Friday Randomness - Shoes, shopping, and cute kid photos

Hello Friends,

We had an in-service today and had one of those unexpected FUN things happen - Our in-service ended early and they dismissed us! Wow! This does NOT happen often... It was such a nice surprise... so instead of using the time to get things done, my friend and I took off and drove to one of our favorite malls that was 45 minutes away and shopped! Now, friends, I am NOT a spontaneous person. I am a planner. So, making the decision to get in the car and drive away on an UNPLANNED trip is a BIG deal for me. It was fun, though... I purchased ANOTHER pair of shoes... How many flats does a person need? This is the THIRD pair of these type of shoes that I have purchased since school started. I love them, though. My feet feel like they are walking on air!

I also bought this cute shirt. I knew I loved it as soon as I tried it on!

I came across this cute picture that I took of one of my students reading a butterfly book to our butterfly. You just gotta love kindergarten kids!
Here is a shot of our apple season murals.... cute as always....

Finally, I know that I said I was not going to post anymore nature shots for awhile, but I could not resist! My new camera just keeps calling my name to try it out!

Until next time!


Pope Francis craft

Hello Friends,

We talked a lot today about Pope Francis' visit to the United States. In celebration, we made a paper craft of Pope Francis and I thought I would share it with you. Viva la Papa! :) Click the image below to download the templates.
 You can also find another Pope Francis craft at Catholic Icing found HERE.

Until next time!


Pirate Craft

Hello Friends,
My husband greeted me this morning with a "Arghh, How you be, me Matey?" What? Oh yeah.... it's talk like a pirate day! I am sure that I will be hearing "pirate" words all day from my family! When my kids were little, this was such a fun day for my husband and kids. They even dressed the part when they were younger! Those days are over now, BUT it is still fun to do "piratey" things with my kinders. I have been doing directed drawing and step by step creations since WAY before it became the buzz word in kindergarten land. Step by step drawing is when you give your kiddos a plan for creation of a person, animal, or object with NO patterns or templates in which to trace. The pictures always turn out differently in both size and form. No art talent is required for these projects! I have had so many teachers thank me over the years for giving them a plan for drawing or creating from paper. Here are some examples of pirates from some of my former students using step by step illustrations... Honestly.... could they be any cuter? (These photos are from the END of kindergarten! It's perfect right now for first and early second grades, though!) Because I have my kiddos try some pirate writing, it can easily be added to any writing curriculum or standard. Some years, I have added this to my Mapping unit, too!

If you are interested in this activity, you can find it by clicking the image below.
Until next time!


Apple Seasons Mural and student Books

Hello Friends,
I just love that Kacey has this Five for Friday linky. It really forces me to stay updated with my blog and also gives me the opportunity to reflect on my week and..... drum roll..... It is STILL Friday! Yay!

1.  I show these pictures every year, but they just keep getting more adorable! This is my assessment on Seasons for science. I break them up into groups, give them a season, and then they have to create an apple tree in mural form that depicts that season. I think that all got an A+   on this assessment!

2.  This year, I gave the Winter group diamond dust glitter to add to their mural - It was pure heaven for them to be given a glue bottle and glitter! When they were finished, they got the brooms and dustpans and cleaned up all the glitter that spilled on the floor..... Be still, my heart... I love these sweeties!
3. These are the little books that they took home showing the same thing as their murals.

We used the Apple Tree Season part of my Apple Unit for this project.....

4.  We let our last Monarch butterfly go this week. My husband said that he has been seeing large groups of them huddling on the trees at our farm. I think they are getting ready for their long trip to Mexico. I actually miss having a caterpillar/butterfly in my classroom. I have had a caterpillar to raise since July..... sigh..... But I do feel wonderful that MAYBE I was able to do my small part in assuring that the Monarchs continue as a species. I think my students gained an appreciation and respect for nature, too! I wish you could see their faces in this picture... They are so sad to say good-bye....

5. Just a couple more nature shots and then I PROMISE that is IT for nature shots for awhile!  This photo shows a family of cardinals that are living in my backyard. There are 5 of them in this photo, but at one time, I saw SIX of them!

and here is a photo of a couple of bees on my Fall Asters......
So... that's my Five random happenings..... I just purchased a Sony a5000 DSLR camera which is the reason I have been playing with nature shots. I am going to try to remember to take some classroom photos this week to share!

Make sure you visit Doodle Bug Teaching for Five for Friday!

Until next time!


Five For Friday and Blessed to Be Healthy!

Hello Friends!

Once again, I am linking up with Five for Friday on a Saturday morning. I am just so T.I.R.E.D on Fridays when I get home from school; ESPECIALLY on Fridays. I have good intentions, but usually end up thinking of a million reasons why I MUST put my feet up and recline on Fridays.... sigh.....So, it's Saturday morning and I am sitting here at my computer enjoying the beautiful sunshine and feeling blessed to be alive and healthy.... and writing my Five for FRIDAY post on a Saturday..... :)

1.  First of all, I received some pretty bad health news a few weeks ago and thought that I was in for a pretty rough battle. BUT...... God is good and yesterday, I was told that after 3 bouts of repeat blood tests, all is good and I am once again, a happy and HEALTHY teacher, wife, and Mom. While waiting for the results of my blood tests, I thought of so many things that were good about my life and that I was never, ever going to take for granted again. My husband, my kids, my faith, my friends.... the fact that even though my husband and I are not rich, we are rich in so many things that are not monetary. We are able to pay our mortgage, put our kids through college, have two cars..... Really, none of this is important if you do not have your health. I have a wonderful, wonderful husband. I have 3 amazing kids and a beautiful daughter-in-law who are making their way through life in strong and resourceful ways. I teach in a school that supports its teachers and treats us in thoughtful and fun ways. I am blessed and thankful for the life I was given.......

2.   I know that Kacey showcased these Pete the Cat creations in her Five for Friday post, but I thought I would share the creations from my kiddos, too! They are from Deanna Jump's Colorful Cats resource. I am not exactly sure what is going on with the whiskers on this one, but it sure does have personality! You can find the link to Deanna's COLORFUL CATS resource HERE.

3.  My kiddos made these Monarch butterflies. Because we have had (and still have), Monarch butterfly chrysalis in our classroom, we spent a few weeks learning about their life cycle. Because it is so early in the year, I cut the butterfly shapes out of orange construction paper for them. Later in the year, I would have had them trace the shape themselves. They added the details with black and white oil crayons and made the body from black construction paper circles. I thought they did an amazing job for this early in the year!

My Monarch butterfly life cycle resource can be by clicking the link below.

4.  Because I needed to keep myself busy while awaiting my blood test results, I spent my evenings revising some of my resources. I REALLY, really updated my APPLE unit resource. There are 3 sections inside this product. I updated photos, fixed borders, and basically gave it a face lift. If you purchased it, re-download it! If you are interested in it, click any photo below to take you to my store....

5.  I had a sweet buyer contact me about my Decodable Phonics Readers. She said that she loved the booklets, but that the borders were all crooked. Well.... when I checked, she was right! When I revised these readers, I converted from PPT to Keynote. Sometimes when you do this, things can be a bit wonky in the conversion. I guess I checked the text and the images, but not the borders... sigh..... BUT they are fixed now, so if you purchased this product, re-download it to get straightened pages!
So that's it for now, my friends! It's time to get my work clothes on and mow the lawn which I am BLESSED to be able to do!

Hop on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday thoughts!

Until next time!


Grandparent's Day Handprint Gift - EASY and inexpensive!

Hello Friends!
I wrote a blog post on iTeach Kinder for a cute and easy Grandparent's gift. Click the image below to take you there!

Until next time!


Teacher Week - My Favorite Subject - SCIENCE!

Hello Friends,
Today at Blog Hoppin', we are showcasing our FAVORITE SUBJECT.... It is really hard to narrow it down to one specific subject because I actually enjoy everything that I teach BUT,  I guess when you get down to it, my MOST favorite subject to teach is SCIENCE... I think I enjoy it because kids are so curious about their world and it feels good to be able to share with them ways in which to explore it. Our Science curriculum is called "Exploring Our World." It is not a curriculum series that we purchased. Instead, our kinder team worked together to create units that are kid friendly and supportive of basic Early Science principals. 

I started to explore STEM activities last year and my kids had a blast when we were doing them. Our principal has made it a goal for us to learn about STEM, but we are actually calling it STEAM in our school (Science Technology Engineering ARTS Math). Last year, my kiddos did the Cup Challenge. I am not sure if we did it EXACTLY right, but it WAS fun and they did learn a bit about Engineering.

Some of my boys took what they learned and created a building in the block center.....

This is a STEM activity that I created myself....  The kids worked together in partners. Each group was given a tub of water - the LAKE - and a piece of aluminum foil. They were to create a boat from the aluminum foil and float it on top of the water. Then, using pennies to represent people, they decided how many people would be able to be on their boat before it sunk. This was a great way to explain CAPACITY and why elevators and boats have to display signs to keep people safe.

Because we use the acronym STEAM, I try to add art to as many science projects as I can. When we are in our Apple and Seasons unit, the kids work in groups to paint large murals of the seasons of an apple tree.

They create booklets from paper that depict life cycles......


 ....... gravity and space........
 and ocean layers.

They are assigned an animal to research and then after writing a simple report on their animal, create the animal from paper mache. We use our 8th grade buddies to help us with this BIG project!
Another project that my kiddos enjoy is Using our Senses to Explore Popcorn!
We make 3D representations of insects....
and of course, explore insects, plants, and Monarch butterflies in our school garden!
I could go on and on about all the fun things I enjoy teaching in Science, but I am going to stop now. You don't need fancy things to get kids excited about their world! One of the most important things we can do for our kids is to instill in them an appreciation for the space in which we all live. Once they gain this, they are on their way to becoming adults who become good stewards of our strong and precious Earth!

Make sure you hop on over to Blog Hoppin' for more FAVORITE SUBJECTS!

Until next time!