Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year SALE!

Happy last day of 2015!  In some ways this year has dragged on for me but in other ways, I can't believe it's already New Year's Eve!  I am definitely looking forward to a fresh start and a new year provides that.  I saw this quote today and I couldn't love this any more.  Last year I felt my focus was off.  I was distracted by a lot of things that, truthfully, brought me down and put me in a negative place.  This upcoming year, I'm making some changes.  I want my story to be a good one.  

To celebrate the new year and a fresh start I am throwing a SALE!  This TPT community has been a big and positive part of the past year and I want to give back!  My entire store is going to be 20% off until Sunday!  Click the picture below to check out my store!  

I also have a FREEBIE!  My kiddos are still loving my handwriting practice pages so I keep making them!  I simply print these pages off on card stock and stick them in dry erase pockets.  I add these to our handwriting center with dry erase markers and the kiddos get fun, needed practice!  Click on the picture below to download this freebie!  


Right now, my girls are getting their own fine motor practice by playing with homemade play dough!  We just love this stuff and it's a staple at both school and home!  You can use it for so many things - spelling sight words, CVC words, first and last name, and addition and subtraction.  Click HERE for a link to my favorite recipe to make your own homemade play dough!  

Enjoy New Year's everyone!  Be safe and happy!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Survival FREEBIE

Only four more days until Christmas break....
We will survive...
Here's a quick freebie to help get you through...
That's all the energy I have...
Click on the picture below...

Friday, December 4, 2015

Five for Friday - December 5th

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a little Five for Friday!

Our week started a little rocky with an emergency room visit with my Madilynn. She tripped and fell after bath time, hitting her head on the edge of the bed.  Three hours and two stitches later we got home and I think we've been exhausted ever since! 

Our elf Sparkles arrived this week and we got to visit with Santa!!! We are fully in the Christmas spirit! 

Friday was Grinch Day in Kindergarten! Aren't the ladies I work with fabulous?! We loved dressing up and sharing the Grinch with our students!

Our building is having a door decorating contest this year and let me tell you, the amount of talent we have in our building is amazing!!!! This is not necessarily my strongest area, but I had the help of my fabulous co-worker next door and together we made a Santa and Mrs. Claus minion! Love them!

It's Saturday and I am so grateful...I can feel the crazy in the air.... Looking forward to a relaxing weekend! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Currently

Linking up tonight for a quick Currently post with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade!  

Here's what is going on...
Listening - Friday Nights Lights.  This is my current Netflix obsession.  I know...I know...I'm only about nine years behind schedule, but there's something about the south, Kyle Chandler and football I can't get enough of!
Loving - Christmas is my all time favorite season.  It's magic every year!
Thinking - two meetings today and two meetings tomorrow means A LOT on my to do list...
Wanting - remember that to do list?  yea that meant no time for dinner this evening so I grabbed a quick bowl of cereal...a big, juicy burger sounds AMAZING...
Needing - sleep, sleep, and more sleep.  Last night was quite eventful at our house.  My oldest tripped over her towel after bath and hit her head on the bed rail.  We spent three hours in the emergency room and ended up with two stitches.  My poor baby!  She was so brave!  But needless to say...we are all a little tired today...
Real or Faux - faux.  I would LOVE to have a real tree but for now we are happy with our fake one!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Late Night Christmas Freebies

It's late Sunday evening.  I'm sitting here relaxing underneath the glow of my Christmas tree, drinking hot chocolate, quietly preparing for the craziness of the next three weeks before Christmas break.  It always seem to FLY BY.  End of quarter assessments, Christmas music programs, holiday parties, Polar Express Day....before I know it I'm squeezing my Kinder babies and telling them Merry Christmas and I'll see you next year!  To help with the holiday season I've got some quick goodies for you!  

First up is a handwriting FREEBIE!  This is the third set I've made like this and my kiddos LOVE them.  I print them on card stock and slip them into dry/erase pockets.  Easy peasy!  Click on the picture below to download!

Next up is a technology FREEBIE!  A few weeks ago, I talked about the wonders of Nearpod.  You can check it out HERE.  Well, I have another goody for you!  I am currently working on applying for Nearpod's author's program so I am creating a portfolio of sorts!  This quick little Christmas addition activity is so sweet and is going to be PERFECT as a formative assessment for my Kinders!  It covers addition to 5 and then addition to 10.  They won't even know they are being assessed!  Score!  

(Excuse the bad's late and I'm tired....)

To download and use just click the picture below!

Last, but not least...have you heard something about a sale going on?  Well my ENTIRE STORE is on sale starting tomorrow!  To grab some additional savings just enter the code SMILE at checkout!  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Let's Talk Teacher Technology (and get some FREEBIES!)

Hey y'all!  Let me say...I am the first to admit that I am not that tech-y.  Most of the time I really feel like I'm learning on the fly...this year though I made a teacher goal of using and incorporating more technology in my classroom for instruction.  We have an online component with our math curriculum that I use daily and I am feeling pretty confident there.  However, I really wanted to start utilizing our building's class set of iPads.  We are blessed with a cart of 30 iPads that a teacher can check out for a block of time every day.  Last year, I avoided this cart like the plague....I was unsure how to use them for instruction as opposed to just something to 'play with'.  With the help of a colleague (my daughter's teacher actually!) I'm learning a few new tricks of trade and have begun to feel comfortable enough to try a few things here and there.  One of my absolute favorite apps to do with my kids is Nearpod.  Have you heard about it?

Nearpod is a FREE website/app that allows teachers to create and download interactive multimedia lessons.  There are several lessons already created by educators for free or to purchase that cover a wide variety of skills.  Once a lesson is downloaded on the teacher's computer, laptop or iPad, teachers can "start a live session".  When this happens a teacher is given a code like the one below.

Students then open the app on their iPad, enter the code given to them by the teacher and type in their name.  This part takes a little time for kindergartners to do, but with every lesson we are getting faster!

Once students are logged in the lesson shows up on their device.  The best part?  THEY CANNOT SWIPE THEIR SCREEN TO MOVE ON.  You have to change the slide on your device for students to move on.  They only see the slide you want them to.  No, "I'm on the wrong page!"  Whew! 

Depending on the lesson, there are a variety of different interactive features.  Students can write on their screen, select from multiple choice answers or match objects.  After they are finished answering whatever questions are asked, they can submit their answers to the teacher.  They do this by simply hitting send (the box at the bottom) and confirming yes.  

The teacher's screen then looks like this.  Each child who is logged in is displayed on the screen.  While they complete their work their personal box says 'awaiting drawing'.  (I was testing this with my Madi which is why there is only one name.  Normally I would have 22.)

Once a student sends me their work, I can see exactly how they did on my screen and give instant feedback.  HOW.  COOL.  IS.  THAT?

Madi's work....

Now it's on my screen...

My students love Nearpod and my daughter is CONSTANTLY asking to do it at home.  I can use it as a formative to see how students are progressing on a skill, while giving instant feedback, and it's fun!  One thing I noticed was lacking when searching lessons, were kindergarten friendly, CUTE, skills based activities.  So...I made one!  This Thanksgiving themed sight word activity targets 12 sight words where students practice reading the word, finding it, and writing it.  I haven't created a seller's account yet...I'm dipping my toe in the Nearpod water...but I would love to share what I created with you all!  If you would like to try out Nearpod, or if you already use it and need a fun free lesson for this week, click on the picture below to check out this one!  I really hope you enjoy it!

If you aren't totally on the technology bandwagon yet, you still deserve a freebie!  I whipped these handwriting sheets up for my kiddos to use in the handwriting center this week.  THEY LOVE THEM.  I print them on card stock and stick then in dry/erase pockets and add a dry/erase marker - instantly handwriting is more fun!  I included all capital and lowercase letters, numbers 1-10, Thanksgiving themed words and sentences, and a spot to practice their name.  Click on the picture below to download!

Monday, November 9, 2015

How one book led our morning....

So here's how my morning went...I arrived at school this morning, for once, completely prepared for a Monday morning.  Attendance, lunch count, morning work completed without a hitch.  We moved seamlessly into calendar time and math then went outside for our first recess of the day.  When my students came back in we settled onto the carpet for a read aloud - one of my favorite parts of the day.  I worked on activating prior knowledge by discussing what we had learned about fall - and specifically leaves - last week.  Students were quick to raise their hands and give answers - making me proud.  I then read this book Leaves by Marilyn Easton.  

It's a book from a Scholastic book order and I've used it for several years now.  My students are always FASCINATED by the pictures and facts in this non-fiction story and we always love learning 'big' words like chlorophyll and pigments. The students listened intently and answered questions throughout the book, excited to learn more.  Toward the end, a student commented about noticing the changing leaves outside at recess.  Suddenly, it was very important we investigate.  So, the whole class bundled up again, I grabbed our iPad, and we took a walk to the best tree on school's property - the big tree out front.  This is what we found...

We found leaves of all colors.  Leaves with a lot of chlorophyll left...

And leaves without any..

We also found the perfect leaf to take a closer look at.  We took this little guy inside and put him on my document camera.

We then zoomed in and put him on the big screen.  It was easier then to point out the midrib and veins. 

We then decided we were going to write about the leaves we collected.  Each kiddo chose their favorite leaf to write about.  I paired their writing with their leaf and a painting they created will in art class.  I love when I can double dip a little bit.  :)

NONE of this was on my lesson plans except for my read aloud...but I would say we did a lot of learning today... wouldn't you?