Saturday, December 28, 2013

Do Something For Yourself In 2014!

Only a teacher will understand how much I have loved having my Erin Condren Teacher Planner. This planner has gone with me to every meeting and back and forth from home to school. Everything is in here! I thought long and hard about ordering one because they are higher than what I normally pay for a planner. I am so glad I went ahead and bought one.
This is how the box arrives.

Pretty nifty! It takes about 2 weeks to ship because every page is customized for you! I ordered owls, because my room theme is Forest Friends.

When I opened the box (yes I had my camera ready!) this is the sweet chocolate packaging! So special!

I loved the details in the packaging. I knew if she paid this much attention to the packaging, then the inside was going to be amazing!

My Planner! I could have put my grade level, but at the time I ordered this I thought I might be teaching AIG 4th and 5th grade again. You can put anything you want where I have my school name.

The inside is so beautiful. Very well made! The spirals are really strong. You have so many color options and designs to choose from.
I transferred all my passwords and usernames for my school resources. I also wrote in all the great websites and blogs that I can refer to and share in meetings. I am still writing in blogs and urls for Kindergarten!

This is the inside calendar. Of course mine is ALL filled up now. I write in everything! I know that I will be glad when next year rolls around. This year, with a new grade level, I am always doing things at the moment, next year with all my notes I can get ready well ahead of time.

This is a great pocket. I have all of my staff meeting notes and handouts in this pocket. I haven't gone to that many PDPs but the handouts and info are in this pocket also. It is very sturdy and had kept everything together.

This is a great little vinyl envelope to keep "stuff" in. I have used the free labels and all Erin sent with my order, but I have other items in here that I know I'll need during grade level meetings.

My planner is full! I take notes and as my new co-teaching friend and I plan, I jot down what we have talked about for each week, month, or holiday. This really helps me plan ahead for lessons and notes to parents and all. I feel lost without it now!

One thing I also do is write down when I upload a Teachers Pay Teachers product! I sometimes forget when I uploaded a product and this is so helpful when I am planning my next product.

If you are wondering whether or not to invest in an Erin Condren product, I highly recommend this!

I also have some new products in my TPT store. Don't forget the TPT Holiday Tips and Freebies ebook and my free submission! It's for Pre-K- 1st grade mostly.

Happy Holidays everyone and as always, thanks for visiting! Pam

Friday, December 20, 2013

Our Christmas Elf Applications!

I had so much fun with these little Elf Applications! My students took this so seriously and this was the best present I could have this Christmas. They actually believed they could apply to be an Elf! I am just back in Kindergarten after teaching 4th and 5th grade AIG (Academically Gifted Students.) I wanted this change and I can see why now! These children have not lost their magic, they still believe that anything is possible and I love that! I hope their creativity never gets stifled!

When we were going over the Application (they did this first) I asked them to really think hard about whether or not they wanted to be an Elf when they grew up. We talked about having to make all those toys and then what it would be like if they were sent out to homes and schools to be an Elf On A Shelf. One little girl almost cried saying she didn't want to be an elf! I told her just to say that she didn't want to apply. She is the one that is below. I think the cutest one of the bunch!

Most of mine wanted to be an Elf. We talked about why an elf would have to like toys, snow, and of course, Christmas. They had such a good time doing this.

My only regret is that I cannot find the file or where I got this free item. I have searched through TPT where I usually get my free items and I can't find it anywhere. When you add something to your wish list and then download the item, it is gone. If someone knows who I can link this free item to, please let me know. I couldn't even share the link with my co-teachers since it is lost somewhere. It must not be titled Elf Application.

I love the little faces they made! Cute activity and it tied in well with careers and why you need to have certain skills and likes to be successful in a job choice!

At beginning of the year, my students couldn't even hold scissors for the most part. I just love the way they have learned to cut out carefully. These pieces were not that big and they had to cut the collar, the hat, all of the pieces. They have come a long way since the beginning of the year!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Making Centers!

Unless you just buy the pre-made centers from Lakeshore (and I do love that .com) you are probably like me and spend a lot of time making centers that are fun and engaging and MEANINGFUL for your students.

I haven't taught Kinders in quite a while so I have a lot to do!

I like to use little clips in fun themes for my students. It seems they try harder to do the work I want them to do if I make it colorful and fun. I bought lots of different themes at AC Moore recently. They were on sale, which helped a lot! Especially since North Carolina has taken away the $250.00 teacher deduction which we always have had..... Anyway, thank goodness for sales! The monkeys were the most expensive, but I had to have them!

I use the smooth jumbo sized paper clips. 

I glue the paper clip as shown in the picture above. I try to cover up the ends, but if you go too low down, the clips will eventually come out.

The little clips look like this after you have put the two sides together.
You could do the clips like the picture above, but they eventually come apart. You will get more for your money, but most will not stay for the year.

I started out with these stars. Boy are they sparkly! They are also pretty thick, which makes the clips a bit larger than I want, but they are pretty.

I ended up with this pile! My students are going to love these.

Here's the monkey clips. Too cute to pass up. I had to do double sided on the monkeys also since I want the clips to stay on.
I made the sports packet also. These are felt and really nice. Again more expensive, but double sided they will last for quite a few years.
This was a large pack of felt flowers. So colorful. You can see in this picture the clips that I did not get perfectly aligned. (I was getting tired!)
This heart packet had a paper backing that I could glue back on. It still wasn't strong enough though after quite a few times of poking and pulling like a student (might) do, it started coming off.

This is how the hearts turned out. I might save these just for February since I made so many of the others.

I also made Wiggly Sticks as my students called them. I had a few left over from way back when, but the painted craft sticks were so nice I had to make something with them. I made about 25 of the goggly eyed sticks for my students to use as they read in Daily Five.

One more thing.... this is my newest product for TPT. This is a huge pack of beginning sound word cards. 278 large, colorful cards. I needed a pack to use in whole group that was interesting and not just the usual words. My students are a little more sophisticated now and I wanted to use words and pictures that would keep them interested.

The center that goes along with this packet is great to use with the clips above!

Just in case you do not have all the little themed clips, I have different fonts you can laminate and glue onto the jumbo paper clips or use clothes pins.

Ohhh.... this was a long post. Hopefully you made it to the end. Don't forget to go download the 2013 TPT Annual Holiday Freebie Book for K-2 (I have a product included and I am so honored!) Happy December! Pam

2013 TPT Happy Holidays eBook - 50 Freebies! I am honored to be included!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy December and a Freebie!

Hi all,
If you are a TPT fan, you probably know the Annual TPT ebook is out with tons of freebies!
I am so honored to be included in the book this year!

So many great products and tips! Download here!

Also, I just put up another freebie in my Kindergarten Store! It's an emergent reader about a cat and a hat. My students loved it so I thought others might also like to have a copy to put in students' browsing bags. I am starting the Daily Five and need lots of readers!

Have a great week, Pam

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Science and Social Studies Vocabulary Word Walls

Most schools are now requiring Science and Social Studies Vocabulary Word Walls. We have always had Word Walls for ELA and Math. The Science and Social Studies words can be a little more difficult because these words are usually harder to spell.... so harder to recognize for the younger students.

Here is a picture of my Science and Social Studies Vocabulary Word Wall.

I don't really have a lot of room for so many Word Walls, but they are required and my students use them in their writing. My Kindergartners would not be able to recognize these words though if it wasn't for the pictures. They use the School Tools pictures a lot in their writing. This is included in my School Tools packet on Teachers Pay Teachers (link.) Lots of other activities and printables are included also.

My Science Vocabulary Word Wall was put up after we did whole group lessons and other fun activities with this packet. (link) This deals specifically with K.P.1.1 in the Common Core curriculum. These are words that my students need to know, the pictures help.

Notice I had to use one of the center cards! I let my students use these cards at their seats whenever they need to for writing. It really helps them to see the words along with the pictures and sometimes the cards turn up in a journal instead of in the baggie where they can be found!

This is one of the whole group cards that I use to teach and show what the words mean.

****** After writing this post, I realized I should have just made Word Wall Cards with the pictures! So I have included those in this packet. If you have already bought this from my TPT, just go to your purchases and download the updated version.*******

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods! We are on our countdown to Winter Break... I love those words! I try not to think about it though because I want to take my time with my students and not rush through their Kindergarten Year.

Have a great December!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hope Everyone Is Having A Thankful Thanksgiving!

Holidays are always bittersweet for me. I miss so many of my family members that are no longer here, but I love being with the family that surrounds me now. When you really think about what is important in life, it always comes back to family and loved ones.

I always think about my students also. Past and present. Are they warm and looking forward to a nice family gathering? Do they feel loved and safe in their homes? I know most are having a wonderful holiday, but some I know are feeling frustrated and miss their lunches at school and our tasty snacks, and the feeling that they are safe. To all children, all over the world, I pray that they find a safe and loving place during this season.

Here is my 'Turkey Curtain.' I love making a curtain out of my students' work!

I used this as a center and we made 'at' words. The Turkey on the purple paper was rather difficult for some of mine. I gave them a number, they put the number on the turkey's belly! Then they had to show the number 4 different ways. Most drew the number, tallied the number, wrote the number word, and then make a number sentence such as: 4 red flowers and 2 blue flowers makes 6! It was a cute activity and I am going to make some of these up for the next big holiday coming up!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Technology In Our Kindergarten Classroom

My students seem to learn best with technology, color, and interaction. I guess it has always been that way, except now technology is more high-tech.

My Ks are using the little Chromebooks I wrote a grant for last year. Of course at that time I didn't know I would be using them with Ks! I was uncertain if they could use them without a mouse, but they went for it immediately and all three are using Starfall. If you have other websites that are easy for Ks to get around in, please leave a comment.

This is actually going to be my writing center. I have a big ole Teacher Desk that is taking up prime property in my room. This was moved out yesterday so I now have room! These two Chromebooks are now in my little listening center so this is my writing area. My room is actually a mess right now and I can't wait to straighten it out this week. (We had 27 students and just split the classrooms so I have way too much stuff.)

This is my new assistant who is actually a certified teacher. She is showing students how to use the Smart Table. They love this! I can't wait to find time to make some activities on this. We do not have a Smart Board but I was able to get this from the EC Dept.

These pictures are our Cut N Paste Center. They rainbow trace their names and then cut the letters out to build their names. Turns out so cute. I wish I could figure out how to put this in an interactive pdf file so everyone could use this. Any ideas?

The Cut n Paste Center is one of their favorites.

What are some of your students favorite centers?

Today we plan on doing this center. This should be an ongoing center from now on until these sight words are mastered.

I only have 5 girls in my room, so while this will appeal to them because they love to make things and all of my girls play some type of sport, my boys will especially love the graphics.

Thanks for visiting! Pam