Monday, April 30, 2012

Fabulous Find: Graduation hats!

Hey friends...I found something wonderful at the Dollar Tree this evening. As you know, Kindergarten Graduation is a first for my school so I'm over stressing. Anyways....hop over to My Fabulous Finds and check out what I picked up for a $1. For those of you not going all out with the caps and gowns, this find is a cheap alternative for FUN! Click the button below to visit! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

College begins with Kindergarten!

Hey ya'll!  We're gearing up for Kindergarten graduation at our school.  May 17th to be exact. This will be the first year we've done anything like this. Normally, we just have a little presentation and students read a poem or perform a cute song for parents, we invite them to our room for snacks, and call it a day.  But this year, we're going ALL out. Diplomas and all. Needless to say, I'm scouring the internet for ideas and wondering what to do.  Here are some of my favorite pinterest finds. 
Love the paper plate faces. I'm debating on making this....
Or this? Sooooo cute.  
I got crafty and put together these letters with my Cricut. I'm gonna hang them from my clothesline in my room and then hang the kinders' pictures around it! It's going to be my focal point for the little open house we plan on having after the ceremony. 
I may even make these yummy things, too. We'll see?? Look out Martha. 
Yup, we are definitely learning First Grade! First Grade! and singing it. It makes my heart smile. What other songs would you recommend?
Here is a fun little keepsake I plan on doing for parents. Just click on the picture to grab it from google docs! I'll fill out the top part (name, age, grade, teacher) and let my students fill out the rest.  Then, I'll paint their hand and do a little hand print on the right side, mount on fun scrapbook paper, and laminate.  These will be laying at their desks along with a few other items for parents to take home after the graduation ceremony. I'm sure they'll love them! Do you all have any other ideas? This is a first for us at the Springs so I could use some help! Happy Saturday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm dreaming year?!?

Hey friends! I don't know about ya'll...but the end of April hits/first of May...and I'm thinking of next year. What do I want to do differently, what are my goals, what do I wish I would have done this past year, etc? You get the picture! :) Anyways, I've already found some fun pictures on Pinterest that have given me inspiration for many of my "to do's" for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. Here they are: Hello fuzzy - what a hot mess mine is! I'm dying to put it in a filing cabinet drawer using hanging file folders - genius.
I hope my Dad is ready to build. I am SOOO making these this summer using PVC pipe. My plan is to have little pocket chart workstations spread throughout my room. Having these chart holders will allow me to do so. And if ya'll are like me, you bought a million bajillion of these mini pocket charts from Target $1 section - Amen?!
I want to do community supplies rather than crayon boxes. I am SO over those. And if one more child drops theirs and spills crayons and supplies everywhere, I'm liable to lose it! ha
Holy smartness. I plan on making a BUTT load of these for all the new students who come in during the school year. Am I the only one whose classroom is like a revolving door?! :( Having these "on hand" will make the transition so much easier and me - - less stressed.  ha
I need a new behavior system. Period. This one is looking mighty appealing! :)
Everything about this classroom makes me want to crawl through my computer and visit. This classroom is so beautiful, organized, colorful, and inviting. One of my goals, is to get my classroom to a state of liking. ha This may never be possible. I have some shelves I want to paint, things I want to rearrange, and just good ole housekeeping items I need to take care of in my room.

With that said, I'm already writing down ideas as I think of them. I made a few little lists to help me stay organized and not get carried away. You can grab them by clicking the pic below. What are YOU planning on doing differently next year? Leave me some love, please. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Winner, winner...chicken dinner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. The winners are.....drum roll please....

Winner #1 of the:
Polkadot ring binder
Coupon Binder
and 2 colored 3-ring binders

Winner #2 of the:
Polkdadot ring binder
and 2 colored 3-ring binders 

Thank you to everyone who played along. Mary and Erica, I'll be in touch with you ladies shortly! Happy Sunday everyone. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Me on the Map freebie

With Earth Day approaching, I typically try to throw in map skills. Ya'll should know by now that I'm all about killing multiple birds with one stone. ha! While, Earth Day is more about protecting the earth's natural's a great way to talk about the Earth and transition into maps, location, where students live, etc. I always love doing a "Me on the Map" activity. It's super easy and a great way to teach students about location and where it is, exactly, they live. Here is a great freebie for your kiddos. Just click the picture below and visit my TpT store to download! Please be sure to leave me some feedback on TpT or a comment on my blog. Stuff like that makes my teacher heart smile! ha Don't forget to enter my giveaway. I'll pick 2 lucky winners TONIGHT! Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Can I reach 1,000 fans?? And a giveaway!!

Hey friends! I am rapidly approaching 900 followers. That is simply unimaginable to me - thank you so much! Seriously, if I ever reach 1,000'll probably hear me scream all the way from Tennessee! ha ha Can I do it? 

I have neglected to host any type of giveaway lately and was recently presented with some goodies. I arrived home on Tuesday night to find 2 BIG boxes on my porch full of products from Samsill Corporation. If you're not familiar with Samsill, you need to be. It's like the Cattle Act (as Junie B. Jones would say) Cadillac of notebooks/office organization. Needless to say...when I opened these boxes, I squealed with delight! 
Um, hello jackpot! Is the new school supply smell resonating through your computer screen? #yum And how stinking cute are these polka dot binders? Samsill binders are smartly designed for the ultimate in functionality and convenience. I strongly encourage you to browse their site and become familiar with their name and products. You'll often see their items listed in educational catalogs, office supply catalogs, magazines, etc. 

So, I know you're wondering....ok, what's in it for me?

Well, 2 lucky winners will be selected to win the following:
Winner 1: 
a orange letter size padfolio
Estimated value - Well, I dunno...but, a LOT! ha

Winner 2:
a orange letter size padfolio
Estimated value - Well, I dunno...but, a LOT! ha

You have 4 opportunities to win and leave a comment for EACH:
1) follow my blog and state you do so 
2) tell me your favorite/must have school supply
3) blog about my giveaway and post the link
4) visit the Samsill website, browse around, and tell me you did so

This giveaway ends Saturday, April 21st at 10:00 (eastern/standard time). I'll announce the winners on Sunday and ship out the loot, asap! Best of luck and thanks for following!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Field trip: Hands On Museum

We had so much fun today visiting Hands On Regional Museum.  For a sweet little slide show video, click the picture below!
Happy hump day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dinos may be extinct, but they're alive in MY room!

Well...Spring Break has come and gone.  I wish school weeks flew by that fast.  But, no complaints here - I had a great one! T minus 22 days until summer break...who is counting? ha ha Anyways, we are in full swing learning all about dinosaurs and my kinders are l.o.v.i.n.g it! Once again, DeAnna's unit is awesome. Here is a glimpse at what I managed to squeeze in today. Shew boy, was it a lot.  I literally came home and took a 2 hour nap. ha It wore Miss E out! 
I spent a few days on this egg over spring break because my first one caved when I popped the balloon.  Oops, so this egg is take 2. It was such a great way to teach my kiddies about inferences and they loved the fact that I told them my dog found it in the backyard. I'm telling ya, Mrs. Jump is brilliant!
Here is the recording sheet we filled out. 
I also made this guy and students filled out their schema today. As we go throughout the week and learn new info, we'll add to the "new learning" section, any misconceptions, etc. For the anchor chart labels, click {here}.
Math work stations are a compilation of goodies from all over the blog world.  

1. Students are excavating bones (aka chocolate chips) from cookies and writing an estimate and their actual amount discovered.
2. Here, kiddies are surveying other students and asking them if they'd like to have a pet dinosaur. They are recording their answers on a tally chart.
3. Roll a Dino (self explanatory....ha)
4. Students are dumping dinosaurs and counting the dinos that land face up.  They record the numbers and on one side, circle the dinos with more and the other, with less.
5. Calendar Journal (not pictured)
Literacy work stations are off with a bang.
1. Students are reading a dino emergent reader, highlighting words they know, and coloring.
2. Students are cracking dino eggs, reading the words, and recording them under the correct word family.
3. Here, my kiddies are using stamps to create a prehistoric scene, coloring, and writing 2 sentences about their picture on the back.
4. Poetry journal (the poem is from DeAnna's unit)
5. Listening station (not pictured)
We wrapped up the day with this art activity. I did this last year but students glued little triangles on for spikes. You can see that post {here}. I got the idea to paint my students' fingers and stamp their hands from pinterest....but, it didn't quite turn out like expected. Oh well. Here was my inspiration.
Thoughts?  Did I come close? 

Ha ha I'll be back this week with some freebies. Happy Monday friends.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Last Call: TN bloggers

Looking so forward to this tomorrow. Hoping to see some of you all there! :) Don't forget to contact {Laura} if you're interested. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A peek at last week...Easter/Oviparous Animals!

Hey blog world. I hope everyone had a blessed day with family and friends. I had a wonderful time filled with church, family, lots of food, and an awesome egg hunt! I just wanted to take a minute to share with you a little of what we did to gear up for the holiday. Students learned all about oviparous animals and had a blast! Thanks to Shannon Martin for all her awesome printables. This woman is so sweet to share all of her goodies...I love her blog. Most of her activities were adapted into my math workstations. Students counted forward, backward, rolled die and added the dots to create a sum, counted 10 frames with carrots and much more. Please go check her out if you haven't already. 
This great idea to compare and contrast chicks to ducklings came from Chalk Talk. My kinders loved this...but holy moly.  Does anyone know how incredibly difficult it is to find the book The Chick and the Duckling?!  I went to 4 different libraries. Eek...I totally recommend you buying it off Amazon.  Lesson learned, I WILL be buying this for next year. ha
Students helped me fill out a large venn diagram and then made their own chicks and ducklings. 
Our end result turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself! :) 
After reading Chickens Aren't the Only Ones, students classified oviparous and viviparous animals. The pictures for the pocket chart is from April's oviparous post as well! :) 
We made these sweet bunny bags and parents sent in goodies for me to fill them with. If you're interested in the pattern for this, let me know and I'll scan it and send it to you for next year! 
I love that my art teacher is so clued into what is going on in the classroom.  She even had students do a little directed drawing of a chick hatching out of an egg. Way to carry the curriculum over into special area classes! Whoo hoo!
Afterwards, students made these little "nests" in her room. So simple and sweet. Just a cupcake liner, a little green grass, and jelly beans. Viola! 

Off to the spa folks...taking FULL advantage of my break. Facial today and a massage tomorrow - Amen? Have a happy Tuesday!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Eat your heart out, Martha!

Hey friends! I just finished whipping up these yummy treats in the kitchen and wanted to share. Of course they were Pinterest inspired. 
They took NO time at all and would be great for a family gathering or a sweet SPRING snack for your kiddos when they return from break. You could make them and bring them in or put them together in your classroom if you're brave enough. Click below for the recipe and a little recording sheet if you choose to make this an "in - class" activity. Happy Spring!

Click on the picture for your FREE download!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our field trip to the Airport...

Just click the picture above to view a slideshow of all the fun we had.  We take this trip every year and it is great for 2 reasons.....1) it's a wonderful wrap up of our transportation unit and 2) it's FREE!  Check with your local airport to see if they allow field trips and offer guided tours. My kinders LOVE it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Goin' Buggy!

Well, I promised after my St. Patrick's Day post...that I wouldn't go a long period of time in between posts and I've done it again. Sheeze o' pete! I've been mega busy with our school's Advanced Ed visit, Kindergarten screening for the new 2012-2013 babies, being sickly (blah), my friend having her twins, judging cheer tryouts, getting my own team's tryouts together, and a plethora of other things that you don't want to hear about! :)  Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled that spring break has finally arrived!

For all you baby VERY jealous. Meet Jack and Kelsey....a little over a month early....but doing well. My friend and her hubby are thrilled and so is Auntie Erin. Squeal!

Anyways.....we've been going buggy over insects and I just had to share all the wonderful things we did.  Most of this amazing-ness came from DeAnna Jump, the great. Her insect unit is the bomb dot com and my kinders had Here is a glimpse of our 2 week study in pictures.
Students loved getting a "bug's eye view" and learning that insects have compound eyes. This is what we saw when we looked through our "bug viewers."
We wrote about what bugs us.
We read a TON of non fiction books and recorded our new learning in a fact book. Students learned what it meant to be an "entomologist" and study insects. 
We did a little poetry journaling.
We learned all about the life cycle of a butterfly and added facts about each stage. Students told me the facts and I recorded them on sentence strips!
Afterwards, we had a morning snack made our own life cycle using dry pasta noodles. This was pinterest inspired. Of course! Does anyone else love uncooked pasta? YUMMY.
We learned about bees, recorded new information on an anchor chart, and made our own bees complete with wax paper wings.
How else do you end a 2 week study on insects? By making bugs out of candy!!! We were all sugared up and had a blast getting creative. I tested students' knowledge by having them create the 3 body parts, adding 2 antennae, and 6 legs. 
Students drew their insects and had a friend check their work.

It was such a great unit and my students learned SO much. As an apology for being a super slacker, here are a few freebies for ya. Hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Friday, friends.

Click on the image to download this are/have/can chart and a poem.

AND - click on this image to grab a little insect counting activity.