Friday, June 28, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten Poem to Parents

As I was browsing on Pinterest yesterday, I found THE SWEETEST poem for parents (Thank you, Jamie Solley).  I knew I was going to have to give that to my incoming parents this year.  I remember crying my eyes out when my two girls started school.  I went to Target after I dropped my older daughter (now nine years old) off at school.  I cried on and off while I walked through the store.  I know I can't stop the tears for parents, but I want them to know that their children are in caring hands.

I couldn't find a printable copy of the poem, and now I'm glad for that.  I changed some of the wording, as I wanted to give it to my parents on Meet the Teacher night, which is the Thursday before school starts.  I changed a few other things, but the same sentiment is there.  So, it's going to be my Friday freebie.  Click here to download.


Freebie Fridays

Here are a few other products that you may be interested in (click on the picture):

Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fun Frames!

My "to-do" list is slowly shrinking, as I spend my days trying to get organized and ready for next year.  My friends, Suzy and Lori, and I were at Lakeshore Learning back in May, and found some awesome cardboard frames.  Suzy came up with the idea to use the frames to document important milestones in kindergarten: the first day of school, Dr. Seuss Day, losing a tooth, etc..  They hold 8" x 10" pictures, so they will be perfect for a small melon with a cute face.  Actually, they even fit my large melon.  :)    Do you want to know the best part?  I can store them in my filing cabinet (unlike the HUGE frame I made for last year's first day of school that my students could barely hold)!

I LOVED the idea, and have just gotten around to working on them.  I thought I would share how I made them.

-1 foam brush (I use the smaller 1" brush.  Make sure it is somewhat new, or the little black foam pieces will come off in your Mod Podge... lesson learned.)
-Mod Podge (I use the matte finish that you can get at Wal-Mart or your local craft store)
-Cardboard frames
-Glue stick
-Scrapbook paper

 1) Cut strips of paper to fit over the frame.  For this frame, I cut them at 2.5".

2) Turn the paper over, and trace the sides of the frame on the paper.  I line up the side of the paper with the inside, straight side.  Start with the vertical sides, then work on the horizontal sides.  

3) Cut along your pencil lines.  Use a thin layer of Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the frame.  Use enough that it sticks well, but not too much, because it will wrinkle your paper.  Let it dry completely.

 4) You are ready to add your letters!  Hooray!  I used my Cricut, but you can also print the letters and cut them.  I have found that cardstock works well with this project.  As I said before, if the paper is thin and wet, it will crinkle.  I was a bit worried that the printer ink would run, but I didn't have any issues.

5) Place your letters in just the right spot.  Glue them on using a glue stick.  You can also use a layer of Mod Podge, but I think it gets a bit wet that way.  In my opinion, the glue stick is a better option.  Please don't look at my old lady hands and poorly manicured nails.

6) Add a thin layer of Mod Podge over the letters.  Again, add enough to make it stick, but not enough to make it really wet.  If your letters start to crinkle, smooth them out with your finger.  Let it dry completely.

7) Voila!  You are done!  I made them for our Valentine's party, losing a tooth, our winter party, and the first day of kindergarten.  I also made the frame for Dr. Seuss's birthday, but I still need to add the pom pom for the truffula tree.

This one is my favorite.  I added some scrapbooking embellishments, and used paper that looked like cork board.

This is my second favorite.  I hate loose teeth (when they wiggle a lot, they gave me the "willies"), but I love toothless grins.

Happy crafting!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's Going to be a Sweet Year!

I am SUPER excited about the next school year.  I've been working like a mad woman trying to get things ready.  Our school is hosting summer school, so I can't work in my classroom.  I can't sit still.  I am a BIG multi-tasker, so I've been cutting, crafting, and making new products for TpT (more on that later).

My friend, Lori, and I found ice cream scented bubbles at the Dollar Tree.  We looked at each other and knew they would be a PERFECT back to school treat for our kinders.  We threw some sayings back and forth and came up with "It's going to be a sweet year".

They are SO easy to make!  Click here to grab your free copy!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I am also SUPER excited for my new Tickets Out the Door.  I made them for both Kindergarten ELA and Math.

If you are interested in winning the Kindergarten Math Tickets Out the Door, you can win your own copy!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kindergarten Math Tickets out the Door

I have wanted to make "Tickets Out the Door" for quite some time now.  I have it on my running "to do" list, which always seems to mysteriously get longer, not shorter.  I bet you can feel my pain.

So, I set out this past week to make the math version.  After combing through the kindergarten common core standards, I ended up with 358 tickets.  I think the part that added the most tickets was the word problems and picture problems (for addition and subtraction).  The cards cover all of the different combinations for all numbers 1-10.

Needless to say, I am SUPER excited to use these next year!  I am planning on laminating them, cutting them, and keeping them on binder rings by standard(s).  Have I mentioned how excited I am?

If you are interested in taking a closer look, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Guess what?  I'm so excited that I am giving away 3 copies!!

Good luck!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Number Fun!

By the end of the year, my students are expected to write their numbers from 1-120.  I used a file last year that had them write their numbers from 1-100 from the beginning.  While some of my students didn't think twice about the task, some of them were almost in tears when faced with a daunting task.  After the first couple of times completing the activity, they were fine, but I like for my students to feel good about themselves and their abilities.  So, I decided this year I would make a change.

I made a file that I could use from the beginning of the year.  It has several different pages.  It starts with a scaffolded 1-20.  Then, it moves to a blank 1-20, 1-50, 1-100, and finally 1-120.  I think the kids will have a blast moving to the next level.  It's also great for differentiation, because my high students can have a higher level right away to challenge them.

Click Here to Download

Freebie Fridays
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, June 10, 2013

I've Been a Slacker

The end of the year was absolutely CRAZY for me.  Between last minute grading, report cards, the end of the year party, kinder "celebration", and having to redecorate my room, I am surprised I did not lose my mind.  For some odd reason, there were volunteers galore at the end of the year.  Now, I never turn down help, so I have a major head start for next year.

My brain never stops thinking about school stuff.  It's a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, I think it helps me become a better teacher.  On the other hand, I never stop thinking about school stuff.  :)  So, I was trying to think of some other way to give the kiddos manipulatives for math besides snap blocks.  The snap blocks worked fine when they had to add through a sum of ten, but after that, the kids were in trouble.

I decided that ten frames would be a good idea.  I'm going to give them double sided beans.  I spray painted lima means red on one side and blue on the other.  Math manipulatives are expensive!  I also wanted to give them a number line as another resource during scaffolding and fading.  We'll see how they work this year.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

So, that's my first freebie for the summer.  Click here for your freebie.

Here is another great product to help you teach math.  :)

Plus, here is my baby that is working AWESOME for our school.  We're working on getting our kiddos ready for kindergarten (especially skills for the beginning of the year DIBELS assessment) by e-mailing this to parents.  During kindergarten testing, we asked parents for their e-mail addresses.  We were able to e-mail this file to 98% of parents.  Only a handful of e-mails kicked it back, and I just sent them a private link using google docs.  We've gotten some great feedback from parents.  They are so thankful for activities to help their child get ready for kindergarten.  For more information, click here.  Plus, I just discounted the price.  :)

Enjoy your summer!!