Friday, June 29, 2012

Star Ice Cubes and a Freebie

I spent a fun day with my amazing two year old granddaughter.  Everything everyone says about grandchildren is true!  We have so much fun together.  "Baby Cakes" and I spend every Friday together:  We go to the park (she is a champion swing rider), visit my mother, and come back to Mimi & Papa's house for lunch and an afternoon of crafts and play.  It stormed this afternoon so we didn't get to go out to the barn.  She loves to visit the horses and ferrets who live out there. 

Anyway, now for the "Educational" part of this posting:

I recently found these at the Dollar Spot in Target.  Most "normal" people would see these and say, "Wow! I can make star shaped ice cubes."  But, I bet most of you teachers said, "Wow!  I can make star shaped ten frames."  Well, that's exactly what I did...

I cut up another star necklace for the counters.
Not a real great picture, but you can get the freebie here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lazy Summer Day

As the temperature promises to climb, I decided to get my outdoor chores done early and spend the rest of the day pursuing indoor activites.  (Note: I didn't say chores)  This is what I did this morning:

I put the horses out & cleaned stalls, watered my flowers (did not pull any weeds), filled the bird feeders, set up the sprinkler, and made myself an amazing frozen treat using my new "Yonanas."  If it's not too hot, I'm sure I will take my ipad, a tall glass of lemonade and my "porch puppies" out to my favorite summer hangout: my front porch rocking chair.  I'm currently reading Deathly-Contagious by my daugher, Emily Goodwin on my Kindle app. 

Mystery (in corral) & Bob (in pasture)

 Our little herd.  (left to right:  Alice, Bob, Sundance, Mystery)
  Alice says, "Hello!"

  I  filled the bird feeders & watered the flowers (weeds, too).

Porch Puppy Chrissy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Love My Cricut!

Last summer my wonderful husband was looking through a Menard's sale paper and asked me if I'd ever heard of a Cricut cutting machine.  We have one at school, so of course I replied that it is a very cool thing that does very cool stuff.  To my surprise, he came home with one for me!  It has been love ever since...  :)

Here are a few of the nifty things I have made for my classroom.  I snapped these as I was packing up for the summer - there are more that I didn't come accross as I was cleaning.  I am thinking of doing a camping theme for my back to school classroom, so I think this will be my next purchase.

The very first picture I did. 
This hangs above the monthly menu.
I made the snow by tearing and layering white paper.

Two little Valentine's Day posters.

St. Patrick's Day
This is from our scuba diver bulletin board.

This is from our dinosaur bulletin board.

I made this as a gift card holder for my daughter & son in law's anniversary.  (No special reason for the pirates...)

 I didn't glue the treasure chest all the way down so I could slip the gift card into it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vote for me, please

Voting for Fastinating Kinder Blog has opened!  Please click on the badge and follow the instructions on the link.  You will need to scroll through the "comments" to find my blog.  It is such an honor to be nominated!  I looked through the list of blogs, and I am amazed and humbled to be counted among such thoughtful and interesting bloggers.  Thank you!

Fascination Awards

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Paint Samples

I picked up some paint samples the other day at Walmart.  I want to come up with as many ideas for using these freebies as possible.  Here's what I've come up with so far.

A rainbow of possibilities!
Alphabetical Order #1:  Put the six strips in order.
Alphabetical Order #2:  Put the thirteen cards in order.
Alphabetical Order #3:  Put the twenty six cards in order.

Twice the fun!  Other than bingo markers, I need to come up with something to do with these perfect little circles!

I wonder if paint companies know how many ways resourceful teachers have found to use these little gems!  (I hope they are always readily available - you never know when inspiration may strike!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dollar Deals at Target & Walmart

Even though I am on Summer Vacation, I can't help browsing the Dollar Spot at Target and checking out the deals at Walmart for things I can use at school.  I found some nifty items this week to make some number sense activities.  (Hurry to your local store - these things may be in stock there, too!)

I was walking past the picnic stuff in Walmart and these little plates caught my eye.  (Most people would think of them as a way to keep the beans from soaking their hot dog bun.  But, I instantly thought number bonds! when I saw them.)  The patriotic necklaces were a few aisles over.    

I made some number cards, cut apart the necklaces and I have a Math Center!

I found these items in the dollar spot at Target, not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with them.  Below is a photo of an activity made from the coasters, sticky notes, and burger baskets.

I wrote numbers on the sticky notes and glued them onto cardstock to make cards.  Using the coasters as counters, students can practice a variety of number sense skills as outlined in this  Lemonade Stand Freebie.

2 Crazy Texas Teachers

Vist 2 Crazy Texas Teachers for a Linky Party & Giveaway.  Stick around to read their fun posts!


Monday, June 18, 2012

I've Been Nominated for an Award!

I was very happy to find a nomination for a Kinder Teacher award in my e-mailbox! Thank you to whomever submitted my blog! Voting begins June 25. If you enjoy my blog, please vote for me. :) Thanks!
Fascination Awards

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Linky Parties

I hope that some of you get a chance to join up with my Linky Party. I am excited to hear how others run their Literacy Blocks, and to get some fresh ideas to incorporate into mine. In the meantime I have found some Linkies to join:

Freebies    The Cornerstone For Teachers        
Craft Linky   Preschool Powol Packets
Response to Literature    Read.Explore.Learn. Logo

Monday, June 4, 2012

Literacy Linky Party

I have decided to host my first Linky Party!  As our school year winds down I find myself reflecting on how things went this year:  What went well, what could be tweeked...  For this Linky Party, please create or link a post in which you share some literacy ideas.  (What activities do you do in your literacy block?  How do you group your students?  Do you have a Freebie or something on TPT? Etc.)   

I have posted many of our Literacy Stations, but have never really explained our Literacy Block, so here is a brief summery of our ninety minutes:

Book time  This ten minute activity follows our snack break.  This isn't really a quite time.  At first I had tried to get the kids to read/look at books quietly, but soon discovered that Kinders get enthusiastic about books!  As long as it's not a zoo, they are allowed to talk about what they discover in books.

Whole Group instruction   (20 minutes)  The lessons during this time usually come straight from our reading series.

Skill Tubs  (15 minutes)  Students work in pairs on a variety of activities that help them to practice important literacy skills.  (Click on the Skill Tubs label for more information.)

Seat work or other activity  (15 minutes)  Once we clean up our Skill Tubs, we do a page from the reading series or some other activity that reinforces the day's skills.  I like to use Skill Totes (click label for info) to distribute materials quickly.

Literacy Stations  (30 minutes)  My two partners and I plan stations together, and usually do the same ones each week (Sometimes we trade off activities, and of course adapt as needed for our specific learners.)  We are lucky - each grade level has its own teaching assistant!  Mrs. S. comes to each of our rooms to help with Stations in turn.  Our stations cover a wide variety of literacy skills, including writing and math.  We are allowed to teach content subjects during our Literacy Block. There are some "listening and speaking" core standards that are covered along with math skills.  I usually run the"Math" station, and Mrs. S. runs the "Reading" station.  The others are designed to be done independently if a parent volunteer is not able to come in to help.

Now for the Linky Party!

1.  Please post the direct link to your literacy post.
2.  Please link back to this post.  Copy and paste the linky picture above.
3.  Please follow my blog if you link up - I promise to follow you back!

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