Friday, October 3, 2014

Tricks and Treat Blog Hop

Welcome to Tricks & Treats Blog Hop!

I am extremely excited to be participating in this Tricks and Treat Blog Hop. There are so many fantastic sellers participating. I am going to keep this short and sweet.

For my Trick:
I have been trying to find the best way to store my clip boards. I use my clip boards for numerous activities in my classroom. I was scratching my head trying to find the perfect way to make them accessible, and have them stored in an easy to grab place.

Most of the items I purchase for my classroom, as well as, my personal life comes from Amazon. I love my Amazon Prime membership! If you use Amazon you will know that once your oder items, it tracks your purchases and gives you suggestions. I was looking on Amazon and purchasing items for around my kitchen. The next week, Amazon suggested several kitchen items from their store that I might want. Well... right there on my homepage was exactly what I was searching for to store my clipboards!

 I purchased 4 of these dish drying racks and I couldn't be happier! I now have my clipboards in an easy grab location and each clipboard has a spot to sit.
For my *Treat*

I have two treats to give away for this blog hop. I have one of my favorite activities I have to use with my clipboards ~ Write the Room Centers! I am making my Fall Write the Room center free for the duration of this blog hop.

Click this image for Fall Write the Room
I am also hosting a giveaway for a 15$ gift card to Amazon so you can purchase a rack and try it out in your classroom!
Click this picture to bring you to the giveaway!
To enter this giveaway, visit my Facebook. Click the "Giveaway"tab to enter to win a 15$ gift card!

Please visit all of the wonderful bloggers below

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fabulous Fall Link-Up

The leaves are starting to change and the weather is getting colder, fall is here! 

I have been feeling inspired to create lots of fall themed products. I've been finding new ways to incorporate some fall themes. I've collected tons of acorns and am excited for my kids to use them as math manipulatives this week. 

Now for the link-up... add your favorite fall product!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apples, Apples, and more Apples!

Our kindergarten classroom just finished our apple week and to celebrate we had an apple party!

Here are a few of the centers we worked on this week.

Rainbow Apples ~ Color Word Center
Students pull different color apple cards from a deck. They then select that color marker to trace "The apple is" for hand writing practice. The students then copy the color word from the card to fill in the blank.

Apple Lacing Center
Students worked on their fine motor skills this week by pretending to lace wiggly worms through different apples. The apples are labeled 1-6 with 1 being the easiest with the least amount of holes to 6 being the hardest with lots of holes. 

Let's Cook! ~ Apple Center
This was one of my favorite centers this week. Students used our pretend cooking set to "bake" different apple items. They followed recipe cards for apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, and apple butter. They then record down how much of each item they used to make the apple dishes. The students loved pretending to cook delicious apple dishes. This was also a great math and following direction center.

Planting Seeds with Johnny Appleseed Center
Students used Gator Grabbers to work on their fine motor skills and math skills. Students glued apple seeds (I had a parent spray paint popcorn kernels black) unto their paper. They glued the number of seeds that the Johnny's sign had posted. 

Apple Write the Room
This is one of my student's favorite centers. I hid cards around the room and they have to go on a "scavenger hunt" to find the cards and write down the secret clue on the back of the card. Because this is the beginning of the year I made the worksheet that correspond with the cards have a traceable print. The students LOVED this center. 

Apple Letters
I created this center to help students with their writing and alphabet recognition. Students pull apple alphabet cards from a deck and use thin markers to trace the letter on their recording sheet. They trace the letter in the color that the card has the letter represented. They are the colors of apples, of course! Red, yellow, and green. 
Apple Jacks Sight Word Center
To help practice the sight word "the" students used apple jacks and kid tongs to fill in the letters. Students loved the smell of their finished craft!

Apple Tasting
Of course we could not have an apple party without any apple tastings! We tried apple butter on crackers, apple juice, and made our own applesauce!

You can find all of these centers and more in my apple unit on

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Let's Work Together!

I am a contributing teacher author for  Who's Who and Who's New blog hop and i'm so excited to share some of my ideas for building a classroom community.

Building a strong sense of community can really make a difference in your classroom. A common phrase we say with our students is "Create the community you want to live in" and I am a strong believer that children who have a strong sense of community in their classroom have a higher level of respect. They respect one another, as well as, their surroundings.

It is not uncommon for teachers to have classroom jobs. Most teachers have some sort of classroom job/classroom helper bulletin board in their rooms. I, like most teachers have one of these bulletin boards. I have "Jungle Jobs" for my students.

My "Jungle Jobs" are just like most jobs you will find in a kindergarten classroom. We have our "messengers" our "pencil sharpeners" our "line leaders" etc.

We all know that by giving student's jobs it helps build their sense of responsibility and self worth. When I first started teaching, I struggled with assigning jobs to everyone so the entire class can cooperate together. This year I will start "Animal Jobs" where each student will have a job that corresponds with their table/group.

Having each student have a job throughout the day helps build a sense of community among the classroom. Students take pride in their jobs and also respect our classroom. By giving jobs, like sweeping and wiping down tables, students gain a sense of community with the feeling of "we are all in this together." From my experience, once i've implemented table jobs, students cared more about their personal space, as well as, encouraged other students to respect our classroom.

How my Animal Jobs work:

My classroom is set up in four tables with five or six students at each table. My tables are classified by colors.

  • Orange Iguanas
  • Blue Barracudas
  • Green Monkeys
  • Red Jaguars. 
If any of your grew up in the 90s you'll know those are names from Legends of the Hidden Temple. For short reference with the kids I call them by their colors.

Each chair at the table has an animal in the corresponding color box.

  • Tiger
  • Lion
  • Rhino
  • Monkey
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra. 

The jobs that are listed for my "Animal Jobs" are:

  • Cleaning Crew
  • Paper Passer
  • Recycling(garbage)
  • Table Cleaner
  • Supplies
  • Chair Stacker 
Starting on the first day of the week I assign new Animal Jobs. The way I have my jobs displayed are are taped to my door (I'm out of bulletin board space) with 3M Command Fridge Clips hung below each job title. This is so I can switch the animal cards weekly. The students know that the animal on the back of their chair corresponds with their weekly job. 

Throughout the day the Supplies and Paper Passers will gather materials and pass out papers for our lessons. They are in charge of prepping their table for our lessons/activities. This helps build a sense of community and responsibility among their peers. 

At the end of the day Table Cleaners wipe down our tables with clorox wipes, the Recycling students empty table trash cans, the chair stackers stack 3 chairs and then the Cleaning Crew sweeps under the tables. This helps build a sense of community because when students are in charge of cleaning they keep their area neat so they will not have extra work at the end of the day. 

I purchased my classroom sized garbage cans at Amazon, they are great and can be cleaned easily. I then color coded each garbage can with Gym Tape.  I use this Gym Tape to color code everything! I highly recommend table garbage cans. This is a great way to keep students in their seats. It keeps them from getting out of their chairs every minute with scrap paper. I learned this idea when I was student teaching from my 1st grade cooperating teacher and I will never not use this strategy!

I purchased my small dust pans for student to use to sweep at Amazon. I then used the same Gym Tape to color code them. The students love to sweep under their tables and are more conscientious of their snack messes.  

You can have my Animal Job pack for free by visiting my Facebook Page and clicking on the "Fan Freebies!" Tab

Next up on our blog hop is Ms. Lilypad's Littles!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting Organized for the School Year with Binders ~ Freebie for Facebook Fans!

Back to school time is finally here and while I'm sad to say good-bye to my summer...
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However, I am happy to say i've finally got myself organized!
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From unorganized tubs to binders!
I will be going into my third year teaching and the phrase... "third times a charm" is ringing in my head. I finally feel that I'm ready to take on these little kinders with confidence! 

My big summer goal was to take all my storage tubs of centers and file folders and turn them into nice organized binders. I am absolutely loving my binders! I feel so accomplished. 

I now have all my themes, teacher documents, and centers nice and organized. I am so excited to start this year!

You can help yourself become organized too by purchasing my binder labels at TpT...

Or you can simply like Curriculum to the Core on Facebook to receive these binders for free!

Happy Back to School Season!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Recycling Crayola Watercolor Palettes

Every year at the end of school I am left with 25 Crayola watercolor palettes that look like they've seen some serious art work. I typically just throw them away because there is either very little paint left or all the colors have mixed to make the ugliest brown. Well... This year I wanted to come up with an idea to save all these paints. I was throwing away perfectly good water color paint. I have recycled the paints and i'm very please with how they came out. The colors are vibrant (even yellow!!) and are in their own containers so they will be spared the awful mixing of the paints.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kindergarten Summer Review Worksheets

Kindergarten Summer Review Worksheets

It is not a surprise to anyone that the summer break can really hurt everything you taught over the school year. I've created Common Core State Standard aligned worksheets for kindergarten students going into first grade to use to keep those skills sharp by the time September rolls around.

The way my summer review works is that students are to work on one worksheet in math and one worksheet in reading a week. These are all concepts that students have learned throughout their kindergarten year. I also believe that the summer is a time for students to relax and have some fun, this is why i've only created one worksheet for math and reading a week. They can review concepts without being tied down to having "summer homework"

This summer review pack has 24 worksheets. 4 math worksheets and 4 reading worksheets for June, July, and August. This pack does not have any first grade concepts, this is a kindergarten review. I have taken the concepts from the CCSS website and they are outlined at the bottom of the worksheets.

Our Favorite Snapshots of Kindergarten

I cant believe that this school year is almost to an end! It has been a fabulous year and I am truly going to miss this group.

I'm going to miss these kids!

One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to make a memory book for the students to take home. Each student write down their favorite kindergarten memory and I copy and create a book for each of them to take home. This year i've decided to make a memory book in the style of a scrapbook with the theme of "Our Favorite Kindergarten Snapshots."

You can download this for free and create one of a kind memory books for your kindergarten class!


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