Sunday, December 2, 2012

Santa Craftivity

Quick post to share a new item in my TPT store just in time to make before it's too late!  This is a cute craft, and a quick and easy writing prompt to go along with it.  (Click on the picture below to check it out!!)

My students had a fun time sharing what they all want for Christmas with each other and having me write it on our mind map.  They were also super excited to cut out all the pieces of their Santa.  We did our writing together on Friday (kids using clipboards on the rug, me showing them how-to on the doc cam.)  I will have to take a pic of the mind map and share ASAP.  We will be putting our Santas together in small groups Mon/Tues, and I will put them up on the bulletin board as soon as they are done.  Check back later this week for a picture of my room decorated for Christmas!

Do you put up stockings with your students' names on them?  If so, here's a cute little freebie for you.  I put mine up on a clothesline hung from the ceiling, and wanted a cute title this year.  I hope you enjoy it, too!  (Click on the pic below to snag yours!!)

Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How Time Flies

This school year is flying by!  It seems like it was just Halloween, and now Thanksgiving is over.  I have to say I am thouroughly enjoying this crop of kiddos this year, and while I really love being home with my own children, I am anxious to get back into the classroom on Monday!

I have been thinking ahead to holiday activities, and whipped up an activity pack for the folk tale The Gingerbread Man.  This story has so many possibilities...I included just a few in my pack.  Even though so much more can be done, I have so many other projects to get going, songs to teach for our Winter program, etc. and only a few weeks until break!  GAH!  {At least report cards and conferences are over.}  Check it out here.  It includes: sequencing cards, a follow-up sequencing activity for centers, a writing prompt, and two craftivities!  WOOHOO!

Here is one of the books I will be reading to kick off the gingerbread man chase:

And I plan on sharing this video:

I hope you enjoy my new activity pack!  I know my students will.  I can't wait to see how excited they are about Christmas and the holidays.  ;)

What special activities do you do along with this folk tale?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Freebie

We made our first few Halloween projects this week.  We learned the poem "Five Little Pumpkins" and made some pumpkin puppets.  The kids loved watching the youtube videos I showed them.

I like the various versions of the poems the kids were able to see, and I LOVE the Raffi song.  In case you need a giggle, I like how animated this lady is, and it does show some good hand movements to teach the kiddos.  ;)

We also made some torn paper pumpkin art this week.  I created this bulletin board title, and you can snag it here for free for your pumpkin bulletins.  {Be sure to print out as 8.5 x 14.}  Our school has three display cases, and I'm supposed to have put my class' stuff up for the month of October {oops}, so I will be posting our pumpkins we made on Friday tomorrow before school.

I just love love love me some cute clip art.  If you create your own things, you have to check out KPM Doodles.  She has a new website, and for a limited time, use the code NEW50 for 50% off!  SWEET!!  I just bought the pumpkin patch and Thanksgiving clip art packs.  At least clip art doesn't cost as much as shoes?  :)  Happy Sunday, everyone.  Have a great week!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Apples and Fall

I don't know about you, but Kindergarten has to be the busiest grade level ever!  I feel like I don't sit down until I drive home from work.  But I love it.  There's just something about Kindergarten...

This past week we've been doing lots of reading about apples!  It's fall y'all!!  Here are some of the books we've been reading:

We are also reading other books about fall and fall leaves, but these are a few of my students' favorites.  In addition to our reading, we have been apple tasting, apple graph making, and Johnny Appleseed crafting.  The kids are loving it!

Here are some of the resources I used to create apple learning fun in my classroom:

A is for Apples from Oopsey Daisy Blog.  This packet is massive!  I am picking {no pun intended} and choosing a few things from this like the Apple Booklet for my kiddos.

I just love this blog: A Cupcake for the Teacher.  She creates the cutest "craftivities."  We are making these Johnny Appleseed crafts to go along with what we are learning about him.

Cute, right?  So far we have cut out all the pieces and will put him together this week.  We still need to do a mind map on Johnny so we can do some writing, but all things in good time.  :)  You can buy Ms. Cupcake's unit on TPT here.

I must remember to take some pics of my kiddos work!  I am such a crazy lady all day, I don't think of it.  We did some torn paper apples that are super cute displayed with our graph.  Pics to come!!  I promise.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pets in the Classroom

I'm super excited to announce I recently applied for a grant from Pets in the Classroom, and I was approved!!  I got the package in the mail today, and I'm ready to run down to Petco now!  Only, I don't think the fish will last in the bags until Monday.  LOL
If you are interested in applying to get your own pet for your classroom, it's super easy!  Just go to their website here and choose which program you'd like to apply for.  Click on Grant App on the top of the page, read the info, and scroll down to the bottom.  Click choose your grant type, and decide where you'd like to apply.  I chose Petco, since it's here in town near Target, and I seem to end up there at least once a week!  You can then choose which type of pet is best for you and your classroom.  I chose fish, because I wouldn't have to worry about it over the weekends and such.

Here's what my classroom gets: a 10 gallon deluxe aquarium kit {everything is included!!}, and a coupon for $5 off the fish.  Sweet!!

You can also choose from other small animals depending on which grant you decide on.  You can choose from hamsters, guinea pigs, lizards, etc.  I didn't want something I felt bad about leaving in the classroom over any vacays.

So check it out!  What a great program, and super easy to apply for.  Thanks Pets in the Classroom!!!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Classroom Freebie!!

I know I've shared this freebie with you before in one of my previous posts, but I'm linking it up with Manic Mondays at Classroom Freebies!!  I grew tired last year of always having to take down and restaple kids' names on the Classroom Helper chart.  So I decided to make a super cute one that I could use clothespins on, and just switch out the clips weekly.  Next week I'm introducing classroom jobs and responsibilities a few at a time, and I'm sure the little ones will be super excited.  {They are such a sweet group of kids this year!}

The helpers freebie includes the kids as a title, or an owl option.  It includes two pages of helpers options, and also a page of pencils you can print out, laminate, and hot glue onto clothespins.  When you laminate them, you can write kids' names on them with Sharpie and erase them with whiteboard cleaner or windex and a little elbow grease.  Then, you can reuse them year after year.

I hope you all enjoy using this freebie in your classrooms!  Click here to get your copy.  Thanks for stopping by!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A New Adventure

So tomorrow is the big day.  24 (or more!) little people are going to be entrusted to my care for 9 months.  They will grow in more ways than just physically in their first year of education.  I have such a good gut feeling that this is going to be the best year ever.  My 11th year teaching.  Can that even be possible??  It doesn't seem like it.  This year will be a new adventure in kinderland.

SO, I'm having a glass of wine, hanging out with the kids, and enjoying my last moments of peace before the crazy begins tomorrow.  At least the #1 kid doesn't start school until the 4th, and the #2 kid doesn't start until the 11th.  I only need to worry about getting myself ready in the morning for a week before the chaos begins.  Now...what to wear the first day?  I have these new adorable flats to wear:

So I'm thinkin' black slacks, those flats, and one of my anthro tops.  But which one???  LOL  Okay, have a great Monday everyone!!  Wish me luck in my new adventures in kinderland.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Summer break is winding down, and I'm super excited to get this year rollin'!  This week has been pretty uneventful as far as my classroom goes, as it's been mostly ready for a week.  However, we did have our kinder parent orientation meeting on Tuesday, and it went super smoothly.  {Yay!}  14 families out of 23 in my class came!  That's a great turn out for summer I think.  The families all seemed very nice, and the kids seemed super sweet and calm!  Crossing my fingers that the good vibes I'm feeling come true on Monday.  :)

Tomorrow we go in for our teacher inservice day.  I'm looking forward to seeing all my coworkers and putting the final touches on my class.  I promise I will take my camera in tomorrow so I can share it with you all.  Monday will be here before we know it.  Thank goodness my daughter's school doesn't start until after labor day, and then the little one will start preschool {sniff} on the 11th.  Less stress for me the first week, and fewer lunches to make!  :)

Now for the good stuff!  I uploaded a few more lovlies to my TPT store.  I suffer from severe migraines, so this summer I decided I needed to make up a substitute binder and get some emergency sub plans in place just in case.  The ones I've had this summer landed me in the ER, so that will not allow for the hours it takes me to prep for a sub on a normal basis.  I'm giving you the cover page in editable form as a freebie {click the pic} so you can add your name and room number to it cuz I loves ya!  The rest of the binder dividers and forms can be downloaded in my TPT store here.

Enjoy the last few days of summer, my friends!  I have no plans Saturday and Sunday so I can enjoy the kids and be lazy.  {Giggle!}

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We Are Family!

Thought I would do a quicky post to share my latest creation.  I love the ever-so-popular subway art popping up everywhere these days, and I've seen a few teachers put up a classroom version.  I decided to personalize my own, and of course make it cute and colorful!  I plan on printing it off and putting it in a picture frame near the front door.  After we get our class picture, I will frame that as well, and set it out next to the "In this classroom..." art.

Here it is:

Click on the picture to download your free copy.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Almost Ready...

I feel like I have been thinking about my classroom all summer!  I even went in early so I could get started.  I have been creating things on Photoshop all summer to personalize my space, and make it just how I want it.  In conjunction with a few things I bought on TPT, or got as a free download from some awesome teachers, I am happy with how it is coming along.  What to take a peek?  Sorry about the phone pics...

Welcome sign from Kreative in Kinder included in a big pack of classroom decor.  Click on the link to check out the set.  The owl ribbon I bought at Michael's and hot glued onto the top of each flag.

I'm super excited about my tree of knowledge.  I got the idea for this tree on Pinterest and simply sketched out a tree and branches, then traced three different sized circles in two shades of green.  I created the owl myself on Photoshop.  It says "Look Whooooo Knows their Letters & Sounds."  You can't see it in this photo, but since I'm crazy, I decided to add stitching lines on the darker green circles with black pen to help them stand out more.  I am going to put a little owl with each child's name on the tree once they have mastered their letters/sounds.  You can download a free copy of the owl by clicking the picture below.  Last minute I decided to cut off the blue chevron background so the owl would look like it was coming out of the tree through a hole.

Another new idea I had this year was to create a personalized classroom respobsibilities bulletin board.  Last year I got so tired of having to take down and restaple kids names up under each job week after week, so I decided to use clothes pins with kids' names on them.  Of course, being my crazy, crafty self, I had to make them cute.  I mean, this will save me work in the long run, right??  I created a page of pencils, printed them out, laminated them, cut them all (yeah, I know...I cut out most of mine at the park when we were having a playdate) and hot glued them onto clothes pins.  They are so cute, they were worth the work.  I made two sets of 25, plus a few extra for those newbies we get throughout the year...and I'm sure that a classroom full of littles will break a clip or two.  ;)  Oh, BTW, when you laminate them, you can use Expo whiteboard cleaner to wipe them clean, and you can use them year after year.  Click the picture below to get your free copy of my Classroom Helpers set on TPT.

Here is a pic of my finished clothespins.  Cute, right?

If you love my freebies, please share with your friends!  I just started my TPT store, so I would love it if you would follow me!!  I am also on facebook as Kindergarten Kapers.  Come join the fun!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CTP - Creative Teaching Press

Love me some CTP!!  This is the first year which I'm trying to coordinate my classroom all to match.  Still debating, because my background papers are already up!!  That means I would have to redo them.  {Sigh.}  I really function better when things in the classroom are aesthetically put together, coordinating, and organized.  Hence my "Mission Organization."  I love this coordinating set of classroom decor from CTP:

I love the different frames for labels, and those inspired me to make my own classroom helpers signs.  My plans for these are to print out and glue pencils/clip art with my future students' names onto clothespins, and then just move the clothespins around when they change jobs.  Here is a snapshot of my labels:

I'm a sucker for new classroom stuff, and it just so happens that I stumbled upon a giveaway on a fellow teacher's blog for class stuff!  WOO!  She's teamed up with CTP to giveaway a set of Sing Along & Read Along with Dr. Jean, which is a $56 value!  Hope I win!  Check out the giveaway here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Labels

SO! I'm super happy with the way my book labels came out. I've only done one set of them so far. I want to get into my classroom and sort through my books before I make any more. I would rather not have 10,000 book bins...they have to fit on my shelves, after all! What do you think??
Next up for mission organize the classroom:
Classroom Helpers

Labels Page by: PrintCandee

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Exactly a year ago, I spent the entire summer wondering how I would survive teaching Kindergarten.  I swear, if you can teach Kindergarten, you can do anything!  I have seriously earned my gold star.  I'm actually quite thankful to a certain principal who told me he thought I would be a perfect K teacher.  At the time I felt like telling him he was nuts, but he was right.  I'm so glad this summer I'm not freaking out and wasting my vacation time!

I have become obsessed with scouring the Internet {Pinterest!} for fun, fresh ideas for Kindergarten.  I actually think I've seen too many ideas, because I'm starting to feel overwhelmed!  So I decided a great place to start would be with classroom theme and organization.  I think I've decided on owls, although I'm still debating monkeys.  Anyway...I love, love, love totes and buckets to organize things.  Organization makes me happy and certainly less stressed.  I wish I had an expendable income.  Those buckets can add up quickly!  I bought a few totes/organizers at the Target dollar spot last summer.  I'd like to buy a bunch and organize my library books.  It is going to be a lot. of. work.  But worth it if it's as awesome as I think it's going to be.  Here are some of my Pinterest "pinspirations":

Option 1 - Organize by first letter of books

Option 2 - Organize by subject matter

Another Option - I like the clear bins in this pic

I love these labels!  They are super adorable.  I am thinking I can create my own similar ones to suit my needs.  But then I think...$4 would save me a lot of time.  LOL  Love those little stick students clip art.

How do you organize your classroom books??  Leave a comment or link up if you'd like to share how you organize the chaos books can become.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A New Adventure

Warning:  long, personal post...

To say that this past school year was difficult would be an understatement.  I have been teaching 10 years.  A whole decade.  You would think that teaching kindergarten would not be a problem after having several years under my belt, but I must say that it was a whole. different. world.  Kinderland.  Let me give you a little backstory on my teaching career...

10 years ago, I began teaching fifth grade, and I taught it for another five years.  In the meantime, I went back to school, got my master's, got a reading certificate, and decided I wanted to become a reading/intervention specialist.  It was my passion!  I applied for and got a reading specialist position at my school.  Those were the best two years of teaching I could have ever asked for.  I helped teachers and struggling students, I taught the GATE class.  It was a dream job for me.  However, as those of us in education are well aware, budget cuts to education in California have been severe.  I was placed back in the classroom in a 2nd/3rd combination class.  My husband's health went downhill, I had an infant at the time, and I was devasted having lost my wonderful position...cue the violins.  I figured the next school year couldn't be any worse.  Never say that.  The following year I had a 1st/2nd combination class.  Another year with the stress of teaching a combination class, in addition to my family responsibilities, only to find out the next year I would be teaching kindergarten.  Sigh.  Did you count that up?  Four grade levels, three years.  Stressful?  Yes.

To be honest I was quite resentful to have been placed in kindergarten at the beginning of the year.  I felt like I was being stuck there.  I freaked out all summer thinking I could hardly handle my own five-year-old and two-year-old, how could I possibly handle 25 kindergarteners!!??  Then the school year started.  I cried.  Every day.  Three or four times a day.  The first week of school was AWFUL.  I could NOT believe the hand I had been dealt with the students in my class.  There were a multitude of behavior problems in addition to the normal five-year-old antics.  The first week of school I had the counselor, psychologist, and county psychologist in my classroom observing students.  NEVER had I EVER had so many people in my room observing kids.  Several nervous breakdowns later, several months later...despite the craziness of kinderland, I have grown to love it.  The growth you see in kindergarten is just amazing.  The tingly-teary-eyed-teacher-moments, kind of growth.  I have never ever told students that I love them, and this year I can honestly say I love LOVED my kids.  Even the ones that made my hair fall out.

As resentful as I was at the beginning of last year, this summer I cannot wait for the start of the next school year.  I have grown so incredibly much more this year as an educator than I ever have before.  I am TPT junkie, and am thinking I might, just might be able to create my own contributions to the education world.  So stay tuned...I think good things are on the horizon.