Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Made It: Foldable Color Word Books!

Tonight I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!  



I so loved my Foldable Alphabet Books that I wanted to create a way for my Kinders to practice their color words in the same easy and fun way.  Ta da!  





I can't wait to use these with my new group!  I created two options based on your class.  The first has the color word written in black and white on the cover page.  The second has the color word written in that color on the cover page.  Use whichever option works best for you!  Clink on the picture above to find it in my TPT store! I hope you all find them useful! 

XOXO,

Racheal

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finally in First!!!

My new pack for Firsties is FINISHED!!! I'm in love!  Check it out!  Discounted until tomorrow night!




XOXO,

Racheal

Thursday, June 26, 2014

When I Finally Do What Teachers Do in SUMMER!!!!I

It's SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Wednesday was the last day of summer school and today was a reading conference where I gained a TON of great insight into independent reading (more to come on that later).  But I'm home now and that means SUMMER!!!!!!!!!! 





Can you tell I'm excited?!  Anyhoo, I so loved being a party of KidPeople Classroom's Funny Kid Friday link up last week, that I wanted to kick off my summer with another round!  



This week it is a sweet (and somewhat sad) story about my own little lady Madilynn!  Madi is 4 and is the most spunky, spirited, courageous, and inquisitive little girl.  She started her first year of preschool this year and has taken off with learning.  At 4, she knew all of her letters and sounds and was asking me to start reading!  Not saying this to brag...last summer before she started school she had zero interest in learning letters. Just amazed at the change! Eeeek!  So we've been working a few sight words here and there as her interest holds and she is LOVING that can now read some books!  I even made this cute Frozen book for her when we were working on the word 'see'!  



Well, with this love of learning, she has been asking about going to Kindergarten (she still has another year).  At first, I kind of blew it off - we had just begun sight word work and I thought she was just excited about reading and she knows that happens in Kindergarten, right?  Well, she continued talking it.  "I really want to go to Kindergarten, Mommy."  "I know.  And you will in just one year, when you are five."  The questions, kept coming.  "Why can't I go?  I really want to go!"  EVERY.  DAY.  I kept trying to figure out why?  What she THAT interested in learning?  WOW!  Was it because she was bored at preschool?  Was it because a lot of her friends were going to Kindergarten?  I couldn't pin it down.  A few days later, we went for a Mommy and Madi date to get ice cream.  She brought it up again on the way there.  

"Mommy, I can't wait until I'm in Kindergarten."  
"I know sweetie.  One more year and then you get to be a Kindergartener too!"
"Yep!  Then I will get to help you pass out snack and be your helper and...."
I don't remember anything else she said because it hit me - hard.  Madi wanted to be in Kindergarten because that is where I am.  I said, "Madi, you know you won't be in my class right?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, there are lots of Kindergarten teachers at my building.  You will be in one of their rooms.  I will get to see you every day and give you hugs everyday but I won't be your teacher."
The look on her face y'all.  BREAK.  MY.  HEART.  She burst into tears.  "But I want you to be my mommy and my teacher!!!!"

Let's just say I am so glad we have a year to prep for this one!  Madi (and Mommy) are going to have a rough time I think....YIKES!

In the meantime, we are continuing to play and learn at home.  This week Madi practiced her sight words, letters, numerals and counting using my new Back to School pack.  Here's a few pics of our fun!








To celebrate my official start to summer, my store is 20% off until Saturday night!  Maybe you can find what you are looking for to start your year off right! ;) Enjoy!

XOXO,

Racheal

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer is soooo close!

Ok ya'll, I have one more day of summer school.  One. More. Day.  So excited!  After tomorrow it's a day of learning at a reading conference with one my teacher buddies, then....SUMMER!  I can't wait for day trips to the Zoo and the Magic House, pool time, BBQs and time with my girls!!!  

While I am soooo excited for a summer break......you know, my mind....it's ALWAYS going.  School is always there.  That little spot  that is thinking of how to change this or that, update or keep the same, etc.  Well, since my mind has been on back to school lately, I am proud to say that I finally FINISHED my Back to School pack!  It is full of 150+ pages of literacy and math activities perfect for beginning of the year Kinders, as well as a fun puzzle craftivity to do with your kiddos!  I hope you love it as much as I do!  This was a labor of love and I cannot wait to use with my new little friends!


XOXO,

Racheal

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Organization UPDATE

Ok.....so remember a few weeks ago when I had this mess to deal with?



Well I am happy to say that I am making progress!  It's been slow going but here is what I have now!



Beautiful isn't it?!  I also purchased a shelf and some cubes from Target for storing by Guided Reading materials so they can be right on hand!  I am loving the red and blue for my Suess theme!



I started sorting materials last night.  I can't wait to use my Guided Reading Tub Labels.  They are a FREEBIE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.


I'm thinking now I need labels for all of those tubs above...hmmmm....

XOXO,

Racheal

Funny Kid Friday...on Saturday

So my friend Kathleen over at KidPeople Classroom is starting a new linky and I LOVE the idea!  It's Funny Kid Friday!  My mom has always said, "You should write a book!"  Well, now we have a space to share those stories that, sometimes, only people who work with or have young children can truly appreciate!  Here, we can share all of the crazy, silly, sweet stories we have!


This week I have an old story from WAAAAAAAAY back, but it still makes me laugh!  I was working with a group of 4 and 5 year olds - my first true class I could call mine - we were out on the playground.  One of my little boys was sitting all alone on a bench - picking his nose.  I asked him multiple times, "Do you need a Kleenex?  How about a Kleenex? etc." and each time, he turned me down.  I thought, 'Ok.  I will just have to remember to give him some major hand sanitizer before each touches anything......"  I kept watching as he dug and dug until finally, he triumphantly pulled his rather large treasure out his nose and pronounced loudly (to himself), "Finally!  I've been working on that FOREVER!"  I died.  I laughed so hard I had to walk to the other side of the playground.  Thankfully he did get a Kleenex (and hand sanitizer!) and proudly went to play.  Ha!  Ha!  Little triumphs right?!

Check out Kathleen's blog each week for more kid stories!!!!

XOXO,

Racheal

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five for Friday - June 20th Edition!

I am linking up once again with Doodle Bugs Teaching to tell you five things about my week!


Here it goes!


I discovered a new drink at Starbucks this week and it is LIFE.  CHANGING.  


Caramel Frappuccino with White Mocha.  Love it.  Gotta have it. Seriously.  I am UHB-SESSED!  You know how in the movies those big shot executives walk into their office and the secretary hands them a coffee made just right?  That's the life.  Hmmmmmm..... Ok (wiping the drool) moving on...


Our theme for summer school is DISNEY!  I could not be happier!  This week we were in full on Disney mode.  I made Sofia the First cards for my own kiddo to practice letters and new words and then I made The Incredibles nonsense words cards for a kiddo to take home and practice!  Too fun! 



Today we had a Disney character dress up day and of course I had 3 Elsa's in my class!  Adorable!



I am seriously considering buying a Microsoft Surface with some of my summer school money.  Any thoughts?  I need something I can blog and TPT with on the go.  The convenience of a tablet but the abilities of a laptop - but I don't want it to cost an arm and a leg.  Any pointers?  Tips?  I would love your input!



I am so close to my summer I can TASTE it!  Daddy has had three baseball games this week (he's a coach!) so it's been me and my beauties!  I can't wait to spend more time together having FUN!




I am totally excited for this weekend!  It is a weekend full of friends and family!  Tonight we had dinner with my in-laws, niece and nephew (YUMMY!) then topped it off with sno cones (EXTRA YUMMY!)  Tomorrow we are having breakfast with my grandparents for my grandpa's birthday and then tomorrow night I get to hang out with some of these girls!


A group of my high school girl friends are getting together with our kiddos this weekend!  I have been friends with these girls for 15+ years and they are the BEST!  This picture is VERY dated (that is my four year old about a week after she was born!) so we are going to have to fix that!  Can't wait for some girl talk and catching up!

Hope everyone had a great week!

XOXO,

Racheal

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Foldable Alphabet Books!

Today I am linking up with the wonderful Kinder Gals for Working on It Wednesday.

I wanted to create something fun and engaging for my new Kinders to use to practice letters and letter sounds and also begin some early reading. But..I didn't want a lot of prep, mess or colored ink! Just a quick activity! So I made my Foldable Alphabet Books. Just print, color, fold and read! Easy Peasy! Check out my store to find it! Happy Wednesday!  







XOXO, 

Racheal

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let's Talk About Books Linky!

Today I am linking up with the fabulous Deanna Jump for her weekly book linky!



One of my all time favorite books is The Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root.  I was first introduced to this book by one of my kiddos when I taught PreK a million years ago (ok maybe 8 years ago...).  His mom asked if she could come read to our class and this was a story she brought it in.  I instantly fell in love, and so did my class!  



The words are so fun to read (razzleberry dazzleberry snazzleberry fizz!) and the rhymes draw you in!  Plus I love that you can discuss using what you have and problem solving - great for beginning of the year!  I can't wait to read it to my next group of Kinders!

XOXO,

Racheal

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sight Word Practice Made Easy (and FUN!)

A few weeks back, my daughter Madilynn became really interested in learning how to read. I knew that she was ready to begin grasping the ideas of words and reading simple sentences, but, since she was only 4, I was worried about pushing the traditional style sight word practice on her - especially since her fine motor is still developing. This is what prompted my Sight Word Practice Made Easy (and FUN!) product. 

I started with a simple 4x6 photo album from Wal-Mart (only a $1!) since I knew you could use dry erase markers on it and she would love that. I then thought about what I wanted her to do inside. I wanted her to practice building the sight word as many ways as possible, using them in sentences and even making up her own sentences using the word to practice language. I also knew that I wanted to make it exciting! This is the end result. 

Here is a step by step of each page: 

Page 1:
Use play dough or Wikki Stix to build the word. 

Page 2: 
Trace the word. 

Page 3: 
Write the word. 

Page 4:
Use letter tiles or magnetic letters to build the word. 

Page 5:
Find the word and circle it. 

Page 6: 
Circle the letters in the word and connect them in order. 

Page 7:
Fix the word (it is spelled wrong! Ooops! 😉)

Page 8: 
Read the sentence. Use highlighting tape or a game piece (or a button!) and put it on the word. 



Page 9: 
Fill in the word and read it. 

Page 10: 
Write your own sentence and draw a picture. (Madi's says "The swing." ☺️)

Page 11: 
Did you try your best? Smiley face!!! 

I also created a paper version to use whole group where students do similar activities including color the word, rainbow write and use stamps. 

What I love about this product - (1) it's reusable!!! The amount of paper I go through each year Oy Vay!!! Plus (2) I can easily differentiate within a small group without a lot of prep. I simply pull out the targeted sight word they need and they can start working! Finally, (3) it really is fun! I have a kiddo in my class who is very low and has HATED reading and he has been ASKING to do these! ASKING!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉

I hope and your students enjoy them and find them as useful as we do!! Here is the link! 


XOXO,

Racheal