Thursday, February 14, 2013

You Melt My Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day! What a busy day. My kinders were SO excited to celebrate today with our class party and V-day activities. I saw so many cute valentine ideas on Pinterest this year. It was hard to decided what to do for my class. I decided on the melted crayon hearts. I’m sure you’ve seen this on Pinterest and if you haven’t tried it you should! It was not hard and it didn’t even take long at all.

I found these heart silicone molds at Michael's. The set of 12 was under 7.00 with their weekly coupon.
I soaked the crayons in warm water for about 10 or 15 min and the Crayola papers came right off. The Rose Art paper wrappers did not. They ended up in the trash because I didn't want to mess with pealing papers off. Who has time for that?!?
They dried in no time! Next, it was time to break them up and place them in the silicone molds. They baked at 215 degrees for about 20 min or until they were melted. I pulled them out and let them cool over night. They popped right out of the molds with no trouble. Next time I think I'll be more selective with the colors I choose, but the kids loved them and I'll definitely try it again.

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Literacy Center Response Sheets for Young Learners

One of my favorite centers in my classroom is the listening center. I have a wonderful variety of books and CDs ordered from Scholastic and my students LOVE listening to them. I like that my listening center is always ready to go with very little planning. Just change out the story and the response sheet and the kids are set. This fall I discovered a problem. Somehow I lost my entire file of listening center response sheets! This was super frustrating and prompted a serious multi-weekend classroom organization project. Every cabinet, cupboard, drawer, and even file cabinet was cleaned out. Still no missing file of response sheets! Sigh. What's a girl to do? I did what any TpT/teacher blogger would do... created a set of simple literacy center response sheets that are easy enough for kindergarteners (even beginning of the year kinders). Click here to visit my TpT store and check them out for yourselves. Happy center time! Click here to preview and download.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

First Freebie!!!

I've started around 15 units and activities that I have intended to post to TpT and haven't gotten any completed yet. It's a little scary to create something and throw it out into the world like that. What if I missed something when I edit it? What if no one finds it as useful as I did? I'm feeling brave today and posting my first FREEBIE. It's not colorful or full of clipart, but it has been useful in my classroom. I implemented behavior punch cards in the fall and it has really helped to motivate my students to do their best. The kids get an extra punch for each level (green or above) that they end the day on. I can really see them working hard to clip up so that they can get more punches. Enjoy!
I'm not 100% sure which blog I snaged my behavior clip chart from. How bad is that??? I think it was from Mrs. Freshwater's Class blog. Head over and grab one for your classroom.

Click on this picture below to download!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Five for Friday...on Saturday!

I spotted this linky and thought it would be the perfect way to get my rear back into blogging. I finally found my stride this week after struggling to get back into the groove. Coming back from Christmas break and being sick both took it out of me. I was finally productive with my planning time (I can often be found visiting with colleagues to avoid my massive To Do list). Not this week! I organized and labeled cabinets, rearranged center spots in my classroom, and even cleaned out files. The most amazing thing of all was that I got to school 30 minutes earlier than usual most days this week so that I could get it all done. My 10 month old decided to wake up at 5:30 each morning this week to get me rolling. :) Can't resist her smiling face so up we got! Here's what has been happening in my classroom this week... We celebrated Kansas Day! Kansas turned another year older and we celebrated with lots of Kansas activities throughout the day. The kids made sunflowers (our state flower) with 100 sunflower seeds glued to the center. They counted out 10 piles of 10. We are experts at this after celebrating the 100th day of school last week. We also enjoyed a little chocolate "Kansas" treat. A mini Hershey choloclate bar with the corner bitten off. The mini M&M represents where we live. They loved it! The fun idea came from my teaching buddy next door. Love teamwork!
We also started our first week of yoga. We usually have 20 minutes of rest time each day. The kids would get out their rest towels and I would put on soft music for a little quite time every afternoon. This time was really nice at the beginning of the year. Many of the kids would drift off to sleep and the ones who didn't would get some much needed quite time. Well...this time stopped being peaceful in the fall and had since turned into one of my most dreaded times of the day. The kids would do just about any sneaky thing they could come up with and there was very little resting happening. Enter kid yoga! I found some wonderful DVDs on Amazon and the kids are LOVING that they get to turn their rest towels into yoga mats. It is seriously the cutest thing ever to watch them go from pose to pose. It's a great brain break for them and one of the DVD's is actually called Silly to Calm. Perfect for what I need right before learning center time. Anyone doing yoga in their classroom? Do you have a favorite DVD or resource to share? I would love to hear feedback.
Lastly, here is a pic of one of my cabinets in my classroom. I've been trying to reach this level of organization since I moved rooms in July. It only took half a year. Ha! I did tell my other kindergarten teacher friends that they might need to hide my label maker from me because I am getting a little out of control. I brought it home for the weekend. Let's just see how crazy I can drive my husband labeling things around our house.
Check out other Five for Friday posts!