Friday, February 26, 2016

The Stars At Night, Are Big & Bright - - - - Deep in the Heart of...

Texas!  Well, Austin to be exact!

And the Texas teachers were the stars!

I absolutely LOVED working with the teachers in Texas at SDE's Pre-K and Kindergarten conferences! What an enthusiastic bunch of dedicated educators! 

I had the opportunity to share eight sessions with some awesome educators! 

My favorite session was the hands-on Make & Take called "It's A Great Day For Science!" That is something that the great Mr. Hayes, science teacher extraordinaire, would say as he greeted his 8th grade science class each day back in the 1960s & 70s in SoCal. Each time I present this session, I dedicate it to him. 

We had FUN creating bubbles inside of bubbles:

And re-creating the life cycle of a butterfly with pasta:
Made with pastina (eggs), rotini (caterpillar), mini shells (chrysalis), & bow-tie (butterfly).

And they got the link to my FREE Scientific Method Signs. You can grab this FREEBIE too by clicking on the image:
Click the image to grab this FREEBIE.

I set up the night before and filled the room with samples from my classroom. Teachers were able to take photos and handle the samples.

Best of all, they got to hear three stories from some of my favorite authors:

Blue On Blue, by Dianne White is filled with rich vocabulary and beautiful illustrations. We were able to interact with the story by tapping, clapping, and slapping out the sounds of the rain. You can find out more about Dianne and her lovely book on her web site Dianne White.

Harriet Can Carry It, by Kirk Jay Mueller is a delightful story about a Kangaroo and her little Joey who just want to spend a day at the beach. I shared how to read this story while filling up a beach bag much like we do when we read The Mitten, except this story takes place in the summer. You can find more info about Kirk and his beautiful book at his web site Kirk Jay Mueller.

You're Wonderful, by Debbie Clement comes with the song on a CD. This is the perfect song to use at your Pre-K or Kindergarten graduation or any time you want children to feel "wonderful" about themselves! Visit her blog: Rainbows Within Reach.

And I was able to give away a "Show & Tell" apron!
Click the image to see the website. 

This sweet teacher was so excited to win that she did the Happy Dance!

You can see all of the amazing Show & Tell Aprons by CLICKING HERE.

We all had such a GREAT time at SDE's Pre-K Conference and their Kindergarten Conference!

And in the evenings, the presenters got to enjoy some delicious Austin food and some great company! Here we are with the ladies from ESGI. That is the website that saved me hours upon hours of time and caused my students to BEG TO BE TESTED! If you haven't checked out their amazing online testing website, you owe it to yourself (and your students) to give it a try with their 60-day FREE trial. Remember to enter the promotional code KFUN when you sign up for your FREE trial and they will be happy to apply a $40 discount to your first year.  CLICK HERE go grab your FREE trial and find out what all the buzz is about! 

And when it was time to fly back to California, the full moon was shining over my Southwest plane.

"Good-bye, Austin!" I hope to return again next year! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Do You Know What's Happening In Austin?

I Can't Wait!

Austin, here I come!

I'm so excited to be traveling to Austin for 2 conferences! The SDE Pre-K Conference AND The SDE Kindergarten Conference will both be held in Austin at the Double Tree Hotel on February 22 and 23.  I am so honored to be presenting with such great icons of education! You can check out these 2 conferences by scrolling down. 

Did you ever wonder what it takes to put on a "Make & Take" session? Well, I'm doing 3 of them so my dining room has turned into a "Make & Take Kit Factory" for a few days.

I made 135 of these for our "Math & Art" Make & Take.
And these are the kits for my "Re-telling Stories to Writing" session.

I'm presenting 4 sessions at the Pre-K conference on Feb. 22:

"Math & Art, Together At Last"
(Discover art projects with a math twist! You will get to make 2 samples & discover so many more.)

"From Re-telling Stories to Instant Writing, Instant Success!"
(You will get to make 2 projects that you can instantly use in your classroom.)

"Building Academic Language and Literacy in Pre-K"
(Learn proven techniques on how to get that new vocabulary across to your littlest learners.)

Find more info about this Pre-K conference by clicking this image:

"The Amazing Classroom"
(Discover an idea-a-minute in this fast-paced tour of my classroom.)

On Feb. 23, I'm presenting these 4 sessions at the Kindergarten Conference:

"How To Bring 'Play' Back Into Your Busy Day"
(Teach all of the standards and still run a "playful" classroom.)

"Building Academic Language and Literacy in K"
(Learn proven techniques on how to get that new vocabulary across to your little learners.)

"It's A Great Day For Science"
(Come and have FUN with science at this "Hands-On" session & discover the wonders of science.)

"ELA & Social Studies, Easy Integration in Kindergarten"
(Increase your efficiency and build academic language while integrating ELA and Social Studies.)

Find more info about this K conference by clicking the image:

I can't wait to see you all there!
And if you can't make it, check out my blog for FUN ideas 
and my TpT store for 19 FREEBIES and FUN products.
to see my store.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Instant Kindergarten Science! YOU can do this!

It Might Be Winter, But It's Spring In Room 1:

Observing the buds on almond branches.

I cut a few branches from some local almond trees about 2 weeks ago and placed them in a vase of water in our classroom.  
Tiny buds filled these winter branches.  We placed them in the window to get some sun.

The warmer temperature inside tricked the buds on the branches into thinking it is Spring!

The students loved looking at the tiny buds up close with a magnifying glass.
My students were so excited to see that the buds have popped open!
On Monday morning the children were so excited to see the buds blooming!

We now have beautiful pink flowers in our classroom.
Discovering the seasons!
We "Forced Spring" to arrive in room 1.  :)
Our Discovery Center 

You might also like...

Click the image to grab this FREE set of signs.

Here is one more image from this FREE set.  Click the image to grab this FREE set of signs. 
Grab these cute flowerpots and directions for making "No-more-rotting-beans-in-a-bag":

The secret staples keep the beans from getting too wet!
Add a straw, castle, and a cotton cloud and you have "Jack & the Beanstalk!"

Click the image to grab this set of flowerpots and planting directions.

Get $40 off of your 1st year with code "KFUN" at 
Try it for FREE for 60 days and be sure to enter your code (KFUN) when signing up for your 
FREE trial so you will qualify for the discount!

STOP!!! Save Those Little Heart-Shaped Valentine's Day Boxes!

What can you do with those heart-shaped boxes?

Set up a pretend candy store right in your classroom!
Click the image to grab a FREE set of candy templates. 

Get your 6th-grade buddies to help make cube and cylinder candies with my FREE templates. The FREE set comes complete with photos of the tops of real candies so all you have to do is cut and glue!

Click the image to grab this FREE candy template set.

Make some out of light brown construction paper and some out of dark brown construction paper so you have light and dark chocolate cubes and cylinders!  What a FUN way to get that academic vocabulary in use! Right?

Let your students help "build" the candy shop by creating a AB patterns out of black and white paper squares. Use these to line the shelves. If you are using a small desk as your store, just place a piece of construction paper covered with the black and white patterns on the desk.  Add some doilies with brown candy cups glued on them and place the paper candy pieces in the cups. 
Click the image to grab your FREE candy template set.

And did you know that See's Candy stores will give you little brown candy cups? They will also give you little white bags with the See's Candy logo on them!  

I added a picture of Mary Sees and a photo of the first See's Candy shop to provide a social studies link to times past. 

So what do you do with the heart-shaped boxes?  My students decided that the cube candies were 1 cent each and the cylinder candies were 2 cents each. Students filled the heart-shaped boxes with paper candies and the "clerk" used a calculator, a toy cash register, or paper and pencil to add up the cost of the candies. 

After the "shopper" buys candies, he/she becomes the clerk and the first job is to re-stock the shelves with the candies they just bought. 

Visit my TpT store to find more "shopping" activities where students create simple projects and get to "buy" the embellishments. Directions and shopping receipts can be found BY CLICKING HERE.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

How to Fit It ALL In: Integrate Phonics With Science & Have FUN!

Do You Want To Build An Igloo?:

Integrate curriculum and you will fit it all in!

Collaborate with your team to keep costs down.

While the igloo is melting, you can log your observations and WRITE about it!

You can also COUNT the blocks and SUBTRACT them as they melt!

WRITE about your prediction, observations, and conclusion.

And integrate the ARTS by singing about the water cycle!

You might like this FUN phonics activity:

Click the image to grab this set.
Students cut and glue images that begin with /b/ or....

... they can illustrate their own images and the picture cards may be used as inspiration!

Click any image to grab this FUN phonics set. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

American Symbols Made Easy!

Which Is Your Favorite American Symbol?

I asked my kindergarten and transitional kindergarten students that question after we finished our unit on American symbols.  CLICK HERE or on any image to grab this flag writing template.
Everyone expressed their opinion about which national symbol was their favorite. 

Opinion Writing:

We reviewed photographs of American symbols.

Illustrating where the stars would normally go.
Kindergarten students had to tell me which symbol was their favorite and why.  This was one of the opinion pieces we wrote.   They wrote the words "I like" and they copied the name of their favorite national symbol.
Copying from their dictation and my printing.

The bald eagle was a favorite for many of the boys.

Then, they dictated to me why they liked that symbol, I wrote it on lined paper, and they copied it on our special flag writing template and illustrated it where the stars would normally go on the flag template.  We were sure to add blue background to the illustrations and red stripes between the lines on writing so the pages look like American flags.
These are the T.K. papers before we mounted them on construction paper.
Kindergarten students added an additional sentence telling why they liked that symbol.

Opinion Discussion:

My Transitional Kindergarten kids also told me which American symbol was their favorite, they also wrote "I like" and copied the name of their favorite symbol.  Then, we discussed why each student liked the symbol they chose, but we didn't write why.  
The Statue of Liberty
Mount Rushmore

The Liberty Bell

They illustrated their favorite symbol the same way that the kindergarten students did.
The Capitol

The White House

The Lincoln Memorial
The Statue of Liberty

The bald eagle

The Washington Monument

Time to Display Our Work:

After we mounted each flag template to a piece of 9"X12" red, white, and blue construction paper, we put them up on our magnetic board with magnets.  They look so cute!  My favorite illustration is Mount Rushmore.
We have to use magnets to hold the work up on the magnetic white board.

Click the image to get this template.

Perfect For Memorial Day:

I usually do my National Symbol unit during February, but this is also a great project to do for Memorial Day.

You can find our American Flag Writing Template by clicking Here
Let me know how your kids liked it.  :)

See you all tomorrow.
Palma :)