February 24, 2014

Sale Coming Up!

Hey there readers! I just wanted to write a quick post about the upcoming "3 Million Teachers Strong Sale!" Basically, Teachers Pay Teachers has 3 million teachers and is throwing this HUGE sale to celebrate! I am one of the shops that is participating in the sale and will have my store at 20-28% off for Thursday February 27th and Friday February 28th!

I know some of you have some things wishlisted, so NOW is the time!

Happy shopping!

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February 21, 2014

Five For Friday Linky {Feb. 21}

Time for that Doodle Bugs Teaching Linky! Five For Friday! And this week, thank God it is Friday...

This week was a strange one from the get go. First off it was a 4 day week. I was happy to take the 3 day weekend last week but 4 day weeks are so weird! The kids don't ever seem to get into the swing of things with that extra day off and to be honest, this week, I had issues with it as well. I started feeling ill last Friday night and I knew it was just my allergies. However, my allergies sparked a full fledged TERRIBLE ear infection...

I have seriously not had an ear infection since I was a child! Now I know why babies and kids cry all day and night when they have these things! THEY HURT. And all week my left ear has been all stopped up making noise very different and anyone who has stepped into a Kindergarten class knows that there is noise sometimes. Oh man. Was I irritable. So it was a rough week for everyone. :(

Yeah..... Don't ever look at Web MD. I get so paranoid. I just have an ear infection but before I went to the doctor I was worried it was SO much worse! Haha. Just. Don't.

Even though this week was WEIRD, we had really successful centers! I have been doing something different for centers and this week was Week 3. I can kick myself because I don't have any good pictures! I will take them on Monday and share them more often because they are working well with this group!

But basically the kiddos are making independent center choices and must get certain things done by the end of the week. Last week I only had 6 kids finish their whole center checklist and this week I had 11! We are getting there!!

Required centers this week:
Super Spelling
Art: Abe Lincoln Mask
Weather Writing
Teacher Table

This center was a great one. We have this carousel picture frame thing my supervising teacher found at a garage sale and we use it for our spelling center. One kid on each side, one word on each side of the frame! Easy setup, too! They are using the Super Spelling sheet I created as a freebie. Students write their words in pencil, colored pencil and markers. Just adding in that extra feature of writing in something other than pencil made this center so much more enjoyable for the kids... even though they were doing MORE work and getting even MORE practice. Win for teacher!

Interesting story for you: my husband is a YouTuber and a HUGE video gamer. His YouTube channel is about gaming generally, but he has some video series of just life experiences and advice. He's very passionate about this videos and I'm so proud of him! He really dedicates a lot of time to it, but it hasn't gotten in the way of our time together or his job... both of which are important hehe.

Well, one of his video series is called "Life of a Guild Leader" which is really just about him. Sounds boring, but he's got pretty awesome insights and his videos make you think! I'm biased, but I think they rock!

Well, we had the idea to make a spin-off of "Life of a Guild Leader" and called it "Wife of a Guild Leader." Yeah. That's me. This video series is about how to incorporate a very consuming hobby (video games) into a relationship. A lot of non-gamers look down upon gaming as a hobby, but really... it's just another hobby! As long as it doesn't turn into an addiction or replace social interaction, let your spouse have their "me" time and do your thing while they're at it!

Anyway, here's the video to prove it. I feel like s STAR.

There I am! There I am! I made him change my wifey font to something cuter and change the boring white background he normally has to pink. He was pretty nice about it all!

If you want the whole experience, here's hubby's channel: BrutallStatic

I found this idea on Pinterest called the "I'm Done Cup." I'm sure a lot of teachers have something similar, but basically I have different tasks written on a popsicle stick. That's it! Simple as that! When a quick student finishes their work and I don't have something for them or there's not enough time for them to move to something else, I send them to the "I'm Done Cup." The tasks on them are things they already do, I swear. Like "Rainbow write your spelling words" is one of them... and they get so excited because it is on a stick.....

Anyway, one of them was "Write a litter to Mrs. Smith." This is what I received this week:

Translation: "I like Mrs. Smith because you make the best and fun centers."

They like me. They really like me!

Get your leprechaun on! I have a new product and it's super sweet. Check it out and start getting ready for St. Patrick's Day, ya'll! Click the pictures.

Have a great and RELAXING weekend. I know I need it this week...

February 16, 2014

Gearing up for St. Patrick's Day

Hello fellow teachers! I have been racking my brain on something new for my kiddos for St. Patrick's Day. I have found SO MANY wonderful ideas online and am going to incorporate several of them into my classroom. But today, I edited an oldie for my class to reflect the time of year.

We play this game called "Find the Sparrow." We were reading a book about trees and sparrows and it fit! Basically there are sight words typed out on cards with trees behind them (I apologize I don't have pictures right now...) and then there are "point cards" with sparrows on them. I put the cards in a pocket chart and hide the sparrow cards behind some of them. I believe we have 6 sparrow cards and about 40 sight word cards. The students take turns, choose a word, read the word, spell the word, and then I remove the card from the pocket chart. If there's a sparrow behind it, they win that card as a point. At the end of the game, when all the cards are gone, the winner come up to the front and the whole class celebrates the winners. Usually there are anywhere from 4-6 winners.

Well, I made this game as a St. Patrick's Day game and I am so excited! There are two games I made, one with easier words and one with harder words. One is called "Find the Leprechaun" and the other is called "Find the Pot O' Gold." I think they turned out really sweet and I can't wait to use them next month with the kiddos!

I posted it HERE on my TpT store and hope that you check them out!

Freebie Time! (Super Spelling)

Hooray for FREEBIE TIME! I'm linking up again with Classroom Freebies and bringing to you a great tool I've been using in my Kindergarten class for spelling words. We call it "Super Spelling" and it is a great weekly center for practicing spelling words. The kiddos love to write in colors and they especially LOVE to write in markers, so this gives them that opportunity and it sneaks in that extra practice.

Click the picture or click HERE for the free download.

It's good for morning work, centers, homework, extra practice, or for those tricky early finishers.

I hope you enjoy! Leave me some feedback! I'd love to know how it is working out for you.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

February 15, 2014

Five for Friday (on a Saturday!) {Feb 15}

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching again this week but I regret to say that I missed the fact that yesterday was Friday! Between the busy day at school with the kiddos' Valentine's Day party, Valentine's Day dinner with the hubby, and the fact that I am definitely sick... I lost complete track of time and the day of the week. But better late than never right?

This week has been nutso! I'm sure everyone is in that boat. But here's my crazy week:

For our Weather unit, we have been learning about the different seasons and the different types of weather you see in each season. For our craft this week we made a Weather Mobile. It was much more labor intensive than I had realized, but I LOVE them and the kids really liked making them.

I cut out an umbrella (two pieces that were glued together) and they colored it. The four pieces are: a raindrop, a snowflake, a cloud, and a sun. The raindrop is covered in pieces of foil. The kids liked gluing something that was an unusual texture to them. However, it takes a lot longer for glue to dry on foil, so be aware of that if you tackle this mobile as well. We made the snowflakes out of coffee filters because it is quicker and easier to cut out. Plus, it made it such a nice round shape instead of a boxy shape like regular paper. Another benefit is its less weight for the little card stock umbrella to hold. :)
The next piece is the cloud and it is simply covered in cotton balls. And then the sparkly sun is covered in gold glitter. This was messy, but no one ever said Kindergarten was a clean place...

I love how they turned out and I would say it was worth the time and effort put in. I did have a parent volunteer to help, so I feel like I had an advantage, but getting the 19 kids in the class done was a little rough. We plan on attaching weather poems to the mobile next since we are learning about poems in ELA. Pictures coming soon!

This week being Valentine's Day, the kids were assigned to make a box of sorts to collect their valentines in for the party. Of course, being Kindergarteners, parents did a lot of the work at home. Most kids came in with a shoebox wrapped in decorative wrapping paper and stickers all over. They were so cute. I loved the see the students' personalities shine through these boxes. I did not take a picture of all of them and I'm regretting that now because I'll never see the boxes again, but I will share with you the ones that the kids were talking about all week long. Clearly, parents did most of the work, but you can tell the kids had a say!

The ninja box.

The adorable minion box. This one was made out of a cereal box.

And the crazy Frozen box. This was made out of cereal boxes and tissue boxes and comes complete with the dolls and accessories.

We had another castle box was that was adorable, but I didn't get a picture of it! And the Kindergarten class next door had a unicorn that I just wanted to steal and take home. SO CUTE!

We had a meeting this week through the university and I had to make my first day's worth of sub plans. No big deal! Hooray!

The meeting was great because we got to talk about graduation stuff and make plans for parties and get togethers. I will likely not walk at graduation because, quite frankly, it is really expensive. I am also at a remote campus which means my campus is in a different town. If I wanted to walk at graduation, I would also have to drive almost 2 hours south on the Florida Turnpike, which means I have to pay lots of tolls. Also a bummer is that the College of Education will be graduating with the College of Nursing, both of which have the largest number of graduates in the whole university. Sounds like bad planning to me, so I'm just going to save my money and stay home. I also don't want to leave anyone out by only having the five tickets, so we'll just party at home!

In the meeting however, we also discussed some different classroom management strategies that we are using in our classes and I got some really great ideas! I'm excited to start using them to see if they work for my class and me.

The day I had the meeting was also my husband's 28th birthday! Hooray! We went to Red Lobster with my brother, some friends, and my sister-in-law. It was delicious and we had a LOT of fun. Happy birthday, sweetie!

On Valentine's Day (yesterday), we did a lot of fun things before the Valentine's Day party. I read the book Love Monster by Rachel Bright which is such a sweet book that the kids really loved. If you haven't read it, I suggest going by your closest book store and checking it out. We read it twice for two reasons: 1) I'm teaching the kids that it is necessary to read things through twice before answering questions or writing about a text and 2) The kids loved the book so much they wanted to hear it again.

Like any good book, this one has a great website. This is the first book in what looks like an upcoming series, so the website doesn't have a huge amount of things to offer but it is definitely one to check out. In their downloadable section I found an activity packet which I downloaded.

For our project, I used the Monster Finger Puppet page and the kids made their own finger puppets. I then partnered them together randomly by pulling two sticks out with their names on them and had them create a Love Monster puppet show. This was a really exciting activity for them and they really enjoyed sharing with the whole class.

Sorry this one us blurry. Those monsters just wouldn't stop "dancing!"

And finally, Valentine's Day was just a wonderful experience. We had a great party! Parents brought in lunch for the kids. One parent brought in chicken nuggets from Chic-fil-a! Great choice! We played Valentine's Day Bingo and made little hats. But the most popular activity during the party was the Rice Crispie Treat Decorating. My supervising teacher made home made Rice Crispie Treats shaped like hearts and the kids decorated them!

We have a child with severe allergies in the class, so we had to be careful with ingredients. The rice crispie treats were safe for her, but not a lot of candy or sweets options are available to her. Valentine's Day was tough. But we made it through it! I really wanted to make some of the cute ideas I found on Pinterest for Valentine's Day but I just couldn't leave her out, so I made a little coloring book for them. I used graphics from My Cute Graphics and Creative Clips and taped a package of Smarties on them! She can have Smarties! They really liked the books and I had a blast making them, so it was a success!

My only regret is that I waited till the last minute and didn't get to upload it as a freebie for you guys! Maybe next year I will be able to. Keep an eye out, readers!

Happy Valentine's Day from Amanda and Daisy! Have a WONDERFUL 3 day weekend, teachers!

February 11, 2014

Dental Hygiene Science Experiment

Across yesterday's Science block and today's, we did a really awesome experiment for Dental Hygiene Month. The kids were so intrigued by this... and to be honest... so was I!

Here's what we did:

- I brought in vinegar and a hard boiled egg. We used apple cider vinegar because I wanted the color to change the color of the egg slightly, but also be clear enough for us to see the egg in the jar.

- We talked about similarities between the egg and our teeth. We compared the shell to our teeth's enamel (we wrote down enamel and broke down the word as well, finding out how many syllables there are). We used adjectives to describe what they have in common. We put: hard, smooth, and white. I got the "Plaque Predictions" sheet from a free download on TpT by The First Grade Reader.

- We talked about plaque, what it is, why its bad, and how the vinegar in the experiment is like a whole lot of plaque.

- We learned the meaning of "predict" and the kiddos wrote down their predictions of what would happen to the egg if we kept it in the vinegar for a whole day. We got a lot of "it will rot," "it will crack," and "it will get cavities." They made me smile. :)

- We put the egg in a jar of vinegar and tightly screwed the lid on. I left the jar on display through the rest of the day and the beginning of the next day. The kids knew not to touch it and they loved checking on it as they lined up for lunch, went to bathroom, switched centers, etc.

- The next day, we visually observed the egg and talked about what we saw. Then we took it out of the jar. I put the egg in a little bowl and had the kids feel the end result. The egg was soft! The shell was gone. It was like a peeled hard boiled egg.

- They drew what the egg looked like now and we discussed that the longer plaque is on your teeth, the weaker your enamel becomes.

This was a really fun and super easy experiment that the kids loved. We practiced making predictions and observations and recording results.

If you try the experiment, let me know how it goes for you! I hope your kiddos love it as much as mine did!

February 9, 2014

Another Valentine's Day FREEBIE!

I am just in a good mood this weekend! I guess I'm just getting ready for this awesome week and for Valentine's Day! So here's my newest freebie for you and your little sweeties in K-2. I'm linking up again with Classroom Freebies, so check them out and leave a comment! I would love to hear how these resources are working for you! Here's the link: Broken Compound Words

The way it works is, cut out the broken heart pieces from one page and glue them to the other half on the other page to create the correct compound words!

I hope this week is a great one for everyone! Enjoy!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

A BIG week and a BIG sale!

This week is a BIG one for me! Due the number of celebratory events this week, I'll make a list...

1) Ryan proposed to me a year ago tomorrow. <3

2) Ryan's birthday is on Wednesday. He will be 28!

3) Valentine's Day is on Friday.

4) February 16th is the anniversary of our starting to date in 2009. 5 years!

5) This is my first week of planning and teaching the entire day. Gonna be a loooooong week...

So in honor of all these crazy things, I'm throwing a sale! 20% off my entire store on Teachers Pay Teachers. I know several of you have wishlisted the items, so now's the time to grab 'em. I will have them all on sale through Saturday! Check it all out here: Daisy Designs.

Have a great week!

February 3, 2014

Dice Games for Math and Literacy Centers and a FREEBIE!

Didn't I promise a new product?! Yep! And I am good on my word. Here ya go!

These are great for your math and literacy centers. I am so happy with them! Click on any of the pictures to see more and to go to my TpT store.

Roll a die and read the numbers across the row next to the number you rolled. Then write the numbers in the boxes on the blank sheet that is also included in the bundle.

Here is the Roll It! Read It! Write It! being used in a center. I had the sheets laminated and had the kids use dry erase markers to help cut costs on printing and make them completely reusable. Plus, the kids LOVE to use the markers and erasers. Word from the wise: Give each kiddo 1 die and give them a bowl of sorts to roll them in. You'll lose your dice otherwise.

Roll a die and draw what you see. Then rewrite that number as a ten frame, a math sentence, the written form, and with objects.

Same as the math version, but with high frequency words.

Roll a die and place an "X" or an "O" on the space! There are also boards included without dice images, but with equations within 10, such as 10-5, 10-8, etc.

Draw a card and write the high frequency word on included stationary the number of times shown in the dice in the image. There are also cards with just the sight words, so if desired, students can roll a die instead of just using the image on the card. There are 22 pages of cards... so... should keep the kiddos busy and give them lots of practice with these important words!

I always feel a little bad that I always post products and printouts for K-2. I do have things for upper grade levels, too! So, for those of you who need some extra practice with factors and multiples, here's a freebie for ya that I'm linking up with Classroom Freebies! I hope it will be of use to you. HERE it is!
Multiples and Factors Tic-Tac-Toe


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday