Monday, November 30, 2015

12 Days Of Christmas Giveaway!

Happy December!

If you don't already know...
The Annual TPT Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) Sale is underway!
Save 28% when you use the code 'SMILE' at checkout!
And if you miss the sale today, I am keeping my store on sale for 20% off EVERYTHING for a BONUS Day...12/2!

Now would be a great time to stock up on some BUNDLES that will make things easier for the holiday season and/or the rest of the year!

(Did you see all the fun throwback 'smile' photos going around?  If not, be sure to checkout #tptcybersmile on Instagram!)

Speaking of fun....
To get in the holiday spirit, I have teamed up with Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs (and a bunch of other sellers) to bring you...

It begins on 12/1 and runs for 12 days!
Head to Zippy's Facebook Page for the details on how to enter for each day!

Each day she will bring you a chance to win something from her store, as well as the stores of 3 other TPT Sellers!  There is also a 'joint gift' to enter to win...a $30 gift card to places such as Target, Amazon, Starbucks and more!

But you are going to have to be fast...each day's rafflecopter only runs for 24 hours!
You will have to enter each day!

I am honored to be with this group of sellers:
Our day is Wednesday December 2nd!

You have the chance to win:
$5 item of your choice from my TpT Store
$5 item of your choice from Teaching With Grace
$5 item of your choice from Kindergarten Smorgasboard
$5 item of your choice from Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs

PLUS the grand prize:
$30 Starbucks Gift Card

Entry is open to anyone- gift cards will be emailed.

To enter head over to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs facebook page and click the 'giveaway' tab

OR you can enter here:

remember you can only enter for these prizes on 12/2...each day brings new prizes you can enter to win!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Until next post.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Fine Motor and Math Fun!

My students LOVE play dough!
I love giving them the chance to work on some fine motor skills, so next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, we are going to review identifying, counting and ordering numbers 0-5 using play dough!

Are you ready to make a play dough turkey?
It's super easy!

First either purchase or make brown play dough.
If you are choosing to make it, it adds another element to fine motor work!
Mix equal parts red and brown play dough by kneading them together until they are fully mixed:
The amount of red you use will alter your shade of brown.  The one on the left had more red than green.  The one on the right had more green!

Now it's time to build a turkey!
I had some beads around my classroom, but you can use scraps of paper too!

Roll 2 balls of play dough and stack them:

Then add eyes, a beak, waddle and feet! 

Cut pipe cleaners in half (thirds would work too!) and stick them into the bottom ball of the turkey: 

Here is the turkey ready for some math fun:

Decide on what you'd like your students to practice!

Maybe ordering numbers from 0-5:

Maybe roll a number, ID the number, count that many beads and show it on a 'feather':

Maybe you are working on addition!
I have these neat dice within a dice (from Lakeshore) but you could use 2 dice. 
They add the two numbers and show the sum on a feather:
(They can even use 2 different color beads to show what parts were added and/or use a dry erase board to record the number sentences!)

Or maybe you just want them to practice some fine motor work!  Have students flip a sand timer (I found mine at Dollar Tree 'teacher section') and put beads on the pipe cleaner until the time runs out:

No matter what skill you choose to practice, your students are sure to LOVE it!
They will even forget they are 'learning!'

Be sure to check out my post that has this FREE Thanksgiving retelling bracelet/story:

as well as my Thanksgiving resources (both paid and free):

Wishing you, your students and family a very happy Thanksgiving!
Until next post,

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's My 2 Year Blog-iversary!

I can't believe it is nearly my 2 Year Blog-iversary!
My blogged launched on November 25, 2013 with much HELP and THANKS to Kourtney Payton of Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners!
I was C-L-U-E-L-E-S-S on where to even begin...but Kourtney took the reigns and walked me through it step-by-step until it was published...and did I mention I have NEVER met her and we live over 500 miles apart?!

 So now it is my time to offer THANKS and gratitude!
To help me celebrate my 2 years as a blogger I have a fun Thanksgiving retelling activity for free!

Two years ago, right about the time I launched my blog, I found this First Thanksgiving retelling bracelet from Linda Ferber on Teachers Pay Teachers:

At the time I was co-teaching with our building's ESL teacher and thought it would make a great activity for us to do with the children to help with language and retelling.

We made these little baggies with all they would need and a copy of the poem so that parents would know what the bracelet was for:

They L-O-V-E-D it!
I did it again last year- and again- a hit!
(2 of my girls wanted to model their bracelets with mine- and that is a rare and vintage pumpkin pie playdough ring by the way!)

Fast forward to this year...
I again have a class of predominately ESL children (13 of my 20 come from Spanish speaking homes).  We have been working on retelling in Readers Workshop, but it has been a hard skill for them to understand and master.

I remembered this activity and thought about how I could tie it to a book to help them associate the 'retelling' with retelling a story.
So I created this reader!
It has the 'bracelet clues' on top and then the information and picture clues beneath it!

And I have decided to put this book up for FREE on my blog as my 'blog'-iversary gift to you!
Simply download and print the pages and collate them.

If your copy machine collates and staples, even better- but if not, just put a staple in both places shown below:

Then cut the pages in half and you have 2 books ready to go! 

My son, who is also in kindergarten, gave it a test run for me!  I wanted to have it out for you in time to use for Thanksgiving and was afraid if I waited until I did it with my class and got the pictures up it would be too late!

First we went through the beads and colored the tops to match what beads we would be using on the retelling bracelet.
Then he colored each page

Page 1: 

Page 2: 

Page 3: 

Page 4: 

Page 5: 

Page 6: 

Page 7: 

Page 8:

Then it was time to make the bracelet to retell the story:

And he read each page before he added the bead

When it was all done he then used just the bracelet and bead color 'cues' to help him retell the story of the First Thanksgiving!

Here is a video of him reading and then retelling!  
I didn't video him making the bracelet because it would've been too long but he did that prior to reading.

Think this is something your students would love and/or benefit from?!
This is all you need:
1. Download the book for FREE here (or click any of the pictures in the post)
2. If you'd like a copy of the free retelling poem to tell you the colors, you can find it here (or you can use the pictures from this post to guide you)
3. Pipe cleaner and/or piece of yarn with the end taped for easier threading for each child
4. The following pony beads for each student
*3 brown
*3 blue
*1 green
*3 white
*1 orange
*1 yellow
*1 red

Give your students multiple opportunities to practice retelling using both the book and bracelet so that by the time they take it home before Thanksgiving they will be able to retell to family and holiday guests with ease and confidence!

If you need additional 'First Thanksgiving' fun, my students loved these 'sticker' stories we did last year:

and you can find all of these Thanksgiving resources in my TpT Store:

I will be blogging about a Thanksgiving Dinner plate craft and writing activity soon too
, so be sure to swing on by again!

If you don't already follow my blog via Blog Lovin' you can click HERE to follow!
They will send you an email each time I post something new!

So THANK YOU for helping me celebrate 2 years of blogging!  I have 'met' some incredible educators through blogging and am amazed at what a wonderful world it is!

Until next post,

Monday, November 9, 2015

Stained Glass Tissue Paper Turkey Project

It's time to talk turkey!
The past two months we have decorated our door/windows with stained glass tissue paper crafts, so with November here it was time to do that once again!

These turkeys were inspired by this pin

But I wanted a craft where the kids could do the cutting of the 'frame' and knew the frame for the one above would be too difficult!

So I made a 'revised' template using the 'idea' from the pin, but one that my kinders could cut:
(You can download the template by clicking the picture above or clicking HERE).

I folded 9x12 size brown construction paper in half 

and traced the template

so that the end 'product' looked like this:

I cut up a variety of tissue paper into little squares

and pre-cut wax paper to match the size of the paper

Now it was time to get crafty!

The kids 'silly swirled' the glue all over the wax paper and put the squares of tissue paper all over it

They then cut out their turkey template

And glued it on top of the wax paper!
Look at all the different types of turkeys we got!

We added 2 googly eyes, a beak and waddle to each to complete the craft!

They now decorate our door and windows!

If you like the look of the original pin, you could then 'trim' the turkeys so that it has the thin brown frame or they look just as cute in the rectangle frame!

(I did have some kids cut off the turkey middle as they cut, but it was easy to fix and you can't even see the cut line on the finished product!)

There are a few more variations of 'stained glass tissue paper turkey crafts' I found on Pinterest, so if these don't suit your fancy, but sure to check out the other ideas!

And speaking of Pinterest, have you visited the Fall Linky Party going on on The Primary Pack?
It is a 'make and take' so be sure to add your wonderful pins to it too!

If you are searching for Thanksgiving resources to use in your classroom, my TpT Store is full of Thanksgiving goodies (some free too!)

Until next post,
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