Saturday, June 29, 2013

We're Going To Hatch Chicks!

I was visiting a friend up in Big Bear, CA and we decided to go to garage sales.  We found this rustic rabbit hutch.  We managed to fit it into our Prius and get it home.

Pretty rustic!
After power sanding it, and painting it barn red with white trim, it looked pretty good.
I removed the floor & started painting.

Done with the painting!
I wrapped the floor panels with cute contact paper.

I plan to attach chicken wire to the inside of both doors as the bars look a bit big and baby chicks might get their heads caught in them.

We won't be hatching chicks until the spring, so I plan to bring it to school at the beginning of the year and use it as a pet shop where students can pretend to buy stuffed animals.

I'll set up a store with a cash register, I'll place stuffed animals & puppets in the cage, and I'll put up a menu of prices:

Crickets 1 cent
Mice 2 cents
Roosters 3 cents
Cats 4 cents
Dogs 5 cents

We have a limited number of puppets left; 2-5 of each animal puppet left.  Click on the puppets to take you to the link on TPT.  I'll use receipt that are a lot like THESE.

Come back in a couple of days to see the stores I set up each month in my Kindergarten, soon to be my TK, class!  :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Have You Seen These?

I taught sight words with these FREE iPhone templates.

Kids got to choose between black or white iPhones.
I printed them, glued them to white and black construction paper.  I used my Cricut machine to cut out tiny gray apples.  I cut a little bite out of each apple before gluing them to the back of each iPhone.  Then, I laminated each phone.

Students used dry erase markers to write short phrases or sentences using their sight words.

Using model sentences to copy.
Texting uses both sides of the brain.
Then, they used their thumbs to "text" their phrase or sentence.   They couldn't wait to text their sight words!
"I see my cat."

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Don't Miss This...

... one-day conference on Saturday, October 5:

Sarah and I will be presenting a "Make & Take" session at this conference on teaching the Common Core Math skills.  You will leave with so many new ideas and hands-on materials that you can use Monday morning!

We are presenting in Orange County.  Heidi Butkus, from Heidi's songs, will present the morning on English Language Arts and we will present the afternoon on hands-on math skills that promise to "Keep the FUN in the FUNdamentals!"  Both sessions will be upbeat, interactive, and tons of fun!

Read all about it HERE.

You can register by clicking here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's Ladybug Time

Whether you are closing out the school year or just looking for a fun summertime activity for your kids, ladybugs are perfect!

I started out by reading The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle.  I also shared my U.K. version on the book which was renamed The Bad Tempered Ladybird.  I picked up a copy while in the U.K. many years ago and was fortunate enough to have Eric Carle sign it while at a book signing here in California.

The kids loved comparing this to The Grouchy Ladybug.

We hatched ladybugs in my classroom this year and released the adult ladybugs into our organic, edible garden.

Then, we made ladybug paperweights:
Each one turned out a little different. 

We started with a bag of rocks from the Dollar Store.  You can also find really nice round river rocks at your local home improvement store.

We base coated them with white acrylic paint and then, when they were dry, we painted them with red acrylic paint.  We let them dry and then we wrote the children's names on the bottom with a black fine tip marker.
We worked on laminated construction paper mats.

Each child painted a semi circle for the head with black acrylic paint and added a stripe down the back.  That made it look like it has two red wings.

We used the tip of the paintbrush handle to make the poke-dots.

Once it dried, we gave it a coat of Mod Podge and used white glue to attach two google eyes.

We finished up by reading Ladybug Girl at the Beach, by Jacky Davis.  She has written a few Ladybug Girl books.  :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A FREEBIE To Start The New Year!

Here is an amazing FREEBIE that will save you time and frustration. 
will help students keep track of all of their crayons!
No more, "I don't have a red crayon!"
The FREEBIE also includes a template for the small box of Crayola 8-count crayons.

I have created 2 sizes.  
One fits inside the Crayola 8-count box of small crayons.
The other fits inside the Crayola 8-count box of large crayons.

Template for 8-count box of jumbo crayons.
Template fits in the box with the opening at the top or in  the box with a separate lid like this one.
Just print, cut them out, remove the crayons from their boxes, glue in the template, and replace the crayons in the order displayed on the template.

It's easy to put away your crayons and to be sure you have all of them!
When students are done working, 
they simply replace their crayons into their crayon boxes by matching the colors 
on the template inside their crayon box!
For the smallbox of 8-count crayons.
You won't be checking crayon boxes any longer to see if everyone has all of their crayons.  :)

I use crayon boxes in my students' tool kits for doing whole-group work on the rug.

I use popsicle molds for storing crayons at the table.
Students sort the crayons back into the popsicle molds when they are done working.
This is just another way to keep from going crazy and managing classroom supplies.
I also keep small, peeled, blue crayons in a small box so
students can easily add blue background to their illustrations.
The other box has a cube-shaped sponge in it.  I dampen the
sponge and add white glue to it.  Students just dab small
pieces of paper on top of the gluey sponge instead of using a
 glue stick or a glue bottle.  On Fridays, I add a few drops
of water and some more glue.  :)

I just saw these (on June 13) for $1 at the 99 Cent Store.
They were part of their 4th of July display.
Keep the tops (the part that you hold with your hand)
for your estimation jar and let the kids estimate how
many popsicle holders are in the jar.  

You might also like:  

My FREEBIE Crayon Candle Poem & Gift Idea:  Click Here

Our Brown Bear mini book for students to complete:  Found here

Our Brown Bear puppet:  Is here

 The Tale of The Purple Mouse Mini Book (about creating purple):  Find it Here

Our Purple Mouse Puppet can be found:  if you click here.

Celebrate Color Days with these calendar cards:  Just click here.

Celebrate Color Days with these reminder notes you can find:  Right Here

Remember to visit Teaching Blog Addict every week to view their Friday Freebies.

Visit our TPT Store for nearly 100 items for pre-k, TK, kindergarten, and first grade that 
Keep the Fun in the FUNdamentals!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Father's Day Continued

If you saw my post about the Father's Day gifts my students made, I thought you might like to see how they ended up and how we wrapped them.
The words looked awesome on the lighter colored rocks.

First, CLICK HERE to view the original post.  Then come back here to see how we wrapped them up.
We wrapped them in tissue paper and popped them into small paper bags.  The cards were stapled to the front of the bags.

These were the cards
we stapled to the gift bags.

They copied the writing inside the card.
See you tomorrow!
Palma :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Save The Date: Oct. 5

Saturday, October 5 is not just "World Teacher Day" 
but it's the day that the Southern California Kindergarten Conference 
is hosting a one-day workshop jam packed with ideas for your 
pre-school, transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, or first grade classroom!

This brand new seminar will feature Heidi Butkus
who will share her amazing 
tips and tricks for teaching
the alphabet, phonemic awareness, and sound-blending
during the morning.

The afternoon will be a "Make & Take" session 
where Sarah and I will introduce you to 
exciting new ways to teach the
 Common Core Math Skills.

Both sessions are sure to provide you with 
sooooo many ideas to use Monday morning!

So save the date, Saturday, October 5, 2013 
and run, drive, or fly to Costa Mesa, California 
for a day filled with great ideas that really work.  

Cute Father's Day Idea

We are still in school, so today we worked on or Father's Day gifts.
I got a bag of rocks @ the Dollar Store and we made personalized paper weights.
For bigger rocks, you can look for river rocks at a home improvement store.

First, I typed up the following message for each child:
My dad rocks!
(child's name)

Next, I cut a piece of white tissue paper to 8"X10 1/2" so it would be just a bit smaller than a piece of Xerox paper.  I carefully taped the edges of the tissue paper to the Xerox paper being carful not to overlap the tape.  Then, I placed them it in the printer.  I clicked on print and the individual messages printed right on the tissue paper.  I had to use two pieces to fit all 31 names on the tissue paper.

Tear around each message.

Next, I tore around each message instead of cutting them out.

I called kids up to to my table 2 at a time to base coat their rock with a light coat of Mod Podge.
Base coat the entire rock with Mod Podge.

Carefully place the message on each
rock and let the kids coat it with more
Mod Podge.

We worked on laminated construction paper.

Then, I gave them their personalized message and they pressed it on their wet rock and continued to coat it with more Modge Podge.  Go light with the Mod Podge.  It will dry clear.  

Make sure they coat the bottom too.  I had them work on a piece of laminated construction paper so the rock would not stick to anything or mess up the table.
These rocks are drying.

The following rock is still pretty wet, but it will dry clear.  We will wrap them up tomorrow.  

You can see that the lighter rocks work better with a dark font.
This was quick, easy, and child friendly.  So, are you doing a cute craft for Father's Day?

You can also get super clever and make these amazing faces.  
I found them on Pinterest and they are clay brooches, but the designs would work on rocks with acrylic paint and tiny brushes.  :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Whether You're Ending The Year Or Beginning The Year...

... here is a great song & it's a FREEBIE too!
It can teach or reinforce the days of the week to a modern tune.
The words go with the tune of "Fridays, I'm In Love" by The Cure and you can download the tune (or just listen to it) on iTunes.

 I call my version "Fridays Are So Cool!"
"Fridays Are
So Cool!"

The words are FREE in my TPT Store.  Just click HERE or on the photo above.
You will most likely be the only one at your school with the coolest Days of The Week song!  :)

Check out all the FRIDAY FREEBIES Here.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

End of the Year FUN

Here is a super EASY activity for the end of the year.
Collect as many empty cartons as you can and place them on the playground.
Then, have your students create.
Ask all of the teachers for their empty cartons.  

They can make a structure, a maze, anything at all.
The idea is to WORK TOGETHER!
They will love this!
Have fun!  :)

Creating a structure!

Problem solving.

Making decisions.
 Remember:  Keep the FUN in the FUNdamentals!  :)