Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to School Survival Kit Freebies by Ingles360!

I have been a busy, busy bear this week. Meetings, CPR/First Aid Training, Classroom Setup, more Meetings.....and then more meetings, Home Visits, Classroom Set Up, MAT Training and then Open House next week!

I am exhausted and the munchkins haven't even stepped foot into the classroom!! =)

Anyhow, I just wanted to jump on real quick and let you know that Ana, over at Ingles360, has an awesome Back to School Teaching Survival FREEBIE! (as well as some other awesome freebie choices!)

So click on over to Ingles360 for your freebie right now!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lots of News: Fun Classroom Decor, a TpT Store...And a Freebie!

Yay! Big accomplishments for me today!

1st: I decided on a theme for my classroom!  BEARS!

2nd: I unleashed my inner craftiness (thanks to great bloggers and crafters' ideas') and made some of my own classroom decor with my cute little bear theme!
3rd: I opened up my own TpT store...Finally! =)

So anyhow, I have been quite productive the past week or so!!

   I am a preschool teacher and I am all about "cute" and "welcoming" when it comes to how I decorate my classroom. This year, unfortunately, I do not have the good luck of being near any Teacher stores nor does my budget allow for too much spending to buy all the cute things I want for my classroom. So by stalking other bloggers and searching Pinterest, I found ways to make my own classroom decor with cute clip art and scrapbooking supplies, of which I have plenty!

 My Welcome Sign:

My "Where Are We?" Board:
    And thanks to the fun craft idea by Miss KindergartenI created a new "Where Are We?" Board.
 I was going to use the same one I made last school year, but when I saw how cute and easy this was, I had to make one!
      All it took was a dry erase board I found at Target or Walmart for $1, some Mod Podge (which I have been eagerly waiting to use), some scrapbook paper, letter stickers (although I changed my mind about the color of the letters afterwards) and a bit of ribbon! That's it!!
After I assembled it all, I made the location cards with some cute Bear clip art from Scrappin Doodles.
Here is my new "Where Are We?" Board! I am so excited about it!!

My Job Chart: (which I am even more excited about!)
Each child will have their own bear (created with my awesome Cricut machine) with their name on it attached to a clothespin.

My new Center Signs to coordinate with my Bear theme:

And because it is Freebie Friday, I have linked up again with TBA.
     AND because I am having a little celebration in honor of the grand opening of my TpT store...
I have posted these Center Signs as a freebie just for you! 

Click on the picture of the Center Signs above or HERE for your FREEBIE!

     I still have quite a few things to create and I am very excited to be able to get into my classroom next week! (FINALLY)   =)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shape Fun: Circle & Ovals !

       In a quick effort to review shapes with my little munchkin, I found a plethora of fun ideas all over Pinterest and the Blogging world! =)  But because of time constraints, I can't do it all!  =(
     So, I made her a little word wall with shapes/shape names cards from a Shape Pack by 3Dinosaurs
Get your own by clicking on the picture below.
     She is currently obsessed with the letter Oo… which she happens to call an Oval. 
     So that is where we started:
Circles and Ovals
     I found these adorable printables at Me & Marie Learning.
     She has LOTS  of cute printables, and the Shape Packs are FREEBIES!  Yay! Click on the picture above to grab your own! 

     I had my little one sort the pictures and glue them onto the correct Shape Poster.
     And I LOVED the mini readers included in the Shape Pack! 
We did the I Like Circles and I Like Ovals mini books together.
     I found this little workbook in the Dollar section at Target. 
      I had originally intended to laminate it and make it into a Dry Erase page, but it never had a chance b/c she was so eager to trace her shapes, especially her beloved Oval!   
  We even pulled out an old favorite: 
Big Button Number Fun game by Melissa & Doug.
      And we needed a fun art activity, so I grabbed some toothpicks and some mini marshmallows and she did some Circle/Oval (Marshmallow) stamp painting!
      As I juggle teaching her preschool concepts and  making things for my classroom, I have been quite busy!
     Tomorrow I will post all about the cutesy things (I finally decided on a Classroom Theme) I am making for my classroom…A few more days and then I will be able to get back into the classroom to start setting up and decorating!  Yay!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fun uses for flashcards !

     So last week, as I was shopping for some school supplies with my little munchkin, she came up to me with a Toy Story photo album that she wanted. It was only $2, so I said “why not?” 
      I have been thinking of fun and creative ways to make little flip books for her- or something of that sort.
     When she handed me the photo album, a little light bulb went out in my head. =)
     Here is what I created when I got home, after making some flashcards on my computer with fun clip art.
         I made her an ABC Photo Album!  =) 

For the first few days she carried it with her everywhere! She and I both like the portability of it and she likes to flip through all the pages.
     While I am not a big fan of using flashcards to directly teach and have children memorize things, I do have them out for my little munchkin and my preschool children to explore as they wish.
     I am not sure about you, but most of the time, this is how the flashcards usually end up, both at home and in the classroom.
                       It is a bit annoying actually!
     But since I made the ABC photo album, she has been showing an increased interest in letters, which makes this Teacher Momma proud! =)
     It is cute, easy to make and portable.
     She loves it… and so I will definitely be making one or two for my classroom.
     I proceeded to find other ways to use the (store bought) flashcards that I have in my house.
     1)  Hole punch a set and insert a small ring binder to make them portable.

     2)  Cut them in halves to make puzzles.
     I figure that if she gets a kick out of the new ways to explore flashcards, then my preschoolers are sure be the same way.
     I am currently thinking of other new ways to use flashcards (homemade or store bought) in my classroom this year.
     How do you utilize flashcards in a fun, hands-on way in your classroom??

     Please share any ideas that you have! =)

Monday, August 6, 2012

I have been BIT... by the Back to School Bug! =)

     So I have been keeping up with some of my favorite blogs and Pinterest, of course, and it seems as if EVERYONE is in Back To School Mode!
     Everyone except for me... Well maybe it is because we still have a family vacation to take (leaving to NYC this Thursday, as a matter of fact) and I do not have to report back to work until Aug. 20th! Maybe that is why I have been slow to catch on to everything huh?
     BUT.... I am glad to announce that the Back to School Bug has finally bit me this past weekend!
     Yay! It's Back to School Time!  
   Time to shop for school/work clothes, school supplies, find and make cute things for the classroom, reorganize book boxes, etc....WOW, now that I think about it, I have alot of work ahead of me!! Damn, should have started on it all sooner!  =O
      But it's okay... I will work fast and into the wee hours of the night if need be! 
     And let me tell you... I am working super hard every day this past week, on making cutesy things for my classroom....More about that in another post, though! =)

     In the meantime, I am still doing work with my little munchkin and we just wrapped up our mini Ocean Unit with a fun sensory, painting experience: Salt Painting! (More like messy finger painting, but fun nonetheless!) After mixing salt, blue & green paint and a little bit of glue, we let it dry and then she added on some Ocean Animal stickers to create an Ocean Scene!

     And we ended the unit with a yummy Dolphin shaped pb&J sandwich w/strawberry yogurt! =)
And so now... BACK TO SCHOOL preparations are underway!
Stay tuned.... =)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Live, Love, Laugh... and Teach!

    Well, this has been a tough week for my family. Today, we lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer. My cousin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a few months ago and was ready to fight hard. But her battle with cancer was short lived and God called her home this morning. 
    She was a very vibrant woman, so full of life and always laughing and smiling… and making others laugh and smile. She was truly a ray of sunshine in the lives of all of us. Today though, the Lord needed her more than we did and she went home. She is now pain free, living as an Angel in Heaven along with my beloved father and other family members who have gone before us.
    It is times like these when I am reminded to cherish life and remember that God has a plan for all of us and tomorrow is promised to no one.
We should all remember to:
Live, Love and Laugh as often as possible.
On a lighter note, I live what I love everyday: Teaching!

    Learning about Ocean Animals has my little munchkin excited! I was so proud when I heard her telling my husband all about the octopus book we read and the dolphin toys she played with!  =)
    See? Learning is fun! And I am soooo glad that she is so excited about Ocean Animals!
    We started our week by reading books about Ocean Animals and she eagerly looked at the pictures in the books and wanted to know all about the animals.  
       Then we created a little chart/word wall of her favorite ocean animals.  (I had about 12 different animals cards but I was only able to fit a few in my little pocket chart!) No worries though b/c she chose her favorites and put them in the pocket chart herself!
    When I put out ocean animal toys, she found each animal and excitedly matched it to the word wall.
    We did some more scissor work as well this week and used the same kind of ctivity that we have done before in another theme. And she is working well with the kid scissors…no more toddler scissors for her!
    She loves the paper puzzles that I use from different theme packs made my other blogger mommies. 
The puzzles shown here (as well as the Word Wall cards) came from this Ocean Theme Pack from

    We worked on some Math skills as a well as I photocopied my fellow octopus pal again (this time with his tentacles) and labeled each leg/tentacle with a number and had her match the numbers on the legs/tentacles to the numbers on the octopus. body.

    She is so very proud of her work!!