Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2 Things, Almost FREE: (Classroom Set-Up Part 4)

Before the summer is over, stop into your favorite Dollar Store, 99 Cent Store, Dollar Tree, etc. and pick up some popsicle molds.

Use the tops for your estimation jar and the mold for organizing your crayons.

First, the estimation jars.  You should always present two jars.  One should be an anchor jar that has a small sample of the items (like maybe 4) and a sign that reads, "This is what 4 looks like".   The other  one has the set of items to estimate.

I have a parent volunteer show the students, one at a time, the anchor jar.  She tells them how many are in the anchor jar and then asks them to estimate how many are in the real estimation jar.

I change out my estimation jars each month and I try to keep them seasonal.  I always write the correct number of items inside the lid so the parents will know.  After recording the student's estimation, I like the volunteer to tell the student how many items there really were in the jar and how close they were.

Then, this is how I organize my crayons on the tables.
Regular size crayons in the molds, broken & peeled blue
background crayons are in the box at the left,
and a sponge topped with a little water and glue in the
cube-shaped box.  Perfect for gluing small pieces.

About 6 small crayons fit in the popsicle molds.

The molds usually hold about 6 regular size crayons or 3 jumbo size.

You can see the jumbo crayons in the background.  

You might like our "More, Less, & Equal" activity:

See you all tomorrow for more of my classroom set-up.
Palma :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom: (Classroom Set-Up Part 3)

Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, welcome to our classroom!
This bulletin board greets children on the first day.
Don't you just love bulletin boards
that are 3D and not just flat?
They make their own trees and glue the Fun Foam letters of their own names on the trees.

After I take the trees down from the bulletin board,
I glue them into their Memory Books (12" X 12")
along with their First Day photo and their
sandwich from our Picnic Pals board.  See below.
Then, they get to eat a tasty palm tree treat!

I thought you might also like to see a real palm tree taken at sunset outside of the house we rented on the beach in Kauai.
Is anyone else using Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom in a different way?

You might also like our Letter-Name Book.  Print it, bind it, and then use it on the first day to find out who has an "A" or an "a" in their name.  Each day, for 26 school days, you look for the next letter.  Each day, you compare how many of each letter your class has in their names.  This is a great opportunity to to extend the Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom story and use Common Core math vocabulary like more, less, and equal.  

Here is my Picnic Pal bulletin board.
We will take dictation from the kids about which sandwich they like best.
They will copy onto a bread template and we will staple it to the plate.
You can see the bread template on the memory book page above. 

Have FUN keeping the FUN in the FUNdamentals
and I"ll see you all here tomorrow with more classroom set-up ideas.
Palma :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Great Use For Those Penny Boxes: (Classroom Set-Up Part 2) & a FREEBIE!

You know those narrow pencil boxes that go on sale for a penny?  Well, this is how I plan to use them this year.  Instead of Zip-Lock bags to hold the kids' supplies for whole group carpet work, each child will get their own little box.

Inside, I can fit an 8-count box of regular size crayons, a pair of scissors, a pencil, a fine-tip marking pen, and a glue stick.

I number everything, even the cap AND the base of the glue stick.  Then, when we fine a glue stick cap left behind on the carpet, we know who it belongs to.

These boxes are GREAT!  They come in different colors and you can personalize them with paint pens.

If you use the small 8-count crayons, you will want to download, cut, and glue my FREE Crayon Box Organizer template into the boxes.  Your students crayons will stay organized all year!

If you use the Jumbo crayons, the box won't fit in these pencil boxes, but the Crayon Box Organizer template comes in both sizes.
Fits in jumbo size with a detachable lid or an attached flap.

You'll never hear, "I don't have a red," again!
This is the jumbo size.  They also come in the
regular size for the 8-count box.  

Have FUN setting up your classrooms!  When do you all start school????

See you here tomorrow for more of my classroom set-up  ideas. 
Palma :) 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Just Updated My "Brilliant Idea" Post...

... with info on where to buy lined dry erase contact paper.
CLICK the photo to see the updated post or try here: and there is: and also: and

Glue a sample of the alphabet & numbers to the top
 of the construction paper before you laminate it.
Then, stick the lined dry erase paper on top.
You can find smaller sheets (8" X 10") by clicking on the image.
 See you tomorrow for more tips on classroom set-up!
Palma :)

Why didn't I think of this sooner? Brilliant!!! Setting up my classroom Part 1

My friend, who is also teaching TK this year, picked up a package of lined dry erase contact paper posters for me.
Thank you, Lauren!!!  :)
(If you click the image above, it will take you to a set of 30 sheets of 8 1/2" X 11" lined sheets.)
The ones I originally bought were about 18" X 22" and they came in a package of 3 for about $15.

I cut them into quarters and placed them on construction paper that had already been laminated.
(Eventually, and not pictured here, I added a set of letters to the construction paper before I laminated it.)
It looks like there is a bubble of air under the dry erase
paper, but it's only the glare.
I left room at the top to attach a row of sticky tape with the alphabet and one with numbers.
I'll post more pix once I get the letters and numbers attached.

Now, each child has their own lined dry erase placemat to use during small group time.
The red mat has a red cup of dry erase markers and
an eraser.  The orange mat has an orange cup, etc.

The little dry erase markers and erasers from Target's Dollar Spot finish this off!
And we have to have our Easy Buttons.
One in English and one in Spanish!
While you are at Staples picking up your Easy Buttons, you can pick up some 8" X 10" lined dry erase contact paper.  Click RIGHT HERE for the link.  If you want the 8.5" X 11" size,  Click HERE for the link from another source.  

Update: You can find lined adhesive dry erase sheets here: and

And if you live in Southern California, Education Station (in the San Fernando Valley) is where my friend got the 3-pack of poster size lined dry erase contact paper.

I have a yellow mat for me so I can use it as a sample mat.
What is great about these is that you can flip them over if you are doing a cut and paste lesson and the laminated mats keep the glue from getting on the tables.  The mats wash up easily.

I'm planning to post each day as I set up my room, so stop by tomorrow.

What are you doing differently in your room this year?

You might also like:
Our First Day of Kindergarten Note for Parents

The Royal King of Ing

Number Formation & Chants
See you all tomorrow!
Palma :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tons of FREEBIES: Back-To-School Linky

Here is a great resource for Back-To-School activities.  The first section is for reasonably priced items.
Click the image.
That's where I posted my Beginning of the Year Bundle which is a great value to start your year with.
Click the image.
The second section (just scroll down) is the FREE section.
Click the image & then scroll to the free section.

That's where I posted my Crayon Box Organizer which comes in 2 sizes and it's FREE.
Click the image.
And... if you haven't already gotten my cute, FREE Days of the Week Song, grab it!  It's sung to the tune of The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love" and it will bring a smile to your face!  :)
Click the Image.

Have FUN shopping!
Palma :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Classroom Decor Linky Party

Lots of great ideas can be found at this Classroom Decor Linky Party:

Scroll through the cute ideas all the way down to the bottom where you'll find lots of links to classroom decor posts on blogs.  Such a great resource and lots of inspiration for the new school year.

My post is a throw back to one of my Open House posts.  
Have fun at the party!  :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Store Events

This is the time of year when you want to put all of these special Teacher Appreciation Events into your iCalendar.  Here they are all in one place so you can make plans to attend:

  • Joann Fabrics: Sign up for their Teacher Rewards Program, which gives you a 15% discount all year, then attend Teacher Appreciation Days on August 10-11th for 25% off your purchase.
  • Michael’s: Sign up to receive a 15% discount all year-round, and look for Teacher Events during the month of August.
  • Office Depot: All week August 11-17th is Star Teacher Appreciation Week. Most stores are offering a Teachers’ Breakfast with FREE filled tote bag on the morning of the 17th, plus you’ll get 10% off your purchases.
  • Office Max: Teacher Appreciation Days start in July for some parts of the country, August in others (check your local store); you’ll receive a FREE reusable tote bag and get 25% off your purchase. You can also have a higher purchase maximum on their special offers.
  • Staples: Their Teacher Appreciation Day varies by store, depending on your part of the country (since some schools start earlier). Most are on a Saturday in August from 9am-Noon. The first 100 teachers each day will receive a FREE Tote Bag and get 20% Staples Rewards back on what they can fit in the bag.  And while you're at Staples, pick up an Easy Button.  They come in English and in Spanish.  If the work is EASY for you, you may press the Easy Button!  This has eliminated all complaints about anything being too hard!  It's amazing!!! 
  • Big Lots: Teacher Appreciation Day is Saturday, August 10th. Last year the discount was 10% with school ID.  I'm not sure what they are offering this year.

1st Day Note For Parents:
Add a cottonball to this.

This bundle
has tons of
                                                                                    1st Day Certificates:
Just add students'
names & sign them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Did You Grab These 2 FREEBIES?

You can find one when you scroll to the bottom of THIS POST.

And you can find the other one at the top of THIS OTHER POST.

You can find more FREEBIES
at our TPT store.Click the image.
HAVE FUN!  And remember to Keep the FUN in the FUNdamentals!  :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Money Pig!

I went a quest:  Find a metal pig!  I can't believe I found one!  Last summer at Jo-Ann's for 90% off!  Yes, 90% off!  So the $24.95 metal patio pig was $2.49.  (People paid $24.95 for a metal pig to decorate their patios with???)

Now, you don't need a metal pig, any animal will do.  And you can always just get a graphic of your favorite animal and attach it to a cookie sheet and you will have a metal animal that magnets will adhere to.  :)

So, what do you do next?  Use a glue gun to attach magnets to 10 pennies and 10 dimes.
This is Day 131.
There is 1 dollar, 3 dimes, and 1 penny
on the front of the pig.  
I used a wide tip Sharpie to write the numbers 1-9 along the pig's legs.
I also drew 10 dots along the top of the pig so I can store the pennies there and 10 dots on the pig's snout for the dimes.

On the first day, I had the "Calendar Helper" place a penny next to the #1 on the pig's rear leg.
We continued each day until day 10.  Since there are only 9 dots along the leg, there is not a place for the tenth penny.  That allows me to demonstrate that we have to put all of the pennies back along the pig's back and trade them all for one dime which we place by the #1 on the pig's front leg.
The dollar was clipped behind the ear until day 100.
Here, you can see the dimes stored on the the pig's snout
and the pennies stored on his back.
We continue placing pennies until we get to day 20 and then we put all of the pennies back and add another dime.

When we get to day 100 we remove the 9 pennies and pick up the tenth dime.  When we realize there isn't a spot for the tenth dime, we place them back on the dots on the pig's snout and we trade them for the dollar which was folded and paper clipped to the back of the pig's ear.

Although coins are not a part of the new Kindergarten Common Core Standards, they are a wonderful tool for teaching place value and my students LoVe   MoNeY  PiG!  :)

Here are some more things you might like to use during Calendar Time:
These calendar cards will help you celebrate special Color Days.  Your students can dress in a specific color on a specific day.

And here are the Color Day Notes to send home (in English and in Spanish) to tell parents about the Color Days you have planned.

And here are ABC Pattern Shapes to use in your calendar.

And here are some Spring Calendar Numbers to use in your calendar.

And a FREEBIE for you:  Our unique Days of The Week Song sung to the tune of The Core's "Sunday, I'm In Love" which you can listen to on iTunes if you are not familiar with the tune.

Have fun with your calendar time!