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Thanksgiving Feast 2017

Hello there!

What a joy it is to be on my Thanksgiving Break! I hope you are getting to rest this week as well!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is time for me to reveal my table decorations for this year.

We had our annual feast last Wednesday and it was quite successful! I can’t ever let this day go by without putting some cute decorations on our table.

For the past 2 years, I have made sure that my table decorations have items on them that the families can take home. I knew that I wanted to make turkey handprint paintings but I wanted to do them a little differently this year.

So off I went to my favorite craft resource site…..Pinterest!

I found instructions to make these….

The entire project was a little more time consuming than making the handprints on potholders. However, the results were well worth it!

Click HERE to find the instructions on this cute turkey display. The instructions came from Stacy at “Things to Share and Remember”. Two things I did differently: 1. I didn’t make a name card to glue on the front. (I just ran out of time!) 2. I used a rectangle cut from a brown paper lunch bag for the back piece instead of cardboard.

Do you notice the pumpkins in the picture?!? They were my favorite!!! I. LOVED. Them!! These decorations were very easy! However, they can be costly. They were well worth it for me, though. Can you guess what it is giving the pumpkin effect? It is a roll of toilet paper. The single roll of paper that you buy.

Of course…..

that makes me wonder who buys single rolls of toilet paper?!?!

 

The picture above shows the one I made at home. Click HERE to get the instructions for these. I found them from Montserrat. Her blog is called Cranial Hiccups. My pumpkins look a little rounder, because I wrapped some tissue paper around the toilet roll before I covered it with the fabric.

Here are 2 of my little kinder turkeys enjoying themselves on our feast day!!

You may have noticed the little cards on the table. What I do there, is this:

I find out what every kinder is thankful for and why. Then, I type that on a template. Next, I take pictures of each child using some really cute photo props I found for free!! Then, I put the pics on the template as well. Next, I print them in color, and laminate them. They fold easily. One of my teacher friends mounted hers on colored cardstock and that element added some depth as well.

These photo props are so cute! There are several to choose from. Click HERE to get your own Thanksgiving photo props.

Click HERE to download my template for the cards.

One last thing before I leave today…..

I have a thankful turkey that the Kinder Cubs do as a home project. It is so sweet! I cut out turkey feathers using black poster board. Then the students take them home and decorate them to show what they are thankful for.

Here are a couple of pictures:

What thrilled me this year was that each kindergarten class had their own Thankful Turkey. They looked awesome displayed in our hall!

Well Thanksgiving is almost upon us……

I have so much to be thankful for and  I hope that you will find much to be thankful for as well!!

God bless you REAL good!!

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!!

It’s Five For Friday and a TIEKS Giveaway!

Goodness gracious!! What a week!!

 

These past two weeks, I’ve had to be out of the classroom for some pretty important professional events.

It will feel good to be back on a regular schedule next week!

When I’m out like that, I realize how important it is to keep my students on a regular routine, because that is what I like as well.

Being on regular schedule in my life is just….well….comforting….and we all like to be comforted….right?!?!

Now I’m here in Five For Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching to not only discuss 5 things but to also give you a chance to feel comforted with a pair of (DRUMROLL PLEASE)

TIEKS!! Yes !

Several of us have gotten together and are offering a giveaway for a free pair of TIEKS shoes!!

So…

stick with me here and then go to the  Rafflecopter to enter!!

You have 27 ….yes …..27 chances to enter!! So please enter!!

During the month of January, we did a lot of informational reading on Martin Luther King, Jr., penguins, and polar bears. Part of my writing activity for this is to write using a graphic organizer with Can, Have, Are. For Martin Luther King, I made up an organizer using Had, Was, Helped.

After we completed the chart, then the students wrote an informational piece in a mini book.

Here is a picture of the organizer I created for our kindergarten teachers to use with their kinder cubs.

If you click anywhere on the pic, it will take you straight to the freebie to download. Also, in that set is a Had, Was, Helped organizer.

This week, while I was gone, the kinder cubs worked on many things Valentine!! Our focus book was Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat using the Guiding Readers Series from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills (LOVE them!!) . In this unit, the kids learned about problem and solution in stories. In their writing they connected to the story by writing about a time they did something nice for someone. I love the sentence study in any of the Guiding Readers Series. We talk about the sentence: How many words?, What are the verbs?, What are the nouns?, What are the adjectives?. Then, we chat about the punctuation. Then, they take the mixed up sentence and put it in the right order and illustrate the main idea of it.

 

For Valentine craftivities they created a Valentine Selfie (from the Guiding Readers February Resource), a Valentine alliteration writing piece, and their Valentine Critter Carriers. When I came back on Friday, my classroom looked just LOVEly!!

I have made these Valentine Critter Carriers for years!

I put them outside the classroom and then on Valentine’s Day, the kids bring their cards and “feed” each child’s critter the card that is for that child.

Then, they take their critter home and open the bag and enjoy all of their cards and goodies they received!!

Click HERE to find my post about how to make these super cute bags!!

One of the math stations this week was to put shapes that were cut for them into a Valentine’s Day picture. I love doing these! However, for kindergarten, it is best if we cut out the shapes for each child and keep them in sets. It is difficult for them to cut out the shapes and take on the spatial relationship work it takes just to put it together! They all did a great job with it this week!!

This resource comes from, Christine Maxwell Hand to Heart! Click HERE to get to this awesome resource.

On Valentine’s Day, I plan on using conversation hearts or a graphing activity.

Even though you have probably seen a million jillion of examples of this graphing activity, I have one that is geared towards kindergarten that is FREE!! Click on the image below to download a free one for your file!!

And now to finish out my FIVE FOR FRIDAY, I want to offer you the opportunity to try for a FREE pair of TIEKS!!

Go to the Rafflecoptor below and enter!! This giveaway will run from February 11-16th!! So go for it!! A new pair of TIEKS would be an awesome gift for YOU or someone you love!!
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If you would like to link up with this fun linky, then please go to Doodle Bugs Teaching: Five For Friday !!

Please enjoy your weekend and I wish for much love to come your way on Valentine’s Day!! God bless you!!

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!!

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!!

thankful-turkey

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!!

thanksgiving-feast-table

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.

handprint-turkey

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!!

thanksgiving-feast-2016

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!!

turkey-trouble

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.

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Alphabet Palooza!!

I am so very excited that SEPTEMBER is finally here!!

That means that I have made it through 4 long (and I’m sorry to be like this, but honey, I mean L-O-N-G) weeks!!

However, I really can’t complain….

So far, there are only 15 students in my class. I really like that and I’m just counting my blessings over that number everyday!

 I started the very first week of school with Deanna Jump’s and Deedee Wills’ Guiding Readers resource using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. If you have read any of my past posts, I am a big fan of their monthly Guiding Readers resource!! It is a great way to teach reading comprehension without worrying about who can decode and who cannot. It is based off of popular read alouds and each month, I can ALWAYS find a book in this resource to match my theme for that week. But it doesn’t stop there……THEN, these 2 kinder teacher geniuses created a resource to go along with the Guiding Readers series called “Science, Math, and More”. It is a supplement resource to integrate math and science and other things using the same read alouds.

Science, Math, & More August/September

Using both resources really got my first week off to a great start!!

Coconut Shake Down

Here’s one of my new kinder cubs having a coconut SHAKE down while she listens to what the inside of a coconut sounds like. Then, we wrote words on an anchor chart to describe how it sounds, along with how it looked and smelled. We also tasted coconut. In the Science, Math and More resource, there are some great printables and pictures to help a teacher work through the coconut exploration and a graph to use to see if you like or don’t like the taste of coconut. My kinders also got out their science journals and drew a picture of the coconut and wrote the words that described the coconut beside the picture they drew.

We also did a sink and float experiment using the coconut. Total FUN!! They loved it!!

Then, to celebrate the last day of our study using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the kinders made a cute healthy snack that looked like the coconut tree and the letters. I found that in a post from DeeDee Wills blog.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Snack

Ok….Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a great way to start some fun and engaging learning in my classroom. But the learning I was most excited about was a study of the ALPHABET!! I listened to other bloggers and researched myself about how good it is to teach the alphabet using a letter a day, so that got me to thinking about trying it out this year. I wanted to start with A and end with Z, but my only problem with this was that I knew I needed to make sure it worked within our district’s scope and sequence in ELA. The scope and sequence begins with M, R, S, T, N, P, C and short vowel A. What worked in my favor was the fact that the focus on those letters begins the 5th week of our scope and sequence.

YAY!! I was thrilled! I would be able to pull this off and still stay within our the guidelines of our county scope and sequence.

So we have been on an adventure since day ONE!!…..

an Alphabet Adventure!!

And it has been majorly FUN and very engaging for all of my kinder cubs!!

During my Literacy Station time, I have introduced the Letter of the Day by reading a book from the Alpha Tales collection (We happen to have these at our school.)

Then, we create an Anchor Chart of the letter of the day. This is when I can incorporate some kinders who know the letters already but they still love to think of words that begin with that letter. They have loved watching me draw pictures to illustrate the words!

After the anchor chart is completed, the kinders go to a Letter Station and rotate within 4 of them:

I didn’t have time to create my own resources, so after some quick researching, I mainly used a couple of different resources to create the centers.

My station was Alphabet Brochures by Simply Kinder! This resource has printable trifold brochures where the kinders complete little activities in in it for each letter. Just click the picture below to find this resource. It gives them handwriting practice as well. I especially love the home link section on the back.

Alphabet Brochures

For station number 2, the kinders work on an independent center using a resource from A Teeny Tiny Teacher called:

Just Fold! Mini Books {All About the ABC's}

Click the pic of her resource above to get it! These mini books are so very simple to print and fold ready to use. The students trace letters on the books. LOVE IT!! Then, the kinders can take them home and read them to a parent.

Alphabet mini books

Station number 3 has been the kinders absolute favorite! I knew I wanted some type of ABC craftivity to use in a center, so creating a hat for each letter was a  no brainer. So after I looked around, I found that Simply Kinder’s Alphabet Hats met my needs. You can click the pic and see them for yourself if you are interested.

Alphabet Hats

Everyday since the first day of school we have made these hats! I have gotten messages and emails from parents telling me about how much fun it has been for them to guess what might possibly be on the hat for a certain letter.

I just HAVE to show you some of the pictures of our hats.

Alphabet Hats

On Mm day the hat was moose ears. So…..

I just HAD to let them wear their hats and we did Moose-Ta-Cha from GoNoodle!!

Moose Hats

Then for the last station, I have alternated between uppercase and lowercase puzzles  and playdough letter mats. Well….again these resources are from TpT. The way I used the puzzles worksheets, was quite simple. I printed the letter puzzle and the pieces. Next, I colored the pieces and colored the borders and then I laminated all of it and I cut the pieces apart. And…VOILA! I had reusable puzzles.  Click the pics to find them.

Alphabet Puzzles for Lowercase Letters   Alphabet Puzzles for Uppercase Letters

Alphabet Puzzle

Alphabet Play Dough Mats

The alphabet play dough work mats are fun and easy to laminate. The kinders have had a blast with them!!

Alphabet Playdough

We have only 6 more letters to go and when we are done, we are going to have an Alphabet Palooza Party!!

I’m calling it that, because well….I just love that word Palooza!!

I have found lots of ideas on Pinterest. My plans right now are to make alphabet necklaces, and an alphabet trail mix. Then we will play Alphabet Stack Up using sliced up pool noodles with letters on the front. We will play some sort of ABC Relay Race. I will end it with an Alphabet cookie walk. I just completed a resource to use for the cookie walk. As I developed it, I realized that the small cards can also be used for a matching game. I am really excited this celebration. I will post about it, after it happens!!

The Alphabet Cookie Walk resource is on sale in my store $1 for a week. I hope that you will walk on over to it and check it out!

Just click the pic below to look it over!!

Alphabet Cookie Walk

I really want to end this blog post with a giveaway to honor those of you who have been in the classroom for a few weeks now and for those who are just starting back this week!! Please check out my Rafflecopter below to enter to win a $10 gift card from Teachers Pay Teachers. I’ll be giving away 2!!

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I hope you have a great week!! Thanks for checking in!!

Five for Friday: Back to School Giveaway!! 7-29-16

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I thought this would be a terrific week to join in with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!!

I mean not only do I have a few events to share being my last week as a teacher on summer vacation

BUT

NOW HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS!!

I also have a little giveaway for you to enter at the end of the post!!

Here goes!!

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Aubrey and Granny

Well this little cute thing above was born RIGHT BEFORE I left on vacation to go to the beach!! She is my third granddaughter!!

I got to hold her a tiny little bit before I left, but not as much as I wanted to. When I got back, I couldn’t WAIT to get my hands on her!!

Her name is Aubrey Elise and she weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz and was 18 inches long.

This picture reminds me of when I was a little girl and my aunt had a Thumbelina doll that looked just like this….eyes closed and all!!

I would hold that doll until we left to go home…..

so hoping in my heart that my aunt would let me take her home…..

she never did….

but I never held it against her…

little did I know that there would be some real Thumbelina dolls in my life!!

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Food Truck Night

Tuesday night, we did something that we had never done before. My son lives in a neat little city in Georgia called Smyrna and every Tuesday during the summer there is a Food Truck Night in a local park. We went to Daniel’s house and walked about a mile to get there. It was hot as blue blazes y’all!! Once we got there, I HAD to get some water and a Diet Coke before I could even walk around.

I know….I’m old…..heat gets to me pretty quick!!

There were all sorts of food trucks and you could go and buy any kind of food from lobster sandwiches to fusion food. Then, there was a dessert truck and an ice pop vendor as well. Once I cooled down, we had a lot of fun spending time with family and eating!

Oh yea…..and my daughter in love picked us up when we were done, so we didn’t have to walk back…..

she’s such a good daughter in love! 🙂

Food Truck w the Fam

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Then….On Wednesday I came to my school and THIS is what I saw when I opened my classroom door:

classroom preplanning

If I could play that horror music you hear in movies when someone walks in a creepy room right now, I would play it. But right now, you just have to imagine it! Actually, it wasn’t THAT bad, so I just dove right in and tried to make it look like a classroom again. I still have quite a bit to do….I mean….. Meet the teacher is August 4th and I have QUITE a bit to do, but I know that it will get done!!

I am confident……IT.Will.Get.Done!! That’s my way of giving myself a pep talk during my blogging…..:)

I’ll post the after picture next week!

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For several years now, I enjoy having a class reunion with my previous class before we start a new school year! This event is one of the highlights of my year.

It was even more special when I became a kindergarten teacher. My little kinder cubs have been away from each other since May 20th. Then, when they get together for the class reunion, they are a little shy with each other, but as more and more of them arrive, the party begins!!

It is such an easy time to plan. I always schedule the reunion the Thursday before I have to go back to school from 6-7:30pm. I have it a local McDonalds that has a huge indoor playground. I send an email to all of the kinder cubs’ families. I make it clear in the email, that a parent has to stay with the child.  They also pay their children’s food. Once the kiddos eat they go and play. My parapro and I mingle with all of the parents and catch up a bit. It is fun and the time just flies by!! Of course, we can’t end the night with one last classroom picture! I make sure that I hug each kinder cub before he or she leaves. It is a bittersweet moment for sure!!

class reunion small

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And now for the giveaway!! TpT gave me a $10 giftcard to use for a giveaway. So to make it even better, I’m giving away 2 more $10 giftcards.

So look at the Rafflecopter below and enter! It is super duper easy. To get 2 entries, just comment on blog post, click that you did that and follow me on my TpT store and write what number follower you are. If you already follow, just say: I already follow you!

I know that every teacher enjoys TpT gift cards, so go ahead and enter!!

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Thanks, y’all!! Be sure and link back to Doodle Bugs Teaching to get your Five For Friday blog post in!!

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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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