Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What's Your Name? Take Home Bag

Hi! I have found so many awesome new ideas for my kindergarten classroom lately. I recently visited Kindergarten Crayons, one of my favorite teaching blogs, and Fran posted free name badges. They are awesome! It reminded me of an activity I like to do with my students during the first few weeks of school. It is called the Name Bag. I use Take Home Bags a lot in my kindergarten classroom. They provide an excellent school to home connection and the children are always excited to bring home a bag to share with their families.

The names of our students can be a really valuable learning tool. We can focus on letter identification, sounds, rhyming, and so many other great possibilities. After we have been together for about a week or two, and we have learned everyone's names, I send home the Name Bag. It is a canvas bag filled with a letter to the parents, photographs of each student, first name badges, a name song we learn in class (from the CanTeach website) , and letter tiles. If you don't have plastic letter tiles, you can easily create them from paper. Each student has the opportunity to bring home the bag for one night. They "introduce" their new friends to their families and practice reading, identifying, and spelling the names. It is a very popular bag!

This packet can now be found in my TPT store!

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

A "Tee"rrific Summer! Bulletin Board Display

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
One of my first bulletin board displays is called "We Had A "Tee"rrific Summer! We draw pictures of all of our wonderful summer adventures on little t-shirts (you may want to copy them onto construction paper or card stock). I encourage the children to label some of the pictures. We share them as a whole class and discuss some of the similar things we all enjoyed (ice cream is always a popular picture).

I then hang them on clotheslines made from yarn. I even found little clothespins at Michael's Craft Store this year! I also add a sunshine and other decorative accents to make the bulletin board display shine!

What do you do for a beginning of the year bulletin board display? Enjoy this freebie! The clip art is from Graphics From the Pond and My Cute Graphics!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sorting With Squinkies - Math Activities

Have you ever thought of an idea for your classroom at the most random time? That is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I was vacuuming my daughters bedroom and something got caught in the vacuum. It was a small little plastic toy that has become very popular - Squinkies!!!  I don't normally enjoy stumbling upon small little toys in my vacuum, but it actually gave me a wonderful idea!

We can use Squinkies as a math manipulative! I thought they would be really great for sorting and graphing! You can find Squinkies everywhere! They come in all different kinds or types. They have them for different characters like Barbie, Disney princesses, Cars, Super Heroes, and they also have them in the form of animals, babies, etc. They are sold at Target, Walmart, and some of my friends find them at garage sales. I bought some new plastic tubs to store them and I can't wait to use them! I hope you enjoy them, too!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We Are Bucket Fillers Class Book

Hi everyone! I love making class books with my students. We make a lot of them, especially in the beginning of the year.  I use the class books to do some guided or interactive writing with my students. It is also a great way to share ideas as a whole group. Once we have compiled the pages into a class book, we read it together. Then, I place them in a special bin in our classroom library.This bin becomes very popular!

I just created a class book about filling someone's bucket! The clip art is by Melonheadz and Graphics From the Pond. Be sure to grab this freebie, and please join my blog if you are not a member already! It sure would fill my bucket! Thanks!!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I pledge today...

One of my favorite parts of the day is my morning meeting. You can teach so many skills, sing songs, read a daily chit chat letter, and share ideas with one another. At the beginning of each meeting, the children recite a class pledge (we recite the Pledge of Allegiance as an entire school during our morning announcements). I found this pledge years ago and have used it when I taught first grade and now kindergarten. I print it out in poster format and laminate it. I found the poem on the CanTeach website. Clip art is from DJ Inkers. Here it is for you to use and enjoy!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Five Senses Activity

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Hi everyone! One of the science units I teach in my kindergarten class is "The Five Senses." It is a really great unit. As many of you know, I live in upstate New York. The fall season here is amazing! The leaves change color, the air is crisp, and the orchards are filled with beautiful apples. It is a really great season to use your five senses to explore the environment.

One of my "homework assignments" for my students is to take a five senses walk with their families. I send home a brief letter and a recording sheet. They use almost all five of their senses. I do not ask them to taste anything on the walk (that could be dangerous). Instead, I have them list a seasonal food that they can taste (apples, cider, pumpkin pie, etc.).

Although you may not live in an area with the seasonal changes that we have here in New York, I am sure your students can still enjoy this activity.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

How Many Syllables? Great Game for Common Core

Freebie Fridays

One of the games I love to play with my students is "How Many Syllables?" It is very easy and fun. It is also perfect for the reading/foundational skills for the Common Core ( RF.K.2). 

I show the class pictures and we identify the number of syllables in each word. Sometimes I use a pocket chart and sometimes I use it as a word work activity during literacy stations.

Once the children understand the concept of syllables, the games goes rather quickly. Many children learn to count syllables by either tapping or clapping. I once went to a workshop and the presenter taught us a really cool way to present it to children. She told us to place our hand flat under our chin. Go ahead...try it. Now say a word like "telephone." Count how many times your chin hits or taps your hand (the times your jaw drops). That's the correct number of syllables!

I love this game because it reviews an important concept and it is really quick and easy. It is also great when you need a five minute transition activity.  My old set was getting rather worn, or as I like to say in my classroom "well-loved." So, I made new picture cards. There are number cards from 1-3 because I only made pictures with 1, 2, or 3 syllables. I plan on laminating them.

Have  a wonderful weekend!!! See you next week!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Holy Free Cubby Tags Batman!

Yes, the new Batman movie starts this weekend. So, in honor of this cool super hero, I have one more super hero creation for you!!  I always decorate the cubbies with student name tags. I made these cute super man and super girl tags for this upcoming school year. I also made different versions with power blasts attached! I hope you enjoy them!!

P.S. Target has amazing super hero stuff in the dollar bins. I just bought new super hero erasers, pencils, and buckets to store pencils, markers, etc.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

September Poems For You!

Wait! September poems already???  Wasn't I just talking about my days at the pool sipping on iced coffee??? Yes, I know it is July and believe me, I am enjoying my vacation, but it is always good to plan ahead.

I have decided to start a poetry binder this year with my kiddos. I have always had a poetry station and I use poems a lot for shared reading, but I thought it would be nice to keep them all in a binder. You could also print them out in the poster format and use for a shared reading activity. I find a lot of poems on blogs, websites like Can Teach, and other great online resources. I also use poems from some of my teacher resource books.

If you have some great sources, I would love to hear about them. I am always looking for more ideas!  I made some poetry pages for September. Some of them are about the month of September, going back to school, leaves, and friendship. I hope you enjoy them. The clip art is from DJ Inkers and Graphics From the Pond.  Click below!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Really Hot Classroom Learning Centers!!!

Holy moly, it is hot outside!!! It was about 97 degrees in New York today. We spent most of the day at the pool.  I am a true summer girl. I love to swim, drink iced coffee, get tan, and lounge at the pool with my kids (ok, who's kidding, I don't really lounge with two kids, ha!).

While I was chilling in the AC this morning, I posted my new learning center signs to TPT. Go grab yourself a nice cool beverage, turn up the AC, and check them out!

Here is a little preview of what one of them looks like:

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Do We Have Enough Glue Sticks?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Every year, I think I am asking for enough of certain supplies, like glue sticks, and then by October I am already running low!! Hopefully, this year will be just fine! I was shopping the other day and noticed that the shelves of school supplies are already stocked and the sales have begun. Wahoo!!! I always pick up extra supplies.

After the first week of school, I usually send home a quick note in case a student forgot some supplies, such as a composition notebook or scissors. I usually have enough to share, but a kind reminder always helps! As the year progresses, I often send home another note if a child is running low on certain supplies (like glue sticks).

I am giving you those two notes along with some labels I made for all of the supplies. I store most of the supplies in plastic bins on shelves in my classroom. The clip art is from Melonheadz, Scrappin Doodles, and DJ Inkers. Enjoy!!

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Have you filled a bucket today?

Have you filled someone's bucket today? I am sure most of you know about bucket fillers. I love this concept, but for the past few years I have not used it in my kindergarten classroom. I moved from first grade to kindergarten three years ago, and I wasn't sure how to use it in kindergarten.

My son's amazing first grade teacher used this book and concept in his classroom and I was amazed to see the wonderful impact it had on my son. I have also found so many awesome blog postings and cool bulletin board displays from other kindergarten teachers! I decided to implement it again this upcoming school year. I made a new emergent reader and a bulletin board set. The clip art is from Melonheadz and the borders are from Scrappin Doodles. Please visit my TPT store and take a look!

Bucket Filler Bulletin Board

This is an image of one of the two types of slips.

These are the tags to use for the individual buckets!

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Friday, July 13, 2012

You are all super! Last day for super hero freebies!

Wonder Woman - my all time favorite.
Now, if I could only have her Lasso of Truth for my classroom!

Thank you so much for all of the nice comments. I have had a lot of fun making all of these new things for my classroom and for all of you!  The Day 2 freebie was not downloading properly, so I think it is now fixed. So sorry!

If you are interested in more super hero items, I have posted a couple of new items to my TPT store. I made an emergent reader called "I Can Be A Super Hero." It features the sight words "I" and "can" and discusses important things they can do like, listening, sharing, taking turns, etc. I also made a super hero birthday bulletin board set. It has birthday tags, a poster for each month and special accents.

Click below to take a look!

Now...onto the last super hero freebie!  I created a simple writing activity for the first week of school that could easily become a bulletin or classroom display. It features the ever popular...Spiderman!! The children can brainstorm reasons why this year will be super and write the responses on the cool Spiderman stationary. It would look great on either black background paper with red trim or the reverse! Here you go!!

I hope you have enjoyed my week of freebies. I have found so many wonderful things on all of your blogs and others that I felt it was important to pay it forward. See you soon...up, up, and away!!!!!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Looks Like A Job For... Day 5 Super Hero Freebies!

Hi everyone! Have I mentioned how much fun I am having with this super hero theme????

My latest creation are posters for classroom jobs. I actually don't have too many jobs in my classroom. It's hard for me to keep track of them during the day! I always have a leader and a helper
(Of course, I had to use Batman and Robin for these posters). The leader is the head person "in charge" and the helper is the leader's assistant. Then, the next day, the helper becomes the leader and another child is chosen to be the helper.  These two jobs are typically chosen in alphabetical order. The other jobs just get rotated through the class in a random order. I hope you enjoy them!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Does Super Hero Behavior Look Like? Day 4 Freebie!

At the beginning of the year, I am constantly reviewing the ways to be a kind and respectful classmate, good listener, and other important rules or correct classroom behaviors. I have noticed several awesome posters people have created showing the different parts of a reader or writer. It made me think...what are the parts of positive behavior? So, I decided to create a poster called "The Parts of Super Hero Behavior." I think it would be great to post in the classroom and to refer to it each day. I am planning on printing it as a poster and laminating it.

The clip art is from Melonheadz and the border is from Scrappin Doodles. Stop by tomorrow for another great freebie!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hey there Super Hero, what's your name? Day 3 Freebie!

First, a huge thank you to all of my fantastic blog friends who have given me such kind awards this week. You are so awesome and I am now loving your blogs!!!! I promise to pay it forward as soon as I can. 

Now...onto the freebie - nameplates!!!

We have rectangle tables in my kindergarten classroom. I actually don't assign table spots to my students. What??? Yes, I allow the children to pick their own seats every day. Believe it or not, they typically sit in different spots each day and with different students, too. Some of my colleagues think I am crazy (well most likely for various reasons), but I have a very different view. I explain to my kiddos, you must display responsibility in order to earn special privileges (good life lesson, too). I also tell them that if they cannot follow our classroom rules and act responsibly, then I will assign them a seat. The only other "rule" is that no one may ever be excluded or told that they cannot sit at a table. Also, they are often assigned to be with specific groups of children during different times of the day (literacy stations, math stations, reading partners, etc.), so I like them to have a little bit of choice for the other parts of the day.

They keep their nameplates in their plastic supply boxes. When they arrive in the morning, they take the supply boxes out of their cubbies, and bring them to their seats. Rather than trying to find a super hero name plate at my local teacher supply store, I decided to just make my own!

Here are the super hero nameplates!  Enjoy!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Super Hero of the Week! Day 2 Freebie!

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... another super hero freebie!!!! I am so excited about my new back to school theme. It is going to be all about super heroes! Yesterday, I shared my new positive behavior slips. Today, I am sharing my new special student of the week. Of course, it will now be...Super Hero of the Week!

You will receive a parent letter which explains the special privileges for the week, stationary for the classroom compliment book, and a certificate. I hope you enjoy it!

Also, please make sure you visit the two sites I used for the clip art and borders: Melonheadz and Graphics From The Pond.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Look! Up in the Sky! It's...Super Teacher!!! Freebie for You!

Wouldn't you love to see what Super Teacher would actually look like? I can only imagine!

Have you noticed how many super hero movies are out in the theaters lately? The Avengers was a huge hit, Spiderman is now out, and I think there is a new Batman coming soon! That made me think...wouldn't a super hero theme be awesome for a back to school theme?

So...all this week, I will be posting some fun things I have created for back to school using great clip art from Melonheadz, my new favorite clip art site!

My freebie for you today is a simple "Incredible Behavior" poster with individual positive behavior slips featuring my son's favorite hero - The Incredible Hulk! Try printing it using the poster print feature on your printer.

I hope you enjoy it! Please click below to receive your "Incredible" freebie!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July Sale!

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I absolutely love this holiday. In honor of the wonderful fourth, I am having a TPT sale! Everything in my store is 15% off until Friday. Have a fantastic, fireworks-filled day!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Emergent Reader for Back to School

Hi! Just a quick note to let you know that I just made a new emergent reader for back to school. It focuses on the sight words I and can. I will be making a lot of new ones for the beginning of the year. Be sure to stop by my TPT store to take a look!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July filled with picnics, fireworks, and lots of family fun!

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