Say Cheese!

2016 UPDATE: Check the editable album covers out on TPT HERE! Please note, the poem has been changed by a few words! : )

I can't believe this week kicks off May! May is probably the busiest month of the entire school year, and I am determined to not let it sneak up on me this year! : )

Today I started on my end-of-the-year student gifts. The first year I taught, I made each child a little scrapbook of the school year. They turned out really cute, but the workload nearly killed me! Last year, I started making each child a photo album. I absolutely love how they turn out, and I know they are a treasured keepsake from Kindergarten. 

I buy the photo albums at Walmart for $1 each. They hold 24 photos, plus a front and back cover. I have seen these little albums at Dollar Tree and they actually hold more pictures, but I had no luck finding them this year. Bummer! Here is what the ones from Walmart look like...

I like to create my own covers with each child's name and information about our school year. My classroom is circus themed, so I added my "signature" circus tent!

After the covers are created, just slide them into the photo album and add pictures from the school year. My first picture is always a picture from the first day of school. It's amazing how much they grow! I always end up with tons of extra pictures because I literally take hundreds and hundreds. I just put the extra pictures at the back of the album and I know parents really appreciate having them. I think the albums from Dollar Tree actually hold 50 pictures, so that would be even better! 

I try to order pictures throughout the year as Shutterfly has sales. I always end up ordering a few pictures at the end of the year due to special events, but it's super easy to just slip them in the final pages!

Need to order pictures? Find me on Instagram and enter my giveaway going on now through Friday, May 1st! 

All you have to do is a leave a comment tagging a friend and you could each win a $10 Shutterfly gift card! 

I also like to give my pumpkins a book for summer reading. You can't beat Scholastic prices, and I was SO excited about the $1 book in the Kindergarteners May Flyer! 

How perfect! I am tempted to order enough for a few years, but I don't know what I will be teaching next year. But...I may do it just in case ; )

I hope you had a great and restful weekend! 


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!


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.