Sunday, May 17, 2015

End of the Year Slideshow Title Slides, Music, Tutorial and a FREEBIE

Do you make an End of the Year slideshow for your class?? I've been making one for about eight 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!!!

Three years ago, I was tired of putting the BORING titles in my slideshow and had this vision of making my own title slides. So, I put some together and WOW!! Did it make a difference!!! It totally cutsified my movie!!!! Well, last year, it was time for a make-over! So, I recreated all of the slides and added a TON of new ones!!

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 in case you have some random pics that don't really fit with any of the other headers :)

Next is music!!! Choosing music for your slideshow can be a difficult task!! There are so many good songs out there and looking at gigantic lists can be VERY overwhelming!!! I've decided to keep my list short and sweet to give you some ideas and not overwhelm you!!

Here are some of my favorites that I have used in the past and some that I'm planning to add this year:
(Click on the link to hear it on youtube to help you decide)

6.  My Wish by Rascal Flatts (My FAVORITE!! It's like they took my thoughts and feelings right out of my head!!!! :')

7.  Forever Young by Rod Stewart (Did I ever tell you how much I L.O.V.E. Rod Stewart??? I've had a crush on him since I was 8 years old!!)

8. You've Got a Friend in My by Randy Newman (Toy Story Sound Track)

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

One more thing!!! You're FREEBIE!!! These are little covers for your DVD cases! I just buy the little DVD envelopes that look like this:

Sorry, this is a horrible picture from last year....but I haven't made them for this year yet, so it's all I have! Ha!! You get the idea:

Click on the picture below to grab your freebie!! It comes in Kindergarten, First Grade and Pre-K, Preschool and T-K!!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: Chapter 18

This week's chapter is all about visuals!!

This is something that really hits home for me! As a student growing up, I had a very hard time in school. I was the girl with the SUPER SMART brother who everyone expected to be just like him. But, I sure was the complete opposite!! Ha! Things always came so easily for him and I was the C/D student. Now, as an adult and as a teacher, I know that it wasn't because I was any less smart than him....I just learned in a VERY different way than him. 

As I got older (it took me until about 1/2 way through High School) I figured out how to cope. How to read, and reread and reread until I understood. I figured out what worked for just took me a little bit longer :) What was missing??? What would have helped me learn and retain and understand more?? MORE VISUALS!!!

Now, as a teacher, I am CONSTANTLY thinking about what I can do to help my students better understand, learn and retain what I'm teaching them. It kind of comes naturally for me. I just think about what would have helped me :)

One super easy way to incorporate visuals into your classroom is:

Anchor Charts

These are examples of emerging visuals. They appear as the lesson is taught. The teacher and students are creating them together.

These are examples of Static visuals. They have been previously prepared by the teacher in preparation to teach a lesson or a certain skill.

The little visual cues below aren't exactly anchor charts, but we hang them each time a word chunk is introduced and they work WONDERS!!! Seriously!! My Kinders are AMAZING spellers thanks to these little chunk cards!!! Thanks Deanna!!!


sometimes all your kinders need is that little extra visual to help them understand and be independent problem solvers!!!


Every morning, after the pledge of allegiance and our character pledges, we say this acronym for Warriors. So, every morning my Kinders would say "Warriors: We Are Respectful, Responsible, Intellegent, Open minded, Reliable Students. Those are all great words!! But, my Kinders had NO IDEA what they were saying. So, I made this little PDF file. I'm sure it has no use for you....but, I'm attaching it so that you get the idea. Each graphic has a hyperlink attached to it. When you click on the clipart, it will take you to a video that helps explain what each word means.


Science and having children engage in different experiments can give them such an amazing visual!!!

Here is the infamous MLK egg experiment showing that like eggs, although we may look different on the outside, we are all the same inside :)

And, here's my little Cheeto Pollination Experiment!!! Such a great visual!


These are just SOME of the ways that I incorporate visuals into my teaching! There are so, so many more!!!

How do you utilize visuals in your classroom??? Please link up and share!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Mommy Spa: Celebrating Mother's Day the Important Way

A couple of years ago I was T.I.R.E.D. of doing the same old, boring Mother's Day gifts!! We did the cookbooks, the coupon books, the handprint name it. But, what really happens to those things when they get home?? 

I wanted to give my Mommies and students something that REALLY meant something. Something that they would carry with them forever.

I had heard of some people doing a Mother's Day Spa Day. I thought this was SUCH a cute idea!!! So, I put together my "Mommy Spa" pack. It's a bundle of ideas, printables, decorations, recipes and ideas to make your Mommy Spa a HUGE success!!!

 Just look at the AMAZING day we had last year!!! The kids LOVED pampering their Moms and their Moms LOVED EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. of it!!! Just look at their faces in these pictures!!

This was the Manicure Station:

The "Together Time" Station includes a Survey that they fill out together about special "Mommy and Me" things. And, when they're done with booth time!! :)

Here is the Massage Therapy Station!! Throw in some face masks, massagers and back scratchers (Dollar Tree!!!!) and let the kids go to town!!

At this station Mommy and child just relaxed and enjoyed some reading material and tasty snacks....fingernail polish shaped cookies, cucumber sandwiches and Fancy drinks!!...(Hello, look at those FANCY plastic glasses from Dollar Tree!!! Ha!)

My FAVE...the Facial Station!!!! Sooooo fun! I even taught my Kinders how to gently massage Mom's temples as she relaxed in her facial!!

This Mom was SUCH a Good Sport!! She just "relaxed" while her boy caked her face!! Hahahaha!! Look at the top picture with his tongue sticking out!!! He's working sooooo hard to pamper his Mama!!! So sweet!

Due to some time restraints, we couldn't do all of the stations that I included in the packet. We also had to combine the

 hair styling and moisturizing and fragrance station into one...but, it worked out perfectly!!! The kids LOVED putting the hair extensions in their Mom's hair!! (Dollar Tree, of course!)

More pictures of this station....

And...some more!!! This Mom LOVED her extensions so much, she had to take a selfie!!! Ha!

Everyone had THE. BEST. DAY. EVER!!!! I CANNOT wait to do it again this year! It was just so much fun!! And, great quality time! Just the Mom and the siblings or anyone else. They just got to focus on each other for that time. It was a really special day. One that I think everyone will always remember!

You can check out my Mommy Spa pack by clicking on the picture below!!

I also just made this fun writing craftivity to go along with The Mommy Spa! We are planning to make these and use them to help decorate for the day of the spa!!
Click on the picture to see it.

We also make these fun and cute little Cosmetic Bag Mother's Day cards! On the back of the bag, students write why they think their Mom is beautiful. The compact has the writing prompt "you make me blush when...", Students write a list of adjectives about their Mom on the lipstick and draw her portrait on the mirror. Click on the picture below to check it out too!

I hope this post inspires you to try something new for your Mommies!! I can't wait until our Spa this year!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


After we get back from Easter Break, it’s time to start talking about Earth Day!! I  LOVE this Earth Day Experiment!!!! It is such an amazing, hands-on activity and GREAT visual for the kids to see just exactly what reducing and recycling means!!!

First we read this book that you can find in my "Where does Garbage go?" pack.  This book talks about how when you throw trash "away"-it doesn't really go away!! It explains the difference between dumps and landfills. It also talks about things you can do to help...

Here is one of the pages from the book:

The book gets the kids thinking about what they can do to help.

There is also an activity in the pack where kids can sort different household items that they can recycle every day.

Last, there is a cute activity about tires. Did you know that tires take up TONS of space and can sit in a dump for thousands of years and NEVER break down??? This activity tells them ways that tires can be recycled.

So, then comes the experiment. To begin, each group gets a "Tiny Landfill" filled with tires.

The kiddos are given a marker and told to smash up their tires.

Wow!!!! Look how we've reduced the amount of tires that we had!!!!!!

Now, we take what's left of our tires, mix in a couple of other ingredients, mix it all together and......

Make a road!!!!!!!

Here are all of our roads!!! Isn't that AMAZING?!?:) The kids think so!!! AND, they've reduced and recycled!!!!

Here is some of our learning:

Check out this experiment and all of the other activities in this packet! Just click on the picture below!!

Happy Earth Day!!