Monday, May 28, 2012

End of the Year Writing!

One of my favorite parts of teaching kindergarten is being able to reflect about all of the field trips, fun times and special days we had throughout the year with the students!  We have been doing just that in my classroom for the past few days, and I plan to continue next week.  I find that having some simple reflection writing prompt sheets comes in very handy throughout the last weeks of school, when the days are always filled with special events and assemblies.  I find that it's pretty easy to fill in a spare 15-30 minutes with some of the end-of-the year writing sheets I've created over the years.  Sooo, I've prettied them up and compiled them into my latest TpT product, Reflecting on Kindergarten: End of the Year Writing Prompts!  I hope you still have time to use them! (9 days are still left for me).  Just click the picture below to be taken to my TpT store to have a closer look at the prompts included!

Oh, and I have extended my 20% off store through Tuesday just so you have time to take advantage of all of the great deals! 

Hope you are enjoying  Memorial Day.  I am off to run 17 miles...the marathon is drawing closer!!! Wish me luck:)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm In, Too!!! Memorial Day Sale

Happy Memorial Weekend! 

Today is going to be 90 and sunny and I'm heading my apartment complex's pool to spend some much needed time in the sun! 

To celebrate this beautiful long weekend, I've joined up with many others at Kindergarten Lifestyle (love that blog!) for the Memorial Day Teachers Pay Teachers Sale link up that Jeannie is hosting.  Click on the graphic below to check out my TpT store-I just posted a summer review product that might just help you out!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goodbye Kindergarten! Summer Bridging Activities

My fellow kindergarten teachers,

 Don't you just HATE that sinking feeling at the end of the year when you've worked SO hard to get your students ready for first grade and you know that at least some of your kiddos will lose a good portion of their knowledge over the summer?  I know I do, and I try to provide families with some learning tools to stop summer learning loss.  I give each student a sandbox pail and shovel combo (85 cents each with your teacher discount at Michael's) and stuff them full of flashcards, paper books, packets, and other goodies.  The pails are also a great place to stick old name tags, extra pencils and crayons, and anything other last minute things you want to send home with kiddos. Pictures will follow later this week when we get our summer pail activities started!

 I just finished up a new TpT product called Goodbye Kindergarten, I'll Never Forget You.  It's 55 pages of writing, reading, and math flashcards and activities to help your students retain the precious knowledge you've given them over the school year.  I hope you find it useful!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kindergarten Portfolios

It's the weekend and what am I up to?  Why, organizing my students' kindergarten portfolios so that they are ready to be taken home within the next couple of weeks.  We use 1.5 inch three-ring binders for this.  We still have 14 days of school left, but I have seriously let these lag this year.  I thought some of you may be in the same, last-minute boat that I am in and could use a cute cover and divider tabs to help organize your kiddos' portfolios.  If so, hop over to my TpT store and pick mine up for only a quarter:).  One of the divider pages is shown below.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back with some good news and kinder-friendly Eric Carle art

Holy Moly! I am getting bad about blogging.  Somehow a whole week has passed since my last post, but for good reason!  In the last week, I ran my first half marathon!!  I had it scheduled as a part of my marathon training.  The weather was downright miserable (43 degrees and raining) but I felt good during *most* of the race.  Miles 11 and 12 got very a little hard.  I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I'm not sure that I even qualify as a runner but more of a walk/jogger.  My official time was 2:33:37 which boils down to about 11 minutes, 40 seconds per mile.  Sooo, I have a long ways to go in regards to fitness, but I'm getting there slowwwwly.

Anyway, enough runner walk/jogger talk. After all, this is supposedly a teaching blog.

Last Thursday and Friday, we wrapped up our planting unit by reading The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and making some art inspired by the book's illustrations.

First, we watched a few slide shows from Carle's website showing how he makes his tissue papers and book illustrations.

Then, we painted our own papers.  Instead of tissue, we used construction paper because I thought it would be easier for kindergarten kids to free-hand cut and manipulate for the later parts of the project.  Plus, I just don't have easy access to higher quality tissue paper.

I think it's important to model painting a paper so kids don't make a picture/scene on theirs, but rather a pattern or design.  This is a foreign concept to some kindergarten friends.  It's also important to stress that everyone will share the papers to make their final project, and that no one will get their own papers back.
Making our papers!

The students made some really fun and creative designs!

We did the papers on Thursday and let them dry overnight.  On Friday, i modeled how to cut different papers into shapes to create a collage picture like Carle does.  Most students were quite successful with this, and they were very interested in becoming "real" illustrators.

Here are some of the finished products!

Oh...and now (if you're still reading at this point) for the GOOD news I mentioned in the title.  Back in March, I had mentioned how I am a probationary teacher (I don't have tenure) and because of some major budget cuts, there was a big chance that I would get pink-slipped. Thankfully, I have received word that I will almost positively be back as a first grade teacher next year!  I have to say almost because enrollment numbers could always go up and down but for now I'm saying Yippee!  I was really dreading the thought of job searching this summer and having nightmares that I would have to cancel my honeymoon to go on an interview.

Thanks for reading my super-long post!  Hope I have more time for blogging in the coming weeks...