Monday, December 9, 2013

Mean for a Monday

So I had one of those days that really makes you go, that's just too mean to do to a person on a Monday.  I will be fair the content of this post is not educational so if you are looking for center ideas or how to get through until Christmas, you might want to skip this one.

Any hoo! It started with the freezing cold and not enough coffee. Then ended with finding out that there is a lice outbreak in the building and my room is one of the rooms that is possibly housing this epidemic.

Gasp! Shudder!

 I got itchy all over instantly! I think spent more time casually staring at kids heads and scratching off all of my skin then teaching today.

 Not quite but at least I can get a laugh out of lice.
After I got home, and striped off, bagged all of my belongings, and showered with scalding hot water. Then, I had to tackle round 2 of things are mean for a Monday.
My dear, sweet lab has been limited to her outside time and walks since the weather has been freezing and below zero. Well, I think she must have just had enough and decided that today was the day that she was going to dig a hole to China via the bottom of her kennel (Insert mad dog mom face here).
  Here's a bad pic of the mess.

 To Pet Smart we go.......but, I informed Miley to not even think about asking for a toy or a treat. Do you know that one of these kennel trays costs $38.00?!
Here's to keeping my fingers crossed that today was not a sign of things to come. Hope your week is going fabulous and wherever you are, you are warm, toasty and lice free.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cyber Monday and Tuesday!

Hi all! I wanted to spread the word and make sure you know all about Cyber Monday and Tuesday on Teachers Pay Teachers! Lots of teacher authors are putting their items on sale, including myself. You also get an additional discount by typing in the code "cyber" during checkout. Happy Shopping!
This cutie of a button was designed by Dragonflies in First!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

First of all I would like to say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to all of the men and women that serve this great country. You are appreciated beyond words!
For those of you that were able to get some R and R today... congrats and I am so jealous! For those of us who were back to the daily grind, I hope you had as much fun today as we did. One of our first grade teachers has a wonderful husband that is an airman for the Air Force. Today, he was a fabulous guest speaker for our classrooms.
He taught us about the 5 different branches of the military, how to salute, and even let us try on some of his training gear. It was too much fun! The kids loved it. I can't wait to start our thank you cards tomorrow. We are going to have to do an extra special thank you to Sergeant Diaz for coming in.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Truth "Monday"

Let me start by saying that I know that it is Tuesday but I just stumbled upon this fun linky called My Truth Monday hosted by Sunny Days in Second Grade and I just couldn't help but link up. This week's my truth is all about why you decided to become a teacher. Here's my truth....

Swing by and check out all of the other bloggers sharing their truths. :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Noodle Dying Tips for Wednesday and a Very Hungry Inspired Necklace

Anyone who has ever been on my little blog or in my classroom knows that I have a small obsession love for Eric Carle. Basically, I think that he is the cat's pajamas. I was looking through my blog posts, I realized that the beginning of the year came and went with such a blur that I never talked about the Very Hungry Caterpillar necklaces we made on the first day.

Aren't they the cutest?! All we needed to make these were some hole punched construction paper, ribbon, and noodles; however, if you are working with little ones, I highly recommend that you attach a bead to the end of each ribbon.

I was talking with a colleague this week about how I dye noodles and I thought maybe this is advice the world needs. Then again maybe not, but let's roll with it! :)

All you need is:
-Dry noodles or rice (I used a whole box to make my necklaces and had plenty extra.)
-1 to 2 tablespoons Rubbing Alcohol (Start with 1 tablespoon, and if the noodles look like they are not getting enough liquid to coat the sides, add a little more.)
- Food Coloring of choice (Do not use the gel coloring, it does not fully dry.)
-Gallon sized plastic bag
-Cookie sheet or tray
Add the first 3 ingredients to the gallon sized bag, seal, and shake like a polaroid picture.

If you have already mixed thoroughly and found that your noodles are not bright enough, just add more dye and mix again.

Lay out the noodles on a cookie sheet lined with newspaper. I like to shuffle the noodles around 30 minutes after laying them out. I usually let them set out over night to make sure they are fully dry.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Helpful Hints on Hump Day! Easy Editable Signs for All Occasions

I'm linking up with Teresa from Fun in K/1 for my first installment of Helpful Hints on Hump Day!

At the beginning of the school year,  I wanted to make one of those cute picture frames that the kiddos could take their picture with on the first day. With all of the business of a new year, I never seemed to find the time to get one made. I thought how could I get the same idea quick and with less prep. On a rush decision, I had all of my kiddos take a picture holding a blank page of white construction paper.

They looked a little like this. (I added this picture to Powerpoint to edit it.)

Then I realized the greatness of this plan. I can type anything in a text box and center it over the white paper.

I can change the font and the color of the text.

I can use it for multiple occasions and add pictures.

So easy to edit and change.
 I'm will be making a banner with all of the kids pictures and on the white paper, will be a letter to spell out "Welcome to Our Class!" This will be great for conferences.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out all of the helpful hints from the other teachers linking up with Fun in K/1.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Five for Friday: Fraturday Style

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday (or Fraturday in my case).
Saying Good-bye to Summer!
Last weekend, we were able to get out for one more camping, hiking, and dirt biking adventure. I can't believe that October and fall are already here.
Miley had a blast! She wishes we went camping and hiking every weekend.

I Found Some Word Work Inspiration
I found these amazing dice at the Dollar Tree. I love the sight word dice and had to stop myself from going overboard and buying one set for every kiddo. I settled for 2 of each of the sight word dice sets and 1 of the math sets. When I got home, I was inspired to make Roll and Write mats to go with the dice. Then I thought, why not make a word work set for others to use?!

Here is an example of a station put together. I love that Roll and Write is so low maintenance. Click here to get yourself a copy.

Roll and Write: Color Word Freebie
After I made the Roll and Write Sight Word Addition, I was inspired to make a Roll and Write Color Word Freebie. Click here to get yourself a copy. :)

Speaking of Color Words
The time has come for me to switch my sensory table to a more fall theme but I wanted to show you what our current table looked like before I switched it out.
I used shredded black butcher paper for the filling and then added/buried colored items. The kiddos have to use the thongs to pick out the items in the paper and put them in the appropriate bucket. The wonderful cards and color labels came from Marsha McGuire and her Back to School Math Stations. I love all of her kindergarten math and literacy station ideas.

Teaching Ways to Say You're Sorry
My little ducks got in a little trouble for not being kind at recess yesterday, so when got back to class, we had to have a discussion about playground rules. I love having my kiddos write letters of apology. It helps teach them responsibility but also encourages them to vocalize their actions and discuss the appropriate behavior.

Plus look at these names! We are getting better at the writing our names with a capital letter and lowercase letters.

Enjoy the rest of your fantastic fall weekend and be sure to stop by and visit all of the wonderful bloggers linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Easy to Prep Individualized Letter Name and Sound Games

We are working diligently on letters names and sounds in our classroom.  On Tuesday, while we were playing our Name that Letter game (see below), one of my kindergarteners came to the letter P and said, "Miss Gill, I know this one. " My thoughts, "YES.....YES....YES!" I even think there might have been a fist pump in the air. I was so excited. Anyway, the kiddo then says, "It's the letter Poo!" Ha! So close.

Here's a look at the Name that Letter game. The object of the game is to clear your card. We use just basic letter cards for this. I teach capital and lowercase letters together so these cards are a mix. We say all of the letters together a couple of times and then cover our letters with these clear colored chips. I then work my way around the reading table and "steal" chips from the kids. If they can read the letter under the chip, I keep the chip. If not, the chip goes back on the letter and they have to practice it until I come back to them. I also use this game for letter sounds and sight words. The kiddos love it and I love that it is very individualized, easy to plan for, and fast paced.

Another game we play is Roll and Read. The object of the game is to roll the dice and read/say the letter that corresponds to that letter. I got the mat from Primary Essentials from her R-Blends Roll and Read freebie. For this game, we are currently using magnet letters. If the kiddos can read the letter, they replace the letter with a new letter. If not, they practice the letter and keep it on the mat until they roll the number again and are able to read it. Just like the chip game, this game is very individualized, easy to plan for, and fast paced. I also change this game as we grow in our reading skills. Currently we are doing letter names and sounds, but soon it will be replaced with different phonics skills and sight words.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rockin' Out with Pete the Cat

I was trying to find a way to make Monday better and then I thought PETE! I talked briefly in my post on Friday about the great video of Mr. Eric reading Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes and I thought I would link it up for you.

My kiddos and I watched this today and the kids loved singing along with Mr. Eric. They thought he was too funny.
This week part of our center time is the Wheels on the Bus and look who I found riding the bus! Ha! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Five for Friday: Spetember 6th

Happy Weekend Everyone! I am linking up with Doodles Bugs Teaching for another installment of Five for Friday!
Be sure to stop by an get a peek at everyone's week. :)
1. Someone is a Genius!
 I found this on the kindergarten math book that I inherited. So genius! No more bindings that come unraveled. It looks like the creator just hot glued the bead in place at the end. When I find out who did this, I will be shaking their hand.
2. Just had a good laugh at myself.
Apparently, I am a subconsciously a little more wiped out this week than I thought. I was just cleaning my kitchen counters and realized that I have had my eye drops sitting by my coffee maker all week. Ha! Hmmm...that's one way to get a refreshed morning look. I am just going to leave them. It seems like a legitimate plan. :)

3. Just when I thought I was done laughing at myself!
I would like to start by saying that I love my calendar. I was so fortunate to have inherited a homemade calendar set from a former teacher. She made all of the months of the year letters different to match the month (these ones are made out of wallpaper) and each month, the date cards are different picture patterns. Love it!
Now here is where I can't believe that myself and all of the adults that has been in my room this week. I was off by one day on the date this week, THE ENTRIE WEEK! Oh my! I'll just quickly change it Monday and cross my fingers that no one notices.
4. For the Love of Pete
I had an unfortunate/fortunate event happen this last week. I was out of town last Friday and had requested one of my favorite subs for the day. Upon arrival, our school realized that 2 other teachers didn't have subs so they pulled mine for another classroom. Here is me grinding my teeth. They then split my kiddos with the other 2 kindergarten classrooms. Let's be fair....... at first I was very upset understatement because of all of the planning, the inconvenience to my coteachers, and to my kiddos but now I think it is a blessing. Let me tell you why, I planned for the sub to teach Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes sub plans by Peace, Love, and Learning. They are very thoughtfully done, too fun, and free! Since my sub was pulled though, I got to teach about Pete. Yay me! I love me some Pete!

The kiddos really liked making a Pete book of their own, and we practiced tying our own shoes after matching up the shape shoes.

Here's our interactive writing of labeling the parts of Pete. The kiddos loved sharing the pen and we will be doing much more activities like this. Also, if you have never seen Mr. Eric read/sing this story, I highly recommend that you You Tube it.
5. Quick Assessment for the Start of the Year

I love having a sign in during Back to School Night! Just looking at their handwriting tells you so much about a child and where they are in their learning. With a quick glance, I can tell who is able to write their name without assistance. Who knows their capital and lowercase letters and how to form them. It also tells me how the students fine motor skills are.

I also then have them sign in every morning. It is amazing to see how much they grow in a short amount of time.

Thanks for stopping by! Have an amazing weekend!