Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Made It and One Week Left

Wow I can't believe how fast summer has flown by. I personally am more excited and nervous about back to school than ever before. I have one last week to get everything all ready for my group of kinders!

Here are a few of the projects I got through this weekend for Tara's Monday Made It Linky Party:

Classroom Project #1- File Folder Crates
I decided to brighten up two file folder crates with fun ribbon! 

Classroom Project #2- Clipboards
I have seen fun clipboards all over Pinterest and blogging world, so I had to make a set of my own. Instead of scrapbook paper/modge podge, I spray painted the clipboards to add color. My friend then used the Cricut to cut out fun theme related shapes. I am so excited about how these three turned out. I would love a class set, but for now I am hoping to have enough for centers.

Classroom Project #3- August Calendar Numbers
I used my Cricut to cut out little backpacks and numbers for my August calendar!

Classroom Project #4- Community Supply Containers
I was inspired last week by Miss R's Room and her supply containers, so I had to make a set. I bought the containers at Target and used the large supply labels from Ladybug's Teacher Files.

I can't wait to see all the craftiness! For those of you still on summer break... YAY (let's enjoy it) and for those of you back at school... I hope that the first few weeks are going great!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Made It # 5 (for me)

I am in awe of all the amazing products made by fellow bloggers. My shopping cart and wish list keeps growing... Thank goodness for the back-to-school sale, so I can stock up and not spend a fortune. Make sure to check out TPT through tonight (August 13th) for up to 28% off awesome products.

Now on to crafting for the classroom! My downstairs was covered with projects this weekend, and yet I feel like I did not get much done. I'm still waiting for spray paint to dry and the laminating/cutting fairy to show up. Here are two quick projects that did get finished for Tara's Monday Made It Linky Party:
Classroom Project #1: Rainbow Sight Word Flashcards
Each month my students will receive a new set of sight words to master. I decided to give each month a different color in order to help us build our Sight Word Rainbow. I created a master set of flashcards for each month with the corresponding colors. In order to keep the cards organized, I punched a hole in each card and used a binder ring for each month.

Classroom Project #2: Good Listener Poster Set
I love this listening poster set made by Christie @ First Grade Fever (which was a freebie!!!). Four simple steps- print, mount, laminate, attach to ribbon. I'm excited to find a place to hang it near my gathering area.

I appreciate all the sweet comments each week! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Productive Weekend for Monday Made It!

Kicking it into high gear in order to get things ready for the beginning of the school year! I tackled several projects this weekend, and I'm excited to share some of them with you for Tara's Monday Made It Linky Party. All of my projects this week were created using awesome FREEBIES from generous fellow bloggers. A huge thanks to all those bloggers out there who have great back-to-school products! Most of my projects required lots of printing, cutting out, mounting, laminating, and then cutting out again (which was perfect to do with the Olympics in the background).

Here is a picture of my new best friend... my personal laminator from Walmart. Make sure when you buy one that you also stop by Sam's Club to get a package of 200 laminating pouches for under $20.

Classroom Project #1- Teacher Binder:
I finally put together a teacher binder using helpful freebies from two different TPT stores- First Grade Scoop and A Year of Many "Firsts." A few months ago I saw a Pinterest pin about a teacher binder, and ever since I have wanted one. The original pin that inspired me was from Beyond the Grades. This was such a simple project to put together, and I'm excited to start off the year with all my paperwork organized!

Classroom Project #2- A Back to School Activity
Next, I am working on planning out the first few weeks, and so I was excited when I found Jennifer's @ Herding Kats in Kindergarten "I have... Who has?" game. I think this will be a great way to introduce all our school supplies while also having fun as a class.

Classroom Project #3- Welcome Pennant
I love all the pennants popping up all over the blogging world. I decided to join in by making Tammy's (from Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten) Welcome Pennant. The bright, cheerful colors make me smile :)

Classroom Project #4- Book Hospital
Don't you love when kids come over a few times a day to report a rip, tear, or book catastrophe? This is where the book hospital basket will come to the rescue. Kids will know to put books with any boo-boos in the basket, so I can perform surgery. I used a label I found on Judy's KinderTastic blog and a basket from the Dollar Tree to create my hospital!

Classroom Project #5- Framed To Do Lists
A fun way to keep those To Do Lists organized rather than 100 post-it notes. I bought a few frames from the Dollar Tree, and printed off fun stationary from Cassandra @ Adventures in Room 5 to insert inside the frame. Now all I need is a huge pack of colorful Dry Erase markers.

Motivational Project-
Lastly, I loved this little quote poster from Mrs. Miner which she featured as a freebie on her wonderful blog called Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business. I will keep this hung up all year and will refer back to it often!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure to keep hopping along... I know I am looking forward to seeing all the amazing projects from this week's party.

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Friday, August 3, 2012


YAY! I am finally joining one of the most popular linky parties out there- Farley's August Currently!

I am getting more and more excited for the start of the school year; however, the first-year jitters are starting to come on. Thank goodness for all you wonderful bloggers out there and all the amazing ideas available on TPT and Pinterest. Hard to believe by the time the next Currently rolls around, I will be well on my way to making my first year of teaching a success.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I can't get enough of the summer Olympics! I wish I could watch all of it, but I sadly there isn't enough time in the day.
Kids of all ages love to compete and be active... so I decided to put together a mini-Olympics using activities from around the web, other blogs, pinterest, and ones I came up with! These activities can be used in a classroom or for an Olympics party. I love how the Olympics teach kids to cooperate, work together, have fun, and be understanding of each other.

Opening Ceremonies:
- Design your own flag (either individually or teams): Fold a sheet of white construction paper into fours, cut out one of the rectangles, roll up the side with two rectangles to make the flag pole, tape to keep flag together. Let kids design their own flag to wave during the opening ceremonies.

- Paper Torch: Take a sheet of white construction paper and form a cone, tape cone, place pieces of yellow, red, and orange tissue paper to create the flames.
Picture and Idea from Kaboose 
- Parade: Allow kids to parade around with their flags and have a few kids carry in their torches

Individual Events:
- Paper Plate Discus Throw: staple together two paper plates to create a discus, allow kids to toss the discus, see who can toss it the farthest

- Straw Javelin Throw: place three straws together to form a mini-Javelin, let kids throw the Javelin to see who throws it the farthest

- Hula Hoop: count how many times kids can hula hoop before it drops

- High Jump: get a yard stick and see how high kids can jump

- Long Jump: measure how far can the kids jump

- High Dive: give kids straws or pens, see how many they can drop into a bottle when standing on a chair

- Shot Put: Use either a bean bag or small ball as a shot put, make sure to show kids how to properly push the shot put, how far can they get it to go?

- Running: set up a short and long course, put kids in heats- Quarter Finals, Semi-Finals, and Finals

Group Events:
- Hula hoop challenge: split your kids into two groups, have them line up and hold the hands of their neighbors, challenge the kids to get the hula hoop from one end of the line to the other without letting go of each others' hands
- Running Relays: create groups of four, use a relay stick (or a rolled up newspaper), have kids each run a leg of the race

- Soccer Games: Put together a tournament with 4 vs. 4 games

- IM Relay: split kids into groups of four, each kid will have a different leg of the race- 1) Crab walk 2) Backwards run 3) Frog hopping 4) Sprint

- Beach Volleyball: have two teams of kids sit on the floor facing each other with legs touching the person in front of them (works well with 6 on each team with three rows of two), use a balloon or a beach ball for the volleyball

- Edible Medals: made from Golden Oreos, Twizzlers (the original idea uses Fruit by the Foot- but I went for the cheap option of pull apart Twizzlers), and Frosting- so easy and so delicious
Picture and Idea from Mirabelle Creations
- Set up three different sized boxes so you can have your own award ceremony, make sure to play the national anthem and award medals to your winners (I like to have awards for all participants!)

What other fun Olympic activities do you use in your classroom?

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are enjoying the Olympics as much as I am!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It!

Guess what??? I just got the best pre-first year of teaching gift from my parents- a brand new Cricut Expression 2!!!!!!! My package arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon, and I have been playing with it ever since. I am starting to think I just need to stay home and craft all day long rather than working :) I'm not sure how teachers find time for everything... including creating lesson plans, preparing materials, family, blogging, and oh yeah sleep.

This last week has been a blast! My dad's side of the family came to visit from Texas to celebrate my grandmother's 80th b-day. We had a great time visiting, eating, playing games, crafting, and more eating! One of the best parts of the week was getting to spend a lot of time with my aunt, who was a teacher for several years and now is an assistant principal. I picked her brain for classroom ideas and advice! She was the one that nudged my parents to purchase the Cricut for me and then taught me how to use it. I feel so blessed that I have someone close in my life that I can seek teaching advice from!
I have two projects to share with you this week for 4th Grade Frolics' Monday Made It linky party! Can you believe the summer is quickly coming to an end?!?! I'm sure glad Tara put together this linky party, so all us teachers could tackle our to-do lists.

Classroom Project #1:
After fiddling with the Cricut and figuring out how to size images, my aunt helped me create a set of apples for my September calendar. I was amazed at how quickly this project was put together! I am working on getting a cartridge that has a good font for the numbers.

Fun Apples for my calendar
Does anyone have any other must-make classroom decorations or materials using the Cricut?

Classroom Project #2:
For my second project, I decided to make a set of little spacers for the kindies to use as they write. I have seen these all over pinterest, so I wanted to make set! These could also be used as trackers to help kids keep focused while reading. I love how these turned out with very little effort! All you need is tacky glue, colored craft sticks (popsicle sticks), and wiggly eyes. I plan to make another set with the larger colored sticks as well!
Gathered Supplies
Finished Product!!!
Thanks for stopping by! Time to go play some more with my Cricut while watching the Olympics!
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Classroom Crafting

Keep Calm and Craft On!!! I'm so excited to link up once again to Tara's (over at 4th Grade Frolics) Monday Made It linky party.
Classroom  Project #1: My first project to accomplish was name popsicle sticks. I saw a great idea on the KinderTastic blog, which I have been wanting to try out. In order to keep track of which kids have been called, the sticks are painted two colors. Once a student has had a turn, their stick gets turned over so the other color shows. I love this idea, because you don't have to carry around another container and you don't risk losing any.

Original Inspiration from KinderTastic
Here are my assembled supplies for this project:
Basically you need two bottles of acyrlic paint, a ruler, a paint brush, and popsicle sticks.

Finished Product:

Next up I will be cute-ifying the little Target bucket with "Lucky Duck" clip art and a label to hold these fun sticks. Once I have a confirmed class list, I will be adding the kiddos names to the sticks.

Classroom Project #2: Although I am not a huge fan of worksheets in kindergarten, I do think that some times worksheets have there place! Instead of having pages and pages of completed sheets, I plan using an awesome idea I found on Classroom DIY- dry erase boards made from report covers and duck tape.
Original Inspiration from Classroom DIY
These were so easy to make and can be used in so many different fun ways. I mainly plan on utilizing these during center rotations, where students can fill out a practice page using a Vis-a-vis Marker and then erase it for the next person! I love this concept, because 1) there is less paperwork to keep track of and 2) less paper= better for the environment. These can also be used as student response dry erase boards by placing a plain sheet of paper or for handwriting practice by placing a lined sheet of paper.

Supplies- Fun Patterned Duct Tape (which was on sale- 2 rolls for $6 at Michael's this past weekend) and plastic report covers

Here's my finished product!

Thanks for stopping by!!! Happy Monday and Happy Crafting!
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rainbow Sight Words

Time to cross another item off my list! I created a system that I plan on using this year for sight words in my class, which means a FREEBIE for you!

Sight words and early reading go hand in hand. Students get joy out of reading even simple readers, so as teachers we can help them by exposing our students to sight words. I decided I am going to use the Dolch Pre-Primer and Primer list in my classroom, because I like how the words are organized by frequency.

I split the two lists into 9 groups of words (one group of words for each month). The Dolch sight word list includes a few color words, but I decided to assign a color each month to help organize. Every month I plan on sending home a copy of the list we are working on. In addition to the list, I will be providing parents with ideas for how to practice sight words in a fun, interactive way (rather than just always using flashcards). Here is a copy of the sight word list I created organized by month.
Click here for a copy!

To track the learning of our sight words, I am going to create a rainbow tracking display. At the end of each month, students will be assessed to see if they have mastered the list. If the student has the list mastered, they will get to add their name to the corresponding color of the rainbow. For example when "Student A" shows mastery of the yellow October list, their name will be added to the yellow band of our rainbow! By the end of the year, I hope we will have a beautiful classroom rainbow with lots of added names!

If you download my freebie, I would love you to follow my blog and leave me a comment!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday Made It... on Tuesday

Ooops... time has flown by since I last posted. I have been busy reading all of the amazing blogs out there and trying to create things for my classroom.

I am so excited to finally link up to my first Monday Made It linky party (on Tuesday) hosted each week by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics. If you have not checked out this amazing linky party you should. Every week I love sitting down and admiring all the teacher creations out there, while adding to my never ending to do list. This is my first time linking up, so I hope I do it correctly!

I decided to hop on the bandwagon and make a teacher toolbox, so I could be like all the other cool teachers out there! I get excited just thinking about filling it up with my favorite things- office/teacher supplies. This teacher toolbox was originally blogged about on Create*Teach*Share (see post HERE) and has spread like wildfire. All you need is a toolbox (found at Home Depot or Lowe's), scrapbooking paper, labels, and double sided tape. So simple, but so fun!

Happy Crafting and Blog Hopping!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Mile High To Do List

Hey Y'All,
I am back from a quick weekend trip to WI, where I got to see one of my younger cousins graduate from high school. I can't believe that she is old enough to be done with high school and is off to college in the fall. Congrats to her and her family!!!

Now that I am back home, I want to get started on my to do list in order to get ready for the upcoming school year. I have a million ideas running through my head, so I'm having a hard time getting started. I feel like my to do list is a mile high (only slightly overwhelming... okay a lot overwhelming!!!). I have decided that if I get through at least one item a day, then I will be in good shape when the school year starts.

Before I went off to WI, I started hitting up garage sales for children's books. The first 10 sales had ZERO books which discouraged me but I kept plugging along. Garage sale #11 had two bins full of books for 25 cents a piece! I flipped through and ended up with a pile of 20 books (including an almost new looking hardcover copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom)! I am so excited to see the kinders dig in and start reading them! Organizing and creating a library system is definitely on my to do list. Any recommendations? I plan on continuing to garage sale hop over the summer to build up my library.
Look at all those fun books!!!!!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer so far (or end of the school year for some of you)!!!
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