Aug 30, 2017

Labor Day Emergent Reader {I Can See...} & Community Helpers Activities


How can it be that Labor Day is already upon us?! My kids have been in school for over two weeks now. I'm curious to hear when you went/go back.

Since it kinda just snuck up on me, I'm going to cram this post in real quick so that you'll have a few extra Labor Day ideas for your littles.

Here is a Labor Day Emergent Reader you can use over the next few days (or even next week) to reinforce the high frequency words "I", "Can", & "See" while celebrating Labor Day at the same time.

 Each page goes through various community helpers including:
-police officer
-fireman
-teacher
-garbage collector
-nurse
-hair stylist
-baker
-crossing guard
-farmer
-soldier
-doctor

The book is 12 pages total and is created two to a page for easy copy machine copying, stapling, and slicing.


We tie in Labor Day with our Community Helpers unit.
Here are a couple of Community Helpers activities to add to your plans.

These Community Helpers Writing Activity papers are great for a bulletin board or hallway display.
 

Many occupations are included, most coming in both male and female characters.



Two different formats allow you to choose what's best for your students.

PLUS, there are blank ones so that your littles can write about what they would like to be when they are older.


Pocket chart pieces are a must for your Community Helpers unit.

These ones include:
-artist
-chef
-construction worker
-doctor
-farmer
-fire fighter
-mail carrier
-police officer
-hair stylist
-nurse
-teacher
-vet


Choose from a full color version, or a less-ink one.


Each snapshot is 4"x4.5" in size.


Enjoy your Labor Day!

Til next time,
        
These Labor Day activities for Preschool, Kindergarten, or First Grade students will go right along with the other arts and crafts that you have planned for your community helpers unit. Lesson plans that will engage your students!



Aug 29, 2017

Grandparents Day {Sept. 10th} Activities: BINGO, Love Notes, & more!

Grandparents Day is just a few weeks away (September 10th) so I thought I'd share some activities that you can use with your kiddos in celebration of their loved ones.

This day is a really hard one for me to blog about, as it brings to mind memories of many dear grandparents who are no longer with us. At the time that these activities were made, a very special Great-Grandma had just passed. These resources were made in special honor of her.

Alright, let's brush those tears aside and dive into some things that will give your littles a chance to appreciate and celebrate the grandparents in their lives!

You never know what activity or craft their grandparents will hold dear to their hearts. Earlier this year, Great-Grandpa also passed. Amongst some of his belongings was one of the Love Notes (I'll show you them below) that one of my kids had written him from this resource pack! So I encourage you to encourage your students to pass on their completed cards, coloring pages, and notes to their grandparents. It will be a very special to them if it was saved and they receive it back some day.

So the "We Love Grandparents" pack includes 22 pages that you can print and use. It was made with Kindergarten in mind, but can be used for Preschool and even First Grade.

It has both Upper and Lower case Alphabet letter tracing practice. Number tracing too. Multiple mazes with no blocks give all learners a chance to succeed. Students can make it harder if they'd like by drawing in their own blocks! Phonics beginning, middle vowel (CVC), and end sounds practice has adorable grandparent pictures on them.

And here are the Love Notes I mentioned above. There are a bunch to choose from, including a foldable card! A color-by-number and also coloring sheet are included for some color word fun.

Some simple syllable and measurement activities will give students the extra practice they may need. And some simple cut-out puzzles in both black/white and full color are also available. *Note that not all of the pages included in the pack are shown here in the blog.*

Does your school host a Grandparents Day event?
If so, you may want to pull some of these activities for your littles to do with their special person(s)! This next activity is perfect for that...

Grandparents Day BINGO!
(High Frequency Word style!)

If Grandparents are coming (and even if they're not) this is an excellent way for students to show off the sight words they've learned so far. It's also an easy opportunity for their grandparents to take part in helping them if needed!

There are THIRTY Bingo cards to choose from.

And the following 48 words are scrambled amongst the various boards:

The calling cards are LARGE so that all students (and grandparents) can easily see them from the front of the room.


Enjoy preparing for Grandparents Day for your littles! I know that their loved ones will appreciate the time and effort you spend making their special day memorable!

-Til next time
       
Check out these adorable Grandparents Day activities for your Preschool, Kindergarten, and even First Grade students. They'll go perfect with the other arts and crafts you have planned for your students. Included are Love Notes, Color-by-Number, phonics work, mazes, color sheet, a card to make, upper and lower alphabet practice, number writing, and more!

Check out these adorable Grandparents Day activities for your Preschool, Kindergarten, and even First Grade students. They'll go perfect with the other arts and crafts you have planned for your students. Included are Love Notes, Color-by-Number, phonics work, mazes, color sheet, a card to make, upper and lower alphabet practice, number writing, and more!

Aug 14, 2017

Back to School FREEBIE Blog Hop with Kinderfriends

If you're looking for FREE Back to School activities for your Preschool, Kindergarten, or First Grade students, then you've come to the right place! I've got some Math & Literacy morning work that is aligned to the Common Core standards just waiting for you to download. Enjoy!
I'm so excited to be joining up with the Kinderfriends group to give you some Back to School FREEBIES!

Back to School TIP

As teachers, we set goals for so many things. So why not make some specifically for back-to-school days? These goals will look different for everyone. Take a few moments and think about what you would really like to accomplish most with your students the first two days of school. Jot them down real quick so you don't forget.

Now think of some goals you'd like to accomplish for yourself. Maybe you want to collaborate more with teammates. Or pack your lunch every day so your not running out (or starving) on break. Some other ideas might be to compliment students a certain amount of times for the day, or spend some time getting to better know a student (or even fellow teacher). Or how about spending just 2 minutes in complete silence with your eyes closed on a break, just to give yourself a chance to re-gather your thoughts and energy.

Meeting goals, no matter how small they might be, will make you feel successful and...HAPPY! So write them down and check them off as you complete them. Remember to make a variety of goals that range from small to large.

Back to School Essentials 

If you're looking to start the school year out smoothly, I highly recommend using Common Curriculum Everyday. I show you what it looks like and then give you some FREE DOWNLOADS you can print and use with your students.  WOO-HOO!

I first created Common Curriculum Everyday shortly after the Common Core standards came out. I needed something to use with my Kinders that included short little snippets of independent daily review that were designed around mastering the new-at-the-time LA & Math Common Core standards. I didn't want to have to dig around searching for and compiling random resources to use as review. Nor did I want to keep track of so many different resources. 
FREE DOWNLOADS! These daily math, literacy, and writing activity worksheets were made, with the Common Core standards in mind, to be independent practice review for Kindergarten students to do as morning work, homework, at a center, or however you would so choose. The repeat exposure to the standards allow students to master skills quickly. A perfect Back to School resource! You can even send a pack home for students to do over summer break. 10 monthly packs are included. That's 260 print outs!
So I laid all the Common Core LA & Math standards out and made a plan, making sure to incorporate as many of the standards as I could (plus a few extra concepts as well). I spread it out over the span of 10 months, combining a few August weeks into the September pack since school around here usually begins the middle of August. 
The activity sheets that come in each months pack involve math, literacy, and handwriting skills. They were made (with the Common Core standards in mind) to be used as independent practice sheets for students to do as morning work, homework, at a center, or for use in any other way you might see fit. 

Common Curriculum Everyday provides repeat exposure to the Kindergarten LA & Math standards, allowing students to successfully master the standards. The skills and Common Core standards that are covered in each month are written out in each pack so that you can look over each month ahead of time. The handwriting skills grow with students, starting off with basic letter tracing, moving to writing words, and then moving again to writing sentences later on in the year. 

Each month includes 25 pages to print. The September pack includes an additional 10 pages to use for end of August. The entire 10-month set includes 260 pages to print.

The pages of every pack are set up in 5 different layouts (one for each week of the month) so that students can be guided by you on what to do the first day of each week and then be able to continue on their own for the remaining days. The layouts are similar, so many students will pick up on what to do after awhile without any guidance at all.

This next example pictures has a mistake...did you notice what she did wrong? These daily pages are a great way to do informal assessments as you're walking around the room! 
 

Here are TWO FREE DOWNLOADS that will give you an opportunity to try these for yourself!

The first one comes from the September pack:
FREE DOWNLOADS! These daily math, literacy, and writing activity worksheets were made, with the Common Core standards in mind, to be independent practice review for Kindergarten students to do as morning work, homework, at a center, or however you would so choose. The repeat exposure to the standards allow students to master skills quickly. A perfect Back to School resource! You can even send a pack home for students to do over summer break. 10 monthly packs are included. That's 260 print outs!
September FREE DOWNLOAD

The next one comes from the October pack:
FREE DOWNLOADS! These daily math, literacy, and writing activity worksheets were made, with the Common Core standards in mind, to be independent practice review for Kindergarten students to do as morning work, homework, at a center, or however you would so choose. The repeat exposure to the standards allow students to master skills quickly. A perfect Back to School resource! You can even send a pack home for students to do over summer break. 10 monthly packs are included. That's 260 print outs!
I especially love this pack because students have to search for the spider each day on the page. You can have them circle it when they find it! Did you find it?

October FREE DOWNLOAD

I like using these first thing in the morning as seat work. It give me a chance to take care of all my morning duties, while giving the kids a chance to have meaningful practice time of the concepts we've been covering.

Now head on over to Mrs. Byrd's Learning Tree for more Back to School FREEBIES!


-Til next time
       

Aug 12, 2017

FREE "How to Survive as a Firefly" Life Cycle Flip Book

Are you looking for activities for an insect or firefly life cycle unit? If so, then here's a blog post for you! This "How to Survive as a Firefly" FREE book companion activity is a fun way for students to gather and organize facts that they learn about fireflies. It's a great way to incorporate science and non-fiction into your lesson plans.
**Book images created by Erica Salcedo are used with permission from The Innovation Press**
**This post contains affiliate links.**

I was recently given a copy of the book 
How to Survive as a Firefly 

by Kristen Lootes and illustrated by Erica Salcedo. 

It was my first time seeing (or even having heard of) the book, so I was excited to read it.  Before even opening the book, I realized that I really don't know anything at all about fireflies...except that they are a ton of fun to catch in the summer at dusk! 

I found this book to be a delightful and incredibly funny informational book for kids ages 5-10. If you teach an insect unit, or about fireflies or the life cycle of fireflies, then this book is a must-have for you and your students. 

I made a FREE Firefly Life Cycle Flip Book for students to use as a fun way to gather and organize facts that they learn while reading! 

Ok, so let me tell you a little bit about the book. You can also download a PREVIEW of the book and take a look for yourself!

"How to Survive as a Firefly"  is written in a story format, having an adult firefly educate the newly hatched firefly eggs on what they will need to do throughout their life to survive. 

It covers everything in a very humorous, yet informationally accurate way. From life cycle info, to vocabulary terms, to parts of the body...it has it all! Even a glosser is included at the end of the book. 

Students can work on the companion resource before reading the book. This will give them time to gather any background information they have on fireflies, as well as wonder about them. 
Have them start out by coloring the flip book cover page.

Then they can cut out all of the pages and glue them together. It can dry while they initially read the book. After reading it, they can go back and look for information that they'd like to include in the flip book. The first page has students simply write out the four stages of a firefly's life cycle. They can add quick sketches of each stage too, if they'd like!

Then they can write down facts specific to each stage of the life cycle. Starting with the Egg stage:
Then on to the Larva stage:
And next the Pupa stage:
And finally, the adult stage:

The final page give students a chance to jot down some unique, or their favorite, facts that they learned about fireflies.

After it's finished, students can use it to review or reflect on. They can use it to study from (if there is any type of assessment over the information) or just take it home to share what they learned with family and friends! 

Enjoy How to Survive as a Firefly Life Cycle Flip Book absolutely FREE. Don't forget to leave a review of the resource. I very much appreciate your opinions and feedback on activities that I create!

-Til next time

     
Are you looking for activities for an insect or firefly life cycle unit? If so, then here's a blog post for you! This "How to Survive as a Firefly" FREE book companion activity is a fun way for students to gather and organize facts that they learn about fireflies. It's a great way to incorporate science and non-fiction into your lesson plans.

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Jul 29, 2017

Back to School Must-Haves: 5 Items your Students NEED!

I found some Back to School supplies and activities that are a must-have for your Preschool, Kindergarten, or First (1st) grade classroom! Games that develop logical thinking skills and spatial reasoning abilities. A classroom rug that reinforces math and counting. Activity books that are fun, age-appropriate and include "sneaky learning." Stinky Wiggly Worm stickers for your Apple Themed unit. Something for your Polar Animals or Penguins unit. And more! Come take a look at what I ordered, and learn more about MPM School Supplies, too!
Yay! It's here!
I love getting boxes of stuff delivered. I'm sure you can relate! There's something about opening your front door to find your box of ordered goods sitting there waiting for you to open them.

For the last few days, I have been eagerly waiting for some Back-to-School items from MPMSchoolSupplies.com to arrive. 
I found some really awesome resources for this upcoming school year.

I was asked to give a honest review of the items I received, as well as of my experience with the company they came from. Since school is not yet in session, and I was too eager to wait, I decided to go ahead and try them out with my Kindergartener...who, might I add, was super excited to be my helper.

The Resources
So let's take a better look at what was in my box. (Pssst....#1 &#2 are my favorites!)
1. Melissa and Doug Hop & Count Hopscotch Rug
I knew that this rug was going to be a lot of fun, but, oh my, was I super impressed after we tried it out!

The back of the box show directions on how to play the traditional way.
 Now, I had initially ordered it simply thinking that it would be a fun resource for helping Kindergarteners learn to count to 10. However, I was pleased to find that underneath the directions were listed some variations and even extension activities that can be used with the game and rug!
 The rug itself is so beautiful. Very, very bright, as you can see from the non-edited photo. For both outdoor or indoor use, it has a rubber backing so that it does not slip while the kids are jumping around on it.
The border around the rug is thickly reinforced to prevent fraying. There were no stray threads in the binding (another pet peeve of mine that products sometimes have coming brand new out of a box).
The hopscotch rug measures 78.5" x 26.5" and is also stain-resistent and washable.
 It comes with two colorful beanbags in orange and yellow. One of the beanbags did have large product tags on it, so I took scissors and carefully cut them off so that they weren't in the way while the kids played.
 This was my daughters first time learning the true way to play hopscotch. She loved holding the beanbags and they really were a perfect size for her little hands.
The rug was soft for jumping on. She was barefoot playing the game, but I think it would have been absolutely fine with shoes on as well.
 
The two beanbags allow for two kids to play at a time, but she was the only one outside with me so she wanted to "be" both players!
For those not familiar, with hopscotch, you start out throwing the beanbag on number 1. Then you skip that number and hop on all the rest, making sure to turn around at 10 and come back to the beginning. Then you throw it on the next number and keep going until you get to number 10. I love the concentration and focus she had to use as each number presented a harder challenge than the one before!

 She was having so much fun, that her older brother (going into 2nd) came out to check out what all the fuss was about.
 He was instantly engaged and wanted to play too!
 He was up for the challenge of collecting his beanbag on his way hopping back to the beginning!
 I love how this game teaches and encourages them to take turns and cheer each other on! Nothing makes a momma more happy than seeing her children praising each other...well, besides if they spontaneously cleaned their rooms without me asking, haha!
 I highly recommend this rug! It's very affordable and the quality is incomparable. I would recommend it for ages 3-10. I love that you can use it inside your classroom and then just allow students to roll it up and take it outside for recess as well.
Melissa & Doug Hop & Count Hopscotch Rug

Tons of other affordable classroom rugs were also available at MPMSchoolSupplies. You can find them HERE.


2. Penguins on Ice
I ordered this game to go along with our Polar Animals unit during the winter season. (Yes, I know, thinking ahead!) This game offers a fun way for students to develop logical thinking skills and spatial reasoning abilities. Plus, let's admit it, it's just downright adorable! 

The back of the box gives an example of what the game and pieces looks like: 

The blue tray was quite a bit smaller than I was expecting, but then I realized that if it were larger, then the pieces would have to be larger and that might make it more difficult for students to use.

Five penguin ice floes are included of various shapes. The penguins slide up and down on the pieces, causing the pieces to take a new form. This alone take the game to a whole new level!


Did I mention already how CUTE the penguins are? Ok, just checking!


 A Challenge Book is included for kids to use. It offers Starter, Junior, Expert, and Master challenges. As well as...answer keys! (Phew, thank goodness, haha!)

Students must work to put the penguins in the matching places on the blue game tray.

Directions are included in the front inside cover of the Challenge Book:

This is what Starter challenges looks like:

Here are some Junior challenges:

And a sample of Expert challenges:

And finally, some of the Master challenges:

Thank goodness for Answer Keys! {wink!}

 My kids wanted to instantly start with the Master challenges, but quickly learned they needed to start with the Starter ones first. This is my son, who is going into 2nd grade, attempting to solve some of the Starter challenges. He didn't realize at first that the penguin his right hand is touching, slides up and down the ice floe, creating a new shape for the piece.

 It took him a good fifteen minutes before figuring out the first Starter challenge! Even my husband took a stab at helping him out. (Were we just making this more complicated than it needed to be? Or do we as a family just need more practice on our logical thinking skills, lol!)

I loved watching him think as he worked. It's actually a lot harder than you may think! Take a try yourself, you might be surprised!

I very highly recommend this game! It's a ton of fun and will be a great surprise to pull out during our Polar Animals unit. I'm thinking the kids can do it at indoor recess as well.

You can find Penguins on Ice and other games like it under the Critical Thinking Games tab at MPM School Supplies.


3. Mazes, Dot-to-Dot, & Word Search Activity Books
 I ordered these activity books with fast finishers in mind. I picked the Front of the Class K-1 Word Searches and the K-1 Mazes & Dot-to-Dots.
When first opening them out of the box, I was surprised to see how thick the books were! I guess I hadn't thoroughly read the description that says they are over 300 pages in each. I was expecting 20 or so pages. (Yes, I realize I'm admitting to not paying attention to the details! Ah!) So that was a nice surprise.

I quickly realized, after browsing the Table of Contents for both books, that I had hit the jack-pot. These can apply to many of my themes throughout the year!
For example, I saw "Living Things" from the K-1 Word Searches book right away, which is covered for the Next Generations Science Standards. What a fun, age-appropriate, and "sneaky learning" (as I like to call it) activity to add to that unit!

Another example from the K-1 Mazes & Dot-to-Dots book is this Fire Truck maze, which will be perfect during Fire Safety week! 
And the two above mentioned are just a small few of the themes that will fit into our curriculum throughout the year. Themes include animals, people, places, food, weather, sounds, feelings, sports, shapes, colors, and more.

Let me show you, in more detail, what some of the inside pages of these books look like.

In the Word Search book,
the puzzles help students build alphabet comprehension, word recognition, and thinking skills.

My daughter was super excited to try one of these mazes. I like to have the kiddos use highlighters when they find the words. Yes, I realize that that sometimes means the paper winds up kind of messy, but it's just how I prefer them to do it. They can also use yellow, orange, pink, or green crayons.
For the classroom though, I think it'd be best to laminate the pages so that students can use dry-erase markers and reuse over and over again. Or put them in dry-erase pockets.

The one downside to these mazes, is that I felt the pages were too thin. As you can see in the photo, the pictures from the opposite sides show through. While that's not the end of the world, it is a bit of a bummer. I wouldn't let that keep you from trying this book out though. 

Here's another word search that will go along perfectly with our weather unit. This one is more advanced in that it has more words to look for, plus it does not include pictures next to the words. 

And here's one more:

Remember, there are over 300 pages of these included! Wow!


The Mazes & Dot-to-Dots book,
allows students to practice upper and lower case alphabet and numbers. It also increases critical thinking skills as they work to solve mazes of different difficulties and hidden picture games.

Differentiation is easy to do with this book. The puzzles range from simple 5-lettered alphabet mazes,
to full alphabet mazes in either upper or lower case.

Same goes for the number puzzles. You can choose exactly which level of puzzle would best meet the needs of your student.

Here's one that goes up to 15.

 The mazes are also available in super-easy to challenging.

They leave room for students to color the pictures on the page if they so choose.

And they include fun themes, like this Fire Truck one!


I am all about resources that will improve concentration and critical thinking skills!

Now I'm wishing I had ordered the others in the series:

Number Games
Puzzles & Games
You can find all of these Front of the Class activity books in the Teacher Supplies tab under Resource Books.


4. Wiggly Worms Stinky Stickers

I bought these to set aside for our Apple unit. They are the Scratch 'n Sniff kind and smell like...DIRT!

Ew.

You can be the kiddos will absolutely love this later on this fall when we learn about Apples. 60 stickers are included per pack.

These stickers, and others, were under the Teacher Supplies tab, under the Awards and Incentives category.

5. Mini Incentive Charts w/ Stickers
 My students love the "pathway" sticker charts the best!
I found these under the Teacher Supplies tab at MPMSchoolSupplies.com.

I ordered these two: 

The Jungle Safari Mini Incentive Charts

630 stickers are included! Students have to earn their spots on the pathway to help the safari Jeep reach the hut.

 The other I ordered is the Pirates themed Mini Incentive Charts:

Again, you get 630 stickers. This time, students are helping the pirate ship reach the stranded guy on the island!


So those are my reviews on the items I ordered. I am overall extremely pleased with my order and excited to use everything with the kiddos! 


The Company
Let me give you a little background about MPMSchoolSupplies.com, as this was my first time ordering from them. After reading their "About Us" page, I learned that they are a family owned and operated business. Their goal is to provide a website for educators that is simple and intuitive (oh, yes!) and that offers quality and affordable resources for teachers.

I found the site to be very easy to navigate. You can easily shop by departments which are then broken down even further into both categories and sub-categories, making it quick to find what you're looking for...even if you don't know exactly what you're looking for! You can also search by a specific brand, including Melissa and Doug, as they carry many that teachers are familiar with.
As I browsed the resources, I found the prices to be (for the most part) cheaper than anywhere else I had seen. I especially liked the Daily Deals tab which offers mega discounts on already fair prices.

Shipping was quick! I received my order 5 days after placing it, and the items were properly packaged. One of my biggest pet peeves is when companies just throw items in a box and send it your way. This was not the case at all! There were many air bags inside securing all the items and keeping them from getting damaged during shipping.

They also offer to send you discounts and FREE teaching ideas if you submit your email. To me, that goes beyond just selling products. I can tell that MPMSchoolSupplies.com truly cares about making your classroom a place where students yearn to learn and grow.

So if your in need of some Classroom Decorations, Teacher Supplies, Classroom Rugs, or anything else for your classroom this year, give MPMSchoolSupplies a look!


-Til next time
     
I found some Back to School supplies and activities that are a must-have for your Preschool, Kindergarten, or First (1st) grade classroom! Games that develop logical thinking skills and spatial reasoning abilities. A classroom rug that reinforces math and counting. Activity books that are fun, age-appropriate and include "sneaky learning." Stinky Wiggly Worm stickers for your Apple Themed unit. Something for your Polar Animals or Penguins unit. And more! Come take a look at what I ordered, and learn more about MPM School Supplies, too!

I found some Back to School supplies and activities that are a must-have for your Preschool, Kindergarten, or First (1st) grade classroom! Games that develop logical thinking skills and spatial reasoning abilities. A classroom rug that reinforces math and counting. Activity books that are fun, age-appropriate and include "sneaky learning." Stinky Wiggly Worm stickers for your Apple Themed unit. Something for your Polar Animals or Penguins unit. And more! Come take a look at what I ordered, and learn more about MPM School Supplies, too!

I found some Back to School supplies and activities that are a must-have for your Preschool, Kindergarten, or First (1st) grade classroom! Games that develop logical thinking skills and spatial reasoning abilities. A classroom rug that reinforces math and counting. Activity books that are fun, age-appropriate and include "sneaky learning." Stinky Wiggly Worm stickers for your Apple Themed unit. Something for your Polar Animals or Penguins unit. And more! Come take a look at what I ordered, and learn more about MPM School Supplies, too!