Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dollar Store Delights!

So while shopping for paper products for our BBQ this past weekend I discovered a treasure trove of organizing delights!!! As several of you know I am staying home with the Little Bean at the moment, otherwise I would have been snatching up a bunch of these things for my classroom! I took some photos to share with you all :) I hope you find some of these gems at your local Dollar Store too!!
What a great sorting tray in the top middle! I love the boxes with the lids too for markers, crayons etc. 

Great tubs and baskets for anything and everything!

Purple! Love the little buckets! Have you ever read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? If not, I definitely recommend it. It's a wonderful story about kindness. These little buckets would be perfect for implementing this idea into your classroom!

These little dishes are adorable! Not sure exactly what I would use them for but I know I could think of something :) Aaaand, they come 4 to a pack! $.25 each?? Whaaaat??!! :)

I like these because you can never loose the lids! Haha 

Need new table organizers? Also, check out the adorable woven baskets!

 I love these baskets!

So many shapes and sizes! It's a beautiful sight :)

{And no, I am not being paid by the Dollar Store to promote their products ;) How sweet would that be though?! ;)}

Friday, June 20, 2014

Stock up with my Sequencing Through the Seasons Super Pack!

Welcome to the Summer Stock Up hosted by The Primary Gal
I am excited to share one of my favorite products with you ~ my Sequencing Through the Season Super Pack! This pack bundles together all three of my sequencing packs ~ fall, winter and spring!

I love this product for several reasons. One is that it can be used right off the bat at the beginning of the year and can also be used throughout the rest of the year. Another is that it is SO easy to differentiate for your students with the different levels provided!! I also love this because of the writing component. Each sheet comes on it's own, or as a small strip and separate writing page. In the past my Kg team used these writing pages as assessments for our little guys. 

Here is an example of the single sheet:

Here is an example of the writing page:

I had some help from a little friend ;) 

Enter to win this pack FOR FREE!!! This pack includes all three of my sequencing packs bundled into one!!!
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Stock up with my ABC Line in Print, D'Nealian or Cursive!

Welcome to the Summer Stock Up hosted by The Primary Gal! This product is near and dear to my heart ~ it is the first thing I ever made for TpT!!! I did not have a tablet at that point so I drew and painted everything by hand, the "old fashioned way!" Creating art is a huge passion of mine. I spent quite a while painting the images and figuring out the best way to scan them into the computer without loosing the quality. It was a fun summer!

The ABC Lines are available in Print, D'Nealian and Cursive. There are flash cards in Print and D'Nealian, and the Cursive comes as half sheets. I also offer an upper/lowercase letter match. 

So I use the large cards as my alphabet line. One of the reasons I love this type of alphabet line (one image per page) is that if one rips or gets lost it is so easy to replace it ~ simply reprint and laminate! You don't have to patch with tape or buy a whole new one. 

I use the flashcards cards as alphabet quiz cards for students who are struggling to remember their letters. I have also used them for my word wall. One of my students' favorite things to do with them was to use them in Literacy Centers. In the beginning of the year I would simply have them put the cards in alphabetical order. Then as their skills progressed, I would pull out a few letters and have them sort pictures that started with that letter and lay the cards all out on the floor (kg students do so much better when they can move all around!).

My students, and even the older students I tutored, really love the pictures. I chose some rather unconventional images for an alphabet line, such as a quill, a tangerine, a zinnia, to help expand their vocabulary. The kids learned pretty quickly what the new pictures were :)

I would love to hear how you plan on using these in your classroom! Enter the giveaway below to win an entire set of both the large card alphabet line and the flash cards for FREE!

Here are a few of my favorites :) {Images do not print with the black border}

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Video Series ~ How To Make Cooked Playdough

I am so excited to bring this Summer Video Series to you!! Every two weeks I will post a new video on how to make something that you can use with your children and/or students, or something to help you organize your classroom.

This is the first ever video in which I am the "star." I generally prefer to stay behind the camera, but with much encouragement from my husband ~ and by "much" I mean he has been bugging me to do this for months ~ I finally said ok! As you can hear Little Bean wanted to be a part of the sound track, along with our dear friend Sophie the Giraffe ;) Several people have pointed out that the play dough matches my apron, which was totally not planned!! Apparently I really like pink and green :)

Here it is! I would love to hear your thoughts on the video and hear what things you would like to see in this series!

I am having a raffle for those who subscribe to my YouTube Channel! Enter to win a FREE TpT product under $4.00 of your choice!

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Classroom Organization

I am SO excited to be taking part in this link party series!!! Thank you so much to the amazing Laura for putting it all together!!

I LOVE organizing my classroom for the year! I am always one of the teachers who go a week before preplanning starts so I can pull everything out, bring in the new things I have and start putting things up. Having an organized classroom is helpful for you, as the teacher, and helpful for your students. Not only will having an organized classroom help your students to be more secure, you will be teaching them an important skill.
Here are a few tips on how I like to organize my classroom. I hope you learn some new things!
{I am currently fortunate enough to be staying home with our wonderful little boy, so I'm sorry for the lack of photos!! I found some old ones, but am missing several ~ sorry!}

Bulletin Boards
My first year teaching Kindergarten I learned an awesome trick from a few of the other Kg teachers ~ using fabric instead of butcher paper on the bulletin boards. I love doing this for several reasons; it is good for the earth as you aren't tossing butcher paper every time you want to change your boards, you can pick out fun colors/patterns, it doesn't rip when you pull things down etc. The down side, however, is that it does cost you a little right off the bat. I bought mine 6 years ago and have no idea what I spent, but it was well worth it. I have also used it in two different classrooms with very different style boards and just fold it in different ways to make it fit (don't cut it!). I change out the border on certain boards with the seasons, but the fabric stays up all year. 
{Fabric covered boards with border} 

Classroom Library
I have tried a few different ways of organizing my classroom library over the years and have settled on sorting by genre and DRA level. I have a tub for Animals, Dr. Seuss books,  Fairytales, Seasons (this obviously changes throughout the year), Alphabet, Math, Science, and School Library Books (books the children have checked out of the school library and are are waiting to be returned on library day). I also have few different levels of DRA levels books. One bucket is empty and as we make books throughout the year I add my example books to the box so the kids can practice re-reading them. As the year progresses I switch out the books based on the season and the children's DRA levels. 
{An old photo but similar to how I set up my library now}

Binders, Drawers and Tubs
Drawers: One of the things that keeps me most organized are my days of the week drawers. I invested in plastic drawers and labeled one for each day of the week and one for copies that needed to be made/papers that need to be refiled. I make all the copies I need for each subject ahead of time, paper clip them together and label them with a sticky note, and put them in the drawer for the day I will need them. I also put Read Aloud books that I need for the day in the drawer (when they fit). I keep my lesson plan binder on top of the drawers with my lesson plans open so I (or my principal) can easily refer to them. 
Binders: I print out my lesson plan/daily schedule for each week and keep it in a binder for easy referencing. My former principal actually required this so he could easily pop in and see what we were working on. I also have many binders for full of all my master copies. At the end of each year I begin copying all the things I will need to begin the next year. I have been working on scanning my master copies into the computer so I can have them in digital form. It saves space, the quality is better, it's easy to print extras quickly (no dashing to the copy room at the last minute!), you can edit and add to them!
Tubs: Keeping items in tubs is super helpful. You can keep them loose or portion them out into ziplock baggies depending on what they are and what you need them for, for example, I had one tub with loose  coins and a tub with coins that were sorted. Kindergarteners love to help sort incase your tubs ever get all mixed up :)
{Community Supplies ~ the students used these at centers, for art projects and when they ran out of glue at their table they got a new one from here}

Thanks so much for stopping by! Again, sorry for the ancient photos! I hope my descriptions were clear. If you have any questions please feel free to ask :) Happy SUMMER!!

For more great tips on how to organize your classroom stop by Laura's Blog Where the Magic Happens and check out all the awesome teachers participating in this Linky Party!