Saturday, January 19, 2013

Winner and Sale!

Hey friends!  Sorry for the lack of posts this week.  I have been super exhausted and haven't felt well.  The Giveaway for the Magical Product Swap ended last night and I am proud to announce the winner!

Check your email Viki for your units! :) Thanks to everyone who entered!

Today is the last day of my twenties...I can't believe it!  Tomorrow I will be 30!  To celebrate my birthday, I am having a 20% of sale in my TpT store!

I have just added 2 mini packs this week that would be great for the upcoming weeks.  Stop by if you are interested!

I hope everyone has a great 3 day weekend!  We are going to go eat at The Cheesecake Factory for my birthday tomorrow and I am super excited!!!

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Magical Product Swap

Guess what?! This is my 100th post!!  I can't believe it! :) I am so thrilled for my 100th post to be participating in a The Magical Product Swap which is hosted by Mrs. Stanford's Class.  If you don't know about this swap, you submit your name and they pair you up with another blogger/TpTer and you swap products.

 I was paired up with Mrs. Brinn! :)


I took a peek at her TpT Store and decided on her Wild About Watermelon Unit.

The first thing I did was print it out on card stock and get it laminated.  If you aren't a card stock user, you should be.  I remember the days when I would print stuff on paper and then cut it out, glue it to construction paper, laminate it and then cut it out again.  Then I realized that was ridiculous.  Now I print my stuff out on card stock and laminate the full sheet and cut it out once.  Time saver!   

These are the activities I decided to use from her unit.  

The first activity helped the students practice dropping a sound and adding a sound.  I felt like my kids needed to practice it on the white board first, so I would tell them to write the word and then we would change the sound and read the new word.  After several cards, I started doing them orally and they caught right on.  What I really liked about this activity is that it included the Common Core Goal at the top of the activity.

The next activity was an ABC order activity that had them putting 4 letters in ABC order.  My kids cracked me up with this one.  Since they didn't have all the letters, they were confused initially.  One of them said "but I don't have a b!!" Once we got past the fact that they didn't need all the letters to put them in ABC order, they caught right on.  We practiced all the sets and traded and practiced some more. Again, the activity included the Common Core Goal it aligned with right at the top of the activity. It also included a recording sheet which I chose not to use because I used it in small group.

Both of these activities were very appropriate for skill work in my Guided Reading groups.  Once we practiced each activity, my students were very comfortable and could definitely have done them with a partner or independently.  

The final activity we used was a counting on activity. I cut these cards apart but I apparently forgot to take a picture of it.  I used them total group during Math to practice counting on.  My students are not able to read those numbers just yet (and they will only learn to 20 this year) so I thought it was appropriate to do it total group.  It was nice to have a number to start with without having to pull it out of my head :) 

The whole packet was  78 pages and included several other activities as well, which she lists at the beginning of the packet!

If you like what you see, head over to her TpT store and purchase it!  She has several other products listed that would surely be appropriate for your Kindergarten Class!  Thanks so much for swapping with me Mrs. Brinn! :)

Want a chance to win it?  We are teaming up to give away her packet plus the Wants and Needs Unit she reviewed of mine.  Get busy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Pencil Sharpener Review!

Have you heard of Classroom Friendly Supplies?  I have seen their pencil sharpeners advertised on several different blogs and have been dying to try one.  I have entered several giveaways with absolutely no luck in winning.  I popped by their website and Troy, the owner sent me one to review!  First of all, I love getting a package.  I was super excited when it arrived and it arrived super quick!

Midnight Black

 It came in a cube box and on the inside was that little clear box.  I saved the clear box because it was so nice :) I am sure I have something that will go in there (a game, flash cards, who knows!)  I asked for black, but he also offers green, blue and red.  It's a cute little sharpener :)  I haven't used a crank sharpener in I don't know when because let's face it - they are pencil eaters.  The one I had on my wall used to eat pencils and never sharpen them or only sharpen them on one side, so I dismantled that joker and it's somewhere in my closet. 

Let me tell you though, this sharpener knocked that theory out of the park.  People, this sharpener makes the sharpest point of any pencil sharpener I have ever encountered.  Do you see these points?  I was so excited about it, I took it across the hall to my sweet teacher friend and we sharpened all of these pencils.  Also, when you write with them, the point DOESN'T break!  Amazing!!!  

Also, this sharpener is not loud like most crank sharpeners.  It was very quiet.  It has a special design where you pull out the silver part and then pinch these little clasps to put the pencil in.  Then when you sharpen, the silver thing goes back in.  When the silver thing goes all the way in, the pencil is finished being sharpened! (Clearly I have no idea what these parts are called, but you know what I am talking about, right?)

It comes with a clamp that you put through the bottom and tighten to keep it in place.  I put mine on a bookshelf.  (I forgot to take a picture of that!)

I would definitely recommend this pencil sharpener to teachers.  It works wonderfully.  I didn't let my kids sharpen with it (they are 5 after all!) but I am sure they could.  I plan to use it for cutie pencils like the ones above for math/reading groups.  I like this sharpener so much that I wish you could get it for the beginner or laddie pencils. (Troy - how about making that your next venture? :)  Want to get one for yourself?  Swing by the website and purchase one!

Thanks Troy for letting me review the pencil sharpener, I absolutely love it! :) 

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Polar Bear Fun!

We have learned all about Polar Bears this week! :) We started out learning a lot of facts about Polar Bears by making a "Can, Have, Are" Tree Map and then filling in a mini-book.  Wednesday, we talked about how big the Polar Bear's paw is.  My Kinders were amazed by the size (and so was I!)  We made these cute paws!

Here's how to do it.

Give students a 12 x 18 sheet of white construction paper, bulletin board paper, or chart paper. (I used bulletin board paper.)  Have them ball the paper up, straighten it out and ball it up some more.  Expect squeals of excitement because when do we ever allow them to do that? 

Once the paper is straightened out, carefully tear the sides of the paper off to make an oval shape.

Give students black paper and have them cut out paw pads and claws.

Glue paw pads on the front and claws on the back.

Admire your hard work! Didn't they turn out amazing?

We made a circle map yesterday and did a little fact writing yesterday and today.

Today we learned about blubber and how it kept the Polar Bears warm and we did the "Blubber Glove" experiment.

Here's what you need:

And here are some pics of my sweet children doing the experiment.  

They were amazed - it was precious :) Well worth my hands being greasy all day long! :) 

Like what you see?  Head over to TpT and grab a packet with these activities and more!
If you have already purchased it, go back and download again for the step by step directions. 

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Blog Design and Good News!

Happy Sunday!  I got a little crazy in the middle of the night last night and decided to redesign the blog.  What do you think?  I was looking for something a little brighter with my favorite colors.  The Hazel Owl had a background that was perfect!  The rest took a little playing around, but I am overall satisfied.

This morning I woke up to the dinging of my iPad meaning I was getting emails.  I was elated to find out one of my freebies was featured in the TpT newsletter today!!!  It has been downloaded over 5000 times today and I have gained about 40+ followers at that this point.  I am still amazed at the success I am finding at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Finding TpT this summer was truly a blessing.  If you have not been by to download my Shapes Cooperative Groups Lesson, stop by and download it today.  It is a great hands on, cooperative lesson to teach the characteristics of shapes.

I am super excited because The Biggest Loser comes on tonight!  I have had a very lazy day, but I must get to work on my SMART Board lessons for this week.  What are you doing to prepare for school tonight?

I am looking forward to getting back on schedule and in our routine next week. Hope you all have a great week!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my 100 follower giveaway!  I was so excited to see the number of entries! (Over 700!!)  Welcome to all of my newest blog followers, Facebook fans and TpT store followers.  I hope you have found something useful!  Now on the to the winner! Drum roll please.......

Congratulations Rachel!  Check your email for information on your prizes!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Short Week!

It's funny how the shortest weeks seem so long!  I have had to remind my Kinders of our rules numerous times this week!  Most of them are tired I think from being out of routine.  We have done a lot of review and learning about Winter this week from my Winter unit.  We have also been reviewing addition.  Remember Greg who guest posted a few weeks back?  He has a GREAT dinosaur addition pack!  He also has a freebie of the pack.  We used the freebie today and my kids LOVED it!!  Stop by and grab it and follow him if you haven't already.  You can tell him I sent you :)

Next week we will start our Arctic Animals study and I whipped up a little unit tonight for us to use!  I have just uploaded it to TpT, stop by and grab it if you are teaching Polar Bears too!  Happy *almost* Friday!

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