October 10, 2016

What a Treat!

Happy October! Today it is all about TREATS for TEACHERS with #Kinderfriends!!
Why not? Afterall, it is October! This is the month of Costumes. Candy. Pumpkins. Jack-o-lanterns. Treats. Who wouldn't be excited??! Well, maybe not teachers as much. Halloween is on a dreaded Monday this year! Yes. A Monday! Well, for me...it doesn't HAVE to be October to give my students treats! I don't exactly call them treats, but that is basically what they are! Treats are fun, they are positive and they are motivating. Throughout the year, I do a math fluency weekly check. It's called Gumball Math. When a student masters a level, in a given about of time they earn a real gumball. What a treat!
My daily behavior is a light system (star, green, yellow or red.) And as a bonus, if a student earns three stars in one week, they get to pick from the classroom Star Jar. Inside there are little folded cards with things like: shoes off for the day, a new eraser, bring in a small stuffed animal for the day, extra ipad time, a new pencil ...and even the coveted school lunch date with the teacher! What a treat!
I also use a mystery walker incentive when we travel in the hallways. Basically I randomly choose a stick (with a student's name) from a jar as I exit the classroom. Students don't know who it is and I watch this person all the way to and from. If they were a fantastic example, they get one of these items on their desk until the next mystery walker earns it. Then it gets passed on. (These are random little things - some seasonal. Some not...it's like gold to my students!) What a treat!
I also have this old wood teacher chair that I gave new life to with some paint. I sit in it in our whole group area. This chair is up for grabs in my room. It can be traded for a student's chair as a special reward too. What a treat!
 On Friday, we have FROG time, which is just an acronym for Free play Rewarded On Good Behavior (it is tied to returning homework too.) I bought these Jelly Beadz on amazon and put just 4 teaspoons (which was not even a 1/4 of the bag) in a container with water for 6 hours and they all swelled up to be the size of a small marble. Tons of beautiful colors and absolutely irresistible to not touch! Place them inside a good size clear plastic tub with some spoons and small bowls, even perhaps a few oversized plastic tweezers and it instantly becomes a sensory tub with an opportunity to strengthen fine motor. Why not sort the colors? Throw in some plastic letters and now there is an academic twist. What a treat!
 I try to keep seasonal things in my Literacy Centers to keep them interesting; like these Halloween pencils from the Target Dollar Spot. Now they all want to write, write, write! What a treat!
And finally we have a birthday spot in the classroom. It is the place the birthday boy or girl goes on their special day and chooses a crazy balloon straw and a birthday bracelet! What a treat!
Treats! They are fun and the kids really respond well. I also have a treat for all Teachers today on my blog! A chance to win a $25 dollar gift card to teacherspayteachers.com. All you have to do is follow my store to be entered for a chance to win it. Please enter the rafflecopter below and the winner will be announced on the 15th of October. So check back to find out who wins this teacher treat!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Lots more Blog Hop Giveaways with my other #Kinderfriends. Next check out Cristina with The Primary Besties! Don't miss her giveaway.

September 12, 2016

Swinging into School: Let 'Em See You Be Silly!

I don't know about you but that Back To School season gets me every single year. Seriously, it is pure exhaustion and once that last darlin' leaves my room,  I am not good for much. And guess what my family wants when I get home? Dinner. Can you believe that?! Well, I would say this qualifies as such, but they are not buying it.
Safe to say, the Back to School season pretty much takes over my life. And while I try to pace myself by using part of my summer to prepare, it is always a mad rush to finish - which usually ends up with me shoving a few things in the closet and closing the door the night of Meet the Teacher. Anyone with me?That first day of school is a whirlwind which I have over planned for! But really I just have one goal; to have fun with my students and wanting them to come back on day two for even more! How? I let them see me be silly with a few strategic songs.  And who is the silliest, Dr. Jean of course! Once the madness of the first day has started (and I have gotten the kids "settled" and the parents on their way) I bring them to the carpet and teach them Dr. Jean's song "Hello, Neighbor!"
It goes something like this:
Hello Neighbor (wave)
What do you say? (shrug your shoulders, palms up)
It's going to be a happy day (snap your fingers right then left above your head)
Greet your neighborhood (shake hands with someone close)
Boogie on down (do the twist and get low)
Give a bump (hip bump *gentle* with a partner)
And turn around (just like it says, turn around)
Then it repeats 2 times and ends with ....And then sit down!
THEY LOVE IT! Promise. I then read a little first day of school story and do a little activity that goes with it....and then once they get wiggly I bring them back to the carpet and we do Wally Ache! ...another Dr. Jean Song. And I let them watch me be silly AGAIN! This one looks so crazy that I had to video myself to show you how the movements go.
Watch Me!
Sorry about the quality...and I am half asleep but you get the gist of it. LOL! The motions "cross the midline" and help the brain become more alert! It is the perfect brain exercise if you ask me. At first, the kids just stare at me like, huh? Then they can't help themselves....and they try it. It is everything I can do to not giggle because their hands are all over the place as they process the moves ...and reach for their nose and ear in every which way. It is not long and they get it. And they beg for this one over and over again. Promise. We move on to specials or lunch and when we get back we read another story, or I teach them how to get a drink from the fountain, push in their chair or line up (those are things you can never take for granted Kindergarten - or First Grade for that matter.) Once we finish that....I get silly one last time!
It's an oldie but goodie....Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. I tell them I can ONLY do it 3 speeds. 
Medium speed. Fast speed. And Sloooooooow - mo  speed. And I go soooooooo slow it is painful.
By the time I finish on slow-mo speed they are like, who in the world is this lady, and where is the real teacher? It is hilarious. We have fun on that first day, silly and all ....and they can't wait to come back for day two! My teacher mission is complete! You can download any of those two silly Dr. Jean songs on iTunes. Just search for the titles. It is the best .99 cents you have ever spent. Promise.
Thanks for hanging with me through this long post. I have a Back to School FREEBIE for you too!
My Kinderfriends and I have put some of our Back To School resources on sale. To find them on Teacher Pay Teachers, just search #kinderfriends and they will come up.
Here is one of a few you can find on sale in my store this week.
Now, click on over to Elaine's - Kitty Kitty Kindergarten blog for even more ideas to get your school year off to a swinging start! She has some lifesaver tips and tricks, don't miss them.
Thanks for visiting my blog, my kinder friends and I thank you!

September 8, 2016

Apples! Apples! Apples! Freebie and a Giveaway!

Happy September! Fall is fast approaching in many parts of the US, but for me here in Florida, not so much. We don't really have seasons but I do love all things Fall, Pumpkin and Apple! I have linked up with my friends at K-2 Collaborative again to provide YOU with the chance to win a TpT gift card! ...and some really FABULOUS Apple, Fall and even Johnny Appleseed activities.

I bet you are familiar with Scholastic! I order books through their bookclubs.
I also LOVE using Scholastic News which correlates to the Florida Standards for Socials Studies/Science.
But have you seen some of their fantastic (free) videos? I love this one in particular! Especially since I live in an area where apples do not grow. It is a "Let's Find Out" Apple Video from Scholastic's website! It is a super basic video with clear information just perfect for Kindergartners and First Graders too! Before watching the video, use my free vocabulary cards to highlight some of the vocabulary that will be heard.
After discussing the vocabulary, watch the Scholastic video.
Click here to start the video! 
Follow up with this interactive labeling and note taking activity. Students will label and write the inside and outside parts of an apple and finish up with what apples; can, are and have. 
I hope you can use these with your kiddos! 
Click HERE to download my ALL ABOUT APPLES freebie.
Before you go, enter for a chance to win a TpT gift card using the rafflecopter. 
There are so many more links below to some pretty amazing (free) FALL resources just for September! Happy Fall Ya'll.

August 11, 2016

First Day of School "Jitter Glitter" and a Giveaway

I have an idea for you for back to school plus I have joined together again this month to giveaway 3 TpT gift cards for $50 each! (Whoa! How fun is that?!)
 There are so many creative and clever ideas out there to give the kiddos for back to school!  One of my favorites is to give them a little jitter glitter. Have you heard the story First Grade Jitters? So fun! If you are not a first grade teachers, no worries...check out this book, First Day Jitters! I found this poem on pinterest and added it to a card. The kids read the poem and  put it under their pillow the night before the first day of school. I am lucky enough meet my students a couple of days before, so it works out perfectly.
Jitter Glitter is pretty quick and easy! You can choose any kind of glitter, any color card stock...can't go wrong.
First, I print mine out on yellow card stock.
Then, I fold it in half length wise (so it opens like a card.)
Last,  I cut it in half so I have two cards. Finally, I pour a little glitter inside a small plastic bag and staple it inside.
And there you have it...a cute little gift for your students to calm their first day jitters. Click HERE to download it for free. 
Got some colorful craft feathers? Maybe you'd rather send a "so tickled to meet you letter" instead! Find that for sale in my store! Click HERE. Before you go, please enter to win one of 3 TpT $50 gift cards from iteach K-2 Collaborative. Enter our rafflecopter by following one or more teachers. 
I hope you have a terrific school year!! There are so MANY wonderful back to school ideas, just click the links below read about even more.


July 6, 2016

iTeach Linky - Our "Christmas" In July!

Christmas? Well, No. But hopefully it will feel just like it as you make your way through our iteach Linky!
My iteach friends and I have joined together and have put our stores on sale, created a freebies for you to download …not to mention you can win one of 4 prizes! This has to be just as exciting as Santa on Christmas Eve!
First, here is my freebie. 
Click here to download it.

Then, stop by my store to shop. It is 20% off from July 6-9th. 

Last, enter to win some BIG prizes! I say BIG because we are offering chances to win 5 different prizes! Yes, five of them! Feels like Christmas, right? Prizes include: 3 - $50 gift cards to TpT,  1 - $50 gift card to Target, and a $100 gift card from Teaching in the Tongrass.
Below is the Raffelcopter, enter for a chance to win!!

May 18, 2016

Book Bash Blog Hop

I am so excited to join this fabulous group of KINDERFRIENDS to bring you a blog hop BOOK BASH!! Our goal is to share some of our favorite book titles and fun ways to use them in the classroom. So exciting!!

So, I am not going to lie, my teacher closet is stuff from floor to ceiling with books…it is my weakness, but teaching for 10+ years and well, you might say the collection is a little extreme. So for this blog hop it was a bit tricky to settle on just one book to feature. But, I managed! Have you heard of the book, The Big Wide Mouthed Frog? It is one of my "quick" favorites because it is funny and humorous but presents an important lesson to kids in a playful way. Perfect, right? …oh,  and the conversations kids have around this big wide mouthed character are ….priceless!
If you can't get the book, no worries! Just click on the link below and the book will be read to your students.
Watch the Video Here
I have something just for you, it is my sequencing activity for this adorable little story! To download it for free, just go to my TpT store. Once you get there, click the PREVIEW button and it is yours! I do hope you and your students love this story and activity!!
Download it for free here
If you'd like the entire packet add it to your wish list. There are so many more fun activities included if you buy the entire resource - like the little retelling cards!
Thanks for stopping by! Now it is time to continue on with our #KINDERFRIENDS BOOK BASH blog hop! Elaine with Kitty Kitty Kindergarten has a fabulous book and activity to share with you too! Click on her button below to hop on over to her blog.
Thanks for stopping by!

May 1, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Week Giveaways

Teachers, this is our week. A week set aside to honor us. Wherever you are in the teaching world, I hope this week there is a special moment, where you feel true appreciation! 
My gift to you is a little superhero teacher poster for your classroom. Choose the one the best suits you. I hope you love it.
The ITEACH K-2 teachers are linking up with me to share our appreciation of YOU! Follow the links to gather even more gifts. Also enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 TpT Gift Card.
a Rafflecopter giveaway