Monday, December 29, 2014

Perfect For The End of 2014 ~ See if you can find me: KFUNdamentals

Seasonal Writing Journals With Built-In Rubric & a Winter FREEBIE

Individual Journals For Each Child:

I just finished making new journal pages that come complete with a rubric on each page that has  seasonal icons.  I also included a generic journal page with a rubric made from cute pencil icons.
Click the image.

This is how it works:

You copy enough of one of the journal pages to create an individual journal for each student.  I usually copy about 20 pages, I add a card stock front and back cover, and I allow my students to decorate the cover however they like.  (I write their names on the front with a wide-tip marker first.)
Click the image.

Each day, we create a sentence on the front board together.  Something simple like, "I like cats."
After we read it together, we brainstorm other words we could use to complete the sentence "I like..." and I write those on the board. 

 I erase all of the ideas and the word "cats" from my sentence and I replace it with a blank line.  

I ask the students to turn to the first journal page, write their name and illustrates what they like.  

Then, they copy the words "I like" and fill in the blank with whatever they drew in their illustration box.  

As students finish, they come up to me and I quickly go over the rubric with them.  If they included an element listed in the rubric I place a dot on that icon with a marking pen.  I also cross out any icons not earned and I write the total number of points earned on the line at the bottom of the page.

Last, the student colors in the earned icons and places their journal into a tub.  This way, the first child done places their journal in the box first and it will be on the bottom of the pile.  The last child done will place their journal on the top of the pile.  The next day we use our journals, the children who need the most time will get their journals first and the children who need less time get their journals last.  

A FUN Activity For Students Who Finish Early:

As students return their journals to me with their icons colored in, I let them choose a classroom pointer and I assign them a job.  I ask the first child who is done to be Captain Capital and check the journals of the students who are still working to see if they remembered to begin their sentence with a capital.  I ask the next child to choose a pointer and be my Punctuation Pointer and remind students to include a period at the end of their sentence.  I ask the next students to be my Space Cadet and check to see if students are leaving spaces between their words and I ask a student to be the Neatness Nurse and to remind students to write neatly.  You can have more than one of each of these helpers.  

These are GREAT to share with parents:

They show growth over time.  I love how the first few pages will often just have scribbles, but very quickly the students begin to copy and attempt to sound-blend words.  As their writing develops, I eliminate more words from my sentence until students are writing their own complete sentence!  I use lots of sight words so the sentences are easy for them to write and I use Heidi's Sight Word Songs from Heidi's Songs.  CLICK HERE or on the image below to grab her amazing songs that help children learn how to read and spell sight words.  
My students LOVE these songs!

Grab your journal pages and FREEBIE here:

You can grab four seasonal journal pages plus one generic page by CLICKING HERE or on the image below.
Click the image and grab your FREEBIE in the preview.

You can find lots more FREEBIES like this one by clicking this button:

Click this button to see more FREEBIES.

This is a great way to start the new year with your students!  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Heroes In A Half-Shell...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

How cute are these?  You can use them as a package trim and they can be used for years on the Christmas tree!

I found these on Pinterest.  They are from

I Decided To Make Some...

They are a bit trickier than they look.  

I didn't have any of this nice satin ribbon...
type of ribbon looks best.
I would get some that was closer to 3/8" wide

... so I just used curling ribbon.
Red, purple, orange, and blue (I only had light blue, but it would have to do).
You will also need some google eyes.
    I glued the eyes to the ribbon with a low-temp glue gun.   Be careful, the glue gun can melt the ribbon.

Then I glued the ribbon to the ornament with the glue gun.
Which Turtle has the red mask?
Which one has the orange mask?

Here they are both on the tree.

I LoVe these!  I wrapped up four of them to give as a gift!

Mini TMN Turtles!
Here is the rest of the tree.
Have fun making these!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

How To Create A Custom Bulletin Board + a Tip

Back In The Day...

When I started teaching (back in the dark ages of the 70s) we would often create our own bulletin boards by using an opaque projector and a cute graphic from something like a coloring book or a greeting card.  

Fast forward to 2014:  I needed a huge Grinch, so I Googled it and found the perfect image.   
You can see the original image on my SMART board.

I put it up on my SMART Board and started by placing colored paper over each part and tracing them. 

This piece was used to trace the green hands.
I trace with pencil because a marking pen can penetrate through the paper and ruin you SMART board.
After I outlined them all with a wide tip marker, I cut and pasted them into this creation.

I laminated the entire Grinch onto black butcher paper and now he will last longer than I will!

All done!

After I took photos of the kids dressed up in front of the Grinch (wearing an outfit representing their favorite holiday character: an elf, a gingerbread cookie, a snowman, or a reindeer) I took my Grinch home.  The plan was to have him look as if he is stealing the lights off of our house:

Image is from

Students had to tell me why they chose their character.  This promoted oral language skills (using a complete sentence) and was the prompt for our opinion writing.  
"I want to be an elf so I can play with toys all day."

"I want to be a gingerbread cookie so I can get all decorated."

"I want to be a snowman so I can play with Olaf."

"I want to be a reindeer so I can fly!"

We graphed the results using these icons:  (on sale right now!)
Click the image.

Here Is Your Bulletin Board Tip:

Sometimes I even cover over the trim!

I layer the background paper onto my bulletin boards.  I start the year with one color, like green.  When I want to change the color, I layer the new color on top of the old one.  Then, later in the year, I just have to remove the top paper and I can go back to the original color without having to cut and apply new paper.  Saves paper, saves time!  Win, win!!!

Remember This? (And a NEW gift for you)

This was a GREAT post from last year:

Here is a little preview:  


I have updated the Christmas gifts to you by putting these products on a 50% sale and there is a bonus gift further down!

A great theme to do in January!
Click the image
Great to do with the little ones who live with you or visit during the holiday season.
Complete your school year with these cute calendar templates.
A great graph to complete with your students after the holidays are over.

Now, give yourself a gift:

Save yourself over 400 hours testing students and get the added bonus of amazing data, individualized intervention, and parent letters here at ESGI.  You can try it out for 60 days FREE and you can get $40 off of your first year by using my code:  KFUN:
Use either code above for your discount and enjoy saving 400 hours per year!

Attend one of these winter conferences and rejuvenate yourself:
The PK1 Conference in Santa Clara, CA Jan. 16-18.I'll be presenting at their pre-conference, their regular conference, and I'll be one of the bloggers at their Blogger Fiesta!
The So CA Kindergarten ConferenceI'll be presenting two sessions and I'll be one of the bloggers at the Blogger Bash.
 Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays to your all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Gift From Your Teacher

A Simple Gift For My Students:

Each student will receive a "snowman building kit" complete with 3 large marshmallows, 2 tiny marshmallows, 2 stick pretzels, and 6 mini chocolate chips (3 for eyes & aL.

I found the FREE "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" bag toppers HERE.  This blog had a lot of cute ideas for a Frozen party too.

I added a snowman book from Scholastic to complete the gift.

So cute, yet so simple.

What do you give your students?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Cute Is This? And Perfect For This Week!

How Cute Is This Hat? 

So stinkin' cute!
And it's so simple to make:

Cut brown construction paper to 12" X 12".

Fold in half into a triangle and then in half again into a smaller triangle.

Open and cut one of the folds stopping at the center point.

Place one triangle that was cut on one side on top of the other triangle that was cut on one side and staple into a pyramid shape.

This is the inside.  Two of the triangles are layered on top of each other.
The tape reinforces the hole where the yarn goes.

Tape two spots at the sides where the yarn will go and punch a hole on the tape.

Add yarn.

Decorate with a red nose, white and blue eyes, black fringed eyelashes, and handprints or Christmas trees for the antlers.
They had so much fun making these!

That's it!
They loved wearing these hats while they worked today.

One of my kids asked today if this was the fox that ate the gingerbread man!

Thanks for stopping by!
Three more days.  You can do it!  :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Do You Want To Build A SnOwMaN? And a FREEBIE Olaf Template for YOU!

We Did!!!  

You can leave these snowmen up through January!
And the kids got to "buy" his accessories! 

1st We Shopped...

Each child got the five parts shown in the FREE template.  (FREE template is found near the end of this post.)

Then, they came up to me (2 at a time) to "buy" the parts for their Olaf.  One chile shopped while the other child watched.
I cut out Fun Foam for the coal, the eyebrows, the mouth, and the carrot noses.
The rest of the stuff came from my craft supplies like pom-poms and buttons.

I set out 15 pennies and items from my craft bins which were priced at 1 cent or 2 cents each.

As the first student purchased items, he/she moved their pennies into a can (clank!) and I recorded the items purchased on the receipt.

When done, we placed all purchased items into a zipper sandwich bag along with the receipt.
Each child got their own bag with their purchases and receipt.

I sent the first child to get a new student to come and watch while I let the second child shop.  This way, the child who is watching is all ready to shop and little time is wasted making decisions. 

Then We Got To Build A Snowman...

The following day, I gave each chid their five Olaf parts and they got to put them together any way they liked.  They could even have him holding his head above his body!
They got to arrange their snowman parts first.
Then, they added the parts they bought.

Then, they used white glue to decorate their Olaf. 

I posted them on the bulletin board along with their receipt.

This bulletin board can last through January.  

The eyebrows can make such a difference!
The best part is that they got to use their math skills, but I also liked the fact that no two Olafs were alike!  Everyone got to be creative and construct their own snowman to reflect their own creativity.  
Each one looks different.  
Different eyes.
Different scarves and buttons instead of coal.

We also do this type of shopping with black cats and green monsters at Halloween time to create our "Meow Mall" and "Monster Mall" and again in February to create a "Valentine Shop".  I have more ideas and samples of receipts here:
Click the image.
You can see these projects in person on display at the PK1 Conference in Santa Clara, CA in Jan.
Click HERE or on the image for more info:
I will be presenting at their pre-conference and at their regular conference. I'll also be a blogger at the Blogger Fiesta.Click the image for more info.

And..  they will also be on display at the Southern CA Kindergarten Conference in Pasadena, CA in Feb.  Click Here or on the image for more info.
I will be presenting 2 sessions at this conference.  I'll also be a blogger at the Blogger Bash.Click the image for more info.

Both conferences are offering a Blogger Event where you can enjoy some food while meeting your favorite bloggers.  You will also receive a fun-filled goodie bag filled with items for your classroom and a free raffle ticket for some awesome prizes.  You won't want to miss these!

Here is your FREE Olaf template:

CLICK HERE or on the image below.
Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you enjoyed this Tuesday Tip!

Teach Junkie Creative Ideas