Monday, July 7, 2014

Missing Person Found!! Monday Made-It (And some FREEBIES)

So I am here to tell you that I am not a missing person. Although, not blogging for 6 MONTHS would almost make me one. I'm so sorry for my long absence. I had a special friend in my class this year, and it was really all I could do to actually make it in the door each morning, much less think about this little blog. But I'm back, and I'm definitely going to be better about blogging more often :)

I've been teaching summer school, and taking the opportunity to get some stuff ready for next year! I FINALLY get to teach the same grade level two years in a row. Kindergarten again next year and I couldn't be more excited! These are some of the things I've been getting ready for next year! (Don't worry, I only stay for an extra 30 minutes each day!! I'm not wasting my precious summer!)

Poetry Station and Shared Reading Complete Set-CC aligned

Being new to kindergarten this year, I bought her poetry pack for August/September with every intention of continuing on throughout the year as my students LOVED it! I just couldn't get it together to have them all set and ready. So, I'm doing it this summer!!

This is just some of my progress. I've managed to cut out/laminate all of the little pieces, and am working on the actual poems on sentence strips right now. I'm about 1/3 the way done! That's pretty good right?

I also convinced my K team that we had to have DeeDee Wills and Deanna Jump's math and writing complete sets! I mean come on, these ladies are amazing! And if you get just one unit, you know you're going to love and it and will be mad at yourself for wasting your money on one when you want the whole pack :) 

Guiding Kinders: Math Units COMPLETE BUNDLE Units 1-10

I didn't want to overwhelm myself, but had a little time for pool reading, so I've completely read through Units 1-5 on DW and DJ's Guided Kinder's: Math Units.

These units are AMAZING. I'm not kidding, I cannot wait to see how much more and how much faster my kiddos grow in their mathematical abilities because of this amazing resource. Not only does it give you detailed lesson plans, but it also organizes and builds on itself in a way that is easy for kids to understand, easy to differentiate, and easy for teachers to prepare. I LOVE IT!

I think I have all of the materials ready for the first 4 units, which should hopefully last me until December(ish). I am just beyond excited to start this in August!

We also purchased DJ and DW's Writer's Workshop: Writing Through the Year pack too! I am also super excited to use this wonderful resource. 

Writers Workshop :Writing Through the Year Bundle Complete

So far, I have managed to get through the first three units. Once again, I am just amazed at how wonderful these ladies are at making fluid lessons that push students, in addition to building off of the unit before. Writing was my biggest struggle as a kindergarten teacher because I felt as if I was modeling too much of what my students were not ready for. These lessons are very developmentally appropriate!

So, now onto my Monday Made-It! I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics to show you some projects I've been working on!

This project is something that I've wanted to make for a LONG time. A new prize box! I'd been waiting and waiting for the wooden treasure chests at Hobby Lobby or Michaels to go on sale, but the more I thought about my little kinder babies, I think if that got dropped it would shatter. So, on to plan B!

Michael's was having a sale on their containers, so I got this guy! It is perfect for a prize box because it is big enough to hold everything, and has a snap lid. My only concern was that it was clear. With a little sparkly scrapbook paper, problem solved! 

This was honestly one of the easiest projects I've done. I just attached the scrapbook paper with scotch tape! My kiddos are not going to be in this that often, and when they are, they won't be ripping at the sides (hopefully haha!). And since the box will be full and you won't see it anyway, I put the tape on the inside. 

This is what the box looks like with a few new prizes in it! Since the box is not totally square, the paper did not go all the way to the edges, but I think it still looks good!

Then I just needed to finish the lid! I put some extra sparkle paper on it and made a little prize box label. You can download it for free here (thanks Creative Clips for the border and Kevin and Amanda for the font!)! 

I feel like it turned out really nice! I'm happy and I'm sure my kiddos will be too with all the lovely prizes they'll earn :) Total cost of this project: $15. ($10 for the box, $5 for the scrapbook paper)

After having students the last few years that struggled with emotional regulation, I knew that for next year, I wanted more resources available in my room to help my students calm themselves down. I had seen this idea of a calming jar on Pinterest before, and had failed at making it! 

The Mind Jar is a meditation tool to use when you are stressed.  When you shake the jar the glitter (your thoughts) are all over the place.  Watch them slowly settle while you calm down.  From blog, "Here We Are Together".

But I finally found an easy way to make this calming jar that I didn't mess up, from Juggling with Kids. It was so easy! All you need is food coloring, some kind of jar/bottle, glitter glue, and warm water! 

I ended up using Gatorade bottles. (Glass in a K classroom? I think not!) For each bottle I added 3 cups of warm water (it needs to be warm/hot to melt the glue), half the bottle of glitter glue (I used Elmer's), and 3-4 drops of food coloring. Just shake/stir to mix. Then I added just a tad more water at the end, but don't make it totally full or the kids can't shake and mix the glitter!

I think they turned out great! These pictures were taken about 1 minute after shaking, and it takes about 5 minutes for the glitter to settle completely. Total cost for this project: $7. ($3 for the glitter glue and $4 for the food coloring)

So I have been reading The Next Step in Guided Reading: Focused Assessments and Targeted Lessons for Helping Every Student Become a Better Reader. I bought it last summer and briefly read through it, but I really wanted to delve more into it! 

After reading the chapter about emergent readers, and learning that the fastest way for students to pick up letters and letter sounds is for them to: a) trace the letter everyday and b) see the same pictures for sounds on everything (wall letters, ABC charts, tracing books, etc.). Since I couldn't find one on TPT that I liked, I made my own!

Now I Know My ABC's is a little 83 page pack I made that includes large ABC posters to hang on your wall, ABC tracing books in color and black and white, and an ABC chart for student reference! 
It is on sale on TPT for 1/2 off today and tomorrow only! And the ABC chart is included as a freebie in the preview file :)

Have a great Monday! I'm so jealous of those of  you in VEGAS!


Kayla C said...

Welcome back to blogging! I have just joined:) Your mind calmer with glitter turned out so well! I love your Prize box as well! What great ideas:)
Kayla in the Classroom

Luv My Kinders said...

I have DeeDee's Poetry and Writing and they were fantastic last year. Mu kiddos really loved them and it kept us moving forward and on the right track. Her math is on my wishlist. Love the calming glitter jar/bottle. I am going to have to make one of those. Glad to see you blogging again. Thanks for sharing!

Luv My Kinders

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