Search This Blog

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Classroom DIY

Hey everyone! Sorry I have been absent for sooooo long, the summer has been a roller coaster around here and it left me totally uninspired! But now with school getting ready to start I think I am starting to get my groove least I hope! 

So I thought I would start with some of the projects I have been working on in my classroom lately. 

I had this red bookshelf  and it just didn't go with my classroom color scheme, which is black and white with teal, lime green and purple accents. So I thought hmmm...why not get some chalkboard paint!

 And voila much better already! It took 2 coats to cover the red.

When it was dry I added all of my writing center containers.

 And last but not least I added chalk of course!

I only bought one small container of chalkboard paint from Home Depot. It was only $10! I looked at Michaels and they had the same container for $20!?! I had about half of it left after this shelf. Now I can't stop looking for more things in my room to paint!  So stay tuned for lots more classroom DIY!

I have also been busy setting up a Facebook page to go along with my blog. I would love it if you would like my page. I am working on adding a fan freebie tab where I will be posting lots of freebies for my Facebook fans!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finally a Five for Friday


I'm finally linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday!  I just couldn't seem to get a Friday post together during the school year.....BUT I am FINALLY on summer break!! At least the rumor is that this was my first full week of summer break. If you read my five random things below you will see why it is just a rumor!!   

Well I did have a little break last weekend. My mom and I got my hubby and my dad a NASCAR driving experience. So we all went to Illinois for the weekend to the Chicagoland Speedway so they could drive fast! It was fun and we made a detour to one of my favorite stores IKEA!

Then Monday know the first official day of summer break, but not really because we had to be back at school for an all day in-service on our new reading workshop model for literacy next year.  The in-service was actually really good and I am glad I have the rest of the summer to review all of the information and plan what my literacy block will look like.

Tuesday I actually had the day off!!! Yay!  I might have stayed in my pajamas all day...maybe....and I might have taken a nap too!

Wednesday my break was over! I had to be back at school for our summer school meeting and summer school classroom set up.  Which really meant I had to move a bunch of stuff from my classroom to a different building for summer school. That is because when I got to my summer school classroom there were no books in the reading boxes for summer school.  I thought it might be kind of tough to teach reading review/enrichment to kindergartners without books.  Hence the moving of  what felt like half my classroom!

I'll end with some good news from the week......I finally got my new laptop!!!!! Yup that is what I am writing this post on right now! I am so excited!! I spent tonight moving all of my clip art and files from my old computer to this one, but it is sooooo worth the effort! I will soon be creating some new products and freebies for you!

On another  fellow WI bloggy buddy Erin at It's Owl Good in Kindergarten is having her 100 follower giveaway this fly on over and enter. 3 people will win items from some great bloggers! We are also in the process of  planning a WI blogger meet up so stay tuned!

And lastly I am jumping on the Bloglovin bandwagon.  Don't forget to transfer all of your blogs to bloglovin so you can continue to follow all of your favorite bloggers when Google Reader goes away on July 1st. It was super easy to do.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Currently can't possibly be time for the June Currently!  It seems like just yesterday that I missed the May Currently!  Well even though I am beyond busy and overwhelmed I couldn't let 2 months go by with out participating in Farley's linky! So without further delay here is my Currently! 

Listening: My hubby has decided that it is time to introduce our kiddos to Star Wars so we are starting with the 4th or 1st movie depending on how you number them!  My 10 year old loves 6 year old is not so sure!

Loving:  I am so glad that summer is almost here and I will get to spend some more time with my kiddos....only 9 days to go! (We won't talk about the fact that I am teaching summer school)

Thinking: My summer to-do list is LONG but I can't wait to get started...hoping I will be motivated to get it done.

Wanting: To get our house on the market SOON so we can hopefully sell it and move over the summer. Our kiddos go to school about 25 minutes from where we live now so it will be great to FINALLY live in the same community they go to school in!

Needing:  More hours in the day.....I still have report cards, volunteer gifts, a slide show and more to get done!! AHHHH!

3 Vacay Essentials: Books to read just for fun...because who has time to do that during the school year???, My iPad so I can blog stalk of course and my flip flops because I live in Wisconsin and our time in flip flops is short so you have to make the most of it! 

Hoping to be back soon to tell you the story of my field trip debacle from last week and to share a cute beachy themed art project (from the same field trip).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Teachers Care for Oklahoma

Hey everyone!  I know it has been a long time but....I forget how crazy busy May is both at school and at home! I promise I will have more to share we are not done with school until June 13th and then I start teaching summer school on June 20th!  But for now I had to share about all of the wonderful things going on to help the victims of the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma!  

First up some wonderful TpT sellers have teamed up to create Teachers Care for Oklahoma! They are offering 4 different bundles of products. Each bundle is worth well over $100.00 and you can purchase each one for only $25.00!  All of the money raised from these bundles is going directly to the teachers at the 2 elementary schools that were destroyed during the tornado.  Click on the links below to take you to the product pages for each bundle, there you will  be able to see all of the amazing resources that are included!

K-2 Bundle 1
K-2 Bundle 2
3-6 Bundle 1 with Clip Art
3-6 Bundle 2 with Clip Art

Next up there were even more TpT sellers (including me) who wanted to do something to MANY TpT stores are having sales on Monday and donating all of the profits to the American Red Cross for the Moore, Oklahoma tornado victims or other charities that are on the ground helping with the relief effort. You can click here to go to my TpT store, all of the profits from my store on Monday will be sent to The American Red Cross! Donna over at Math Coach's Corner is hosting the linky with all the stores that are participating, so go check it out and get some great stuff and help out Moore,Oklahoma in the process!! Together we can make a difference!

Hope everyone is having a great end to their school year! And if you are already done.....I am REALLY jealous!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother's Day, The Sale and a Giveaway

Oh my word....I swear I really have been meaning to be better about blogging but, I have just been overwhelmed and busy, busy lately! Sorry I have been neglecting all of my blogging buddies!

But I thought I would share the projects we made for Mother's day, just in case anyone is as big a procrastinator as I am!

These are super easy, quick, cute, and cheap! They are pint sized mason jars from Walmart.  We use the Walmart ones because they are completely plain with no printing embossed on them.  Acrylic paint from Michael's.  I got the Martha Stewart brand this year because it was made for glass and it washed right off the kids fingers.  I also got ribbon and cut it into 18 inch sections and then tied it on the jar and put a few drops of hot glue to make sure the ribbon didn't slip off.

The kids dip their fingers in the yellow paint and dabbed the centers of the flowers on. Then they dip their fingers in another color and make the petals on the flowers. I do this one on one with the kids. I got 21 done in about an hour (we won't talk about all the interruptions I had while I did it!) 

While I worked on the painting the kids were working on the coupon book that went inside the jars. I found it on TpT here. It was free and really cute! It was supposed to be a cupcake but there was no way it would fit in the jar so I just used the coupon part and stapled it to green construction paper.

Of course I have also been busy getting ready for the big TpT Teacher Appreciation Sale happening today and tomorrow!  My wishlist is really long and I can't wait to shop and get some great new stuff! I finished my Summer Skill Pack just in time to post it for the sale!  You can click on the picture below to check it out!  It has a journal for writing, a sight word game, a math facts game and leveled book lists to help parents find books at their child's reading level in their local library. 

And because I feel so bad for neglecting you I will be giving away a copy FREE to someone who comments on this post!  I will pick the winner tomorrow night by random number! Feel free to Pin It as well! I'd love you forever!

Hope everyone is having a great Teacher Appreciation Week! I had a great free dinner at Applebee's tonight with my kinder daughter! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fairy Tale Fun

Over the summer we worked as a team to redo our themes for this year. Some we kept the same but we added lots of new ones....due of course to all the wonderful ideas we were getting from blogs and Pinterest! We decided to do a 2 week unit on fairy tales. I was a little worried and the groans from my boys when I announced our theme didn't help....but OH MY WORD was it FUN!! Everyone loved it even the boys!

So I thought I would share a few highlights from our week! 
I started by showing them this chart with a definition of a fairy tale.

 Then we read this AHHMAZING book that I found in our library! It is about learning how to write a fairy tale but we used it to learn about the elements of a fairy tale. It is the story of Little Red Riding Hood but on each page it has a section for you to read that highlights an element of a fairy tale. My kiddos LOVED it!!

When we were done reading we added all of the things we learned about fairy tales to our chart. We used this chart for the rest of the unit to analyze the stories we were reading to determine if they were fairy tales or not.

We did some really cute art and writing projects but of course I forgot to take pictures! They were from Jodi at Fun in First. It was a prince for the boys and a princess trapped in a tower for the girls. Jodi has the patterns and writing paper posted for free on her blog!! Of course before we did this project I wanted to read them the story of Rapunzel but......NONE of us had the book...not even the library had else is there to do but Google it! And look what I found!

Yep Rapunzel online and not just Rapunzel but LOTS of other fairy tales too...and the BEST part....they were FREE and GREAT! I mean my kiddos were GLUED to the SMART board watching it and they are still asking to listen to them on the computer. It was from the site the picture above to check out the site!

We needed some fairy tale math centers to go along with the Common Core Standards and I couldn't find any so I made some for us to use. Click on the picture below if you would like to check it out on TPT.

I also made one of my sight word books to go along with our fairy tale unit. Click the picture below to check it out.  It is included for FREE with my math centers or you can get it separately.
Hope you found something useful for the next time you teach fairy tales! I know my kiddos and I LOVED it!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where Have I Been....AND.....Vowels

So I know that I have been MIA lately but it has been CRAZY around here!!!  We spent spring break in Florida with my cousin and her family and the hubs said no time only! I will admit it was nice to take a break! He did make an exception for my Pass the Torch Linky post (if you haven't seen it yet you should check it out I got some great ideas)!  While we were in Florida we got to visit the beach..YAY!! And we also saw some great friends who have left Wisconsin for the warmer Florida weather...and I found out she is now teaching kindergarten in Florida!  I am so excited for we have even more to talk about...don't get us started we may never stop!

When I got back to school it was time to work on report cards....WHAT I feel like I just blogged about report can't possibly be time to do them again......but now they are least until it is time to start assessing again in May!!!!

But never fear there has still been some learning going on! We have been working on fairy tales for the last 2 weeks and my kiddos are loving it...but I'm not quite ready to write that post stay tuned!

We have also been reviewing short and long vowels. We are working on one vowel each day. Here is the anchor chart we made yesterday for the letter Aa. Don't you love the "app"! That is my best attempt at drawing an iPad..oh boy..I need help!

Then my kiddos did this great short and long Aa vowel sort!  It is a freebie from Kathy at First Grade a la Carte click the picture to take you to her blog and grab them...there is one for every vowel!
Today we made this chart for short and long Ee and then did the sort. My kiddos are loving them!

I promise I will be back soon to tell all about our 2 week fairy tale unit....complete with pictures!  That is if I don't have to build an ark has been raining here for at least a week!  I think we saw the sun Monday but that was it!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pass the Torch

Get Ready for Bloggy Olympics!!!

Photobucket Photobucket

Join The 3AM Teacher, the Reading Olympians, and over 80 SUPREME education bloggers as we take you through a tour of the Reading Olympians Root Study Program!!

You know those times when things just seem to fall into place and you are so thankful???  Well this was one of those times for me!  I LOVE The 3am Teacher!  Michele is awesome and she is one of the first blogs that I followed. When I read about the opportunity to try out The Reading Olympians program I was beyond excited because it was just what I needed at that moment!!

I am going to admit here...please don't judge...I have never thought of explicitly teaching prefixes and suffixes in kindergarten. I have found myself  explaining in guided reading groups how we sound out words with endings like -ing, -ed, -s, or beginnings like un- but I have never explained why they are at the end or beginning of words or how they change the meaning.  I guess it just had never occurred to me. 

So when I saw this Common Core Standard - L.K.4b Use the most frequently occurring inflections and affixes (e.g. -ed, -s, re-, un-, pre-, -ful, -less) as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word.  I knew I would have to find a way to teach it...then The Reading Olympians program fell into my lap!!

After I got the program I decided to use it in my guided reading groups to introduce the concept.  This way I could pick and choose which pieces to introduce based on the ones that were occurring most in my kiddos guided reading books. My plan was originally to start with introducing suffixes to my highest reading group but after some reflection I decided to introduce it to my lowest group first - to give them even more tools to help them with word decoding and comprehension.

I started by making each of my kiddos a booklet for the -ed suffix, all with parts included in the program. We talked about the word jump first and acted it out (they LOVED it)! Then we talked about what we would say if it was yesterday when we did the jumping. I think that helped make it concrete for them.

Next we all found the word jump and pasted it onto one of our pages then we changed the meaning by cutting out and adding the -ed. 

Then we wrote the new word underneath.

We then repeated for the rest of the words in the packet. There were more words but I didn't get pictures of them all. Sorry!!

By the end all of my kiddos knew that adding -ed to the end of the word meant it happened in the past. Can a get a WooHoo!!

The next day when we read our guided reading story with the -ed ending everyone was able to read it with out sounding out the ending! YAY!  Then 1 of them even said "hey those are like the words we worked on yesterday" WooHoo 1 light bulb moment down....3 more to go!

I can't wait to get back to school after spring break and use these with the rest of my guided reading groups!! They really loved it and it was easy to pick up and use! SO....until then......

Discover the program IN ACTION in more K-6th grade classrooms as you Pass the Torch!! Get ideas, discover the progression of the program, and enter the Raffle for a chance to win ONE of the three prizes listed below!!

First Place Winner : Gold Medal

  Prizes: Complete Reading Olympians Program
            $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
            50% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Second Place Winner: Silver Medal

   Prizes: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
              40% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Third Place Winner: Bronze Medal

    Prizes: 30% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Pass the Torch!!!
Click the image below to visit the next blog


Grade 1 & 2

Grade 3 & 4

Grade 5 & 6

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Giveaway Winners!

Sorry for the delay in posting the names of the winners for my HUGE 100 follower giveaway but this week was unexpectedly CRAZY!

I found out at the end of the school day on Monday that I would be out of my classroom all day on Wednesday for an ELA meeting. Now as if getting ready for a sub weren't enough Wednesday was also the day that we do our big Easter brunch for the kids. I mean we have parents come in and we cook pancakes and sausage in our classrooms and do fun spring/Easter centers and games. So imagine trying to leave directions and plans for all of that! Ugh! Luckily I have the best team ever, a great assistant, understanding parents, a super class and a had a good sub!

Oh and I was busy trying to pack and get ready for our family spring break trip. I took a half day Thursday and we are on the road! Somehow we made it!

Now onto the winners.

The winner of the K-1 prize package is....
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And the winner of the 1-3 prize package is....
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations ladies! Check your email for details from me!

I am so glad to be Spring Break I can't wait to try and relax and enjoy!!! Thank you again to everyone who donated, entered and who follows my blog you are all amazing! Hope you all have a wonderful Easter!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!

I am linking up with Flying into First Grade for this weeks Let's Get Acquainted linky party!! This weeks theme is nouns, you list your favorite person, place, thing and animal.

So here goes....

My Favorite Person:
I am going to bend the rules a little bit right off the bat...sorry! My favorite people are my hubby and my kids! I couldn't possibly pick between them! My hubby is amazing and we have been together forever...well it seems like forever since we met and started dating in high school!  Our kids are the center of our world!  Our son is in 4th grade and looks just like his dad, and our daughter is in kindergarten and looks just like me! I'd love to show you pics but the hubby doesn't like me posting pics of the kiddos when you can see their faces. 

My Favorite Place:
The beach! I know I live in Wisconsin but I think that is why I love the beach so is a break from the cold! Thought we do have some great beaches here in the summer too, this pic is from Florida!

My Favorite Thing:
My iPad!  I love it! I use it all the time to try and keep up with my blog stalking!

My Favorite Animal:
I would love to say our dog...but we don't have one yet!  We are going to try and sell our house so we told the kids they had to wait until we sold our house and moved to get a dog.  So instead I will say our cat. We got her when our son was about 4 months old and she thinks she is a dog most days!  She will even play fetch! That is my parent's dog in the picture with our kitty, we dog sit when they go on vacation.

So there you have my nouns! Sorry I missed last weeks linky but I was busy putting together my HUGE 100 follower giveaway!  It is open unitl Monday at if you haven't already hurry over and enter to win!!! Click the picture below to take you there!

I also just uploaded a new sight word book to my TpT store and I just had to let you know cause the graphics in it are soooo cute!  They are from Krista at Creative Clips, I just love her stuff! Click on the picture to check out my sight word book for the words up, the! 

I have 4 more days before spring break!  I think I can I think I can!!!  I am hoping to finish a bunch more of my sight word books over break and then start to bundle them so stay tuned for updates!!!  For those of you already on spring break I am JEALOUS!! But I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bucket Filling!!

Anyone else feel like this week has just been CRAZY!?!? Between meetings and the kiddos I am ready for Spring Break, but it is still a week away!!!

My kiddos have been having ISSUES with getting along lately, so I thought it was time to break out the Bucket Filling books!  I'm sure most of you probably already know about them, but I just heard about them from one of my FABULOUS team members this year. 
I just love the visual idea of everyone having a bucket that holds your good feelings! I also like that it empowers the kids to be in charge of filling their buckets by doing things that will fill others buckets, kindness breeds kindness!
On Monday we read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. Then we made an anchor chart of ways we could fill a bucket.  

When we finished our chart ,I gave each kiddo their own bucket to design for our new board!  Click HERE for the link to the directions for the buckets. This site also has a lot of other great FREE resources to go along with the bucket filling books!
My kiddos have really latched onto this idea!  Today I overheard a conversation where one of my kiddos said "Don't say that you're dipping my bucket!" and my desk has also been overflowing with pictures and notes as they fill my bucket!! I just love my kiddos! I should have taken a picture of my pile. Of course there are still those who are dipping instead of filling buckets ,but I am hoping that the visual and the reminders from their peers will help them.
We followed up with reading the book How Full is Your Bucket for Kids by Tom Rath today. It was a good review and also helped the kids see that EVERYONE has a bucket, even their bus driver and their dog (they loved that part!)

And speaking of buckets, mine is overflowing because all of you who read my ramblings and follow me and because of all of the wonderful bloggers and TpTer's who donated to my 100 Follower giveaway!  If you haven't entered yet it isn't too late! Click the button below to see all of the great prizes and enter to win!!