Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Free Number flash Cards with Ten's Frames

I am so blessed to have such a great class this school year, however this past week was super challenging.  It seemed like all of my kiddos were already on break and moved at a snail's pace when doing their work (except when it was time to play, they can sure move fast then!).  I'm so glad winter break is finally here!  *sigh of relief*  This is wonderful!  Then REALITY sets in.  There's lots more to do!  It's my own doing though.  I absolutely LOVE teaching, but it also means work never ends and when I am on break it means I need to catch up on my own personal life and chores that have been neglected, hehe!

I wanted to share 3 craft projects that I did with my class this past week.

This santa project was inspired by Mrs. Lee Kindergarten.  I loved this project because each Santa came out completely different. 

We used white tempera paint to create this Santa Handprint Ornament.  Make sure the paint it THICK and not runny.  You can also use acrylic paint instead.  Paint on white paint onto each child's hand and have them hold the ornament like a ball, gently of course.  We then used permanent markers to add details to our snowman.  I've used window markers as well and they worked perfectly fine.  I usually buy my frosty ornaments from K-mart (Jaclyn Smith Brand).  

Here's the poem I usually include with this gift.  

These aren't just five snowmen
As anyone can see.
I made them with my hand
Which is a part of me.
Now each year when you trim the tree
You'll look back and recall
Christmas of 2012
When my hand was just this small!

We also learned the letter Ll and made a cute ladybug out of uppercase L. Check out my alphabet letter art  page on pinterest for more craft ideas.  

Lastly, in class we are learning our numbers 1-20.  I was getting tired of my handmade number flashcards and finally got around to making some on the computer.  These flash cards include numbers 0-40 with 10's frames beneath each number. I usually use these number cards for whole group or small group instruction. We use these for games, centers, flash cards, etc. There are many possibilities for these cards. All you have to do is print and laminate!  

They look like this:  

I wanted to share them with you!  Click any of the number cards above or click here to get them for free on my TPT page.  If you download them, would you kindly leave a rating and/or comment on my TPT or on my blog :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My heart goes out to Sandy Hook Elementary :(

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary.  It reminds me of how precious life really is and that we should make the most of every moment we are given.  As you see your loved ones today hug them a little tighter, kiss them a little longer, and take time out to say that you love them.  Let's remember the bravery of the teachers and staff who selflessly protected the children from harms way.  To the families who were affected by this tragedy my prayers go out to you. I'm sorry for your loss and know that God can be your firm foundation in these difficult times.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Simple & Cute Daily Schedule Cards"

Oh Sunday!  Why do you come so soon and then quickly go away?  I had intentions to be more productive today, but my nice comfy bed beckoned me to take a leisurely afternoon nap.  Two hours later, it's 4 pm and I still have to plan my week at school, blog, cook dinner, watch my favorite sunday shows which are The Walking Dead...oh wait, mid season finale ended last week, darn it :( and Homeland...will Brody get caught or will he continue to sit on a throne of lies?  I had to throw in a line from the movie Elf.  I just watched it yesterday to get me in the holiday mood and to get some good laughs.  Then I need to get things ready for my new student.  I always tell myself I should make several new student packets so I don't have to scrabble at the last minute and reprint things I gave at the beginning of the year, but I don't. *Note to self:  My new year's resolution is to be more organized! 

Anyway, on to the good stuff.  I finally made Daily Schedule cards for myself and for you if you'd like them.  

The first 10 people to leave a comment and your email address can get them for FREE.  You can also purchase them on my Teachers Pay Teachers page.  

Click here to get them or click on any of the pictures below.

These schedule cards are great for any bulletin board, white board, or pocket chart. Just print and laminate. I place these cards on my white board and put magnetic strips on the back of each card. Simple and cute graphics match each subject area. Each page has 4 cards. It includes cards for analog, digital, or digital and analog clocks. There is 64 cards total, and 4 blank cards. I've also included 4 different "Daily Schedule" headers. If there is a schedule card that is not included, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'd be happy to include what you need in this document, just leave me your email address and I'll let you know when I update the document. Unfortunately, I am not able to give you an editable version due to clip art copyright issues. 

Here's what's included:

Page:               Content:

3-5    Time Cards: Digital, Analog, Both Digital & Analog

 6      Arrival, Morning Broadcast, Morning meeting, Calendar
 7      Language Arts, Math, Recess, Lunch
 8      Quiet Time, Social Studies, Science, P.E.
 9      2nd Step, Handwriting, Hawaiian Studies, Library
10     Health, Drama, Creative Movement, Art
11     Read Aloud, Play Centers, Literacy Centers, Math Centers
12     Dismissal, Assembly, Snack, Writer’s Workshop
13     Reader’s Workshop, D.E.A.R., Daily 5, Music
14     Computer, Spanish, Circle Time, Show & Tell 
15     Clean Up, Current Events, Guest Speaker, Free Time
16     Breakfast, Test, Quiz, Field Trip
17     Nap Time, Spelling, Journal, Pledge
18     Special Event, Bathroom, World Language, Phonics
19     Home, Chapel, Bible, Small Group
20     Closing Circle, Guidance, Birthday, Poetry
21     Gym, Videos, Sesame St., Pack Up
22     Blank Cards
23     Daily Schedule Headers

Have a great week everyone!  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fun Winter & Christmas Craftivities

I absolutely love the holidays!  In fact, I think I've gone a bit overboard on my Christmas decorations this year at home that it's starting to look a little tacky.  Good thing my family enjoys it!  Now that I'm done, I'm in a good mood and I thought I'd share some of the arts and crafts I do in my classroom during the Christmas season.

Have the students color or paint one of those cheapy paper plates and then cut it into 4 pieces.  The size of each piece doesn't have to be equal.  Have the students place the biggest piece on the bottom of the tree and the smallest piece at the top.  Make little snips at the bottom of each piece to create the needles of the pine tree.  Use glitter, sequins, etc. to decorate the tree.  

This tree is just made out of construction paper.  I have the students use  hole punchers to create holes in the tree so it looks like ornaments against the red background.  Place sequins and glitter to give it a shimmery look.

Count down to Christmas bell.   Students make patterned paper chains.  Each day the student rips off one loop.  Once they reach the yellow loop, it should be Christmas day.  

Here's what they poem on the bell says:
Author:  Unknown

Christmas day will soon be here
And I can hardly wait.
I've made this little Christmas chain
To help me celebrate.
Each day I'll snip one loop from it
To help me to remember,
That happy, happy Christmas day
is the 25th of December.
Please help me hang my chain up high
I'll cut one loop each day.
And when I reach the golden loop,
It will be Christmas Day.  

Paper plate Santa.  Use cotton balls for his facial hair :)

This is our Epsom salt winter scene art project.  It's supposed to make you feel like you are looking outside your window.  Students draw a winter scene with their crayons on dark blue or black construction paper.  Then they brush on an Epsom salt mixture.  Remember to allow their artwork to dry on a flat surface.  Do not hang to dry.  After doing this over the years, I noticed that some puddling on their paper is a good thing because it allows for more salt crystals to form.  See below for the salt mixture recipe.  Once the mixture dries on their paper the salt crystalizes and makes their artwork look frosted with snow. 

Epsom Salt Mixture:

Mix an equal part of Epsom salt (look for it in the bath or health section of the grocery store) and boiling water together.  Mix, dissolve,  and let cool.  About 1.5 cups of epsom salt and 1.5 cups of water is enough for a class of 24

We make snowflakes and find the line of symmetry in the center.  We made these out of coffee filters.  I  usually give each student two filters already folded so they have one for practice and another to glue on to their black construction paper.  Click here for step by step instruction in how to fold the filters to make a snowflake.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Freebie: Santa, Santa, A 5 Senses Book about Christmas

We've only been back in school for 2 days since Thanksgiving break, but I already feel like I need another vacation :)  I hope it's not just me.

I wanted to share a 5 senses book called:  Santa, Santa.  It has repeating stanzas like in the book Polar bear, Polar Bear By Eric Carle.  Santa describes what he would see, hear, feel, smell, eat, and do during the Christmas season.

Here's what it looks like:

Click here to download this freebie

Check Out Freebielicious!  They are having a Linky Party!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, November 25, 2012

12 Free Christmas Scrapbooking/Craft Digital Papers

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  I've eaten a ton of food and need to work off all of those extra calories.    I'll be back at work tomorrow and the count down to Winter break begins! 

Now that the Christmas season is finally in full swing, I wanted to share a gift with you!  I've been learning how to use photoshop and created some Christmas digital papers for download.  The possibilities are endless with digital papers :)

Click here  to download

Let me know what you think?  If you like them please follow me on my blog!  

Check out freebielicious!  They are having a Fantastic Linky Party.  Tons of free stuff:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Crafts & Activities for Kindergarten!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Every year around the month of November/December I feel completely exhausted and in need of a long vacation.  Thank goodness for Thanksgiving because it helps me to reflect on what God has blessed me with and it keeps me going until winter break.  This year I am thankful for my Husband because he encourages me everyday and pushes me towards being a better person.  I am the luckiest wife :)  Give me a comment and let me know what you are thankful for this year.

Here are some of the activities that we do in my class for Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving book from kinderlit.com.  Here's what it looks like:

Front Cover

We also make a turkey made out of construction paper and a brown paper bag.  You can stuff the paper bag with rice or newspaper.  I also send home a recipe that families can make with their leftover turkey.  

Our class re-enacts the first Thanksgiving.  Students are given a choice of 3 characters:  Male Pilgrim,  Female Pilgrim, or Indian/Native American.  We then act out the story of the Pilgrims coming to America on the Mayflower, meeting the Native Americans, and enjoying the first Thanksgiving.  

They make headbands according to their character:

Male Pilgrim Headband:

Female Pilgrim Headband:

Indian/Native American  Headband

Snack Ideas:
Mayflower snacks:
Beef Jerky

First Thanksgiving snacks:
pumpkin pie
pumpkin seeds

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kindergarten Veterans Day Lesson Plan

Happy Veterans Day!  I think it is very important to teach our kindergarteners about Veterans day because of the service, dedication and sacrifice our troops have done for us so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.  Yesterday, I was flying back home from a trip and saw some men and women in military uniform.  It looked like they were returning home from their deployment.  I wanted so badly to go up to them to thank them for their service, but chickened out because I was too afraid.  Because I chickened out and didn't thank them in person, I thought I'd make it up to them by instilling a sense of thankfulness in my kindergarteners.

Here's what I did for Veteran's Day:

I showed my students my powerpoint about veteran's day. Here are samples of the slides.

CLICK HERE to get my Veterans Day Powerpoint.
CLICK HERE  to download this from my TPT store.  

We brainstormed some characteristics of a good soldier:
protects us
serve our country
hard worker

Then we integrated some writing and art to go along with our new understanding of Veterans day.
Materials needed:
White paper:  1 square for the shirt, 1 rectangle for the head, 1 rectangle for the hat.
Students cut them out to form the soldier.  
Click here to get my writing prompt.

I'd love to hear from you!  Let me know what you think!  How do you celebrate Veterans Day in your family or classroom?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Freebie: Who Let the Letters Out by Dr. Jean Picture Chart and Motions

I absolutely love Dr. Jean!  She has so many great ideas & songs that I use in my classroom.  Every morning our class sings:  Who Let the Letter's Out?  I've incorporated motions and a picture chart so kids can learn the letters & sounds kinesthetically.  My wigglers especially love doing the motions.

Click here to get this chart & suggestions for motions.  I use this chart as a resource in my student's homework folder so they can sing it at home.  If your school has a poster maker, you can also enlarge & laminate it.  

You can also follow Dr. Jean's Blog:  Click Here

I found this video on youtube to give you an example of how to use the chart above.  

Inconvenient Changes to Scholastic Book Club Prices Increases Ordering Time

So I recently put in my scholastic book club order for my class last month and it took me quite a while because of the recent changes to their prices.  Instead of pricing their books to the nearest dollar they have made them .99 cents.  It has added an additional 20 minutes to my ordering time and find this really inconvenient.  The change in prices have made it more difficult to make sure my order amount matches the money I've received from families.  I've also found myself having to give 1or 2 cent change.

Here is the email I've sent them:

To: BC_RNT7@scholastic.com
Subject: Hello! I am a elementary teacher and support scholastic books. I noticed that th... [Email: 121020-000574]
Hello! I am a elementary teacher and support scholastic books. I noticed that this school year there have been changes in the prices of books. The prices of the books are no longer rounded up to the nearest dollar. Instead they are usually .99 cents. I've talked to many colleagues of mine and found that this change in dollar amount has increased our time to input student orders by at least 15-20 minutes because we also have booktrust to input as well. It makes it more difficult to balance the order with the parent payments and then do it on book trust. We also have to end up giving 2 cents change to parents which again adds more time to this task. It has discouraged some teachers in participating in scholastic book order and some are not willing to take the extra effort of their "own" volunteer time to do book orders anymore. I want to support students in their love for reading, but this change in prices really makes it more frustrating to teachers who have to take more time to do this task. What is the reason for the change in pricing? Would scholastic consider rounding up the book prices to the nearest dollar again?

Here is their response:

Your recent communication regarding the change in Book Clubs pricing has been brought to my attention.  We’re very sorry you are disappointed the unrounded dollars and want you to know we have heard you! 

The change was made to have greater alignment with general consumer pricing which parents are accustomed to.  We wanted to make our prices as attractive as possible to encourage young people and their parents to get excited about the wonderful books we offer.  We are truly sorry that this has been an inconvenience for you.

I have shared your comments with Book Club management and marketing staffs and we are seriously looking into the matter.  I have also given you 150 bonus points to let you know how much we value your continued support of Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Clubs Ordering Online. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of further assistance.

With best regards,

Linda Schenker

Does anyone else have this problem?  If you do, leave me a comment and I will email them to scholastic book clubs or you can email them directly to Linda Schenker:  LSchenker@scholastic.com.  If more teachers speak up, maybe Scholastic will make a change to their prices since teachers are essential to their company's success.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cast Your Ballots! Election Day Activities!

I can't believe the month of October is already coming to an end.   Halloween is tomorrow and Election day is right around the corner.  Election Day is a good opportunity to teach my kindergarteners about what to look for in a good leader and the voting process.  I introduce the topic of an election by reading the book:

It is about a duck who is tired of doing his chores on the farm and decides that Farmer John isn't cutting it as lead farmer.  So he holds an election with the other farm animals to choose a new leader.  Duck ends up winning the election and moves up the political ladder.  However, he finds that being a leader is really hard work.  We then talk about how leaders who want to be elected for president or any other office usually makes promises to the people in hope to gain their votes.  We make a list of characteristics students feel is important for a good president/leader.  

Here are some videos about the role of a president and current presidential nominees:

Click Here for Brain Pop Jr. Video about the role of a president.
Click here for videos about President Obama and Governor Romney (bios) & More on Scholastic

After watching these videos we will do a mock vote based on the biographies on the scholastic website.      We will graph the results to see who wins, then wait to see if we voted like the rest of the country.

Students will also do an art and writing project about what they would do if they became president.

Click here for my If I were president worksheet.
Click here for my vote for _______ worksheet.

I'm still looking for more activities.  If you have any election day ideas please leave me a comment!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Exploration & FREE pumpkin investigation worksheet

A few days ago I bought mini pumpkins for our class so that each pair of students can share a pumpkin to investigate throughout our pumpkin unit.  It was under a dollar for each mini pumpkin.  While investigating our pumpkins throughout the week, we displayed them on our desks so that it made us feel like we were in a pumpkin patch.  We have gone over the pumpkin life cycle and used our senses to describe our pumpkin.  See my previous post  about that here.  Next week we will work on our pumpkin exploration worksheet.  Carving mini pumpkins are a bit tough so you may want to get a pumpkin carving kit with the saw like knife for easier cutting, especially if you will be carving a pumpkin for each pair of students.  

The worksheet explores the following:
What does it look like?
How tall?
How big?
How many seeds?
Sink or float?
click here to download the worksheet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kindergarten Literacy Centers and Math Centers Management Board

Now that my kiddos are much more independent, I have finally started my literacy and math centers.  I was inspired by  Keen On Kindergarten's blog: Work Center's Board and created my own centers board for my classroom.  The lady bugs cover my students pictures.  I laminated my cards and put velcro behind the them.  It allows me to easily move the cards at the end of each day so they are ready for the next time.  You can also use  the cards in a pocket chart.  That would probably be easier, but I didn't have an extra pocket chart or the wall space.  

Here's how I manage my centers:

Students have partners (2 per center, heterogeneous  grouping).  
Here's how I make my pairs:  First I rank my students by their ability level (high to low).  

Frank (high)
Jim (middle)
Daniel (low)

After ranking my students, then I divide them in half.  I match up my high level student to my middle student, next highest student to another middle student, etc.
Here's how they would pair up the students above:

The reason I pair students this way is to allow the proficient students to help those still developing their skills.  It also prevents me from pairing a very proficient student with a student that is not yet meeting standards.  

Students rotate to 2 centers (30 minutes) for literacy and 2 centers (30 minutes) for Math each day.  All the students have to do is look for their picture and find their centers for the day.  This allows me to meet with at least 4 small groups each day.  My small groups are homogeneous and I work with no more than 6 students at a time.  

My literacy centers are spread out throughout the room.  My math centers are placed in baskets or folders with numbers on them.  Students just grab their numbered folder or basket and work at their desks.  

Center Transitions:
At the end of the first center I ring a bell.  Students are required to clean up quickly and put away their centers (2 minutes). Then I ring the bell once more and students must freeze.   I say "class."  Students respond by saying "yes."  Then I say, "march."  and like soldiers they march to their next center.  

click here for my Literacy Center Cards.

Click here for my Math Center Cards.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Race to 10 & Race to 20 Tens Frame Dice Games

My kindergarteners are learning how to count and recognize numbers.  We just learned the number 10 last week.  I wanted my students to continue to practice their counting, so I created a Race to 10 and Race to 20 game to help motivate them to count.  They absolutely love dice games.

Here's how to play:  
Students play in pairs.  They take turns rolling a die and place the same amount of counters in the tens frame.  The first to fill their tens frames wins.

Click Here for Race to 10 Game

Click Here for Race to 20 game

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Activities & Free pumpkin lifecycle worksheet

Here are some of my pumpkin activities:

We use our 5 senses to observe a pumpkin:
What does it look like:  Color, Shape, Size
How does it feel:  smooth, soft, rough, bumpy
How does it smell?  (you can have them smell pumpkin puree or pumpkin scented candle)  Sweet, Sour
How does it taste:  (have them taste pumpkin flavored pudding)  Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter.

I usually have students get into groups of 2 or 3 and each group has a small pumpkin.  You can do this whole group as well.  

We then read the book:  From Seed to Pumpkin by 

  • Wendy Pfeffer
  • James Graham Hale (Illustrator)

  • We discuss the pumpkin life cycle:
    Seeds:  Plant the seeds
    Seedling:  Seed sprouts into a seedling
    Vine:  The vine begins to grow.  Green leaves form the vine.
    Flower:  Pumpkin flowers grow on the vine.
    Green Pumpkin:  A little green pumpkin starts to grow.
    Yellow pumpkin:  The green pumpkin starts to turn yellow.
    Orange Pumpkin:  When the pumpkin turns orange it's ready for harvesting.  

    Have students re-create the pumpkin life cycle with their bodies through movement and music.

    Click here for my pumpkin life cycle worksheet

    Other pumpkin activities:
    Sink or float the pumpkin
    Carve pumpkin open and estimate the number of seeds.
    Roast pumpkin seeds for tasting.
    Make Pumpkin pudding with graham crackers
    Create water color pumpkin still life paintings

    Pumpkin Seed Recipe:
    2 cups pumpkin seeds
    2 tablespoons salt
    1 tablespoon butter

    Pumpkin Pudding recipe:
    1/3 can pumpkin pie filling with spices
    8oz. whipped topping
    2 packages instant vanilla pudding
    Crushed graham crackers

    Let the students mix the ingredients together.  Mix pudding and milk according the the recipe on the pudding box.  Then fold in the pumpkin pie filling into the vanilla pudding.  Put crushed graham crackers at the bottom of a cup (I use the mini dixie bathroom cups).  Scoop some pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers.  Then frost their pudding cups with the whipped topping.  

    Halloween activities coming soon...