Monday, July 30, 2012

I Love My Shoes Student Books

I recently posted about a book I'd made to accompany Pete the Cat, by Eric Litwin. The book is a beginning reader following the shoes and colors theme.

You can read more about this book in the post Pete the Cat Inspired Beginning Reader.

I had a request to make a blackline master for this book, so students could create their own copies. I thought this was a great idea! I made the book half the size, to conserve paper. I made two versions of the student copy. In both versions of the book, the students color the shoes on every page. 

The first version has the colors written for the students to trace. 

The second version uses fill in the blank. The students write the color on their own. 

The two versions allow you to use whatever format is better for your students individual needs. 

You can purchase the book at my tpt store for only $2.00! 

Please leave your thoughts on this book! :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pete the Cat Inspired Beginning Reader

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin, is a fantastic book. It's a must buy (with CD). My kids couldn't get enough of it last year. I can pretty much guarantee you all my kids could retell it word for word. So this year, I'm going to use Pete the Cat as my main book for my colors unit. In previous years, I've used Brown Bear, Brown Bear

I created a beginning reader to use for our shared reading to go along with Pete the Cat. It's very simple and follows the, I love my (insert color here) shoes, rhythm. My hope is that this book will;

1. teach & reinforce color recognition to my younger kids.
2. introduce color words (the written print) to my older kids.
3. build their confidence as readers.

Here are some pictures of the beginning reader, I Love My Colorful Shoes. You can download it at my tpt store. Clip-art is by KPM Doodles, and font is by Kimberly Geswein. 

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Science "Rules" Poster

I've been busy today (well really the last two weeks) getting everything ready for the new school year. I love the start of a new school year. And I go back three weeks from yesterday! I laugh every time I see these statements on pinterest.

I feel like the guilty newish teacher at the back of the room, raising my hand timidly and saying, "actually . . I'm ready for summer to be over." Not that I don't love summer, but with no kids, my husband at work, temperatures over 100 degrees, and being stuck in my apartment with my adorable but often times annoying puppy dog, I'm ready to go back to school.

Couldn't resist adding a picture of my puppy. (Although he's about 20 pounds heavier then when this picture was taken)

So, back on topic. I've been spending most of my waking hours the last few weeks working on back to school stuff. Today was no different. I made a "science rules" poster to accompany my super scientist badges. I used quotations, because I don't really like the word rules, but I never know what else to call them. I presented my expectations in a very positive way, by wording the "rules" as things that scientists do. We will read our poster about what a scientist does before our experiments and inquiry lessons. After reading the rules, my students will put on their scientist badges and be ready to be scientists.

The poster and super scientist badges can be purchased at my tpt store for $1.00. I debated charging for items on my tpt store or keeping them free. I decided to sell my items for only a dollar. Hopefully this will help fund my new found clipart obsession. I'll see how it goes. Might as well try right?

Here's a picture of my super scientist badges. Click here to read my post about these.

Do you have a tpt store? Do you charge for your items or keep them free? I would love to hear how this went for you. Please leave a comment. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reward Jars

I still use candy as a reward. I know the world of education is moving away from giving out sweets, but our school still lets us give out candy. I do try to give it out very moderately. The two types of candy I give out, are skittles and Hershey's kisses. 

The skittles are used as a classroom management tool. I give out skittles when our room is cleaned up quickly, everyone is sitting on the carpet correctly, we made good choices at lunch, etc. I don't give them out EVERYTIME something is done correctly, just randomly. Sometimes everyone in the class will get one, and sometimes it's only the students making the right choices. I usually only give out skittles once or twice a day. 

The other candy I give out is Hershey's kisses. If you've never heard Dr. Jean's Kiss Your Brain song, it's a hoot. My preschoolers think it is the funniest song. They beg to hear it every morning. The song encourages kids to kiss your brain (kiss your fingers then touch your brain) when they do something smart. I use the Hershey's kisses as an academic reward. When we are doing assessments I will give them out. I will also give them out when I can tell students are paying attention and putting a lot of thought in to their answers/statements.

I used some Dollar Tree containers and a couple packages of stickers (from Hobby Lobby) to make my reward jars this year. I'm really pleased with how they turned out. These will look great on my teacher shelf in my classroom. 

Hope your enjoying the last little bit of summer! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Blog Design

First of all, it's 1:30 in the morning, so if I ramble and don't make since that is why. Also, I'm super excited! I just created an awesome header for my blog! (I tried to wake up my husband to share it with him, but he's not really comprehending my words. SOOO I get to ramble on here instead!) The clip-art is from KPM Doodles.Who creates AWESOME very reasonably priced clip-art. I'm hoping to continue my design by creating a button and other fancy stuff, but that will have to be put off until later. Right now, I'm just excited that my blog looks like a REAL blog! I didn't think I could do it. 

I've always wanted a "cute" personalized blog, but the last few times I've attempted it, it's been a complete fail. So I've gone with probably the boringest (yes I know it's not a word) design ever. But, after reading at least 100 different educational blogs this summer, I noticed they were ALL super personalized and cute! So I decided to take a whack at it again. After all if everyone else can do it, then I can do it too. And I did! 

So hopefully this will increase my number of readers and followers. And if nothing else, it will make me happy when I look at it! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

School Supplies Storage Solutions

Converting tool boxes into school supply storage has been a huge hit on pinterest. You can check out Linda's take on the tool box over at Down the Learning Road. As cute as these tool boxes are, they just aren't going to work for me. I have a VERY SMALL desk. Small, as in big enough for my laptop and maybe a notebook, sized desk. So I've been trying to figure out how to keep my school supplies within arms reach while sitting at my desk, without using my one very shallow, very small, drawer. 

Here is my solution:

I used a cookie sheet from Dollar Tree ($1), favor tins from Hobby Lobby ($3.99 for 8), some spray paint, ribbon, and magnets ($1.98) to make this hanging school supply storage. 

It was actually very easy to make. 

1. Just spray paint the cookie sheet.
2. hot glue magnets to the back of the tins.
3.Fill the tins with your supplies. 
4. Place the tins on the cookie sheet. 
5. Add a ribbon to hang the cookie sheet from. 
6. Find a place close to your desk to hang it.

*I also plan on adding velcro to the wall/bottom part of the cookie sheet to keep it from swaying when I take off the tins.

Now the school supplies I use daily is accessible and cute! (and fits into my classroom color scheme!)

I used a light blue ribbon at the top. It's a little hard to see. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

DIY Super Scientist Badges

So far, I've finished 5 back to school projects. The super scientist badges are my favorite. The idea originated from Kindergarten Kindergarten. After I saw her post about science badges, I knew I had to make them. 

A large part of our curriculum is teaching the students how to "be a scientist." We focus on using our 5 senses to observe the world around us and record/report the information ACCURATELY. At the beginning of the year, I show my class  an object (lets say it's yellow) and ask them to draw it in their science journal, over half of the drawings are blue, pink, purple, etc. After we finish our unit on being a scientist, the super scientist badges will be a great visual to remind my students what it means to be a scientist. When they put on their badge, they also need to have scientist eyes, ears, hands, thoughts, etc. 

So after much ado . . . .here they are!

These badges were fairly inexpensive and simple. I started off getting a couple packages of horizontal badge holders and badge id clips. I got mine at Wal-Mart. They are sold in packs of 12 for $1.88. 

Then I found some scientist clip-art. Jessica Weible has an awesome Mad Scientist pack for $5.00. Click on the picture to follow the link.
The clipart is Skinny Latte by Kimberly Geswein. You can download if for FREE by clicking here.

I designed the badges in publisher. I made a box with a thick black border and added the clipart and text inside. My badge holders are 3 1/2" by 2 1/2". So I made the box a little smaller then this, so that I could add scrapbook paper after it was printed to add a colorful border. 

Here's one last look.

Download for FREE at my TPT store

If you are a blogger, please leave a link so I can check out your blog. Good luck with all your back to school projects.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back to School Bug

I have been bitten by the back to school bug! It didn't take much, one look at the back to school aisle and my juices have been flowing ever since. (pinterest may have helped a little bit as well) I have a number of things to share with you over the next few weeks. The first thing I would like to share are some cute Box Top and Pull Tab containers. These were inspired by a similar container over at Learning in Wonderland.

These containers are super cute, super easy, and super cheap. What else could you want?

I bought a couple of these pencils holders from dollar tree. Then found some cute scrapbook paper. I cut the paper to the right size, by wrapping it around the container, making sure it is flat against the surface (it'll look weird cause the can is tapered), then traced a pencil around the inside top lip of the paper, and likewise for the bottom. Then I cut on the lines. This gives your paper a perfect fit. I used hot glue to attach the paper to the metal. Lastly, I used some stickers to decorate and added a box top/pull tab. For extra cuteness, add a ribbon border at the top. 

I'm hoping these cute containers will encourage parents to bring in their box tops.

We collect pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.

Well I hope that I've inspired you to start on your back to school projects. I'd love to see your take on this project. Leave a link to your pictures/blog.

Happy Preparing!