Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's a sale!

There's a group of Kindergarten bloggers throwing a flash sale tomorrow. That means that it will only be up for a short time! My sale will run all day tomorrow, but will be done at midnight... so be sure to get it before it's gone! :)

In other news, I'm exhausted from the MN Kindergarten Conference. I'll be sure to tell you all about it and share some fun new tips that I learned tomorrow. Right now I am off to fill up my cart for the big sale! 

Have a great night! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wow - I can't believe it!

I couldn't believe when I got up yesterday morning and my FB Fan page had gone from 30 fans to 250+! That was the best surprise ever! So I decided that I wanted to do something for all of my new fans. So I whipped up the Environmental Print "I have... Who has?" game that I talked about earlier this week. I have posted it in my store for FREE!

My kiddos love these kinds of games! This one will be perfect for the first time we teach the game. I always want my students to feel successful and I think this will be a great way to do it. The children can help each other out or they can identify the logo by themselves.

If you aren't familiar with how to play, here are the directions:

Pass out the 24 cards to students. If you have extra cards you may need to give some students more than one card. Another option is to have teachers or any classroom helpers play along!

Have the students look at their cards. The card with the star in the corner is the first card. The child holding this card begins by reading their card, "I have ____. Who has ____?" Students will need to identify their logo/brand on their cards to know when it is their turn to read. The student that has the next card will read theirs, "I have ____. Who has ____?" The game continues until the last student reads their card, "I have ____. That is the end!"

This game keeps everyone paying attention and waiting for their turn! To make your cards last longer you may want to print them on card stock, laminate and then cut!

Click here to download!

I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Environmental Print

One thing that remains the same in my classroom all year long is the environmental print on my classroom Word Wall. I took some time to track down all types of print and put it into a document. All of the grade level uses it now and it is great for the students. I included local businesses as well as nation-wide stores/brands. The students are always so excited to walk in the door and feel that they can read!

I made two sets. One goes on the Word Wall and the other I made into cards to use throughout the classroom.

I printed them onto regular printer paper, but laminated them with my own laminator. I find that they stand up a little bit better this way! You can use regular laminating film, but if they are handled often they will become worn very quickly.

I use the environmental print cards for many different games and activities. One of the first things we do is a large group activity where I simply hold up the card and if they think they know what it says they shout it out. I find that this gets all of the students involved because they don't need to raise their hands and risk being wrong. Soon they are all guessing and the excitement level goes through the roof! My rule is simple - before I can do the next card all voices must be off. I love when the struggling students see a brand that they recognize, shout it out and they suddenly realize that they are "reading!" Those little moments are what I live for!

Another game we play at our word work station in the beginning of the year is a matching game. I pull out the cards and some of my big alphabet letters. The students help me put the letters in order on a table. Then when they get to the station they pull a card out of the basket and put it under the letter that the brand/store starts with. The kids keep adding to it until all of the cards have been used.

My co-worker also came up with a fun idea using the cards for an "I have... Who has?" game. I'm hoping to make them into cards this summer. I'll let you know when they're done!

The main thing that we do with the environmental print is use it for our writing. When the kids are first starting to write words and sentences they can use the print as a starting point. Many students will simply write the words and others will make sentences such as, "I like Legos" or "I go to Target." Either way is fine with me as long as they are practicing their writing skills!

If you are interested in using environmental print in your classroom I have a free download available at my TPT store. I was so excited to see that it has been downloaded over 2500 times! How cool is that?! Click here to download it. If you feel it has been useful to you, I would love if you would follow my store!

One more note about my environmental print. I have included Minnesota sports teams because we live in MN. You would be amazed at how many students can identify the teams!

Make sure you google some for your own state to add to your word wall. :)

Now that I have shared some of my ideas, what are your favorite activities to do with environmental print? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Can Hardly Wait!

I am so excited for this coming week! Three of my favorite girls and I will be going to the conference for Minnesota Pre-K and K Teachers. There are so many reasons why I am excited...
- Great Presenters - Jack Hartmann and Deanna Jump with be there
- New and exciting ideas to use in my classroom
- The chance to collaborate with other K teachers
- Girl time (love this!)
and of course the best part...
- Vendors, vendors, vendors! 

I always come back from these conferences with such amazing ideas. One of Deanna's sessions that I am attending is entitled, "How to Create More Time & Space - Through Organization." Maybe this session will help me tackle the paper monster that takes over my classroom each year. It seems like no matter what I do I end up with papers everywhere. That will NOT happen to me this year! :) I have already spent 3 days of summer break re-filing papers in my classroom. Hopefully a new system will help me stay on top of it! 

Some of the other sessions that I will be attending are:
- Fun with Writing: Mini-Lessons in PreK & K!
- Executive Kindergarten: Promoting Independence
- Intervene & Adjust - with Precision!
- Every 1 Counts: Music & Movement for Math Mastery
- Jump Right In! Integrating Math, Reading, Writing & Fun!
- Fire Up Common Core Literacy with Nonfiction
- Detectives in the Classroom: Digging Deep & Thinking Critically

Since there are 4 of us attending we decided to divide the sessions up so that we could each attend our "must have" sessions, but we could spread ourselves out to get even more ideas. I can't wait to go and I especially can't wait to share new ideas! 

Friday, June 21, 2013


Apparently Google Reader will be disappearing at the beginning of July. This makes me so sad. But the good news is that there is another great resource available that will help us all keep track of our favorite blogs. It is called Bloglovin and it is a-ma-zing! I just downloaded it to my blog and even though it is different than Google Reader it allows me to catch up on all of the latest posts by my favorite bloggers. I'd love for you to follow me!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Monday, June 17, 2013

Alphabet FREEBIE!

One of my favorite things to do with my students at the beginning of the year is to create an alphabet line. Obviously, we have one in our classroom - but students don't have one at home to refer to while reading and writing. I LOVE knowing that every child has one and I've had many students and parents comment that they are still hanging up in their bedrooms a year or two later!

For years I always used one that I found in an old teacher resource book, but it wasn't very "cute" and I'm all about "cute!" I decided to create a simple black and white pattern for the students to use to create their own. They can color it however they want, but it is also a good chance for me to start the discussion on how to color neatly and appropriately. Blue apples and a purple sun are fun, but are they real?! 

There are also spaces for the children to make a number line. The numbers are listed and I have the students use small stamps to add the correct number to each box. This is usually one of their first times using stamps in class so I need to go over the procedures and do a lot of modeling beforehand. 

Click here to get a FREE copy!

I hope that you will enjoy these in your classroom! I would love to hear from you. What types of activities do you like to do with your students the first week of school? 

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Blog Design!

I just updated my blog design and absolutely love it! Just a quick shout-out to Alicia at DreamLike Magic. She does an amazing job and is very reasonable! Thanks for the brown-eyed girl! Isn't she cute!?

Check out her blog designs at Dreamlike Magic!