Saturday, April 11, 2015

Q and U's Dollar Store Wedding

What would I do without The Dollar Tree? On Friday, I hosted a small wedding for under $15! For Q and U, of course! : ) I have had a Q and U wedding every year I have taught and it really is one of the most memorable phonics activities of the year.And just about everything came from THE DOLLAR TREE! 

My first year teaching I bought a giant wooden Q and U to paint like a bride and groom. They have made it through three weddings! : )


These friends were anxiously awaiting the start of the wedding. I just tied tulle on each of their chairs and we arranged them in rows on the carpet. 

We even scattered flower petals, for $1! 

The reception was a hit! Everything was $1! The plates, the napkins, the silver cake plate, the cups and the tiny silver forks. And let me tell you, those tiny silver forks were the life of the party. They LOVED eating the wedding cake with those cute forks. The wedding cake was the only thing that didn't come from The Dollar  Tree. I really had to splurge $1.99 for 10 cakes at Target ; ) 



The wedding cake is super easy! Just stack Little Debbie cakes!


We even had little name tents to go on our tables for you guessed it...$1!

These friends delivered some cake to our principal!  

I also love making a quilt to give to Q and U as a wedding gift. Each child makes a square to use in the quilt. 

You can download this freebie in my TPT Store! Just click the picture! : )

I love planning fun events to teach! I especially love when everything can be found at The Dollar Tree! I hope this was a memorable day for my kids and that they remember that Q and U are together forever!







Monday, April 6, 2015

Dinosaur Day

I am always amazed at how much my students LOVE learning about dinosaurs! After spending two weeks learning about dinosaurs, I decided to plan an entire Dinosaur Day to end our unit. It was a huge hit!  I planned six different centers that we spent the day rotating through. All of the activities pictured below are available in my Dinosaur Day unit. 



We started our day with making a paleontologist vest. I used brown paper grocery sacks to make the vests. I had the vests pre-cut so the students just had to color, cut and glue on their paleontologist "patches." I loved that their vest included a place to write dinosaur facts. They enjoyed sharing their knowledge with everyone in the hallway and they looked super precious too.




The biggest hit of the day was the DINOSAUR DIG! I won't lie, this is one of those experiences that took a little more time and money on my part, but it was completely worth it! 



My Dinosaur Day unit includes all of the details! : )




I looked everywhere for dinosaur bones to hide, but apparently they are extinct! ; ) Amazon saved the day with these dinosaur molds. They were AWESOME. I just poured plaster into them and TA-DA...DINOSAUR BONES!

We practiced counting by 10's with this little T-Rex craft!


We also built sentences using words we found in dinosaur eggs and stamped sight word footprints!


We have been talking about oviparous animals, and my students were really surprised to learn that dinosaurs come from eggs! This stegosaurus craft was perfect to illustrate the dinosaur life cycle! 



One of my favorite activities all year is making dinosaur models using Model Magic. They always turn out so cute and how much time and detail the kids put into them! 

I love this T-Rex!

Directions to make four different dinosaurs are included in my unit! I always help my kids with the basic sequence, but I try to really let them do it all! : )



It also helps for them to have a model to look at!


We also made fossils using small plastic dinosaurs. I scored a big bucket of dinosaurs for $5 at Walmart.



And of course, no special day is complete without a special snack. 

We enjoyed digging for dinosaurs! : ) It was just an easy layering snack with pudding and Oreos. I put a small dinosaur for each child to find inside. 

I hope you can use some of these ideas in your classroom! Any of the ideas pictured are available in my Dinosaur Day unit on Teachers Pay Teachers.




Friday, March 13, 2015

A Visit from THE GOVERNOR

Last week, my classroom was honored to have a special visitor, Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Governor Abbott is huge on early childhood education and he was visiting my school to see our outstanding Pre-K program. A few days before the big visit, my principal asked if my room could be used for the press event.

 OF COURSE! 

Nothing gets your classroom in tip top shape like a visit from the Governor ; ) Then the day before the visit, I found out he would actually be visiting my classroom and my kindergarteners too!  How exciting! : )

I created a little book about Governor Abbott and we discussed the differences between Governors and Presidents. We also wrote about Governor Abbott.






One of the most exciting things we learned was that Governor Abbott has a daughter named Audrey. We have a friend in our class named Audrey too. So that was a very popular writing topic.



I loved displaying our writing in the hallway for Governor Abbott and his crew to read : ) I am always so proud to show off my little writers. 

You can learn more about my Meet the Authors hallway display HERE.


The whole day was fun. We had all sorts of security and special people on campus. You could just feel the energy!


Governor Abbott's entire team was so nice!




Finally, after much anticipation the Governor arrived! My littles were
 working on observing and describing rocks when he made his appearance. 




We literally had around 30 people in our classroom! The Governor, the Superintendent, principals, news crews, reporters, you name it...they were there! I could not have been more proud of my class. They were absolute angels!




It was so neat to meet Governor Abbott and discuss the importance of early childhood education. As a Kindergarten teacher, I know first hand the importance of Pre-K.  This was such a neat experience and it will definitely be a highlight in my teaching career! : )

Here are a few links to the news articles about the visit:










Monday, March 2, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Word Wall FREEBIE

It seems like St. Patrick's Day always falls over Spring Break, so I never do anything super fun at school to celebrate. Not this year...we will be getting our St. Patrick's Day on! I will be using these little word cards in my writing center to encourage some holiday writing. They are FREE in my TPT store. Just click any of the pictures below to download. 10 Words are included! : )



Happy March!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March...Currently


MARCH! 
And there is snow on the ground...in Texas! Something isn't right here...

Lexi is over it!


LISTENING: I have missed the entire season of Sister Wives! I figured I better catch the finale! It's such a strange thing, I could never share my man...

LOVING: OMG! Have you tried the new Tiramisu latte? Rarely do I try anything new at Starbucks, but I am hooked! 

THINKING: I worked at school 9:45 to 5 today! I am definitely looking forward to bedtime!

WANTING: We had two snow days last week, ugh! Bring on the sunshine!

NEEDING: My grocery list is growing! Maybe I will go at night and avoid the crowd!

SPRING BREAK PLANS: My husband officially moved to Dallas today. We are so excited to start this new chapter, but it sure is sad to be away from each other.After he got this job, we made the decision that I would stay to finish out the school year here. So we will be doing the long distance thing until May 31! Dallas is only 5ish hours away , so we will see each other most weekends. It's definitely still hard though. We also split the fur babies. Luke went with Tyler to Dallas and Lexi stayed here with me. Poor babies don't know what is going on! Luckily, we will be reunited for Spring Break and we will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary!!!!







Sunday, February 22, 2015

Coin Grocery Store


It is so fun to plan a lesson that your students are over the moon excited about. This year I wanted to up my coin teaching game and create a hands on grocery store. My students absolutely LOVED it! I put a lot of thought into how to set up the grocery store to make sure that meaningful learning was occurring and that I was addressing my specific TEKS. I decided to put all of my activities and preparation in a packet to share with you! It includes everything you need to set up a grocery store to teach coins. In the packet I go through the entire process of planning, setting up and the actual activity! 


Here is a little peek into our Coin Grocery Store...

At the beginning of the week, I asked parents to send any empty grocery boxes to use in our grocery store. We spent the week learning about each coin and it's value. We created an anchor chart, sorted and graphed coins.

This coin sorting mat is included in the packet too! : )

On Friday, it was time for the big grocery store! My students used coins to shop and then matched the coin up to each item. 






They also created a little receipt to tell me all of the items that they purchased.




This sounds really silly, but I always gage my student's engagement in an activity on the number of students who need to use the bathroom. Of course, students naturally have to use the bathroom sometimes BUT many times they are using the bathroom as an excuse to take a little break. I have noticed that when students are really engaged in a lesson or activity, they don't want to miss anything so they usually don't ask to go potty. Let's just say all of my learners were so engaged in this activity that we had no one in the bathroom! : ) 

I am really proud of this product because I am not simply giving you worksheets or centers. I am giving you the tools to plan an engaging learning activity for your students! I hope that you will check it out and think about using a grocery store to teach coins!

Stay warm! : )