April 26, 2016

Give Your Nose A Treat!

I struggle with grading papers in a timely fashion. There, I said it. I put them in my teacher bag and more times than I care to admit, they come back to school the next day, untouched. I kick myself because when is there time during the day to grade them? Never. So, I came up with this idea to help me do more of my grading in the classroom and it has helped! The answer: Mr. Sketch Scented Markers…or the latest and greatest, Mr. Sketch Scented GEL CRAYONS!!
I loved the Mr. Sketch Markers, but these little darlings are even better and smell even more fabulous! I take one out and make a big deal about it as I carry it around. I say something real dramatic like, "Guess who I have? I have Mr. Blueberry and if you have done your (insert assignment) oh so carefully and completely,  I am going to give your nose a treat!" The kids squeal and if they have not already finished it, they quick get back at it because they know...I will only walk around for so long until it gets put away. LIMITED EDITION you know! I walk quickly around, scan and check. If it is correct, neat and complete I draw smiley face.
The kiddos pick up their paper and smell the scented smiley! A little more smelling goes on as they walk their paper on over to their "mailboxes" where it sits until the end of the day. I am happy because that means it is NOT GOING IN MY teacher bag for me to take home and grade! 
Misson Accomplished.
Here is Mr. Blueberry….and there are 12 more where that one came from. I am one happy teacher and that makes one happy class of firsties and kinders too!

April 22, 2016

An Earth Day Sale for You!

I have joined the #kinderfriends and put my entire TpT store on sale for YOU! I hope you can find some things you LOVE and want to try with your kiddos.
 Here is a list of other teachers who are participating. Check out their stores and sales as well.
Happy Earth Day!

April 18, 2016

Mother's Day Plates

Mother's Day and the Dollar Tree, it's the perfect combination. I would say the Dollar Tree is an amazing place. Amazing because it offers a little of this and a little of that, for just a mere dollar. The possibilities are endless and us teachers can take just about anything in that store and use it in the classroom to teach or somehow turn it into a keepsake! It's just something us teachers can do. They didn't teach us that in college did they?! How about a plate. A plain white dinner plate for a $1. Yes please, I will take 20 of them because in just a few days they will become a plate fit to give a mom for Mother's Day! Just grab a variety of sharpie markers and invite a few students at a time to your table. Talk hearts, portraits and how the word MOM if turned upside down, makes WOW ...and off they go! The tricky part is taking all 20 plates home and back to school without breaking them! Before the students can give them, you have to pop them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 12(ish) minutes. It seals the sharpie marker so it won't come of when it's (hand) washed. I would not chance the dishwasher though! Here are some pictures of how they turned out.

On the back, I added the date and the child's name. And we can now call that done.
Thanks Dollar Tree for making things easy, cheap and oh so cute!!

April 13, 2016

Earth Day! Blog Hop!

I am super excited to be a part of this blog hop for Earth Day. I have joined up with my pals at #kinderfriends to share some EARTH DAY inspiration! Earth day is April 22nd.
I'd like to share a fabulous book, a cool song and a (FREE) mini reader with you. First, a book that I adore. It is called: What if Everyone Did That? I love this book because it certainly gets the kids thinking about how the little things can turn into big things! For example, what if everyone at the zoo threw a piece of popcorn into the lion's cage? Or...What if everyone at the grocery store tried to see just how fast the shopping cart could go? …and the story goes on.
If you can not find it or get it ordered in time, I found it available to view online. Click HERE
I also enjoy Harry's Kindergarten Songs. Ever heard of him? He is a fantastic song writer and he has one perfect for Earth Day. It is called Going Green and it is also available to view online. Click HERE

Finally, I created a mini reader for you. Print, fold and go! It is a reader for young students to read independently, with the teacher or with a partner. I love any kind of paper reader like this because students can take them home after our work with them in the classroom. They get so excited to share what they learned with their parents and that is such a terrific home/school connection.
Click HERE to download it free from my store! 
Don't miss out on all our #kinderfriends! Kitty Kitty Kindergarten is up next, click on over for even more Earth Day ideas!

April 4, 2016

Field Trip Bingo!

Honestly, I do have a love-hate relationship with field trips. I LOVE for the kiddos to experience them but I do not like to plan them, collect the money or coordinate the lunches. Not to mention trying to track down the parent volunteer registration forms for the chaperones. It is just a lot of work. I grumble quietly to myself the whole time, but in the end it turns out to be one of the best days ever!  Just a few weeks ago, we went to a local dairy farm called Dakin Dairy. Now, my school has 9 (yes, nine) first grade classes. We can not all go to the farm on the same day. It might just scare the cows away! So, we have to go on two separate days. It is about a 45 minute drive on the school bus and once we arrive we are whisked off the bus and away we go! The guides let us plant beans, bottle feed baby cows, see a pig race, go on a hay ride, feed goats, see the cows being milked (3 times a day, 365 days a year…mercy!) play on the playground and have a picnic lunch. Super fun.  Super tiring.

The morning of the field trip, the kids come in the classroom super, super excited. I mean there is nothing like field trip excited. (Meanwhile, I am running around trying to take attendance, get lunch boxes in coolers, tag the kids, get the kids into the bathroom, all while looking out the window for the buses that should have arrived 10 minutes ago…LOL!) I try to channel this high voltage energy by asking the kiddos what they think they will see on the field trip and leave it pretty open ended. They are to create a farm bingo board by coming up with 9 different things (draw and label them) that they will see on the trip. The kiddos will put one in each box. The idea being, when they get back from the farm, they will mark off the things that they have seen and hopeful get farm bingo! (3 in a row earns farm bingo!) I love this because it gives them something to do before, during and after the field trip. (They do not take the board with them, it stays on their desk until we get back.) But I tell you, they are thinking about it the whole time. "Mrs. H…I just saw a tree, I had that on my bingo board!" "I saw a barn!" "I saw a swing set!" "I think I got 3 in a row!"
They love it! Here what a completed farm bingo board looks like:
Taking a trip to the farm soon? Interested in giving this a try?
Download your free copy here.

So, what do you do to occupy your kiddos before you go on a field trip?
 I would love to hear your ideas too!