Thursday, March 31, 2016

Earth Day & Mother's Day in 1 Project!

Are you ready for a Mother's Day Gift that is ALSO a great project for Earth Day?

We use recycled colorful magazine pages to create beautiful beads for our Mother's Day necklaces.
Here is a pic-tutorial:  (Is that even a word?)    
 Earth Day & Mother's Day... Together At Last!

This project is almost FREE.
Start by cutting lots of colorful triangles that are about 1 1/4"-1 1/2" wide by 3"-5" long.
Gather some round toothpicks, white glue, and stretchy beading elastic (find it at Michael's).

Begin by rolling the shortest end of the triangle tightly on the toothpick.  
(No glue yet.)

Younger students might have better results by using a wooden skewer 
instead of a toothpick, but everyone of my kindergarteners have been
 able to do this project for the past 3 years using round toothpicks..  

Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the hang of keeping the wrapping tight, 
but they do eventually get it.  :)
Keep wrapping, keep it tight!

Here is where you add a line of white glue.  Keep wrapping and don't worry if the glue oozes out.  
Wrap to the end & add a little glue to the surface of the bead to seal it.  

Slide the bead off of the toothpick and allow it to dry on some wax paper or in a waxed paper cup.

Use elastic beading thread to string your paper beads.  

Add other little beads to make a cool pattern.
Just tie off the end with a few good knots.  

Students like to use a color theme, like all blues, or all earth tones.  

Our moms loved these soooo much and actually wear them!

Let me know if you have any questions.  :)

For more FUN ideas,
check out my Pinterest Boards
by clicking HERE.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

How To Fit "PLAY" Into Your Day!

I am often asked how we can incorporate playtime into our busy, academic day. I did it through academic centers. 

Each center had academic skills that were embedded in the activities. 
For example: The train tracks had sight words on them and everything in the home center was labeled.

First, let's look at a common full-day kindergarten schedule:

Next, add centers around your classroom. 
Post the maximum number of students allowed at each center. 
Here are some of my centers:

Click the image to grab Boomer's Take-Home Book.

My "Sentence Writing Center" includes pictures of nouns (on pink cards), verbs (on green cards), and more nouns (on blue cards) for the predicate. Students chose 1 card of each color to create their sentence. 
Additional "helping words" were provided to help students complete their sentences. 

This center was a favorite! I introduced it as a center after we created a few sentences together in a small group setting. You can grab all of the pieces needed plus the writing page template by clicking HERE

Last, change the centers slightly throughout the year. 
For example: 
~Change the store to a seasonal shop like a candy shop* in Feb. or a flower shop in May.
~Change the items at the Discovery Center with seasonal objects found in nature such as leaves, acorns, a bird nest, etc. 
~Change the paints at the painting center to all secondary colors (green, purple, and orange) and put up a sign that says "We are using secondary colors this week."

*You can grab my FREE candy templates by clicking HERE.

Here is a list of my classroom centers:
Start with the centers you already have in place and add centers as you can. 

I hope this helps keep "play" in your kindergarten day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What do YOU think this is: A Great Way to Wear Your Sight Words Home!

A Pocket Watch or a Locket:

Click the image

I created these Sight Word Pocket-Lockets so my students could wear their sight words home. They were a HUGE hit! 
Click the image.

I also made two blank ones so you can create your own Pocket-Lockets with as many sight words as you like!

How It Works:

First, you copy the templates on colored construction paper. 
Click the image.

Second, students trace the sight word and the numbers that are printed in a dotted font with a fine tip marking pen. 

Third, they cut out the pieces to create their pocket watch or locket. They glue the letters that spell the sight word on one side of the circle. 
If they fold it so the watch face is inside, it's a pocket watch.
If they fold it so the watch face is outside, it's a locket.
Click the image.

Last, they cut a piece of roving yarn about 24" long, tie the ends together with a knot, and glue the center of the yarn to the inside of their pocket watch or locket. Even my Pre-K students were able to do this by themselves! 
Click the image.

When they dry, they can wear their sight words home!
Click the image.

My students LOVED making these SO much! They couldn't wait to see which sight word they could wear home next, and they loved letting the yarn (chain) on their pocket watch hang out of their pocket!

At first, all of the girls made lockets and all of the boys made pocket watches, but that soon changed and I had lots of boys wearing their sight word lockets home and lots of girls wearing their pocket watches hanging from their pockets. 

The best part was that they were talking about their sight words at home and using them in class during our daily journal writing time.

If you want to try these out for size, you can grab two Pocket-Lockets for FREE on TpT. Just CLICK HERE for the FREEBIE, or CLICK HERE for the full set of 18 Sight Word Pocket-Lockets PLUS 2 BLANK Pocket Lockets that may be used with additional sight words. 

I always taught sight words with Heidi's Songs: "Sing And Spell Sight Words" and then, they made their pocket watch or locket and sang about their sight word all the way home!  Check out Heidi's Sight Word CDs by CLICKING HERE

Sunday, March 6, 2016

So Cal FUN: Kindergarten Teachers Learning, Laughing, & Loving What They Do!

It All Happened at The SoCal Kinder Conference:

I had such a GREAT time connecting with teachers at the So CA Kindergarten Conference in Pasadena this weekend. I not only got to present on "Keeping Play In Your Kindergarten Day" and "Make Every TK & K Kid a Writer" but I got to have an exhibit booth where teachers could buy my FUN templates.

I also got to participate in the Blogger Bash where participants got to meet bloggers as we moved from table to table. 
Heidi, Shannon, & Renee.

Kelley, Michelle, & Deborah.

Katie, Fran, & Sandy.

Sandy, Palma (me), & Heidi.

Betty Jo, Shannon, and I were photo bombed! :)

I also sang my little parody about the importance of "play" in your school day.
It goes like this and it is to the tune of The Battle Hymm of the Republic:

My eyes have seen the glory 
of Kinder children at play,
It's important for kids everywhere, 
so don't take it away!
Though kindergarten's like first grade,
They even go full day,
The truth is they need play!

Glory, glory I won't stress you,
But now sit down and let me test you!
I'll give you time to play
part of every single day,
Because you're only five!!!
We really don't need a
larger photo, right? :)
We all know that I can't hold a tune, but I just think this message is so very important to share that I'm willing to put myself out there and, much like Lucy, I just sang my heart out! 

I also asked the participants to consider that the very people who are trying so desperately to remove the home center, the painting easel, and the "play" from kindergarten are the very people who not only got to play when they were in kindergarten, but that was just about ALL they did when they were in kindergarten! OK, I'll get off of my soapbox now. 

I want to extend a HUGE "thank you" to my husband who took care of my booth while I presented on Friday and to Lauren who took care of my booth while I presented on Saturday. I can't do this without their love and support! 

And a HUGE "thank you" to Sandy from Show And Tell Aprons who donated an apron which I was able to give away at one of my sessions and to ESGI who donated several one-year subscriptions for me to give away too! I LOVE all of my Show & Tell Aprons AND ESGI!!!
Click the image to see more aprons.

She even makes a tu-tu apron!Click the image.
Click the image!

Click the image to grab your 60 day FREE trial & 
enter the code KFUN to save your $40 discount.

ESGI is my hero! It has saved me so many hours!
Click the image to grab your FREE trial
& enter the code KFUN to save your $40 discount. 
Anyway, if you were at the So Cal Kinder Conference, leave a comment and me know if how you liked it. 

Did you catch any of my sessions or the sessions of my friends: Shannon Samulski, Heidi Butkus, Shari Sloane, Katie Knight, Kelley Doling, Fran Kramer, Keri Bordelon, Lindsay Messner, Renee Dooly, Joyce Buehler, Betty Jo Evers, & The Kinder League (Yisel, Cindy, & Cessy).

When the busy week was over we could all say, "A good time was had by all!"
Two of our SCKC volunteers who make this entire conference happen! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Guess What Happened While I Was In Wisconsin...


Yes, it snowed while I was presenting in Wisconsin! I was so excited! 

Right outside the window of my presentation room. 

Gorgeous, white snow was all around, but I was snug and warm in my presentation room where I presented on Math & Art, Emergent Writing, Addition & Subtraction, and Close Reading

Wonderful Wisconsin Teachers!

The teachers in Wisconsin were delightful! They are troopers too! They weathered the snow and drove in for the conference even though it was a SNOW DAY for many of them!
Teachers placing numbers on a giant number line.

We had tons of fun creating paper beads, batik, nature prints, < = > Monsters,  Rekenreks, Subtraction Strips, pre-writing paper bag settings, and silly sentences to promote our emergent writers. 
Number line fun.
I kept peeking out the window to see the snow outside my presentation room! What fun!
Taking another peek outside my window.

I'll be heading home in a few hours and then I'm off to Pasadena for the Southern CA Kindergarten Conference where I'm presenting on the importance of "Keeping Play in your Kindergarten Day" and "Re-telling Stories to Writing". I'll have a booth there and I'll be participating in the Blogger Bash. Can't wait! I'll be home soon where the temperature has been in the 80s. :)

Will I see you in Pasadena? Let me know in the comments and stop by my booth to say hi.