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 crafts...you 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 that....photo 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 Kinder...no 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

Throwback Post: BEST. EARTH DAY EXPERIMENT. EVER!!!

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!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Dice Game Freebie

WHAT TO DO on these short little weeks. We don't have centers this week because we only have 2 days and then we are off for Easter Break!! When that happens, although it's rare, the days seem to last FOREVER!!!!!!!!!! So, we need to get up and move and do something fun at some point during those long days!!

I have a SIMPLE, NO PREP, engaging little game for you that my kiddos just LOVE! That's the BEST kind, right?!?!

All you need is 2 copies of the game sheet and 3 big foam dice (2 number dice and a +/- dice). I use the ones below. I think just about every teacher on the planet has them!!! Ha!


You will need to break your class up into 2 teams....we usually just do boys against girls because it's easier to keep track of that way. But, you can do it however you'd like :)

I call 3 teammates up to throw the dice....I let them throw them at me while I just stand there. LOL!! That's probably why they LOVE it so much! :)


When the dice stop, we check their equation and solve.


Then, we color that number on their team's egg. If the number has already been colored then nothing is done and their turn is over. So, this game can take a while to get a winner!


 This game could easily be adapted for small group or centers as well. There are many possibilities!

If you'd like a NEW, FRESH copy of this game (not the hand-drawn one pictured above) You can click on the image below to grab your FREE copy!!



Have Fun!

Happy Easter!

Hitting the core with Pattern Blocks

Ahhhhhh!!! Finally! Finished with my April Pattern Blocks pack and ready to share it with you!! Here it is!! You get 8 puzzles, each with 3 levels of difficulty. So, that's 24 pattern block mats!!! Click on the picture below to go check them out!!



There are also spinners and dice included so that your kiddos can turn it into a game and see who can make their picture first!

There are also 4 different response sheets! So, you can use these puzzles at any point in the year and choose the response sheet that is appropriate for your class at that time. You can also use them as ANOTHER way to differentiate the activity!!

So, soooo many possibilities!!!

When I start off with pattern blocks, we just focus on learning the shapes and it's attributes. The kids LOVE these hands on activities to learn the names and attributes of the shapes! It so much fun this way....just like playing a game!!

But, when we do these activities we are hitting so, sooooo many of the common core standards! Just about every one of the Geometry Standards are hit right here!

Also, through the different response sheets you can hit sooooo many more standards!!! Counting to show how many, writing numbers, comparing numbers, graphing (categorizing), adding....the list of standards goes on and on!!!

Not only that, but you are fostering spacial skills and critical thinking!!! What a great way to encourage problem solving!!! There are so many ways that they puzzles can be put together and solved. Here are some pictures of them in action:

 Here are some shots of my April Easter bunny pattern blocks. You can see all 3 different levels of diffictulty.

One bunny has the shapes already provided for the builder. The other one, is just an outline of the bunny. You can see this builder did her own work and used different shapes to build the bunny! They are always amazed to compare and see the differences!!


And, here is a "Build your Own" bunny mat!!!!


Here are a couple of shots from the March Pattern block puzzles during center time:


On this one, the student used the mat that just had the outline of the pot and attempted to build it with different blocks. He then recorded his data onto his response sheet. This sheet has them tallying their shapes and then adding the numbers together to solve the different addition problems.


You can find the March Pattern Block Puzzles by clicking on the picture below:




The best part is, my friends and I over at Blog Hoppin' are having a Spring Sale!!!! So, you can hop on over to my store and grab these or ANY of my items for 20% off!!!!! Just click on the Sale sign below to visit my store!!


Happy Spring!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Epic Spring Teacher Blogger Meet up in Review! TONS of PICS!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get to take a little time for myself and spend the weekend in Indiana with some of my most favorite people in the world!!!! My blog buddies!!!! I don't get to see them very often, so when I do, it's a BIG deal!!!

To start our weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine, Erin Mullet from Erin's Ink. We used to work together and both taught Kindergarten at the same school for a couple of years. I just LOVE her!!! We hit the road and drove the 3 1/2 hours to French Lick, Indiana. A teeny, tiny town in the middle of nowhere with an AMAZING hotel and resort!!! It was just beautiful!!

The only thing was, when we got there, we found out that we were on the dreaded 6th floor!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! French Lick Hotel has been there for nearly 170 years and the 6th floor was said to have been HaUnTeD!!!!!!! WhoOoOoOoOo!!!!


Later on that evening, we met up with some of my favorite friends for Dinner!!!!!! Megan and Kim from KinderGals, Deanna Jump and Deedee from Mrs. Will's Kindergarten!! Kim's daughter-in-law, Ginny also joined us! Sweetest thing ever!!!!


Then, around 2:30 A.M. (It's a looooooooooooooong story) my beautiful, wonderful, bright, happy and smiling friend, Crystal Radke from Kreative in Kinder arrived!!! We have been roomies many times before and it was soooo good to see her!!!


We had sooooooo much fun being roomies!!!!



And, don't worry!!! Those ghosts didn't scare us!!!!


The next day, it was time for the meet up!!! We started off by making these letters to decorate the hall. Each table took a letter and had to decorate it with tidbits about themselves! It was so fun getting to know each other and hearing where everyone was from, what grade they taught and a word to describe themselves! We left our word up for the entire weekend! It was just the PERFECT word to describe this event!!!!


I mean, seriously!!!! Doesn't get much more inspirational than this......


The room was just packed with teachers from all over the country!!! And it was sprinkled with the perfect amount of decor from Schoolgirl Style!!!!

After lunch, we had a Teacher Tool Gift Exchange!!! It was so, so much fun exchanging little gifts and telling why they were some of our favorite teacher tools!!! I got lots of new ideas on stuff that I need to go out and grab for my own :).....here is the Kindergarten group. We were the biggest group by far!!



Then, we broke into little sessions and talked about all kinds of things from TPT to RCA to Engaging all of your students. Here we are listening intently to Deedee and Deanna <3 #moreinspiration
 And then, of course there was the teacher SWAG!!!!!!!! We got so, soooo many fabulous goodies!!! There are sooooo many companies out there who are all about THE TEACHERS!!!! Here are some of the goodies that we got:

A beautiful bag from Vera Bradley
Markers, stickers, and pens from Scentos!
Goodies from Go Noodle!
Prizes from Teachers Pay Teachers
A bag from Lakeshore




AND...........OMG!!!!! EVERY. SINGLE. TEACHER there got a Teacher Planner from Erin Condren!!!! It was seriously an Oprah moment!!!! We felt like we just won the lottery!!!!! Seriously! You should have heard the room EXPLODE when Holly announced it! (See her pic below....she said "and a planner for you, and one for you and you.....") Hahahahaha!!! I swear I saw one girl crying!!!

It was just so FUN!!!!!!


There were also thousands of dollars of products that were given away in drawings! It was amazing! They gave away over $12,000 in Teacher SWAG that day!!! INSANE!!!!
After we were loaded down with an insane amount of goodies, we dispersed for dinner.

AND then.......................


OMG!!!!!!!! This P.J. Party was EPIC!!!!!!! It was so, sooooo much fun!!!! Thanks to TPT and GoNoodle for sponsoring it!!!!

We Pop See Ko-ed the night away!!!!


Check out this video captured by my sweet friend, Brenda from Primary Inspired!!!! Seriously hilarious!!!! We LOVE you GoNoodle!!!!


PHOTO BOMBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watch out!!!!!!!!


Check out these little tables decorated to look like beds!!! So cute!!! We had to take some pics!! The beds were also stocked with pillow cases for us to decorate and take as souvenirs!!!


Have you checked out Deedee and Deanna's Guiding Readers units??? The "Lazy e" clipart was drawn by my girl, Erin!!!! So, Deanna had Erin decorate her pillow case with "Lazy e" on it!! Soooo cute!



So. Much. Fun.......


But, seriously, the BEST part of the weekend was just being with all of these amazing, wonderful teachers!!! These ladies ARE THE best of the best!!!! People who LOVE their jobs and give it there all!!!! What an inspiration!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, you thought we were going to be serious?!?! Ha!!!! Almost!!! Take a look at the zoomed in picture!! :)


This ENTIRE, AMAZING weekend was was planned and organized by my dear, adorable, giving, selfless friend Holly Ehle!!!


With the help of another amazing lady, Brittany Banister!


So, maybe you didn't get to make it this year....well, we STILL have 3 teacher SWAG bags to giveaway!!!! Here's what you get!!


Just enter using Rafflecopter below!



You can read about everyone else's weekend by clicking on the links below!!