Saturday, March 29, 2014

Last Minute Sale Anyone?

Flying by the seat of my pants this morning and throwing a sale!

Several of my blogger friends are doing it, why not do it too??

Shop in my store today through the 31st and save 15%

P.S. I SWEAR I'm going to get the April write the room finished for those of you who are waiting! I only have the color pages left to add to the product. Better late than never I suppose. Sorry for the delay!

Head to my store {here}

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's that time of the year....

...for DINOSAURS!!

Or so it seems at least! My Dinosaur Roar Unit has been a popular seller these past two weeks. What a coincidence that I just did dinosaurs myself in the classroom this past week. Our pre-schoolers will only be there 2 days this coming week (Monday & Tuesday) so we will also be doing dinosaurs the following week.

I typically do my themes for 2 weeks each, if we have a full week.

Sorry for that tangent, back to the topic!

I snapped a few photos this past week of my students dressed as dinosaurs in our dramatic play center. I made the volcano in the background (that you can kinda see) that I hang up and found the hats, head bands, and tails at the Dollar Tree and Michael's. The walking feet belong to another pre-school teacher and I'm not so sure where they are from. They come in handy for a dinosaurs theme and a monsters theme!

I did a tutorial post in the past on making the volcano. You can find the directions {here} if it's something you are thinking about tackling. I use the word "tackle" but it really is quite simple. All you need is the fabric (or bed sheets like I used), heat & bond, and an iron! Super simple.

Do you do a dinosaur theme with your students? What are some of their favorite activities?

Sunday, March 09, 2014

A {Bright} Idea! -- How We Line Up

Welcome! If you're hopping along and have come to my blog, thanks for continuing to read! If you're just starting out here, make sure you hop on to the next blog and keep going through the hop to get a wonderful collection of Bright Ideas for the classroom!

I'm honestly surprised I've never shared this idea before. It makes my life so much easier and I just love it. When we transition out of the classroom I use spot markers with each student's letter link on it. (Letter Links are part of High Scope Curriculum) They stand on their spot while we review our hallway rules and then we leave the room.

Now granted, we don't always line up this way, so my students are capable of lining up on their own without this, but it really helps with our transitions out of the classroom. Typically my students are doing something prior to leaving. As they finish they go line up on their spot. It helps them to know exactly where to be with this as their guide. Versus dancing around in the vicinity of where they are supposed to be.

For example, students were playing with table time toys prior to lining up. I turn on the clean up song. Students put away toys and then go and line up on their name. This works great for the child who cleans up quickly and is first to line up and then the others who take longer. I don't have students wiggling around waiting for others to line up. Instead, they are on their own spots!

(sorry it looks like I have a classroom of Walmart stickers!)
Of course, there were only 4 students when I took these pictures. I have more than 4 kids! Two were absent, and one student actually doesn't line up with the group. He has a one on one and makes immediate transitions at the moment. (i.e. no waiting) :) He's the one in the very very front following his one on one who is behind me on their way out the door.

I didn't photograph it ( I should have) but I have a visual strip of our line up rules. We review them in a call and response fashion. Like this...

Teacher: "Our hands are...."
Students: "locked"
Teacher: "Our eyes are...."
Students: "forward"
Teacher: "We have, walking....."
Students: "feet"
Teacher: "And our voices are...."
Students: "off!" 

We do this every time we line up and it works amazingly! I don't even have to use the visual with them anymore but keep it handy.

I hope this was a bright idea for you! I know it might be a lot to manage with a larger class size, but I find it works great for me. It also allows me to control who lines up next to who. Someone who struggles in line might be put in the middle to have someone in front of them to follow and someone behind them. Two students who shouldn't be next to each in line are easily split and anyone who needs extra teacher support is put at the front or the end, where teachers are located.

For more great ideas, keep hoping along! Up next is Allison from A First Grade Teacher!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{MARCH} Write the Room Activity

First off, WOW! I had such a huge response to my January and February ABC write the room activities! It was great! They both included capital letters and were created so that you could differentiate for all of your students whether they were writing letters independently, tracing them, or even just simply matching them!

I loved all of the feedback I got on them both. Some of your suggestions were to include a lowercase option as well. So for the month of March I have created ABC write the room to include capital letters and lowercase letters. Both have the recording pages for writing, tracing, and matching.
Click the picture to purchase!

Of course, this one costs a little bit more since you are getting both of the activities and I had to create double of all the parts so that there could be capitals and lowercase.

{Example of all the recording pages in color- also available in black & white}

{Example of all the alphabet cards- also available in black & white}

This is something I have every intention of continuing to do throughout the months. Whether it be letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. There are all types of skills that can be incorporated into the concept of hunting around the classroom--which my kiddos have loved!

This is where another suggestion of yours comes in. A few people asked if I would consider bundling these activities together. And the answer is YES! You can purchase the bundle now and then as it is added to all you have to do is download the update. As the bundle is added to, the price will be increasing. So my suggestion... buy now! :)
Click the photo to purchase

Right now the bundle includes, January, February, and March. I will also continue to post them separately.

AND in addition to that, there are also black and white options for everything included in the MARCH pack! The recording sheets AND the letter cards to hide. So you will be getting:

2 different activities (ABC & abc)
3 different versions of each (writing, tracing, & matching)
2 printing options (color or black & white)

Shew, I don't think there is anything else to include now! I'm super excited to have all of these options to offer you in one item! I would love your feedback on this item! Can't wait to see if you have other suggestions for what you would like to see included in the future months. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The {perfect} Student Gift- Valentine's Day

 Okay, I drafted this post FOREVER ago. In fact, I "scheduled" myself to post it on February 6th. Well between life and snow that didn't happen. I know valentine's day has come and gone, but maybe you're like me and STILL haven't passed out student valentines because of the weather!

By now I'm sure you've seen tons and tons of ideas on Pinterest for valentines day cards and gifts. Homemade cards to homemade treats. I love giving my students a little something and I love to make homemade cards for them. I've pinned tons of ideas in the last few weeks, but this one stuck with me.
{clicking the photo will take you to U Create where you can download her freebie}

Next thing I know I'm in Micheal's shopping for floral foam and decorative sticks (that's what you call those right?) and I'm picking up the supplies to make these cards.

It helped that the valentine's day scrap booking section was 50% off too. (or maybe 40%)

I can't take credit for the idea obviously...I have to give all the credit to U Create. I did however tweak the idea to include this fun Valentine's Day scrap booking paper and made my own printable with some of my favorite fonts.

There are so many adorable ideas out there for Valentine's this year! It's so hard to pick just one. Here are some of my other favorite pins for V-day cards!