Sunday, March 31, 2013

FREEBIE QR Codes Cute Campin' Critters for Number Recognition

My first QR Code lesson!!  This is a FREEBIE task card lesson and just the first of MANY QR lessons to come!  I can't wait to use this with my PreK class.  I will definitely be taking pictures and reporting back with how they liked it.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Landforms Task Cards

I am SOOO excited to offer my very first set of Task Cards!!  I'm very proud of them and they coordinate beautifully with my Landforms for SMARTboard activity!  This is the pin I made for it!  PLEASE, if you read this... PIN for me!! =D  I'd love to hear if anyone uses these to know how the students liked them.  Jo

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Thank You Sale

I am having so much fun on TpT... who knew I would meet so many incredible teachers on the forums there?!  What a wonderful group!  As a Thank You for all the support I've gotten there and through followers, I am having a 20% off sale the rest of March.  Please stop by and see what may have been on your wishlist that you'd like to take advantage of now!

You are not going to want to miss out on the Game Shows or the Landforms.. they are doing very well right now!

Thanks again!  JoAn

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Positional Words

I really like the way my new SMARTboard lesson came out today!  It is for Positional Words.  I'll be trying it with my PreK class, although I know it's more for Kinder and up.  I think they'll enjoy the themes to the lesson.  I made it with three different themes: Monsters, Spring/Summer, and Outer Space.  Hopefully, a little something to delight the taste of most kids.  If you think this is something worth sharing, I'd love for you to use my PIN button and pin it for me!  My Pinterest page only works for me about 30% of the time!!  It is so frustrating!  Jo


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Texas, our Texas!

We have had the best time with Texas Public School Week!  We have been looking at several Texas state symbols.  I created a Texas Symbols Reader called Mockingbird, Mockingbird, What do You See?  I have it on my TpT site.    Here are a few of the pages we did together.  They kids loved looking at the Google images and discussing the colors or where they'd seen any of the symbols before.  They especially loved how GIANT the pecan tree was!

I promised more SPRING bulletin board pics...

and here they are!! I'm going to show you the "before" on the playground pics and the "after" on the wall pics!
 This is sweetie 1 and sweetie 2.  They are the 'kite holder' and 'hanging from the tree' girls.


These girls are playing the hand clapping game.  You'll find them sitting in the grass in the bulletin board.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Tie Your Shoes SUPER Fast!

Have you seen this video?  It is crazy fast and took me quite a few times to actually get it down before showing my kids how to do it.  It is very cool, but that one little step where you have to pull the other loop through while also holding the other loop got me!  FINALLY got it down!!  If you can get this, it really IS a fast and cool way to tie your shoes! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The book who?!

Book Fair & Open House going on this week.  My excited little guy runs up to me this morning with a TEACHER!!!  I brought a dollar for the Book Fairy!

I couldn't wait to share that with my partner teacher, it was so cute!  I told his mom about this evening at Open House and she said he'd been talking about the Book Fairy all week! LOL

How about your class?  What cute-isms have you heard lately?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Easter Baskets for ALL the kids!

I love the idea behind these baskets!  I teach in a Title 1 District, most are on free or reduced lunches, so not everyone can afford the luxury of an Easter basket.  So, to make sure everyone contributes and feels a part of what we're doing, we ask for empty gallon milk jugs.  Starting a week or two before our Easter party at school I send out a letter asking for milk jugs. I even specify the KIND of jug that I need for this project.  Some milk jugs have a circle on the side that is inset into the jug (Looks like you could set a soda bottle into the inset..THAT kind of inset!!  OK, not a WHOLE soda can, but you could put a handful of coins in the inset!).  I do NOT want that kind of jug.  I want the nice smooth sides.  YES, it makes that big of a difference!  Some have an ever so slight inset, and those are acceptable.

Thankfully, there will be some kids who bring in several jugs.  This is nice because you WILL have those who will bring in the ones with the deep inset. The inset will show in the FRONT of the basket and is RIGHT beside where the eyes go..and just doesn't look good. OK, enough with the insets!! HA

Rinse out the jugs and let them air dry.  I use scissors to cut along the ridge of the jug around the backside where the handle is and then around about half way up the front of the jug (as shown).  Nothing scientific.. completely eye-balled.

Hot glue large googly-eyes near the top edge in front. Hot glue ANY color fuzzy pom-pom beneath the eyes.  I've made them in all colors, glittery or plain.  The big ones look perfect with the big eyes.  Bend a colored pipe cleaner in half for whiskers and hot glue them on either side of the fuzzy nose.  Next, just use a large black Sharpie to draw on the mouth.

The ears are made from poster board.  They are about as tall as the jug is in height.  A long pointed oval shape.  Pointy on one end and a rectangular on the other end. You can either outline them with black marker and color in the pink insides OR use pipe cleaners to make the outline.  Again, use hot glue to attach the pipe cleaners.  Put hot glue on the colored side of the ear and attach to the BACK outside of the jug.

We added a pop of color to all our baskets using pink or blue netting/tulle.

The kids loved their baskets and yes, you CAN get a LOT of goodies inside the baskets!

For this project, the only thing I allowed the kids to do was paint the ears.  I was not comfortable with them being around a glue gun.  But they got to choose their nose and whiskers.  After this, they had to wait for the big unveiling, which was the morning of the Easter party.  Lots of excited faces when they saw the baskets that were made just for them.

Is there something special that you do for your Easter party?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Teachers Prayer

Spring Bulletin Board

This has GOT to be my favorite bulletin board I've ever made! It is solely PreK kid based using their pictures and adding them to a scene. In this picture, the girl is flying a kite. I have other pictures of hanging from trees, swinging on a swing from a branch, playing the playground cars, etc. Each day that I add something new, I walk the kids past the board. They ooo and ahhh when they find themselves! Other teachers too are eagerly awaiting what will be added to the large mural.

The scene is a large area of grass with trees and a big blue sky!

St. Patrick's Day

Spring Break has come and gone for 2013 and the one thing that I THOUGHT would be a fun week was the week before St. Patrick's Day.  I envisioned all kinds of cute lessons leading up to "green day".  However, Spring Break took out that week for me!

What special lessons did you do that the kids absolutely LOVED?  Maybe I'll use them next year!  Any products that were a must have?  Or video that went really well with the week?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Morning Calendar

I am very interested in hearing how your classrooms come in each morning.  Here is our routine:

Rather than sit and watch a show while the buses unload or wait in a bus line waiting for classes to be dismissed, my partner teacher and I began something new this year.  While the teachers on campus all start their teaching day at 7:30 (when kids are released from the gym), we go in early at 7:15 and keep our PreK students in the computer lab.  We began teaching them from the first day of school how to use a mouse, the keyboard, and navigating through the site we assigned them.  It took some time, but they are such pros at it now!

Our PreK had never had computer time before, so I am excited that they are getting a full 30 minutes each day.

We are a Title 1 school, so after computers we go directly to the cafeteria for breakfast.  All kids on our campus get a free breakfast!  We eat in the cafeteria, while the rest of the campus eats in their classrooms.

Then it is off to the class.  We come in and go straight to the carpet.  I use a SmartBoard in my room for Calendar Time.  It includes color songs, days of the week song, months of the year song, counting to 100, shapes songs, Zoo Phonics song, and several other activities.  My calendar presentation has gradually changed over the course of the year and we now have words to spell and sound out. 

We then go into our story and activity before eventually dismissing to centers.  What does your morning look like?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Interactive whiteboards

One the topic of interactive whiteboards, if you have a SMARTboard or Mimio or whatever kind you might have, do you stick with ONLY ink or notebook files?  Or, do you also use powerpoint files?

If you DON'T have a SMART or Mimio, do you use Powerpoints as interactive lessons?  I love to make SMART/Mimio lessons, but have been thinking more about PPT as ANYONE can use them.

Is there a preference?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Your chance to talk with a SuperHero!!

Meet Tyler!  He is 6 years old and 1st grader in my town (He is on the RIGHT of the robot).  He is being taught at home at the moment because he has Burkett's Lymphoma.  He has already gone through a slew of medical tests and a couple rounds of chemo.  Just this week he took the plunge and got that sharp buzz haircut.  You think that is exciting?  That doesn't even come CLOSE to what I'm about to tell you!

How is it possible to be 6 and have so many friends that you can't be around because you might catch their cold or get their cough?  Valentine's Day has come and gone and the Blue and White Boy Scout banquet have come and gone...without Tyler being there.  Such a bummer!!  But see the smile on this kiddo?  It is SO infectious!!  SO infectious that this adorable robot has found its' way into Tyler's school!  He is going to take Tyler's place for a little while as Tyler goes through his treatments. 

Check this thing out!  It has already made it's way through the school, through classrooms, has met the principal, the teachers, and the kids!  Tyler will be able to stay at home where he is safe and Robot will go to his classes for him!

The robot has just made it's way to the school today so we don't have a full report yet, but Tyler would love to hear your questions and answer them!  Ready?  Set!  GO!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Favorite website for class?

If you teach Pre-K or Kindergarten and have not yet found out about you have GOT to go check it out!! My PreK-ers love this site! No matter where they go, they are learning. The site offers an adventure learning path you can follow where the teacher puts in the assignments she wants the student to follow OR they can just go from "game" to "game." I found out about this JUST before the first day of school. Signed up quickly because it looked cute and educational. But it has been amazing. It is FREE to schools, so we had nothing to lose. And as a Title 1 school, it was in our budget! =D Go by there and check it out. I'd love to hear that you gave it a try!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

iPads and iPods in the Classroom

Does anyone have iPads or iPods in their classroom? How many? Anyone have an ENTIRE classroom set? I was wanting to know pros and cons of having an entire set? One thought I had, which I thought there were only PROS on this topic, but does it reduce the time of doing hands on activities when you have them on iProducts only?

First Place at the Technology Fair

So proud and excited for my PreK-er!! We had a Technology Fair this evening and she got a FIRST PLACE!! There were over 40 in her PreK-3rd Grade MultiMedia category!! Can you believe this? We used an app on the iPad called Puppet Pals. After we read our story of the week, The Great Enormous Rock, she re-told the story using Puppet Pals. Here is what she did! =D

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Motivational Speakers

While I was blog hopping yesterday I came across a by-line  that said: “If you have a child's heart, you have his head."  I LOVE that quote and I LOVE the man the quote belongs to!  Flip Flippen.  He came to our district several years ago..well, actually MORE than a few years ago.  I think he influenced my teaching more than any other speaker we've had.  He spoke with such passion and conviction not only of education, but more importantly, of our youth.  If you EVER have the opportunity to hear him, DO.

I'd love to hear what speakers you've had and maybe a quote from them that you remember all these years later.

One Sale to Go!

Have you ever just stood at the edge of a cliff?  (I haven't!) Waited on Christmas Eve for Christmas DAY to come? (I have!)  Well, roll that up into one and that's what I'm feeling right now! =D  I have ONE sale to go before the big "paper" check on TpT!  I'm so excited and humbled at the same time!  I know I have a LOT more work to do and I can't wait to put several ideas I have rolling around into action.  But in the meantime, for the past day or so, I've sat with ONE more sale to go before throwing my shoes in the air and screeching for the whole house to hear!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gardening Fun by BuzzIntoKinder

Have you guys seen this INCREDIBLE gardening lesson from BuzzIntoKinder?  I just saw it and couldn't WAIT to post about it!  Yes, I AM about to own this math/language arts/science lesson.  Here is a brief description from her TpT page: The 140 page Spring Unit focuses around a theme of flowers and gardening! This Spring Unit will be a great addition to any classroom. Differentiation is built into this unit with a variety of activities and uses for the activities. In addition the common core standards are included for each of the activities!

Printable Masks

As I was pinning other people's items, I came across this incredible page!!  It is not a TpT item, but it is a FREE item.  Printable Masks!  I can SO see using many of these in the classroom and KNOWING the students would just love to re-tell a story using them.

The page is at Super Punch    Check out this great mask!!