Thursday, May 28, 2015

Relax and Enjoy Summer!

First off...HELLO! How are you doing?  Are you grinding away in the classroom or are you enjoying your break already?  I am the latter of those two! :)  I'm most certain that summer break and teaching goes hand-in-hand for a reason!  First day of summer break I am like....stress?  What stress...and most of all I am already excited to start the new year {come on like the "newness " of the year...not actually the whole working part HA}.

I posted on Facebook the other day a "back to school" post and posed the question to see how many teachers are like me and start thinking about the next year almost immediately!  Surprisingly SO many of you agreed!  That same day I sent about a bazillion copies to the copy center to be made for those first days back.  It's just such a stress reducer when you eliminate those "small" tasks that consume so much of your time at the beginning of the year.  It seems like those teacher work days are more preparing for the kids with putting names on things, etc. You don't get that much too to actually PREPARE to TEACH!  Which is the most important part, right? :)

Anyway, get on with the point...I wanted to put this post together as a central location for teachers that are in the back to school mode...whenever that might hit you!  Below I will list out a few "must haves" for back to school...must haves AKA LIFE SAVERS!

It is obvious that I sell my resources...but in all honesty THIS IS THE BEST  BACK TO SCHOOL 
RESOURCE I'VE EVER MADE!  I kind of forget about resources I've made when I am not using them currently in my room, but when I opened this one up the other day my eyes got huge.  I was like yes I need to print this, THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS TOO!  It really is an awesome packet for back to school time!  I'll give you "run down" of what is inside below!

You can see from below that the packet is specially designed for those new kinders!  The "writing" skills were all printed and prepped for next year!  I sent off the writing strokes, scissor practice, cut & glue practice, coloring practice....and the my supplies reader is and adorable story about using their supplies!

I had prepped the math and literacy centers last summer so I didn't have to do that this year, but those are MUST!  

You can click on the photo above to read the full description, but I prefer actions shots so let me get to those!
Here is one of the math centers... Drivin' Down Number Lane!  Who couldn't love that right?  I purchased my little plastic cars from Dollar Tree!

This one is called Apple Pickin' and the students not only work on their one-to-one counting skills, but also fine motor work!
Little Seedlings is the third math center in the packet...again more fine motor practice!


Now on two the literacy centers included!  Driving Down Letter Lane....perfect for working on those initial paths of movement.  

Apples in the Basket...for this center the students math the upper and lowercase letters!

I'm guessing that I didn't snap many pictures of the scissor practice sheets or the cut & glue sheets.  Here is though, one of the coloring practice sheets!  I know some may think that it's a waste to teach "coloring,"  but so many kids have never been formally taught to color within the lines! :)

If you're interested in snagging this packet and prepping it before the new year you can grab it HERE. It sells for $6 and when on sale it's $4.80 :)

Okay, now let's talk about a little "guided reading."  Now.....take this with caution.  I'm for sure not telling you that you need to do full on reading as soon as school starts. However, I like to start in on those initial skills one to one reading!  My Introduction to Guided Reading packet offers one to one strips, easy readers, and corresponding extension sheets for two weeks of reading instruction!

One to one reading strips...

Easy readers...

Extension activities...

If you're interested in getting this packet for your new little future kinders you can snag it HERE.  The packet sells for $5 and when on sale it's $4. 

Looking back one of my most proud moments from the 2014-2015 school year was KinderPhonics!  I was simply BLOWN away with what the kiddos learned and how much it effected their reading and writing!  If you haven't stumbled across these units I'll give it a quick explanation!  KinderPhonics is made up of three units, but you could choose to use 1, 2, or 3 units and get great results!  Unit one is an introduction to the alphabet dedicating one day per letter.  So basically your first 26 days of school would be going through the alphabet one time!  This helps those kiddos that need to be introduced to a letter once and then they have it.  Unit two goes through the alphabet again focusing more on the sound of the letter.  Unit three is where students take these sounds and place them in words!

These are the sound posters that come with the units....

You also get these awesome handwriting sheets!

 And along with detailed teacher lesson plans {just print them and read word for word} you also get student printables for each lesson!

If you're excited to try something new in phonics you can check out this unit HERE.  The packet sells for $14 and $11.20 when on sale!

Okay, the last unit I have to share with you in KinderMath Number Sense!  This packet also offers teacher lesson plans {read word for word} the number sense activities can be done whole group and the placed into a math center.  The activities also work great for intervention groups!
The packet currently has 38 lessons and 6 whole group routines!  You also received a student practice sheet for independent follow-up for most lessons!

The lessons build slowly and are all labeled with the common core standards that they cover!

If you need a boost in your number sense instruction you can view this packet HERE.  Also, this packet does require some teacher prep so it's nice to have it all prepped before the school year starts!  The packet sells for $10 and $8 when on sale!

Now for some back to school projects to keep you busy over  summer {lol do we need anything else to keep us busy?}
We tried a lot of new techniques when practicing writing strokes last year!  These paint bags worked great and kept throughout the whole year and they look good to go still from next year!  It was just as simple as squirting the paint into the bag and making sure it sealed!

And sticking with writing strips...these laminated stoke cards really helped build that strong writing foundation!  If you want to get them prepped for the new year you can download them HERE.  They are a freebie :)

When cruising the aisles of Dollar Tree this summer be sure to grab these!  Some fuzzy pom poms, cupcake pan, and tweezers!  Fine motor LOVE!

Last summer I took some time to prep some adorable writing folders!  They were simple and the kids were able to keep them organized with their group so much better!

Alright, that is all I have for you now!  If you're reading this post in "real time" my entire store is on sale for 20% through Friday, May 29th!  You can click below to head over!

Have a super week and really ENJOY your summer!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kindergarten Spring Open House! {a safari themed adventure}

Hi there and thanks so much for stopping by!  This past week we hosted our first spring kindergarten open house/round up!  It was so much fun and the kids really seemed to like "easing in" to the new school!  We always have a fall open house where the kiddos get to bring in their supplies and meet us.  However, it is usually so hectic we rarely get to socialize much and it's pretty a fast faced  blurr.  For this spring open house/round up the kids were able to have the night be about them and get to choose where and what they wanted to do!

Of course nothing says kindergarten like a THEME!  Our theme was safari and the kids had a blast going on their little adventure to kindergarten!  What  goes hand in hand with a themed activity??? Amazon Prime ;)  Here is a look at our entry table.

safari name tags

safari balloons

safari hats

Once checked in and after getting their name tags...we gave each student a safari hat and they then got to take their picture in the safari jeep!  

Adorable right?

Here is another look at the jeep and back drop.  I placed a small student chair behind the jeep.  It was the perfect size for the little pints! :)

safari backdrop
safari jeep

After the students were checked in and had gotten their pictures taken parents headed into the gym for a quick talk from our principal.  Afterwards the real fun started!  Each kiddo was given their own safari ranger certification passport.  They then headed to each area to have their passports stamped!

If you would like to grab these freebie safari passports you can click below!

Parents also received this quick "check-off" list for their soon to be kindergarten kiddo.  This list has some academic areas, but mostly focuses on the important non academic aspects of entering kindergarten!  You can grab this parent flier as a freebie by clicking HERE.

I had placed these signs around the school to help direct parents on where to go! The lion's den where were the kiddos go to explore with math manipulatives.  There were pattern teddy bear cards, pattern block puzzles, and more.  The students could move from station to station to explore!

In the elephant art room students used their fine motor skills to create a tiger!  The faces of the tigers were already the students had to color the eyes and cut small lines around the face to create the tiger's mane.

The next three rooms....giraffe jumping, tiger make & take, and zebra zone were down the hallway.  My room was the zebra zone.  Students were able to choose from a range of hands-on building activity/games that I have.  The magnatiles and castle blocks proved to be favorites!  In the giraffe jumping room...students worked on their gross motor skills with a bean bag toss, hopping on one foot, etc.

In the tiger  make & take room students were able to create a safari animal using stickers!  Another Amazon find ;)  I had also picked up some safari 3d puzzle animals from the Dollar Tree which were just as adorable!


Safari Build an Animal Stickers

You can download the freebie posters for each room below as well! :)

Each of us had our own matching stamp for our themed room!  We stamped the kiddos' passports when the would enter the room.

safari stamps

After the students made their way through the five rooms they were give a special sticker!

Well....that's all I have for you today!  Have a great week and I'll be checking in soon! :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Springing into Subtraction {freebies included}

Hey there!  I am getting this post up a little late in the year so I hope you're still able to use a few of these ideas this school year :)  We seemed to have worked on addition a little longer this year than we have in the past...the kids were rockin' and rollin'  I almost felt sad to move on to subtraction ;)  I was a little worried that working on addition longer would make the transition to subtraction hard, but it wasn't at all!  It went really smooth this year!

I like to start with simple subtraction stories as a way to introduce subtraction.  We did a lot of role playing out simple subtraction problems by having students come up to the front of the room.  Below is a fun and interactive video for subtraction stories!  Our math series has a big book that also offers a visual for students to see.  For example, they could see that there were 5 apples in the tree and 2 apples fell off.  How many apples are left?

This adorable game and matching book comes from Miss Kindergarten Love's Spring and Math Literacy Centers Packet  It is just another fun and hands-on way we practiced subtraction on the early days.

We played, 5 birdies in the tree!  I called out how many birds the students needed to remove each time and then I wrote the problem on the board for them to see.  They did very well with the hands-on and then seeing how that connected to what I wrote on the board.

After we worked with the birdies in the tree, we read and worked through this adorable matching book!

The following activity is another quick and easy way to practice subtraction.  The two students would work together.  Partner A would roll the number cube and tell Partner B to subtract that many.  10 take 2 is eight.

These cards are so much fun!  We did the same thing for addition and I was a little hesitant with the words, "take away"....but again they proved me wrong!  Partner A would continue to ask Partner B the problems until I said UH-OH SWITCH!  The partners would then switch cards with one another.

This is a fun hands-on subtraction activity I got from Tessa at Spotlight on Kindergarten!  I altered it just slightly the first time the kids problems that were always taking away from 10...just to try and cut down on any confusion.  Since then we have been playing with random equations and they've done well!  This is a freebie you can find HERE.

On this day the students gave their partners subtraction stories...I saw 5 balloons and 3 many balloons are left?

I also had my students do a simple subtraction sticker story.  I gave each student 3 colored stickers and then they crossed out a certain number to make a simple subtraction problem.  See below for the freebie template!

Click  {HERE} for the freebie sticker story template!

For our introduction to subtraction we also brought in some known books/songs to correlate the concept!  The following is song, Ten in a Bed.  For this one I have my students put up ten fingers and they take one down each time a little guy falls out of bed!

We also used a favorite...Five Monkeys!!!!

Last but not least...we used Pete's subtraction book!

So much of subtraction is best practiced through hands-on experiences. However, I do like to use a practice sheet at the end of math to make sure my kiddos are grasping the concept!  I put together this freebie packet for you!  Bless your little hearts for surviving the year! :) :) 

We also started to work this week with number bonds and the correlation as to finding the missing number in the number bond!  I created these easy to follow practice sheets and the students have responded very well to them.  This is a guided sheet...where the student simply writes in the missing number in the equation.  I have the sheets differentiated in the packet so they can also fill in the entire equation themselves.

Click below to view the packet on TpT.  It sells for $4.00 and includes 34 pages.

We have also started subtraction word problems!  In my packets students show their answers using a picture, number line, equation, and answer statement!  The kids love these pages and have so much fun solving the word problems!  You can view all of my themed packets by clicking below...

Each day we start out our math lessons with these teacher subtraction story problem prompt cards!  The kids solve the problems with their partners and then we turn back to discuss!

You can view these problems by clicking below!

If you haven't previously came across this video, it's great one!  The kids beg for it!

The following video shows how to use objects to subtract!

The following video shows how to use the subtraction sign!

This is one of my kiddos favorite subtraction games!  It's called Critter Junction!

The last part to our subtraction unit is fluency!  We have started our timed fluency tests and I am "quizzing" the kiddos their subtraction facts in the hallway before they go into the restroom.  It's super important to remember that as part of the Common Core the students only need to be fluent within 5.  I only "quiz" them over facts to 5...we work on subtraction with 10 but not in a fluency fashion.

Click below to view my fluency tests for both addition & subtraction!

I will also be sending home a set of flash cards home for my kiddos!  I got my flash cards {HERE}.  They sell for $2.

And have no fear....summer is near!