Saturday, April 19, 2014

How to make the CUTEST End of the Year Slideshow EVER!!!!

Do you make an End of the Year slideshow for your class?? I've been making one for about seven years now. I used to do a paper scrapbook for each kiddo, but man, that was a TON of work and so, so expensive!!! To make a slideshow, all you have to do is buy a big pack of DVD+Rs and you're ready to go!!!

I had this brilliant idea a few years ago to make my own slides and insert them for my titles. Two years ago, I made a pack of them and uploaded them to TPT....well, this year, it was time for a makeover!!! And, let me tell you, I think these turned out pretty stinkin' cute!! ;)

All of these slides are saved in PNG format, so they are just images....just like the photos that you will add to your slideshow!! VERY easy to use and will definitely add a HUGE CUTE FACTOR to your movie!!

Are you unsure because you've never used Movie Maker before?? Stay tuned for my tutorial at the end of this post :)

Here's what you get:
(Click on any picture to go to my TPT store and check them out!!)
 I have included a Preschool, Kindergarten, and first grade cover slide. There are also all of these different First Day of School OR First Week of School slides to choose from.

Here are my Monthly divider slides. The months of August-June are included!! I stuck to more of a seasonal theme with these instead of holidays so that more of you will be able to use them :)

 I tried to include slides for every special event, occasion and/or celebration that you might have!!!

And, I also included a slide for every Holiday!!

And, here are some extra slides for some of the things that you do everyday-just incase you have some random pics that don't really fit with any of the other headers :)

And, here is my little tutorial to help get you started!!! Hope this helps!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easy, Simple, Sturdy, Cute Easter Baskets

Soda, pop, whatever you call friend Erin from Eberhart's Explorers calls it Coke!!! Ummmm....Erin, Coke is a brand name!! You can only call Coke, Coke. Apparently not where she's from!! :) (Love you, Erin) Anyway, whatever you call it, start saving those boxes to make the cutest, most sturdy little Easter baskets for your class!!

 The first time I made these, I had been to a workshop and someone donated a great big box of these little empty soda boxes to any teacher that could think of a use for them....I was the only taker!!! Here are the baskets that I came up with:

I was able to use my supply for a few years to make these perfect little baskets. But, this year, my supply ran out. Where would I get more boxes?!?

Then, one day I was standing in line at the grocery store in the little town that I work in. I saw the soda guy taking the glass bottles out of the boxes and I ran over to him and said, "Hi! I'm a Kindergarten teacher! Ummmm....what are you going to do with those boxes???" He said he would get me as many as I wanted!!!! Score!!!! Now, every time I go into the grocery store, they have a box of these waiting for me!! Yipppeeeeee!!!!  (It's the little things :)

I'm hoping that you can find a store or maybe a gas station that sells soda by the glass bottle. But, maybe it's just because I work in Clinton County, IL which is where Ski is made and bottled!!!!! Ever heard of it? It's like Mountain Dew x10. Ha!!! The kids around here are raised on this stuff and EVERYONE drinks it! Every fountain soda machine has Ski and Cherry Ski, every store and gas station sells it, and there is a Ski machine on every corner :)

Think you've never heard of Ski??? Maybe you'll remember this little ditty from the late 80s! Dumas Walker!!!!!!!!! Ha!!!

Anway-this post is NOT supposed to be about Ski...focus!!!! It's about these adorable little baskets! They are so, so, so simple to make! Just wrap them in white construction paper, add ears, a nose, google eyes, whiskers and a cotton tail, and you're done!! (and maybe cut out a couple of bottle separators from the inside) The best part is they are sooooo sturdy!! And, they are just the perfect size for little hands! ;)

Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Sale!!

My store will be on 20% off before deactivating seasonal products.  Please check outKinderGals for all stores participating.  Click the graphic above to access goodies my files discounted at My store!!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Safety Street-A FREE, Interactive Program

I feel so lucky to be just 30 minutes away from one of the top children's hospitals in the country!!!! St. Louis Children's Hospital!!!

I took my Gray there when we suspected that he might be having seizures...don't worry he was fine :)

And, they took great care of my Finny when he had RSV!!

Everything that St. Louis Children's Hospital does is pretty great and amazing!! And,
Safety Street is no exception!!!! If you are from the St. Louis area, you will want to check this out!!!!!! 
I know, for many schools, money is tight and for many of us, field trips have been cut! No worries here!! This program is TOTALLY FREEEEEEE and they bring it right to you!!!!!

All they need is a big area to set it up (usually a gym) and 4 hours to be able to do their set up!

Safety Street is an injury prevention program for K-5th grades. It features an interactive life-size cityscape to help children learn important safety lessons.
I was very impressed with the organization and set-up of this program! My students were totally engaged the entire time!! They took only 4-5 kids around in a group at a time through the "city". While the rest of the class waited, they watched a very entertaining, age-appropriate safety video. The instructors were very knowledgeable and their lessons were age appropriate.

Here, some of my students came to a stranger that actually speaks to them. He asks them if they want some candy and some other phrases that a stranger might use to lure a child over. The instructors were there the whole time explaining to the kids what to do. In the other picture, kids learned what NOT to do if they come to a vacant lot....see the piles of trash? There was even a fake rat! Yuck!! 

At this point during their walk around town, the kids came to a group of dogs. The dogs actually start barking at the kids!! The instructor explains what to do if  a scary dog approaches them and what to do if the dog starts to chase them. I didn't know you should get down on the ground and cover your neck! I learned something new too! :)

There were also working stoplights and railroad crossings! (Even the train moved across the tracks!!) Students learned and practiced what to do at these crossings.

As we walked through the town, there were some cars passing through as well :) The car at the top was backing out of the driveway. Students had to stop and they talked about how they could tell it was backing up and what to do. There were also cars being "driven" by volunteers through the roads!

I was just so impressed with this program that I had to share it with you!! AND it's for everyone!!!! They will bring it to any school in the St. Louis area (MO or IL) and again, it's FREEEEEE!!!!!!

Get more information about how to get Safety Street at your school HERE.

You can also watch this little Youtube video...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Xaivore Strong

Meet Xaivore

This post is titled "Xaivore Strong" because Xaivore is just of the strongest people that I know.

This all started back in August.  Like the rest of us, Xaivore was ready and excited to start a brand new school year.  He was going to be in second grade!!! But, a damper was put on all of the excitement when his whole family came down with the flu during that first week of school. They all had the same know how it is. Everyone is weak, tired, throwing up and feeling achy.  That's when Xaivore started complaining of his head hurting. Well, no one really thought much of that....everyone's head was pounding. They were just SICK. You tough it out a couple of days, get better and go on with things.  That's how it goes. That's what we all do. And, that's what THEY did.  Well, all of them...except Xaivore.

Xaivore's head was still hurting. But, everyone else had gone back to school and work so, Xaivore decided to give it a try. Now, I told you before. Xaivore is a very strong little boy. He's NOT a complainer. He's a "go with the flow" kinda kid. So, although his head was really hurting him, he was toughing it out. But, Xaivore ended up getting sick at school. His parents came and got him. Maybe he wasn't quite over the flu yet. That's what everyone thought.

But, Xaivore's headaches just wouldn't let up and he wanted to sleep all the time. His family began to think that maybe he was suffering from migraines.  So, on August 26, 2013, they took him to his pediatrician. The doctor noticed that Xaivore's coordination was a little off. So, an MRI was scheduled for the next day.  Just seven minutes into the MRI, Xaivore's Mom was told that he had a brain tumor and they would need to operate the next day.

I just cannot imagine. Think about getting that news. You think you have a healthy kid....a kid with the flu....a kid who's having're child has a brain tumor the size of a baseball. He has cancer. He will be having brain surgery tomorrow. The immediate, urgent and life changing decisions that had to be made are just incomprehensible.  And, where was Xaivore's Dad during this?? He was in California for work.

The next morning, Xaivore was admitted at 8:00 AM for his surgery. His Dad flew home from California on the next available flight and made it to the hospital just as they were wheeling Xaivore into surgery. He got to see, hug and kiss, and tell his baby boy that he loved him.  A parent's worst nightmare. So many unknowns. Just utterly terrifying.

Xaivore's surgery lasted 11.5 hours. They were able to remove 99% of the tumor. It was discovered that the tumor was a WHO grade IV medulloblastoma. You can read more about it HERE.
They were told that he would have to endure 55 weeks of treatment.  First, was 6 weeks of radiation that successfully shrank the remaining tumor. He is now currently undergoing a 3 cycle multi regiment Chemotherapy process. He has an MRI and lumbar puncture every 3 months for the first year, then every 6 months for second year, then once a year for the rest of his life.

After the surgery, Xaivore had to learn to walk again. He now has eye problems and has double vision that he has to take muscle relaxers for. Through this whole long, hard process he has also acquired some learning disabilities.

Through it all, Xaivore continues to come to school every day with a smile on his face. That's all he be a kid.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I'm hoping that by sharing this story with you, that maybe you will want to help.

I have put together a little fundraiser along with my friends at Blog Hoppin'.  Xaivore's medical bills are mounting. His procedures and treatments are extremely expensive and there's more to come.

The bundle has 19 products that will help get you through the end of the year :) If you don't teach K-2, you could still donate and give the pack to someone that you teaches at your school.

Click on the picture to check out the preview. Each picture in the preview is clickable so you will be able to see exactly what you are getting.

My friends at Blog Hoppin' are some EXTREMELY generous ladies!!!!  This bundle is valued at $120!!!!!! You can grab this awesomely phenomenal pack for only $25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you will consider donating!!

Thank you all so, so very much!!!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

3 Million Strong=1 Awesome Sale!!!!!!!!!

Teachers Pay Teachers has reached 3 MILLION teacher members and going strong!!! How amazing is that?!?!
To celebrate, I am throwing a sale in my store!!
All products will be 20% off!
But, that's not all!!!! TPT is offering 10% off as well!!!! Be sure to use the promo code TPT3!!
That's a combined discount of 28%!!! Whoooohooooo!!! Shoppin' time!

Here are some of my products that might come in handy this spring!!!!




Be sure to stop by Blog Hoppin' to check out other great stores that are on sale!!!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

How to have the BEST Valentine's Day Party EVER!!!!!! Ideas and FREEBIES!

O.K. First things first! How cute are these adorable blowing kisses pictures?!?! Found this idea on Pinterest!! Where else???? All I did was tape some paper hearts on the whiteboard, had them pose and snap a photo. Then, we printed them out and made some super cute Valentine cards for our parents!!! Too cute!!!!

 Now, the first thing you will have to start thinking about for that Valentine party is the mailboxes!! Check out these SUPER cute, creative boxes that my Kinder families made this year!!! So stinkin' cute!!!! Valentine mailboxes are our Kindergarten family projects for February!   This project is sent home in their homework pack at the beginning of the month-so, they have a couple of weeks to work on these!! Now, I have 25 kiddos in my class-so, there is bound to be kiddos who forget, or parents that just don't take the time. I keep an eye on that. I just save a couple of extra, empty boxes and attach the note to the empty box and send it home a few days before V-day as a reminder. I also ask a couple of those SUPER DUPER crafty families if they'd like to make an extra box for someone who doesn't have one. Everyone in my class had a box and they were all ADORBS!!!!!!!!  check them out.....

You can find this family project in our February Homework Pack for Kindergarten. I co-authored these packs with my friend Erin Eberhart from Eberhart's Explorers.  All of our homework packs have a monthly family project included. You can check this homework pack out here. Just click on the image below:

Now, you just need some Valentines to stuff in those boxes!!! Here are the Valentines I made for my kiddos this year! You can grab the little tag for FREE by clicking on the picture below!! Just print on cardstock, cut out and staple to a bag of goldfish crackers :)

I would also recommend NOT sending a class list home for those valentines!!!!! It makes them sooooo much harder to pass out!!! Just have your students sign their cards so you know who they're FROM!!! Here is a cute, FREE letter from Simply Kinder that you might want to use that states that:

 Now, for the party!!!!!! My school only has TWO official parties a year....Halloween and Christmas. Well, Valentine's Day is such an exciting time and these babies are only 5 and they need some excitement in their lives!!! ;) So, during our Math Center time on this special day-we have a our celebration....but, with out all the commotion and parents :)
Like I said, I have 25 kiddos in my class (15 of them are boys) So, how do I do this with little help and maintain control and structure??? Here's how!!!
I split my class into 3 groups. One group goes to the carpet to open valentines. I have already set out pieces of construction paper ahead of time and SPREAD THEM OUT :) I explain before they get there-that the piece of paper is their spot to put their valentines on. I explain that they will open one card at a time and each time they open one-it goes ON their piece of paper. This is their own personal space for their things....that way, nothing gets mixed up!!!!

The second group goes to the game table. You will need a simple game that they can do ON THEIR OWN. I chose bingo. (This is an OLD SCHOOL bingo game that I made before my TPT years and before all of the cute clipart that you can find now :) But, it works!!! I just wrote sight words on the bingo cards and cut out hearts that have the sight words on them. The hearts are flipped over. Kids take turns flipping one over and calling it out. They then all look to see if they have it and cover it with a heart gem until someone gets BINGO. Then, they clear and play again. SIMPLE.

Aaaaaand.....then, there's the chocolate fountain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!! The kids go CRAZY over this!!!!! They LOVE it and they talk about it for years!!! ;) This is where I spend most of my time, obviously :) But, it's sooooo worth it!!!! I just get some skewers that they can put marshmallows, bannanas or strawberries on to dip in the chocolate. I also buy pretzel rods because they are easy to dip! Then, they all just dip and eat!!!! so, soooooo fun and delicious!!!!
 I set a timer for about 10-12 minutes and when the timer goes off, we calmly all switch. NO craziness!!! It actually, surprisingly always goes really smoothly!!! Now, you will want to keep your eye on the timer and have your kids on the carpet start cleaning up their valentines when there is about 1 minute left AND having your kids at the fountain stop eating and start cleaning up their plates, drinks, etc. And, when the new group gets there-I remind them NOT to touch anything until all of the plates, napkins and drinks are passed out before they are allowed to dig in :)

Now, if you DO have a big old party and have more helpers in your room-you may want to try a game like this!!! I made these posters for my son, Brody's class to use at their Valentine Party!!! You can save the image of the mustaches and lips to your computer and then print them for your own use if your interested!! ;)

Hope you found some good ideas and freebies!!! Don't forget to pin for next year!!!! ;)