Friday, September 28, 2012

Grandparent's Day

     We had Grandparent's Day at our school yesterday.  I knew it was going to be difficult for me, but I don't think I realized how difficult it was going to be.  I lost my Grandmama this past July, two months ago.  This whole week I was just trying to get through it and get it over with.  That is so totally unlike me.  I love special projects, I love crafting with the kids, and I love when we have special visitors, especially grandparents visit our class.  I even love the preparing and planning part of it, and this year I could not even get that together.  I changed my mind a thousand time on what I wanted to do.  I just kept thinking about my sweet Grandmama is gone, and I now I don't have any more of these opportunities to spend with her.  I don't have many pictures because I really was trying to stay busy, so I wouldn't break down and cry.
     Our awesome Grandma came and read two stories this year, we made a special snack, sang a song, and gave them a little gift that we made.  I completely forgot to take a picture of the gift that we made.  It was a tile square (left over from last year's major remodel project at our house) with their handprints in the shape of a heart.  It also had a sweet little poem around the heart.  I believe everyone had a great time (even me), and next year I'll be back on my A game! :)
Our awesome Grandma read Caps for Sale and The Squeaky Door.  She is such a fabulous storyteller!

After we listened to the story, we made a special snack.  They had to listen and follow directions to make their snack.

We then sang a special song for our grandparents and other family members.

     We had several that their Grandparents have passed on or lived to far away attend, so we invited Grandfriends, Aunts, Uncles, or parents to attend in their place.  We did not want anyone to feel sad or left out.  My hope for everyone is that they made a special memory and will one day look back on this and know that they made these children feel very special.  That is one thing I will always remember about my Grandmama.  She was always there for me and always made me feel that I was the most special, important person in the world.  I love you Grandmama and look forward to the day that I will see you again!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Five Senses

Here are some of our activities that we did to go along with our Five Senses theme.

I found this little book at Kindergarten Nana.  It was exactly what I was looking for!  I did change it slightly, but I love it because it is simple and still gets the point across!
The first sense that we learned about was sight.  We also learned about the color of our eyes.  They colored a picture of an eye to match their eye color, and then we graphed our class eye color.  I don't think I have ever had so many blue eyes in one class!  I have this fabulous Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat game that we used to demonstrate sight.  Unfortunately, I did not get a picture!  They are shown several different objects.  We then place them in the hat, and they have to try to remember what object they saw before I pull out.  They loved it!  I'll try to get a picture of it up next week.  I'm also going to let them play with it in the Science Center next week.
We then learned about hearing.  My bells were really small so we were not to put them on ribbon before putting them on the page.  Amazingly enough, you can still hear them jingle!
They loved the hearing game!  There were different objects with sounds inside the egg.  We shook the egg and tried to guess what the sound was.  I had my little cheat sheet, so I knew what the sounds were!  Some of the sounds that we had were: rice, sugar, bells, screws, rocks, shells, and small erasers.
Our smelling sense was a lot of fun!  We learned that we could smell good things and bad things.  We actually had one of our school vacuum cleaners motor burn out, so we were able to smell a really bad smell!  On our smell page, I sprayed some perfume on their flower.  It was quite cute because many of them said that it smelled just like me. :)
Here our are smelling jars.  Some of the smells that we had were: pine needles, cinnamon, garlic, lemon, pepper,  perfume, cocoa powder, and cloves.
I think everyone's favorite sense is taste!  My class loves to eat!
We tasted lemon-sour, unsweetened chocolate- bitter, pretzels-salty, and sugar cookie- sweet.  The favorite was definitely the cookie! I thought I had some pictures of them eating the lemon, but I guessed I was laughing so hard I missed it!  The unsweetened chocolate was pretty funny because they were expecting something sweet and it wasn't! 

I'm so frustrated with my camera!  I can see the pictures but cannot get them to upload.  I'm missing our touch page and our final project of Five Senses.  I'll also try to retake those pictures and put those up later.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


      We have been learning All About Me and our names for the past couple of weeks.  I'm not going to put the same activities up from last year, but you can look under the All About Me sections to view those pictures.  There were a few activities that I forgot to take picture of, so I will try to get those up early next week!  I thought once my own children got older life would slow down, but I think it just gets faster and busier!  

We did an All About Me glyph.  The idea is originally from Kim Adsit at Kindergals.  I just love her ideas!  They did a great job with their glyph and even gathering the information!

They chose a skirt for a girl or pants for a boy.  They had to choose the correct color of yarn for their hair.  The buttons tell how old they are and the crayon tells what their favorite color is.  We then collected the information and graphed how old we are, what are favorite color is, and how many boys and girls we had in the classroom.

We learned about our birthdays!  They made a birthday cake with the amount of candles to show how old they are.  I put these together in a class book.  It has their name, picture and date of their birthday.

Letter Puzzles-  This was a center activity.  The letter puzzles are from Lakeshore.  First, they had to spell their name.  Then the put the pieces together to make the letter.  Finally, they traced their fingers over the letters.

Sensory Box in action!  They LOVED this center!  Can't wait to make the next one!
We had to move the tub to the table when the boys did this activity. :0  They still did an awesome job!

We did a few different things with this activity.  They did rainbow names.  I know a lot of people give Mrs. Deanna Jump credit for this activity, but I've been doing it since I started teaching many moons ago.  Mine is a little different, but I guess the same concept. :)  First, they tore paper and made their names.
Then they used links and unifex cubes to measure how long their name was.

In the Play Doh center they had the option of making faces, spots on the dog, or candles for the birthday cake.  I found these here.  I just printed them off and laminated.  The kids loved it!

       That's all for now!  I'm finally getting ready to decorate for fall!  Happy Fall Y'all!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Apples for Free!

     Michelle at Musings of Me has put together a fabulous Apple unit.  There are literacy and math products, as well as some craft ideas.  She is giving away the unit for free if you blog about it until tomorrow night.  See here for the details.  It is $5.00 in her TPT store.  I promise you will absolutely love it!  I've purchased products from her before and was very pleased!  Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sensory Tub

     I've been looking for some different, fun, fine motor activities to use in my classroom.  I did some investigating and researching over the past few weeks and the sensory tub craze caught my eye.  Let's face it, kids love to play and they love all that little stuff that we love to throw away!  I found lots of sensory tub ideas on Pinterest and knew I had to make one.  Today was the test.  If it was successful, it will be a staple during my center time.  If it wasn't, time to move on and find something else!  Drum roll please.....HUGE HIT!!!!!  Now I'm probably going to live at the Target Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree.  It did take some time to put together, but it was well worth it!
This recipe is the same one that I use to dye pasta. I used a 10 pound bag of rice, you can definitely use more or less.  Mix together 1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol and 2 teaspoons of food coloring in the Ziploc bag.  Pour rice into bag and shake well.  (I divided the rice into 4 cups per Ziploc bag.)  Make sure all rice is evenly coated with the food coloring mixture.  Lay out on baking sheet or aluminum pie pan and dry out in sun for about an hour.  

You might need to add a drop or two of food coloring to make sure it is completely covered.  

I love color, so I made several bags and then mixed it all together in the tub.

This is not the best picture, but it has tons of stuff in there.  I put mirrors, candles, small diaper pens, bottles, rattles, alphabet beads,magnetic numbers,  play phones, brush combs, and some small manipulatives (house, pets, people) for them to find.

The trick was they could not pick up the items (except the mirrors) with their hands.  They had to use the large plastic
tweezers.  I was really surprised how well they did with this!   Next week they will use the All About Me Count sheet.  They will take the items out of the tub with the tweezers and write down how many items that they find on their sheet.
     This week I'm allowing them to explore and play before doing the "work" part of the activity.  Be on the look out for more upcoming sensory tubs!

Friday, September 14, 2012

If you take a teacher to Target...

 If you take a teacher to Target for one item, you know she has to take a quick peak at the Dollar Spot.  When she goes to the Dollar Spot, you know she will find

these fabulous little rugs!  Even though they were $2.50 she knew she could find a good use for them.  Thinking about what she could do with the rugs

she found these felt apple and leaves that could be used for counting, crafting, or sorting.  When she started thinking about counting she found these

cute little pumpkin cups.  Write the number on the cup and then use

these cute little erasers!  Counting can be a lot of work so little ones need something fun to do with their hand and help improve fine motor skills, so

she found these cute little pumpkin magnet and candy corn game that would do just the trick.  Speaking of tricks the teacher found these

glow in the dark spiders that could be used in a sensory box or just for fun.  This teacher likes to have fun

and thought that spider could be a lot of fun on a big web in the classroom, and the pin the nose on the pumpkin could be even more fun!  You know who is fun, Snoopy is Fun!  What could be more fun

than Snoopy puzzles!  Something to do when morning work is through.  Now that got this teacher thinking about working again and she spotted these

spider counters.  She bought the leaves last year and found so many uses for them, she just had to have the spiders too! All this thinking that Halloween is right around the corner made her think Thanksgiving is not that far away and low and behold there was the

cutest turkey hat!  The turkey hat was also in the $2.50 pin, but thought she needed to have it anyway.  Now if she was finding all these fabulous things at the Dollar Spot, what would the Dollar Tree have?  So, she made a quick trip to the Dollar Tree and found

these plastic leaves that would be perfect for sorting!  Well, all of these wonderful finds made this teacher think she
better get busy on her lesson plans, so she can put them all to good use!

     But you know once she starts working on those lesson plans, she will probably need to go back to Target!  If she goes back to Target, she will probably have to go back to the Dollar Spot! :0


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trying to Catch Up!

     I really need for life to slow down!  I feel like a hamster on the wheel that never gets off sometimes! I brought home lots of homework for the weekend and hopefully will get a lot accomplished and posted on the blog.  We've had some really nice temperatures this week which makes me want to decorate for fall, not do homework.  Maybe I can work both in... :)  I have to tell myself like I tell the kids, "when you get your work finished, you can play."  So here we go!
     Last week was a really short week for us, so we had to finish up a few things this week.  I'm always overlapping themes, but as Pete the Cat says, "It's all good."  It's amazing how you can tie some things together! LOL!  Most of these projects were started last week and then finished up the beginning of the week. 
      I really do spend a lot of time going over our supplies.  I really want them to know how to properly use them and to take care of them, so they will last at least until Christmas! :)  I read a book to go along with each tool, we do an activity to go along with it, and then color a page that we made into a book and put in our backpacks.  The little books were from an old Mailbox, and the pattern for the backpack is somewhere in the abyss.  I drew out a simple little pattern for them to cut out and piece together, and then we put the little book in the pocket.  The handle is ribbon.

We began our Cat in the Hat at Open House.  They made the hats on that day.  We painted the faces one day and then the next day finished them.  I love how they all have their own personality!  I saw this on Pinterest and then pieced it together from different patterns that I had in my files.
We had to squish to get them all in! :)

This group is working on a page in their Creation books.  There is a post from last year that has the completed Creation Books.

This was a center that we did this week.  I found this box of manipulatives when I was cleaning out my basement.  I think it was from an old curriculum many, many years ago.  They sorted the objects by color and then by attribute.  I have a plan for these little manipulatives that I hope to get on here this weekend!

Play Dough Center-  Number Stamp

The Letters on the Bus-  I used the little buses with letters on them to introduce the letters of the alphabet.  This is not all of them, but this was the only picture I took.  This is the tune to the Wheels on the Bus
The A on the bus goes "a", "a", "a",
"a.","a","a",   "a","a","a"
The A on the bus goes "a", "a", "a"
All through the town.

This idea came from Deanna Jump.  They cut out the bus and wheels, glued the first letter of the name on the bus and filled in the blanks.

     I'm hoping to get more up this weekend, so stay tuned!