Wednesday, April 25, 2012

99 Cent Sale!!!!! Plus Planting Fun

Happy Hump Day!

To celebrate that we are almost to Friday, EVERYTHING in my TpT store is only 99 cents for the next 24 hours. Now is your time to stock up on any of my products, including my brand new Springtime Weather Unit and Write the Room pack!  On your mark, get set, shop!

I also wanted to share some pictures of what we've been up to in my classroom this past week....lots of planting fun!  Most of these ideas are from other co-workers and teaching websites, so I am by no means claiming to be the originator:)

Garden in a Glove
My dear fiance came in to help run this center!  I love the project, but it can be time consuming and pretty putzy so I was happy to have help.  Students dip a cotton ball in water, put a seed on the cotton ball and slide it into a finger of the glove.  We planted a different seed in each finger: tomato, green bean, pea, corn annnnd ??? I guess I forgot! Ooops!

Grass seed hair with wacky faces!  We recorded the growth of our grass with a plant log.


 We ate all of the different plant parts--flower, leaves, stems and roots (broccoli, lettuce, celery, carrot).

That's all for now!  Don't forget about my sale..have a great rest of your week:)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Write the Room

Do your kids love write-the-room activities?  Mine sure do-no matter how many times they've done them!  I think they are one of the easiest ways to incorporate some movement into an academic activity.  I also love that writing-the-room really increases students' awareness of the environmental print in the classroom.

It's never too early to start planning for the beginning of next year, so I've just put up an ABC write-the-room set on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  This year, I used these every week and they worked really well as a center activity when copied back-to-back with my rainbow writing sheets. Even though we did all 26 of them, the kids still ask for them, so I need to make some for consonant blends, digraphs, and word families!

Also-I am so excited that I won my first giveaway from Busy Bees!!! I swear I've entered 90 million blog giveaways and never won so I'm super happy that my unlucky streak has ended:)  Plus, I got the mother load of cute bear units that I can't wait to use next year. Thanks, ladies!

I will be back this week with lots of fun pictures from our planting unit--so much fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April Showers Unit and A Reading Incentive

I am SO pumped to finally be done with my brand new, beautiful (if I do say so) TpT unit- April Showers...A Springtime Weather Unit for Primary Learners.

Whew, I worked hard on this one, and I hope it shows! I actually made lesson plans for each of the five days included in this unit. Each day covers a different type of weather: sun, wind, clouds, rain/storms, and rainbows. I've included some of the projects I posted about here last week, as well as TONS of printables/reproducibles for your students! Lesson plans have step by step directions for science experiments and art projects, I've recommended read alouds and included literacy activities like class book templates and reader's responses.

Enough with the self promotion (but I seriously am proud of this unit). Just wanted to share a quick idea for a reading incentive with you. I quickly made this flower on chart paper since we are doing our plants/flowers unit right now. I put it up on the white board and made a scale of 0-60 points on the side of the flower. I wrote each student's name on some magnetic tape (duct covers from Menard's work well, too).

The incentive works like this: each time a student remembers to bring their sight word bag (covered in an earlier post) and book bag to school they earn a point. They earn a point for every book they read. A chapter book is worth 3 points. When every student gets to the top of the flower, the class earns a reward!

For their reward, my class decided to do a family night at a favorite local ice cream parlor. The parents seem to be on board with it. I like that the kids think it's a competition, but the class really needs to encourage each other so everyone gets to the top...nothing like a little peer pressure and promise of ice cream to beat the end-of-the-year fever!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weather Unit Wrap Up with a Freebie!

We finished up our week-long weather theme on Friday. On Thursday, we learned about rain and storms. I briefly tried to explain the water cycle, but we probably needed another day or two to really have a good understanding of that process. We made a stormy cloud project, which the kids loved-they get obsessed with thunder, lightning and tornadoes, especially now at the start of our tornado season in MN.

On the storm cloud, we sequenced the events of a rainstorm. Students illustrated each event. Click below to get your own sequencing sheet for students to illustrate. The lightning bolts are just yellow strips of construction paper and the rain is blue tissue paper.

I only have one wall in my classroom- so I use some cupboards to hang art!

Friday was a rainbow day for us! We did a couple of rainbow projects and watch a Magic School Bus movie about rainbows. The kids really find them fascinating.

Pictured above is one of the rainbow projects the students completed on Friday. We just finger painted each color of the rainbow--this one is from a previous year, but this year I remember to mix up some indigo!

All of my weather idea projects plus more, along with classroom posters, emergent readers, writing prompt sheets, vocabulary cards, and a memory match game will be available in my April Shower weather unit on TpT by the end of the week.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Tax Day Sale, this one with a BONUS!!

I wanted to get a more detailed post up tonight, but my computer's internet connection is acting up at my parent's house, so I am stuck using their computer. I don't have any of my pictures or files available:(

I did still want to post to let everyone know that I decided to have a flash Tax Day Sale at my TpT store. Everything's 15% off right now. The sale only goes through today, so be sure to stop by right away. I don't have a ton of items, but my handwriting packets and sight word activities packet are good throughout the school year. They are pictured below.

BONUS: The first two people who purchase an item of mine and leave a comment here telling me they've done so will get an additional item from my store for FREE:) Happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

But wait there's more!....More Weather Unit Fun!!!

Today we had more fun with our weather unit! The topic of the day was clouds. I read two informational texts about clouds and two fiction books for fun... Little Cloud by Eric Carle and It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.

After we read Little Cloud we used shaving cream on tables to draw the cloud pictures from the story...a fun way to recall the events and sequence of the story! Here are some of the fun pictures my kiddos made...
Little cloud looks like a sheep.

An airplane!Little cloud looks like a shark!

Every year I have to do the classic white paint project that goes with It Looked Like Spilt Milk. We used bright blue construction paper, put a blob or two or three of white paint in the middle, folded the paper in half, pressed down to spread out the paint and got a spilt milk picture! The children were very creative with what their paint blobs looked like, but I have to say--this was the MESSIEST group I've ever done this project with. White paint was everywhere-including on our Lakeshore rug and on my jean jacket! Luckily, all stains were taken care of by some water and a shout wipe:)

Here are some pictures of the paint blob project in progress. We haven't assembled them into a class book yet, but I will post pics when we do:)
"Sometimes it looked like a sleeping deer..."

"Sometimes it looked like a bat. But it wasn't a bat!"

Be back tomorrow with a STORMY project. Tomorrow I also have my first wedding shower thrown by my lovely kindergarten teammates! It is a combo shower for both me and my co-worker who is expecting a little one. The best part is that it's a happy hour that's my kind of party! Looking forward to wedding presents and a margarita:)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day One of Weather Unit Fun!!

This week, my mini-mete0rologists are learning about the wonders of weather. What a great hands-on, springtime unit this is! I used my morning message for students to show some of their background knowledge about weather (side note: I lovvvve the sound spelling for earth quake!).

One of our district science objectives is for kindergarten students to know that the sun is the Earth's source of light and heat. So on Monday we started off the unit with a very, very easy project to help us remember this important fact!
Students cut their own circles for the sun by rounding off the corners. Some were better at this than others!

Then, they wrote our science fact on the sun.

Students got good fine motor practice by accordion folding the sun's rays.
Viola! Easy peasy Monday afternoon project!

Today, we learned all about the wind. I focused the lesson on two main facts: wind is moving air and wind can blow from different directions. Sometimes the weather books written for children can get way too in-depth for kindergarten. Has anyone else ran into this?

After reading a few books on wind, we did a fun experiment. We used a fan to see what objects would move in the "wind" and what objects wouldn't. First, students made a prediction and then we tested our predictions. Students loved being scientists and followed along very well! Here is the table that I used for this. I did this activity with the whole class gathered around the fan. The kids used clip boards to write. You could also do it as a center if you have parent help or gasssp---an assistant (if you are incredibly lucky and have one!).
Here is the table that I used for this.

Happy hump day tomorrow!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Winner, Winner!

Ladies and Gentlemen, We have a WINNER for my 100 Follower Giveaway! Congratulations to:

Erin K

Erin, I will be emailing you shortly to confirm your email address so I can send you your gift card. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

I hope to be back tomorrow or Monday with a weather unit freebie!

Until then, Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend with their loved ones.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I feel like a legit blogger now- I just wrote by first guest blog post over at Jeannie's fabulous blog Kindergarten Lifestyle!!! I am so pumped and thankful for the opportunity!

The post highlights some of the ways I teach writing throughout the year. I think they are general enough for any primary grade to modify and use them. on over and tell me what you think!!!

AND...I hope you've commented on my give away post...tomorrow is the very last day to enter!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Currently and Have you entered my TARGET give away yet????

Happy April! First of all, have you had a chance to enter my give away for your chance to win a $20 Target gift card?? Click below to be taken to my give away post. It ends Friday, so hurry and enter!

And the beginning of April also means it's time for Farley's April Currently link-up! Here's mine....
More and more I am finding that I need some extra hours in the day, so as a super hero, I would add some extra time whenever I needed it! Between the end of the quarter assessments and report cards, marathon training, and trying to get some stuff done for our wedding, I am feeling stressed.

Plus, I am not tenured yet and waiting to find out my fate for next year. Our district has to do some major budget cuts, so keep your fingers crossed that there will be a classroom home for me next school year!!! I should be finding out more sometime mid-week. I would like to enjoy my wedding and honeymoon this summer without having to stress about the whole job hunt/interview process, so I'm hoping for a miracle!
Who else has had to deal with lots of budget cuts and job/position uncertainty??

Don't forget to enter my give away! Have a great week!