Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Enjoying the break!

I love Christmas break!  I mean, who doesn't????  

It's so nice not to have to worry about setting my alarm clock....or what to wear....or what to pack for lunch.....or what my hair looks like LOL!

I've heard that a lot of teachers actually have to go back to school this Thursday!
Luckily we have the rest of this week off.  We return to school on Monday, Jan. 6th along with all our kiddos!  In the past, we've always had a work day/inservice day before the kids came back, but for whatever reason that is not the case this year! 

I hope you're enjoying your break and I hope you have a fabulous new year as well!!  One of my new years resolutions is to do a better job at blogging!  I have definitely neglected my poor little blog over the past year, but hopefully I'll do better in 2014!  

If you're looking for some great new blogs to follow...check out Simply Kinder's linky party!  
I bet you'll find some new blogs that you never knew were out there!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Precious Letter to Santa

Sorry for the bad picture, but this was too precious not to share.  

One of our 2nd grade teachers had her students write letters to Santa today.  I read through several of them (because they are ALWAYS fun to read!!) and seriously got teary eyed reading this one from a very sweet little girl.  

I adore how she opened her letter with a wish for other kids.  Naturally, she asked for some stuff for herself.  :-)  But the part that is the tear jerker is the part that comes next.   Be sure to read through the whole thing....it will definitely make your day!

PS.  How cute is it that she crossed out the word "From" at the bottom and wrote in the word "Love"!!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Motivating Kids to Read!

Have you seen these laser light finger pointer things?  

This year I switched positions and am now teaching special ed....K-3 Resource.  I absolutely love this new adventure, but after 8 years of teaching Kindergarten, it's been a learning experience for sure!!

I actually have a really fun Kindergarten group that I see
each day.  They definitely keep me on my toes.  

So when I saw the laser finger pointers at Oriental Trading, I knew I needed to get some. (They were pretty inexpensive at 8.00 for a dozen!!)
Yesterday I pulled them out for "added motivation" to help the kids stay on task while working.

To say it was magical would be an understatement.  They worked so hard with those silly things on their fingers....One little boy even remarked that his writing was much neater because the laser light was helping him!?!?

I even turned off the lights for a little bit.  I'm pretty sure they thought I was the best teacher ever.  HA!  

We'll see how long the "laser magic" lasts LOL, but for now it's definitely going to stay in my bag of tricks!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kids Say the Funniest Things!

I am linking up with Crystal over at Kreative in Kinder for her fun linky about all the funny things kids say!!  

The conversation below happened between me and a very funny Kindergartener.  He seriously was hilarious!!  He was so precious and sweet, and honestly didn't have a mean bone in his body.  He was always saying funny things, but this conversation was one of my favorites.   

Because I knew this child so well, I knew he wasn't being ugly or smart.  
He seriously was just stating the fact as he understood it.  And he was pretty much right, wasn't he?  LOL

When he said it, I couldn't help but smile.  I may have even chuckled a little.
But I still made him go sit down until I finished with my group.  ;-)

Heard something funny or want to read about other funny kids? Head over to Kreative in Kinder and check out the fun linky!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Decorating Fun

This week the teachers got to have a little Fall Fun and decorate some pumpkins!!  It's a small fundraiser to help buy books for our library and it's lots of fun for the kids and teachers!!

On Monday, several teachers brought in their fun, pumpkin creation!    
A jar was placed in front of each one and the students get to vote all week for their favorite one using loose change.  Each cent is considered a vote!  

Take a look at this "triple scoop" pumpkin creation!!  This teacher went ALL OUT on hers!!!  
As you probably guessed, this one is currently in first place!!

Here are some of the other pumpkins that were decorated, carved, painted, etc.....
(mine is the cookie monster one....I went cute & simple!!)

Aren't they amazing???  The kids are really having a good time voting for their favorites!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Interactive Whiteboard using a Wii Remote

Do you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom?  If you do, consider yourself very lucky!!  I've always been so jealous of teachers who have Smart boards or Promethean boards in their classrooms.  There's just so much you can do with those things!!!

Last year I started looking all over the internet for "cheap Smart boards"....I seriously googled those exact words.   What I found was a way you can use a projector, a computer with bluetooth, a Wii remote, and an infrared pen to create a fairly inexpensive interactive whiteboard!! 

The site I stumbled upon was called Teach With Tech and I purchased everything I needed to get my interactive whiteboard set up for about 150 dollars.    Go check out their site for more information on the technical aspects of this project or simply google Wii interactive whiteboard.  You will find gobs of information, pictures, and videos from others who have done similar projects.  

As with anything, there are pros and cons to using this system.  
The pros far outweigh the cons, but I'll tell you about both of them.  

First the PROS!  :-)

One big pro is that I can write on my screen......using the Smoothboard toolbar!  
 (you can see the toolbar in the lower right hand corner of the screen....it allows me to change the color, size, etc. of the pen stroke!) 

Another pro is that I can use the pen as a "mouse" and click on links right from my screen!  
This comes in so handy!!

One of the things I LOVE about the setup, is that I can use my interactive whiteboard with Promethean board lessons.  I simply downloaded the Active Inspire software (FREE) and went to town looking for interactive Promethean lessons!  In this pic, I am dragging short & long Aa pictures to their correct box!

Now for the CONS :-(

 Because I am "writing" on a screen that is hanging from the ceiling, the lines are not always as straight as I'd like them to be.   I think it's because the screen is not stationary, but I'm not sure!

Honestly it's not a huge deal.....because I'm just happy I can "write" on my screen!!

The other cons are mostly setup related.  The whole system is a little cumbersome to set up and takes a lot of patience.  (The Wii remote has to be mounted to the ceiling so it can "see" your screen and pen).  For some unknown reason, the Wii remote sometimes fails to connect to my bluetooth and I have to restart the whole program several times.  This is extremely frustrating when I'm trying to teach a lesson, so many times I've just given up on using the whole thing.   I'm honestly not sure if it's a Wii problem, a software problem, or a bluetooth problem!!  Or perhaps it's just a user problem!  HA HA!

Even with all of the frustrations, I still LOVE my interactive whiteboard!  It's allowed me to do lots of things I never thought I'd be able to do, and has brought a whole new level of interaction to my kiddos. Right now my projector screen is a little too high for my kids to use the pen to interact with a website or a game, but eventually I'd like to lower it to allow them to utilize it more!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A is for Aloha Day!

Each year in Kindergarten we count down the last 26 days of school by having an "ABC Countdown."    It's something that everyone looks forward to and it's so much fun!!

Today was Aloha Day for A!
Hawaiian music and colorful leis were waiting for my kiddos as they arrived in the classroom this morning.  Most kids brought beach towels and dressed in bright tropical colors.  
Take a look at some of the fun we had today!

We made & decorated Aloha flower hats!

We listened to Hawaiian music and read books on our beach towels!

For a special snack we made a fruit salad and enjoyed it outdoors while relaxing in the sun.

One of my wonderful parents made a special surprise for us.....Flip Flops in the sand! 
(AKA Nutter Butter cookies in brown sugar!)

Do you do anything fun to celebrate the last few days of school???  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter Literacy Practice

So as soon as St. Patrick's Day was over, my mind turned to Easter and all the fun things that we are going to do!    There are so many neat things you can do with those plastic Easter eggs!!  Last year when I found some that had three parts that snap together,  I thought I had hit the jackpot!!!  CVC word building suddenly got a whole lot more fun for my kids!

Since Easter is a fun time for me and the kids, I made a couple of new things that I added to my TpT store....and I also made a freebie that is available as well!

Bunny Builder is a CVC Literacy Center where students will build CVC words! There are 20 CVC picture cards and 60 egg letters.  There are also recording sheets for students to record the words they make!  It's available for $3.00 in my TpT store here.  

 I also created a forever FREEBIE that you might be able to use in your classroom!  It's a set of cute Easter bunny ten frames for numbers 1-20.  Head over and download it for FREE from my TpT store. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

St. Patrick's Day FREEBIE

My kids enjoyed the Valentine Domino addition center I made for February, so I decided to make another one for St. Patrick's Day!  Grab it for FREE below!!

St. Patrick's Day addition practice!

It's a forever FREEBIE and you can download it here!

If you're looking for more St. Patrick's Day resources, I have several in my store you can check out.  The best part is all of my St. Patty's resources are $3.00 or less!



Have a great week friends!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MLK directed drawing!!

Today we read about Martin Luther King, Jr. and discussed his life and some of the things he did to make our world a better place.   Before we began, I showed my kiddos a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr.  and asked if anyone knew who it was.   The overwhelming consensus was that it was President Barack Obama.  LOL   

After clearing up the confusion between MLK and President Obama, we dove right in to a directed drawing activity.  When I told the kids they were going to draw a picture of Mr. King, they looked at me in disbelief.  One little friend raised his hand and said "I'm not good at drawing kings."  :-)  I told them that we were going to draw him together and that I had a feeling everyone could do it!!!!  

I used the Martin Luther King Directed Drawing activity from Krissy over at Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business.  It's FREE and you can grab it from her TpT store here.   It's AWESOME! Basically, by following a few simple steps, anyone can draw a portrait of Martin Luther King!  It's very simple and my kindergarteners did great!!!  I was so impressed with the way they turned out.  

If you try this with your kids, I would love to see how yours turn out!