Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Goodies

The winter season is upon us and the excitement of Christmas is in the air.  We also just had two snow days in Oregon - well, one snow day and one ice day.  But, it was a Thursday and a Friday and so that meant a surprise four day weekend for everyone!  I actually caught a bit of a cold though so the time off of school was actually good timing for my health.

I will be ready for one more fun-filled week with my kinder kiddos before the winter break!  We have our winter party on Thursday and I was so excited to receive the box from Oriental Trading Company to help us celebrate!  Have you seen the goodies they have for Christmas/winter?  They have so many wonderful choices and I can't wait to share with you what I have for my students.  I am using most of these materials at our winter party on Thursday and on Friday before the winter break.

If your kiddos are anything like mine, they LOVE stickers!  As we check their work together, we talk about it, and then they often get a sticker.  They love seeing the different stickers I have and sometimes they will even ask for a certain sticker.  I know they will totally dig these big and sparkly stickers!  The great thing is, I can use the snowman and snowflake stickers in January as well!
As my students walk into my room on Thursday morning, they will walk through this beautiful snowflake door hanger!  It is cute and festive and will help jazz up our party!  And, they will enjoy walking through it each time they enter or exit the classroom.  Currently, I hung a few up in the window that looks out to the playground and they absolutely love it!  This is not one long attached door hanger, but instead, individual snowflake lines and so this allows you to hang them in many different areas of your classroom or home.  Isn't it so pretty? (FYI - this was taken about 8:30 AM.  It still looks dark out still - welcome to Oregon!)
Another cute decoration I received are these beautiful hanging Christmas print fans that are hung from our lights.  They noticed these neat decorations right away! I decided to hang these up Monday morning to start our week off with a little extra pizazz.  :) These also add a little more holiday cheer in our room!  I hung them back to back because they only have color on one side.  I added a little bit of tape once I closed them up on the back side to make sure there was not a gap in them and they are perfect!
I like to do centers at my winter party and the children love rotating around and completing each station.  One of my stations is a cute, but simple station that can be run independently if I don't have parent help.  The students will get these gingerbread sticker scenes and they will go crazy over these! The background is adorable and there are so many sticker choices and design possibilities that they will be engaged for quite awhile.  The stickers are easy to peel and these are very kid friendly!
Another sticker scene I will have my students work on is this adorable Christmas Train Sticker Scene. I will give this to my students on Friday afternoon as a calming activity just hours before winter break begins.  These will be so fun!!!!
I also got these super cute foam gingerbread house magnets.  I will let the students pick which one they want to decorate, and then they can be creative!  Each gingerbread house comes in an individual baggie so all of the supplies to create it are right there.  And, the project is also self sticking so it is super easy for the kiddos to decorate!  You will see one project out of the bag with directions, and then the others are in bags with different color gingerbread houses.
I always have an M&M sorting station and I use a packet from my TpT store that you can find at the link.  Normally, I just pour a small handful on the table and have the students sort and count.  This year though, I have these adorable Santa's Suit cupcake holders!  I will have the M&M's already poured into the cupcake holder.  This makes for a cute, and fast set up for this center!  After the math portion is finished, the students will then put the Santa Suit cupcake holder with M&M's on their party plate which can be eaten during the food portion of the party.  I can't get enough of these!
While I adore all of the goodies I received, I think my favorite item is the elf photo booth props!  I seriously can't wait to share these with my kiddos!  They will go crazy over these!  I have a parent who is a photographer and she is going to come in and take some photos for us - she has a backdrop and everything :)  These will make great photo ops and fun memories.  I will have some of the pictures printed so that each child has a photo to take home.
And..........I couldn't help but pose to try out the props!  Teehee.
Do you give your students a Christmas gift?  I always buy a book from Scholastic for $1.00.  I never wrap them though.  I usually just tie yarn in a bow around them, but I am super excited to have this cute twine and cute Christmas gift tags.  They will really jazz up my students gifts this year.  I will pass these out at the end of our winter party.
This year is going to be extra special with all of these fun goodies from OTC!  Thanks so much for stopping by and reading about the treats my students will enjoy this week.  What special things do you do with your students?

Have a great week with your kiddos and enjoy a well-deserved winter break!

**The reviews of any products in this post are based strictly on my own opinion. Others may have a different experience or opinion about the products listed above. I was provided the products free of charge by Oriental Trading Company, and after using the products, I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Decorate a Tree" Math Game

The holiday season is here again!  Yahoo :)  All of a sudden, Christmas has shown up everywhere in the stores.  As I wondered through the Target Dollar Spot and saw some red, white, and green pom poms, an idea came to me.  I thought that it would be fun to create a game for my students that involved winter, holiday fun, and math.

Currently, and throughout the year actually, kindergarten students need to work on one:one correspondence.  And, what better way to practice this but with a fun holiday themed dice game!  The students will roll the dice, count how many pips, and then carefully add that many pom poms to the tree.  

(Did you know the dots on dice/dominoes are called pips?)

I have pom poms, but these were already sorted in holiday colors for me and I couldn't  resist buying these from Target when I saw them. 

I also found this bucket that had the cutest design and was the perfect accompanying size for this game.

This will be such a popular station in my room and my kiddos will want to play it often.  The great thing about this game is that it is so easy to differentiate.  And, if you don't want to buy anything to set this up in your own classroom, you probably have lots of materials already that you can use.

Here are some variations to the game, and suggestions for using different supplies:

*Some students will get one die to practice counting 1-6 and make sure that they are successful in their counting.  You can also you beads - you probably have beads socked away somewhere in your room, right?

*You may give students two dice for those students who are ready for counting one:one up to twelve.  

*You can mix it up and use dice that have numbers, versus the pips.  This example also uses beads.  

*The kiddos will have fun rolling numbered dice and counting out the correct number of glass beads to decorate the tree.

*For a nice challenge, hand some students three dice and mix up the combination of dice - numbers and pips.  Shown below are sequins for the counters.

*Another variation is to have students play each other.  You can have the students in partners and each child rolls their own dice and decorates their tree.  Then, they will verify that each one has the correct amount and determine which one is greater than, less than, or equal to each other?  Here you see foam snowflakes for the counters.  
*I don't have a picture of it, but students can also use a domino as another manipulative to count.

I hope you are able to use these game boards and make learning engaging and fun-filled,  as well as provide individualized math games for each student so s/he is challenged and accountable.

If you are looking for another holiday math game, you might want to check out my packet of M&M Holiday Sorting and Counting.  We do this every year as one of our stations at our winter party and it is quite fun!  There are different versions for you to pick the right math skill for your class, individual student or small group.  

Here are some pictures from our winter party using this packet.

Want other great ideas to make learning engaging this time of year?  Make sure to hop to my friend's blogs for some fun freebies and holiday game ideas, but don't forget to snag "Decorate a Tree" below.  

From Left to Right:
Have the Target Christmas erasers? Have fun counting to 20 with these Christmas Eraser Counting Cards from The Kindergarten Connection.

 Have a blast with blends with these Christmas Tree Blends Puzzles from A Dab of Glue Will Do.

Don't put those erasers away yet! Spin and graph with this fun Winter Race game from Recipe for Teaching.

Grab some dice to roll and dazzle your friends with this fun Decorate a Tree activity from Kindergarten Planet.

Make sure you download "Decorate a Tree" here!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Treats for Teachers!

Happy Autumn!  October is always a welcomed month in teaching.  By now, the children *mostly* know the routines and the newness of back to school has worn off.  It's official!  The school year is going strong.  My district also has parent teacher conferences this month.  Just when the beginning of school craziness slows down, a new thing pops up so it stays busy.  Isn't that how education seems to work?

October is the month of autumn, pumpkins, and Halloween.  Trick-or-Treaters will be coming to houses everywhere for treats.  Can you believe Halloween is on a Monday this year?  Yikes!

October is also the month that Starbucks gets their seasonal drinks back.  What is your favorite?  Mine is the salted caramel mocha!  I love it so much I posted about it on Instagram.

The Kinder Friends and I want to treat all of you!  This is no trick, just good treats coming your way. There are a lot of treats in this blog hop so I hope you stick around and enter to try and win some good prizes!  The giveaway starts now, and goes until Oct. 15th at 12:00AM.  Good luck to you!

I have two things that I am giving away:  

1) I am giving you one product from my Kindergarten Planet TpT Store.  You can have ANY product you want!  I want you to pick a product that currently fits your needs.

2) I am giving away a $25.00 Starbucks gift card.  You can get all the seasonal drinks you want, or black coffee, or coffee cake, or anything your little heart desires.

All you have to do to enter is complete the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!  I hope it is YOU who wins :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway Be sure to hop on over to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten blog for more treats! And don't stop there, ALL the Kinder Friends have fun giveaways for you.  Enjoy the treats and the blog hop!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Back in the Swing of Things!

Hi There!  Back to School season has me so frazzled these days.  Between being a wife, mom to a 9 month old, unpacking and settling into our new home, and trying to get my kindergarten classroom ready and up and running for my littles, I am one frazzled lady these days!  Anybody else?  I had my first official week (well 4 days with Labor Day) with my kinder kiddos and I am looking forward to a great year!  I am slowly getting back into the swing of things.  

I am so happy to be participating in a blog hop with my Kinderfriends about back to school ideas!  One thing I like to do at the beginning of the year to save time is to prep things for the entire school year.  "What?" you ask!  "Why?" you ask.  I like to do this to help me save time down the road.  It is totally possible to make this happen.  Then, when the time comes to use the materials, you are so thankful you spent the time upfront getting things ready.

My rationale is this: I am already prepping things for the beginning of the year, so why not spend a few more minutes getting the materials ready for the rest of the year.

For example, I need Lost Tooth Necklaces now - at the beginning of the year - when my students lose a tooth.  So, why not make a few more so I have them for the entire year?

Don't they look so cute on?

My students love getting a tooth necklace and wear it with pride.  These can be found here in my TpT store and are currently on sale through Sept. 15th.

Another activity I do with my students is a monthly name writing and drawing assessment called "Here I Am in Kindergarten."  Each month I have the students write their name and draw a self portrait.  I love putting this together for parents at the end of the year.  The growth is so visible and is quite amazing.  This year I am doing it every other month.  We already completed our drawing for the first day of school (so that image is not showing).  Since I had to make that copy, why not make the rest of the copies for the entire school year?

Now, each month when I am ready to do the assessment, I just have to go to my paper tray holder and grab them.  They are already made and I don't have to worry about making copies as I go.  Tip: always make a few extra to account for a new student since we sometimes have revolving classes.  These can be found here by grade level (preschool, TK, K, 1st and 2nd) and are also on sale in my TpT store.  

This year my district adopted Go Math!  It is new to us and we are just learning how to use it.  Our district requires that we give a beginning and end of the year assessment.  At the beginning of the year I have to make copies for my assessment.  So, why not make a whole other set for the end of the year since I am at the copy machine?  As you can see from my post-it, I made a note of how many I made to remind myself at the end of the year.  I'm so glad I did!  I am starting the assessment on Monday.  I had 17 students on my roster for the longest time.  I made 22 copies, but I now have 24 kinder students.  So, I just have to make a few more copies for now, and then at the end of the year and I am done.  I will change the number on my master copy post-it as well!

Other things I do now for the entire year:
*Make all of my letter writing pages for each letter of the alphabet that we use (and I have them in the order we learn them)
*Make my number pages 0-20 that I will use
*Write out all of my Birthday Cards for the entire year and keep them in order

There are so many things to do at the beginning of the year, and while prepping for the rest of the year may seem counter intuitive, it really ends up being a time saver!  It takes just a little longer to do, but then it really pays off!

I am having a sale in my TpT store with my lovely #Kinderfriends.  Just search #Kinderfriends and you can see all sorts of back to school items on sale that will make your time back at school off to a good start!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Make sure to hop on over to Cara's blog at Kindergarten Boom Boom to see how she gets back into the swing of things.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back to School Goodies

Happy Back to School season!  Are you feeling as busy as I am?  I know many of you have been in school for a few weeks now, but here in the Pacific Northwest, we are just getting started.  My summer was wonderful, but not exactly relaxing for we bought a new home, sold our townhouse, moved, and traveled to Hawaii and New York.  Going back to work is getting me back on schedule!

I can't imagine going back to school without getting some new school supplies from the amazing Oriental Trading Company!  I was so thrilled to find a box on my doorstep a few days ago!  I brought it in and opened it right away, then rushed off to school with it.  Since I don't have students yet, I will tell you how I am going to use the supplies this year.

They are so colorful, cute, and versatile.  They are not huge, but they are just the right size for our purposes!  I have so many thoughts about how to use them - putting them in my writing center to hold materials, using them to pass out to tables for art supplies, storing people colored crayons for each table group - but I think I will do something different.  I teach in a school with MANY transitions and so my homeroom students are not necessarily my literacy, ELD, or intervention kiddos.  I have supplies for my HR students, but need extra supplies for the students who come and go in my classroom.  I was thinking that these are the perfect size to hold extra crayons and glue!

I do use glue sponges, but some of my students prefer the glue sticks and they are on our school supply list, so I have these out for options.  I think these will be perfect for extra supplies for the students who come into my room for learning.

These colorful tubs also stack so neatly and easily that they do not take up much room on the shelf, and they will be easy for the children to pass out to the appropriate table groups.

Out of all the goodies I received though, I think the Plush Googly Eye Dry Erase Board Erasers are my favorite :) They are so gosh darn cute!  I can't stand it!  They are colorful, soft, sturdy, fluffy and erase a dry erase board like nobody's business.  Ha!  My kiddos will love using these and the great thing is, I have plenty so they can each use their own.  

Look how cute these are!

The best part is they work really well.  Going.....



Aren't those fun?

You know what else is fun?  This Warm Fuzzies Set!  

I have always adored the warm fuzzy feeling you get when students are complimented, make good choices, or show care and concern for one another.  Now, I have an adorable classroom system to celebrate the warm fuzzies that happen throughout our day.  

I bought this cute green jar at the Target Dollar Spot and I am going to add warm fuzzies from the plastic container to the green jar when something wonderful happens.  It might be that my kiddos were excellent in PE, or a teacher compliments our line in the hall, or a friend helps another friend tie their shoelace - there are many, many reasons.  Once the jar is full, we will celebrate or get some form of reward.  I am so excited to get this started in my classroom!

The last back to school goodie I wanted to share is a page for my Star Student.  It is technically a color your own all about me page :)

These posters will allow my students an opportunity to share some favorites, and information, and allow us to get to know each friend in class a little better.  This is a cute poster that the children will color and fill out at home, then bring back to class.  When the child brings the decorated paper back, we will go over the paper together and then I will hang it up on my Star Student board for a week.

I have the parents send in photos that I hang up on the board on the colorful stars.  All of the students in my class will be the Star Student by the end of the year.  We do a random drawing every Friday afternoon and it can be hard to wait if you are the last star student of the year!

Another new school year means new supplies and some fresh ideas.  I am so glad that I am able to start off my school year with some goodies from Oriental Trading Company.  

What are some new Back to School Goodies you love?

**The reviews of any products in this post are based strictly on my own opinion. Others may have a different experience or opinion about the products listed above. I was provided the products free of charge by Oriental Trading Company, and after using the products, I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.