Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Roll and Trace

So I love Fall...and thought I'd create a simple Fall math center. I don't know about your kiddos, but my kiddos still need TONS of practice with number formation and number identification. At this point, our math tubs have included six-sided dice, but I thought the students would get a kick out of using the dice with numbers up to 20. Here's a Pumpkin Roll and Trace activity with numbers 1-20. We're taking Sydney and Landon to get pumpkins tomorrow so pumpkins have been on my mind! Enjoy your's supposed to be beautiful here!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I forgot that this was stress-relieving...

Wow! I am finishing my third week back from maternity leave and feel like I can barely catch my breath! Now I know how everyone else has felt since the beginning of the school year...overwhelmed! I am still adjusting to my larger class size and have really struggled to find a behavior system that has been effective. I am beginning the "clip chart" next week from The Polka Dot Patch. I've used a red, yellow, green system in the past, but am excited about the concept of moving up OR down. I'll let you know how it goes! It also involves classroom BINGO where students can earn rewards when everyone is following directions. I use SMART COOKIES right now, but am willing to try one more positive behavior idea!

I have a super simple freebie that I use in my classroom for our Bucket Filler system. When students are caught filling the bucket of someone else (student, teacher, etc.) I fill out this card and put it in our classroom bucket. At the end of each week, I draw some bucket filler cards and let them sit in rocking chairs for the AM or PM. Enjoy! Bucket Filler Cards

Oh and one last random baby girl turns TWO at the end of this month. Naturally, I was feverishly making her birthday cards today during my conference period- ha! We're doing a dog theme because she LOVES Clifford, Mac, T-Bone, and Cleo and anything puppy-related! know when you have an idea in your mind about how you want something to look?! Well, I had that problem. I came up with a little rhyme and thought I could just add it to a template. But, of course, could not find a template that worked. Enter: DIY Birthday invites. Anywho, I found some scrapbook paper at Meijer last night that I thought could work. I drew a bone and traced it on different colors of plain paper and then added my little "doggy" rhyme! Voila! Birthday invites! There are 4 different aren't the greatest because I took them with my phone. I'm happy with how they turned out for now though! Have a SUPER weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Apple a Day...

Good evening blogging world! You'd think with no followers or traffic, I'd stop writing these silly posts...but it's so much fun! HA! This is my "adult" time. I LOVE being a Mommy, but I went to school to be a teacher and I truly enjoy that part of my life as well. Actually, I only have one more week on maternity leave and then it's back to the grind. I am actually looking forward to my return. I've been in every weekend and even during the week to get things ready so I figure...why not actually be there?! Oh well! I have enjoyed my time at home with my kiddos very much.

Anywho...I've been trying to look ahead and get some things around for when I will be the teacher again! The first two weeks I'm back, we're doing our apple unit. I'm SO excited that I haven't missed this part of the school year. One of the things we tried new last year was the apple/germ experiment. You probably do this activity...I found it online somewhere.

Here's a recap for this yucky experiment. Cut an apple in half. Then, take one half and let each of your students touch it with their hands. After students finish touching the first half of the apple, have every student wash their hands with warm water and soap. Pass the second half of the apple around and have students touch it with their clean hands. Put each apple half in a Ziploc bag. You should label each bag...we used "Clean :)" and "Dirty :(" **After a few days in the experiment, labels won't be necessary though!** It is actually really gross to see what the contaminated apple looks like at the end. It really makes the students think twice about washing their hands thoroughly!

Last year, I created a science journal to accompany this experiment. I remember I did it the day of our experiment so it wasn't anything great. Tonight, I revamped it with a new font and a cute border. Click here to check it out (and download it if you're out there!). My husband is taking me out for my birthday (27 on Monday!) this who knows when I'll be back. (maybe tomorrow!?) Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Well it's raining here and my cuties are I decided I'd plan dinner for tonight. I had my husband pick up a loaf of french bread at the store for garlic bread, but I think we're going to have french bread pizza instead. Yum! I found an easy-peasy recipe at Kraft Foods so I think we'll give it a try. In keeping with a pizza theme today, I created a pizza graphing activity! Print and laminate the pizza and the pizza toppings. Then, give each student a bag with a pizza and an assortment of pizza toppings. Students will build the pizza that comes in their bag and then complete the graph. I also added a quick extension activity for students to complete that focuses on concepts of most, least, and tally marks. I thought this pizza graph would be an excellent activity to go with some great books such as:

Enjoy and happy graphing!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Ahhh the signs of my favorite season are here...mums, cooler weather, and football! I love Fall! In celebration of this wonderful season, here is a Fall leaf pattern page to use with your students! It's a simple practive activity for AB, ABB, AAB, and ABC patterns! It'd also make a quick assessment to see what your kiddos know about patterns! Enjoy!

*Here's what I did yesterday for Labor Day...we took our daugther to a baseball game! She had a blast and so did we. Our little guy enjoyed some one-on-one with Grandma...we missed having him with us, but it was nice for his older sister to get some special attention from Mommy and Daddy.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fun with Food Freebies!

Good afternoon! I must admit that blogging is a nice release for me. *Insert my frustration with potty training.*'s nap time (for both kiddos) and I'm de-stressing! Okay so this post is all about math. I LOVE math! Perhaps it's because my dad and my older sister are math teachers...but nevertheless, I have always enjoyed finding unique ways to teach math to my students. As we all know, food is so easy to engage students and teach them important math concepts. One of my favorite food items to use is marshmallows! Have you all seen the seasonal marshmallows that come out in stores around Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day? Last spring, they even made marshmallows based on the Pixar movie Cars! I know graphing is one of the easiest things to do with marshmallows, but my class also does a lot of nonstandard measurement with marshmallows too. I've created several graphs to go along with these seasonal marshmallows, but the only one I have on my home computer is for the Gingerbread Marshmallows that came out around Christmas time last year. Using these yummy gingerbread men, I have students measure different objects around the room. For later in the year, I add 3 questions where students can measure an object of their choice. I provide boxes for students to write the word or draw the picture (whichever they are capable of doing) of the object they are measuring. Then, they measure the object, count the number of marshmallows they used and write the number in the blank. Voila! Fish and chips! Click here for the gingerbread measurement sheet.

The second math activity I'm going to share today has to do with the concept of chance. In Kindergarten, we only touch the surface of this concept by discussing the terms "more likely" and "less likely." Skittles are a super fun (and yummy) way to talk about these ideas. This activity was done at the very end of the year and would also be more than suitable for a 1st grade classroom. Click here for a chance activity using Skittles!

I've got some other math and food activities that I'll share once I'm back at school and in front of my computer. In the meantime, check out Mrs. Gagne's Kindergarten website for some great teacher resources (FREE!). Click on Printables for some great ideas! I've used several of her activities in my the funny bones graph. FUN! You can order the candy pieces at Oriental :) Enjoy the day off tomorrow!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Game Day, potty training, and FREEBIES! Oh my!

What a Saturday! I must share that my husband let me sleep in this morning and took the kiddos downstairs. When I came down around 9:30 (it felt SO good!) he was making the ultimate breakfast! Lucky girl! I was served pancakes, sausage, and eggs...with fresh coffee! Yeah...major brownie points. Also on the menu today...the kickoff to college football! GO BLUE!

We also have our game faces on for the event known as "potty training your almost 2-year old." Let's just say we've got a load of big girl undies in the washer. :) So I figured...what better a time to decide how to share files using google docs? I've got about 10 windows opened up on my computer and after a Cherry Coke and a few potty breaks (for me AND the little girl)...I think I've figured it out! Here it goes...

The first document is a Popcorn Word Activity page. I think I've seen it as a Star Word activity (not sure who exactly!?), but my class refers to these sight words as popcorn words so I made my own version. Click here to get your copy! *I apologize there is a second blank page in this file...sooo annoyed by it! I've got some glitches to work on yet.*

The second document is pretty boring, but I wanted to hang the number poems in my classroom and couldn't find anything on the web that was just right. There are several versions of these number formation poems out there, but this is the set of rhymes we use. I'm not sure where it came from because it was passed on to me by a veteran Kindergarten teacher. I just used a cute font and added a simple border. No clip art. :( I'm just beginning though so baby steps. Click here to see the number formation poems.

Okay, I'm going to call it quits for now....the caffeine of today is beginning to make my head spin. Enjoy the holiday weekend and GO BLUE!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Our first FULL week!

Well today marks the end of our first week in Kindergarten! Here's the twist...I wasn't there! I am still on maternity so I've been enjoying my babies at home. It has been an interesting experience though not to be with my Kinder kiddos this week. My sub is doing a great job, but there are just so many things that happen that first week that you can't put into a lesson plan. Such is life!

I've heard many positive things about the first week though...and have been in to my classroom a few times (at night) to look things over. I just can't help it! Here are some highlights from our first week!

  • We learned the Red Song and completed the Frog Street crayon book.  Click here to see the song on video! We also completed the Red strip book found at Musings of Me! She has created wonderful little books for all of the colors. It's a great activity to work on writing and coloring...especially at the beginning of the year! Click here to visit her blog for the free downloads!
  • The students made mosaic Rainbow Names by Deanna Jump...they turned out SO WELL! I've got my largest group yet this year with 24 students so I was super nervous about leaving this project for my sub...simply because I had never done it before! She did a fantastic job and they look great. I'm thinking I'll go in this weekend and hang them from the ceiling for a fun surprise on Tuesday.
  • We kicked off our Science unit with the Coke and Mentos experiement. This was (again) inspired by Deanna Jump! Love her! The kids discussed the science signs from her FREE download "What do Scientists Do?" Click here to go over and get your copy of Deanna's awesome resource.
  • We also did several name game activities on the Smartboard. Check out Peace, Love, and Kindergarten for their great resource on TPT! Only $3! I love Willoughby Wallaby Woo!
Well nap time is blogging time is over too! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Open House Jitters

Yesterday we had our Open House. I always get a little nervouse meeting my new students and their parents...but this year I was a little "extra" nervous because I won't be starting the school year. My husband and I welcomed home our son, Landon, at the end of July and I'm taking a short maternity leave at the beginning of the school year. As much as I am THRILLED to be at home with Landon and our daughter Sydney (22 mos.), it will be very hard not being there those first few weeks of school. Anyway...last night was a blast! I have a much larger class this year (17 last year and 24-25 this year), but I was able to meet all but 2 of my kiddos! I was pretty excited about the turnout!

This week we phase our Kindergarten students in by administering their KRAL tests and hosting a parent orientation. Our students won't have a full day of school until Monday, August 29th. Since I'm on "maternity leave" I need to spend this week getting lesson plans ready! Yikes! I'm thinking I'll download Julie Lee's Brown Bear Unit to make things a little easier for my sub the first week or so. Happy School Year to everyone!

Here are my cuties that I'll be enjoying for the next month- at home! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2011-2012 School Year

Our school year will kick off with an Open House on Monday, August 22nd from 5:30-6:30! Please use this opportunity to meet your teachers and your classmates at Central Elementary! You may also bring in supplies at this time. I look forward to meeting you on the 22nd. Until then, enjoy the summer!