Thursday, December 25, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

FREEBIE ~ Editable Stockings for Sight Word Game

Thank you to Amy Lemons for hosting this linky party to get us through the year with some fun and festive ideas for your classroom!
 Sight Word Shell Game
Here's our sight word game for this month.
I had these adorable boxes left over from the game we did for Valentine's day last year. I just removed the hearts and taped on the stockings. Target sometimes has these boxes in the dollar section. You can see directions on how we play this game HERE.

The fun part this month was searching through my ornament box for things to hide. We changed the ornaments each time one was found.
Whoever found this one got to ring the bell!

You can also do the same game with colorful take out boxes found in packages at the Dollar Tree, or simple paper cups.
Jingle on over HERE for the freebie.
Let me know how it goes and enjoy your last few days of teaching in 2014! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

{ I Am Thankful For Sweet Parent Volunteers } Upcycled Cake Stand/Dessert Plate Tutorial

It's letter "S" today with the 
Blog Hoppin Linky Party
Aren't we all so thankful for our parent volunteers? Whether you have one or many, whether they help you in the classroom or at home, whether they help frequently or when they can, we all love our volunteers!
I'm starting to think about the holidays and how I want to express my gratitude with a little gift for my volunteers. One of my favorite gifts to give is an upcycled dessert stand, with some treats of course! Here are some Creme de Menthe brownies decked out for the holidays with a simple ribbon and a large bell on an adorable treat stand. 
Reality check...I usually don't have time to bake before winter break so I head to Whole Foods for their organic chocolate truffles for a worry free sweet treat:)  
So, today I want to share with you how to make the stands. It all starts with the "thrill of the hunt" at your local thrift store.

Look for pretty plates that catch your eye.
For the support, look for candle stick holders, inverted dessert bowls, vases, drinking glasses, small glass lampshades etc. It's a little easier to find plates that I love than supports for them. Sometimes I have to head to the Dollar Tree for their cut glass candle stick holders, although I prefer previously owned. Below is a small inverted vase I found for $1 at the thrift store. Use a little sand paper to roughen up the areas to be joined. 
 Use E6000 adhesive to provide the bond.
The plate that I pared this with was also a thrift store find at $1. Eyeball the center and press together lightly. Let it dry for at least 24 hours.
This completed look has a modern twist...
and here's an all clear product...
    double duty...
and one with a metal candle stick holder that I just love. 
{I may have to keep this one!}
The obvious bonus is you are upcyling and loving our planet just a wee bit more:)
Here is a fabulous short video from Leigh Anne Wilkes that will give you some more ideas.
These stands come out unique, pretty and they won't break the bank if you have oodles of volunteers. 
Enjoy :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

{{ I Am Thankful For Additional Time }}

It's letter "A" today at the T-H-A-N-K-S linky party over at Blog Hoppin!
I hope that some of you are fortunate enough to have the entire week off to catch up on life, sleep:) etc!  I am so thankful that I am!!!

My week is definitely full of "must dos"...finishing report cards, food shopping, cooking for the big day, a lovely routine colonoscopy (TMI?), paying bills, car maintenance etc. I'm still thankful for the additional time to do it. So, what have I been doing to carve out some time to just enjoy? Catching up with friends and family, making plans to eat and drink like there's no tomorrow (and that would be Friday) and reading blogs in front of my toasty fire. Today I would like to share my very favorite blog to read. Her wit and humor always make me smile. At the TpT conference in June, I took one of her fabulous workshops and found her to be very real and equally funny.

And without further ado, I present to you 
Kelley Dolling at Teacher Idea Factory.
You can get to know her HERE.
If you want a really good laugh this week, enjoy this post. You will never be able to look at a art project drying rack again without a chuckle!

So what have you been doing with your additional time?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

{{ I Am Thankful For Holiday Ideas }}

Another fun day to link up with Blog Hoppin as we spell 
T-H-A-N-K-S !
 I'm working on some of my holiday projects this week and I just {heart} this idea for wrapping paper. I use it for my students gifts, which are books...the free or $1 deals you get from Scholastic.
My kinders love searching for all of their friends names in the class, so I know they are working their brains over winter break too:)
For a tutorial on how to make this wrapping paper, hop on over HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2014

{{{ I Am Thankful for Turkey Freebies! }}}

Today I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin.
I hope that you are off today. If not, perhaps these freebies will come in handy for you this week. Enjoy!

This little cutie is available as a gif from 
XOXO Kindergarten.

I used it to make a shell game that we do often to practice our sight words. 

  I picked up a couple of packs of colorful take out boxes from the party section of Dollar Tree. (You can also use large cups.) I cut off the top flaps of the boxes, turned them over, then added our sight words to six turkeys and wa-lah!...we were in business for a shell game. Oh, and I borrowed the little turkey from the teacher next door...thanks Donna! You can put anything fun underneath...Beanie Baby turkey, pumpkin eraser, mini gourd, colorful real leaf etc. etc. This game is a fave for my kinders.
Unlike the classic game where the "shuffler" tries to trick the "guessers", we don't shuffle. Instead we work on memory and reading. Guessers must read the word aloud before the box is lifted. 

Thank you to Rebecca at Teaching First and Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten for these two turkey freebies.
Click on each, and the link will take you to the site where you can download them.
(hint: download the preview for this game)

I'll see you tomorrow for "H".

Saturday, November 15, 2014

GOBBLE, GOBBLE {Five for Friday}

Thanks for the link up Kacey!
{1} Gobble, Gobble from Room 10
 This week we talked about symmetry, then my kinders created their own pattern block designs around a yellow hexagon. 
 When their designs were complete, they copied them with construction paper shapes, added turkey parts and ended up with unique gobblers with oodles of personality:)

 {2} Scary Mommy
Have you discovered Scary Mommy yet? Scary Mommy is a community of parent bloggers with an abundance of fun reads. This post titled, If Kindergarteners Designed Kindergarten, gives some food for thought about kindergarten today.
Which brings me to #3...
{3} Fun
So, after reading that post, next week I'm coming to school as ELSA and not feeling guilty about letting my kinders have "Fun Friday" time to do things like this...
    and this...   
and this...
and even this...
{4} Fall Dot Tree Tutorial
If you would like to see more about a painting project for all ages, head over to HERE.

{5} T-Shirt of the Week

I bet you don't have a Boy Genius Sheriff in your classroom! I'm so lucky:)
Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Currently and the Liebster Award

It's November and that means "Currently" linky time with Farley

 And now for the Liebster Award. A giant thank you to Joya at Live Love Serve Teach for nominating me. First I get to attempt to answer 11 questions about little ole me.

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging
Why? See #2   How long?  About a year and a half

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
I really enjoy sharing things that work well in my kindergarten classroom.  Things that save time and money and are engaging are my faves. 

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?  
Trying to design my own blog buttons was not worth the time and effort. I love to design, but do not have the experience - ugh!  Use a pro!

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging? 
Upcycling, home decor and design, pole dancing...yes, you heard that rightfitness, not entertainment in my case)!

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?
SOOO many that I am too embarrassed to say.  Maybe because blogging is new to me, I need about 2-3 hours for a decent post, links etc.  That doesn't even count the photo taking and editing.

6.  What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most? 
 Lessons that save me time and money and are engaging

7.  Where does your blog inspiration come from?
My students

8.  Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
Proud of? That's hard. I guess that would mean that most of the post was my creation versus linking to other blogger's ideas that might be helpful. In that case it would have to be this one.
This is not a shameless plug for my ONLY TpT product for sale, but I was proud that I finished it! That being said, if you teach students who are just learning to read and spell CVC words, you should try the FREEBIE. I saw so much growth in my students last year when they used fun materials (magnets, beads, word tiles, stamps etc.) to build CVC words independently in an organized, accountable way. The product is differentiated and leveled so that students can begin at different levels and work at their own pace and it's a major paper saver.    

9.  Is there any post you've been planning to do but have been postponing it for a while now?
This one! I am honored, but does anyone really want to read all this about me?

10.  What is your favorite aspect of blogging?


11.  Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?  

I love the "tricks" from...

and also the cream cheese and olive spider crackers from...

Now my nominees:

Kimberly at Loving Kinders
Kimberly at Domikiddos
Laura at Luv My Kinders
Mica at The Positively Polka Dotted Teacher

 I hope the nomination brings you more followers and readers. I enjoy reading your blogs.  

The Rules: 

Now that you've been nominated here are the official "rules" for accepting:

1. In your post link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out".

2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).

3. Nominate 11 blogs that have less than 200 followers each.  Provide them with 11 questions or have them answer the questions above.

4. Let your nominees know they've been nominated and provide them with a link back to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so s/he can learn more about you as well.  (You can just put your post link in the comments below).

Halloween/The Morning After

 Any teacher who was not too tired to blog last night either did not have school yesterday or is much younger that I! So, here is my Five for Fraturday. 
{1} BINGO {Student~Made}
I love to do activities that involve little prep and lots of student engagement and multiple skill practice. Who doesn't, right? So today I want to share with you, student-made BINGO. We did this for Halloween, but the concept can be used for other holidays, the alphabet, sounds, sight words, numbers, math problems etc., etc. All you need is some paper and a bank of words, letters, numbers or pictures. In this case we used our Halloween cards from Miss Kindergarten's Fall Word Cards and Writing Practice and Deedee Wills' Writing Work Stations for October. 
Early in the year, my kinders learned how to draw two lines down and two lines across on any blank sheet of paper. Exact spacing is not important. During centers they chose cards, drew the pictures and wrote the words.  
{2} The Game
Later we played "black out" Bingo with the whole class, using candy corn for markers.
 Here is another post that shows how I do it with my word wall to practice sight words.
 They make these Bingo "boards" as a whole class activity, because my word wall is large enough for all 26 students to copy from. You can also use a document camera and project whatever you want under it.
{3} Stamp Storage
If you heart vintage as much as I do, check out this stamp storage idea and head to your nearest antique/flea market for a printer's drawer.
{4} T-Shirt of the Week
I hope that all of the comical t-shirts out there are helping students' reading skills:)
{5} Liebster Award
 I have been nominated for a Liebster Award, which means that I must divulge my deepest, darkest secrets and then nominated 11 other new bloggers. Stay tuned for my next post:)