Mixing colors!

Our science focus this week was on colors. We talked about the 3 primary colors and what colors they create when mixed together. We read the usual "Mouse Paint" and did a simple mouse paint activity using only markers. The children mixed colors using food coloring. I found small plastic ice trays on the Dollar Tree that I filled with water. Each child had their own tray and eye dropper. In the center of the table were 3 baby food jars filled with the primary colors. The children used their eye dropper to drop colors from the baby food jars into their ice cube tray to create a different color. I would not recommend using the colored plastic trays that I used, though. It was a little difficult for my kiddos to see their color creation. Unfortunately I live in a college town and this was the weekend that the college kids moved in and I was told they bought all the regular ice cube trays, so I was stuck with the colored ones! Oh well!

We especially had fun with the color section of Deanna Jump's Back to School with Math and Literacy pack.  I gave each child 2 colors of play dough that they mixed together and created new colors. That was fun!

Then we read "Monster Mess" by Deanna and did the "Five Little Monsters" poem. My students were having such a fun time with the cute monsters that I decided to extend the monster activity. So I created a booklet called "My Monster Color Faces" and here is how the kids did their pages.
We discussed what colors are used to create Orange which of course, is red and yellow. I had red and yellow paper strips available for them to glue onto their page for their monster's hair. They could ONLY use red and yellow because those are the colors used to create orange. When their hair was finished, they raised their hand and I put 2 spots of red and yellow paint on their monster face. They used 2 fingers to mix the colors and voila!, they created an orange monster face! Then they used a glue bottle to put dots of glue on their monster face where the eyes, nose, and mouth should be. I let them add more than 2 eyes to their monster if they wished! They used a pom-pom for a nose and a piece of rick rack for a mouth.

We followed this same procedure for the green and purple monster face. Of course, since this is the beginning of the year, we only did one monster face a day! I added a Rainbow Monster face to the end of the packet, but we ran out of time to do this page. We will do the Rainbow Monster face next week. For the Rainbow Monster, they will use water colors to paint their monster's face and use red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and purple paper strips for the hair. This was really a fun project and the kids had a ball with it! If you would like the pages, you can click here for My Monster Color Book.  As I was reflecting on my day last night, I had an AHA moment...... Instead of all the pages being a circle shape, why not make the faces different shapes and a shape study could also be included??? So........ here is the link to a doc with different shaped faces if you would like circle, square, hexagon, and triangle shaped faces!  Different shapes Monster Color Book 

My little kinders were having so much fun picking out their monster's nose that I just had to take their picture looking for just the right pom pom!

Until next time! Blessings!

School Has Started!

Tonight was our Back to School Open House! At our Open House, we (teachers) speak to our parents about the coming school year and are available for any questions that our parents may have. We have only been in school for 5 days, so it was a little difficult to find time for our students to create projects! Most of our first few days have been spent practicing and modeling classroom routine, BUT we did manage to squeeze in a few projects!

As many kindergarten teachers do, we did a "Kissing Hand" project. After reading the story of Chester, the raccoon, in "The Kissing Hand", we discussed how we felt the first day of school and I wrote the responses on a large gray raccoon poster. (I THOUGHT that I had taken a picture of the hand poster, but I could not find it on my camera tonight! I will try to take a picture of it tomorrow and update this post!). After our discussion, the children created Chester from pre-cut pieces. The children will eventually be cutting their own pieces, but on the second day of school, I thought I would do this step! The following day, I painted their hand and they pressed it onto the other side of the paper. We gave these pictures to our parents for Open House. I think they turned out really cute!
The apple for our parents is from Erica Bohrer and you can find the link to her idea here.

We started Math Work Stations this week. Things are getting better and better each day! We are still doing Free explore. They are working in partners and exploring a different tub each day. It so much fun listening to how they are exploring their tubs! Some are saying "Let's put all the green ones together" or " Let's make a pattern." Math concepts are beginning with just a little exploration!

Until next time! Blessings, Cindy

Freebie Friday!

Freebie Friday! There is something about the word FREE that makes us all lift our head and move towards the sound!! Today on Blog Hoppin, there are quite a few links for freebies and I am glad to share a few of mine.  After you have downloaded the products on this page, head on over to Blog Hoppin' and find a ton more!

Here is a new freebie:
Here we go on another amazing learning adventure with our students! I wish you happy beginnings and a class full of eager learners!

Until next time! Blessings,

Sometimes We Just Have to Stop and Smell the Roses!

This is not a picture of a rose, but it does remind us that sometimes life gets so hectic that we forget to enjoy the little things around us that bring us joy!

That said, I am sharing a story as to WHY we all need to relax when Friday comes along!

At our in-service today, our principal shared this story to us. Have you heard it? If not, take some time to read it now!

(Author Unknown)
Have you heard about the next planned Survivor show?
  • Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped in an elementary school classroom for 6 weeks.
  • Each business person will be provided with a copy of his/her school district's curriculum, and a class of 28 students.
  • Each class will have five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.D., one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three will be labeled as severe behavior problems.
  • Each business person must complete lesson plans at least 3 days in advance with annotations for curriculum objectives and modify, organize, or create materials accordingly.
  • They will be required to teach students, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals, correct homework, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents, and arrange parent conferences.
  • They must also supervise recess and monitor the hallways. In addition, they will complete drills for fire, tornadoes, and shooting attacks.
  • They must attend workshops, (100 hours), faculty meetings, union meetings, and curriculum development meetings.
  • They must also tutor those students who are behind and strive to get their 2 non-English speaking children proficient enough to take the Terra Nova and EPA tests.
  • If they are sick or having a bad day they must not let it show. Each day they must incorporate reading, writing, math, science, and social studies into the program. They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment at all times.
  • The business people will only have access to the golf course on the weekends, but on their new salary they will not be able to afford it anyway. There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch, and lunch will be limited to 30 minutes.
  • On days when they do not have recess duty, the business people will be permitted to use the staff restroom as long as another survival candidate is supervising their class. They will be provided with two 40-minute planning periods per week while their students are at specials.
  • If the copier is operable, they may make copies of necessary materials at this time.
  • The business people must continually advance their education on their own time and pay for this advanced training themselves. This can be accomplished by moonlighting at a second job or marrying someone with money.
  • The winner will be allowed to return to his or her job.
THIS is why when Fridays come along, I take off my shoes, change into comfy clothes, order dinner, and watch a Netflix movie with my husband! Woo Hoo! I LOVE my job, but it is nice to take a little bit of time to relax!

Now...............Hop on over to Blog Hoppin to find some therapeutic ideas for relaxing when the time for smelling those roses comes along!


A Peek at My Classroom!

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I made the decision to decorate my classroom this year in apple colors. You might not know, though,  that I am an aspiring quilter as well! Not as skilled as my Mom, but nonetheless, I love to see how pieces come together to make something beautiful. A piece of knowledge that I learned in my early quilting classes is that you pick 3 main colors for your quilt and then add one color as your accent color. I was told that your accent color is fun because you can place it randomly throughout your quilt disregarding the otherwise strict patterning. So..... my main colors are red, yellow, and green. My accent color is black and as you can see from the pictures, I played with black quite a bit in my classroom! I do not follow strict rules when it comes to decorating. I decorate in a way that makes me feel happy with the hope that my color decisions will make my students happy, too!
Here is the view as you enter my classroom:
You see that I have a blue beach umbrella! I purchased this in Michigan not knowing what I was going to do with my classroom. It does not follow my color scheme, but you can see that there are plenty of other blues in the picture, so it works!

Here is a picture of the reading center. I wrapped the pole of the umbrella with black polka dotted wrapping paper and tied a black polka dotted ribbon around the pole. I made the stools from locker crates. My husband cut a piece of wood to fit the tops and I covered the wood with a pillow and fabric. If you follow Pinterest, I am sure that you have seen these little stools!
I wanted polka dotted curtains so badly for my 3 windows, but I could find none to buy locally and when I went on line, they were TOO expensive! So I purchased black polka dotted wrapping paper from our local party store. I measured how long I wanted them to be and doubled that amount. Then I wrapped the paper around a spring rod and secured by stapling border to the bottom of the wrapping paper. Voila! Instant curtains - for cheap! I stapled red border to one paper curtain, green to another and yellow to the last one. The picture is not very, good..... I took it during the afternoon and the sun was shining through the window making it look darker than it really was. The TEN that you see is the last part of the word KINDERGARTEN that is posted above my windows.  (I am thinking that I saw this wrapping paper idea somewhere on Pinterest, but I cannot find the link at all! I'm sorry!)
 When I was in the fabric department at Walmart, I noticed these fabric bolts that were already smocked that you could sew together to make a sundress for a little girl. Hmmm...... my mind started working and I purchased 2 styles that were in my classroom colors. I put industrial strength Velcro around the bottom of my easel and around my listening cart and wrapped the fabric around them. I am happy with how they cover up an otherwise drab piece of furniture!
Here are my math tubs. Unfortunately they are a bit squeezed into a corner. I may have to change that arrangement if it gets to be too much of a hassle for my little ones! I found the labels for the tubs here.
My little Chicka Boom Boom corner looks so sad! That is because I use that wall for anchor charts and since I have not introduced any charts yet, it looks very bare!
Here is a quick bulletin board that I put up in my corner. It says "What a Sweet Bunch" and I made lollipops for each child.  I cut the circles with my Cameo and added a straw for a stick and tied a ribbon around the straw. I quickly drew some little people to add to the board, but they really do not have to be there! I attached names and pictures to the bulletin board which are not present in this picture. The other picture is from my sweet kindergarten co-worker, Lisa's classroom. Her board is MUCH cuter than mine! She told me NOT to give her credit, though, because she found the idea on Pinterest! So if this is your idea, Lisa says "Thank you!" :)
Have you seen these cute listening posters? They are SO cute and so applicable to teaching proper listening skills! Here is the link to them from First Grade Fever. They are free!
I have a really sturdy cubby stand, but through the years, it has gotten a bit beaten up! This year, I tried to "pretty" it up by adding red shelf lining and attached an apple window valance to the bottom to hide some not so pretty tubs. I used Velcro to attach the valance and secured the shelf lining with a large binder clips. I plan to attach name labels to the clips which is a super idea that I got from The Organized Classroom blog! You can find the link to that idea here! You can see the old labels still attached to the outside of each cubby. That REALLY bothers me, so I will probably take some of my free time (Hmmmmm..... what is free time???) and try to remove them later in the week! The cubby really looks pretty in the classroom; the picture isn't really doing it justice, though!
This is part of my library. We are doing Daily 5 this year, so my books need be re-organized. Even though there are tons of classroom library bin labels available, I think every teacher organizes in their own unique way, so I ended up creating my own labels. I just found the pictures I wanted to use, imported them into a power point document, added a pretty label, printed them out, and attached to the bins. If you would like a nice link to library bin labels, though, here is a link for some from Pocketful of Centers. Don't you love it when Kohl's department store has a promotion on a children's book and a matching stuffed animal? That is where the animals in the picture came from except for Spot the dog. He is very old and I am not really sure where he came from! I allow my students to read to the animals and then they must be returned to the library.
Here is my religion bulletin board. It was inspired by Debbie Clement's Pinterest board called SUN. Here is the link. This is the only time of the year when I exclusively create my bulletin boards. For the rest of the school year, I showcase the work of my students!
This is the other side of my classroom. I just purchased the cart with the colored drawers after attending the workshop with Deanna Jump. I am so excited about using it! We will be keeping our construction paper sorted into the drawers and HOPEFULLY this will eliminate the mess of paper EVERYWHERE in the classroom!  The reading table is filled with the welcome gifts that I gave my students when I met them on Monday. Click the picture to take you to the link to this freebie!
Here is my Word Wall. We display all our sight words at the beginning of the year and highlight them with a Word Frame as they are introduced.
This is my door decoration. I blocked out the kids' face and names. They are attached to red apples.
This is my birthday bulletin board. The picture doesn't really show how cute this board is, though! I glued cupcake wrappers to a pretty cardboard cake plate and used tissue paper to make the cupcakes. Unfortunately, the cupcakes look like ice cream cones in this picture! Oh well!
So that is my room for now! The kiddos arrive on Thursday morning, so things will definitely change once the new year begins!

Don't forget to link up to Blog Hoppin' to peek into some really awesome classrooms! Also, Denise from Sunny Days also has some GREAT classroom ideas on her blog, too! Link up with her to find them!

Until next time! Blessings, Cindy

Tech tip Tuesday

Hmm........ although I LOVE technology and use it everyday, it is difficult for me to come up with a tech TIP............! Instead I think I will share a little about my plans for technology this year in my kinder class.

Our school was lucky to receive a grant to purchase a classroom supply of ipads at the end of last year. That is NOT a classroom supply per classroom, though! So that means that they have to be signed out and shared - with the WHOLE SCHOOL! :) My plan is to check out 5 ipads a week and use them in a small group with me. Because they must be shared, I am not sure if I will allow them to be used independently. But I am not ruling that possibility out - you never know what skills your students will have in January! Because ipad technology is pretty new to me, I do not have a great deal of expertise in recommending apps. So I have done a bit of research and thought I would share with you the little bit that I have found.....

First of all, I read that Duck, Duck, Moose apps are excellent and that you cannot go wrong with them. Click the image to take you to their website.

I also love Heidisongs Resources and she wrote a wonderful post of how she uses ipads in her classroom. She lists apps that she recommends as well as a review of each of them. Here is her link: Heidisongs Resources

I have started a board on my Pinterest account. Right now it is pretty small and mostly lists the apps that you can find in the 2 resources above, but I hope to add more as the year progresses. Here is the link to my ipad Pinterest board.

Since we will doing the Daily 5 this year, I will be utilizing the desktop Macs that we have in the classroom to listen to a story. Here is a good link for listening to stories.... Storyline Online

That is it for me! To find some more great tech tips, hop on over to Blog Hoppin' or better yet, link up and share your wonderful tech tips!

Until next time! Blessings,

Teacher Week! Must Haves Monday!

It is Teacher Week at Blog Hoppin' and I  am linking up to do some fun posts for the beginning of school. Today is "Must Have Monday!" I have to say that the one item that I cannot live without is my personal laminator! I have one at home and one at school! I purchase the large packs of laminating pouches from Sams and keep pouches at both places. We have a laminator at school, but usually when I need something laminated, it is too late to return, so that is when I pull out my little laminator and work in my kitchen long past bedtime! I love my laminator!

As a kindergarten teacher, I must have my scented markers! My little kinders will do anything for a mark on their paper with a scented marker! And it is such a special treat for them when THEY get the opportunity to use the markers and not me! These little markers are a great motivator!

I must have my water! I am always drinking water! I also allow my students to get drinks of water often throughout the day. I think that is only fair, don't you?

My last must have is my camera. I am always taking pictures and cannot stand it if a photo opportunity comes up and I don't have a camera! I love my camera and absolutely must have it!
Do you have some Back to School Must Haves? If so, hop on over to Blog Hoppin' and link up!

ALSO..... one more thing......... I am honored to be a featured teacher this week for Ann Smith on Innovative Connections. She has had several really wonderful featured teacher/bloggers and I feel so special to be a part of that list! Thank you so much, Ann for allowing me to be a part of your blogging adventure!   Here is  the link to her blog INNOVATIVE CONNECTIONS.

Until next time! Blessings!

Classroom management with a Puppy theme

I have been using the traffic light system in my classroom for behavioral management for many years. Plus, we are required to use this system in my school for grades K-2 to provide behavioral consistency as our students progress through the grades. I am allowed to tweak the system to meet my needs, although, so this year I decided to use a puppy theme as my motivator. I am going to share with you details as to how to use it and you can create it yourselves with your own clip art if you want OR if you would like all the components ready to use, then you can click on the image below to find it in my TPT store!

Here are the details:

The chart to the left shows you the way I arrange the pieces on my poster board. It can, of course, be arranged in any way that works the best for you! I attach the pieces to the board with Velcro. The bones have dog commands written upon them. Green is stay – We want to stay on green!
Yellow is wait – Be careful! Wait and think!
Red  is sit – Please sit and think about a different way to behave.
 I have a stuffed puppy sitting in my wait chair. I also have plain bones printed on paper that my students attach to a clip board and draw a picture or write a note about why they are in the wait chair. I have a large plastic dog bowl sitting next to the wait chair. When the child has finished their bone, they put it in the dog bowl and return to the group. I do move my students from yellow to green if their behavior improves.
At the end of the day, students color the correct dog paw on their behavior recording sheet the color of the bone that their puppy is sitting next to at the end of the day.
The puppy clip art that you see at the top of my chart is from DJ Inkers. Because of copyright rules, I cannot include that puppy in this package!

The chart to the left shows you the way I arrange the pieces on my poster board. Again, it can be arranged in any way that works the best for you! I attach the pieces to the board with Velcro.
The title of this board is “Best in Show.” I attach 3 dogs to the board with Velcro. The dog house, the bones, and the sign can be permanently attached.
I use this board as group behavior management. My students start with 3 dogs out of the doghouse at the beginning of each day. If the class is being too loud, being unkind, not following directions, etc., I remove one dog and place it in the doghouse. This dog must stay in the doghouse for the rest of the day. As the day progresses, the dogs stay out of the doghouse if classroom behavior is positive. But I will remove another dog if classroom climate does not improve. At the end of the day, we count how many dogs are out of the doghouse; that is how many bones come out of the jar and into the dog bowl. I use a mason jar to hold the bones and a plastic dog bowl in which to place the bones earned. I do this at the end of every day. When all the bones are gone from the jar and are in the dog bowl, the class earns a treat such as an extra recess, a movie and popcorn, popsicles – whatever works for your class!
The number of bones that I put in the mason jar varies throughout the year. At the beginning of the year when my students are just learning this system, I have fewer reward bones in the jar. 

Here is a picture of the dog bowl and Mason jar that I am using for the dog treat reward bones. Because my classroom theme is apples this year, I hot glued an apple to the top of the mason jar as a decoration and tied with apple colored ribbon.  

Until next time! Blessings to you!