Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday - Spring Break Edition!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday.  {Spring break edition of course.  :)}


1.  I changed my Pinterest account to the new look, and I'm loving it!  It feels so much easier to navigate, and I love the larger pictures!


2.  I also changed up my reader for my blogs.  As you may or may not know, Google Reader is going away on July 1st.  I really, really, really do not like change.  {Ask my husband.  lol}  So changing two big things in one week is a little much for me, but I survived.  :)  I decided to go with Feedly as my new reader.  I like the way it shows a picture from each blog, and how each "page" only shows a total of six blogs.  I am sad that my precious Google Reader is going by the wayside, but Feedly is a good alternative.  Here is a screenshot of what it looks like on my phone.


3.  My bestie and I did a little scrapbooking this week.  I have a Cricut and quite a few cartridges.  I love sitting down and putting a page together.  We had so much fun and even got a few pages done. ;)

4. My son and I went to the new Discovery Children's Museum here in Las Vegas on Thursday.  It was so much fun!  There was a pirate ship to play on for my obsessed pirate ship boy, a water play area, an art area, and so much more!  They currently have an exhibit on George Washington and had a set of his dentures on display.  I know, kind of gross, but kind of neat too.   I read George Washington's Teeth to my students during our President's Day activities.  I can't wait to show them these pictures I took!



Here's a picture of my son that I took just for fun.  


5.  Easter is coming and many children enjoy waking up to see what kind of candy the Easter Bunny left in their baskets.  Not my son.  He doesn't like candy.  Trust me, I've tried.  lol  However, he does enjoy marshmallows, so I am making him a bag of bunny tails.  I plan on putting marshmallows in a baggie and adding the tag below.  He will love it!  If you would like a copy of the tags to make your own bag of bunny tails, you can get the pdf here.

Clipart by Scrappin Doodles

Thanks for joining me for my Spring Break edition of Five for Friday!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Look at Pinterest

Yesterday, I heard a little rumor that Pinterest was changing their look.  I figured it would be awhile before it rolled out, and I would jump on it when the time came.  Little did I know that that time would be sooner than later.  I logged in, and I was asked if I wanted to change it to the new look.  Um...yes please!

I thought I would take some screenshots to show you how it looks now if you haven't had the chance to switch your account over yet.  This is what the new feed looks like.  The pictures are much larger {which I love!}.  You can find all of the categories on the left hand side by using a drop down menu.  The drop down menu on the right allows you to look at your boards, pins, settings, etc.


This next picture shows what it looks like when you click on a picture to pin something.  I love how it shows more of the board that it's pinned from, as well as the original source.  Instead of just a few pictures, it has a scroll bar where you can look through and see if there is anything else that interests you.  You can also start following a board from this screen.  


The next picture shows what's under whatever it is you're pinning.  I love how it shows you so many great pins that you might be missing out on.  This pic only shows the top of the list.  It goes on and on.  Trust me - great stuff!


If you get asked if you want to switch to the new look, I highly recommend it.  I love it!  I would love it also if you checked out my boards and became a follower.  {My boards are currently in their infant stages. I decided to have an account for just my school "stuff", so I'm in the process of repinning some great pins as well as finding new ones!}  I would love to follow your boards too!

Happy pinning!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Have Been Reformed - I Love Write the Room!

Wow!  It's been almost a week since I have visited my little piece of the Internet.  I really meant to visit sooner - I really did.  However, my son woke up Wednesday night with an asthma attack.  Ever try to calm down a 7 year old boy with Autism while he's having an asthma attack?  Not fun.  Luckily, he can sign so he could still communicate with us.  Poor guy signed "Call the doctor to bring the van" (ambulance).  :(  My husband was already off work so I knew he was in good hands on Thursday.  He ended up staying home on Friday also.  I had difficulties sleeping the next few nights while listening for another attack.  Then on Saturday, my body decided "Hey Amy - you're on Spring Break.  Let's get sick!"  Good times let me tell you.  I'm so glad I didn't have to go to school today.  I would have been miserable!  Enough about me and my woes.  On to the actual education portion of my post.

Many, many years ago I tried out Read the Room and I hated it.  Yes, that's what I said.  I absolutely hated it!  The students in that group would be off task and bothering other students.  Well, then the next year I tried Write the Room and I hated it.  Again, students were off task and bothering others.  So, I gave up and had my students at different areas around the room, but NO moving around.  {Which I really didn't like}  All that changed about a month and a half ago when I found this super cute Write the Room freebie from Kindergarten Lifestyle.  I broke down.  It was too cute not to try.  So, I printed off the cards and answer sheets, placed the cards around the room, and hoped for the best.

To say it was a success is an understatement!  My students loved it!  They stayed on task and completed their work without bothering their classmates!  Score!

The next week, I decided to try my hand at a CVC write the room.  We were working on community helpers so I used that as my theme.  The students did such a great job!  The success was repeated.  I printed off my skills sheet and differentiated it for my students.  Some of my students were working on beginning sounds, others were working on identifying the medial vowel sounds in words, and still others were working on writing the entire CVC word.  I am definitely going to do more Write the Room activities in my classroom!



If you are interested in my Community Helpers Write the Room packet, you can find it here.  This packet includes two different write the room activities.  The first activity includes only CVC pictures.  The second activity includes CVCC and CCVC pictures.  It is currently on sale, but I would love to give away two copies to my followers.  Leave a comment about what you wanted to be when you were little.  {I wanted to be a teacher from a very young age.}  I will choose the winners on Wednesday night.

I am having a Spring Break sale at my TpT store now through Wednesday.  I would love for you to visit!


Whether you are on Spring Break or at work tomorrow, I hope that you have a wonderful Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Volunteer Oldie, but Goody

Have you ever gone looking through your files to find something that you really needed and then ran into something else that you remembered being a great idea?  That was me on Monday when I found this little guy hanging out in one of my file cabinets.


He's not pretty, but he was my friend for two years.  I used this folder to help my volunteers know what I would like copied for my classroom.  {I forgot all about it, because I have had an assistant for the past two years in Kindergarten.}

I would gather all of my copies for the week and place the originals in the folder.  I would then label the originals with a sticky note listing how many copies I needed and whether I needed it one sided or two sided.


{Yes, those are still originals in there from two years ago.  Apparently, we were working on tally marks and money at the end of the year.  lol}

The best thing I found in the folder was this goody.


For many years, I was unorganized and not ready for volunteers when they came in.  I would have one thing ready, the volunteer would finish that task, and then would come ask for another.  Once I came up with this system, my volunteers could work at their pace and I had fewer interruptions.  Win, win for everyone.

I would put this form, the copy folder, and any books necessary in a bucket near the door to my classroom. My volunteers would come in, grab the bucket, and get to work.  It was the best system ever!  If I ever have a classroom without an assistant again, I am definitely going back to this system.

If you would like your copy of the volunteer form, you can get it here.  {It looks a little different.  I'm not even sure I have the original anywhere.}

Graphics by Scrappin Doodles.  Font by me.  :)

By the way, I never did find what I was looking for when I found this piece of my past.  Figures, huh?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Treat

I got a note from my son's teacher on Monday letting us know that his class was going to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Friday.  It also stated that he could bring a treat for his friends.  So what does any good Mommy do?  Go on Pinterest of course. Here is the treat that I ended up making for Colton's classmates.


I found the perfect idea here.  I went to the linked blog to find the directions and to see if the cute tag was available.  Unfortunately, the author stated that the tag she had made was lost due to a computer crash. So, as a clip art hoarder lover, I knew I had just the right piece of clip art waiting on my hard drive.   So, I quickly whipped up the tags and got to work on the treats.

Here are all of the items I needed to make these super cute treats.


I bought the Rolos, marshmallows, and fruit slices at Wal-Mart and the pretzel bags and ribbon at Michaels  {with the teacher discount - love it!}.  First, I put in four Rolos at the bottom of the bag.  Then, a handful of marshmallows went in.  Finally, I added the fruit slices.  I got a tad nervous about the fruit slices. You see, I only had to make 7 for his Autism class, and just bought the third bag as insurance.  Good thing too since there were exactly 7, yes 7, yellows in three bags.  So after the mini crisis was averted, I tied off each bag with a twist tie and then added the tag with ribbon.


Colton was so excited this morning when he saw them on the counter!  I really hope that his classmates enjoy them too!

If you would like a copy of the tags, click here.  There are two versions of the tags.  One version is like the one that I made for my son's classmates, and the other version says "I'm lucky to have you in my class."

Clip art by Scrappin Doodles and font by Jen Jones
Clip art by Scrappin Doodles and font by Jen Jones
I hope that you can use these to make a fun St. Patrick's Day treat!  Don't forget to wear your green on Sunday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Night Ramblings

So, I know that I haven't posted in a week and I know that on Mondays I usually do a math post.  Well, not tonight.  Tonight is going to be one of those rambling posts.  You know the ones, right?  They talk a little bit about a lot of stuff, but don't go anywhere.

First things first - no Math Monday.  To be honest, we have been assessing up the wazoo.  That equals no fun math activities. :(   I have to say that I am tired of assessing.  I can only imagine my students are too.  

Second - Our superintendent up and resigned out of the blue last week.  Very, very strange.  It'll be interesting to see how this whole thing pans out and how long it will be until we get a new superintendent.

Third - Report Cards - Ah, report card time.  The time when all teachers spend hours writing the perfect comments and making sure there are grades for every objective.  I really don't mind report card time.  It does take a few hours to write the comments.  However, I do think that parents appreciate seeing where their children are.

Fourth - Last Friday was Career Day. SO.MUCH.FUN!  My students enjoy our day every year.  We got to listen to a park ranger, doctors, and a vet among others.  Our classrooms are used for a day.  My room was used for a golf instructor and my bestie's classroom had a dj.  Before our rotations began, our Kindy classes were dancing and having lots of fun!

Fifth - I finally have my Facebook page up and kind of running.  lol  I would love for you to jump over and check it out.  My next project is to get my freebies page up at the top of the page going.  I will get there.  :)

For sticking around for this rambling post, I leave you with one of my favorite sweet freebies.  Click on the picture to get your copy.  Have a great week!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Math Monday: Hexagons

My topic for this week is hexagons.  I have a  love/hate relationship with the hexagon.  It is definitely a great shape, but oh so hard to teach.  My Kinders can identify lots of things that are in the shape of circle, squares, rectangles, and triangles.  But when I ask about examples of hexagons, you could hear crickets chirping in my classroom.  I really don't blame them.  There are not a lot of examples of hexagons out there.  The most common example of a hexagon is honeycomb.


Well, I have been on a mission for the past few months to find other examples of hexagons.  I have to say I get unnaturally happy when I see a hexagon nowadays.  The first two examples are actually from a trip to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.  The first one is from the Finding Nemo submarine ride waiting area.  Yep, I took a picture of the lights.  Have you ever had a "You know you're a teacher" moment?  Yep, that was me when I took a picture of lights.  lol


This next picture is from Radiator Springs Racers.  We were right at the entrance where you get on, and I looked down.  I got so excited and grabbed my phone for a quick pic.  At least I could act like I was just looking at my phone this time.  lol


I have also found some examples at my home.  My son has a pirate ship that he takes in the tub, and it has a mast that can come out.  One night I realized it was in the shape of a hexagon.


I also found this oldie, but goodie in my husband's toolbox.


I will say that I do have a little restraint when taking pictures of hexagons.  I took my son to the bathroom a few weeks ago at an event we were at.  I looked down and saw the tiles were in the shape of hexagons.  I thought that taking pictures of the tiles in a public restroom were probably going just a tad bit too far.  lol

I leave you with a freebie.  This is a set of songs about 2D shapes and how many sides they have.  Click here to get your copy.  I hope that you can use them.  {Songs are sung to Do You Know the Muffin Man?}


Friday, March 1, 2013

Five for Friday

I am linking up Doodle Bug Teaching in the Five for Friday linky party.  I see this linky every week, but have never jumped in.  Today's the day!


1.  My class celebrated Nevada Reading Week.  My favorite activity every year is Reading Bingo!  It's a fun way for the whole school to participate in an activity at the same time!


2.  I used liquid watercolors for the first time this week.  I am in love!  I will never use the Prang watercolors again.  {Sorry Prang - You have been a friend to me since I was in First Grade, but I have now found a new friend.}  My art teacher let me borrow some to make our reading week door decorations. {You can see a pic here.}  However, I now want my own set!  Off to buy some this weekend!  The picture below shows the kind that I used.  They even have glitter watercolors.  Um, yes please!

These  watercolors can be found here.
3.  My students and I have been working on the Math Common Core Standard K.OA.A.4 - For any number 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10.  I found a great idea on Pinterest, and it lead me to Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  She has a great Rainbow to 10 freebie!  You can get it for yourself here.  Teri always has great ideas!  Jump over and I'm sure you will find lots to love!

4.  I took today off to go to my son's school.  I had so much fun reading to both his Autism class and his gen-ed class!  I read Froggy Goes to Hawaii and Roger the Jolly Pirate.


5.  After I dropped my son off at school, I had some time before I had to go back to read.  I decided that Target is always a good place to spend a little time.  I found my absolute favorite Easter candy on the shelves.  I wait all year long to find these yummy memories of my youth!


I hope you had a wonderful Friday!  I know I did!
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