains that afternoon, because they got to DO something,  and it was an experience that hopefully they will never forget!

That night I went to bed loving my job and loving the 20 kinder cubs that I teach!!

AND most of all, feeling quite BLESSED and thankful for EASTER!!

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!!