Thursday, December 31, 2015

Annual New Year Project and New Year SLIME!

With just a few hours to spare, my boys and I completed our annual New Years projects:

This is our 3rd year completing these projects!
You can find our first year (2014) here, and then the 'how to' on our 2015 post!
It is AMAZING to me to see the difference in their writing, prints and size in those 3 short years!

They keep these posters in their room all year- and then I take the old one down and replace it with the new one and add the old one to their 'memory boxes' that I have in our basement.

If you'd like to make them, you can find the labels here:

As you will read in the 'how to' post, you don't need to print them on labels.  They can be printed on paper and cut/glued.  I personally find peeling/sticking to be easier!


We'll be spending a quiet evening at home celebrating the New Year as a family this year.  My husband is on standby for his job so he can't go far from home and has to be ready as soon as a call comes in.  
So to make it a bit more special, we made this 'New Years Slime' to play with as we wait for the ball to drop!

I found the recipe via this pin:

It was called 'winter slime'- and she has recipes for all different types of slime too- but we added extra glitter and glitz to call it 'New Years Slime!'

So we collected all of our supplies:
Clear glue (Michaels), Liquid Starch (Grocery Store), Water, Glitter, Sequins & Confetti (Michaels).
Some of the confetti was even 70% off as it was with the Christmas products!

The recipe calls for 1/2c. glue mixed with 1/2c. water.
Stir it really well.
Add glitter, sequins, confetti, etc.  You can add food coloring too, but we had so much glitter we didn't need any coloring!

In another bowl measure 1/2c. liquid starch.
SLOWLY add the glue mix to the starch mix.
Mix with a spoon and then start mixing the remainder of the 'excess liquid' with your hands until all of the liquid is absorbed.  

And then it was time to PLAY!
The more you played with it the 'bouncier' it became.

You can 'chop' it, stretch it, bounce it and leave it be and it will completely flatten!

As you can see it is totally winter break when you are still in PJs way later into the afternoon!

We let our slime sit on trays and it flattened and filled the space and we also found out it got COLD as it sat!

The recipe states it is good for about a week!
I know it is something I am going to bring into my kindergarten classroom during our winter unit too! 
(the red 'sticks' are stirrers we 'borrowed' from 7-11)

We doubled the recipe and each got a good size 'tray' full of slime!

We are off to make our 2016 glasses and hats before it's time to ring in the new year!

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!
Until next year...

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year Deals and Steals- FREEBIES too!

How is it possible that we are about to ring in 2016?!
Didn't 2015 just start?!

My boys and I are about to start our annual New Year project:
This will be our third year making them...I love watching the hands/feet grow and the writing take off!
You can read the 'how-to' HERE and find the set of 2016 labels HERE!

While we are working on that, you can grab some 'deals and steals' as part of the 'Rock the New Year' promotion I am taking part in!
Simply download this FREE informational packet that is filled with hyperlinks to make finding the deals easier!

Here are a list of the participating stores:
Unfortunately this picture does not have 'clickable links' to the stores, but if you download the promotional freebie, you will find this same slide with clickable links!

The deals begin on Tuesday December 29th with $2 Deals!
Simply type rockthenewyeardeals into the TpT Search Engine or click the hyperlinks to see all the deals for the day!

From me you will find my BRAND NEW Winter Theme Sight Word Puzzles!
Like my Fall and Holiday Sight Word Puzzles, these are editable too!
They come with 35 'ready-to-go' puzzles for 2, 3, 4 & 5 letter words, as well as blank puzzles so that you can make puzzles to fit the words you are working on!

Here are some pictures of my kindergarten son taking them for a 'test run!'

The set has puzzles for the following winter themes: winter/snow, Martin Luther King Jr, Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, Superbowl & President's Day!

On Wednesday December 30th you will find 50% Off Deals!
Simply type rockthenewyearsteals into the TpT Search Engine or click the hyperlinks to find all the deals!

From me you will find my popular Penguin Readers Set for only $5!
You can read all about the books and see what is included in this post:
There are 11 easy to read informational text readers (10 individual penguin books and one 'review' book), a book carrying case, fact cards and crowns included!  The readers come in color and black & white, so you can use them in small groups for guided reading and then give students their own copies to color and keep in reading baggies for re-reading and fluency practice!

You can even try one out FOR FREE by clicking HERE:

On Thursday December 31st we will be posting FREEBIES!
Some sellers are using freebies from their stores, some are turning paid items to free for the day and some have created BRAND NEW freebies that will be posted that day!

Simply type rockthenewyearfreebies into the TpT Search Engine or click the hyperlinks!

My freebie will be a BRAND NEW 'forever freebie' that I will add to my store that day!
It is all ready to go and my boys have taken it for a test run!

I printed the mats on cardstock and laminated them using my new favorite home laminator!
I got it during Amazon's Daily Deals for just $16 (OK- I got 2- but shhhh!)
It heats up in less than 4 minutes and the papers slide through quickly!

Anyway...back to the freebie!
The intention was to use cotton balls to cover the pictures BUT too many holiday Santa projects, I guess, because I could not find 1 cotton ball in the house!  So ignore the cotton pad!

It's super easy- spin (use a paperclip and pencil), find a picture that matches that word family/rhyme, cover it and then record the word (optional- great for differentiation!)

Keep spinning, finding, covering, recording, until all the pictures have been covered or words recorded! 

Here is what it looks like when complete:

And an alternate way for differentiation- just list the words (no picture) on the recording sheet:

Use it in a center, during small group instruction, as part of an early finisher's basket, etc.!
There are 6 mats- one for each vowel- and then a review mat that combines all 5 vowels!
Two types of recording sheets are included to aid differentiation!

Update 12/31/15
It is now posted!  Here is the link!

Now there is just ONE more surprise....
All week long you can enter to win one of 4 $50 TpT Gift Cards!
Think of all the awesome resources you could fill your cart with for $50!!
Winners will be announced on January 1st, so be sure to enter NOW!

You can enter on The Primary Pals blog or click these links:

But that's not it...I will also be giving away a $10 credit to my TpT Store via a Facebook game we will play on Thursday 12/31/15!

Here are the contest rules:
Click HERE to enter!

PLUS my TpT Store will be 20% off 12/31/15 and 1/1/16!
Stock up on January and February resources at a reduced rate!
This will probably be the last sale until mid February!

Whether you are spending the night out on the town, or a quiet night on the couch with friends and family, however you celebrate, I hope it is special and fun!
Wishing you a happy, healthy, safe and fabulous 2016!

Until next post,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Snow Dough!

We still have 6 days of school left until break so I am bringing in some reinforcement...
I found the recipe on this blog post from Dazzle Design via a recent Pinterest escapade and knew it was something I wanted to do with my students (and boys!).

The recipe does not call for many or 'off-the-wall-hard-to-find-expensive' ingredients!
You simply need:
*baking soda
*warm water
*peppermint extract


So I gathered my supplies and got to work!
Put 2 cups of baking soda and 1 cup of cornstarch in a saucepan and stir to combine.
Add 1 1/2 cups of warm water and 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract.

Stir to combine over medium heat and bring to a boil.

NOW learn from my mistake!
My first batch I was afraid of burning and took it off the heat too early:

This is NOT what you want it to look like:
It was WAY too loose!
(Don't worry- I wound up saving it!  If you do this too, just put the mix back into the pot and heat for a bit longer until it thickens!)

SO, keep the mixture on the heat for a bit longer and just keep stirring.
As it starts to thicken and resemble 'frosting' remove it from the heat and continue to stir as it thickens.  
This is what is should look like:
And then pour it onto parchment paper (or straight on your counter) to cool

If you are pressed for time (like I was) you can pop it in the fridge
then take it out, knead it a bit and break into balls.

The recipe on Design Dazzle calls for iridescent glitter. I didn't have any (and I get nervous letting kids man-handle play with dough with glitter for fear of them wiping their eyes after) so I chose to leave it out!

Time to pack up the dough!
Put each ball into a bag (I had candy bags, but a ziploc would work too!) and tie it with ribbon.
I added this cute little tag (stapled it to the ribbon) so that they can take the tag home after then RIP the bag open and play with it!

Our dough is coming from our classroom elves, Harvey and Holly:

I'm going to let them play with it for a bit and then let them take the dough home.

My kindergartener took it for a trial run for me.  It was really cool and was easy to use to form a snowman:
I'm going to put out some beads, sequins and pipe cleaners so they can decorate their snowmen!

Want to bring in some snow dough?
I made 3 batches and it gave me 24 balls of snow.
You can grab the tag and note here:
I put a 'generic' note and a sample of my note in the free download.

I can't wait to share some pictures of my students using the dough and the creations they come up with!

We'll also be making 'candy cane' playdough later this week!
Come on back to see all the fun!
Until next post,

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Snowman Soup

Are you planning on giving your students 'Snowman Soup' this holiday season?
I have given this to my students in years past and never 'loved' my topper, but during the last TpT Cyber Sale I found a Snowman Soup clipart set from Scappin' Doodles!
I was so excited to use it to make this topper:

So it was time to get to work!
I got these adorable bags from Michaels yesterday...and they were 50% off!
There are 25 bags in the package...and it came down to less than $1 after my 15% off teacher discount (if you don't already know about it, click the link...simply show teacher ID each time you shop at Michaels and you get 15% off your order!)

I gathered my supplies...
hot chocolate packets, marshmallows, Hershey Kisses and candy canes

Each bag got 1 packet of hot cocoa, 2 large marshmallows, 2 Hershey Kisses and 1 mini candy cane:
I then got the excess air out and zipped them closed.

I am waiting on printer ink (to be delivered tomorrow!) so I could not print my toppers yet, but I will print them, cut, fold over the top and affix with a staple.

 and will put them in the kids gift bags with the Snowman Soup packs!

It will open in Power Point.
You can print the tags 'as is'
or add your name:

You can even add your own text to the back (maybe your recipe is a bit different!)

And as you can see, the tags come in both color and black and white!
You can print the b&w version on colored paper to conserve ink!

I have some other food/snack toppers in my TpT Store too:

If you are searching for more winter and/or snow resources, be sure to visit my store:
and find the 'custom category' on the left sidebar for Winter!

Happy Holidays!
Wishing you 'snow' much fun this holiday season!
Until next post,
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