July 2013 - Miss Kindergarten

How Do You Stay Organized? {linky party}

This week's linky party brought to you by Freebielicious is all about organization {my favorite subject!} Obviously, I'm uber excited to be hosting this week! Here are some of my favorite organization ideas that I've shared on my blog!
A few weeks ago I shared how I organize new student bags and supplies in my classroom for the beginning of the school year. It's super important to start off the year organized because it really sets the tone for the rest of the year. You can read all about the new student bags and labels {here}.
I also have some fun black and white labels as a free download in my TpT store!

Tip: To keep your room looking clean and organized, tidy as you go! I set aside 5 minutes after school every day to pick things up and put them where they belong. If you do just a little a day, it doesn't become so overwhelming. Now it's just a habit, I don't even have to think about it!

I have *a lot* of crafts and I've toyed around with different ways to organize them. I found this super way to organize my samples, and I'm kind of obsessed! Not only do they stay uncreased {my biggest pet peeve!!!}, they're also really easy to sort through. I just flip to a month and remember all of the ideas I have! You can see how I organize my crafts and download free monthly labels {here}.

This is one of my all-time favorite organizational ideas that I learned from the sweet Ladybug Teacher! My whiteboards used to be stacked in a little bin, but it was really difficult for my sweeties to reach their fingers in and grab a whiteboard when they needed one. The sideways magazine holder solves that problem, and they're super cheap! I got that one in the Target dollar section for $1! I just replace it every year which is fun because I actually like change :) You can read more about how I organize my whiteboards {here}.

Finally, my most beloved classroom belonging, my tabletop organizer!!! Really, the best thing I've ever done! My first year of teaching, my desk was sooo cluttered because teachers kept handing me papers and I didn't know what to do with them! Now they have a home! Part of my 5 minutes at the end of the day routine is putting the loose papers away.

Tip: Do you have a phobia of tossing extra worksheets from the day like I do?? Make a scratch paper bin! At the end of the day, all my "extras" go in the bin. My students use scratch paper all the time during the day {and sometimes they'll actually complete the worksheet side of it again! ha!}, but it's also my clutch in case I actually really *do* need one of the extra worksheets that I just recycled. I reach into the scratch paper bin and pull it out! Ta-da!

So there's some of my favorite organizational ideas. Please share some of yours!!
{Please add this button to your organization post and link back here! Thanks!}


Try it Free Tuesday

Thanks for stopping by Try it Free Tuesday!
Today is the last Tuesday I will be featuring free products!
The products will only be available for free for one day only! Of course, you will be able to purchase them on TpT after that.
{button by the fabulous Lyndsey Kuster}

I'm so very excited to share all of these awesome products with you!

Today, I have two awesome products to share with you!

The first is from Lori {Teaching with Love and Laughter}
Visit Lori's blog {here}
Check out her TpT products {here}

Lori has been teaching with love and laughter for 19 years! She has taught every grade from Pre-K through fifth. She says her personality is best suited for primary aged students because she can be quite wacky! {but I also think it's because she's so caring!}
Today, Lori is offering CVC bingo for free!
CVC Bingo is is filled with fun, engaging activities to help teach young children the basics of spelling and phonics.

There are 6 different Bingo games:
-short a
-short e
-short i
-short o
-short u
-all vowels
Games can be played by 3-6 students
 The second awesome blogger sharing her goodies today is Vickie {Mrs. Plant's Press}
Visit Vickies's blog {here}
Check out her TpT products {here}

Vickie has been a kindergarten teacher for almost 10 years and can't imagine doing anything else. Kindergartners are her favorite because she loves to see the growth they make each year! She lives in Alabama, where she is a new mommy to a sweet baby girl.

Today Vickie is offering some great centers for the beginning of the school year!

This pack is sure to help your class start the new school year right! Included are centers to help you meet those beginning of the year standards.

You can download these products for free on July 30th ONLY! Be sure to tell your friends before time runs out!

I hope you enjoyed learning more about these great bloggers and trying out some of their products for free! Thanks for all of your sweet comments!


Cooking Up a Great Year! {back to school centers}

Sooo I don't go back to school until September {hate me now...but you'll be laughing come May!} but I've had several requests for my Back to School centers so I figured I'd post them now! These centers are great for whole group, small group or independent work! There are 5 math centers, 6 literacy centers and a fun little alphabet craft {that will be posted soon!} Here's a peak at each center:

 Counting cookies- matching the cookies on the cookie sheets to the numbers on the ovens.

Roll & Write- practicing writing numbers 1-6. You can use a numbered die instead of a dotted die {is that what they're called!?} so your students can copy if they don't quite know how to write their numbers yet.

How Many Meatballs?- fine motor practice while matching "meatballs" to the numbers on the bowls. I found the fun little tongs in the Target dollar spot and the "meatballs" are pom poms!

Getting in Shape! After eating all of those cookies, you gotta get in shape ;) The kids will roll the shape cube and color in the corresponding shape.

Scoop & Sort- have your students scoop up tiny manipulatives {pom poms, unifix cubes, buttons, etc.} and sort them on the color mat.

Oven Mitt Matching- this fun game will help your students match uppercase and lowercase letters. I stuck all the uppercase letters inside of the oven mitt and have my students pick out one letter at a time. Then they color the matching lowercase letter.

Mix it Up! Practice sorting letters from numbers.

Baggin' Up Beginning Sounds- flip the cookie from the cookie sheet into the correct bag by matching the picture with its beginning sound. My students love to pretend they're really baking! This center focuses on m, r, s, and t since those are the letters we start with.

Who Stole the Cookie? This is a fun whole group game to practice identifying letter names. Hide the cookie behind one of the letters and ask your students, "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?" When they guess a letter, they pull it out of the pocket chart to see if they're right!

Scrumptious Sight Words- this is a fun way to introduce sight words. Laminate each card so your students can trace with dry-erase markers!

Make a Match- Make a PB & J sandwich by matching the picture to the correct beginning sound.
The little sandwich container was 44 cents at Michaels! Score!

My blogging friend Heather came up with the cutest little song to go with this center!
{to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus"}

The A on the peanut butter says /a/ /a/ /a/, /a/ /a/ /a/, /a/ /a/ /a/, The a on the peanut butter says /a/ /a/ /a/ -It loves the alligator jelly.

Finally, I have an *adorable* little alphabet soup craft that I will put up as a bulletin board! I will share it as soon as it's finished!!

You can find these fun and engaging centers in my TpT store!


Christmas in July Giveaway Hop!

If I know you, and I think I do, you're just as obsessed with school supplies as I am! I frequent Target more than I care to admit, but when I saw this chevron planner in pink & grey I just knew I had to have it!!

Isn't it beautiful!? I can't wait to use my flair pens and write all up in it! I think planning and calendaring is one of my all time favorite activities!

So when my favorite Freebielicious girls talked about doing a fun school supply giveaway I knew I had to include this adorable planner! It too, can be yours!

{thanks Maria for the beyond adorable button!}
a Rafflecopter giveaway

After you enter, hop on over to Simply Kinder's blog to see what you could win there!

But wait! There's more!!! You can win ALL of these fabulous prizes, plus MORE!!! Make sure you hop through all the blogs and then stop by Freebielicious to enter for the grand prize!

It's like Christmas...in July :)


Try it Free Tuesday

Thanks for stopping by Try it Free Tuesday!
Each Tuesday, I will be featuring a product or two that you are able to try out for FREE!
The products will only be available for free for one day only! Of course, you will be able to purchase them on TpT after that.
{button by the fabulous Lyndsey Kuster}

I'm so very excited to share all of these awesome products with you!

Today, I have two awesome products to share with you!

The first is from Mary at Sharing Kindergarten
Visit Mary's blog {here}
Check out her TpT products {here}

Mary has been teaching Kindergarten for 8 years and she loves it! She is constantly working on new ideas, activities, and technology aspects to make learning MORE fun for her little learners.

Today, Mary is offering one of her letter packs for free!

These activities were created to aid student learning for the letter Rr. It includes Phonics, Math, and FUN Activities and Ideas to Help Teach the Letter.
 The second awesome blogger sharing her goodies today is Jessica from Mrs. Stanford's Class!
Visit Jessica's blog {here}
Check out her TpT products {here}

Jessica is a first grade teacher who is full of fun and energy! She always finds creative ways to teach her students in meaningful ways.
Today Jessica is offering her Predictable Sentences Journal pack!

This Predictable Sentence Journal (Prompted Sentence Journal) is a compilation of 50 journal topics for beginning writers. Students will use common dolch / fry sight words to complete a simple sentence and illustration. I use this journal daily with my students. I have printed it front to back and have it bound so that the students have an actual journal to keep in their cubby. Students enjoy having a book to call their own and take home to brag about their amazing writing!

 AND!!!! Because Jessica is just so darn sweet...she is also offering three of her fabulous fonts for free today! You can download this fonts onto your PC or Mac and use them in products that you create for your classroom! If you would like to use them in your products to sell, please purchase her amazing font pack!

You can download these products for free on July 23rd ONLY! Be sure to tell your friends before time runs out!
And come back next week to download some great products from some of my favorite bloggers!


10 Things I've Learned from Teaching {Linky Party}

A couple of years ago I participated in a fun linky party about what I learned as a teacher. With the new school year approaching, I thought it would be fun to play again! And you can join too! Just think of 10 things you've learned {the funnier, the better!} and link up below!

Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching {Kindergarten Style!}

1. Even though the trashcans never move, at least once a day there is always a student wandering around the room with loads of scraps shouting "Teacher, where is the trashcan?!?"

2. On that note, to some kids, I am and always will be "Teacher". It doesn't matter that we only have less than 2 and a half months of school left, and everyone else calls me by my name, they will always call me Teacher! I just respond with "Yes, student?" That tends to do the trick.

3. Five year olds have a tough time understanding non-verbal cues. They always try to talk to me when I'm in the middle of talking to someone else. I usually half-listen for about 10 seconds to see if it's maybe an emergency and when 9.9 out of 10 times it isn't, I put my finger up to show them "give me a minute". They usually get mad and pout off. Whatever!

4. Fumble over your words and make a mistake ONE time and they will never forget it. {but they can't remember where the trashcans are?! I ask you!}

5. Kindergartners are so forgiving. You can reprimand them and "break their heart" {direct quote} but they will be back to hugging you 5 minutes later.

6. Count your kids often! You never know who has gone missing.

7. They enjoy comparing you to their moms. Thanks...

8. Rhyming is a teacher's best friend. And making up songs to get them to do something works.every.time.

9. It really gets to me that people think that teaching kindergarten is playing all day and then napping. Who does that anymore!? I threaten invite them to spend a couple hours in my classroom ;)

10. Teaching Kindergarten is the best job in the whole wide world and I would not give it up for anything! 


DIY Magnetic Dice Holder

Two, count that, two products completed off my Pinterest to-do list!! I am very proud of myself considering I've been pinning for at least 2 years now ;)

When I saw this adorable way to store magnetic dice shakers from Teaching Maddeness last year, I wanted to make it soo badly!!

So finally, only a year later, I was able to put one together :)
 Isn't it adorable?! I just love it!

Here's how I made it:
First, I gathered my supplies.
*Magnet board
I found that magnetic calendar at Michaels last summer on clearance for 25 cents!!! I love a good bargain and I love repurposing so that little piece of metal couldn't make me happier! If you aren't as lucky as me, you can purchase a piece of sheet metal at your local hardware store or use a cookie sheet like shown above.
*Pretty scrapbook paper
*Mod Podge & a brush
*Cute ribbon {how cute is that ribbon?! It's from my BFF Michelle from Mood Fabrics in NYC!}
*Magnetic dice shakers {I only had two that I found in the Target dollar spot last summer, but I have a semi-solution that might work below if you don't have these!}
*Dice {regular or foam if you hate noise want your students working quietly like me}
*Stickers for letters {not pictured! whoops!}

Second, I measured out my scrapbook paper, and cut it to size.

Next, I adhered the paper with Mod Podge. I always lay something heavy over the paper while it's drying to keep the ends from curling up. Then, I apply a coat of Mod Podge over the paper and let it dry. It's *always* bumpy before it completely dries and it *always* makes me nervous, but it always turns out so no worries!

After it dried {give it about half an hour}, I turned it over and tied ribbon through the little hanger hooks, then tied a big bow. If your metal doesn't have those, you can use a glue gun to adhere two long pieces of ribbon to the back and then tie at the top.

Finally, I added stickers and my dice shakers!

Now when my students need dice for a math center, they can walk over and grab a shaker off the magnetic board! The dice stay inside of the shaker so that they don't go flying across the room ;)

Ready for a DIY #2?! This is my attempt at making my own dice shaker containers, and I haven't tried them out with my students yet, so no promises if it works or not! Trial and error, ya know?

First, purchase some mini tuperware. I found these at Target {$4 for 8 pieces!}

Put your dice inside and super glue a magnet onto the lid.

Stick the DIY shakers onto your magnetic board!

There you have it! What have you made lately??

Thanks to everyone who entered our All About Me Giveaway!

Congrats Lisa on winning!