Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summertime! Relaxation, Reflection, and Prep

Happy summer y'all!

I love summer break.  I try to balance recharging my batteries with getting stuff done.  I'm lucky in that I live in California just minutes from the beaches.  Every Wednesday I meet a group of people at the beach- toes in the sand... that's how I recharge.

During summer break I also reflect upon the previous school year and spend one day a week over the summer planning and prepping for next year.  This gives me the piece of mind to enjoy my other days yet continue to grow as an educator.   Reflecting on the past school year is one of the BEST things I do over the summer.

In the spirit of sharing (which is one of the big things we practice in kindergarten),  I'm sharing one of my favorite letter activities with you.

To prep it, simply print, laminate and cut apart.  Done.  

To pay it, I like to play this in small groups.  Pass out the cards and have the kids arrange them face up on the table.  Begin with the first card.  The student reads the card, "I have a... who has t?"  Students look for the card with the t and then that student reads his card.  I have the students turn the cards over after they read them.   You can play this two ways,  by having them say the name of the letter or the sound the letter makes.  By having the cards face up,  you can see who has the letter and help them if they need it.  I like to give clues like, "One of my boys has this letter."

I hope you enjoy using this activity with your kids.  Don't forget to take time for yourself this summer (teachers need that), spend a little bit of time preparing for next year (you'll be glad you did),  and take a few minutes to reflect on the things that worked well (or didn't) and mentally make adjustments.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Time for a Sale

Good news!   TpT is having a sale!  Head on over to our shops to get great deals.  Don't forget to use the code (I did that once and was so upset with myself- you can bet I won't let that happen again!)

We've been super busy, but you can look forward to more posts from us very soon.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Summer Fun

Hi Everyone, It's Cheryl.

As the school year ends, I'm always looking for ways to keep my kiddos entertained during the summer.  A fun activity to do with your kids is to make this Summer Fun Countdown Rings Activity.  Just run these off on different colored construction paper and cut into strips.  Kids assemble the rings and then take them home on the last day of school.

Parents will LOVE you because they won't hear "I'm bored," from their kids at all during the summer.  These rings have lots of creative things to do that will keep the kids entertained and stretch their imaginations.

Click on this link or the photo to grab these from Tracy's store.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bulletin Boards

I love my classroom bulletin boards.  They really set the tone for the learning that is happening in the room.  They make the room come alive with the work that the kids are doing.  My kids LOVE to find their work on the wall.

When I teach my ocean unit, the bulletin board becomes part of the instruction.  As we learn about different parts of the ocean, from the water, to the plants, to the coral and other sea life, we add the elements to the bulletin board.

We start by painting the ocean together.  I give the kids sponges and we paint away dabbing turquoise, blue, green and purple paint onto butcher paper.  After that we add the coral reef
and the kelp.  From there we learn about the different ocean animals and add those to the habitat as we go discussing where each one should be placed. 

So as you can see, the bulletin board grows as we learn about sea life and the kids refer back to it throughout the entire unit.

Another way that I get my kids to revisit the bulletin boards is by hanging the book that inspired the lesson right under the bulletin board.  Kids love to unclip the book and reread it as they look at all the projects that are displayed.

Just push a clear push pin into the wall and hang a binder clip on it.  The kids can easily remove the clip, read the book, then replace the book on the wall.

I also like to put up information next to an art project.  Here the kids drew Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  We did a Venn diagram sorting facts about both of the presidents.  Kids love to reread the facts and look at their presidents.

I hope you got some inspiration and some good ideas for your own classroom bulletin boards.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fun and Easy Valentines

It's Cheryl again,

I like to give my kids a Valentine that isn't candy and won't be thrown away at the end of the day so I make them each a heart shaped crayon.  It's really easy to do and it recycles our old and broken crayons.
Make your own Valentine Crayons this year.

Simple remove the crayon wrappers, break into small pieces and then melt the crayons in the oven just until liquid.  You will need to use a silicone baking tray for this project.  Once the crayons are cooled, then you can pop them out of the baking tray.

Valentine Heart Crayons

I let the kids choose their own crayon Valentine.  I like to make them with lots of different colors, but you could make them with just one or two colors if you prefer.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Have fun making these!

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Hi there,
Cheryl here.  I want to show you how I use strips of paper to make graphs.

Friday was Pajama Day at my school.  The kids come to school in their pajamas and we do lots of fun things to make the day special.  One of the things that I do in my room is to make pancakes with the kids.  After making pancakes (math and science) we graphed how we like to eat our pancakes.  This was the first experience making a graph for my kiddos.

To make the graph, I wrote their name on a paper pancake.  They attached that to the end of a 3x9 strip of paper.  The color of the paper was determined by their answer to the question, "How do you like your pancakes the best?"  Light brown= plain, yellow= with butter only, dark brown= with syrup only, and dark brown with a yellow stripe= with both syrup and butter.

We used the strips to look at the data in two different ways.  The first was by laying the strips out in columns to make a simple bar graph.  This is one of the most common ways to look at data.  (One of my kiddos moved the butter only strip when I was getting my camera- little stinker).

Pajama Day Fun- Pancake Graph

After we discussed the results of our bar graph, I then changed it up by arranging the strips into a circle.  This created a pie chart that allowed us a chance to look at the data in a different way.  We could figure out the percentage of the class that likes their pancakes in different ways.  

Pie chart graphing

The kids immediately noticed that half of the class liked both syrup and butter on their pancakes.  Since I teach TK, we didn't bother going into the exact percentages, but if you had older kids, then that would be an appropriate thing to do.

You don't have to do this with pancakes, but think about all the different things that you could do it with.  It's a great way to show kids how, by displaying the data in different ways, you get different information about it.  Using strips of paper to make graphs is my new favorite way to display data.  I hope you find it useful and inspiring as well.

Thanks for stopping by!