Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sneak Peek at my New Photo Find Games!

I am so excited to unveil my new preschool/kindergarten activities for science that I am working on.  I can't get them done fast enough!  They are write the room science hunts and they are going to be so cute!  I have awesome graphics from Erin Bradley Designs and after huge searches for wild animal photos that don't come with HUGE price tags I have almost finished my first one.  I have to print it out in the morning and add photos to the directions and it is a go!
Just to give you an idea of how these science "Photo Finds" will work...I have created cameras with animal photos under them.  The activity will be a little like hide and seek.  You will hide the paper cameras around the room with animal photos underneath them and your students will hunt, and record what they find on a cute clipboard you will provide them.  There are 3 levels of writing this will cover too.  My recording/hunting sheets include just making an "X" by the animal photo, tracing the name of the animal, and independently writing the name of the animal next to the photo on the clipboard.  I know my students are going to love this.  They are always jumping in to be in pictures.  I  also know that write the room is one of their favorite choices during our "centers time."
I am heading to bed but this will be up on Teachers Pay Teachers tomorrow so check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Celebrating 83,000 Views of My BLOG!

Thanks to all of you who have read and followed my blog.  I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it and love sharing my work with all of you!  I have not had as many followers as I thought I would have by now (hint, hint!), but still happy!  I encourage you to follow me through Bloglovin' or by email.  It is a great way to keep updated when I make new posts.  I am trying to post at least 3 activities I create in my room to share with you each month this upcoming school year.  That is my goal anyway!
I have just finished creating some great number play dough mats.  I am working on the letter version to go with the GUM BALL theme!  Many of my other play dough mats are rolling "worm" shapes, so for my latest game I used the ball shape.  I made a few at my table tonight.   My twin girls were asleep, so I could not try it out on them yet!  They love all of my other play dough games so I know they will try it out when they wake up!
Here is a preview and I hope you enjoy.  This set comes with games to use with play dough and pompom "gum balls" too!  It can also be laminated and used with dry erase makers.  
 Click here to view this item on TPT
As summer comes to and end, get out and enjoy your last days!  I know I will.  Heading back to our house on the Greenbrier River!  More to come so check back or follow me to stay updated!  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

White Board and Easel Games

I have tried very hard to use my great easel in my classroom, but I struggle.  We cannot always have paint, although all the students would love it!  It is hard to have enough space to use the easel since it is so big!  So I began trying using it it for various things.  In the beginning of the school year I use if for "Look Who Is Here" with their pictures and their name card.  In the morning as my students arrive, they hang up their picture or their name matched to their picture.  
I use the back side for painting weekly but, not every day.  I use it for drawing too, but we needed something new.  Below are the games I have began using and I am in the process of creating more.  My easel is a magnetic white board.  If you don't have this type, setting aside space on your white board will work.  Buying a  smaller white board may also work.

The cards seen here are laminated and have magnets on the back.  I use the sheet magnets from Oriental Trading Company.  They have a stick side to adhere to the cards.  I add the cards to a bucket on the shelf and give the students a few dry erase markers and they are ready to write!  I have now added a number line to put at the top of the board so that my students had a number to look at or copy if they needed a model.    The first one I made is Count and Write Dental!  The one below is Count and Write Bugs.  My students love finishing all of the cards and then getting their photo taken with the work they did.  I print it out and place it right in their portfolio!  So easy!  I can also assess them using our Teaching Strategies Gold documentation for their final assessment for each quarter.  It has become a favorite activity!  We hang up their picture on our door when they finish this too!  It is quite special.  Their parents love it!
Stop by and grab one of these Count and Write games at my TPT store.  
                                                         Count and Write on TPT

Play Dough Mats for Preschool

I have worked all year long and never got the time to get my activities up on TPT!  I have tweaked and researched and I am finally ready to share my stuff!!!  I make things that I want to use and that I know other preschool/kindergarten teachers will use.  I love all of the cute things I that I have seen and I thought to myself, you know, I can do this too!!!  I have included a preview of the product with some pictures of my students using them.
I began the year by making play dough activities.  I wanted to change up my play dough and make it a bit more educational and meaningful.  I had kids in my class who were using their creativity, and they were strengthening their fine motor, but seemed to need more.  I started with the play dough mats.  Here you can see how much fun these can be!
My students love rolling out the "worms" for the numbers and then using a real plastic knife and cutting off cylinders for the marshmallows in the mugs!  I have also had fun using these during teacher evaluations.  My bosses love that I can sit and assess as they are learning!  Shocking, right?!
Here is a sneak peak into my other great play dough mats...
                                                         Flower Play Dough Counting Mats
This game is my favorite one... Play Dough Pizza Math Mats!!!  I found the greatest clip art from the 3A.M. Teacher!  It was calling my name.  I have not used this one yet but I cannot wait to try it.  I am going to print it and try it out with my twin girls!  I know they will love it!
                                                       Play Dough Pizza Math Mats
 I hope you love these.  I know your students will!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


It been a wild week of rhyming, counting, and reading our favorite Dr. Seuss stories!  We started off with the Cat in The Hat.  It was fun!  We made Thing 1 and Thing 2 "hair by cutting paper strips and gluing them to a sentence strip.  I made them each a Thing 1 or Thing 2 shirt signs and took great "photo booth style" pics for the kids to share with their families.  We are making frames and giving them to our moms and dads at the end of the week.  Day 2 we read the ever popular Green Eggs and Ham!  It was so much fun.  We made platters like this one below.  This was a cutting activity.  We are working on cutting pre-drawn shapes to get ready for the cutting and gluing activity worksheets our 5's will have to do once they are in kindergarten.  These too provided us with a photo opportunity that we are going to surprise our parents with on Friday.
We added fun foam eggs and hams for our water table.  This was a hit with many kids.  Our ham's were so good looking 2 of them had bite marks in them after the first day! 
We needed many more frying pans and after taking the photo here I finally found them!
Cooking came next and the drama that came with green scrambled eggs could have been worthy of an Academy Award!  Many of them were convinced they could not eat green eggs!  The faces were hilarious!  All liked them except one!  And they loved the heated up sliced ham!

The Lorax was next!  This story is so cute and I love reading it!  My students were very focused on listening and really got into it.  Once done we all had a great conversation about trees and where things come from.  Many of my students continued to comment through the end of the day about where animals would go if we bought more blocks for our classroom!  It was too funny!
These turned out great, but the conversation was even better!  Some drew animals in their pictures and were talking about how happy they will be by the trees they made.  
The rest of the week includes reading more fun Dr. Seuss and making some adorable FOX IN SOCKS!  I will post those soon!
What are you doing to celebrating Dr. Seuss?

Monday, March 3, 2014

My New Teacher Planner Has Arrived!!!

My new teacher planning book has finally arrived and I am so glad!  I have wanted to order a planner from Erin Condren forever!  She has an amazing website of fun products.  I took some photos of what actually comes when it arrives at your door, so you too may want one!
It arrives in a very "designer looking" box!  I have to say it was very pretty!  It comes from FedEx too, so it was here early one week day morning, when I had two sick children at home. It gave me a project to fill up my day off!
When I opened it, the inside was very fancy!  It was all wrapped in matching tissue and had adorable stickers and samples inside.
This was the first part I could open, but I went straight for the orange tissue and barely had time to snap the photo to share with you here!  I ordered the planner and a set of markers.  I also ordered  the elastic bands that hold your place in the book.
Erin sends you sample labels from her site which are very cute!  I may have to get a few when I run out.  It is a very generous sample!   
 Finally, I got to open it!  This is my new planner.  It has blank calendar pages for each month so you fill in the dates!  It will work whenever you buy it!  It is not set on this year.  In other words, she has no numbered days on the month at a glance pages.  You fill in the calendar yourself. I was worried when I ordered mid year if that were going to be the case!  Mine was on sale too, which I figured was a "sign" that I should order one!
I highly recommend getting one of these if you need something that helps you stay on track at work!  Here is the link to her site!  Go check it out!  And if you are not a teacher, she has life planners that are great too!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dental Week in Preschool

We had a prospective donor coming to our program so we spiced up our dental activities.  We began by talking about things that keep our teeth healthy.  We gave all of out students floss and got to practice what it was like to use it.  We had this tray to practice as well.  The students had green play dough to use as food stuck in between our teeth and then plastic lanyard to use as floss.  Our mega blocks were the teeth.

We made my favorite art project too!  The pink play dough and white Lima beans for the teeth is quick to set up and funny to photograph!  We let each student make it and then take their picture next to their art.  I left out this student's face but we created a book of our funny faces with teeth!
I have recently been trying to find new things to do with my easel.  It is hard to use it for painting with so many things going on in the room.  It usually takes an adult to monitor it.  So her dis what I have come up with of this week.  We made it a math station.  The picture cards are lamina tined and have magnets on the back.  There are dry erase markers and each student comes, counts the objects on the cards, and writes the answer.  Then we photograph them so that we have it for their file and we even send it to their parent over my cell phone.  I had great responses from the parents who received the picture of their child's accomplishments.  They were very proud.  
We also jazzed up our tooth brushing table but we had trouble taking a picture that made it look as good as it does in person.  The kids love it.  As they come out they have picture cards of foods that are good and bad for teeth.  They place their food card on this table and then sit down to brush!

 We are trying hard to make our students learn as much as they can about teeth care!  I think they love going out to our fun table so I know we are making an impact.  They get to brush now to music thanks to one of our co-workers.  I know they love that!