Sunday, November 29, 2015

Top 10 TPT Products in MY classroom

I work with some people who are anti Teachers Pay Teachers. I cannot quite figure it out. Their reasoning is “Why can’t teachers just SHARE? It’s hard enough for teachers the way it is. Why can’t it all be free?”

Then I always wonder “Why won’t Lakeshore give me free things?” or “Why won’t Barnes and Noble give me ALL the books for free?” ... A ridiculous thought! TPT has its own place too and deserves respect!

The funny thing is, they all have TPT resources in their file cabinets or on their desktops...

Anyway, Teachers Pay Teachers ROCKS!
It has totally CHANGED my classroom and my teaching. I feel so intentful about matching Kindergarten with fun, playful, hands-on activities, which rigorously meet the common core expectations. 

As a seller myself, I am so aware of the standards and how to make the most out of a resource.

I wanted to share with you my TOP 10 TPT resources I could not teach without in my classroom. Caution: many of them are my own which I feel enhance my independent groups tremendously!

I cannot say enough about these! The word cards are awesome and aesthetically adorable! But there is a lot of great labeling, story writing, and list writing activities. Perfect for beginning writers!

Look how cute the cards look!

I was SO excited when I purchased this bundle during a site wide sale! It is totally worth it and JAMMED PACK with awesome printables! Perfect for independent work. 

A year ago, I felt my reading was strong and math needed a MAJOR boost. I created these stations to help make purposeful and REPEATABLE games and activities to bring out during my math rotations. 

I love using these printables to help students with phonics! The progression is SO wonderful and can be used with all of my reading groups at different points throughout the year! 

Again, I was so happy when I purchased these as well. These are wonderful resources for a writing station. So many great prompts for sentence writing. Very appropriate for a Kindergarten level - and SO CUTE! 

We've all seen these labels. They are beautifully all over Pinterest! I feel so CUTE and ORGANIZED having these labels in my classroom. They keep my classroom library organized and purposeful for student access!  

I send out a Monthly Homework Calendar each month and have parents initial the days. This eliminates me from sending wasted paper worksheets home. I promote it highly with students and parents and get an awesome turn out!

I love doing Writer's Workshop in KDG. They really can do it and become excellent writers. For a few years, I was pulling resources and KIND of getting results I wanted. I then sat down and created resources that aligned with Lucy Calkins ideas and complied them together. I LOVE using these!

There are many monthly/themed journals on TPT. These are mine. I see lots of great sellers with awesome ones too. I love using monthly journals to build writing and fine motor skills. They also hit many science and social studies standards!

I am not the most organized person with all of my ideas spilling around in my brain. BUT THIS YEAR... I AM AWESOME! All thanks to this wonderful planning binder! It is SO SO SO helpful. 

These are my Top 10 bigger items that I have and use regularly. There are so many other freebies, clip-arts, fonts, and units from other sellers that I love too!

Please leave comments with YOUR favorites!

Happy Shopping with the TPT Cyber Smile Sale!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Apple Week Ideas

Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!
We had a great time this week with our apple theme. I wanted to share some of my favorite apple ideas today! Apples are a great theme in September because you can incorporate reading, math, writing, art, science, and social studies.

In Writer's Workshop we are just starting to discuss the importance and roles of labels. We introduced the concept of labeling by labeling the parts of an apple as a whole group. The students then labeled an apple on their own recording sheet. The page I used was from Kindergarten Smiles Apple Unit (which I LOVE). We used many of her reading and math games as well at stations!

My favorite is probably the apple taste test where the students taste and describe each different colored apple. 

We then enjoy our apples for snack. This year we enjoyed apple cider too! I got the cider decently priced at ALDI.

We created sweet "Happy Apples" to practice simple direction following and to create a craft for our Kindergarten Memory Book. I love how they turned out! Click on the picture to get the template! 

We ended the day by watching Disney's Johnny Appleseed! Always wish there was more time. Can never seem to fit it all in. Hope you had a great Apple Week as well.  What are your favorite apple activities? Leave a comment below! :) 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

First Week Fun

The first week back to school in Kindergarten is 

You just have no idea what is coming in those doors. No matter how many hours you spend planning, you can never be fully prepared for those first few days. J

I wanted to share with you what I do on the first days of Kinder.

Day One
The Kissing Hand

I theme my day around the book: The Kissing Hand. We talk about our feelings about leaving home. We tour the school with my Chester doll and visit all of the places the students will eventually get to go to.

We created a Chester mask. I pre-cut all of the pieces (it is not hard when you put multiple papers back to back and get all of the pieces out).  This is a low-pressure craft that helps them to learn to use school glue.

Then we explore and play in the classroom.
Towards the end of the day, I play a book video of The Kissing Hand for the students again.

Day Two
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

On day 2, we start to focus on letters and our names. We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, a wonderful ABC story. We then make a craft using the letters in our name on a coconut tree. Again, these are PRE-CUT crafts. The students feel successful doing these. I buy ABC foam letters and help the students sort out the letters in their name. I like these because they easily peel off when students incorrectly form their name. Some just do not know yet!
We later watch Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

Day 3

On day 3 we read the story of Chrysanthemum. I love this Kevin Henkes story. We talk of how to be a kind friend. When Chrysanthemum gets teased, she feels very sad and her heart starts to wrinkle. After reading the story. I pull out a big, beautiful red heart. I relate that heart to Chrysanthemum's heart. We talk through the story and how her heart soon starts to wrinkle.

 I say: “You live in the garden with DIRT and WORMS” and then I wrinkle up the heart, quickly and sternly. The kids quiver. We repeat this with other quotes from the book. They get the message. Then we say kind words to help flatten and fix the heart. This activity is POWERFUL. Get the printable here. During play time,  I call students over individually to put a band-aid on the heart and pledge with me to always be a friend and not wrinkle other friends' hearts. 

We also practice making our names. We review The Rainbow Song before we make the names and I also do a demonstration. I tell the students we will hang these in our classroom for decorations all year.

That is the first three days of Kindergarten! We can do many fun things while teaching friendship, how to use school materials, our names, the alphabet, emotional regulation, respect, and more!

Enjoy all the wonders and craziness of back to school!