May 31, 2012

STUDENT SCAVENGER HUNT + GETTIN' LUCKY

I finally pulled myself out of my "creative slump" and came up with an end of the year FREEBIE to share.  I think it was the excitement of me getting to go back next week that sparked it.  I cannot wait to hang with my little darlin' babes and this seemed like a perfect activity for us to share! Here's what I've got for ya . . .
Thank you Goodness & Fun and Delightful Digitals for your design support!
This Student Scavenger Hunt will take the place of center rotations for me next week (I am thinking Thursday will be perfect as it's our second to the last day). The idea behind this activity was to create something fun that will keep my kids up and moving, while still interacting with their "classroom family."  I made up 12 very easy prep task cards for you to hide in your classroom or around campus (i.e. pick up five pieces of trash, add a picture to the chalk mural on our sidewalk, find a classmate who makes you laugh, etc.).  However, I realize that these tasks may not be for everyone.  So . . . I made up a blank set of task cards for you to customize!  Pop on over to my TPT Store to learn more about this hunt and/or to snag your FREE copy.   




There are so many wonderful contests going on right now.  I cannot believe the goods that are being given away.  I wanted to go back and post a bunch of them, but now I am having trouble re-locating my contest "stalks" from earlier today.  But, here are three that I found again.  Just click on the buttons to enter these great contests.


Katie King hit the big ONE-OH-OH-OH!  Wowza :)
This is a delightful "pay it forward" giveaway concept!
And, last but not least, please don't forget that I am hosting my mega Rockin' Resources contest.  I have the Fonts for Teachers program in my hand, Intelli-Tunes is ready for your CD order of choice, those Teddy Bear Press sight word books are on their way via UPS truck, and I have been collecting all sorts of other fun goodies to stuff in the winner's shipment.  Click on the button below to learn more about this Rockin' Resource Giveaway as well as my very first linky party!!  You still have 2 days to enter :)


Alright my friends, I am off to finish up report cards.  I have been putting it off all day and the principal is asking for them sooner rather than later.  Yikes . . . better get to gettin'.  See you tomorrow.

May 30, 2012

REMINDERS + RESOURCES + OBSESSIONS

Hey all.  First and foremost, I want to extend a huge thank you to all of you bloggy pals who joined in my very first Linky Party and/or entered my Rockin' Resources Giveaway.  The response has been overwhelming and I can't wait to select a BIG winner this weekend.  


Remember . . . you still have 2 days and 23 hours to enter (per Rafflecopter's cool little countdown ditty).  For those of you who don't know, I am giving away a collection of my favorite resources (Teddy Bear Press sight word books, the Fonts for Teachers font program, 2 Intelli-Tunes CDs, and more). Click on the button below for more details on the giveaway and my very first Linky Party.  I would love to have you join both if you haven't already!!




In light of my Linky and Giveaway, I also wanted to give a little shout out to another one of my favorite classroom resources.


Halfpint/Music CD Skillastics
I know there isn't a lot of spare cash out there right now for districts to be throwing at new things, but I had to chat about this. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of these sets and it has changed the way I do PE with my class.  This totally interactive exercise program gets your kiddos up and moving while working on core muscle groups.  It also is the  perfect answer for those overly hot afternoons and rainy days.  The set comes with easy to read exercise cards and corresponding music.  My kids beg me to put on the Frankenstein Walk each and every time I break out the kit.  Click on the photo below for more info.  




Finally tonight, I came across the coolest blog about two days ago.  It's called Living a Wonderful Life and I fell in love with her Linky Party idea.  Bonnie is also hosting her very first Linky and I just had to jump on board.  The title won me over at first read - I Have a Confession . . . This is My Obsession!  I obsess about all sorts of things.  And, this little Linky Party is going to help me air out all of my dirty little secrets right here . . . right now. 




Rue-La-La Flash Sales
Being home on surgery leave has been rough on the pocket book.  Rue La La is the best little flash sale site.  You know . . . designer clothes at discount prices. The safest thing WAS that their sales always start at 8 am and I used to be at  school at this time.  However, now I am home.  My phone lights up with a reminder text at 8:02, my heart races, and I find myself flocking to the computer.  Things sell out fast so you gotta be quick.  Let's just say that being at home has made me a little too "quick."  Thank goodness the UPS boxes come during the day and fit ever so nicely at the bottom of our recycle bin :)




Fantasy Football
Who knew this little Nor Cal gal who loves her shopping also loves her fantasy???  Yup . . . I scream and jump all around the living room come fall/winter Sundays.  And, yes, I am one of those freaks who listens to Fantasy Radio on XM constantly throughout the season.  People often ask me, "Kelley, who is your favorite team."  My sad sack response is that I don't have one.  I follow players.  Pretty dude-like, huh?  My hubby and I are in a league together and we are on opposite teams.  Things can get a little tense watching Red Zone and the side bets are flyin'.  He kicked my booty this year as my team suffered injury after injury this season (it's the truth I tell ya), but I'll nail him this year for sure.  




Pay or Free Fonts
I know many of you are in the same boat with this one.  I totally dork out over fonts.  Pay or free.  It doesn't really matter.  From Kevin & Amanda and 1001 Free Fonts to Miss Tiina Fonts, I can spend hours looking and downloading new types!  Things get really rough when I start to incorporate these fonts into my designs or units.  I will spend FOR-EV-ER fiddling with a font until it is just the right one.  Once I pick one, then it is on to size, style, and overall layout.  Oh yeah . . . fonts are a complete obsession.  





Okay  . . . so I didn't air 'em all out.  I just gave you a little taste via my top three.  A few obsessions still need to stay hidden away under lock and key . . . I gotta stay true to my "Secret Single Behaviors" (i.e. how many times I have to make sure I unplug my curling iron each morning) or you all might think I am totally a loose cannon! 


On an oh-so final note this late night, I wanted to give a special shout out to Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies.  I was the winner of her Brag Tag Giveaway!  I can't believe it . . . I never win anything :)  Considering all the great things that have come my way as of late, my luck must be a changin'!  




Night friends.  I'll see you tomorrow.

May 28, 2012

HUGE ROCKIN' RESOURCE GIVEAWAY

I can't believe it . . . I made it to the big TWO-OH-OH.  I am more excited than a kiddo on Christmas morning!  To help celebrate, I am hosting a ROCKIN' RESOURCE giveaway to go with my very first Linky Party.


I will be giving away a collection of all of my favorite classroom resources that were highlighted in my Rockin' Resource Linky Party post.  We're talking a font collection from Fonts for Teachers, 2 CDs of choice from Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes, sight word readers from Teddy Bear Press, and a few other top secret classroom treats . . . it's the works I tell ya.  



 



There are lots of ways to enter and most are pretty easy.  I know the last thing you all want to do is to have to click on 500 different pages!  Just use the totally awesome Rafflecopter ditty down below to enter.  I hope I figured it out . . . that was a lot of new technology all at once!  I will be selecting a winner next Sunday (June 3rd).


Also, don't forget about my very first Linky Party.  I would jump at the chance to have more of you join in the fun!  Just click on the Rockin' Resources Linky Button above to learn more (you also earn lots of contest/giveaway entries for joining the par-tay)!!


On a final note tonight, I wanted to share another one of my favorite Rockin' Resources with you.  


DOUBLE DICE + MINI CARDS
I love to play math games in my classroom.  For me, it's all about disguising learning as "play" whenever I can.  Regular dice and playing cards are staples in many of the activities I run, but they can get old for some of the kids after a bit. So . . . I spice things up by throwing double dice, 10-sided double dice, or mini cards into the mix.  Click on the photos to find these products online - your students will love them.  



    

Have a great night my special bloggy friends.  Thank you so much for all of your support these past few months.  As a newbie, it was scary jumping into all of this a few months ago.  However, you all have always been right there to lend a helping hand!  You quickly turned the "scary" into excitement!  Thanks again friends.  I am one lucky lady.  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 27, 2012

LINKY REMINDER + SALE + PARENT HELPER FREEBIE

We just got back into town after a night in Sacramento.  Good times for sure, but the hot dog I ate at the River Cats game last night was a less than brilliant idea.  (Thank heavens for the appointment that I have with the nutritionist/diet specialist on Friday!)  Nuff said on this lame post-surgery subject and now it seems that I am WAY off topic :)


Back to business . . . I wanted to remind you that I am hosting my very FIRST linky party.  It's called, "Rockin' Resources: Things I Couldn't Live Without." This linky highlights all of those wonderful things in your classroom that you live and die by.  CLICK ON the linky party button below to check out the great items bloggy friends have shared thus far!  I would love for you to join in the fun as well.  The more the merrier my bloggy friends.  Your ideas and classroom success stories are truly invaluable!  A HUGE thank you to all of you who have joined the party thus far.  It is oh-so scary puttin' yourself out their for the first time and I so appreciate the support :).



On that note, here's another one of my FAVORITE resources that I use daily...

LEXIA LEARNING
This computer program is the bomb-diggity of reading games.  It is all standards-based and the kids love to play it.  This game serves as one of my daily reading center rotations and it hits all of those key phonics, spelling, and basic reading concepts.  Have your school check it out if you can.  It is an invaluable resource at good old Evergreen.  Click on the photo below to visit the Lexia Learning Web site.  For more awesome classroom resources, please visit my linky party page.  


Well . . . enough about my "party."  It's time to spread the love a bit.  I always enjoy my daily visits with my friend Teri over at A Cupcake for the Teacher and I saw that she was hosting a Top Teacher's Memorial Day SALEabration!  I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to join in the fun.  I may be a little late in the game, but everything in my TPT Store is 20% off through tomorrow!  What can I say?  I heart a killer sale :). 



Last, but not least, I have an end of the year FREEBIE for you all who are still laboring away at school.  Next week my kiddos will be writing notes to our classroom parent helpers during one of our reading center rotations.  I made this template up for my teammates and my long-term sub and thought I would share.  These notes will be attached to the parent helper gifts (sill up in the air) and will given out that very last week of school.  

CLICK HERE to snag your parent helper thank you template!
Thank you to Fonts for Peas, KPM Doodles, and Wisteria Design Studio
I am off to spend some time with my husband (it seems that I have forgotten that I even have a spouse this evening - whoops).  I will see you all tomorrow with another "Rockin' Resource" and a giveaway opportunity.  

One FINAL thing.  If forgot to tell you last week.  It's official . . . am teaching first again next year!  And, the even better news is that my teaching bestie will be right there with me once again.  Life is good!  Night friends. 



May 26, 2012

ROCKIN' RESOURCES - MY FIRST LINKY PARTY

With school coming to a close (or already closed for that matter), many of us are setting our sites on summer fun, personal projects, and family time. However, knowing the crazy teachers that we are, many of us are also thinking about next year.  Summer is the perfect time to work on school and acquire new resources at your own pace.  So, with this said, I figured I would host my very first Linky Party.




This little Linky is called Rockin' Resources: Things I Couldn't Live Without.  I am mainly thinking of the things/resources that you use in your classroom that you live and die by, but it could include other things as well.   I know I am in need of a few more "classroom tools," and who better to ask than my wise bloggy buddies??!!


Here are my TOP 5 "classroom can't live withouts..."


READING IS FUN SIGHT WORD BOOKS
I came across these two years ago and they have made all the difference in my kids' sight word growth.  They are perfect for K-1 classrooms.  Sight words are introduced one at a time and build slowly throughout the series (lots of spiral review).  In addition to completing a phonics reader, I assign a couple of pages a night out of one of these.  I ask my parents to read the assigned pages with their kiddos at least 2-3 times.  Once they are fluent, I assign the next couple of pages.  Click on the picture to visit the Teddy Bear Press Web site.


INTELLI-TUNES
Any of you who visit me on a regular basis know how much I heart Intelli-Tunes!!  If you haven't heard these yet, you are missing out.  Ron Brown's music is standards-based and is perfect for K-3 classrooms.  Not only do the kids love it, but it is classroom music that teachers can actually stomach!  My kids beg for me to play these and I truly believe that their understanding of concepts has been greatly supported by these fun songs.  Click on the picture to visit the Intelli-Tunes Web site.


   


FONTS FOR TEACHERS
I love making my own worksheets and this resource is perfect for it.  Fonts For Teachers allows you to make everything from dotted handwriting practice sheets (print, d'nealian, or script) and perfectly lined paper to custom clock math pages.  Love, love, LOVE this resource.  Click on the picture to visit the DownHill Publishing Web site.  



ART PROJECTS FOR KIDS
This blog offers up mind-blowing art projects for kids.  If you haven't had the opportunity to visit Kathy Barbro's site, put it on your to-do list.  She is an amazing artist and has created tested classroom art projects for grades K-5 and beyond.  Take a moment . . . you'll be glad you did.  Click on the picture to visit Art Projects for Kids!


  


KLEENSLATE WHITE BOARDS
My kids all have the basic individual white boards in their desks.  However, I wanted something a little different to add some spice to the white board group work they do during my center rotation.  SO . . . I purchased a group set of KleenSlate White Boards.  We do a lot of the same work that they do at their desks (spelling and such), but it seems oh-so new to them because these boards are such a novelty.  The buy-in is HUGE and they love working and writing on these!  Click on the picture to visit the KleenSlate Web site.




All right . . . that's my list.  Now it's your turn!  To participate, grab the Linky Party button above and link your post down below.  Don't forget to link back to my site pretty please!  The more the merrier so please spread the word . . . let's get those ideas flowin'!    


May 25, 2012

THE TRUTH ABOUT - END OF THE YEAR ACTIVITY

Hello friends!  I am in such good spirits today.  Open House was a huge success and it was so great to see all of my babies.  They really worked as hard as hard can be for my long-term subby-sub and the room looked absolutely fantastic.  I meant to get photos, but once the kiddos came in I was oh-so distracted :). Boy, have I missed the hugs (you can only ask for your hubs for so many . . . and I am used to at least 100 per day).  One little boy even cried when he had to leave.  Then Miss Water-Works herself (yes, me) started tearing up too. They are just such great kids.  I am still prayin' that I'll make it back for all or at least part of that last week.  


I posted an end of the year bulletin board idea yesterday and wanted to make a little writing piece to go with it.  My kids LOVE to give advice and I thought this would be a fun way to welcome the crew who takes their place next year.  This activity is called, "The Truth About ______ Grade."  It's a quick writing activity that will fill a center rotation for us next week.  I plan on saving these puppies and having them out on desks during our annual day Meet The Teacher Night.  


Here's what I came up with.  I am showing the one I will be using, but the FREEBIE download includes versions for Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades!  


CLICK HERE to download your end of the year freebie!
A HUGE thank you to Fonts for Peas and KPM Doodles for the graphic support.


I gotta run again.  I am on my way to sneak into a grade level meeting.  
Shhhhh!!  Don't tell my super.  I am not supposed to be on campus!  Some "legal smegal" garbage :).  But, the principal is handing out grade level assignments today and I am brakin' all the rules!  Please. Please. PLEASE . . . let it be first grade!





May 24, 2012

END OF THE YEAR DITTY + BULLETIN BOARD

Gotta make this short and sweet as I am off to Open House.  My guts held on today after a rough morning (I resorted a few last minute tricks) and I get to see my kiddos after more than 3 months away.  It's crazy.  I am so excited . . . and nervous too :).  


I promised another end of the year goodie and I make good on my word!  I do this easy activity every year and it's always a hit with the kids.  In addition, it takes care of one of next year's bulletin boards!  Whoop . . . whoop . . . it's a two-for-one!
I don't have any photos of this ditty yet since I haven't completed this task with my kiddos this year and
 it didn't ever occur to me that I should snap a picture of this in the past.
So, I made you a cute little graphic representation.    
Here's the skinny on this no-brainter activity.  Provide each student with one letter of your sign (some might need to complete two due to class size).  Let them doctor them up with lots of colors.  When finished, students cut out their letters.  Next . . . wait . . . there isn't a next.  That's it.  Done and done.  I always like to mount my letters on black so that they stand out more when I create my bulletin board.  Oh . . . and I make a cute little heart or cloud cut out for the bottom of the board and let this year's kiddos sign it.  They always get a kick out of visiting next year and seeing their "gift" on the wall.  

I made up the first two letters in the sign so you could get a better picture of what I am talkin' 'bout :)
Thanks to Miss Tiina Fonts for the cute lettering!
CLICK HERE to snag a FREE template of this.  The file works for Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades (I included all of these grades in the FREEBIE download).  If you are a higher grade and would like a template, just shoot me an email (see contact button) and I will gladly make you one :).

Ooooooo . . . look at the time.  Gotta jet, folks.  Please pop back in tomorrow as I will have a follow up FREEBIE to go with this.  See you soon friends.







May 23, 2012

OPEN HOUSE PREP + END OF YEAR LINKY

Please excuse my tardiness with today's post!  I was helping my long-term sweetie of a sub finish up the major project that I begged her to keep in the mix for Open House this year.  Our first grade team always runs with an Africa theme.  It's a pretty fun unit to teach.  You can cover all of the habitats and the kids so dig learning about all of the animals.  I do have one special project that I love the most ... Zulu Warrior Shields!  However, I must confess that while the kiddos absolutely heart these bad boys, they are a nightmare to put together.  I just couldn't let my sub face it alone.




So, after much persuading, I sent my subby-sub home, pumped the tunes (alt nation baby), and got down to business after hours.  I must say that it was much easier without having to teach all day.  I was able to come in all "slobbed" up this year.  Two years ago I remember trying to work the glue gun on this same floor in heels and a dress . . . it was not a pretty sight.  My fingers are crossed that my new digestive system will cooperate and I will get to attend Open House tomorrow.  I hope.  I hope.  I hope.  


I also wanted to jump in on a fun Linky Party that Valerie is hosting over all All Students Can Shine.  It highlights all of the fun end of year celebrations we have with our students.  Although the last week is a crazy one, I know we all love to do it up right.  Here are some things I have up my sleeve.  




BUBBLES
Clearly, Valerie and I are into a lot of the same things.  I am all about a bubble day too!  I give each kiddo their own bubble bottle (3 for $1 at the Dollar Tree) and break out the boombox.  It's always such fun.



THEMES
The first grade team gets together and comes up with themed days to carry us through that final week.  We always do a camping day on Monday and Hawaiian theme on Tuesday!  I love making grass skirts with the kids and they love learning how to do the hula.  Wednesday is our field day and we run with a Sports Day.  The kids get a kick out of supporting their favorite teams as do I (GO DUCKS). We go an extra day this year so I think we are going to do Character Day on Thursday and round out that last day with a school spirit theme.  We better get on that decision!!!  I will post photos  when that last week finally hits.


BALLOON POP ACTIVITY
I have seen that super cool "balloon popping" ditty all over the blogs and Pinterest.  (I think it originated with First With Franklin, but I am not sure.)  We are so running with this that last week!  It is just too cool to pass up.  Any suggestions on things that I should offer up?



Well . . . I am off to make a sign in sheet and finish up tomorrow's freebie.  I have another end of the year idea for you guys.  See you tomorrow!

May 22, 2012

FREE GRADUATION CRAFT + GRAD SONG

I was trying to work on common core stuff this morning, but somehow got myself WAY off track and slid into a whole kinder graduation mindset.  I don't even teach K this year!!??!!  I think my mind subconsciously wandered off to be in a much more happy place . . . creatin' kiddy crafts :)

This is what I came up with today.  It's a spin off of this amazing craft I found on I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar (see link below).  It's kinda corny, but it makes my heart happy.  I turned it into a Kinder graduation invite (FREE template below), but I also made up an alternate writing activity so you can still use it if you aren't doing the whole grad thing.

Invite - Front
Invite - Back
I will confess that I made THREE different handprint crafts until I found this one and I had to make a sample of the owl twice.  I am super tired today and I quickly found that my big old hand is just WAY too large to create samples.  By the time I finished my "creating," I ended up getting paint all over the place (yes, even in my hair) and my desk looks like a bomb went off.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh . . . I am such a dork.  Ya gotta love the life of a teacher.


If this craft/activity is up your alley, here are the steps and the pit falls :)

  1. Trim and mount the front of the invite on the cardstock BEFORE you put your handprints down or it will wrinkle something awful.  Whoops!
  2. Have your kids put their handprints down prior to gluing the owl down.  It looks much cleaner this way.  Just have your kids overlap their palms a little in the center. (Also see I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar for an alternate wing idea.)
  3. You can use the template at I Am Momma or you can provide the elements (construction/scrapbook paper) and model each step.  The owl body is easy . . . just round the bottom corners off of a rectangle and cut a swoop between the top two corners.  
  4. Write the invite prior to mounting just in case your little ones mess up. This big one (A.K.A. me) boogered it up and had to peel it off because of a misspelled word. . . told you I was out of it.
That's about it.  It's pretty easy once you know the steps :). The alternate template (for us non-kinder teachers) is showcased below.  If I find the time that last week, I am going to send this home as an end of the year parent gift.  



CLICK HERE to download all of the templates.  
Thanks to PeachPops Clip Art and Fonts for Peas - you guys rock!

On another crafty note, do you have an awesome graduation craft that you would like to share?  Any input is WELCOME! 


Finally tonight, I have to share Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes graduation song.  I worked this into our Kinder grad last year (the kids sang it) and the parents were eating out of our hands.  Check out the sample below!  It's available for single song download on the Intelli-Tunes web site now.


Graduation Song SAMPLE - Ron Brown's Intelli-Tunes
Push play to start and pause to stop.

That's it my friends.  I am off to the salon to get my scary roots covered up. Now that I am back to my beloved blonde, I am hopelessly addicted to that "bottle."  See you tomorrow.  
 

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