Sweet Summertime!

Summer is here, and in full swing!!!  I have been quite the busy lady these last few months.  Aside from teaching, my husband and I opened a flower & gift store here in our small town.  It has proved to be extremely fun, but also a great deal of work.

Our little store - Famous Flowers & Gifts. :)  It really is little, lol.  This building is actually 2 buildings.

I am so happy to have the summer to blog stalk, work in my classroom, and rest!  Isn't it nice to not have to be somewhere everyday at a certain time?  I'm lovin' it!!!

Anyway, I have decided to revamp my classroom this year.  I have done the jungle theme for 5 years now, and I am beyond ready for a change.  This past year has been so difficult for me, both professionally and personally.  In February I lost my partner teacher.  She decided that she was burnt out, and ultimately she resigned.  Talk about difficult!  There are only 2 of us in kindergarten at my school, and she was my partner in crime!  The rest of the year was very diffficult without her.  But.... I have an awesome new partner in crime, so hopefully this coming year will be nothing but sunshine!!! :)  Our new kindergarten teacher does jungle in her room, so I thought, since I'm sick of looking at giraffe print everywhere, it is time for a change!!!

I on the prowl for any beach themed materials!!!  I'll be doing my room in beach this year - surf, fun & fun!  Look for materials for the classroom coming this summer - I'm working on revamping my behavior clip chart right now. :)

I'm loving all the ideas I'm getting from pinterest for my classroom!

Super cute beach reading hut from KinderKlassroom

Love the hula skirt border from Clutter Free Classroom

Also.... can't wait to make one of these!!!

I hope everyone had a great end to their year, and that you are enjoying an extremely restful summer!  Is it bad that I already have a countdown going on in my head - I only have 6 more weeks of not having to be anywhere. lol.  Better get moving!!!  Have a great weekend friends!


Sweet Little Valentines

Well, long time, no see blogger friends. We've been super busy in kindergarten.  Does anyone else feel like this year has FLOWN by... I feel like this year I haven't slowed down even a second to catch my breath.  So, while finishing up my little kiddos Valentine's (heart swirl crayons.. oooh, ahhhh!), I thought I'd pop by and share some photos of Valentine activities we did last week.

First, I'm kind of like a broken record during Valentine's.  I tend to stick to what I've done every year, super boring I know. :)  My absolute FAVORITE activity from Valentine's (and, honestly, one of my favorite activities of the whole year!) is our Handmade Valentine cards.

The kids write their Valentine message during writing workshop. (I love _________ because ____________________.)  I provide the sentence scaffolding and they stretch out and write away!  It's always quality entertainment to see who they love and why they love them.

The next day, I invite the kids one at a time to type their Valentine message with me on my computer.  This is kind of time consuming, but THEY love it, and they end up having so much more ownership over the words because THEY typed them.

During the last day of this project I give them a variety of cutesy materials and just let them go to town.  They LOVE decorating the Valentine's.... some of them actually get into it and decorate them with things the recipient might like.

This year I took these Valentine's and hung them on a bulletin board.  They'll get to take them home on Valentine's Day after the party.

Hope you like it - If you want a copy of the writing page, let me know and aI can send it over to you.

Off to go finish melting crayons... and making goody bag tags... and boxing up the cheerleading Valentine fundraiser.  Does it ever end??!?!?! :)   Have a sweet day with your babies tomorrow!!!!

Aren't these stained glass hearts just precious?!?!
Love y'all!!!!


Me? An award? Oh my!

Okay.  I know I'm committing a cardinal blogging sin right now.. BUTTTTTTT.... I just got an award! :) I'm so super pumped.  I remember reading about how all my bloggy idols were getting the Versatile Blogger Award this fall, and I was, ahem, quite jealous.  But, now I got it!!!! :)  Sweet, sweet Mrs. Greene over at Mrs. Greene's Kindergarten Korner has awarded my little 'ole blog with this sweet little award!

Okay, here's the rules.  I think. 
  1.  Thank the person who nominated you with a link back to them.
  2.  Tell 7 things about yourself 
  3.  Pass this on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know they've received an award!
Annnndddd....... here goes!

THANK YOU ANN!!!!!!  You are super great!  I was super happy to find your blog.  Good stuff there, really good stuff. 

Okay, now for the tricky part.  I have to, (eeek!!!), tell 7 things about myself.  7?  Really?  What a strange number.  
     1. I secretly wished I was a celebrity chef.  I want to be the Barefoot Contessa.  I wish I had her kitchen and her money to buy expensive ingredients and be able to use them to just whip up something spectacular for my five thousandth dinner party this week.  Seriously, I do.  I also want to be on Chopped. I about died when they had cafeteria workers on.  I think they should've invited teachers.  We like to cook, too!

     2. I LOVE animals.  I have a cat (Tate) and a dog (Abbie).  They are my children.  With fur.  I love them so much I bought them a 70 dollar water machine for Christmas.  And then my cat chewed the cord up.  Just my luck. lol!  I wish I could have more cats.  But my husband won't let me.  I think he's afraid I'll turn into the crazy cat lady or something. 

     3. I am a musical genius.  No, really I am.  I don't want to brag, but you don't want to go against me on a 90's Name that Tune.  My friends all think it's fascinating that I can tell you the artist, title and year of any song from the 1990's within 5 seconds or so.  No wonder I can make up songs on the fly at school... I must be musical smart (a la multiple intelligences).

     4. Okay, real stuff now.  I am married to the BEST man on earth.  Let's call him Mr. Dan. He is really great y'all.  We've been married for a year and a half now.  Y'all.  He still comes and changes my animal cages at school.  I am SOOO lucky!

     5. I am addicted to teen dramas on tv.  I am going to cry big ole buckets of tears when One Tree Hill ends this May.  Seriously - best show of all time.  

     6. I am the cheerleading coach at my school.  I teach at a itty bitty PK-12 school, so I am very fortunate to be able to teach kinder kids all day and coach high school girls all afternoon!  I really do enjoy it.  I love spreading school spirit.  Go Panthers!

     7. Okay, last.  I teach across the hall from my cousin!  She's the Pre-K teacher and I'm in Kinder.  It's pretty cool.  Not to mention, she's one of my best friends.  I <3 my school. 

Whoa, that was a lot of typing!  Okay, now I have to nominate 15 blogs.  Here goes.
1. Kristen @ A Teeny Tiny Teacher
2. Robyn & Sue Beth @ Busy Bees
3. Hadar @ Miss Kindergarten
4. Nicole @ The Kinder Kid
8. Deanna @ Mrs. Jump's Class
10. Kathleen @ Growing Kinders
11. Abby @ The Inspired Apple
12. Leslie @ Kindergarten Works
13. Pam @ Can Do Kinders
14. Kacey @ Doodle Bugs Teaching

Okay, so thanks again to Mrs. Greene!!!  I'm going to hang by button proudly.  What a way to ring in the new year! :)  Night y'all!!

Welcome to 2012!

Wow... what a busy and blessed Christmas break I had!  Teachers go back to work tomorrow, and my lovely little kiddies come back Thursday (hopefully, rested and ready to go!).  I am so excited to see them again (it feels like FOREVER!) but... I'm really going to miss lounging in my PJ's, shopping till I drop, and watching afternoon talk shows.  I just love me some Doctors.  Very informative stuff.. and Dr. Travis is super yummy. :)

Anyyyyyway.... I'm kind of bummed to say that when we get back we don't get to learn about winter, or penguins, or polar bears, or mittens.... what do we get to study you ask? SPACE.  Ug.  Anyone have any great ideas for that???  Our curriculum only has about 1 standard that covers objects in the sky, so I'm a little confused why the district says we have to study that... :/.  Help = appreciated.

Oh! I almost forgot!  I tend to do that often... I think it's called "I'm 27 but have the mind of 97."  I made some cutie patootie calendar cards for y'all!  Our school uses Everyday Counts Calendar, but I find the pieces to be BORING and totally UNFUN.  Soooo.... I made my own. I know, I'm a total rule breaker!  But, at least I try to stick with the pattern for the month & just spice it up a little.  Click on the image to download and enjoy! :)

Well, I'm off to go work in my classroom... we get a work day tomorrow, but I guess that's just not enough for me!  Plus, I'm totally avoiding this ever growing pile of laundry and dishes.... I AM ON VACATION! lol (Well, for a few more hours anyway...)  Have a great day y'all! 


Elf on the Shelf....? + Graphing Freebie!

I love all of you!  Thank you for your kind and sweet words... y'all really made me smile!  Okay, so today was somewhat depressing... I could really use another day, or four, off to lounge in my pajamas and shop and eat. :)

I am however super excited about the next 12 days with my babies!  Yes folks, you heard right.  12 teaching days + 2 conference days + 1 work day = Christmas Break!  Dang, 1st semester has FLOWN by.  This evening my super sweet husband and sweet friend Mo came and helped Christmasify my classroom.  I <3 my candy tree and my awesome gingerbread wreath. I'll have to post pictures tomorrow. Camera = dead. :(   I GOT MY ELF ON THE SHELF!!!!!   I am so super excited.  My hubby named him Frederick.  I can't wait to see the look on my kids faces tomorrow morning.  They are going to be pumped.

So... here's my question for y'all.  Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?  What kinds of silly/cute things does your elf do?  I need some tips here people.  For real.

Here's a quick freebie for your thoughts... :)
Have a great day back tomorrow!!!! 


Christmas Math Centers

Okay, I'm going to admit this.  And I'm only going to admit it here.  I'm totally intimidated by you bloggers!  I know thought I had good ideas... but lately (read: last 2 months of chicken-y behavior) I've been thinking otherwise.  I'm seeing SO many super cute and creative ideas that I have not felt inspired to share ANYthing.  Don't get me wrong - I LOVE reading everyone's blogs and incorporating new awesomeness, but I have to say it has left me feeling a little intimidated!

Now, I have been encouraged by my co-workers, friends, and my super sweet husband, and my early retirement from blogging is over.  I'm back baby!  And boy did I pick a super fun time to return to blogging -- I heart Christmas and all that it involves... Santa and Cookies and Magic, Oh my!!! :)

Okay, I'm working on updating my old printables to a newer, cuter format.  I'll be heading up to the school tomorrow to set up my classroom Christmas tree, and I'll try to remember to grab them.  Cross your fingers cause I'm definitely NOT an elephant.  I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached to my body, I swear it.  So, let's hope I remember!

I'm really excited about my math time this year - I've actually having math centers!  Everyday!  Stop the presses.  My math stations (centers & teacher time) run Monday thru Thursday, and we game it up on Friday's.  This next week we'll be starting our 2 week long unit on all things Christmas - Jesus (yes! He is the reason for the season!), Santa, that sneaky little G-Man, and all that jazz.  Here's what I have planned for my M.A.T.H. centers this week.

M. (Math Games): Teen Number Christmas Go Fish

A. (Art & Math): Equal & Not Equal Trees
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these centers!  My kids are equal/not equal experts.. seriously.  To play, they roll the dice and write the numeral they roll in the star.  Then, (& here's the FUN part) they glue "ornaments" (sequins, buttons, beads, etc.) to the trees to trim an equal and a not equal tree.  They think they're making art, and I get a quick assessment of who needs more equal/not equal practice!

T. (Target Skill Practice): Christmas Tree Lights Pattern Book (from Kim Adsit's Oh Christmas Tree! Packet)

H. (Hands On Practice): Gingerbread Measurement
Print these on LEGAL sized paper - I did this so they could be super varied in size.  The kinders measure using the gingerbread men and then record their findings. 
Click HERE to download this activity. 

Okay, that's it for tonight.  Maybe I'll actual be back tomorrow and come out of semi-retirement. :)  I'm back to my Christmas lifetime movies.  Anyone else love watching those?  Or is it just me?  Surely not.... If you like anything, please leave me a little ole comment... comments make me not want to hovel in the corner because I'm not creative.  Good night bloggy friends! 


Little Scientists!

Whew! What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been!  I met my new kinder kids -  & boy let me tell you, they are super, super sweet!  (Full of energy, but still, SUPER sweet! :) )

We are finally getting the hang of centers, we started our "reading" groups, and we are learning math stations.  I've been so inspired by all of you in blog land that I'm going against all I believe in (student choice, and all...) and trying Debbie Diller's Math Stations.  We're going to explore this week, and try for "real" next.  To say I'm nervous would be a HUGE understatement!  But, we'll see...

In addition to learning rules, routines, and basically how to be in kindergarten (which is oh so very different from pre-k, remember! lol!!), we've learned how to be little scientists!

I was inspired by the posts over at KindergartenKindergarten  I really want to focus on teaching them how to BE a scientist this year - we may "do" science, but I wanted them to fully understand just what science is!

So... we had our first experience with science last Thursday.  We learned how to use the scientific method (from Deanna Jump's super book @ TpT  Then, I decided we could learn about what a mixture was! HAHAHA!  No really, it was okay - we had a blast.  I wanted them to really understand what a mixture was because this week we started learning how to sort.  I was able to relate sorting to mixtures because they already had that background knowledge.  And... today during Stand Up Hand Up Pair Up, a student actually said that sorting was when you separate a mixture. SCORE!!!!!! :)

Okay, so to understand mixtures we made our own discovery bottles.  There are TONS of resources online for how to make discovery bottles, but for this, I just let the kids go c-raaaay-zy!  We talked about how mixtures could be objects (like jumbled up toys), liquids (like oil & water), or both (like vegetable soup!)  And then, we made our own discovery bottles - fun, fun, fun!

Here's a picture of one that a student made - he used vegetable oil, karo syrup, green food coloring, and beads.  

I let the kiddles choose 2 liquids and a "solid"... and well, of course a little glitter. Duh!  I wanted to take lots of pictures, but I don't have an assistant and this was totally hands on for me! lol.  I'm a total control freak, and I can't believe I actually let them pour some of the liquids... THEY were the scientists, so of course I had to. :)

To help the school to home connection, I made this experiment description sheet for the kiddies to take home and explain what we did to the mommies and daddies.  If you want to do the mixture bottle activity with your friends, download the info sheet HERE.

I also made cutesy little labels to go on their discovery bottles - you can get them HERE. (Let me know if the labels don't print right... I think they got messed up converting them to a pdf file!)  Just print and write their names in the open space, then stick to the discovery bottle.

So... this week we are learning about our 5 senses.  On Friday we will be experimenting with our sense of taste.  I made an experiment description sheet for that too.  Get it HERE.

Happy Science-ing!!!! :)