Sunday, August 30, 2015

Back To School Bash With The Primary Pack!

Our hop is a 3…2…1… BACK TO SCHOOL BASH because each member of The Primary Pack will be giving you 3 teacher tips, 2 giveaways (one on each of our blogs and one BIG one on the Primary Pack), and 1 freebie!

To enter our BIG giveaway, you need to head over to THE PRIMARY PACK first! As you "hop" through each of our blogs, you will collect a letter from each of us… 28 total. Those letters spell out a secret code that you need to enter our BIG giveaway! You will use the secret code to enter the rafflecoptor on The Primary Pack at the end of the hop.

 You need to collect the letters from us IN ORDER, so please make sure that you start from the beginning of our hop. Click on the button below to head over to THE PRIMARY PACK and start our BACK TO SCHOOL BASH!!

Get your kids excited and break out the fun during those first few weeks. Let kids experience that learning is FUN! You will reap the benefits all year long. Kids will enter your classroom with anticipation, because they know they will enjoy the learning!

Here are a few easy ideas to make learning fun!

1. It can be as simple as letting kids practice skills (writing letters, writing sight words, math facts, etc.) by using dry erase markers ON the table!
2.  Use interactive worksheets! You can still use easy no-prep worksheets, but add a twist to them.
I love using play dough mats. You can see us using apple themed dough here. 
Here are some interactive sight word worksheets from The Measured Mom and 3 Dinosaurs. Kids will love exploring sight words with these fun activities!
3. Get kids up and moving with any activity. Have a scavenger hunt around the classroom. This is an easy way to help them become familiar with supplies and parts of the room.
4. Utilize partner time. This helps develop bonds between kids and adds fun to any activity.
We just moved this summer and my kids are going to a new school. My son was extremely nervous to start in the new school. We spent the last week of summer dealing with a huge range of emotions. His number one fear was not having a friend.

Remember that there are kids in your class, who are afraid of being left out. Try and build connections and a caring classroom community that will make every child feel included. Strive to make every child feel like they are a treasured and special part of the classroom. This will set the tone for the year. This will make your students ready to learn.
Try and get organized! This is a "Do as I say, not as I do" tip. I am always on a mission to get myself organized! I am great at getting things organized, it is KEEPING them organized where I struggle. I am hoping that this year I will get my house and supplies set up in a system where I can actually keep everything organized. 

Here are a few organizational tricks that I found on Pinterest. I am definitely trying these out!
1. Store your construction paper in hanging file folders. I can't wait to try this. My construction paper is always getting torn or bent, because I have to pull it out of a pile. Not to mention, it is always falling on the floor!
2. Use plastic containers to store card games. This will keep cards and any supplies needed together in one space. The plastic containers are also very durable and easy for kids to use!
3. Turn a Lazy Susan into a spinning organizational school supply center. I love this! Can't wait to try it out.
4. Attach an actual photo to crates/bins to show exactly how they should look when everything is put away. I need this for myself. I think it is the extra little reminder that I need to take the time to clean up right!
Win a fabulous Cameo from The Primary Pack! I wish that I could enter this giveaway!
You can choose from two fabulous prizes, if you win this giveaway! Choose any product from my store (excluding bundles) and I will send you the digital file  OR  choose the Grab & Go: "All About Me" Edition and I will send it to you laminated, cut out, and ready to go! The mailed option is only available to entrants living in the US.
Check out my "Grab & Go" Portable Word Walls here. You can see the "Grab & Go" school edition in action here. I love the portable word rings, because they provide you so many possibilities. I can't wait to get the time to actually blog about all the fun we are having with them!
I am giving away my newest set, "All About Me".  You can win this Grab & Go set- laminated, cut out, and ready to go! (I can only send the set to people in the US. If you live outside of the US I will  send you the digital file.)  This set includes words within the "All About Me" theme. The smaller categories include: Feelings, Family, Pets, Favorite Colors, Favorite Hobbies, and Parts of the Body. Use them in any way that you choose!

You will also receive Little Books that complement the Grab & Go set. There are two versions: a No-Cut and One-Cut set.
Here is my daughter using the Grab & Go set to help her identify and spell the color words.
I am only able to mail inside the US, but you can still win the digital file wherever you live. If you live outside the US, I will send you the digital file and you can still get in on the fun! Thanks so much for entering this giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Head over to my TPT store and scoop up a fun and FREE addition game! Kids love "Bump". An easy partner game for the beginning of school. Gather dice, unifix cubes, and a "Bump" board and kids will be adding and having fun!
You will be hopping along to Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations!
Thanks for joining The Primary Pack for our Back-To-School Bash! Hope you have a fabulous school year with your class, or your kiddos at home!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Using Games to Practice Basic Skills

I blogged over at Classroom Tested Resources today. I shared some quick and easy ideas on games to practice basic skills. There are some examples and links to a few freebies. Hope you enjoy the ideas and get your kids having fun!
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Monday, August 10, 2015

See What's Sticking In My House!

Earlier this summer, I got to spend a week with my brother, sister and their families. We each have 2 kids and they are all under the age of 8. It was a thrilling time for all the kids!
I loved getting to see and play with my niece and nephews. My niece is crazy for duct tap, so I decided to get her involved in making vegetables for a sensory bin. As soon as she started creating, all the other kids joined in, too.

The 7 of us spent at least four amazing hours elbow deep in duct tape. All the creations in the pictures were created by kids, 5-8 years old.  Absolutely amazing, if you ask me!
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I created DIY directions, so you can make your own duct tape vegetable garden!

There are 3 options for creating the carrots and radishes.  Option #1-

Option #2-

This version is very light, in case you have kids that tend to hit others with learning materials... They can't do much damage with this veggie.
Option #3-

 You can create radishes, turnips, beets and green onions in the same way as the carrots. Use rounded stones or plastic spoons to create the base of these vegetables.

I hope that you found these directions useful and would love to hear about your creations, too! Have fun with the incredibly sticky duct tape!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Five For Friday!

I know it's Sunday, but I still wanted to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday!

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This week has been spent trying to get ready to present at a Preschool Conference this coming Tuesday. I'm lucky to get to present with my mom! My mom is a retired guidance counselor. This year we are joining forces to present on dramatic play!

Here is the floor of my craft room...

This fun pizza parlor is joining us at the conference. My kids helped me create the pizza stand and the background.
 Kids can order, make, and "cook" their own pizzas. This pizza parlor is not just for preschool. I've had kids as old as 9 begging to play at the "Pizza Place"!  It has definitely been a hit!  I'll admit that I've played there, too :)
 I've had a ton of fun getting ready for this conference. Here's my newest "Five Little Monkey" manipulative. You can see the original here. I think this one was even easier to make!
 Last, but not least, is my new sock puppet giraffe. He was a last minute addition, when I saw these perfect socks at the dollar store. They just screamed to be made into a giraffe! 
 Thanks for stopping by! I hope that this week is just as productive, but a little less harried than last week...  Hop over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to see the Five For Friday link up!

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