Saturday, May 31, 2014


It's summer!!

So far my summer has consisted of catching up on my DVR and cleaning the house.  I am too much of a multi-tasker to just sit around watch TV though.  So while my shows are playing I've been busy finding new ideas for next school year on Pinterest.  So I thought I'd do a post about 5 new things I plan on introducing in my classroom next year.

What a nifty idea for organizing all of my bulletin board letters!  I love this idea. 

What a great idea for when subs, student teachers, or even new parent volunteers come into your classroom.  My kids are constantly tearing their nametags off their tables, so this would definitely help a sub or volunteer coming into my classroom for the day.

Source - Unknown: There was no active link on the picture.  
All I know is that I pinned this picture from one of Miss Kindergarten's boards.

I can't stand naked clothespins! Yuck.  I cover our behavior chart and transportation clothespins with scrapbook paper.  But this would be a great idea for the pins used to hang student work in the hallway.  This is the next project on my list.

Source - Kinder-Craze Blog

Oh let me count the ways that I love this... I love all the colors.  I love the idea of having the pennant banners up all year but changing out the student suncatcher art with each month/season.  I am all about decorating for each season so this makes me very happy.  I already have each month's suncatcher craft picked out for next year.  And I love that this is an easy cute way to display student work.

I too have an entire wall of windows and can never figure out what to do with them.  I've tried vinyl clings.  They always fall off.  I've used Gel Gems.  Which I love but if you leave them up too long they get little bugs stuck in them and get gooey.  Yuck!  This is a much cheaper and cleaner alternative.

Source - Kindergarten Smiles

Like almost everyone now-a-days in kindergarten, I too have a behavior clip chart.  I love that students can have a second chance if they make a poor choice early in the day and I love that it rewards good choices.
What drew me to this particular pin was the Star Student board over to the side of the behavior chart.  BTW- this is from Kindergarten Smiles, a blog that I have recently found and fallen in love with.  So these are her ideas not mine. 
Each student in the class has a star with his/her name on it.  At the end of the day, students whose clips are on blue get 1 sticker put on their star, students whose clips are on pink get 2 stickers, and students whose clips are on purple get 3 stickers.  Whenever a student gets 10 stickers on their star, they get a treat from the treasure box.
If a student gets to the top and gets to move their clip up again, the teacher clips that child's clip onto her name badge.  If the clip remains there for the rest of the day, that student will get a diamond glued onto their clip.  I haven't met my kids for next school year yet, but I'm sure they'd be down with this idea.

So those are my top 5 new things I want for my classroom. 

Something else that will new to my classroom next year are these super cute monthly subway art pages.  

And yes I'm partial to them, because I made them.  I love all the colors, fonts, and of course the clipart.

Included in this set are 12 (1 for each month) pages with a black background.  I love the colors on the black background.  I will be taking mine to Staples to print on cardstock so I can save my ink and they'll be more durable.

And 12 (1 for each month) pages with a white background.  This is the ink saver version.

I plan on printing the entire black set during the summer and storing them throughout the year.  When I am ready to display one, I'll put it in a cute frame, then when the month is finished, I'll switch it out with the next month's page.  I'll post a picture when I get it set up.

This is everything included in the set. 
If you want to check it out, click here - Monthly/Seasonal Subway Art

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ten Things I Want to Do This Summer

Hey everyone, I'm linking up with Deanna on her blog Mrs. Jump's Class.  This is my first link up and I am super excited about it!!

Yesterday was my first official day of summer and I spent the entire day watching DVDs and cleaning. What a way to start off summer vacation!  The end of the year is so busy.  I always refer to it as a marathon because it just keeps going and going.  Then when school does finally end, I spend several days recuperating and not doing much of anything.

So to get me motivated here is my of ten things I want to do this summer:

1.  Catch up on my favorite shows!

My DVR is 85% full because I didn't have any time to watch my shows during the last 3 weeks of school.

So ambitious, I know.  But I'm a multi-tasker, so I figure I can get other things done while my shows are playing in the background.

2.  Read!!  

I love to read.  But when I get really into a book, I can't put it down, and then I end up staying up way to late on a school night, which in turn makes me super crabby.  So I've been on a bit of a book hiatus during the last week or so.  


This is the last book in the Mortal Instruments series, and it comes out next week.  I am super pumped!!

3.  Work on this blog!  

I'm only about a month into blogging and I have a lot of questions on how to do things.  So I want to spend some time researching how to do these things.

And by researching...I mean Google.
 And maybe search for some YouTube tutorials as well.

4.  Organize my clipart files... They are a little out of control and I have no idea what clipart I have.

5.  Make things from Pinterest that are not for my classroom!

Like this...
or this
My dad was in the Air Force until I was 14, so I've lived in several different places.  I thought it would be neat to make one of these for each state/country I've lived in and then make a cute collage from the frames.

6.  Spend some time with these precious fur babies!

Snuggle time with the kitties.
Long walks and car rides with the doggies.

7.  Ice Skating!!
Once upon a time, taking figure skating lessons was on my summer bucket list.  Fast forward three years later and I'm still at it.  What was supposed to be a "summer thing" has turned into my new favorite hobby/sport.  My first figure skating test is in August, so hopefully I can get some extra practice time in before then.

8.  Start training for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon.
This is not my first Run Disney event, its *ahem* my 5th, but it is the first time I will run in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  The only reason I wanted to do this particular Half is because of this...

Disney at still my heart!

My mom and I run all of the Run Disney events together.  So for the Christmas run I decided we needed to coordinate.  She's thrilled.

My mom is going to be Anna from Frozen.

And I'm going to be Elsa!
These may not be typical running attire.  But this is Disney and you should see the crazy stuff people wear in these races.  I'm talking full on leftover polyester Halloween costumes.  Seriously just google images for Run Disney races and you will see the madness that is Run Disney.  

So these are actually pretty appropriate considering the tops are moisture wicking running shirts and the skirts are actually Sparkle Skirts with shorts that are also made from moisture wicking material.

9.  Sign up for the Glass Slipper Challenge when it goes on sale in July.

 I've ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon, twice.  But I'm ready for the challenge of running a 10K on Saturday morning and a Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  All at Disney World!  And yes you get three for the 10K, one for the Half, and one for the Challenge.  

This is me running in the Princess Half Feb 2014.

And last but not least...

10.  I'm going to Vegas!!!
 I'm going to Vegas for the first ever TpT conference and I am super excited.  I started selling classroom materials on TpT last July, but then when school got busy in September I didn't post anything else until the beginning of May.  Now I have all these awesome ideas for things I want to make and share.  So I figured I'd better figure out how to do this thing the right way and learn all about it from the experts.  I'm also going to some sessions on blogging.  Can't wait!

I'm ready for this fabulous summer to get started already!

Now hop back on over to Mrs. Jump's Class and see what everyone else is doing this summer!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cleaning out the Classroom

Today is the first official day of summer!!  

Can I get an amen!

It doesn't feel like summer break just yet, but I know it will soon.  I've spent the last few days cleaning out my classroom and getting everything put away.  Our floors are waxed during summer break so we have to move everything we can off the floor.  

For me this means piling as much stuff as I can onto my counter.

I have way too much stuff!

The sad part is that most of my stuff has been crammed into filing cabinets, cupboards, or is sitting in my car right now waiting to go to its summer home in my garage.

I also go ahead and cover all of bulletin boards so they don't get dusty or faded from the sunlight.  I have an entire wall of just windows.

My classroom now reminds me of a ghost sad.

I never realize how dirty and dusty the top of my desk gets until I take all my things off of it.  And yes, I totally tape my desk drawers shut.  I do not want people going through my things.

I know that it wont be long before its July and I'm back in there putting my classroom back together again.  

So its bye-bye for now classroom... see you in July!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Classroom Year End Books

Well its that time of year again…  The end of the school year. 
The end of school is such a rush of crazy busyness that you hardly have time to slow down and enjoy it.  Then all of a sudden its over.  And even though I’m so glad its summer, I begin to realize that when I go back to school my kids that I have become so attached to over the past year will move on to new teachers and classrooms.
This past week I put the finishing touches on my kids’ Year End Books.  Year End Books are a tradition in kindergarten at my school.  All year long the kindergarten teachers collect art work, crafts, writing samples, etc to put into these special books which we then give to the kids and their families after our awards program.
Looking through my students’ books made me stop and think about the growth each of my kids have made throughout the year.  Not only academically, but in maturity, getting along with others, sharing, and in so many other ways.
Every year I start off with the best of intentions and put lots of things in the books.  Then as the year goes on and things get busier, I forget about them and the student work put aside starts to dwindle.  At the end of the year I realize I forgot and then start putting a bunch of things in them again.
Last summer I decided that I needed to jazz up my Year End Books.  So this year I have made a conscious effort to put several things aside each month.  I also found these great monthly pages to divide up student work into different months.
This is where I keep all the pages of my kids' Year End Books until they are ready to be put into page protectors and then placed in binders.

This is an example of a cover page for my Year End Books.  First I bought scrapbook paper books at Hobby Lobby.  Then I let my kids choose which paper they wanted as the background for their cover and trimmed the paper to fit in the front view sleeve.  I love that each child's cover will look different because they got to choose the paper.  I took all of my kids' pictures for the cover in front of our morning mtg board because that is where we begin each day.  I also used fun scrapbook scissors to cut out the names, pictures, and class name/year.  I love how these turned out! 

So here is a picture walk through some of my favorite pages in my Year End Books this year.
This is a picture I take on the very first day of school.  I cut the pictures out and tape them onto coconuts for my Chicka Chicka Boom Boom bulletin board.
This is an activity our students complete with their parents on the first day of school.  We read The Kissing Hand to our new students.  Then each parent paints their child's hand and completes the craft.  (We leave directions for the parents)
Halloween crafts and glyphs.

Happy 100th Day!

Fun Pinterest inspired Valentine's Day activities!

Hurray Hurray, its your birthday!

 The page on the left is what I used as monthly dividers.  They are available on TpT here.

This is the very last page that goes in each book.  A picture of me with that child.

I put an autograph page in the back cover of the binder.

I am quite proud of my Year End Books this year.  I worked hard on them all year and they are definitely better than any previous year's.

My suggestions for a Year End Book
  • If you plan on putting the pages in page protectors, trim the construction paper down before you do the activity.  If you wait until the end to trim everything it can get very time consuming and you may end up cutting off parts of the craft.
  • Put pages in the Year End Book as you go.  I suggest maybe once every couple of weeks you go through them and put papers in the binders.  This way you don't have to do it all at the end of the year.
  • Keep the binders in an accessible place so that its not a big deal to pull them out and work on them.  I keep mine side-by-side and upright on the table beside my desk.  (in ABC order of course)  I print a label with their name and put it on the spine so that I can quickly find the binder I need.
  • Pictures are fun but only put in the ones that count!  Pictures can get expensive.  I was very choosey about which pictures I printed and put in the books.
  • Don't just use art work.  Put in writing samples to see growth, math activities, reports, special homework activities.
My goal for next year is to include more writing samples!

Monday, May 19, 2014


I love watermelon!!

Water day is a special event that all kindergarten kids at my school look forward to.  This year we had 5 kindergarten teachers, so we had 5 different stations at water day and rotated them every 15 min.  One of the stations was playground fun/watermelon.  One of the parts of water day that I was not looking forward to was lugging my watermelons through our building into my classroom, much less bringing a huge knife to cut them with.  So this year I decided to try a neat idea I saw on Pinterest. 

Obviously the first thing you need to do is buy a watermelon. (I used 2 small ones because I have 22 students)  Then find some cute cookie-cutters.  (I found this set at Walmart for $3.  I loved that it had lots of different sizes)

Cut the watermelon into flat slices.

Use your cookie cutters to create shapes from the watermelon.

I used several different sizes so that I could use as much of the watermelon as possible.  Plus I knew that some of my kids wouldn't want one of the big slices.  A kids gotta have options right?

I had a lot of fun cutting the flower shapes out of the watermelon.  Plus it made a really funny squishing noise everything you pressed the cookie cutter down.  I have spent way too much time around 5 year olds because I giggled every time the watermelon made the squishing noise.

I then put all the pieces into a tupperware container, put the container in the fridge overnight, and they were ready to go the next morning.

Why I loved this idea:

  • No morning trips out to the car to carry the watermelons in to school
  • All I had to do was carry in the tupperware container and put it in my fridge
  • No butcher knives at school
  • The kids weren't standing around waiting for me to cut them a slice of watermelon because the slices were already made
  • No rinds leftover for the kids to throw away (or leave laying around because, you know, they're kids and they've got better things to do like PLAY!)
  • Perfect size for the kids to hold and eat
  • Wasn't as messy 
My kids gave this 2 thumbs up!  
From now on I will always do this for Water Day!