Saturday, July 28, 2012

Random Update....

Hello! I don't know about you, but I've been savoring these last few weeks of summer freedom! I've read quite a few blog posts from other teachers who are already back working in their classroom. Their photos are inspiring and I'm sure in two weeks when I go back to my room, I'll be ready. For now....
We had the pleasure of spending last weekend in Northern MN listening to the loons and enjoying the lake.
I had time to finish crocheting the edging on this pillowcase.
I found these great play dough alphabet stamps for .25 at a local garage sale! And all 26 letters were there!! Can't wait to use them for my play dough center this year.

I'll be back with more school related posts the meantime,  enjoy the rest of your summer, too!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Small Pocket Chart Freebie

I love the ideas I've seen using the alphabet activity for sorting letters that are tall, small, and fall. This one is my favorite. I decided to print the poem and use it in one of my small (Target dollar spot) pocket charts on my reading focus board for the beginning of the year.
Later, I can move it to a center and have children sort letters by their characteristics.  I cut the poem into strips and matted them on black, blue, red, and green paper.
Click here to get your free copy of this chart. : )  Have a great day!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Counting Money Sticks

Ready for another pinterest inspiration??? I made these money sticks to help my students learn to count money.
In our text book, money is introduced in one lesson...then coins are combined in the second lesson. I  want to give my students more practice and time to feel confident in counting coins of one kind, before mixing coins. I made quite a few sticks that use one coin only so they can get used to counting by ones, fives, or tens.
Then....I made a few sticks combining coins for those who are ready.
I left space on the bottom so I can number the sticks. The students can fill in a response sheet, writing the money amount for each stick. They can also work in small groups to practice counting the money amounts.  (I still have to find a cute container to hold them...I am thinking I will use a "Crystal Light" container....)  I love this money sorting mat and plan on using one like this when we start working with money this year. Thanks for checking in and have a super day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paint Chip Word Families

I'm sure you've seen them all over Pinterest...paint chip ideas galore! Last week I went to Lowe's to look at paint samples (for a home improvement project) and was thrilled to find paint chips with squares already punched in them!  I thought it would be cute to make something like this, but punching the squares would be kind of time consuming...good news for us, Valspar paint has made it easy! I grabbed a few extra paint samples and headed home to make these:
I fired up my Cricut and cut several letters to create the word families. (The black letters are cut at 1" using the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge.) After they are laminated, I am going to cut them apart on the white line. I made strips of letters for the children to slide behind the square to make words. I haven't created a recording sheet yet, but there are several ways to differentiate this activity. For now, I put the word family on the bottom of the strip, but they could choose any letter strip and see how many real vs. nonsense words they make, practice reading CVC words,  or keep a record the words they read. We all know what an important part onset rime word families play in developing reading and writing skills.
 Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Polka Dot Apples

Hi! I hope you are enjoying your day! I have just a quick but cute Cricut project to share with you. I am going to stick with my polka dot classroom decorations this year and made a few apples...I'm not sure what I'll use them for yet, but have a few ideas. They would make a cute door decoration or bulletin board accents. So far I've made 8 of them.
I used my Doodlecharms cartridge and cut the apples at 4 and a quarter inches. I cut the shadow out of black. I used the "auto fill" button on my Cricut. If you have not used this feature, you should! It automatically calculates how many images will fit to your paper, in the size that you want.
That's it for today....just a little polka dot fun to share with you! Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Do you like pretty clothes pins??

I do! I saw a "pin" of clothes pins covered with gingham paper and thought they were just too cute to pass up...I knew I had to make a few for my I did.
THEN I saw a pin of clothes pins covered with wrappers from crayons! How cute is that for hanging up class work!! So I made a few of them as well!! (I didn't pin that one, so I can't give you the source...sorry! Just filed the idea in my memory for future use!!!)
The clothes pins I bought at Walmart were exactly the right size for the crayon wrappers. The other clothespins I had were a little longer than the paper, but that's ok...I think they are still super cute. I am going to put thumb tacks on the back and use them on the cork strip outside of my classroom for hanging art work...yet another "pinspiration!"
I just used modge podge to attach the paper and only covered one side of the clothes pin with paper. The crayon wrappers had two layers, so I pulled them apart and just used the top layer. Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Good Morning! My blog has been nominated for an award!
A BIG THANK YOU to Shawna from Kindergarden Seeds for the nomination! There are a few "requirements" for me to complete so here it goes...

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you....Thank you sent 
2. Include a link to their site.  Kindergarden Seeds
3. Include the award image in your post. Done
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself  

    Hmm....let's see...
1. I have 2 black and one yellow lab.
2. I love chocolate.
3. I love to sew and do anything crafty.
4. My husband and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.
5. I hate scary movies!
6. Coffee in the morning...absolutely!!
7. Summer is my favorite season.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and include a link to their site... 

Wow...I will do my best to pass this award along to other great bloggers. Here's my list:

How Does Your Garden Grow   (A pretty new blog!) 

Whew! That's a big job done! It's great to see what's out much creativity and willingness to share!

7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated...done!

Thanks again to Kindergarden Seeds for nominating my little blog!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Letter Pops

Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! It's been busy around my house...we have a new little puppy...and I've forgotten how much time and energy they take!! We picked her up on July 4th. She's 10 weeks old and a cutie, of course...what puppy isn't??? creative time has been cut back a bit, but I did manage to squeeze in making these "letter pops."

 I pinned this idea a while ago and planned on using magnetic letters...the original picture is from Dr. Jean & Friends.  I got most of my supplies from the Dollar Tree: foam letter stickers, craft sticks, felt, and hot glue.
I cut circles out of felt using a circle die and my Sizzix, then I added the foam stickers and hot glued them to the craft sticks.
These will be a good prop to use with Shari Sloane's "Letter Pop" song. She has a printable for making a big book of the song her website; just click on the "Get Ready" big books link on the left side of the web page.  The children can also put the letter pops in ABC order, sort them by letter color, and use them to practice letter identification.
Thanks for checking in and have a great day!