Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Small Beginnings of Classroom Decor, Meet the Teacher gifts, and a delightful poetry journal

Hello Friends!

School starts for me in 3 weeks! Yikes! I can't believe it is coming so soon! My partners and I actually had a conversation yesterday about the beginning of school and it hit home that it was actually coming...... Wow!

So..... a couple of things.... first of all, I love the apple colors of my classroom - just love them! So, I do not want to completely change my classroom theme. There are some things that I really, really like and I think my students do, too! I love my Chicka tree. I love my beach umbrella reading nook. I love my apple colored curtains. I love my "no desk" classroom! I love the many shades of red, yellow, and green AND I love the polka dots hidden here and there throughout the room! That said, I DO like to shake things up every year and do something different. Last week, I was at the fabric store and found this cute, cute Eric Carle fabric. I think that I am going to use it to re-cover my crate seats. I am going to make an Eric Carle banner to hang from the ceiling with the The Very Hungry Caterpillar panel. I also found some Eric Carle banner and room decor from MPM Teacher supplies that I ordered and it should come next week. I'm excited!

We meet our new students a few days before school starts. Our little ones bring in their school supplies and enjoy a classroom scavenger hunt with their parents while putting them in their correct places. When they have finished their scavenger hunt, they come to me for a small welcome gift. I have given numerous types of gifts. I have not found one that I really like which is the reason for the variations! As the years go by and kids with allergies increases, I am also very leery of giving them food gifts. This year, I know I have a little one with severe allergies, so I am on the hunt for non-food students gifts. 

I have been perusing Pinterest and have found some fun ideas from some wonderful teacher/bloggers, so I thought I would share the links and pictures here.  There is food included in a few of them. They will work for classrooms with no allergies; just not me this year! Click the image and it will take you to the website of the creator!

I've been bubbling with excitement to meet you!

It's going to be a bright year!

You are oFISHally a kindergartener!

We are going to have a bright year!
 Welcome to Kindergarten!

 And finally... this is not a Back to School gift, but a wonderful, wonderful Kindergarten Poetry book! Wow! Click the image below to go to the website - cute as a button!

Until next time!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Final days of Christmas in July sale - Draw, Cut, Create Books

Hello Friends!
The last two days of my Christmas in July sale are here!

When I first started TPT, step by step illustrating was not as popular as it is now. I created quite a few "Draw, cut, Create" books and then I deactivated them because they were just awful..... I knew what I was doing, but frankly, I did not have the knowledge when I first began as to how to create useable, attractive resources.

So...... I have slowly been revising some of my older packs that were deactivated. If you have purchased any of these packs, please go to your Purchases page and re-download. These packets will be on sale Friday and Saturday. When you go to the page, you will find that not all packs on this page are for sale. These are not "Let's Make a Book" packs; rather themed step-by-step directions for creating illustrations that can be used in many ways.

Here are a few of the packets on sale; but not all of them! Click the Christmas in July image to take you to the sale items.

Until next time!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July Sale - Day 10 BACK TO SCHOOL!

Hello Friends,

Today, my Back to School packs are on sale!

One of them is my alphabet letter cards. I like this set because it includes not just the 26 letters of the alphabet, but the long vowels, digraphs, and a few more. I used realistic pictures because I love sharing "real" with my kiddos!

Another Back to School resource that I have are my behavior management packs. I know there has been some controversy about whether to use incentive programs or not, but they have always worked in my classroom and my students work hard to earn their "doggie" bones. Both these packs have an individual incentive program and a classroom program. The only difference between the two packs are the doggie clip art images!

 Of course, what is back to school without an "All About Me" book? I usually do not have time to do a long book the first week of school, so I do this page by page; not all on the same day or even in the same week! We just take our time with it and when it is finished, my kiddos have a fun keepsake to take home!

The last resource that will be on sale today is one that is dear to my heart. I love the book "The Color of Us!" by Karen Katz. I think it is so important for my students to become aware of the differences and the BEAUTY of the colors of our skin. So, we do a fun comparison and then create a class book. It is a bit difficult for my little ones to create a recognizable face at the beginning of the year, so I have added a "doodle" face for those kiddos that need something a little bit easier. The purpose of this resource is to recognize that we are all beautiful!

Click the image below to take you to these resources in my store!

Until next time!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Christmas in July Sale - July 23 New Summer Resources

Hello Friends!

I love creating resources to share! It brings me much joy and satisfaction to create something that others can use with their own students. BUT..... it does take time to create something that is useable for someone other than me! All the resources that I share are ones that I create and test on my own kiddos.  All in all, between creation and testing, it takes at least 70 hours to get one of my resources "TPT" ready! Whew! But it is something that I truly enjoy and am so happy when someone lets me know that their students enjoyed one of my resources!

So.... this summer, I created 3 brand new resources. I also continue to update all my products and hope that if you have purchased any of my packets that you check your purchase page and download the updates! The 3 NEW resources for this summer were created by request. One was an "Ocean - Let's Make a Book." This pack was difficult for me to write because I live in central Illinois and am THOUSANDS of miles away from an ocean! This meant that I had to do tons of research before I wrote this pack. I checked books out from the library, watched Ocean you tube videos as well as Ocean documentaries, and asked questions to people who actually live next to the ocean. After absorbing all this information, I wrote an Ocean draft packet that I used with my students this spring. THEN, this summer, I revised what didn't work, kept what did, and made a final copy.

Because there are many Ocean resources to choose from, I decided to make mine a bit different and concentrate on the LAYERS of the ocean. My kiddos created their book from 12" x 18" construction paper; adding animals and words to each page that represented an ocean layer. It was great fun! We actually visited the web cam of the Monterey Bay aquarium each day of our Ocean study.

Here are some pictures from our "sloppy" copy trial run...... I actually changed this, but you can get the idea as to how the book works from this photo.

Another resource I created this summer was made "by request." If you read my blog, you know that I love to garden, so I put together some fun things to do with kids in a school garden OR if you don't have a school garden, you can use the schoolyard. I actually am posting on Blog Hoppin later today about how to use a school garden that you can read HERE. There is also a freebie you can grab while you are there, too!

Lastly, I have been doing alphabet books with my kiddos since I began teaching kindergarten - that has been many years! My kids have always created something from paper that matched an initial alphabet letter. I FINALLY put it all together and created something that is easy to use and encourages independence in kids. 

I wrote about this packet earlier in the summer. You can find that post HERE. You will have to scroll down a bit to find it because it is a Five for Friday post. :)

All these resources are on sale today only.... To find them, click the image below....

Until next time!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Sale Days 7 and 8 - Social Studies Let's Make a Book

Hello Friends!

This part of my Christmas in July sale is for two days - July 22 and 23. It is my Social Studies "Let's Make a Book" packs. Just as with my science packs, I thoroughly enjoy using these with my kiddos. They are set up to do one to two pages a day centering on one topic within the main subject. Part of the reason I love doing these booklets is because my little ones can take their books home and share their knowledge with their parents. I know they do this because I have had parents tell me that they are so impressed with the facts that their kiddos tell them!

Here are a few pictures of my kiddos interacting with the booklets.....

 The firefighter isn't really a book, BUT...... it has some fun activities and Draw, Cut, Create firefighter AND it is a Social Studies resource! :)

 Click the image below to take you to the social studies part of my store!

Until next time!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Christmas in July Day 6 - Literacy Center Packs

Hello Friends,

Today's sale is my Literacy Center packs. I don't have a lot of these because there are so many awesome sellers who create them, so my thought is why re-create the wheel when it is already there, right? But, I do have a few and here is why.......... Most of the time, my kiddos are repeating the same things in their Word Work centers; gaining stamina and increasing their skills from day to day. But sometimes, I like for the Word Work centers to be focused on a theme. But I usually only want a theme for a week; not a whole month, so I have created a few Word Work Centers that are short; either four or five in a packet. This gives my kiddos a break from the usual that doesn't take too long to finish.

I looked and looked for pictures showing my kiddos interacting with these centers, but could only find one and there are no kiddos in it..... This is from my "Five Fabulous Scarecrow Literacy Centers" pack...... That's all I could find......... so sad........ 

Click the image to take you to this section in my store!

Until next time!!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 5 Christmas in July - Math "Let's Make a Book"

Hello Friends,

Today's sale is my math "Let's Make a Book" packs. This sale is one day only - Saturday, July 19.

This is from "Shapes Can Be Many Things"...... We discuss how we can see shapes in everyday things; sometimes looking for shapes in the classroom and sometimes in the schoolyard. I actually do this unit early in the school year to get my kiddos trained to create their "Let's Make a Book" illustrations with shapes!

In "3D Shapes in My World", kids do not really create a book; instead they create 3D shapes upon a base that they take home each day.

Finally, when I wrote "Fractions for Little Kids", the Common Core had not come to our school, so I was still teaching fractions in kindergarten. Last year, we did not teach fractions and I really missed it because this is such a fun unit to teach. I loosely based it upon the book "Eating Fractions" by Bruce McMillan. Each day, we focused on a fractional part and then cut real food into fractional parts. Then we used paper to re-create our food in our book - so fun!

So that's it for Day 5! Click the link below to take you to the sale!

Until next time!