Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spooktacular TPT Sale and Halloween Graph Freebie!!

Hi Friends...Kerri here!
I can't believe we have STILL not had Halloween yet!! I mean, come on...just get this thing over with already! Are your kids a spun as mine are?? Seriously,  like little jumping beans all over my classroom AND we still have to teach them on Halloween! Thankfully, in our district, the kids don't have school on Tuesday, so the teachers can RECUPERATE with a little staff development! HA!
I forgot to take pictures of our Haunted House art yesterday...BOO...oh well. We direct drew a Haunted House on brown construction paper with a black sharpie, cut it out and added foamy Halloween stickers to decorate. No biggie, but they came out cute! Have I mentioned that I am a hoarder of foamy stickers (Halloween, Valentines, ABC's, what have you...) I can't get enough of them. That reminds me...I better get out to Michaels today and get some more! :)

I have a little freebie for you...A spooky spooksters Halloween Graph! I use plastic Halloween themed rings that I picked up a few years ago, but I also included picture cards if you don't have the rings. Copy as many card sets as you need, put various amounts of each type of card into a baggy and let your little pumpkins sort and graph to their hearts content. It may be too late for many of you, but save it for next year!! Hope you can use it!
Click on the picture to download...Clip art courtesy of DJ INKERS :)
Halloween Spooksters Graph

ALSO...In honor of that lovely holiday LOOMING over our heads, I have decided to throw a 
TPT SALE!! That's right...everything in my TPT store (all 5 items!) are 20% off through Hallowen. You can still get your Thanksgiving Words writing pack for next week...on SALE!!
Click the links above to head on over, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Broken Bones, Bats, and a Thanksgiving Words BONUS!!

Hi Friends! Kerri here...
Whew!! What a crazy couple of days. My daughter's Sunday started like this at a friends birthday party...

And then turned into this at the Emergency room....

Which turned into this the next day...

Both bones BROKEN in her arm from falling off the monkey bars at the park!! AAAAARRGH! And such a HUMONGOUS cast! Can you tell she is a wee bit dramatic?? She must get that from her Dad! :)
So, we have had a hard couple days around here! But she is my little trooper and has been enjoying all of the attention from her friends and family!!

In other news, we have been learning about BATS!! So fun! I can't wait to compare them to OWLS which we learned about a couple of weeks ago. Here are a couple of batty photos from our class...

We drew Bat diagrams and labeled the parts. They came out pretty darn hilarious, if I do say so myself. Aren't first graders' drawings just the best thing ever?? We also used our Bats anchor chart to write our first "Hamburger" (Topic, 3 details, closing) story about bats. The kids dug it and I am so proud of their writing! Check 'em out...

Click on the bat to download a copy of the bat writing paper!

Finally, for those of you who purchased my Thanksgiving Words Writing Pack from TPT (Thank you so very much!!)  I made another little activity to go with it! So now you get 5 activities to use with the Thanksgiving Words Mats! BONUS!!
It is similar to the costume party match-ups I made last week. Basically, you cut the picture cards apart, have the kids match them to their describing sentence, and complete the recording worksheet. Lots of good practice with describing words, sentence writing, and vocabulary building! Good stuff peeps!!
Click on the picture below to download your copy! 

That's all for now!! Goodnight Peeps!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Catchin' On To Our Color Words!

Happy Monday Blogging Buddies!  Lindsay here . . .

It's so strange to be at home creating things for my dear little kinder kiddos who I haven't even met yet!  I am excited to see what progress they have made so far this year, and ready to help them really take off and get ready for first grade when I return to school next month!

One of the things that always amazes me is how quickly these kiddos pick up their sight words!  We practice writing them, tracing them, singing and dancing them (HeidiSongs anyone?? Love her!), hunting for them in text and around our classroom . . . we even play dice games with them!  Of the 40 words that my kiddos learn, they are responsible for also learning their color words.  This freebie is a great practice for color words.  Your kinders will cut out the color words and glue them onto the worksheet to match the words, then practice writing the word themself, and finally color in the box in each row the correct color! 

Click on the worksheet image below to link up with the whole PDF file. Enjoy!

Off now to pick up the house, finish the laundry, eat and who knows what all else before baby wakes up . . .


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Deconstructed Jack-o-lantern Art!

Happy Saturday, friends!! Kerri here...
We had so much fun making art this week! I cannot take credit for this art project...I got it from my wonderful next door teaching neighbor, Mrs. Bell. Last year, this project shall I put it... A HOT MESS, but this year, it was MUCH MUCH better! Fabulous in fact! My class this year is SO artistic, and I am so proud of how neatly they print. It really does make life a whole lot easier. Now, if they could just perfect their self-control, we would be GOLDEN! (Can I get an AMEN??)
We made a magic oval (cut the big corners and then the baby corners) out of a rectangle and then used our *RULERS* to draw straight lines that were equi-distant apart. Wow, did they feel FANCY using their rulers. It was so cute! After drawing the lines, they cut the pumpkin apart and then had to glue it back together like a puzzle. This part was TRICKY, but they all pulled it out in the end! Here they are...
love the mouth on this one

Cyclops eye

Happy pumpkin

I love how bright and festive and unique they are. For the writing, we used candy corn paper and wrote the poem:
Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Big and Fat.
Turn into a 
Just like that!

Click on the candy corn for the candy corn paper.

I also wanted to share a couple of pictures of the Halloween Words Writing Center in action. I am BLOWN AWAY by how much my kids have grown in their writing after using these mats for just 2 months...
One of my ELL students writing.  He wrote " I got scared from a mummy." Cuteness!

Don't forget to pick up your Thanksgiving Words Writing Pack from my TPT store to use with your kiddos. Only one more week until November! I CANNOT believe we are going to have Thanksgiving upon us before we know it. YIKES!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Costume Party Literacy Freebie!

Hi Friends!! Kerri here...
Thank you so much to those of you who have purchased the Costume Party Math Center and Thanksgiving Words Writing Pack on TPT! As a thank you, I have created a freebie for your lit centers using the oh-so-cute Costume Kids!
We are starting to work on identifying describing words in my classroom. To help my kiddos practice their reading skills AND look for adjectives, while at the same time experiencing the glorious cuteness of the Costumed Kids, I made this little center. Basically, the kids match the costume kid card to it's corresponding describing sentence, choose 5 of the match-ups, and write the sentences on the recording paper. For a *BONUS* (my kids love bonuses!), they can underline or circle the describing words in the sentences they wrote. Depending on how long your centers are, I added an extension activity so they could draw the 5 costumes that they chose to write about. Make sense??
If you have already purchased my Costume Party Math Center, this will be a perfect tie in for your lit centers. If you haven't bought it yet, what you waitin' for, girls?? :)

Click on the picture to download your copy of my Costume Party Match-Ups, and leave us a comment, would ya?? We heart comments!!
P.S. I'll be back tomorrow with my weekly art post, and I am working on a Thanksgiving Words Freebie to go with the Thanksgiving Words Writing Pack, to be posted soon! See ya!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Costume Party Math Center!! Cutey Cuteness...

Hi Friends! Kerri here...I found these super adorable costume kiddos last Spring on Scrappin' Doodles and I just knew they had to be mine. Check 'em out...

Aren't they just so cute and festive?? 

I wasn't sure how to use them until I started teaching my kiddos Part/Part Whole for addition and subtraction in Pearson. WOW...that sure is a fun thing to do...NOT! My little chitlins are looking at me like I am speaking gobbledygook! Well..(lightbulb over head moment!)  I found the perfect little activity to help my little cuties work on part/part whole for addition and subtraction...

My "Costume Party" Addition and Subtraction Math Center...just in time for Halloween! This center can be used twice, once for addition and the second time through, to reinforce what has already been learned and to focus on subtraction. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy. You can check it out here at my TPT store.

While you are there, don't forget to pick up your Thanksgiving Words Writing Pack and get a jump start on your November planning and prepping. Here are some preview pics... 

Thanks fellow educators! Hope y'all have a great week!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Word Mats!!

Hi Friends! Kerri here...
I can't believe that we are halfway to November!! I have just uploaded my Thanksgiving Words Writing Packet onto Teachers Pay Teachers. In addition to the word mats and cover sheet that are standard, I have beefed up this packet and included 3 more writing activities that you can use the whole month, centered around the Thanksgiving Words!

Included are:
Thanksgiving Words Mat, Book Cover, and lined writing paper
An ABC Order activity 
A Rebus Sentences activity 
A Thanksgiving Words Story writing paper 

If you have used my September and October words, you won't want to pass up the Thanksgiving Words. They have become a staple in my classroom for the past 10 years, and I see incredible growth with my students' vocabulary and writing skills by using them every month.

I hope you will support my little store and purchase your set soon!! Click on the cornucopia to go to my TPT store...

Thanks peeps! Happy Saturday...
Kerri B

Friday, October 14, 2011

Owl pellets and skeleton art!

Hi Friends, Kerri here...
Isn't Lindsay's baby the CUTIEST CUTIE EVER?? And he is HUGE! Already 13 pounds and 24 inches. I told her he is going to be a linebacker for sure! 

Well, I survived another week of strange, weird weather! Last week, it chucked down buckets of rain for 2 days straight, which, for us here in Cali, is MAJOR NEWS. You woulda thought the kids had never seen it before, seriously, they were whacky!  This week, it was close to 100 degrees for 2 days straight, and then today, during afternoon recess duty, the fog LITERALLY rolled in from the ocean, it got chilly and windy, and it started misting on us. CRAZY, WACKY, WEATHER!

In other news, we dissected our owl pellets today, and it was the BOMB DIGGIDY!! I ordered the owl pellets from Discount Owl Pellets for only $11 (and this was more than enough for the class). After I stopped gagging in my mouth while passing them out to my kiddos (not even joking), and got past the initial ugliness of the pellet itself, the whole process was totally RAD! Thanks to my 7th grade science teacher husband, who provided tweezers, sorting worksheets, and some scientifical knowledge...and about 8 fantastic parent helpers, we has THE. MOST. FUN. EVER. finding all of the little bits of bone in our pellets. Check out our pictures!
Super Scientific Bone Sorting Worksheet. I told my kids that these were from my husband, the "scientist" and they got all stoked!

Gotta love the teamwork with these 2 little pumpkins! 

Over-exposured photo of one of the skulls on the paper plate. Doesn't it look cool??

After that, we made our skeleton art to go with our skeleton facts writing that we did yesterday. I read them an old school book about the human skeleton (still cute, but from the 80's I think?) and then we made an anchor chart to remember all of the facts we learned. (BOO...I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was NOTHING fancy schmancy) 
Yes...I did attempt to both of these activities in one day, *due to the extreme heat yesterday skeleton art was out of the question*, and YES, I did question my own sanity by the end of the day. My mom, who helps every Friday, also wondered about my questionable lesson planning. Oh well, we survived, and the kids rocked the FACES off their skeletons! Yes...they are completely anatomically incorrect, I know, but still darn cute!  These guys have been around forever...I think we have been making them for about 8 or 9 years now? Anyway, EVERY YEAR I hate hate hate cutting those Q-tips in half...what a pain!
This one is waving!

This one has ballerina toes and a HUGE smile! Love it!
If you would like a copy of the skeleton writing paper, click on the skeleton below...

What do you all do for skeletons and bones?? I would LOVE to know!! Leave me a comment and give me the deets!
XOXO Kerri

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oh baby! I'm back . . .

Hey there blogger buddies!!! 

Wow!  How is it October already?! Y'all must have thought I fell off the face of the earth in September or something . . . Thank goodness Kerri has been hard at work creating fabulousness to share!!

Well, first of all . . . . (drumroll please) . . . I would like to introduce Mr. Jackson Joseph Messner!!  Born August 23 weighing all of 9 lbs. 15.5 oz.  (My mom - also a teacher - was quite perturbed that they didn't just say ten pounds.  "Don't these people know how to round??!!"  Love you mom!!)

Here are the proud mommy and daddy - and baby!  Check out all that hair!  Actually, we weren't at all surprised about his hair . . . but we were shocked he wasn't born with a 5 'clock shadow like daddy!

And here is peaceful, sleeping Jack.  We're lovin' his perfect baby mouth and the lovely sound of his snoring!!

Life has been a wonderful, crazy ride since our little man arrived.  My days consist of feeding, diapers, and lots of naps . . . for Jack that is!  He has decided that his favorite (an only!) place to nap is right on mom's right shoulder.  Sure makes it hard to keep up with the blogging . . . or answer the phone . . . sheesh, its hard to get anything done these days!  But in the back of my mind the countdown is on until I have to return to work in November, so I am soaking up every snuggle and smile until then and paying absolutely no attention to the fact that my right arm has fallen asleep and there is a crick in my neck! :)

Being away from school, in the meantime, has been so surreal.  I have not yet met my kinder class for this year, but I am getting excited to meet them all and let the fun begin.  Having a substitute start the year with my kiddos was really tough . . . (How were my kiddos gonna learn how to rotate through centers the *right* way without me???!!  Would there be magic play doh awaiting them on their tables the very first day??!!  What if they learned the wrong motions for the Alphafriends song - YIPES!!)  Okay, well I was definately learning a lesson in GIVING UP CONTROL (thanks Kerri, for opening my eyes to that which was so obvious to everyone else), and it turns out, things are okay without me!  Well, at least until November . . . then I'll be whipping that class into shape!  Just kidding. Sort of.

Anyway, I thought I would share this Seasons Graph with you - its a great math activity to do as a group any time of the year!  In addition to graphing, you can have your kiddos practice comparing - greatest, least, more than, less than, etc.  Enjoy!

Just click on the picture above to access the file! :)

Anyhow, I am off to feed the little man . . .and perhaps squeeze in a shower here sometime today?  (Too much info?  C'mon, all you mommies who have had infants know what I'm talking about!!)

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Lindsay (Jack's mommy!)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Owl art and a couple freebies!!

Happy Friday night, friends!! Kerri here...
Anyone else as exhausted as I am tonight? Cuz seriously, I am BEAT. I couldn't even stay up last night for The Office (BEST. SHOW. EVER.) What a wimp I've become!

Drumroll they are, the super fabulous OWLS!! This one I created about 5 years ago when I taught Kinder, and it may just be my most favorite art project we do all year. We have been doing all sorts of owl activities this week, and next week we will be dissecting owl pellets (soooo gross, I can't even think about it)  I am hoping to recruit some manly dads to come in and help my kiddos dissect their owl pellets, so I don't have to touch them! HA! 

I heart them! We also copied an owl poem with our most perfect penmanship EVER (well, that was the hope anyway!) on some owl writing paper that I made, and eventually the two will be glued side by side and saved for their First Grade Adventure book. Click on the owl to get a copy of the owl writing paper...

I also made up some high frequency words cards for Theme 2 and Theme 3 of Houghton Mifflin that the kidlets can use to practice their spelling, practice reading, whatevas... If you use HM for reading and you want 'em, here you go!! Click the pumpkin to download your set. I plan on making more sets for themes 4-10 as the year goes on, matchy matchy to the season of course! :)

See ya later!! Have a fab weekend. I will be spending mine cutting our lamination, grading papers, and doing laundry. Oh joy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall Tear Art

Hi Friends! Kerri here....
I remembered my camera today!! YAY me!! So I thought I would post a couple of pics of our Fall Tree tear art, which I got from the *TOTALLY AWESOME* "Fall" art book from Kaye Espinosa's TLC ART website:  
It is really fantastic, and if you are unsure about getting rid of patterns and tracers in your classroom, then this book is THE PERFECT way to start. Kaye gives step by step directions, helpful hints, and illustrations of each step. She also has one for each season, so you can have a whole year of projects ready to go!

Aren't they bee-u-tiful?? I am so proud of my kiddos and each one is so unique!  I decided to have them copy a poem to include with the art, but most of the time they do some sort of writing activity and I include that.

We also have a bulletin board on our front door that our wonderful parents decorate for us each month. Isn't my October door so awesome?? (Thank you to Tyler's mom!!) It fits perfectly with our Fall tree art!!

This week's project is an owl, and boy oh boy, those come out HILARIOUS!! Bird feet...not so easy for firsties to conquer, but the results are always FAB!

Toodles for now! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Owls sentence scramble for FREEEE!!!

Hi Friends! Kerri here again...
Well, I am super bummed because I forgot to take pictures of our fantastic Fall Tree tear art yesterday. Boo! I will take pictures on Monday and post them then. They sure came out cute!

You may or may not know that I am O to the B to the S...OBSESSED with owls. They are everywhere in my life! Jewelry, bags, knick knacks, notepads, what have you. I love all of it! (Hmmm, maybe my next tattoo should be an owl??) 

ANYWAY...We will be starting our 2 week unit on owls next week. Of course, I was inspired by Deanna Jump's incredible owl unit, and the girls over at Made for First Grade have a really great unit called "Creatures of the Night" on owls AND bats, which I also purchased. Can't wait to use them this month with my kiddos!

Using the fantabulous DIGITAL DOODLES clip art, I made up a little owl sentence scramble to share with YOU, friends! These owls, while not the correct colors you might see in nature, are the CUTEST owls EVER, and I know my owls!  I just know my kiddos are gonna go bananas when they see 'em! Hope your will too!
Click on the owl to download, print out, laminate, and put in your lit centers!!

P.S. I need some more owl ideas! Any other goodies out there you have found or made? I would love the deets!!