Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I'm Pinning Wednesday and 1st EVER linky party

So do you remember that pinterest addiction I was telling you about a few weeks ago? Well it still hasn't gone away... I just hadn't had time to do both lately. (Insert sad face here.) But since I've been on Spring Break I've had time and I've been pinning like crazy. Since Easter is coming up, and I've been getting ready to do Easter activities in my classroom the week we return, I decided I would make this the Easter edition of "What I'm Pinning Wednesday"! I hope you enjoy and find lots of ideas that you can use/adapt for your classroom.

Mrs. Morrow over at Mrs. Morrow's Kindergarten posted this adorable addition bunny last April and I'm loving it! I am already planning on doing something similar to this (Easter Basket with colored Easter eggs addition) but I like that this could stay up for even longer in the hallway. 

Stephanie over at Playing House posted 10 Fun Learning Games using Plastic Eggs last March and I'm super glad I found this activity! It will make a great way for my emerging kiddos to have a fun reinforcement of letter matching. 
Melissa at Chasing Cheerios posted this great activity!
I'm super excited about this activity as well. My "average" group will be using this activity this week during game center. They will be matching CVC words to its pictures. I have to say that I am secretly wanting my high group and emerging group to finish wit they activities early so that they can get their hands on this activity as well! 
This last craftivity comes from Jenna at The Ramblings of a Crazy Woman was posted in 2009! (Wow, what a long time ago!) But I LOVE it! If you flap down the ears this cute craft just shows camouflages itself as an egg in the grass, but once you flip up the ears you will see that this is no egg, its really a bunny!

Okay my last 2 pins are food ideas that would work well for Easter dinner. We'll start out with an appetizer and then go to a yummy desert.

Are you a fan of deviled eggs? Especially at Easter time and Thanksgiving and all those food-filled holidays? Well these deviled eggs featured on FOODjimoto's April 20th blog are perhaps the most precious way to display deviled eggs on your table this Easter.

Okay so funny story! The ORIGINAL source of these yummy orange dyed-white chocolate covered strawberries is actually unknown. HOWEVER, I pinned it from Sun Scholars so thats my source. Not only are chocolate covered strawberries DELICIOUS! but these carrot looking strawberries could not be any cuter!

Well peeps (get it, haha! I crack myself up!) I hope you enjoyed this Easter Inspired post. Let me know what cute Easter ideas you have by joining in on my FIRST ever linky party!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Break - Tuesday

I'm on Spring Break this week so I've been enjoying myself and spending time with family! Today I got to go eat lunch with three of my favorite school-aged kiddos. They were all super surprised that I came! I didn't tell them (in fact I don't even know if they knew I was in town!) But they enjoyed it and I did too. I moved away 6 years ago, the oldest was just 4 at the time, now she's in 4th grade. The boys are 2nd grade and kindergarten! It was the first time I'd ever eaten lunch with the kindergartener and at least 2 years since I'd eaten with the other 2.
 Wyatt - Kindergarten
                            Jackie Dale - 2nd Grade                               

Kassi - 4th Grade

While I was at their school I had about an hour to spare between eating with Wyatt and Jackie, so I asked Wyatts kindergarten teacher if I could so kindly look at her classroom. I loved it. It was BIG. MUCH bigger than mine! I mean she had a couch in her room. WoW! One thing that I did wonder about though was that she told me that she doesn't have time for BOTH recess and centers in her schedule. So that got me thinking about all the other kindergarten classes out there. Do you have time for both recess and centers in your schedule? If not, what do you do? I know my schedule allows me to have time for Literacy centers (for an hour in the morning), recess (20 minutes right after lunch), and math centers (30 minutes right before specials). In fact I personally feel like the majority of my day is spent in small group/centers. She did say that she does the Daily 5. So maybe this takes the place of what I count as my centers?? I don't know, it was just interesting.

On a side note, during my hour that I was trying to kill I ended up meeting the principal. I was looking at some student work in the halls (another one of the things I love to do when I have time) and this official looking guy was walking in the hall. I felt like I was going to get in trouble thought he might be the principal so I introduced myself and told him that I would be moving back to the area this summer. He asked me if I was interested in teaching when I moved down here, YES! YES! YES! HIRE ME!!! HIRE ME!!! HIRE ME!!! I calmly told him yes. He told me that if I didn't have plans on May 12th that the high school was going to be holding a Teacher recruitment for the area.

Soo.... even though its my boyfriends 25th birthday... even though my childhood/teenage years best friend is getting married that day.... I will be at that teacher recruitment trying my darndest to secure me a job (preferably kindergarten/first grade) for next year!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The science of colors

Friday at 4pm (well I should say like 7 since I stayed at school a little late) my Spring Break began! Yay! I would say that I feel like its taken forever to get here, but that would be telling a story. In fact, I feel like this year has gone SUPER SUPER fast. I don't know to be excited that summer is almost here or sad that I'll be losing another set of kinder babies. Whichever I choose, I do know that I am super excited that I am on Spring Break! I'm even more excited to be spending time with my sister and mom. I feel like I don't see them as much as I should/could/would like to. So for the next few days its going to be family time, and I'm gonna TRY not to think too much about school-besides keeping updated on reading all of the fabulous blogs that I follow!

Yesterday was a great day! I went to church (something I don't do often enough) and enjoyed the sermon, then us girls (and little man) drove 30 minutes to eat at Golden Corral. When we got home we were talking about crayons in the crayon box and their different levels of "denseness." Anyways we decided to do a little color science experiment and went to the kitchen! We got 4 glasses of water and the three primary colors (yellow, red, and blue.) We mixed yellow and red, red and blue, blue and yellow. Then we poured a little bit of each of these into one cup to get black. It was fun! I think this is a little science experiment that any kid would like and would be an excellent way to have kids practice their predicting skills. You could EASILY do this activity with this kids or you could get out the paint and complete this awesome experiment that I found on Pinterest (and followed all the way back to The Hippie Housewife.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Teaching Sight Words

So I was introduced to another blogger today April from Wolfelicious! She is having her first linky party and I am super excited to join in on the fun! The topic for this one is Sight Words - which I believe ANY teacher can use (even for upper grades=vocabulary)!

I decided to bullet how I teach my sight words or as we call them in my class POPCORN words!
  • Sight Word Chants- I don't know who created these chants, but I L.O.V.E love them! They are a great fun way to introduce them and it gives the kids something kinesthetic to do with it. Genius! The favorites in our room are marching them like soldiers and shooting them like a basketball! They love it when I call them "my little soldiers."
  • White Boards- Keeping it simple is sometime best. I just call out a sight word and have the kids write them on their white board. I feel like if they can spell it, they will know it. It also gives them the ability to use it in a sentence when they know how to spell it.
  • Popcorn Sentences- TW spreads popcorn word cards out like a card fan.  Each student chooses a popcorn word. They then have the tell me the popcorn word and use it in a sentence.
  • Around the World- This is a popcorn word game favorite in my class. The students are constantly asking if we can play it. Basically what happens is the first student stands up and goes to stand behind the next person. The teacher flashes the word and the two students compete to say the popcorn word first. The person who says it first moves to stand behind the next person. This works on automaticity of knowing their popcorn words. 
  • Roll The Word- Using a bread/meatloaf pan (dollar tree), a pre-made word mat, and a top or cotton ball students work on graphing the popcorn word.
 Okay so these are just a few of the ideas that I have and the methods that I use to teach sight words. If you have any questions about any of these please let me know and I will a)provide a picture b)create a freebie to help you understand (if applicable)!

Anyways, I'm starving and dinner only has 8 more minutes so I'm going to go fix up the mashed potatoes to go on the Shepards Pie! Yummy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't Break The Egg

Whew! Who's ready for Spring Break! This girl right here! I'm counting down the day and by the look of my calendar, we have 3 more days. Which due to the doctor's appointment tomorrow... means 2 more days of work for me! Super excited! Don't know what I'm gonna do. It's probably going to be a REALLY boring week, as I have heard nothing more about plans to go to the mountains... but thats okay. I'm really just looking forward to the sleeping in. Everything else is just a bonus.

However, I think I'd rather be going to work tomorrow than going to the doctors. I'm telling myself that all I'm going for is simple blood work. But the name of the clinic scares the bejesus out of me. I mean come on, "Cancer Care Unit" What were they thinking?!? I mean even if I did have cancer and I knew it and excepted it, I don't think I would need the constant reminder. I think they could have thought of a calmer name. Something a little more relaxing. Instead everytime you think of where your appointment is you are going to be reminded that you have cancer. Something I think most people would like to forget or AT LEAST not think about. You know what I'm sayin? *sigh*

ANYWAYS.... After school today I was feeling a little creative after work and decided to look at my clipart from KPM Doodels. I saw the cracked Chicken egg for the thousandth time since I got the pack a few weeks ago... and it FINALLY hit me what I wanted to do with it. I needed to create a game with a title about a cracked egg. So the title "Don't Break The Egg" was born. I still did not know what I wanted the activity to be. But I thought about a conversation I had earlier today with a co-worker and again I was flooded with inspiration! What about a twist on all of those "Break The Code" activities. So with a little work, I whipped up this literacy activity that I would like to offer to you tonight! It's just 1.00 so its practically a steal!

But WAIT! I'm not done yet! If you are one of the first 4 people to blog about this post, leave me a comment with a link to your blog and your e-mail address and I will send you a free copy of this activity!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Behavior Plan and Great Spring Packet

So this week has been crazy. Several times during the day my students have looked at me and asked if I was okay. I'm sure they thought I was dying at one point or another. But hopefully with this sinus/allergy medicine I will be much better this week. At least to the point that I can do small groups without having a student literally run to get me the water bottle from my desk because he thought I was dying. But it was a pretty productive week.

On Friday I found a new behavior incentive that I plan to start using. Whenever I see a student doing something good, rather it is listening to me while others are talking, or being the first one in their seat ready to learn, or going to their centers quietly... I am going to give them a ticket. On the ticket they will get to write their name. Then they will go place the ticket in a bucket. On Friday I will draw 4 students out of the bucket. Those 4 students will get to eat lunch with me. If it is nice outside, we will be going outside to enjoy our lunch. If its a rainy day we will be eating inside and when they get finish eating they will get to have computer time or we'll play a game or something fun! I'm very excited to see how this works.

I just ran across Becky's from Teaching, Learning, & Loving blog. She has a great Spring Packet that she has created and I wanted to tell you about it! It is all about building sentences! You should definitely go check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Touching Thoughs

I don't have much to say tonight. But I want to share a blog post that I just finished reading with you. Its a blog post that was written by The Resource(ful) Room. It isn't a giveaway. It isn't a freebie. Instead its a inspiring message written in 2010  by a teacher in Flordia. If you have the time tonight, you should really stop by her blog and read it. You won't regret it.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easter Freebie

So yesterday when I left school my throat was scratchy and I had a cough that was annoying. By the time I got home I had a fever of 101.5. I just simply did not feel well. So I took the night off from reading blogs. Today I woke up feeling ill still, so I took a sick day and got a sub. I went back to sleep to see if I could sleep off the ickiness. When I woke up at 1 (Yes, I slept until 1 PM in the AFTERNOON) I felt much better. I checked my school e-mail just to see if there was anything important that I needed to respond to and immediately saw an e-mail from the principal saying that we would be having an emergency closing today. OMG, why is it that things go haywire when I decide to take care of myself and stay home. Thankfully I believe that everything went fine.But I feel guilty nonetheless.

So today once I woke up I decided to get caught up on blogs. Let me just tell you that it has taken 4 hours to read all of the blogs I missed yesterday. That's crazy ya'll. Its 6:00 and I feel like it should still be 2ish. (Of course, I guess it doesn't help that I slept so late.) But I found lots of cute ideas and got lots of freebies that will work great in my classroom.

Speaking of freebies, while I was creating the other day, I decided to make an Easter inspired Sight Word Go Fish. And well today's your lucky day, because I've decided that it would make a great freebie. :) So go on over to my TpT store and download it now.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The things we say....

This month our school is enjoying March Madness. Except instead of playing basketball, we are competing within our grade-levels to see which class is "better" at math. Our kindergarten skill is number and number words to 25. This is a friendly competition, but the kids enjoy it... and some of the teachers get REALLY into it. I enjoy it, but instead of stressing my kids out about it, I try to make it fun. So today during math we started practicing. I lined my kids up and for about 5 minutes we worked hard at identifying numbers and number words using our March Madness powerpoint. As each kid stepped up identify their number/number word, I was thoroughly impressed by how many my students were getting correct. They were even getting the number words correct and for some reason they were written in CURSIVE! (Which we will need to change because kindergarteners don't read cursive!)
 Our final score was 88 out of 100 (pretty good, if I say so myself!)

Anyways it got to be one of my emerging students turns. He had already gone 3 times before, 2 of the times being numbers, 1 of the times being number words. This time (his 4th time up to the plate) he looked at the screen and all of a sudden I hear him say "Uh-oh!" I look at him trying to figure out what was wrong. He had said "uh-oh!" because he had gotten ANOTHER number word! It was so funny and so cute, I couldn't help but laugh. I told him the answer and told him I loved him and that he was too funny. I couldn't help but think about Bill Cosby's "Kid's Say the Darndest Things." I have to say I love it when my kids catch me off-guard with their little saying, words, phrases that they decide to use out of no-where.

So I found a cute blog Fun For First while I was blog hopping yesterday. She has a a great linky party going on right now... which just so happens to sorta go with my earlier thought. Except this time it refers back to Jeff Foxworthy's "You know your a ____ when ___." So I decided to join and share one of my own.

Yes! I really did this! I had just finished up my geometry unit when me and the boyfriend decided to go enjoy ourselves at a friends house. It was post-dinner, and I have NO idea what they were talking about, I'm guessing it was video game stuff, when I out of no where say "this table's pattern is made out of hexagons." Everyone just stopped and looked at me confused. After I explained they started laughing, telling me that I wasn't at school anymore. I guess I can't ever turn the "teacher" mode off.

So go join up with her linky party and read the many other "You know you teach ____ when..." You'll find that you can't stop laughing either!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bunny Egg Hunt and Top 10

Okay, so I KNOW that Easter isn't until April 8th... but I was inspired! Inspired by my KPM Doodels Easter clipart to create a new math packet to use during small groups. The clipart is so bright and colorful that your students are sure to love it. Not to mention, with the board game, the students are going to LOVE playing this game... they won't even realize that they are learning in their addition and subtraction facts in the process.

This activity addresses the common core standards:
K.OA.2. Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.

K.OA.5. Fluently add and subtract within 5.

To help differentiate this activity, I have included a timeline to 20 and a page of egg manipulatives to use in order to solve the addition problems. 

You can get this packet for just 4.00 at my TpT store!  

 I also wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to Daisy Days for Learning and Mrs. Shelton's Kindergarten for awarding me with the Top 10 Blog Award! This award means a lot!   If you haven't checked out these girl's blogs, then you should head on over there now!

I hope you have enjoyed your Saturday. I'm gonna go spend some time with the boyfriend before bedtime. Have a great night!

Friday, March 9, 2012

And the winner is...

My friends, the time has come! I am so excited about this giveaway.  Remember if you do not win this giveaway, you can visit my TPT store to get it.

Can I get a DRUM ROOLLLLLL please!  And the winner is !!!!

Michelle, please send me you e-mail address so that I can send you your packets!

Thanks again for entering my first giveaway!

What do you do? and Giveaway reminder!

Woohoo! The kids have been put on the bus, the chairs have been put up... this teacher is ready for the weekend! Not that I have much to do this weekend... but I am certainly ready to relax. I will say sadly, that because I didn't get my centers laminated, I will be working this weekend and will probably be up at the school for a couple of hours. Here's my question to you. How do YOU manage to teach, grade papers, create lesson plans, create games for centers, AND get it all done by Friday? I realize that we work after school... and I'll admit I've been a slacker on that end of things this week... but even when I do work all week before and after school, I've only been ready for the next week by Friday a handful of times in my 2 years of teaching. Maybe its just because I'm a new teacher. That could totally be the reason. And if it is, then I'll accept it. But if not, what am I doing wrong? What could I be doing better? To save myself time and work and STILL be a great, effective teacher (which I hope I am!) and get to enjoy my weekend and actually live a life outside of being a teacher?

On a somewhat different note, after school yesterday I was hanging out with the teacher that I see as my mentor and closest teacher-friend. She is the reason I started blogging. The reason I started creating items. To say it simply, the person/teacher I want to be. She's my teacher role-model? (Do you guys have one of this type of person?) ANYWAYS.... we were talking about tons of stuff... and finally we started talking about how I plan to move. I was asking her about how she organized her center games, materials, and all of that jazz so that year after year she could find it and not have to print, laminate, etc again. Eventually this conversation led to the question... "I wonder how all of these great bloggers store and organize their center games/materials?" So now its your turn to answer... what do you do? I'm DYING to find out. Because although I love the way I have my computer organized, and I like how I have my phonics organized, I'm not a real fan of how I have all of my center game stuff organized... and am worried that I will have to spend time next year laminating the same things all over again (which not only is an ineffective time management thing, but would get SUPER expensive!)

Just one more thing before I go and bubble in Dibels Next Scores, tonight is the night I choose! So if you haven't entered my contest, now is the time! I am choosing my winner at 8pm!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Currently, Giveaway, and Prayer Requests!

Happy "Hump Day"! Only 2 more days until Friday! Yay! I know I'm excited. Yesterday spoiled me. We had the day off because of Election Day! I hope you got to go out and vote. I cleaned house and hung out with the boyfriend. The best part of the day was waking up at 9. I mean, I know I get to sleep in late on the weekend every week... but I think there's something more rejuvenating about sleeping in on a day that you usually have work.

Only 2 more weeks till Spring Break! I'm excited! I think my family and I are going to go to the mountains and get a cabin. I'm looking forward to this, because I have not had a vacation in umm...almost 3 years! Yes, I am LONG overdue for a nice relaxing vacation.

I am going to imagine that I have a tall pina colada in my hand and the breeze and waves are coming in. But the mountains will do for now!

So sadly I do not have any freebies to giveaway today.  But I do have a few giveaways to tell you about. I JUST found out that First Grade Magic is having a giveaway. She is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate! It ends tonight! So HURRY go over there now and enter to win!!!  A Cupcake for the Teacher is ALSO having a giveaway to your choice of 3 stores (Target,TpT, or Amazon). It will be a $25 Gift Certificate! It also ends tonight! (Sorry ladies and gents, I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT BOTH OF THESE WONDERFUL GIVEAWAYS!) Don't forget about my giveaway! I'm thinking that if I get up to 50 followers (thats just 14 more followers ya'll!) that I will choose 2 lucky winners!

I am also linking up to Oh' Boy Fourth Grade! for this month's Currently! Check out her blog! She's super cute! 

My students would DEFINITELY say I was "cray-cray!" In fact, they started saying this last week. I'm not sure where the word came from. In a way I though they were just being "cray-cray" but then I heard another teacher use this word on a blog yesterday... so I guess its a real word?? If you know where it originated, I would LOVE to know! Thanks!

About my currently, please say a prayer for me if your a praying type of person. I have gone for 3 rounds of blood work in the past month. It started with me just thinking I had arthritis. When I came home today I found out that I had a Dr. Apt on the 21st of this month at a Cancer Care Unit. I'm not sure what this is about. My boyfriend took the call while I was at work today and wouldn't tell him anything... just that I had an apt. I will definitely keep ya'll in the loop. But prayers are definitely welcomed!

OKay.... I KNOW this is probably the LONGEST post I have ever written... so if you are still reading at this point THANK YOU! My boyfriend is a graphic artist and is starting to make me clipart. I only know what I want. So here's my question for you! What type of clipart do YOU want??? Leave me a comment to let me know! You never know... he may just create your clipart!

Have a great Wednesday! See you tomorrow (possibly with a freebie!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My first giveaway!!!

Wow! A BIG Thank You goes out to Laura at Kinder Kraziness for featuring me in her "Someone New Sunday" post this week! I went to bed Saturday with only 8 followers, when I woke up I had nearly tripled that number! And that number is still growing. So thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

As a THANK YOU to all of my followers I would like to do my first ever giveaway! I have 2 St. Patrick's Day packets on my TpT store.  One is a CVC Word Game and the other includes 2 board game and 8 different deck of cards that let your practice both literacy and math skills.

Literacy Skills:
*Sight Word Fluency (pre-primer, primer, and first grade words included.)
*Letter Naming Fluency (capital and lowercase)
*CVC Words

Math Skills:
*Sets to 30
*Number Words to 30
*Addition (1-10)
*Subtraction (10-1)
*Double Digit Addition and Subtraction

There are 2 ways for you to enter.
1) Follow me! Leave me a comment letting me know!
2) Post about this giveaway on your blog and leave a link to let me know!

The giveaway will end Friday, March 9th! I will post first thing Saturday morning to let you know who the lucky winner is! This giveaway has officially ended! Thank you for entering!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

One Lovely Blog!

This week has been crazy busy and jam-packed with Dr. Seuss. I read so many of his wonderful books, had parents come in to read, and did so many activities... but I did not get everything done that I wanted to. My favorite craftivity from this was one I found on pinterest. We read "Happy Birthday to You" by Dr. Seuss and talked about why we were all special and unique. I then gave each child the task of writing about why they were special using the prompt "I am I because..." OMG! I did not expect so many cute answers. Some of my favorites were "... because people care about me." "...I cheer and tumble." "... because I have a mohawk."

Speaking of birthdays, my nephew shares his birthday with Dr. Seuss! So after working, me and the boyfriend decided to weather the biggest storm to ever hit Clarksville (that never happened) to drive to my hometown to celebrate his big 42nd. Each year we are blessed to celebrate his birthday. He was born with downsyndrome and with a hole in his heart. The doctors told his mother that they didn't think he would live past 6 months. Thankfully he's proven the doctors wrong and is still going strong!

That's not the only reason I feel blessed this weekend! I just found out while reading one of my many favorite blogs, Kinder Kraziness, awarded me with a great award. Thanks Laura!
 Here are the rules:

The Rules:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Pass the award onto 15 other lovely bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you :)

So now its my turn to award some of my favorite blogs!!
2. Abby @ Babbling Abby
5. Deanna @ Mrs. Jump's Class
8. Michelle @ Fabulous in First
10. Robyn & SueBeth at Busy Bees
13. Kathleen @ Growing Kinders
14. Heather @ Heather's Heart

Once again thanks to Laura @ Kinder Kraziness for the award! Make sure to go check out her blog and follow if you don't already!!

Happy Weekend!!