Monday, September 1, 2014

Calendar Wall.....updated!

You might remember that I went into the summer with the goal of updating my calendar wall.  I finally finished it last week.  Just in time for our new year!

This is how it has looked for the past several years.
But then, mid summer, I realized that the bulletin board was only attached by two screws!  So I took it down and opened up an entire wall to work with!
And this is how it looks today!  Ready for a new year!
 I also added this to my closet door in the same area.  "Be a Champion" is a theme at our school, and we'll say this with motions every day during calendar time.
 I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut vinyl for the wall.
 I finally have ten-frames on my calendar wall.  I've wanted them for two years now, but just never added them.
 More vinyl above the hundreds chart.  I made good use of Command hooks and velcro!
 My students will sign this when they lose a tooth.  We have a little "tooth chant" that we say for every child when they lose a tooth.  
 Calendar numbers, ten-frame dots, days of the week, birthday balloons, and a Vis-a-vis for the tooth chart all have a home here.
 I added shape posters to the top of the wall.
 And look at this sweet sign that I received from one of my new kidlets.  Love.  I thought it was perfect over by this area.

I am so happy with the way this space turned out!  I know that it will be more useful and will help make our calendar time even more meaningful for my students.

Ready or not....school starts for us tomorrow!  Here we go! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My favorite back to school purchases!

I'm linking up with my fellow Michigan gal, Kimberly, for a fun linky!
Back to school shopping is so much fun!  I just love planning and preparing for a new year -- continuing things that work well and tweaking things that could be done better.  And, of course, finding inspiration to try brand new things as well!  First day with students is 2 1/2 weeks away, so I am right in the thick of plans and preparations right now!

Here are some of my new classroom favorites!

1.  I actually purchased these last Spring, and I blogged about them once before too.  These were recommended to me by my teaching partner and are the best containers I've found for my classroom.  I LOVE them because they are so neat and organized.  They stack, and the covers are easy for my kindies to get on and off by themselves.  
2. I think of this as a back-to-school purchase because I use Pandora One in my classroom every single day.  I love the instrumental/piano stations for writing time, and I use lots of other stations in my classroom too!  Too many to list!  Pandora One is a must because you don't have to deal with commercials.  This was honestly one of the best things I purchased for school last year.  I love incorporating music into my classroom.  

3. These just came in with my supply order.  Mr. Sketch in a skinny marker?  Yes, please.  I can't wait to use these cuties!

4.  I ordered these lowercase letter beads this year too.  Instead of string, we'll be stringing them onto pipe cleaners.  I think this will make a really fun new literacy station activity.  My own kids loved playing with them on our last visit to my classroom, and that's usually a pretty good sign that my students will love them too! 

5. I just had to include this photo because I think I have a problem with the little metal buckets from the Target dollar spot.  I have SO many and I keep buying more!  They are just so stinkin' adorable!  I have them all around my classroom holding anything and everything.  Love.

These are just a few of the fun new things my students and I will enjoy this year!  Hop on over to Kimberly's blog to check out other fun favorites or link up with your own!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher linky!

I'm linking up with Stephanie from Falling into First today for one of my favorite types of linky parties!  I LOVE getting to know more about my favorite teacher bloggers -- beyond the blog and the classroom!  This is such a fun way to meet some fun, new teachers! 

A little about me...I have been married to my high school sweetheart, John, for a little over 12 years.  We have two children -- our son, Trey, is going into second grade and our daughter, Rowan, will be starting Kindergarten in a few weeks!  We live in Southwest Michigan, just a few miles from Lake Michigan.  I am entering my 12th year of teaching -- my 11th in Kindergarten!


THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...
Jesus.  My family and friends.  Teaching.  Waking up in time to see the sun rise.  Ice cream.  The beach.  Travel.  Polka dots.  EOS lip balm.  Scented markers. Green, navy blue, and gray.  Reality TV.  Jack Johnson's music.  Laughing.

IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?     
Oh my.  I really don't know!  Teaching is the PERFECT job for me!  I would probably be a social worker or something similar.  A job where I could build relationships!

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Optimistic, caring, grateful.

FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"
Sure!  I'd LOVE to tie your shoes for the 20th time today!

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
I love music!!  I love singing along and dancing with my friends!  I'd invite Jack Johnson (or maybe Phillip Phillips) to come play for my party! 

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
"Do Likewise" (just a thought that I live by...)

Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
I want the superpower where my fridge and pantry never go empty, but I NEVER have to go to the grocery store!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
I love words and quotes, so this is hard to choose.  A couple of my favorites are:

"A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear."
and
"Let all that you do be done in love." -1 Corinthians 16:14

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I don't know!  Maybe something by Colbie Caillat or Natasha Bedingfield.

Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
Morning, morning, morning!  I set my alarm to wake up before the rest of my family because the quiet of the early morning is my very favorite part of the day!  I'm completely worthless after 9 PM.  Ha!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
I love my Brain Boost sets.  I created them last summer and they became a favorite part of my week with my students last year!
  


Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!
I LOVE the dentist -- especially the part where they pick the plaque off my teeth!  That part of my appointment never lasts long enough and I wish I could go once a week!  I am obsessed with flossing and keep dental floss everywhere.


This was so fun!  Pop on over to Stephanie's blog to meet some other teachers!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Scoop It! {Beginning Sounds Activity}

I'm always looking for new, engaging ways to practice phonics skills with my Kindergarten students.  I love having lots (lots and lots!!) of resources to pull from when I need to introduce or practice a specific skill.  You can never have too many because you just never know what activity will become a favorite for each individual child.
With this in mind, I began creating a new beginning sound activity this week.  I was inspired by the adorable ice cream cone clip art by Creative Clips!  I thought of a million ways I could use it, but since beginning sound practice comes so early in the year, I decided to start with that first.

This activity contains 26 practice sets, one for each letter of the alphabet.  Each letter set has a cone and 8 ice cream scoops.  Your students will stack the scoops with the matching beginning sounds onto the ice cream cone, distinguishing between pictures that begin with the correct sound and those that don't.
 My littlest one is going into Kindergarten this year, so I tested it out on her.  She couldn't wait to get her hands on these ice cream scoops!  
I just love hands-on learning that is motivating and fun!
Use this activity for teacher-guided practice or independent review!  I included a recording sheet as well, making it perfect as a literacy station activity.


CLICK HERE to visit this item in my TPT store.  It is 50% off through the weekend only!  Grab it by tomorrow night for only $1.50!  

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday {August 8}

Happy Friday!


1. Last Saturday I ran the Color Run with some girls from my school.  So. much. fun.
This was my Kindie teaching partner and I after we were blasted with our first color during the run.

2. Rowan is doing two weeks of gymnastics through our local rec program, and she is loving it!  She has come home every day so proud of what she is learning.  I'm excited to go in and watch on her last day next week.

3. I went into school this week to take care of some odds and ends....my classroom is so bare!  Lots of work to do before my littles arrive for Kinder Camp in a couple weeks! 
 My supply order had come in, and is it terrible that the item I am most excited about is THIS???!?  I love me some scented markers!!  I've never tried the skinnies before!

 4. I'm still working on my calendar wall update, and I was feeling frustrated by my lack of space with the bulletin board I had.  When I was at school this week, I was brainstorming some ideas and noticed that my bulletin board was attached to the wall with two screws!!  WHAT??!?  I've been in this classroom for more than 10 years and never realized that I could remove this board!  I'm SO excited about the freedom this will give me as I create a new space for my calendar.

5. I spent Rowan's gymnastics sessions this week working on a fun new beginning sounds activity.  It will be posted to TPT soon.  I was inspired by the adorable ice cream cone clip art!!

Three more weeks of summer for me!  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

TPT Back to School SALE!!

It's almost time!!
Tomorrow and Tuesday, TPT will be holding it's back to school sale!
300 × 300
Many stores, including mine, will be 20% off...plus, if you enter the code BTS14, you'll get an additional 10% off.  This is one of my very favorite times to shop TPT.  I just love dreaming about the new year and stocking up on resources to use with my new crop of kindies!

I uploaded a new Write the Room product tonight as well.  The clip art for this one is absolutely some of my very favorite ever.  Seriously....just LOOK at that caterpillar!  Too cute for words!

Click the image to check it out!

I have a FULL wish list and can't wait to grab some new resources tomorrow!  Happy shopping!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Facebook Fan Freebie!

Hi hi!  

I finally have a Fan Freebie posted on my Facebook page!  I plan to use this during the first week of school as we are still settling into our routine.

If you've already LIKED my Facebook page, head on over to grab it!  Just scroll down a bit and click on the "Freebies for Fans" image on the left side of the page.  

If you haven't liked my page yet, pop on over and LIKE to grab this freebie!