I AM WONDERFUL - Based on Debbie Clement's song

Hello Friends,
I was sooo excited when Debbie Clement asked a few of us if we would be willing to share her CD "I AM WONDERFUL" with our class! Of course, my answer was "YES!" and what fun we had with this song!

 We practiced singing the song for about a week during our Morning Meeting. Debbie included 2 versions of the song; one with lyrics and the other instrumental only. We began with the lyrics and then when I felt my kiddos were ready, I played the instrumental version and they did fantastic! THEN..... when they were ABSOLUTELY wonderful, I videotaped them performing the song! This will be an end of year gift to their parents....... I uploaded the video on You Tube and will give their parents the private link to the song. They also created "I AM WONDERFUL!" portraits which will  be part of their parent gift. First they drew a hill shape for their body and then traced a circle upon skin colored paper. They added paper hair and used crayons to add their face. When this was complete, they used oil crayons to add details to their shirt. After that, they sponged painted around the middle of their paper. Finally, they wrote 2 things that they felt made them wonderful. Aren't these just the cutest? The link to Debbie's I AM WONDERFUL song can be found HERE.

Until next time!


A son graduated and Oh, boy, where did the time go?

Okay.... we all say this..... "Where did the time go?" But this week, I REALLY, REALLY mean it! First of all, my youngest son (my baby) just graduated from college on Friday. It just seems impossible to think that all my children are grown up and able to fend for themselves. It is a bittersweet journey.... I am sooo proud of my kids - all of them! The years that I had with them at home was the best gift that I could have been given. All the track meets, cross country meets, t-ball games, baseball games, Halloween costumes, proms, Homecomings, Brownie meetings, Boy Scout meetings, family vacations, homework help, college visits..... ALL the time that I gave my children was worth every millisecond and I am thrilled with that fact! But, when your children are grown, you realize that your continued journey through life has changed forever and it is a hard fact that we must let go and appreciate the gift that we were given. So... as my youngest son is beginning his journey, I am saying good-bye to a part of mine......

Also...... Where did the time go with this school year? We have 16 more days of school left and it seems like these little kinders just entered my classroom! As with my children, I am so proud of the accomplishments my kinders have made! They are all reading at some level. They all have a wonderful number sense. They are able to create such beautiful projects and they are trying to get along with one another and be peaceful kids. I am proud of THEIR  journey and can hardly believe we are close the journey's end!

This week we are in our Farm unit. I feel that it is so important that children know where their food comes from, so instead of focusing on farm animals and barns, I like to focus on crops and their products. So this week, we talked about corn, soybeans, and wheat. We discussed the parts of the plant and how it is grown and harvested. We talked about the Community helper, the farmer, who works on the farm and the tools that he/she uses. This coming week, we will talk about animals on the farm. I do not discuss the fact that we eat animals. I know that many teachers will disagree with me, but I feel that children will learn soon enough that we eat animals, so I don't make this a part of my unit. Instead, we discuss dairy products, eggs, and wool.

Our butterflies emerged from their chrysalis this week! What fun that was to watch!  Because I think it is important for my kinders to go home in the summer with some knowledge of the wildlife they will see, they are making a field guide of Backyard butterflies and Birds these last few weeks of school. Here are pictures of the real Painted Lady butterflies....

Here are some fun pictures of a few of the butterfly sketches they made for their Field Guide.

Here is the preview to my butterfly and caterpillar unit, but this is something that is easy to set up yourself! Just Google butterfly images and have your students copy them!

Until next time!!

Blessings, Cindy

Teachers Appreciation Sale - Woo Hoo!

Yep, it's that time again - TPT's Teacher  Appreciation Sale - Yay! I don't know about you, but I have SOOOO many things sitting in my TPT wishlist and I am looking forward to whittling that list down on Tuesday! The button above was created by Ashley Hughes! LOVE IT!

Everything in my store will be 20% off and with the discount that TPT is giving, that is a 28% discount - wow! Make sure that you use promo code: TAD13 to get the TPT discount!

Some new products that I have been working on lately are my "Four (or Five)  Fabulous Math or Literacy Center" packets. They have all been tried out in my classroom and so they are definitely child tested. I have been working really hard to create products that are based on the Common Core Standards for Math and Literacy. Of course, since I teach kindergarten, those are the standards that I use, but many of them can be used for early first grade, too. I have been trying to keep them easy - just print, laminate, and put into a center. We use math tubs in our kindergarten, so I put all pieces inside a tub and they are good to go. I have 4 math tubs because I usually use Monday to do a large group math lesson. Inside each math tub is a new game or activity and a review game. Most of the time, my centers match the science or social studies theme that we are studying; but sometimes I like to throw in a theme just for fun! All packets can be stand alone resources; you do not have to be studying the themes to use them! My newest packet it Five Fabulous Robot Math Centers featuring the cutest robots from Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs. 

Also, May is a great time to do something fun; but of course, it needs to be learning with a purpose!
Here are 2 resources to do "just for fun"  with the educational purpose of working on writing! I received some feedback from someone who purchased my pirate pack and although, she said she loved it, she was disappointed that I did not provide a pattern for creating the pirate. Well.... although I DO understand the frustration of not having a pattern, I prefer giving my kiddos step by step illustrations for creating something and then giving them the opportunity to do it their way. I would LOVE, LOVE feedback from some of you as to whether I should provide tracing patterns in my How to Draw packets......

I just recently revised this resource. I KNOW there are tons of plant resources out there BUT this one is slightly different in the fact that it concentrates mainly on the stems of plants.

Lastly, I have quite a few How to Draw resources in my store. Here are a few of them.....

I am linking up with Learning With Mrs. Leeby... there are tons of wonderful teacher bloggers listed on her blog! Enjoy!
Until next time!

Blessings, Cindy

Mother's Day Pots and Cards, Oviparous Animals, and a Few Random pictures

Hello Friends!

Well here it is another Friday - whew! This has been a busy week and I foresee it staying that way for awhile! 19 more days of school - wow!
This was our Mother's Day week. We celebrate Mother's Day a week early at our school. I was at a conference a month or so ago and in one of my workshops, the presenter said that everything that we do with our students should be purposeful. Because of that, he said that we should not do Mother's Day gifts because there is no educational purpose for them. I, too, think that the projects that we do at school should be purposeful and I believe that Mother's Day presents CAN be purposeful.

Our kids paint clay pots and plant a flower in them. Before the kids add their flower to the pot, we look at the roots, the stem, the leaves, and the flowers of the plant. We also discuss what plants need to survive.

When this activity is completed, the children make a card for their Moms. Besides creating a cute card cover, they write about their Moms on the inside. All this is purposeful learning done in a fun way! By the way, the cover was inspired by my friend, Melanie, From the Pond. You can find her delightful Mother's Day activity by clicking the image below.

Here are a few examples of the inside of the card:

If you would like the pattern for the cute kiddo holding the muffin, click HERE!

     We finished our Oviparous Animal unit - woo hoo! I love this unit because the kids go home with being able to say a big word and also because the animals in this unit are ones that they can see without going to to a zoo!
      My Oviparous Animal unit book was featured in the TPT newsletter last week - what a honor that was!  Because we do not have a science book in our kindergarten, we do tons of kid created books. Everything that we are presently doing in science is based on our Illinois State Standards for Kindergarten Science. I have talked with teachers who say that they do not have time to do science because of all the literacy and math that must be covered. That is true, but I feel that literacy can easily be tied into science through the use of books. Yesterday, I listened to one of my kinders reading her Oviparous Animal book to a friend. What can be better than this? Science concepts tied into an emergent reader!

The last page of the book is the assessment page. I love this page because it says that dogs, cats, and people are NOT oviparous - they are mammals. After reading this page, the kids draw pictures of animals that are not oviparous. It's amazing the conversation that goes on when the kids are drawing these pictures..... "I am going to draw a zebra because it has fur. I am going to draw a cat because cats have kittens."

Here is a preview of my Oviparous Animal resource.

Here are a few pictures of some LIVE oviparous animals that are living in our classroom!

Do you see the notes that are sitting in front of the brooder box - see... purposeful learning!

A couple of random pictures.....
Here is a picture of a tree outside my kitchen window.....
What is the first thing I do when I come home from school? Eat a Nature Valley Dark Chocolate thin!
Argggghhhh!!!! I am addicted!
Finally, a couple more cutie pie pictures from the "Desk Fairy"! These pictures make me smile! Look at that hair! :)

Until next time!