Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bats, Haunted Houses, and a Spooky SALE!

Hiya Peeps! I'm baaack...
We had a SUPER busy week last week, learning about Bats and making Haunted Houses. Let's begin, shall we?
We spent 2 weeks learning about bats. The first thing we did was make a circle map for bats...
Then we used this fabulous worksheet from Anna over at Crazy for First Grade to write down 4 bat facts we had learned...
We also made a Bats tree map (Where did I get his? I love it!! Please tell me if it is yours, fellow bloggers!) 
and a Double Bubble map comparing/contrasting Bats and Owls (We learned about owls the first 2 weeks in October)...
We culminated our unit with a direct draw/labeling activity and Bats facts writing (using our Tree Maps to help us!)...TADA!!

We glue or all of our scientifical writing/maps/worksheets in a science notebook, and I save them for the end of the year. It is muy impressive to see all of their science in one place, and they feel very grown-up and fancy using a science notebook!!

We also made uber-cute Haunted Houses to celebrate my favorite holiday! (Snark snark!) These are SUPER easy. First, we step drew a haunted house on brown and traced it with our beloved sharpies. Next, we cut it out and glued it onto dark blue. We added a moon and 2 tombstones for extra added spookiness. Finally, I let them choose 8 foamy Halloween shapes (Thank you Michaels!) and stick them wherever their little hearts desired. They were in H-E-A-V-E-N!!

After the art was done, we used it as inspiration to write Haunted House stories, using the fabulous writing paper from What the Teacher Wants (LOVE IT!!) Aren't they spookilicious?? And easy peasy lemon squeezy too!
We also did my Costume Party Part/Part/Whole Math Center this week, and they kiddos LOVED it! Okay, it was probably due to the fact that they got to use the spooky erasers, but whatever gets 'em excited, right??

You can pick this little diddy up for 20% off (which makes in just $1.60-come on now!!) along with lots of other fun centers through tomorrow (10/29, not 10/28) at both Lindsay and my TPT stores!! Check them out!

Saying a little prayer for all of my East Coast blogging buddies today. Praying you'll all be safe and sound through that giant storm!!
Take Care...
Kerri B

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spooktacular SALE, and a winner!!

Happy Friday, Peeps! Kerri here...
I'm gonna keep this SHORT and SWEET because I'm walking out the door to dinner, and I promise I will be back tomorrow with Bats and  Haunted Houses, but I just wanted to let you know that Lindsay and I will be throwing a little SALE in both of our TPT stores, to celebrate the upcoming Halloween/Fall Festivities!!

Here are some items from my (Kerri's) TPT store that might get you all excited to celebrate Halloween or Fall with your kidlets...

Lindsay has this adorable set of Spooky centers in her store, perfect for your Kindergarten kidlets!!

Finally, here is the winner of the Educational Insights gift code giveaway! Thank you all for playing along...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll be back tomorrow! Happy a fabulous Friday!
Kerri B

Friday, October 19, 2012

Goofy Pumpkinheads FREEBIE!

Happy Friday, Peeps!! Kerri here...

Can I just say "TGIF!!"" with ALL CAPITAL LETTERS! My word, what a week! Let's just say that I was at school 2 days in a row at 7:00 a.m. (One of the days for a leadership meeting, the other day I THOUGHT we had a leadership meeting, but we did not. DANGIT!) and another day I had to take my parents to the airport at 7:00 a.m. 
And then there was the massive allergy attack that hit me yesterday morning in the middle of our AR time and lasted the entire day! My kids were seriously freaked out by all of my sneezing and snotty nose running. It was disgusting.  Suffice it to say, last night I was asleep on the couch at 7:30. My poor husband, having to deal with a tired, snotty nosed, crabby wife!

Today was better because A: IT'S FRIDAY, Y'ALL!! and B: I have all my pull-outs on Fridays, so I basically teach all of 5 minutes (well, after centers and AR of course!) the whole day. It is GLORIOUS! Combined with Baja Fish Taco for dinner (DELISH!) and frozen yogurt, and I am one happy lady!

Anyway, back to the blog post at hand. Yesterday, amidst all of the sneezing and nose running, we managed to make some pretty hilarious goofy pumpkinheads that I first saw from Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching (I LOVE her blog, by the way!!) I knew that we HAD to make them since they were sooo silly. So, introducing our Goofy Pumpkinheads!!

Aren't they a HOOT?? We also practiced writing this poem in our VERY BEST first grade printing...

Mr. Pumpkin
Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Round and fat
Turn into a
Just like that!

Here are the dimensions that I used if you would like to your little pumpkinheads to make these next week:
Pumpkin- 12 x 9 orange cut into a magic circle with a little V cut out of the top.

Stem- 2 x 1.5 inch dark brown. Cut one corner off the top and cut both sides wavy like a pumpkin stem.

Eyes- 3 x 6 inches folded in half. Cut the folded paper into a magic circle and then cut one of the circles smaller than the other.

Eyeballs- 3 x 1.5 black folded in half. Cut the folded paper to make a magic circle and again cut one of the circles smaller that the other.

Mouth- 3 x 6 inch black. Cut the bottom 2 corners and make round. 

Teeth- 1.5 x 2 white. Fold paper in half the long way and cut in half. Cut little rectangles out of both strips of paper and go to town gluing your teeth in the mouth (This is my favorite part, of course!)

Here is a copy of the poem writing paper (via Google docs) if you are interested in that as well...

Well, I'm off to cut out about 100 feet of laminate for my new Spooktacular Math and Lit Centers...

We will be well into the Halloween Spirit next week using these centers! Can't wait! 
I'll be back this weekend to announce the winners of our Educational Insights Giveaway...stay tuned!
Have a happy weekend, Peeps!!
XOXO Kerri

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another RAD Giveaway, a Monster Catcher FREEBIE, and Halloween (darn it!)

Happy Monday, Friends! Kerri here...
I have yet ANOTHER awesome giveaway for you, but first you have to hear me rant about Halloween. Halloween is here people, and there ain't a thing we can do to stop it! I have been in denial for 15 days now, but I'm afraid I'm just going to have to give in and go with it!

You see, I am not a giant fan of this holiday, AND HERE'S WHY. My kids slowly but surely turn into MANIACS in the days leading up to this lovely holiday. Anyone with me?? I barely have to mention the "H" word and I hear all 23 little voices telling me about what their costume is going to be AT THE SAME TIME 5 times a day.

Por ejemplo, today one of my littles asked my excitedly during calendar time if we could count down the days to Halloween, and I promptly told her "NOPE! It's too far away to count the days til Halloween. Sorry. Not happening." Of course, one of my smarties out-smarted me and had already done the math, announcing to the class "16 days to go!!" DagNabit!

Not to mention the copius amounts of candy that is delivered both to my house by my own daughter's trick-or-treating, AND all of the candy that the school collects to donate, which OF COURSE, I have to sample on a daily basis until they truck it away (I can't help it...I lose all my will power come recess time). Blech...I am feeling ill just typing about it!

However, my motto is "If you can't beat 'em,  join 'em!" If my firsties want to be obsessed about Halloween, then they're gonna do some darn good learning in the process! Hence, the birth of my "Spooktacular Literacy and Math Centers" was born!

I have to say that these centers are pretty darn cute, and I think my Firsties will love them! Here's what you get...
I will be incorporating these little spookylicious centers into the next 2 weeks of the Halloween madness, and I will just keep repeating to myself "This too shall pass. This too shall pass!" 

Click on any picture above if you would like to embrace the madness as well! :)

Onto the FABULOUS giveaway!! Remember these guys from Educational Insights?? 

 Well, Educational Insights would LOVE to have 50,000 Facebook fans and here's how you can help!!! They will be awarding ONE lucky winner a $50 gift code to their website to get some of their fabulous products and all you have to do it "LIKE" them on Facebook (and let us know that you did in fact like them on our page)! 
Oh snaps!! How easy is that?? You can enter through Rafflecopter below, and OF COURSE, Linds and I will throw in one product each from our stores! Don't cha just love Contests??

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, here is a little Monster Catcher FREEBIE that I will be doing in Math Centers next week in order to promote the "H" word a little bit more...It's a monster catcher! This 2 page math activity has students write addition sentences to show how many heads, eyes, arms, legs, etc. their monster will have, and then draw it in the jar. I think they will dig it, and they can practice their addition at the same time!! Click on the jar to get a copy~
Don't forget to enter our giveaway and show Educational Insights some LOVE!! The contest ends on Saturday morning at 12:00 a.m.

See ya, Peeps!!
XOXO Kerri

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Frights and Delights Halloween Centers and Plinko-palooza!

Happy Saturday friends!  Lindsay here . . .

Well last night I had "Girls Night Out" with some of the friends in my mommy group (and by girls night out I mean dinner, Starbucks and chit-chat . . . that's about as wild as we get these days) and I am TIRED!!  Even though I probably could have hit the sack by 8 p.m. last night, it was nice to have some girl time to discuss all things important and girly: mother-in-laws, c-sections, shoes, breast feeding . . . you get the idea.  Even though I was only out until 11 p.m. I am seriously considering an afternoon siesta today . . .

But that's not what I planned to blog about and tell you today . ..

I am excited to share with you my brand new Frights and Delights Math and Literacy Centers!

These spooktacular, hands-on Halloween math and literacy centers are sure to excite and engage your little learners! Included are 42 pages of colorful, ready-to-print activities that target a variety of math and language arts standards.

Included in this unit are the following:

-Spooktacular ABC order (putting letters into ABC order)
-Knock, Knock original text reader (predictable text book practicing phonemic awareness and beginning sound substitution)
-Haunted Halloween Make-A-Word Puzzles (building Halloween words)
-123 You Can't Scare Me card game (number recognition up to 30 - can differentiate)
-Candy Corn Roll and Cover dice game mat (number recognition to 12 or practicing sums to 12)
-Trick or Treat Graph (sorting, counting, graphing, using data from a graph to answer qustions about most, least, more, less, and in all)

 So hurry on over to my TPT store and check out these treats for your kidlets!  I am sure they will love them!  (Click on the picture below to check them out on TPT)

The other thing I am excited to share with you all this morning is about a wonderful product from Lakeshore that I recently was given the opportunity to use in my classroom and review: Phonemic Awareness Plinko!

First of all, I was thrilled when I was contacted by Lakeshore because .  . . well, let's face it . . . I probably spend half of my salary there getting goodies for my kiddos.  When I saw their new Plinko game as a choice of product I could try out with my kinder kidlets the decision was a no-brainer!

Disclaimer: In order to understand how much I love this new Lakeshore product, you should also know that I used to be a bit of a Price Is Right fanatic in my day.  You know . ..  waaaaaaaaaay back in my carefree college days when I could never EVER afford a brand new car or a trip to China, you could find me on the couch in our dorm still playing along with good old Bob Barker trying to figure out the cost of items like . . . a brand new car and a trip to China. 

Okay - back to Phonemic Awareness Plinko.  This activity comes with one freestanding game board and 90 illustrated Plinko chips featuring words such as lip, queen, spot, kick, etc.  Students drop their Plinko chip from the top of the game board and watch it fall into one of three categories: beginning sound, rhyming, or ending sound.

I decided to introduce my kinder kidlets to Plinko during our Literacy Centers.  With a small group of 5 or 6 kiddos I explained to my students how to play.  Now we have been working quite a bit already this year on the beginning sound of words, and had practiced some rhyming too, so those Plinko categories were more familiar to them.  The ending sound, however, was a bit tricky for my students. This game was a perfect way for me to begin working with my kidlets on segmenting!!

The first time I used Plinko in my centers rotation, the students in my small group took turns coming up and dropping the Plinko chip and we ALL helped answer the question.  Then each student got to "keep" (meaning until they had to switch to the next center) their Plinko chip.  I would recommend doing this one with your little learners so they they can get lots of practice, particularly with the ending sound category.  The way I have my kiddos practice segmenting is by holding one arm out in front of them, and then with the other hand touching the shoulder, midarm, and then hand to segment the three sounds. Disclaimer: this student is not from my classroom - I just googled a child doing segmentation with their arm.  :)

The second time we used Plinko in our centers rotation, I told the students that they could try to answer the question without help, or if they wanted, we could "solve" it together!  Most kids wanted to go for it on their own and did well, but this assurance was helpful for my kiddos who just still aren't segmenting or rhyming independently.

Here are some pictures from our first experience with Plinko:

Closing our eyes and pulling out a Plinko chip from the bag . . . oh the suspense! 

Dropping the chip in at the top - so exciting!! (My kids simultaneously love and hate the unpredictability of that darn Plinko chip!  There's just no telling where its headed!)

Collecting Plinko chips as they answer correctly = a proud kindergartener!

Room 17 looooooves Plinko!!

The BEST moment of all came when one of my little guys answered one of his hard questions correctly and then said (in the teensiest of kinder voices) "I wish this moment would last forever..."  

Swoon!!!  I almost melted in the cuteness. 

Bottom line: Phonemic Awareness Plinko is super easy to set up and use with your kiddos.  You could introduce it whole group and then begin to use it in centers, or just grab yourself a set and use it next week with a small group.  Its amazing how quickly your kiddos will start to improve their phonemic awareness as they continue to play, help their classmates, and get those competitive juices flowing!!  And to make it even easier to pick up your very own classroom Phonemic Awareness Plinko, our friends at Lakeshore have offered a 25% savings code for you all!!!  Score!  Visit . . . Happy shopping!

One last thing . . .

It's time to announce the winners of our Education Insights Product Giveaway (drumroll please!!) . ..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to our winners! We will be contacting you soon with all the details!!  Yahoo!!

Well, that's it for now!  Hope you all have a fabulous fall-ish weekend!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fix Up The Mix Up!!

Happy Wednesday Peeps!! Kerri here...

I posted this morning over on Blog Hoppin' all about my latest set of centers.... (click on the picture to go to my store!)

Hop on over to Blog Hoppin' and check out my post!! :)

XOXO Kerri B

P.S. Don't forget to enter our raffle for some Educational Insights teaching products!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Educational Insights Giveaway!

Happy Tuesday, Friends! Kerri here...

I am back with yet ANOTHER giveaway, this time from the fabulous folks at Educational Insights! They sent me 2 fun products to review! Check them out...
Aren't these guys just HILARIOUS?? My kiddos LOVE LOVE LOVE them! We are using them to segment sounds and to spell our high frequency words, since the mouths open up by pressing down on a lever on the stick! Too fun!!

They also sent me 2 Hot Dots Jr. Pens and a box of Hot Dots money flashcards to use with the pens....

The pens are just adorable! The eyes light up green if the answer is correct AND they speak words of encouragement too, while a snazzy noise tells you that you are correct! If the answer is wrong, the eyes light up red and they tell you to try again. These are too AWESOME!!

My daughter tested these out for me, since my kiddos haven't learned about money yet, but I cannot WAIT to bust these out when we get to our money unit!! I also like that you can turn off the sound and all that you will see is the red or green lights. This is SOOO helpful when you need a quiet classroom!

You can also buy the boxes of HOT DOTS flashcards for EVERY CURRICULAR AREA you can imagine!! I know my kiddos are going to go cuckoo over these!

Okay, here comes the giveaway...One lucky winner will get a set of Hot Dots and the other lucky winner will receive the puppets on a stick! Of course, Lindsay and I will throw in a product from each of our stores too!!
Enter through Rafflecopter below, and this giveaway will end at Midnight on Saturday morning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Later Alligators!!
Kerri B

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Farrell's, Apologies, and Big Winners!!

Happy Saturday, Friends! Kerri here...
This post is gonna be a quickie because I am on the way down the street to my neighbors house for cocktails!! And. let me tell you, I need one tonight, because today I took 10 teenagers to this place for my daughter's 13th birthday...
Does anyone else remember Farrell's from your childhood, or were they only in California?? I think every single kid had a birthday party there in the 70's, and I was one of them! I'll never forget my 7th birthday party was there...awww, memories!

Here's a picture of some ravenous teenage girls digging into the Volcano sundae (30 scoops of delicious goodness!!)

In other news, look at the letter I received on Friday from one of my is too funny!
Although I can't way for sure, I think he is really really so so so sorry, so really sorry! This is exactly why I love First Graders sooo much~they melt my heart every time!!

Lastly, here are the winners of the Brag Tag Giveaway...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We will be contacting you soon with the details! YEEHAW!!

I'll be back soon with yey ANOTHER giveaway AND my latest unit, called "Fix Up the Mix Up!" Ooohhh, aren't you just sooo intrigued???

Later, Peeps! Martini here I come!
XOXO Kerri

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Falling" into Autumn, a Fall FREEBIE, and a Bragtag Giveaway!!

Happy Monday, Peeps! Kerri here...
I have a lot to share tonight, so bear with me!

1. We are hosting a FABULOUS giveaway from Imagestuff for their bragtags, but first you gotta get through all this other goodness, so just sit back with a glass of whatever (I am currently drinking La Croix-sparkling water with Peach-Pear essence. To die for!) and get comfy.

2. It was hot as HADES in So. Cal today, and let me tell you, I am NOT a happy camper. This weather is making me CUH-RAZY. Not to mention, I am sooo OVER my summer clothes, AND my summer tan is fading away, leaving my matronly arms looking hideous. I need some fall-like weather STAT, people!!

3. Lindsay came by my school today and gave me my very own prettified Polka Dot Folder of POWER!! YAY!! Mine is lime green, and FABULOUS! I can't wait to sticky note it up and get some observations written down about my chitlins!

4. Even though it is still Africa hot here, we are immersing ourselves in the Fall season, using my brand new "Falling" into Autumn Math and Literacy Centers (which I spent ALL weekend cutting out, BTW. My husband made the comment, "Don't you have enough of those by now? You're ALWAYS cutting out new ones!" Um, excuse me?? Did he just disparage the cutting out of the hallowed centers?? He just doesn't get me, girls. Sad, but true!)

Anyway, back to the people who truly get me-my blogging peeps! Here are the fall-like Lit. centers we will be working on for the next 2 weeks~

Happy Autumn! ABC Order

Harvest Hayrides Word Family Sort

Fall Fun! Sentence Editing

Pumpkin Pickin' Sentence Scramble

Autumn Kids Real/Nonsense Word Sort-
as you can see, I apparently cannot tell what a real or nonsense word is!! What a nerd!

Here are the math centers we have lined up...
Falling Leaves Turn Around Facts Match-Ups

Pumpkin Patch Number Match

Autumn Days Missing Numbers

Funky Fall Finds! Bar Graph 
It's Fall! Number Order (1-20, 1-30, or 1-50)

These centers will go along nicely with my Fall Words Writing Pack, which we will also be doing for the next 2 weeks...
Whew!! That's alot of fall, man! Just when they are ready to never see another Fall leaf again, I'm gonna hit 'em with Halloween (Coming soon, so stay posted!!) HAH!!

Here's a little Autumn Sentence Scrambler FREEBIE to get your kiddos in the mood...  (click the boy to access file via google docs)

Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for...THE IMAGESTUFF BRAGTAGS GIVEAWAY!!

3 lucky winners will win 35 bragtags and chains, plus any item from both Lindsay's and My (Kerri's) store! There are some SUPER cute bragtags to choose from, such as this...
I'm such a sucker for apples!

I seriously need this one! It's TURQUOISE!!

Here's what you need to do to enter. Click on the rafflecopter and MAKE SURE you follow Image Stuff's BLOG by email. This is the only requirement ImageStuff asks of you. All of the other entries will get you more chances to win, but you MUST follow ImageStuff's blog by email. Easy Peasy?? Lemon Squeezy!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on Friday morning at midnight, so get on it ASAP!! Hope you win, and hope you know how much we appreciate you!! Please leave us a comment that you entered! 

Thanks, Friends!!