Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bloggy SoCal Get Together

OMG! Thank you so much to Hadar for putting this lunch together! I wish everyone could have come, but then we would have needed a bigger meeting place. heehee.  We met at the beach and the weather was very nice. People were actually laying out, getting suntans. OK, I didn't think it was THAT warm.

Anyway, I was sooo excited to meet everyone. I had sooo much fun. I'd met Fran at the ITeach K conference and couldn't wait to see her again. She made all of us these cute little gifts. Isn't she great!
I loved chatting with everyone, laughing, OMG, we laughed so much, listening to everyone's great stories. The one little disappointment (yes) was that it was too short. I didn't get a chance to talk with everyone.  Parking meters that were about to expire and other appointments interrupted our time. But I tried to get pictures with everyone that came. Madison left before I got my camera out. :(
Oops, sorry Kristin, didn't mean to get you coming out of the ladies room. The rest of the ladies:
Hadar, Annie, Kerri, Lindsay and her adorable baby Jack.
Mikaela, she doesn't have a blog yet but of course read about the get together and came so that she could meet everyone. She's a K teacher in Long Beach. (sorry that I am probably not spelling your name correctly) Gwyn, Fran, and Nancy. Nancy came all the way from Barstow with her kids. woohoo for her!!
These are the blogs of all the wonderful ladies that you see here. If you don't follow them yet, go check them out.
Kristin - A Teeny Tiny Teacher, Hadar - Miss Kindergarten Annie - The Moffatt Girls, Fran - Kindergarten Crayons, Kerri & Lindsay - Teacher bits & bobs, Madison - Life With Mrs. L, Gwyn - Preschool Printables, Nancy - The Apple Basket Teacher
I can't wait till we do this again.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Pinterest Inspired Post

One of my favorite parent gifts to make for Christmas was the hand print snowman ornaments. They are so cute but a lot of work. I haven't made those in years, ever since our class size went up to 32. Anyway, I've been cruising around Pinterest and saw the cutest thumbprint ornaments!

You can go here to Meet the Dubiens, to see the snowman, elf, penguin, and Santa.
If I had seen these in time, I might have tried to make them with my students. They are definitely do-able with 32 students. Instead I made them with my niece.  I found some small red ornaments from the previous Christmas, got some paint and this is what we came up with.  The Santa didn't come out that great but Rudolph was my favorite. I will definitely be making these next year!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Award

Oh how exciting! Yesterday when I opened my email, I saw that 2 very sweet bloggers, Cindy and Holly,  nominated me for an award.  That made my day.


This award is for newbies, and it's goal is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. If awarded, you must:

♥ copy and paste the award on your blog

♥ thank the giver and link back to them
Thank You for this award!

For The Love of Kindergarten
Joy of Kindergarten

♥ reveal YOUR top five picks and leave a comment letting them know

Through The Looking Glass
Having Fun From K-1
Kinderdi
kindergarten days
Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten
 
♥ hope your followers will share the love with them :)
Please go and visit their blogs and join their sites!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

Thanks to my dad and all the men and women who have served our country. It's so nice to have a day off from teaching but we need to remember all those who have sacrificed so that we can enjoy our freedom.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkins and Boo Mallows

One of my favorite pumpkin activities is sequencing the life cycle of a pumpkin.
We read the story Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jean Titherington, paint two 6 inch paper plates, glue jack-o-lantern faces on one side, cut out and sequence pictures of the cycle, string them up and put them inside our pumpkin.
Then we pull on the "stem" and we are ready to retell how to grow a pumpkin. I call it: From Seed to Jack-o-lantern. Unfortunately we didn't have time to do it this year but I wanted to share it with you, heehee. And since Thanksgiving is about the harvest, I figure I still have a few weeks left to make these, but without the jack-o-lantern face.

Here's what we did have time for: boo mallow graphing. I got the graph from Mrs. Huff's Kinder blog.


A very simple activity and of course the kids loved it. Thanks Mrs. Huff.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pinterest Inspired

I haven't posted in such a long time!! So many changes at school this year, good and "different", lol! Also, a few challenging students make my days exhausting. My therapy is Pinterest. Have you signed up? You should, its great for finding great ideas, craft projects, teaching ideas, well just about everything. And when you're surfing the web and you come across something you want to save, you can just pin it to your virtual board.

Anyway, here's something I pinned and made to keep my students from constantly asking me, "is it time for lunch, is it time to go home?"
The clocks came from, where else? Target. Now I have to get ready to hear, "look, its time for recess, its time to go home!" Haha!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top 10 Blog!

I was so excited to see I'd been nominated as a Top 10 blog by Ms. Patterson from Pocket Full of Kinders. Her sweet comments made my day! I haven't posted in quite awhile, but as soon as it calms down a little, I'll be sharing some pictures of my classroom and the activities we've been working on!

Top 10 TBA

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ready for Project Runway

...as long as the challenge is an apron...and they give me a pattern! Do you love Project Runway?? I have been watching PR marathons all summer. I am so fascinated with their skills and how they can whip up beautiful clothes (and yes, weird stuff too) in such a short amount of time. I had to have a pattern just to make this apron! heehee!

Pocket aprons are soooo handy to keep all your markers and post-its and erasers and stuff right where you can find it. I usually use the canvas type aprons that you can decorate. But I have been bitten by the sewing bug after watching PR and then I was inspired to sew my own apron after seeing Angela's creations over at Just Love Teaching and Stephanie's at Mrs. Wyatts Teaching Tales .
Now onto my next sewing project: mug buckets or how to make all those teacher mugs we get a little more useful!
BTW, Angela has an Etsy shop where she sells her aprons and right now she is having a giveaway for an apron. Just click on the link above to her blog.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feeling Crafty!

I love those little spacemen from Really Good Stuff. They're so cute and they would be perfect for my students who every year have problems with spacing no matter how much I nag! But I didn't want to spend any more $$$$$! Target and Dollar Tree have taken most of it. So I decided to make them myself. Some clothespins, a little bit of paint, some markers for detailing and VOILA!
Spacemen! They were easy and fun to make. Now hopefully this will do the trick with my students and I can quit pulling out my hair.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pinterest Linky Party

I now have a new obsession and its called Pinterest! I hardly have time for blogstalking! heehee! Its another way to get great classroom ideas and whatever else you're interested in. Follow me and then head on over to Michelle's Math in the Middle. She's having a Pinterest linky party and you can meet some other....uh, Pinners? And some new blogs while you're at it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Christmas Craft

Teaching Blog Addict is having a Christmas craft linky party. Do you have a craft or ornament you'd like to share? Click here and link up.
Here's a parent gift I did one year.

The frame is made from jumbo craft sticks. Since I have 32 students, I had my dad make them for me ahead of time. Then I had the students sponge paint the bottom and top. They used sticky back foam pieces to make a snowman. I took their picture with them wearing a Santa hat and then we glued the picture on. We glued ribbon on the back and we were finished! I think this year I will have them make the frame. When my dad put the frames together, he constructed some little contraption to keep the sticks from moving around. So I will bring in his little contraption and have the kids lay the sticks down and glue them. Then they can tell their parents they made the whole frame!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sing a Song

One of the many things I love about teaching kinders is that they love everything you do. I love singing with my students because they don't know that I can't sing! Most of the time we sing with CDs but I have a little collection of piggyback songs that I've collected here and there. These are little songs that are great for transitions and giving directions. One that I start off at the beginning of the year is to help them remember to write their name on their paper. I think I got this song from teachers.net kindergarten chatboard. It's sung to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it". And I'm sorry my song doesn't have a cute little clipart border. I don't know how to do that. Something I will be working on this summer. (Which seems to be quickly shrinking!)

Oh the first thing that you do is write your name (clap clap)
Oh the first thing that you do is write your name (clap clap)
Oh the first thing that you do, oh the first thing that you do
Oh the first thing that you do is write your name (clap clap)

It drives me nuts after the first few weeks, but it REALLy cuts down on those "no name" papers.

What are your favorite songs to sing? Miss Kindergarten is having a linky party about our favorite songs we use in the classroom. Head on over here and link up.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kindergarten is Rockin'.....In Vegas, Baby!

I am having a great time here at the I Teach K conference! I've seen some great presenters, gotten lots of great ideas, taken tons of pictures and spent WAY too much money!!!!! One booth was selling all their childrens books and puppets for 50% off! My kinda booth! Its great to meet up with K teachers from other states. So far I hold the record for biggest class size - 32! I'm so jealous when I hear class sizes of 24!
Tomorrow is the last day, which is a good thing. My brain is full!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ahoy Mateys!!! Look What I Found at T-ARRGHH-get!!

Hee!hee!! Sorry, I couldn't resist!! So, I was at Target to get some last minute items for my trip to Vegas....I Teach K conference, yay!...and wasn't even going to look at the dollar spot because I have already bought most of the Dr. Seuss stuff, pointers, stamps, puzzles, well, you get the picture. BUT, I thought I'd look ONE MORE time for those cute little pencil pointers and there they were:
PIRATE STUFF!!!!! OMG, how CUTE are those tote bags!!! Well, I bought them all (all 4 of them) and the other stuff. I just happened to have bought someone's Pirate unit and I will have to figure out how to use the sandwich keepers. My motto is "buy now, think later"! So happy hunting! And if you haven't already, but want to share your Target or Dollar store finds, head on over here to Ladybugs Teacher files and link up!

Tackling the Summer To Do List

I am 2 weeks into summer vacation and my to-do-list. I am LOVING it!!!! As soon as I was finished with school, I headed up to my sister's home in the mountains. It was so peaceful and relaxing. I slept late, read 3 David Baldacci books, watched DVDs, went sailing, I even got to sail the boat.
I've been working on learning how to use my clipart and did a little crafting. And of course I've done a little shopping! Mostly at Target. But that's a whole other post! lol!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vacation at Last!!

Yay! I am finally finished with the school year. Monday was my last day with my kiddies. I had a little "end of the year certificates and math awards" ceremony and some light refreshments for everyone to finish it off. Whew. But that was not MY last day. The following day we actually had a staff development day. OMG! Seriously!?? The next day was FINALLY our last school day. But unfortunately for me, it took me 2 extra days to pack up. Why am I such a clutterbug/packrat!!!! Seriously need to work on that.

Now I am ready to party it up (linky party, that is) with all my blogger friends. Lots of giveaways going on and freebies that I need to catch up with. And speaking of catching up, I am so behind on Math Work Stations, so that's what I will be working on next. Summer, here I come!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Miss Bindergarten Unit

Don't you just love Miss Bindergarten? I do and I have all her books! Kinder Kraziness has made a unit for Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten. Head on over here to check out the details so you can receive a copy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wall Displays

I love looking at other teacher's bulletin boards and seeing all the great ideas and artwork. Teaching Happily Ever After is hosting a bulletin board linky party. Go check it out and see all the wonderful boards.

One of my favorite art projects is having the kids paint paper plates to make their faces!
I got the idea for the graduate faces from Mailbox Magazine. We have a school wide theme that promotes going to college. Every classroom has a bulletin board promoting college and a college banner hanging outside the classroom.

This was hanging outside my classroom for my ocean theme for Open House. This wasn't exactly what I had in mind for the finished display, but I think it did turn out cute. With 32 little faces, I should have made the boat bigger. The pirate face idea came from Mailbox Magazine. The skull and crossbones on the hat are made from a cotton ball and q-tips! They were supposed to have gold pipe cleaner earrings, but we ran out of time!

I got this idea from Kim Jordano's book Oceans of Fun. I love her ideas, she's got a great website full of pictures.

I got this idea from Kim Jordano's book Down on the Farm. The students wrote on the back of the vegetables which part of the plant it is. When they came for Open House they just plucked it off the board. Oh, I made a paper plate face for myself and put it in the driver's seat but it wasn't up when I took the picture.

Now its your turn to share!

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Little Graduates


This is a bulletin board I made to promote our school wide theme of going to college. I just love painting paper plate faces for different themes. I got the idea for the paper plate faces from Mailbox Magazine. (I love Mailbox) Anyway, I was inspired by Peace, Love and Kindergarten to make these little graduate portraits.



I put these up for Open House and the parents loved them. I think they turned out pretty darn cute.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Math Work Stations Ch. 1 & 2

Math was NOT my favorite subject in school. I didn't "get" it. I still don't care for math but I don't want my students to feel the way I do. So I'm excited about being part of this book blog party. Even though we can't be together in person, blogging is the next best thing.

How do I differentiate my math stations? I don't. We all do the same thing.

But by the time I'm finished reading MWS, I will be differentiating my stations and doing a bang up job, lol. Right now they're not even really stations, according to Debbie's book. More like centers.

Here's where I keep my math stations.

This is our meeting place. The shelves are under my calendar board. I don't have that much. I've been at my current school about 5 years and there wasn't much in my room when I moved in. I was given a box of manipulatives that came with our math series. It wasn't a huge box, which is a good thing, after reading Ch. 2. It actually had about the right amount of manipulatives needed to teach the lessons. And along with the manipulatives were ziploc bags. Wow, just like Debbie suggested in Ch. 2. I'm halfway there as far as organizing and purging. (Halfway. As I was reading ch. 2, and Debbie was naming off certain manipulatives, I'd remember: oh yeah, I have coins in my closet, oh yeah, the double sided counters are in a cupboard, oh, all those little Judy clocks are in a basket.)

How do I keep my math materials organized? You're looking at it. But my plan is to buy some shoe box sized clear containers and use Deedee's cute labels to organize what I have. Like Debbie suggested, I don't need that huge tub of teddy bears or linker cubes. Nor do I need all those scales that I found in a cupboard when I moved in. Its time to share the "wealth" of manipulatives with my team or the math storage closet. Good thing school is almost over, as I'm packing up, I can organize it so I'll be all ready come fall.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer To Do List

The countdown is on: 17 days left. I'm jealous of everyone that is already done but I sure wasn't envious of you starting in August. Unfortunately, I will be starting in August this year so my summer break will be 2 weeks shorter. So I really need to get in as much play time as possible.

Here's my list:

1) Read. I have stacks of books to read. None too current, but at the top of my piles: Janet Evanovich and David Baldacchi. Love the Stephanie Plum and Camel Club books.

2) Craft. I love crafting but don't have time during the school year. I've seen lots of craft blogs and I would love to try some of the projects. I also bought a Cricut but haven't tried it yet so I want to see what I can do with that. I even found some Cricut blogs to help me out.

3) Go walking. I'm really bad about getting in exercise every day. We have a walking program at school and I try to do it daily with the kids but sometimes teaching and learning get in the way.

4) Organize. Not sure how far I'll get with this one but I'll give it a shot. I really need to see what I have and what I can get rid of although that's always hard to do.

5) Learn how to use all my clipart. Or rather how to make cute activities with my clipart and fonts. I did find out that I can use Pages, which is on my laptop and I didn't even know what it was for. Doh. So I'll be trying that out.

Of course there's the usual - sleep in, watch TV, shop, go to the movies, get together with friends and recharge for the coming year.

What's on your to do list? Link up over at Littlest Learners and share your list.

Just Love Teaching!: 50 Followers Giveaway!

Just Love Teaching!: 50 Followers Giveaway!: Head on over for your chance to win a Starbucks gift card and Barnes and Noble gift card!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Graphing Our Favorite Veggies

Last Tuesday we had a plant tasting party. On Friday we graphed our favorite veggies and displayed our results on old Mister Rabbit! I enlarged the picture from a book by Kim Jordano called Interactive Writing.




And our favorite vegetable was....


Carrots!
We'll be making construction paper vegetables that we ate and write about them using this sentence frame: My _______ is a _______ that I can eat. (My carrot is a root that I can eat.) We'll be displaying these at our Open House that's coming up in about 2 weeks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eating the Plants

We've been studying about plants this last week. We made a thinking map about the parts of the plant and today we had a plant tasting party! We had some roots, stems, seeds, and flowers but no leaves. I forgot to bring the lettuce! I brought in 2 platters of veggies and I couldn't believe how much they loved the veggies!!! We ate the 2 trays! I only had 2 students out of 30 that didn't like them. I would have hated this activity when I was a K. I hated vegetables. Tomorrow we will graph our favorite veggie.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Giveaway Time!

Head on over to Funky First Grade Fun's giveaway.

Our plants sprouted!

Yay! Our plants have sprouted! My kids are so excited and so am I! The first ones started popping out last Thursday and this morning, quite a few more pushed through the soil. The kids are so cute to watch. They go straight to the plants first thing in the morning. I feel a little bad for the ones that haven't come up, but I keep reassuring them that it will happen. I also planted a bean and it hasn't come up yet, that always happens to me! I obviously don't have a green thumb. I told the kids not to worry. We planted 2 beans in each cup just to make sure one would sprout. But I told them if it doesn't happen, we'll plant again. A couple of the cups have sprouted both seeds. Students with green thumbs, I guess.
We made a thinking map about the parts of a plant and talked about the parts we eat so tomorrow we will have a little plant tasting party!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Got a new look!

For my blog, that is. I love it and it goes so well with my blog title, dontcha think?! Now I just need a matching header and grab button. I've read some tutorials on how to do it, so that's my next project.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Planting Time!

We planted lima beans this past week. This is one of my favorite spring activities! The kids were so excited, I'd been building it up all week. We have a journal that we will use to track our plant's progress.





I got the journal from Susie Haas, a presenter I saw a few years ago.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Giveaway Time!

Head on over to Once Upon a Time in First Grade to check out her giveaway! Looks awesome!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!

My principal is awesome! He has been feeding us all week! He does this every year. This year he's also been making us root beer floats. Which has been great because it is soooo dang hot! Our office manager also brought in a relative who does massages to come in and help us relax! It's nice to feel appreciated. One of my students also brought me some cookies in a business sized envelope that he decorated! So cute!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yay! I got through on TPT!

Last night I went through the sellers stores that I follow and started loading up my cart. But I have spent the last few hours, on and off, trying to get through TPT's site. I finally got through but it was sooooo slow and I kept reading about people losing the contents of their carts, so I hurried and bought a few things. Luckily a lot of sellers have agreed to extend their sale!! Yay! Thank you so much!! I still have quite a few items on my wishlist!

Monday, May 2, 2011

TPT Teacher Appreciation Sale!

Oh my goodness! Have you been to TPT? So many teachers are giving a 20% discount on their wonderful units. In addition, TPT is adding 20% discount also! Kinda feels like Christmas doesn't it?! So many things on my wishlist! My head feels like its going to explode!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Earth Day and an Easter activity

I love Frank Asch's book "The Earth and I". His illustrations are beautiful and the text is simple enough for the students to understand the message of taking care of the earth. I saw this activity on dltk-kids site. The kids dictated how they would help the earth and I typed them up. I didn't have them write it themselves because I was more interested in getting a discussion going about Earth Day. I think they came out beautiful.


We also did a graphing activity. When they opened their plastic egg, they found conversation hearts! lol! We ran out of time to do these in February, so why buy jelly beans when I still had the hearts! I got the graph from Mrs. Gagne's site.

Spoonful of kisses for mom

I saw this a few years ago in Mailbox magazine. It's cute but not really something that the kids "made". Anyway, the chocolate kisses that are available at Easter are great for this project because they are pastel colored and look so pretty. There are no kisses in this sample because I needed a chocolate fix and I know you can "imagine" the kisses in the spoon. You just need some tulle, you can get it already pre-cut in circles at craft stores or just buy a roll and cut squares yourself. I used pipe cleaners because they were easier to wrap around the spoon handle than ribbon. I also used "soup spoon" sized plastic spoons that I found at Wal greens. If you click on the picture, you can read the poem.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How To Add Links to Your Posts

Yay! Cindy from In the Teacher's Lounge showed me how to put a link in my post! If you are techno-challenged like me and need help, head on over to this tutorial to learn how!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Mother's Day Ideas Linky Party!

Shannon at K:double stuffed is hosting a Mother's Day Idea linky party. Between Cindy and Shannon, you'll have no trouble coming up with a great idea!
http://kdoublestuffed.blogspot.com
(I don't get how to do the link, I'm sure its the easiest thing, but, I don't get it!
:-(

Mother's Day

Cindy at In The Teacher's Lounge is having a Mother's Day Ideas linky party. Head on over at check out the ideas: http://cindysintheteacherslounge.blogspot.com.
This is a gift I did when I only had 20 students. Now with 32 students, it's a little much for me. I found this idea years ago on the Kindergarten chatboard at teachers.net. It's called Breakfast in a Bag. Someone on the chatboard made up the poem to go with it. We decorated a white bag. I used pattern pieces from an alphabet puppet illustrating Ill Izzy. But you don't really need pattern pieces. We put in a floral napkin and spoon, we made the teacup and put in a teabag and then I put in a package of instant oatmeal. I thought they were so cute!

I put the poem on the back of the bag, but for sharing with you, I put it on the front of the bag (so I would only need to take one picture).

Easter Math

Here's our monthly math art project. This is from Kim Jordano, over at kinderbykim.com.

I couldn't find my egg pattern so I decided to go with sponge painting. I think I like this much better.