April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Earth Day

Week 2 linking up with Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday! This week I'm doing things Earth Day style.

What did you do to celebrate and learn about Earth Day?

April 20, 2014

Cutest Picture Ever

Happy Easter everyone! I am just relaxing and enjoying my husband's and puppies' company until supper time with my folks and brother!

Here's what I have today! HOW CUTE ARE THESE BABIES??? Oh my gosh. I can't stand it! They are so adorable!

Have a great day!

April 18, 2014

Five for [Good] Friday! April 18

Don't worry everyone! I'm gonna make it today! I'm finally going to get my Five for Friday done! Hehe. I'm not sure it really counts though... I'm off from school today...

Here we go!

This is one of the activities we did for maps last week. I've seen this done many times and it was a great activity. The one on the left was made by one of my students who is VERY particular about his projects' appearance, so his naturally looks very clean. The one on the right was created by a child who is the complete opposite, but it still looks great. I wanted to show both ends of the spectrum here in case you decide to tackle this project in your own classroom. Don't expect them all to look like the one on the left.

Here's one of the pages! I decided to pre-cut the circles to save time and pre-print and cut the maps on each page. The only pages I left blank and up to them was their house and their town. I let them decide what to put on the page for their town. We have a HUGE horse community in this town, so a lot of students drew roads and horses. :)

Easter is this Sunday! So we have had a lot of Spring time activities and Easter bunny stuff going on. Of course, in the public schools they are all "Spring Time" not "Easter." 

Anyway, we totally did an egg hunt...

And this was just for OUR class! There are 4 other kindergarten classes!

We had students create their own baskets to collect the eggs and decided to combine it with the upcoming Earth Day by having them make them at home with recycled materials. We had some pretty creative stuff!

We had braided grocery bags (upper left)!
We had milk jugs and shredded paper (upper right and bottom left)!
We had yellow milk jugs and styrofoam pieces (bottom right)!
They came up with some great stuff! I realize parents probably did most of the work, but still! 

These were fun and turned out so nice! We made them for gifts for parents this week. After they dried, we hot glued a pin to the back and pinned them to little cards they made. I didn't get a picture of the cards, though... sorry!

I know this is blurry because the credits were rolling fast.... BUT...

I was in a film a few years back in my acting days and it won an award at a film festival last weekend! I went and saw it and was a little ashamed to say that it was the first time I was watching it. I don't really like to watch myself, so I never did. But I knew it was going to be at the film festival and I really wanted to go and support the director. It is with my maiden name (Amanda D'Amico) and I played Stephanie! It is 6 down from the top in that picture. :)

I didn't go to the other films due to my busy schedule, but John Travolta opened up with a kickoff speech and attended quite a few of the films himself, which I thought was pretty awesome!

Here's a picture of some of the cast and the director and writer. It is blurry for some reason, so I'm trying to find a better one... But having difficulty...

There I am in blue! It was a lot of fun and the film won the People's Choice Award which means it was basically everyone's favorite! Congratulations to Ben, the director. Here's a link to the website about the film: Catch of a Lifetime

I decided to go for it and I created a Facebook page! I was reluctant at first, but it isn't so bad! Check it out and tell me your thoughts! Don't forget to like my page so you can get updates on a "maybe-kinda-soon-first-Daisy-Designs-giveaway." ;) Click the picture to go to the page or click HERE.

Thanks for reading and hopefully enjoying yourself on my blog! New posts coming soon!

April 16, 2014

Kindergarten Skills 1 & 2

I have been working on a pretty big project the past few weeks... I just didn't tell anyone yet! ;)

I am working on a series of products (some free and some not) called Kindergarten Skills. These are things I run into on a daily basis: tracing, cutting, gluing, solving puzzles, putting pieces together, following step-by-step directions, etc. Even this late into the year, I occasionally run into problems!

Well, this is a pretty big series as you can probably imagine and I plan on having it all done before the beginning of next school year... but I am here to tell you that today... Parts 1 and 2 ARE DONE!

And here they are... drum roll please!

 Kindergarten Skills 1:

These can be used so many ways. Start off small and just give a student the four pieces to one puzzle. Then start giving them more and more pieces until they are figuring out each individual puzzle all together! They look great, the colors are so bright and fun, and there are 36 of them! I recommend printing them on cardstock and laminating them.

Kindergarten Skills 2:

And this is a matching game! Print out all the cards and match the whole picture to the card with the zoomed in portion. The black and white version is much more difficult to perform so it is something the students can grow with or can be used in differentiation. These are also good to laminate. ;)

Click any of the pictures to go to the link or check out my entire store HERE!

Keep your eyes peeled for more in the Kindergarten Skills series, especially over this summer!

Wordless Wednesday: Favorite Springtime Craft!

What is your favorite Spring Time craft?

April 12, 2014

The Tooth Fainting

It has been a while since I have done a Kindergarten Quotes post. It certainly isn't because they haven't said the most hilarious things, but because I have been a crazy woman lately!

Here's what happened the other day:

STUDENT: Mrs. Smith! Look at my tooth!

(This tooth was literally hanging there. I really though gravity would cause it to fall out...)

ME: Oh dear! I can't believe that it hasn't come out yet! You should just grab it and pull it out right now!


(She proceeds to grab hold of it as I watch, grabbing a paper towel to get ready for the bloody tooth. Then she pauses...)

STUDENT (with a proud smile): Last time I lost a tooth I fainted! (giggling)


Oh my word... I can't handle a fainter. I emailed her mom and she confirmed that, yes, she did indeed faint two days prior when she lost her tooth. The student thought it was funny that she fainted! Kids...

April 10, 2014

Getting Ready For The Aquarium!

Tomorrow is our BIG field trip to the Florida Aquarium! I am SO excited! I have lived in Florida for a long long time and I have never been there. So this is just as exciting for me as it is for the kids.

Since we are going tomorrow and last week was National Week of the Ocean (great timing, I know), we needed something to replace our Weather Mobiles hanging in our class... but what... ?

We made CD Fishies! My supervising teacher saw this idea and I loved it. We did the CD Fishies in small groups while the others did outside centers since the weather is so gorgeous! We did a Play-Do center on the picnic tables, sidewalk chalk center, the sand table, and for the ones who needed some extra movement for their wiggles, we had hula hoops! 

But anyway, take a look at the CD Fishies project. I LOVE them.

We used craft foam sheets that we had leftover from another project which makes them much more durable and colorful. You could use other materials, though, such as card stock or construction paper which would make it a little less expensive.

2 CDs per student
Foam pieces cut like fins, tail fin, and a middle fin (pictured underneath the CDs on the table)
2 googly eyes per student
white glue
fishing line

Glue googly eyes onto the shiny sides of 2 CDs
Glue the fins as pictured on the non-shiny side of one CD
Glue the second CD on top of the first making the foam pieces glued in between the two CDs
Fold the middle fin and pull through the hole of the CDs.
Tie fishing line through and hang up!

I'll see you tomorrow for my very special Aquarium Five for Friday post! Have a great night!

April 3, 2014

Proud Recipient of the Liebster Award!

The other day I was contacted by Susan over at Lopez Land Learners who nominated me for the Liebster Award! I am so excited to share this news with everyone and love this new way of networking with some fab teachers and bloggers!

What is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award is an internet based award that is given to bloggers... by other bloggers! How cool is that?? To qualify for the Liebster Award, a blog must have less than 200 followers and to accept it I must nominate other bloggers and answer some interview style questions here in this post! For more information, check out this website and if you'd like to nominate someone for the Liebster Award, all the pertinent details are listed there.

So now that we know what this is all about... let's get this party started! Here are my interview Q&A's from Susan!

1. How long have you been blogging?
This blog has been active since January 1st of this year. It was kind of a New Year's resolution of sorts for me. I had a blog a few years ago because I just like writing and talking and meeting people. Unfortunately I never found the right niche for that blog and it has since died out. I also became very busy with school, but I made the decision to go for it again and have been loving it ever since! I would say, collectively between this blog and my last flop, I have been blogging about a year. This blog however is only 4 months old.

2. What made you decide to start a teaching blog?
Other than the fact that I missed the general act of blogging, I decided to start a teaching blog because that is my major in school and my passion. I am a senior at the University of Central Florida finishing my BS in Elementary Education. Part of the requirements of graduating is making my own resources and lesson plans, implementing them in my internship classroom, and always always always reflecting and growing. This is not headline news for teachers... this is life! What better way to reflect than to blog about it and gain insight and feedback from those more experienced than I? What better way to grow than to make new friends across the world who have the same passion as mine? The only problem I have with my teacher blog is why it took me so long to get it started!

3. If you could teach any subject all day long, what would it be?
Oh golly, Social Studies. I LOVE IT. It is so interesting to me and there are so many possibilities with my lessons! Right now we are doing a unit on maps in my Kindergarten classroom and I am loving every minute of it! I love how natural it is to integrate other subjects into it (or it into other subjects). I could go on all day!

4. What is the one country you would like to visit?
If you had asked me this question just a year ago, I would have said Italy, hands down. But for some reason lately, I have been incredibly intrigued with Australia! My grandparents went there when I was a child and they said throughout all of their travels, Australia was their favorite. One of my husband's closest friends is from Australia and this year, I have a student who's family is from Australia! Australia is all around me! It MUST be a sign!

5. What is your favorite children's literature book to read aloud?
How is this question possible to answer?? Oh goodness... I love read alouds and try to do several every day. I adore anything Dr. Seuss because the kids are just mesmerized by it and I am the type of person who finds pleasure in speaking in rhymes. I also LOVE Pete the Cat. I work at a community theater in the Education Department and every year they hire actors/instructors to do a Literacy Tour across the county. I was hired last year to do the Pete the Cat Literacy Tour and this was the first time I encountered Pete the Cat and his groovy ways. I instantly fell in love because it was the perfect book series to be "performed" by a theater professional in front of hundreds of kids at a time. I just love how the books get the kids hooked. I know this answer is getting awfully long, but I also recently discovered the book The Love Monster and read it aloud for Valentine's Day. It is so fun to read aloud (from the teacher's perspective) and the kids loved it... so I would say that is one of my newer favorites as well........ Okay. I'll stop now.

6. What is the one habit you have that drives you crazy at times?
I desperately want to be the most organized person of all time. I am very organized to some degree. My school things are organized. I meticulously write notes and important messages/tasks in my planners and notebooks. My lessons are mega neat and tidy. But by golly, if my house isn't a total train wreck, it means I'm not home. I hate how messy I am at home and as much as I try, I can't keep it tidy for more than 24 hours. I have truly tried. The worst part is that my husband is very tidy and I know it bothers him, too, so... it will be something I work on probably for the rest of eternity.

7. How long have you been teaching? Do you imagine retiring as a teacher?
This is an interesting question, of which I will give an interesting answer to! I am currently not a teacher. Ha! As mentioned before, I am a college student in my FINAL semester of my FINAL year of my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I am interning currently in a Kindergarten classroom and I have worked extensively in a 4th grade classroom as well. Although I am not a full time general classroom teacher at the moment, I have been an instructor of the arts for about 10 years. Since I was a child, theater has been a passion of mine and I originally majored in theater for my career for 3 years before I decided that I was not meant to be directed. I love acting, singing, and dancing, but it is not a career for me whatsoever. Through my early years in college I taught at various dance studios in central Florida and Northeast Florida as well as modeling agencies and community theaters. What started out as a way to help pay the bills, wound up helping me discover my true calling. I adored teaching the children. I do see myself retiring as a teacher. This is the first time I've felt that I've found the right career for me, after trying my hand as an actor as well as a long 4 years in retail and computer repair.

8.What do you think of the Common Core Standards?
I have never taught anything else. I am coming into the field fresh and through college, Common Core is what I've been studying and applying. I like them! I am comfortable with them and understand them. I think the hardest part of Common Core is making such a huge national change. Change is hard. And change that large is even harder.

9. What is one supply in your class you just can't get enough of?
Oh Crayola markers and I are BFFs. I just LOVE opening a new box of markers and going to town on a new anchor chart. And I love it when I say, "Yes, class you CAN use markers on this project!" and hearing the inevitable, "You're the BEST teacher EVER!" Sigh.

10. If you could write a children's book, what would it be about?
I would write about puppies. Overdone, I know, but boy am I a sucker for some cute little puppies. I have two dogs (story HERE) that are my fur babies! They are my children! They are so important to me and Daisy Designs is actually named after one of them! (My name is actually Amanda :D)

11. What is your favorite store or website to shop for school related items?
Teachers Pay Teachers of course! I love the fact that my money is going to the pockets of other teachers. I am a seller on TpT as well and love that I just revolve the money I earn back to those who really deserve it for all the awesome work they do. And, I mean, you can find anything on there! Anything you need!

Random facts time!

1. I consider myself a Florida native, but I moved here when I was 6 years old. I am originally from Las Vegas, NV!
2. I have been married for a whopping 8 months! Wooo!
3. I eat an unnatural amount of Taco Bell. And my husband is worse.
4. My husband is a YouTuber who talks about video games and leadership skills. He has more Twitter followers than me...
5. I want to love the gym. But sometimes, our relationship is rocky.
6. I tap dance. And I'm good at it. Even in my 20's.
7. I worked in computer repair for a few years. Not my jam... but good to know that I'm good at it!
8. I have two brothers. One brother is 10 years older than me. One brother is 10 months younger than me. They're awesome.
9. I have never seen snow.
10. I was in a movie twice which was on my bucket list! I was an extra in the pretty ridiculous Final Destination series (don't bother watching it...) and a film called Catch of a Lifetime which is going to be featured at a film festival (tomorrow as a matter of fact...). I had 12 lines and straight red hair. Good times.
11. In the year 2012, I challenged myself to read 52 books in a year. I got to 48 because Game of Thrones was a doozy!

And now for those that I have nominated! My absolute favorite part about blogging are the people I meet and follow!

Here are the questions I'd like answered by my nominees in the event that they accept!

1. Why do you blog?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. What is one thing you cannot live without in your classroom?
4. How long have you been teaching and do you imagine yourself retiring as a teacher?
5. Who is your favorite children's author and why?
6. Who is your role model or the person who has had the most positive influence on you?
7. What subject could you teach all day long?
8. Think of your favorite teaching resource you've purchased. Where did you buy it?
9. What are your pet peeves in your classroom?
10. What is your favorite part about your job?
11. What are you going to do over summer break this year?

Click the buttons below to see the blogs I've nominated to see their answers!

My Fabulous ClassProud to be PrimaryMrs. Thompson's Treasures

Learning With Susie Q

April 1, 2014

April Currently

Hello readers! This is the first time I am linking up with Oh Boy Fourth Grade with the monthly "Currently" posts. I love these little writing starters. I use them in my journal all the time! So why not blog with it? ;)

LISTENING: My husband and I are becoming fans of the popular game League of Legends which has a HUGE fan base and actual paid professionals who play. LCS stands for League Champion Series which has been going on for several days now. We have it playing in the background pretty much all evening...
LOVING: This weather is just SO gorgeous! It is about 78 degrees right now, sunny, breezy, just perfection. It was a little chilly getting to school this morning, but it warmed up around 9:00!
THINKING: I am just down right sleepy. I don't want to say tired because I don't feel exhausted. I just finished Spring Break for crying out loud! But I am warm now instead of freezing and the warmth and my comfy "at-home" clothes just make me want to go to sleep and stay that way for a while.
WANTING: As mentioned above, LCS is playing the background which makes me want to log on and get playing!
NEEDING: I am doing the "Me on the Map" activity with the construction paper circles tomorrow and I NEED to make the model for the students to go by... but I just really don't want to right now!
HOURS AND LAST DAY: This is an interesting answer for me as I am a student teacher right now in my FINAL internship! My last day as a college student is April 25th, therefore I will no longer be required to be in the classroom. This will give me time to focus on teaching my theater classes and get ready for my summer jobs, but it is not the last day. The last day of school in my county is June 4th!

What is your "April Currently?" Check out others at Oh Boy Fourth Grade and link up too!