Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kindergarten Orientation/Open House Treasure Hunt-Freebie!

Does your school have a Kindergarten Orientation or Open House before school starts? This is a good way for the kiddos to meet their teacher and become familiar with the room and their surroundings. I always do a little treasure hunt. The kiddos have to go around the room checking off some of the different places in our classroom as they go. It helps them become familiar and more comfortable with the classroom and where they're going to sit and keep their things on the 1st day of school. It helps to ease the tension AND it's fun!!! And of course, they get to pick a treasure at the end:) Here's the hunt I always do-but I decided to "clean it up" a bit and thought I'd share it with you:) Leave a comment if you want and let me know what you think!! Click on the picture below to get your copy! Enjoy!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jungle/Safari Stoplight Behavior Management System

Please visit my TPT store to check out my newest creation!! If you will be having a jungle/safari classroom theme next year you might want to check it out:)
Click on the image below to view it at my TPT store!!;) Thanks for looking!
I am working on an ocean/beach theme next!!! I'll post to let you know when it's finished!;)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jungle/Safari locker nametag freebie!

Hi friends!!
Jamie-over at What's the Buzz in 1st grade just posted about these AdOrAbLe nametags from Lakeshore!!!

I ♥ed them soooo much that I immediately started making some for myself:) I am going to attempt to do a Jungle/safari theme in my classroom this year....so, here's what I came up with! You can download them FREE at my TPT store!!!! If you ♥ them, please leave me a comment, or better yet-some feedback on TPT if you want:) There are 6 different designs! Click on the picture below to check them all out;) ENJOY!!!

My Wish List Linky Party

Really Roper is having a Wish list linky party!!! You can click on the picture below to join the party:)

Soooo....the two things I want more than anything else in my classroom are:
A Promethean Board!!! I want one SoOoOo bad!!!! But, it doesn't look like I'll be getting one any time in the near...or not-so-near future:(
Closets!!!! This will NEVER happen....but this is a "Wish" list right??? I can wish all I want=)  P.S. How good does this teacher have it?!?! All I can say is WOW!!!!! I'm jelous:)
Here are some things that I want that are a little more realistic:)...
I LOVE this calendar from Lakeshore!!!! Isn't it awesome!?
AND I really want a big book stand with storage!
AND I must announce that one of my wishes came true!!!!! I went to school a couple of days ago and discovered that my chalk boards had been replaced by brand spankin' new, gleaming white boards!!!! Can you believe it!? Here is a picture of them!!!;) Whooooohoooooo!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

3 Must-Haves for your Summer Projects!!!

As I work on project after project for this coming school year, there are 3 things that I just could NOT live without!!!! They are:
This is THE BEST glue on the planet!!!! If you are making something that you want to last forever-USE THIS GLUE!!!! It IS amazing...Just like it says on the box:) Everyone that works with me knows that I'm obsessed with it!!!! Just beware that it is a little smelly;)

#2 -ModPodge
Love this stuff!! It is a glue and a sealer all in one! I've used it on all kinds of crafts!!! Use it on any wood, plastic, metal, etc. If you paint something, or glue paper to something, put a coat of this over the top!! It's like laminating things that can't go through the laminator!!;)
Here's an example of something I ModPodged...Remember my Monster Sound Munchers???;) They are made from pencil boxes, a piece of cardstock and stickers. The ModPodge is a glue and a sealer. So, I glued it on with Modpodge and then put a few coats of ModPodge over all of it so that the paper and stickers are sealed on and won't peel off.
#3 My Scotch Laminator
Everyone has been posting about these because they are AWESOME!!! I got one for Mother's Day this year and I ♥ it! They are only $25 at Wal-Mart!!! And you can get the lamination pouches at Sams for really cheap!!! The lamination is SUPER thick, too! WAY more sturdy than the stuff we have at school!
If you use these 3 things for your projects for your classroom they are sure to last forever!!!
Anything that I missed??? If you have anything to add to my list, I would LOVE to hear about it:)

Monday, June 20, 2011

We have a winner!!!!

Yay!!! Jonelle, from A Place Called Kindergarten!! Congrats!!!  Hope you enjoy your portfolio!!=)
Thanks SoOoOo much to everyone that entered!!! I can't believe I had over 100 entries!;) I really appreciate all of your support!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Portfolio Giveaway Reminder!!!

Don't forget to enter my Kindergarten Portfolio Giveaway!! You have until tomorrow evening (June 20th)!!
You will get 85 pages full of Portfolio/Memory book pages for your kinders to fill out throughout the year!!! You can track their progress and growth! It makes a great end of the year gift and keepsake!!!! Here's some samples of what you get!
Click HERE to enter now!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Space Literacy Centers + Freebie!;)

Hi Blog Friends!
In the craziness of the end of the year, I didn't take very many space pics:( AND I never got around to posting them...so, here they are...FINALLY!;)
Here are a couple of the Literacy centers that we did:

This one is a spinner game. The kiddos spin the spinner and move around the game board to a star word ending. Then, they spin the other spinner for the beginning sound of their word and blend the 2 together to make a "word from Earth" or a "word from Mars" and record it on their response sheet. You can pick this center up at my TPT store by clicking on the pic below:)
 Here's another one we did-We called it "star gazing";)

I hung these stars on the ceiling and the kiddos used paper towel tubes as their "telescopes" to look at the stars:)...click on the pick below to download all of the stars!!
Then, they recorded their sight words on this response sheet-click here to get yours:)

We also made Deanna Jump's little Aliens from her Alien Invasion Unit!!
Aren't they the CUTEST!?!?
I even had a parent who loved it soooo much that she had it framed and it is hanging in their living room as we speak:)!!! I ♥ that!;) Isn't that awesome?! LOVE when parents treasure the little things that their kinders bring home:) THANKS DEANNA!!!

AND just look at all of the words my Kinders made out of the word Underpants!!! I'm so proud of them:)
You can also download this little "Aliens Love Underpants" sign that I hung with my hallway display:)

Kinderglynn Giveaway

Kinderglynn, along with 6 other bloggers, have put together a totally AWESOME giveaway that you just have to check out!! They are giving away a total of SEVEN math and literacy units!!! Go check it out!!!!
P.S. Don't forget to check out my portfolio giveaway!;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Portfolio Giveaway!!!

It's FINALLY finished!!!! Thanks for being patient with me:) Between my 2 toddlers and my electricity being out for an entire day---I didn't get it finished as soon as I would have liked! But, It's done and it's big!!! This is a Kindergarten Portfolio and Memory Book all rolled into one!;) It's 85 pages total!! AND I'M GIVING A COPY AWAY TO CELEBRATE OVER 100 FOLLOWERS!! Yay!!! Thanks so much for your support!;)
Here's what it includes:
-Portfolio cover pg. (you can click on the pic below to view it at my TPT store)

-Monthly cover page with poem and spaces to attach pictures to divide each month.
-Monthly self portrait/growth chart pages (options for boy and girl)
-Monthly writing prompts
-Monthly calendar pages for number writing
-Monthly alphabet writing pages
-Additional poems for the 1st day of school, self portrait poem and a end of the year poem from the teacher
There is also an "All About Me" section which includes:
-All About Me Poem
-house/family page
-school/teacher page
-phone number
-favorite lunch
-tooth chart
-things I learned page
-2 autograph pages
You have 5 chances to win!! Here's all you have to do:
1.   Follow my blog
2.   Follow my TPT store
3.   Blog about this giveaway
4.   Grab my button
5.   Add me to your blog roll:)
PLEASE leave a comment for EACH item you choose to do!! This will give you more chances to win! I will pick a winner next Monday, June 20th using the "True random number generator" at random.org!!!!!

Good luck!!!! Hope you win!!! And, as always, thanks SoOo much for checking out my blog:)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Get your Ticket at Kindergarten Works!!

Kindergarten Works has created an amazing product that you must go check out!!! AND they're giving a copy away!!! You do not want to miss this!!! Get your ticket now!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Working on a Giveaway=)

Hi friends!!
I'm soOoOo excited to have over one hundred followers!!!! I can't believe it!!! Thank you all so much for your support!!! It has been so much fun thus far and I have learned soOoOo much from all of you!!! I have been working on a Kindergarten Portfolio/Memory book that I think you will really like!!! It was on the top of my priority list to make this Summer!! I hope to have it finished by the end of the week, so, please check back to check out my giveaway!;) I will also be posting it in my TPT store.
Here are just a couple of sample images from it:)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer Homework Calendars Revised + August

A couple of people have asked me to post an August calendar. I didn't post one because I figured everyone goes back at different times....but, maybe you can just cut, copy and paste using this template:) I know many of us are out of school now-but someone just asked for this today-so, here it is:) Hopefully some of you can still use it! I also revised the July one just a tad to go with the August one:) These are the ones I sent home with my Kinders for the summer:) Hope this helps!!!! (Click on the image below to get the revised June, July and August calendars:)

Tables Vs Desks

 Ladybug Teacher Files is having a linky party on the topic of desks, tables or both. I have a definite opinion on this topic!!;) Here's a story about my classroom:
First of all, you will need a little background info about my classroom to understand where I am coming from:) I have a VERY small classroom!! AND there are NOOOO closets in our school:( So, I have to fit EVERYTHING that I have IN my classroom...yes, you read correctly-NO closets!!! I have 2 storage cabinets that are JAM packed and lots of shelves.
I also teach in IL. (and not near Chicago--Chicago schools get a HUGE majority of the money that does get distributed.) But, IL is in VERY bad financial shape:( The state of IL owes our tiny district over $500,000. It owes larger district around our area(we are close to STL, MO) millions of dollars. So, needless to say there is NO $ to make any kinds of improvements. That is why last year I had 27 kinders in my class!!!!! NO MONEY to hire a 3rd teacher:( (THIS year they had to hire a 3rd kinder teacher and I still had 21 kinders)
So last year, when I had 27 kinders in my class, I had desks in my TINY classroom with NO closets AND one of those kiddos was in a wheel chair!!!! Needless to say, there was no room for anyone to walk around and she ABSOLUTELY could NOT maneuver through my room:( She had to have the desk closest to the door and had to be taken out of her wheelchair and carried around when we needed to move to the carpet, etc. I had bruises on my upper legs ALL year long from bumping them on all of the desks and tripping over them when trying to teach!! Here is a pic. of what my room used to look like with desks. I wish I had a better one, but this is all I could find.
And yes...that IS a chalkboard that you see in the background!!;) I still have chalkboards! LOL!!!
When you walked in the door, there was a wall of desks. There were little rows to walk through. I tried to put them in pods but, there just wasn't enough room. I couldn't put them far enough apart from each other and it was too hard to walk through AND every time they would scoot there chairs out to get up, they would be bumping into each other. So, the rows worked a lot better in our cramped space.
So, last Summer, I asked for desks. I drew diagrams of my classroom and how it looked before desks and what it would look like after desks showing how much space I would have with tables and I sent a letter and my diagrams to the superintendent AND it worked!!!!! I couldn't believe they were actually going to spend $ for me!!!!! Yay!!! So, here are some pics from my classroom this year!!;)
SoOoOooO much more space...I was in HEAVEN!!!!;)
There were some obstacles...a few small problems I hadn't even thought of before I had tables....
Nametags....they were just WAY too big!! My kiddos didn't have enough work space on their table because their nametags took up so much space!!! Also, I discovered when it was time to change my seating arrangement that I would have to remove the nametags!!!! That would mean I would have to go through a lot of nametags and those things are not cheap!!;)  So, here's what I did....
I got some paint stirrers and made them into nametags!!! They took up VERY LITTLE space!!!! AND I just put a piece of velcro on the bottoms so that when I wanted to change my seating arrangement-I could just pull them off and move them around! Also-paint sticks do NOT bend, wrinkle, tear, roll up, etc!!! They are SUPER durable and will last you all year!!!! AND the best part is THEY'RE FREEEEEE!!! Just go to Lowe's, Walmart, or anywhere they sell paint and tell them you're a teacher and they will give you as many as you want!!!;)
Here's a pic of them at the end of the year....they are a little smudged from cleaning desks, etc. I think this year I will put a coat of ModPodge over them to prevent this from happening and they should be perfect for the entire year:)
The other problem I had was what to do with their supplies, books, etc. Well, my mother-in-law is VERY handy an she whipped up these awesome pouches for me!!!;) They are made from denim, so they are VERY durable!!
So, if you're looking to save space....tables are a MUST!! I ♥, ♥, ♥ mine!!;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Teacher gift and parent volunteer gift

Our last day of school was last Thursday already!!! I have had a few days to relax and have even gone back in to do some major cleaning in my classroom!!! So glad to be on Summer break...but I sure am going to miss these little sweeties!!!
LOVE this picture:) If you don't take one of these...you MUST next year!!! It's the PERFECT ending to your kinder slideshow:)!!!
Here are a couple of end of the year gifts I made. If you're still in school, you might want to use them, or save them for next year!!!;)
This idea is for parent volunteers that you have had in your classroom. I couldn't live without mine and so, I wanted to do something special for them to make sure they know how much they are appreciated!!!
I got some cheap little flowerpots and spray painted them white. Each kiddo dipped their little finger in yellow paint and made a print on the pot. I wrote "Kindergarten Class of 2011" on the rim and then I decorated the fingerprints to look like little bees using fine tip sharpe. I PUT A COAT OF MODPODGE OVER ALL OF IT SO THAT THE MARKER WOULD NOT SMUDGE WHEN IT GETS WET!!! Sorry-the pic is not the greatest:( I almost forgot to take one, so I had to use my phone!
Here is a close-up:
We planted little yellow flowers in them and stuck in a sign that said: "Thanks for "bee-ing" so helpful.
Click on the image below to get a free copy of the sign!!!
 This is an idea I got from Musings of Me. I made it for my son's pre-school teacher and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!!!! It was so easy, cheap and adorable!!! Click on this link to get the directions from Musings of Me!!!