Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hopping in April Facebook FREEBIES hop and SALE!!

Good Morning, Bits and Bobbers!! Kerri and Lindsay here...

We are soooo excited because we are participating in an AWESOME Facebook Fan Freebie Hop (say that 2 times fast!!)with 12 of our favorite bloggers!!
There are all KINDS of fun Springy freebies on this hop, and the bloggers participating are AMAZING!!

Click the beautiful graphic below, made by the uber-talented Traci Clausen, to start your freebie Facebook Hop! Remember, you have to LIKE each page to get your freebie...

And then hop on over to our stores to stock up on lots of fun products for Spring and whatever other theme floats your boats!!
Kerri's Rainforest Art and Writing Unit is on SALE(along with lots of other fun things!)...

And Lindsay's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Unit (completely re-vamped and updated!) is also on SALE...

Lindsay's TPT STORE

Happy Spring, friends!!
XOXO Kerri B

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Long time, no blog and a writing mats SALE!!

Good Morning, Bits and Bobbers!! Kerri here...

Ohmyword....It has been FOREVER since I blogged. Ugh...I feel like such a slacker! 
2 weeks ago, we had conference week AND I had a cold AND my monthly friend decided to visit ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It was not pretty folks. Not pretty at all.  My poor poor husband. That's all I have to say about that.

Then, this past week I decided to get back on the yoga mat with my new Yoga instructor Rudy Mettia (sorry Travis Eliot, you've been replaced, at least for the time being...) and if I choose to do yoga for an hour each night, then there is just no time for blogging! or blogging. It's so hard to choose!!
I love this guy!
So anyway, what have we been up to in my class? All kinds of stuff, actually!

We made these super cute leprechauns this week and I just love them!

Aren't they too funny?? My kids were literally cheering when I showed them the art that we were making. Soooo cute!!

We also started our new journals this week using my writing mats and my kids WENT BANANAS!! I showed them all the different writing mats that they could choose from and they could not wait to choose!! Here are some pics of them choosing and writing...
I threw all the writing mats and the carpet and each table got to come over and choose one...

It's just so hard to choose!!

Then they got to work! Superheroes (a big favorite!)

Star Wars (also very popular!)

Ocean friends

In the Garden
After we wrote our stories, I chose some different kids to come and sit in the author's chair and read their stories to the class. They were sooo stoked! This also encouraged the not so great story writers (meaning they cheaped out and didn't write juicy describing sentences) to up their game for next time! 

We're going to use these writing mats every Friday and I cannot wait to read all of the stories they come up with. :)

You can check these out in my TPT store. They're bundled by theme AND I have them on sale for the next couple of days!! All told, I have over 50 writing centers in my store! That's a lot of choices!! Click on each picture to check them out in my TPT shop...

I also FINALLY got around to making my class yearbook page and it came out so cute, if I do say so myself! Our theme this year is ocean and we had to incorporate a Sea Turtle into our page (random?)...but I just love it!

 It was my student teacher's last day on Thursday and we are SOOOO SAD!! She has been with my since September, first observing 2 times a week, and then full time since January! Oh boo hoo, what am I going to do without her! We gave her a little going away party to say good-bye...
They kids wrote her letters and I made them into a book. We also gave her an Alex and Ani apple charm bracelet...

I love this! "You're the bestest queen of the applesauce!" HA!!

My student teacher made all of the kids goodie bags. Owl-themed of course!!

Even I got a present! She knows me too well!!
Alright, that was a whole bunch of catch up and now I must get into the shower and then church is calling my name. Have a wonderful Sunday, friends!!
XOXO Kerri B

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SitSpots Blog Hop and Giveaway!!

Hiya Peeps! Kerri and Lindsay here...
That's right! You get a "Peas and Carrots" tonight from both of us, because we LOVE LOVE LOVE SitSpots!! OhEmGeeee!!! These little velcro spotties are the bomb-diggidy!! We couldn't believe how awesome they were when we first heard about them at SCKC.

Aren't they just sooo pretty?? And they stick onto carpet like you WOULD. NOT. BELIEVE!! Now, in my classroom (Kerri's), I have one of those rainbow carpets for my kids to sit on, so I just grabbed 10 SitSpots to put on the carpet and use for addition practice review. I used a Sharpie paint marker to write some addition facts on each one and laid the spots in rows on either side of my classroom. I plan on using these addition spots for math centers, as a way to dismiss my kids to recess and lunch (by having them stand on one and say the addition fact with it's sum), or a a sponge activity in between my lessons. Just a iPhone DOES NOT do these beauties justice in the color department. They are SUPER bright and pretty in person! 
P. S. I am blaming these ugly pictures on the fact that A. I have a cold, B. I also have PMS, C. I am tired from darn Spring Forward, and D. It is conference week. Can you say Hot Mess? Yes, that would be me! Lindsay's pictures are much prettier, you'll see!!

I am so excited for my kidlets to use these tomorrow!! Now, here's Lindsay with a super fun idea for using SitSpots in Kindergarten...

Hi guys!  Lindsay here . . .

As Kerri said before, we absolutely FELL IN LOVE with SitSpots when we discovered them at the Southern California Kindergarten Convention last month!!  There were SO. MANY. OPTIONS.  Different colors . . . Different cool shapes . . .

So of course, in true Lindsay fashion, I got plain 'ol circles.  Not that there is anything wrong with circles.  They are a fine shape.  I was just completed overwhelmed with all of the choices and took 15 colored circles.  I had NO IDEA what I was going to do with 15 colored circles . . .
I already have a rainbow rug that my kiddos sit on in class . . . But somehow the idea came to me to create SitSpot Sight Word Twister!! (Try saying THAT ten times fast!)
In my classroom, we practice sight words in a million different ways.  Graphing sight words. Sight word dice games.  Sight words with HeidiSongs DVDs.  Sight word Chutes & Ladders. Sight word necklaces.
But alas, in my collection of sight word activities I had never taken the time to make Sight Word Twister, although I had seen it on Pinterest several times . . .

Setting up my SitSpot Sight Word Twister was SUUUUUUPER easy. Which is suuuuuuuuper great when you have been working on report cards for days and you just don't have the energy to do ONE. MORE. THING.
I decided to pick 4 of our trickiest kindergarten sight words to use for my inaugural SitSpots Sight Word Twister (they, do, are and said).  The beauty of SitSpots is that once I place my order for MORE SitSpots (which I plan to do soon!) I can create dots for ALL of the kindergarten words that my kiddos learn during the year.  Unlike making the Pinterest sight word Twister game, the SitSpots allow you to create any combination of words based on the needs of your particular class or group of students.  Brilliant!
There was a tiny part of me that hated the fact that I had 4 words and only 15 SitSpots (ugh.....UNEVEN!!) but it worked out just fine. As long as the words are repeated at least 3-5 times so that all of the kids don't have to clamor for a single SitSpot when a word is called you will be okay. :) 
So . . . here is how I got started.

Step 1: Used my Sharpie paint pen to label my dots with sight words.

Step 2: I made sure that the words and colors did NOT correspond (to make it trickier, of course!).  Muahahaha!!!

The finished product! 

Step 3: I created a customizable Twister spinner just to use for playing SitSpot Sight Word Twister!!  (Just click on the picture below and you can get it too!)

 Here is my spinner mat all pretty and laminated.  The laminating is a necessary and important step . . .

Step 4: Fill in the chosen sight words. 

(Note: Remember that the dot colors do not correspond to a particular word.  In fact, my slightly fluorescent dots didn't even match my spinner (GASP!!) but it doesn't matter.  All that matters is that you write in the sight words on your spinner so that each word appears once in each quadrant.)

And you all know the Erasable-Sharpie-On-Lamination trick, right?  You can use a sharpie to write on lamination and then scribble over it will a dry erase marker and erase both markers right off!  So I went ahead and used my fine point Sharpie to write my words.

So, I decided that our classroom library was the perfect place for us to play SitSpot Sight Word Twister.  I just rolled up our polka dot rug . . . 

. . . and stuck the SitSpots right down!! (And after we were done playing, I just put the rug right back down OVER the SitSpots.)

A close-up. :)

FINALLY it was time to play. I actually used this with my lil intervention kiddos since it was a smaller group, but I think this would also work well as a center too. Once you are ready to play you just use a paperclip and pencil on the Twister spinner mat and spin some words! 

Here are my kiddos all tangled up and LOVING this new game!  Even though they were clearly having so much fun, I heard them practicing their words as they clamored to put their right foots and left hands and every other limb onto the words . . . "I see a 'said'!!"  "Here's another 'do'!!"  (Yay for learning disguised as a super fun new game, right??)

Now here is the BEST part . . . As I was spinning words for my kidlets to play I realized that my kiddos would L-O-V-E the chance to be the Master Spinner.  AND spinneing the words would require that particular kiddo to also recognize and call out those tricky sight words.  (That's right . . . it would be EVEN MORE sight word practice!!)  But shhhhhhh!  Don't tell the kiddos!  They will just think it will be the bees knees to get a turn as the Master Spinner kiddo!

So there you have it folks!  Download your SitSpot Sight Word Twister mat tonight. Laminate it. And get yourself some SitSpots . . .

Now's your chance!
Nine of us Cali Gals have teamed up with Sit Spots to bring you a SitSpots Blog Hop and Giveaway!
Just follow the bouncing blog buttons at the end of this post to hop to your next Sit Spot-sational idea! 
You can enter to win on any of our blogs, but you must comment on all 9 for your chance to win a class set of 32 SitSpots! Don't worry, we're keeping it easy...Think Spring Break!

Just head to the Rafflecopter below for up to 21 chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway That's right...Lucky 21! Plus, the winner will be announced on Monday, March 17th ~ St. Patrick's Day.
With dozens of designs to choose from, you'll have a ton of fun spotting up your classroom space just like us!

 Don't want to wait to see if you're one of the lucky 9?
 Well, guess what?
 SitSpots has a deal just for you!
Enter Coupon Code CALIGALS14 during checkout on their site and save 25% OFF!
This offer expires March 31, 2014.

Still not sure? SitSpots offers a FREE sample before you purchase. Just head to their site to request your complimentary Sit Spot today!

Ready for your next creative Cali Gal?
Head over to Heidi from Heidi Songs to see her Sit Spots in action and leave a comment to win!
Good luck!

HeidiSongs Blog

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop! Copies, copies everywhere!!!

Hi there Bright Ideas Blog Hoppers!! Kerri B here...

Thanks for visiting Teacher Bits and Bobs as part of our Bright Ideas Blog Hop for March!

I am here to talk to you about Copies Organization! Do any of you sometimes feel as if your all copies are threatening to literally engulf your classroom and totally take over? Like, where in the heck am I supposed to put all these frazzling copies? Especially if you have some things prepared weeks in advance? Where do THOSE copies go??

I have the same exact problem. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had to stage a "copies intervention" in my classroom, because they were LITERALLY all over the place, with NO sort of organization, no rhyme or reason, NOTHING!!
 My friend, who is UBER-ORGANIZED, got a twitch every time she came to visit me in my classroom, it was that bad!

Intro the hallowed copies box, and all of my problems were solved!!

I got this box from Staples, and added a bunch of file folders labeled with different subjects, for different days of centers, homework, warm-ups, social studies and science, etc. All of the copies for the following week, month, what have you, go into this box. 
This box is my best friend, let me tell you, and helps me know exactly where to find what!
Now, occasionally the copies in this box will become overwhelmed and the box will be stuffed to the max, like if there was an activity that I planned for and didn't get to or whatever. 
So about once a month, I go through the box and take out all of the copies that I know I won't be using. To make sure I'm not wasting paper, I use the blank side of the copies for my printer paper. Re-purposed copies, HOLLA!

When I get my centers ready each day, I put all of the copies for those particular centers (if there are any, sometimes there aren't), along with the manipulatives or laminated cards the kids will be using (whatever the case may be), and put them into these sterilite boxes that I picked up from Target this summer. 
BAM! Everything is self-contained and the kids can just grab the box and head to their station!!

Also, these Sterilite drawers (also from Target) are where I store all of my thematic centers for each month. Since it is March, I have pulled out my March Math, Literacy, and Writing centers and keep them over by my copies box, so I can just grab what I need everyday!!

So there you have it! A way to keep your copies and other centers materials from strangling the life out of you! Hope this little blog post has been helpful to you and can help you get those  copies under control!!!

Now, head on over to read from the wonderful Rachel Lynette, who's blog is called Minds in Bloom! She's excited to share with you about an idea for promoting kindness in your classroom!! Just click the link below her button and head on over....

You may also visit the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you! Thanks for visiting!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

SCKC Conference 2014!!

Hiya Peeps! Kerri and Lindsay here...

Well, we did it! We survived our very first presentation at the SCKC Conference! It was AMAZING, friends!! There were 1400 people at the conference and over 100 ladies came to hear Lindsay and I present our "Wee Ready Writers" presentation. We were absolutely floored and humbled that so many people wanted to hear us speak. Here is a picture of Lindsay and I before and after our presentation...
Can you see the look of sheer terror and then relief in our eyes??

And, here we are actually presenting in front of real live people who aren't 5 and 6 years old!! Aahhhh!!! I am talking about Draw and Write stories...

And here is Lindsay talking about Sticker Stories!!

So after we presented, we got to have TONS O' FUN at the Blogger Bash, where we met up with all our blogging buddies, ate dinner, gave away TONS of fun stuff to the people who signed up to come, and met a bunch of new friends!!
Thank you Katie Knight for a fabulous picture!!

Guess who we got to meet?? OMG!! Deanna Jump!! Who, by the way, is the sweetest, kindest, most genuine person EVER!! Can you tell we're geeking out in this picture??

We also got the meet the Fluttering through First girls, Tammy and Cindy, and we LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!

All of us bloggers compiled our favorite FREEBIES into one GINORMOUS file for all of our followers, which you can all access by clicking on the pictures below. This will also give you an idea of all the bloggers who were there...

Here is one more picture of the group of us after the bash. You can see how much fun we were all having...
Kerri and Lindsay

It was truly a magical experience and Lindsay and I can't wait to get the opportunity to do it again. If you were there and came to see us, thank you thank you thank you!!! It was such an honor!!

XOXO Kerri B and Lindsay