Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Magic Spoon Madness, 100th Day Art, and Thigh Rolls

Happy last-day-of-January folks!

Were you as taken aback as I was today when all of the January calendar and things had to come down and February had to be put up?  Yeeesh!  I have said it EVERY month . . . but seriously, where did the time go?

Okay, first things first . . .I hope you all are loving your magic spoons as much as I am.  Their golden-ness truly delights my kidlets every time.  No really. EVERY time.  And the look on their face when the decode their words and master the whole mat is priceless!  However . . . I have had SOME students at my center who claim they have read every single word on their mat (in a matter of fifteen seconds as I had my back turned) and are ready for another spoon from the fancy-shmancy magic spoon bucket.  Hmmm. Looks like they love those spoons too much . . . They are just so anxious to try out every single one!

Anywho . . . I created this little Magic Spoon recording sheet to keep 'em honest to record the words they decode that are "real" words (none of the nonsense words).  When they come across a word they write it, and then illlustrate it.  Cute, right?  Click below to download.

On a completely different subject . . . I love February. And the 100th Day of School.  In fact, I could skip right over Valentine's Day completely. (I don't need all that chocolate . . . I have been eating WAY too many Girl Scout Cookies as it is!)  One of the most fun projects we will be doing is our 100 Year-Old Self-Portraits.  Deanna Jump had such a cute bulletin board display that she blogged about, and I LOVED how she put her little people in what looked like oval frames!  (See it here!) I stole that idea, adapted my old sample from last year, and voila!!  I like to use yarn for the white hair, and I am thinking that instead of solid construction paper for the background, I am going to use funky scrapbook paper that will look like old wallpaper. Love it!!! (Sorry for the terrible photo . . . I was totally rushing out the door at school!)

Here are the dimensions:

shoulders 6x4 inches (whatever color you would like)
face 5x5 skin color
neck 1x2 skin color
ears 1x2 1/2 (cut piece in half and round corners for ears)
mouth 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 pink
background 9x12 (trace oval onto back of paper so kids can cut out when they are done and mount onto 9x12 black rectangle)
and . . . white yarn for the hair (You can do a swirly bun, mustache, comb-over . . . well, you get the idea!)

I also made up some writing paper to go along with our artwork Click on the 100 below to download it.

What cute things will you be doing (or have you already done) for the 100th Day?  I can't wait to see!


P.S. I know you are dying for a recent picture of Jack, right?  Well . . . here you go!  Check out those thighs people!  I am signing off now to go squeeze those hamhocks!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

We Heart America! Michaels finds, and Groundhog dimensions!

Happy Monday, friends! Kerri here...
I am excited to announce that I just uploaded my latest unit, We Heart America!! Take a little look...

This is my biggest one yet! And, let me just tell you, it was a MAJOR PAIN in my rear end to get it to upload to TPT because it is so many pages!! I was literally cursing at the computer last night (my poor hubby had to hear me ranting!), but I finally figured it out, and it has 10 fun filled centers included!! Here's what you get:

Literacy Centers:
-America Sentence Scramble-
laminate and cut out word cards. Students unscramble sentences and complete the worksheet, adding correct capitalization and punctuation.
-American Symbols ABC Order-
laminate and cut out word cards. Students put cards in ABC order and complete the ABC ORder worksheet.
-We Heart America! Word Mat-
Use this mat in 2 ways: As a word bank for students to write their own America story, and for the We heart America! Noun Sort
-America Writing Paper-
-We Heart America! Noun Sort-
Cut apart laminated America word mat. Students sort the words by person, place, or thing and compete worksheet
-Betsy Ross Contraction 
Students match up the contractions with their root words & complete worksheet.
Math Centers:
-American Symbols: Spin, Tally, and Graph-
laminate spinner mats.Students use a paper clip as a spinner, and complete the spin, tally, and graph worksheet.
-American Pride! Missing Addends-
laminate and cut out cards. Students match up the addition sentences with their missing addend, then record the addition sentences on the worksheet.
-Patriotic Fact Families-
laminate and cut out cards. Students use the 3 numbers on each card to write out the fact family number sentences on worksheet.
-National Number Sort-
laminate & cut out cards. Students sort  number cards by if they equal 10, 12, or 14, and complete worksheet.
-Constitutional Counting-
Students sort numbers and put in order by 2‘s, 5‘s, and 10‘s and complete worksheet.

You can click on the picture above to go to my TPT store! Thanks, Peeps!

In other news, I SCORED major big time at Michaels and I just had to share, so hopefully you will be able to find some too! Look at these beauties...

Wait for it...these were only 9 cents!! I am not even lying! 9 cents each!! I about died when the Michaels guy told me! So, of course I HAD to get them for my kidlets! We will be mod podging (LOVE!) them with tissue paper and putting a love note in them for my kiddies to give to their moms! Awww! Isn't that so sweet? I couldn't resist for only 9 cents!!

I also saw (and purchased of course-I DO have a problem with self-control) MORE heart boxes!! 99 cents from Michaels and these are even cuter than the other ones!
The heart baskets are to store the heart boxes in. Can you tell I also have a storage obsession?? You should see my purse. Tons of baby bags inside the big bag-and each one has a name that describes what's inside...let's see, there's the medicine bird bag, the iPod owl bag, the "tweety" treats bag, and so on, and so on...
ANYWAYS, I also got some very apropos Valentine scrapbook paper from the Dollar Spot at Target, perfect for cutting into squares and teaching my kiddos to cut a heart out of...
$1 each...Easy Peasy!! We will use them to decorate something with, maybe our Valentine bags??

Finally, the dimensions for this guy here... you can get the writing paper from my previous post, but here are his dimensions. Remember, I am the NO PATTERNS! lady, so this is all cut by my firsties free form...
  • 12 by 18- light blue background
  • 9 by 12- green grass (cut wavy like)
  • 6 by 6 light brown square for body (half a magic circle)
  • 5 by 5 light brown square for head (magic circle)
  • 1 1/2 by 9 light brown for paws (folded in half and rounded)
  • 1 1/2 by 3 light brown for ears (folded in half and rounded)
  • 1 1/2 by 3 white for eyes (folded in half and cut into magic circle)
  • 1 by 2 black for eyeballs (also folded in half and magic circle cut)
  • 1 by 1 dark brown for nose (triangle or circle)
  • 1 by 1 white for teeth 
  • 3 by 3 yellow for sun (or you can make a gray cloud if he doesn't see his shadow, your choice) 
  • Sharpie for details 
That's it! I think actually Lindsay MAY have invented this one way back when, but since I can't really remember, I'll just take all the credit!! HEE HEE!!

I'll be posting more We Heart America! freebies this month, so keep checking back!! And, as always, I heart you guys!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Penguins, Punxsutawney, and Printables for my Peeps!

Hi Friends! Kerri here...
I'm gonna keep it short and sweet, cause man, I am T to the I to the R to the E...you get the picture! 

We had a busy week this week. We made our Jan Brett project on Golidilocks and the Three Bears-sorry, no pics this time. :(  , learned about penguin habitats, and made our Dragon art (love!). 

My student teacher taught the kidlets to draw and label an Emperor Penguin's habitat, and man oh man, they were CUTE!! I decided to live on the edge and have them draw ONLY in sharpie (I know, playing with fire, right??) because we didn't have time for pencil AND sharpie, and they really rose to the occasion!! 

Of course I had to preface the lesson with, "YOU NEED TO LOOK, LISTEN, AND LEARN. DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS, DO NOT MAKE COMMENTS, AND DO NOT ASK IF YOU CAN ADD DETAILS UNTIL THE END, GOT IT??? (Imagine my most serious face ever)... 
Maybe sharpie only be our new "strategy", they like it when I make things our "new strategy"...we sound so sophisticated when we use the word "strategy" instead of "we were in a hurry."

I just heart first grade art so darn much!! It is so authentic and real!! And my kids LOVE to label! They would label the whole everything if I let them!

Up next week, good ole Punxsutawney Phil! Here he is...
If you want the dimensions, let me know and I will post them this weekend. Too tired now.

This year we are going to add a little bit of writing and glue it on the grass. We will probably write about whether or not he saw his shadow. Click on the groundhog for your own copy of the paper...it's cute, I promise!

Sooo....last year, when I started blog stalking, I came across this post from Cara Carroll, and OF COURSE, I ran out immediately to the Dollar Tree to get my own heart boxes. Unfortunately, I got there the day after Valentine's day and ALL the heart boxes were put away. Wah, wah, wah, wah! 

Well, this year, I happened upon a Dollar Tree on the way to have lunch have some samples at Costco with my hubs (I joke, half the stuff we can't eat cause we're veggie heads, but I could eat their pizza ALL the live long day!!) and I dragged him in there so fast!! Drum roll please!!

I GOT MY HEART BOXES!!! I was GIDDY with glee when I saw them (my husband thought I was a NUTTER!!) but I got my durn heart boxes, BABY!! Whoot whoot!! 
So, of course I will be doing her super cute spelling scramble AND I made this little heart addition and subtraction diddy to use with them as well. I will put 2 numbers in each box and my little darlings will either have to add or subtract the numbers, depending on the number on the worksheet. 
Done and Done! Click on the heart for your copy, and for goodness sakes, girls, don't wait until the day after V-Day to try and buy them!!

Note to self...Sharpie paint pens MAY look pretty when you first write the numbers on the boxes, but the ink rubs off after about 30 minutes!! Dagnabit!! I rue the day I bought THAT paint pen!

And, thanks for buying my little February words writing packet! You guys are so sweet! I am excited to introduce it next week!

I know I said it would be short, but obviously I have a blogging problem. I'm off to watch Gold Rush Alaska, snuggle under my blankie, and PROBABLY fall asleep on the couch until all hours of the morning. I CAN'T WAIT!!
XOXO Kerri

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

February Words are Up and Running!!

Hi Gals! Kerri here...

Finally!! My February Words Writing Pack is posted to TPT, and I have to say, this might be the cutest one EVER! :) I mean, who doesn't love candy, teddy bears, and hearts galore, not to mention my friend Punxsutawney Phil, and throw in a couple of famous Presidential Types, it is ADORABLE! Take a little looksie...

I added another writing activity, making a grand total of 6 fabulous, fun-filled reading, writing, and vocab building activities for the month of February. Here's what you get:

Words Mat/Book Cover/Lined Paper-
Make several copies of the February Words on cardstock and laminate for durability. Copy writing paper back to back ( I use 6 pages per book and this lasts the whole month) and fold in half to make a little book, with the cover on the front. I copy the cover on colored paper to make it more festive! :)
Use this writing activity in your writing center for the whole month and allow the kids to write describing sentences about each February word, one word per page.
February Words ABC Order-
Cut apart laminated February Words mats to make individual cards. Students choose 5 words, place in ABC order, and illustrate!
Valentine and President Story Writing Paper-
Use individual cut up February Word cards. Students choose 2-3 cards and write a story using lots of describing words, and then illustrate their story in the box.
February Making Words-
Students choose a picture from the February Words Mat, write it in the box, and illustrate it. Next, they find the letters to spell the word. (Letters included in packet-copy and laminate as many sets as you need for students to use). Students will make as many words as they can using the letters from the February word that they chose and write in the boxes.
February Words “Describe Me!”- NEW ACTIVITY!
Students will choose a card and write down a list of as many words as they can think of to describe it. Then, they will use those words and write “I have... or I am...” sentences, such as “I am red and pink.” on the back of the Describe Me! worksheet and illustrate the word they chose in the box provided.
February Words Match-Ups-
Students will match up each Cut-up February word card to the laminated sentence card that describes it. After matching, students will choose 5 pictures, write the corresponding sentence on the lines, and illustrate the pictures on the back.

Click on the picture to head on over to my TPT store...

Yikes! Can you believe February will be here next week?? I hope you all know how blessed I feel every time you purchase one of my products, leave a sweet comment, or even just stalk my page (you stalkers, you!!) You all continue to renew my passion for teaching, and I am so grateful to be a part of the blogging community! Have a great night, friends!!

P.S. The first person to leave me a comment with an email, telling me your favorite Valentine Candy OR your favorite President of ALL TIME will get this little pack for F.R.E.E!! That's right, sistas!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentine House

Howdy Bloggers!

Lindsay here . . .

Okay, first of all, can I just make a confession?  I just started my Pinterest account. Like last Saturday.  And I am already wholly and utterly ADDICTED!  I am loving all of the fab teacher ideas that are just floating around, WAITING to be found!  (However, like any good Pinterest purist I get very annoyed when there are random pictures of handbags or photos of cats floating around the "Education" section.  Wrong category people!  Wrong category . . . (You don't have to take my word about how oddly particular I am about things like that . . . just ask Kerri.  She used to put bow-ties on EVERYTHING and it drove me crazy.  True story.  Who ever heard of ducks wearing bow ties anyway?!)

Okay . . . focus Lindsay. Must finish this blog (so that I can get back to pinning!!).  I am so glad you all loved the Magic Spoons as much as I did.  Todays tidbit isn't quite so educational, but it sure is cute!  I am typically WAY late in posting cute seasonal ideas, but I wanted to give you a heads up on a cute Valentine holder idea.  Presenting . . . a "heart house"!  (I thought the name "love shack" was catchier, but sent the wrong impression.)

Basically, using a large manila envelope, you trim the top into a point, so the envelope becomes the shape of a house.  Then you fold the shorter side of the envelope into the inside, to create a little pocket.  I step-drew the cute parts of the house and had my kidlets use die-cut hearts for shingles, flowers, etc.  This year I am thinking of using some cute heart foamies AND I was able to find bigger, white envelopes - Yay!

Anyhow, the kids just love playing mailman (or woman!) and "delivering" their valentines to all of the houses. 

Happy house-making!!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Hodge Podge of stuff, plus another FREEBIE!!

Happy Sunday, Bloggy friends!! Kerri here...
So, I just need a little therapy session here, girls, so bear with me...

On Friday, I found out some news that made me REALLY question a process that I used to have ALOT of respect for, and when I found out this news, it made me realize that, for at least this year, that process is a TOTAL SHAM. That sometimes it's more about WHO you know, than WHAT you really deserve. (Sounds political, right?? Yes, you are CORRECT.) And, it made me really disheartened by the whole process.

BUT....then, I came home and looked at these 2 beautiful faces...

And, I woke up Saturday morning to this wonderful husband and father...

And, I realized how incredibly blessed I am, and that I know in MY HEART what is true. So, I am OVER IT. Moving on, and keeping faith that in the future, the process will be what it once was, NOT what it became this year. Nuff said!!

Many of you asked me for the words to the Chinese New Years Dragon poem, so here you go:

"Gung, Hay, Fat, Choy!"
In China, every girl and boy
Celebrate the New Year
In a very special way.
With fireworks and dragons,
Colored red and gold, 
They welcome in the New Year,
And chase away the old!

Hope you can use it in your classroom!!

I spent the bulk of my weekend cutting out my newest creation, Arctic Life Math and Literacy Centers! But, you know, there is a certain satisfaction I get from cutting out lamin, while watching Dateline NBC!! Who's with me??

Here's what's included in this math and literacy center pack...

Sentence Scramble

ABC Order

Noun and Verb sort

Arctic Adding 3 Numbers

Time to the hour and half hour

Place Value!
I will be using these little centers with my chitlins this week, and I think they are going to likey mucho!

Click on the picture to head over to my store to pick up your own set...

And, now on to your FREEBIE!! I got many kind words about the Super Sentence post I wrote at the beginning of January, so I decided to use my Arctic Friends clip art and make some "Super Sentence Frames" for you to use in your classroom, whole group, small group, or even individually. These are different because they are blank, and...
Use these sentence frames with your class to brainstorm ideas for writing “Arctic” themed super sentences. Place frame under document camera, or project onto white board to use whole group. These frames can also be passed out as individual worksheets, to allow students to think of and write down as many words for each column as possible! 
6 different frames are included in this packet, AND it is F.R.E.E....because I love you guys, like ALOT!
Click on the cover picture above to get your own copy from Google docs!

I leave you with this little bit of cuteness...our bearded dragon Beaker watching the rain on homemade lego steps!

Thanks for listening, friends. I feel like I got some closure today. Hope you have a blessed week!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Art projects up the WAZOO! :) And a FREEBIE (of course!)

Happy Saturday, Peeps!! Kerri here...
I woke up to the sound of rain this morning!! I know, I know, you East, South, Northwest, etc. Coasters say whoopidy doo, right? Well, here in So. Cal, we haven't had ANY rain since the beginning of December! AND, since it is Saturday and I don't have to worry about RAINY DAY SCHEDULE, I love it!!

I finally got pictures of the Jan Brett "Three Snow Bears" project we did this week, and our Martin Luther King, Jr. Art! Here we go...

We filled out the story map together, because this is the first time I introduced them to this type of Story Map. You can get your own copy of this here! The igloo I found on Jan Brett's website and I shrunk it down to half the size. Click here for the igloo.

We also made our Martins this week. When I taught Kinder, I always did the TLC art Martin, and he came out Fantastic! Last year, we step drew him, also great, so this year I thought I would combine the two and make a "Mixed media" project (how you like those arty words, huh??) Here they are...

We wrote the poem that I posted about here. It is actually a song, so I taught it to them first, and then we wrote it. You can also grab the writing paper from that post and save it for next year!

Looking ahead to next week, we will be making these fun little Chinese New Year Dragons made totally  from die cut shapes. These are oldies but goodies! I created these in 2001, so maybe you could call them "vintage??" HA!!

The poem glued to the top is for Kindergarten, but my Firsties will be copying the poem in their very best printing! Click here for some writing paper to use...

We also found out that our little blog was nominated as a "Most Fascinating Teaching Blog" in 2011!!

WOW! What an honor! We feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community of dedicated ladies and gentlemen who are passionate about children!! YAY for Teaching! Can I get a whoot whoot??
Have a great weekend, Peeps!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Story Map freebies AND a Valentiney Word Family Center!

Oooohhhh, isn't that pretty?!?! More on that in a minute, but first...

Hi Peeps! Kerri here...
Well, Lindsay sure is Miss Popular! Her "Magic Spoons" post has caught on like WILDFIRE on Pinterest and we have had soooo many views of that one! I told her I'm gonna write a post using SPARKLY spoons with googly eyes and bowties, just to one-up her! HA!! 

That has been our long-standing joke...when we taught next door to each other, she did art on Wednesdays and I did it on Thursdays. Every Wednesday, I would go in her room, take a look at her art projects and then one-up her by adding a bowtie to the ducks, or bells to the reindeer, long, curly eyelashes on the whatevers, etc. She would get SOOOO DARN MAD at me! It was pretty hilarious!! Aaahhh, those were the good old days!

Anyway, I had good intentions today to take pics of our "Three Arctic Bears Jan Brett" project, but wah, wah, wah, I forgot! Durnit! I do have three Story Map freebies for you though, a favorite part one, a beginning, middle, end one, AND a problem/solution one! YAY! These can be used for listening centers, story response sheets, what have you...Click on the pretty heart to download...

Which brings me to the next thing on my agenda...
Melanie from the Pond's graphics on TPT. This girl ROCKS!! Her clip art is SO cute, she is totally sweet, and she's from Australia! Even cooler! I asked her about making me a special set, and she whipped it up just like that!! Please click on the link to visit her shop. The heart clip art from my newest center is hers, and it is FABULOUS!!

So, back to my newest TPT Valentiney Word Family Center...Checkety Check it! 

All yours for only $2...HOLLA!! Come on, you know it is just calling to you, all pink and pretty and Valentiney!! Click on the pic to check it out!
We'll talk Friday...Toodles!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Magic Spoons

Why hello there my fellow blogger buddies!

Were you wondering if I fell off the face of the Earth?  If I did not, in fact, survive the madness of the holiday season?  If a pack of rabid kindergarteners ate me alive??!!  DON'T FRET!!  I'm back. :)

Not only am I back, but I have a great little somethin' to share!  Now, let me first just say that this is in no way my idea. Nope. Negative.  All the credit for this idea goes to one of my fellow kinder teachers, who got it from another kinder teacher, who . . .well, you get the idea.  Not original, but just one that I thought ought to be shared.

So this little phonemic awareness activity is called Magic Spoons.  Basically, in order to help children with sounding out words, even those pesky nonsense words, you take a pack of spoons and on each spoon write a consonant. (For the letter Q you write a "qu" combo - because those two are always together.)  These will be used as the initial consonants of the words the students will be reading. Then, students practice with one spoon at a time adding the first letter to various different word family endings.  As the Magic Spoon moves from word ending to word ending . . . POOF!  A new word appears!  Magic.

When my teacher friends were sharing this idea with me, I immediately envisioned shiny, glittering, golden spoons that were oh-so-magical.  So, when it came time to make my OWN Magic Spoons, I had to track down . . . you guessed it . . . golden spoons.  (The power is in the golden-ness, right?)

Anywho, I found these packs of golden spoons at Party City for cheap (AND was able to walk out of there with ONLY the spoons - yay for self control!).

Next, I wrote on my spoons.  (Best kindergarten printing!!)

Finally, I created three sheets to use with my magic spoons.   On the left is a sheet of two letter word family endings, the middle sheet is three letter word family endings, and the final sheet is ONLY consonant letters.  My plan with that sheet is to then create a second set of magic spoons where the word family ending is on the spoon.  Are you following all of this?

For a PDF file of these three sheets, click on the image below. (I plan to copy each sheet on a different color of cardstock and laminate for durability . . . and for protection from all the magic-ness!)

But wait, there's more!  If you would like to use this idea in a whole group setting, fear not!  I plan to (in all of my spare time . . . whenever that may be) get large wooden spoons to use to get the whole class involved at once!  Gold spray paint . . .here I come! 

Anyway, I would love to hear about if and how you use Magic Spoons in YOUR classroom! Or maybe you yourself are the inventor of this great idea . . .in which case, thanks!

Happy teaching this week! 


Saturday, January 14, 2012

WInter Words Photos, TPT SALE, and some Writing FREEBIES!!

Hi Peeps!! Happy Saturday! Kerri here...
Geaux Saints! I just had to say it. Actually, I am NOT a football girl, but my husband's whole family is from New Orleans and he was born there, so by marriage I am a Saints fan, I guess. He and his dad are busily watching the game as I write this! Too many turnovers, Saints!! (WOW! I just impressed myself with my football lingo! HA!)

I finally got around to taking pictures of my kids doing their Winter Words Writing Books, which they do every Friday as a Lit Center. We are working superdy hard on being more descriptive when we write, and I am quite proud of how their writing is coming along, AND they really SUPER love this center! Check out their work...

You can pick yours up by clicking on the picture below, and what the HEY, why don't we just say that I am throwing a MLK, Jr. Weekend SALE!! Everything on sale until Tuesday!!...

You can also get this little number...

AND this one...

I also have some writing paper FREEBIES for you! Snowman, Penguin, and Martin Luther King, Jr. themed. We will be making our Martin Art project this week, and also copying this song/poem onto the writing paper in our "very best printing!" to go with it. Our music teacher teaches the kids a really sweet song called "Sing About Martin" (have you heard it?) and we are going to use these words as our poem:

Sing about Martin,
Sing about caring,
Sing about peace,
All around the world.

Sing about Martin,
Sing about loving,
Sing about peace,
All around the world.

Click on the pictures below to download your writing papers...

Enjoy your 3 day weekend!! I know I'm gonna, fo' shizzle!!