Wednesday, February 3, 2016

100th Day 2016

Last Thursday was our 100th Day of school. (It was supposed to be last Wednesday, but we had a two hour fog delay - turned day off in August. Yup, August. Click HERE to see pictures of the fog.) Well, at least we didn't have to wait until February for our 100th Day like we've done in the past.

Here are some pictures of our 100th Day fun.

1. Counting our collections of 100 small items. I made those mats  a few years ago ~ they are perfect for counting by 10s.

2. Creating ten frame books with 100 rubber stamp imprints.

3. Collaborating to create gumball machines with 100 gumballs.

4. Doing 100 exercises. The little guy in the first picture did a few (not 100 ~ lol) one handed push-ups!

5. Doing "100" papers. These kiddos are drawing themselves as 100 year olds.

6. Eating "100" cookies. The kids were so surprised & excited when I told them that they were going to be able to eat 100 cookies. :-)

7. The hands - down favorite activity of the day ~ working together to make a structure with 100 red solo cups. We had three sets so there wasn't a huge wait for this activity. I left one set out for the kids to use at playtime (there are no longer 100 in that set...).

As you can see in this picture most of the kids wore special 100th Day shirts. I love the creativity that went into making them. The kids had a blast, the parent volunteers were great, and lasting memories were made. We  had a super 100th Day of kindergarten!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Winter Science & Writing

Happy New Year! I hope that you are off to a great start to 2016. We started the new year with a little bit of snow ~ just enough to cause excitement, but not enough to make a snowball. Geez, you would think my students were plucked out of some tropical locale and dropped into the middle of Antarctica! We had to stop everything to go to the window to admire the snow for a few minutes. (Because, you know how rare snow is in northwest Indiana...)

Really, though this has been a very snowless winter so far. We did have a lovely snowglobe type snowfall the weekend before Thanksgiving, but that's really all the snow we've had. It does feel a little funny reading snow themed books when the grass is still green. But, it is winter ~ snow or no snow!

With that in mind I thought I'd showcase three of my winter themed Science & Writing units. First up is my Hibernation mini unit. In this unit you will find vocabulary cards, hibernating animal cards, facts about hibernating animals, writing pages, and a fun craftivity. Click HERE to purchase.

Waddling in second is my Penguins unit. This set includes a fact sheet, posters, penguin species trading cards, writing pages, and a penguin craftivity. Click HERE to purchase.

New this winter is my polar bear unit. It includes facts, charts & posters, vocabulary cards, writing pages, and two craftivities. Click HERE to purchase.

And, now for a freebie (or three)! Click HERE for Penguin Problems, HERE for Snow Buddies Ten Frames, and HERE for Snow Buddies Sound Boxes

Here's to a great 2016 & a mild winter! 

PS Here is a picture to prove that I really don't totally dislike winter... On the first day of Christmas break I went ice skating (for the first time since college) with my daughter & two of my granddaughters. It was so much fun! And, I didn't fall down! 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

No Excuses

It's been nearly two months since I've posted anything. I really don't have any excuses (reasons, maybe, but no real excuses). So, anyway I thought I'd take this lazy day to get caught up. We had a fun and festive Christmas. But, our house is super quiet today. It's a perfect time for getting caught up on my blog.

We spent a lot of time in the fall talking about characters and had fun dressing up as our favorite story book characters on Halloween. I am Lilly ~ complete with a purple plastic purse I made by covering a granola bar box with purple craft foam. It held three shiny quarters, but sadly didn't play music when I opened it. My teaching partners dressed up as George & Harold. (I didn't really need to tell you that, did I?)  The following pictures are of our fun at-home project. This is the first year we asked families to decorate pumpkins to look like their Kinders' favorite characters. It was optional ~ most of my kiddos brought in a pumpkin.

Here comes the bride! This is one reason I haven't blogged in a while. My youngest daughter got married in November. Needless to say we were busy. But, as you can see from the pictures our Cinderella themed wedding was a beautiful success!

 This has got to be one of my favorite photos of the day. It is truly magical.

 Gabrielle was a beautiful bride.

 More magical pics.

 My pretty family. My other girls were matrons of honor, their hubbies were groomsmen, and their darling daughters were adorable flower girls. I felt so glamorous in my black dress. (I did wonder if black was appropriate for the MOB, but Gabrielle approved it!)

 My pretty girls. Emily was very pregnant ~ she made it through the wedding! We were all very happy about that. :-)

 Adorable flower girls. The two older girls are Sarah's girls. The cutie in the middle is Emily's first.

 We had an usually warm November day. (It snowed the following weekend.) The little girls had fun frolicking around the backyard before heading to the church. I like the fancy dresses in front of horse fencing. Too bad the horses weren't in the pictures.

 OK ~ reason # 2 for me not posting. Not only did Madelyn not make her appearance during the wedding, she let us eat Thanksgiving dinner. But, she decided that we really didn't have to sleep off all of that turkey ~ Emily called us at 2:50 Friday morning to say that they were on the way to the hospital. We didn't mind missing a few hours of sleep. Amelia loves her baby sister!

These little girls LOVE each other! As a child all of my cousins were in West Virginia (we moved to Indiana when I was one), so I never got to see them. I always felt a little jealous of friends who got to hang out with their cousins. It is so wonderful seeing my little darling granddaughters have so much fun together. Everyone usually comes over Friday evenings. The craziness is so much fun!

OK ~ back to a little school stuff. We made these Rudolfs to hang on our hallway tree. My brilliant teaching assistant hot glued clothespins to the wall so changing out the art work is now a super simple task. I think these little guys turned out super cute!

 We participated in a school-wide hallway decorating theme. Each class chose a country and decorated their bulletin board in a way that represented Christmas traditions from that country. (I teach in a small rural school in a not very diverse area. As far as I know everyone celebrates Christmas.) We had USA and after some thought I decided that Charlie Brown Christmas is a beloved tradition so we made friends for Charlie Brown & Snoopy. (My amazing teaching assistant made the characters & doghouse.)

 Our December family craft was decorating little paper trees. I love them!

A parent of one of my teaching partners is a former teacher. She offered us the use of her amazing Polar Express decoration that her mother had made. The kids drew pictures of themselves for the windows. We have our Polar Express day on the last day before break. It's also the same day as our Christmas party. We wear PJs and have lots of Yuletide fun!

OK, I think I'm more or less caught up. I hope that I can do a better job of blogging in 2016!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Five for (Fall Break) Friday

I love a beautiful October day! And, if it happens to include a day of Fall Break it's even better! October in northwest Indiana is very pretty. The leaves are amazing right now. In honor of this colorful season my Five for Friday features all things fall.


My kinders worked hard on making numbers to five in various ways using my Apple Basket Number Sense activities. To round out the lessons we made these cute apple baskets to add some fall color to our room (and, to show off their learning of course).

My set includes 42 pages of number sense activities that are perfect for this time of year.
 Purchase it HERE. (PS you can get just the craftivity for free in my store.)

Beautiful autumn leaves. To create some lovely leaves for our hallway tree we had fun sponge painting these papers. I had traced a leaf shape on the back before painting. The kids cut them out once the paint had dried. Because the sponge painting was random they were surprised to see the results. They will stay up until Thanksgiving ~ by then we will need to make some snow for the tree!

Scrappy Owls have come to roost in our tree branches. We made these cuties using my freebie and some left over scrapbook paper I found in the hall. (When we teachers come in to set up for the up-coming year anything that is no longer wanted/needed it put out into the hall with a "Free to a Good Home" sign. I scored a stack of pretty paper from the cast-off pile!) I think the kids did a great job ~ each owl is so cute and unique. 

 Get this craftivity HERE. Please rate it if you download it. And, if your kids make them I'd LOVE to see them. Post a link in the comments or send pictures to via Facebook.

Hedgehogs! I wanted to do something different this year on our hallway bulletin board. (It's to the right of my door & the tree is to the left of my door.) Like our leaves & owls, this bulletin board will take us through November. (Which is great because my youngest, Gabrielle, is getting married in November & I'm not sure how creative I'm going to be until after the wedding...) The cute little hedgies are made from paper plates ~ I folded them & pre-cut the head/snout before the kids painted them. Once dry, I stapled them along the edges & the kids glued on the paper spines, wiggle eyes, and pompom noses. I've never used glue sponges, and really wished that I had some for this craft. But, in lieu of glue sponges I put some white glue into milk bottle caps. (We have a ton of them on hand because our PTO is saving them to have benches made for our playground. Check out the program HERE.) I figured  using 18 caps for glue wouldn't set back our bench goal too badly. :-)

I asked our kindergarten TA to put some words up for our hedgehog bulletin board ~ I wasn't picky, I just thought we needed it to say something. Well, not only did she come up with a title, she created this fabulous harvesting hedgehog! She is a wonder! She looked at some pictures online & painted it!

Trip to the apple orchard with some of my girls (Gabrielle had to work). Sarah (in last car) is also a kindergarten teacher so she was on Fall Break. Emily, in the front car, is an author and sets her own hours. (Check her out on Facebook.) What a fun activity for a crisp fall day!

 A ride on the Moo Choo is a must!

 A harvest of cuties! My little darling granddaughters in a giant cornucopia.

 Enjoying apple cider on the front porch of the apple orchard's big barn.

Background papers by: