Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Bunny & Caterpillars

Happy Easter!  The eggs have been dyed, filled & hidden.  The ham will go into the oven in about 30 minutes, and I'm hoping the eggs will peel properly so that I can make deviled eggs.  (We usually end up with egg salad because the eggs never peel without falling apart!)  We have our holiday parties in the late afternoon so that my girls can have a meal with their in-laws.  I don't mind waiting - that way I don't have to rush around getting everything ready early.  This year I hid eggs and little gifts around the house for Isabella to find.  Now that she's three, she will have fun searching for goodies.  She will be in charge of finding color-coded gifts: pink for her, purple for baby sister Olivia, and yellow for her cousin to be Amelia.  It will be so much fun in a few years when all three little girls are running around the house!

It's back to school tomorrow.  Our reading lessons revolve around insects this week, so I have been busy making buggy activities to use with my Kinders.  I like to carry a theme throughout the day whenever possible.  Tomorrow we will read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I created this activity pack to retell the story and work on some writing skills. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dental Health

We recently had a visit from some local vocational students who put on a nice presentation about dental health.

The Kinders had fun flossing giant marshmallow teeth!
 Chunky variegated yarn makes flossing fun!
The vocational students made a fun sorting activity featuring healthy and unhealthy snack choices.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Buggy Activity Sets

On my To-Do list for Spring Break was to work on my Buggy Activity sets.  I finished my addition set, and made a set for patterns, and one for sorting & comparing sets.  All are now available on Teachers pay Teachers - and on sale until Sunday!!  Check out my store for other items on sale.

Two work mats

 Pattern strips, label strips, bug cards to extend patterns

One of the two worksheets that are included

Sorting jars & lots of bugs

One of the two worksheets that are included

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lie Revealed, Another Fun Linky & I Thought it was SPRING Break

My lie:  We raise cattle.  We really do have large animals, just not cows.  We raise - er - feed horses.  Five horses cavort around our pasture: Bob (Hard Rockin' Fancy Bob) the Tennessee Walker, Alice (I Fancy this Lonestar) the paint, Mystery (C.A. Counts Parada) the Arabian, Sundance the mustang, and Spirit the Quar-Ab.   Sundance was a BLM pony.  His mother was rounded up from the wild and he was born shortly there-after.  A friend gave my daughter Spirit, and I'm not sure if he as papers or not.  Oh well, registered or not they eat, poop, eat, poop, eat, etc.

Gabrielle & Alice at a horse show.  (They got several blue ribbons!)

I'm linking up with Flying into First Grade again for another Get Acquainted linky.  This week she is hosting a Noun Game.  To play, simply name your favorite Person, Place, Thing & Animal.  Here are mine:

I actually have to name more than one person.  My favorite people in the whole entire world are my family.  I have a wonderful husband, three lovely daughters, two good sons-in-law, and two (soon to be three) adorable granddaughters.  Spending time with these people makes me very happy!
My beautiful family

As much as I love Disney World, Chicago, and the Outlet Mall, I must say my favorite place is my home.  I love where I live.  Country, but close enough  to everything (including school - my morning commute is 4 minutes long!)
Home Sweet Home

Hmmm, I really love my Cricut, iPad, and closet full of clothes.  Oh, that reminds me.  I kinda lied about my pencil skirts.  I said I had almost two dozen skirts.  Well, when I actually counted them I realized that I have 28 of them.  shhh!  Don't tell my hubby!  ;-)

Right now Ella, one of our two nearly identical Tabby cats, is twining around my ankles, so I feel mildly guilty when I say that Macie, my Chihuahua is my favorite animal.  Macie isn't the friendliest dog in the world, but she is my little dog, and I love her.

And finally, I really thought it was Spring Break!  But, I guess Mother Nature has other ideas:
The view from my back porch this morning.  It is really pretty, but... "Enough!" I say, "Enough!"  I am really, truly, honestly, totally over snow!  Let's get some Spring into Spring Break!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Buggy for Math

I have really had a lot of fun making products for my Kinders - and to sell on Teachers pay Teachers!  It is very satisfying to create something that helps my kiddos to practice and learn important skills in a fun and engaging way.  Here is my newest product that I plan to use next week.  We have been dabbling in addition for a while, but will really dive into it after Spring Break.  We will be reading and learning about bugs in our literacy block so I thought it would be fun to incorporate them into our math block, too!  Buzz over to my Teachers pay Teachers store to get your set! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Two Truths & a Lie

I'm linking up with Flying into First Grade for this get acquainted linky.

Here are my two truths and a lie.  Guess which is the lie!  Leave a comment with your guess, and then head over to Flying into First Grade to join the fun!

1.  I have about 2 dozen pencil skirts.
2.  We raise cattle.
3.  I was born in West Virginia.

Five for Friday

I love fun linky parties where you get to post random stuff!  My head is frequently full of random stuff, so these linkies give me a perfect platform to share!  Thank you to Doodle Bugs for hosting this Five for Friday link up!


1. Last weekend two friends and I drove into Chicago to attend the Flower Show an navy Pier.  We had a great time looking at all the beautiful floral displays.  (It kinda made me wish I didn't hate gardening so much...)  I do love beautiful things, so there might be hope that my garden won't be a weedy mess this summer.  (Don't hold your breath!)  Anyway, this picture is from a table-scape that fused Alice in Wonderland & Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Doesn't Audrey look smashing as the Red Queen?

2.   I recently finished this book - and highly recommend it if you enjoy light, funny novels.  It's an older book (2005), but still relevant and enjoyable.  I normally don't read British authors (no offense to any British visitors), but I really like Sophie Kinsella (she also writes as Madeleine Wickham).  I have read almost every book she's written, and want more.  While reading Can You Keep a Secret as I walked on the treadmill at the gym I found myself laughing out loud several times.  I'm sure some of my fellows exercisers were wondering what was so funny. 
Product Details

3.  Buggy About Addition!  I am currently working on some Math activities for TpT to help my Kinders practice addition and subtraction.  Here is a freebie preview of my addition set.  Because I'm now on Spring Break *YAY!* I should be able to get them up soon.

4.  Out of the mouths of babes...  Recently two of my little girls said the cutest things:  During our Read to Self time another class was returning from recess.  Their heavy boots (yup, it wasn't that long ago that we had snow) were making noises that sounded really loud in our quietly reading room.  A tiny blond girl came up to me and asked if she could shut the door.  "I can't hear what I'm reading."  TOO CUTE!! Yesterday the high school student council had their annual Easter Egg Hunt for the Kinders.  I didn't tell my kids about it until shortly before the event, so you can just imagine their reactions.  One little girl could barely contain her excitement and exclaimed, "My heart is beeping really fast!"

5.  Mrs. Leeby is hosting a 400 Follower Giveaway.  Congratulations to her!  I know how exciting it is when a new follower pops up, and am anxiously awaiting the day when I reach 400 followers!  I like to check if my new followers have a blog, and follow-back.  If you follow me, and I'm not following your blog, please let me know!  Leave a comment below with a link to your blog, and I'll pop over and check it out!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Crafts & Bulletin Boards

March has been a busy month - what with Dr. Seuss's birthday, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and now Spring Break, we have been busy doing fun crafts.  Here is a sampling of some of the creativities my Kinders have done this month.

Our Thing 1 & Thing 2 hand prints have been a hallway favorite!
 It seriously took all day to make these cutie critters.  In the morning I painted the kids' hands for them to print the faces and hair, after lunch they painted the bodies and later in the afternoon, the details were added.  It was a big project, but the smiles they inspire were worth the effort!

 The following writing prompts were from an issue of Teacher's Helper.  We read Green Eggs and Ham, and then the Kinders wrote about a food that they enjoy.

St. Patrick's Day rainbows and pots of gold.  The rainbows are made of torn paper.  I like how, while they have the colors in the correct order, they are all different.  (I especially like the "exploded" rainbow in the bottom row!)  Glitter made perfect gold!
Feelin' Buggy!  We began our study of bugs this week, which included a discussion of how we feel when encountering a creepy crawly.  The kids first completed their sentence frames, and then drew pictures of themselves - complete with the expression they would likely have.
We first talked about the emotions we might feel when we see a bug, and then brainstormed some things we might say.  This proved to be a little difficult - trying to match a quote with an emotion required a lot of thinking.  This little guy drew such a cute picture - with a speech bubble - that I took a close-up.
I really do think that this little lady would scream "EEK!"
A gaggle o' bunnies!
They all have their own personality.  The Kinders were very happy to get to take them home today to decorate for Easter.  (As you can see, lots of what they made stays on display at school.)

Sunflower House & Seeds

My Kinders are really coming along in their writing.  I am always amazed around this time of year by how much they have grown!  We work with sentences daily.  We begin the day with simple sentences that they copy from the board onto their morning work (purchased from TpT), and work with sentences while reading our morning message.  Many other opportunities to examine and write sentences arise throughout the day.  A few of my little cuties have even written books!  Today one little girl brought in her book "The Big Flower" which she wrote and illustrated.  It was so cute - she had title and dedication pages!  Plus, she gave herself credit as the author/illustrator.  :-) 

Here are some samples of our Sunflower House writing prompt.
This writer wants to have a sleepover with her friends!
How about some cookies and tea in your sunflower house?

~ I would sit down and paint my nails ~

Anyone who uses Treasures will be familiar with this next picture.  (It's from the activity book that goes with unit 8.)  Students selected a picture of how seeds move that they found to be interesting, and wrote about what was happening in the picture.  In keeping with all the CCSS that require students to write about their opinion, I have been trying to incorporate it into our lessons as much as possible.  It is a little difficult to get beyond "Because I like it."  How do you approach this with your students?

"When it is windy the seeds blow away and will grow new flowers."

PS  I have a question that maybe someone can answer for me.  I have received several emails with requests to share my Sunflower House writing prompt.  It may be something simple, but I'm not exactly sure what this means. Does this mean that someone wants to incorporate it into her blog?  If so, I guess I would prefer that someone links back to my blog.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Some Freebies for You!

It seems that I've been so busy making things for my Teachers pay Teachers store, that I haven't posted many freebies lately!  Sorry - I know how much fun it is to get a goodie for free!  These are both things I plan to use with my Kinders tomorrow, and I thought that you might like them.

Sunflower House (Books for Young Readers)

The first freebie is a writing page to go with this book.  We read it earlier in the week as a part of our reading series, and will read it again tomorrow before writing.  Click here for the writing page.

  (Don't forget to visit my TpT store for more St. Patrick's Day activities.   

We are studying number comparisons in math this week, so I created this little partner game for a fun way to practice. See the pictures below to see some of what is included in the set.   

If you download either of these freebies, I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below to let me know how they worked for you and your students!  Enjoy!

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