Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthday Fun!

In honor of our great nation's birthday this weekend, I am throwing a birthday sale at my TPT store until Sunday evening.  And...the best part is that I just posted a Birthday Fun Celebration Collection for your classroom in my TPT store!  Click on the birthday boy for a direct link to the Birthday Fun!

If you have been eyeing my Frog and Toad unit, Mo Willems' Pigeon Fun, Caldecott unit or anything else from my TPT store, now is the time to take advantage of my sale until Sunday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Easy Holder Folders

Yeah...I couldn't think of a better name than Holder Folder.  ; )  Are you looking for an alternative to baggies or rings for your kiddo's flashcards, letter tiles, etc.?  I have attempted to take pictures of each step to make these "Holder Folders."  : )  If you like these, you could get a head start on making them before school is back in session.

Start with a 2 pocket folder (without fasteners).

Cut the seam and stop right where the pockets start.

Fold the top of the folder so your crease is at the top of the pockets.  Do this to each side.

Cut the excess off (the tops).

I like to trim the corners so it is easy for the kids to open the flaps.

I also like to add velcro dots to the flaps so they stay shut and little pieces don't get lost.

Jazz up the front with a name tag, stickers, etc.  You could also add a velcro dot inside so the whole thing stays shut. Enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Candy Buffet

Ok, one last non-first grade post.  : )  My daughter's 3rd birthday has come and gone and we had a blast!  Here are some pictures of the candy buffet we had at the party.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Marshmallows

Chocolate Covered Popcorn
With Kix Cereal and Fritos
Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Treat Boxes for the kids to fill

The Cake!  Precious!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Can Hardly Contain Myself

I know this is my blog about first grade, but it is now summer and I have been eating, sleeping, dreaming about my daughter's 3rd birthday party.  We are having a Strawberry Shortcake theme and a candy buffet.  I just had to share!!!  After the party is over, I will post pictures of the candy buffet.  I think I am more excited about this party than she is!!!  : )  For the candy buffet, I made these cute strawberry signs and name tag labels for the chinese take-out boxes the kids will fill with their candy.

Just a cute pic I made to put on the candy buffet table.  Gram just had to buy the whole Gymboree Strawberry line for the party girl.  Love it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Locker Tag Ideas

I am browsing catalogs making my orders for next year.  I always purchase these nameplates from Lakeshore for my lockers, but was wondering what you use?  Our lockers are in the hallway, so I like them to look nice and last all year.  After I glue the picture on, I laminate them and put sticky back magnets on them and they look as good on the last day of school as they did on the first day!  The best part about these nameplates is that they are only $4.00 for 36!  Click on the picture to go directly to the site.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Must Have Music

When we write during Writer's Workshop, I play soft instrumental music in the background.  When the music is on, kids cannot get out of their seats.  I was pretty tired of the classic classical music, so I went on a music hunt.  I was so excited when I found these instrumental CDs at Borders.  I have also found them on Amazon and eBay.  I try to buy a new one (or two) every year, but the Bob Marley one is my favorite.  Click HERE to go directly to the Rockabye Baby site.

  I have U2, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Coldplay, and Pink Floyd.  Def Leopard just came out, too!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vistaprint...Free and Fun! Plus a freebie!

As I was cleaning and packing after our last day with kids today, I came across some things I made using Vistaprint for the beginning of the year.  If you have not discovered Vistaprint yet, you are missing the boat!  Vistaprint has thousands of templates to make tons of free and fun "business" type items like labels, postcards, magnets, etc.  Teachers have gotten creative and started using the company to make things for the classroom.  When you make a free item, you only have to pay for shipping!  Shipping is a little crazy high, but totally worth every penny.  Here are a few things I have made:

  These are small business card magnets that I pass out to the parents on Curriculum Night.

 Next, my kiddos' book shopping lists.  I made these using a postcard template.  I laminate them so I can use permanent marker to write the child's level and amount of books I would like them to take.  Using a magic eraser, (someone is genius who invented those!) I change their level each time the kids are retested.  The kids keep these cards in their reading bags.  Below is a picture of the back of the card.  I just added each child's name with a label.

This is the front and back of a post card my kids and parents fill out at our Meet and Greet sessions before school starts.  (I tried and tried rotating that pic. and had no such luck.  I even took the picture straight, but blogger liked to rotate it for some reason.  Don't you hate when that happens?)

One more thing for today...and a freebie.
I explained to my kids that the kindergartners coming next year will want to know all about their new teacher, me!  So, my kids filled out a form about me and their first grade classroom.  I plan on putting them out at our Meet and Greet in the summer for the new families to read.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Elephant and Piggie

So a while ago, I confessed my obsession with the Pigeon books.  Read about it here and here.  And...if you are a Mo Willems fanatic like me, you know about Elephant and Piggie.  Mo is a genius.  He is hilarious.  He is my students' favorite author.  Elephant and Piggie have made my non-readers, readers.  Talk about amazing!  Today (yes we are still in school) we made some Piggies and Geralds and paired up to read some Elephant and Piggie books.  Here are some pictures I snapped of the fun!

Here are just a few of the titles.
We did a character study of Piggie and Gerald for one of our Reading Workshop mini lessons.  We added words to describe both Piggie and Gerald.  My kids thought I had Mo sneak into our classroom to draw these.  Heeeheehee!

We free-handed some Geralds and Piggies.  Aren't they cute?  Not so sure about Gerald's ears, though.  They look more like horns, don't they?
Then we read elbow to elbow and knee to knee (EEKK).  Piggie reads the pink speech bubbles and Gerald reads the gray speech bubbles.  Adorable!

If you have not discovered Piggie and Gerald yet, get on over to your local book store or Amazon and buy them up!  They will be a hit in your classroom!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Parent Volunteer Gift Ideas & Student Gift Idea

As the school year comes to a close, I am in need of some gift ideas for my parent volunteers.  I have 7 moms who are wonderful and we all know teachers aren't rich...unless of course you are the fabulous Mrs. Jump with an amazing creative talent and an awesome TPT store!  If you haven't checked her out yet, you have got to "jump" over to her blog HERE.  When I grow up, I want to be just like her.  LOL  We love you, Mrs. Jump!

Leave me a comment and share your awesome parent volunteer gift ideas!  If you have a blog and have posted about your idea, please leave me a link. 

For my students, I was lucky enough to be able to buy two $1.00 books from Scholastic for each of my kids (I have the best principal in the world!) and I am also going to give them a bag of gummy fish with a label that says You Are o-FISH-ally a Second Grader!  I adapted the idea I saw HERE.  I figured you can't ever go wrong with scrapbook paper and we have a fish die cut at school in our die cut collection.  : )
Let Summer Begin...........soon.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I am pleased to announce ALI from What Happens in Kindergarten...Lasts a Lifetime as the winner for my Flag Day Fun Unit!  Please leave me a comment with your email address and I will send you the unit!  Congratulations!

Comment #16...
Ali said...
I follow your blog!!


What happens in kindergarten... lasts a lifetime

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flag Day Unit Complete and Giveaway!

My Flag Day unit is finally complete!  It has been so busy these last few weeks of school...hardly any time left for good old fun!  Flag Day is Tuesday, June 14th and what better way to celebrate than with a collection of fun flag ideas!

Click on the picture below to purchase my Flag Fun unit from TPT!  See below on how to enter the giveaway for a copy of the unit! 

If you would like to win a copy of the unit, here's how you can gain entries:
1 entry: become a follower of my blog and comment (or tell me you are already a follower)
1 entry: become a follower at my TPT store (click on the picture above to go there)
1 entry: if you have a blog, put me in your blogroll (or comment that you already have me there)
1 entry: if you have a blog, link this post on your blog (send me a comment about the post)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Flag Day Fun

Flag Day is on June 14th.  I am in the process of finishing my Flag Day unit that would be perfect for Flag Day, the 4th of July (if you are lucky enough to be in school at that time), Veteran's Day, or Memorial Day.  I am posting a free art idea that will be included in my unit.  Stay tuned for the information on how to win/purchase my unit.  

Here are a few pictures and the directions from a bulletin board I have created.  
To make the hand print flags, paint the palm blue, the thumb, middle finger and pinkie red, and the pointer and ring finger white (I mix a tiny drop of black with the white so the paint shows up on the white paper).  Add some small silver sparkle stars to the blue when it is dry and trim around the hand before adding them to the bulletin board.  I attached them to the board with a name label so you could tell whose hand was whose. 

The poem in the middle says:

With my hand on my heart, 
That's how I start,
The Pledge of Allegiance you see.

I say I'll be true,
To the red, white, and blue,
And America, land of the free!