Friday, December 6, 2013

My 5 Senses and a Snow Day {freebie}!

This week we discussed our 5 senses.  We started with reading Aliki's My Five Senses and put together a Mr. Potato Head as we read the story. During the week, we practiced using our senses A LOT, especially the listening and seeing senses :) Then we set up our Science center so we can make observations and record our findings.  Here's what we're using:

Smelly jars--I found some awesome containers (salt and pepper shakers) at the glorious Dollar Tree that work perfectly for this.  Then I bought some root beer, lemon, orange, and peppermint extract and grabbed the cinnamon and baby powder and coated cotton balls to place inside the containers.  Then I whipped up some matching cards for the students to place the containers on.
Feely bags--I actually found this on Pinterest while looking for some ideas.  I loved it!  You take balloons and fill them with objects for the students to feel.  I also made some matching cards for this as well.
I Spy and Peeky cards--I made a few homemade holiday I Spy cards...
...and some peeky cards inspired by Tana Hoban's The Look Book.  I used enlarged images from Google, cut a hole in a black cover to show a small peek, taped the cover and picture together at one end and secured the other with a velcro dot.
I'm still working on the hearing activity.  My plan is to modify an old AIMS activity and create shakers using plastic Easter eggs (who doesn't have a few dozen lying around??) and students will match pictures of the objects inside to the egg.

In my pocket chart next to my Science center, I placed the sorting cards from my new My 5 Senses packet.  Here's a picture I snapped after some students sorted the pictures.
If you're interested in the pack for your classroom, click on the cover below to go get it from my store!

Well, here in Missouri, the weather saying goes something like this--if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes.  It will change.

All week we've been getting the Snowmegedon forecast...freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow.  It was supposed to start yesterday morning around 9 and according to my kiddo's behavior, we had already gotten a few feet when a single flake hadn't fallen.  I woke up this morning to see this--
Just a bit of snow and not seeing a cancellation, I started getting ready.  In the middle of drying my hair, I get the text.  :(  At that point, there was no chance of me going back to sleep, so I started working on a new activity for my kiddos after we return from break.
And yes, you read the cover correctly.  A freebie, but only until tomorrow night.  After that, I will re-post it at a steal-worthy price.  I'm sorry but I'm no longer offering this as a freebie!  Thank you for stopping by my blog.  You can still get this fun activity for cheap...$1.50!  Click on my store button to get it for yourself!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkeys, elves and a little shopping surprise!

Wow!  When I thought I would have to take a small break from blogging, I never thought it would be this long.  I truly underestimated the amount of crazy that would be going on at school.  Not only did my school merge with another school, we had to split our campus so I moved to a new building AND I have a class of the most energetic (read wired), diverse (read no two kiddos at the same level) and chatty group of THIRTY!!!! that I've ever had.  Add to that several new initiatives and a mid year move to our (finally!!) permanent building, and my life has been nothing short of an endless running game.  I've been first week of school tired since July.

Anywho...I'm back and I am trying to learn to rebalance life again.  I just wanted to update you on all the goings on with my Eaglets, give you a long overdue freebie and let you in on a little secret.

Last week was all about the turkeys.  Because we had a two day week, I felt justified to "gloss" over the recommended curriculum and have some fun learning.  In Math we concentrated on patterning.  On Monday we made these adorable paper plate turkeys, creating a pattern around the rim to act as feathers.  Here are a couple of my favorites!

On Tuesday, we made Native American headbands.  After learning about how Native Americans used symbols on a lot of their attire, my students created a pattern that represented things about them, then added some feathers.  Here's the finished project!

In ELA, we focused on retelling the story.  After using Fran Kramer's retelling cards for the story of the first Thanksgiving( I forgot to snap a picture, but click here to get a set for yourself!), we used Marsha McGuire's emergent reader and made a retelling bracelet (a HUGE!! hit) to go with it.

We also worked on making a good prediction with the story A Turkey For Thanksgiving.  Do you know this story?  If not, it is a perfect book for this time of year, and for making predictions.  Click on the picture to go to Amazon to snag a copy for yourself!!

Here are some of our natural predictions that made me smile and laugh out loud!
The turkey got cut up for Thanksgiving.
He got dead.
(I actually laughed so hard I snorted!)

With my little angels this year and all the craziness the month of December seems to bring,  I know I'm going to need to pull out all the tricks I have in my tool bag to help with behavior. The problem is, I've used most of them already!  So time to call in reinforcements!

Meet Hermie!

Last year I used a little stuffed elf I'd made in my college days and most of my kids fell hook, line and sinker for it.  This year, I knew I'd need him again, but I can't find him!  So off to Target I went to buy the book and the elf.  I even snagged one for Little Miss at home.  Check back to see what mischief Hermie stirs up.

I'm going to try to milk every educational opportunity I can from it, so we are going to journal as often as possible.  I created a elf journal for my kiddos and want to share it with you.  Click on Hermie to download it!

And now for the surprise....

Several of my Kinderland friends and I are giving you an extra day of shopping!  Why not do a little Black Friday shopping for yourself?  Today only, my entire store is 20% off!
Then check back Monday and Tuesday for the Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale.  My store will be 20% off and if you use the code "CYBER" at checkout, you'll receive an additional 10% off!!  Buy a little now, get some credits after doing your feedback, then shop again on Monday and Tuesday.

I had a creative spurt the other day and created 3 new products!
I'm off to fill my cart as well.  Happy Shopping! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School and a Sale!

I can't believe the summer flew by like it did!  After Summer School in June, I had about a week to relax before meetings, moving schools and setting up my room.  The last week has been a flurry, with my class list growing and changing several times a day sometimes.  I finally ended up with 26(!!) little kiddos and they are a very interesting bunch!

Just wanted to remind all ya'll about the Teachers Pay Teachers big Back to School sale this Sunday and Monday, August 18 and 19. My entire store is 20% off and if you use the promo code BTS13 you will get an additional 10% off for a total of 28% (I can't do the math, but they say that's what it works out to).  Click the button below to go to my store. I did manage to get some new items posted this summer.  Check them out!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


It happens every year.  I give myself one week after Summer School is over to be "lazy"...not that I do it, but I just want to give myself some down time.  Then it hits...the panic.  I have 3 weeks?!?! 

The panic happened so innocently.  I was out to lunch with a few of my co-workers and the conversation casually turned to next year.  All of the sudden, my mind was racing, I was jotting down notes and lists on anything I could write on and I went nuts.  Needless to say, this morning has been very productive.  Let me share my busy-ness with you!

I can't stand for the house to be quiet while I'm working.  These were my choices for background noise this weekend.  I have to admit I watched a bit of Fast Five.  Oh la la la...Vin Disel and The Rock are so yummy!!

This was the scene this morning at my table.  Just me, my coffee, laptop, printer and laminator.  I started out with about 200 sheets of cardstock and a full package of laminating pouches.

About 4 hours later I had this stack, no more cardstock and about 10 sheet of laminating left.  I think I'm seeing blisters in my future!

That humongous stack included 2 sets of popcorn words I made, 4 sets of Marsha McGuire's Top Banana letter cards, Kaci Hoffer's Vroom Vroom alphabet cards for my building center, Kathleen Pederson's Fun in the Kitchen pack, some freebies I picked up from Kinderland's Facebook Freebie Hop and my new center signs.  My principal told us in order for us to have centers this year, we needed to tie them to Common Core.  Well, I took it a bit further and made a sign that lists the standards for each center.  I may be posting these to my TpT store before school starts!

I also have to confess something to you.  Hi, my name is Erica and I am addicted to Pinterest.  Shocking, I know.  It's how I've been spending my evenings after Little Miss goes to bed.  It's going to be the death of me!  But, I did finally get around to making a few of the things I've pinned. 

First was this easy-peasy counting game I found.  I've decided to make some "I'm Done!" bags for kids to use when they are finished with their work and this is going in one.  Just takes some clothes pins and some paint chip cards from Wal-Mart. 

Next was something I found and pinned after looking at Little Miss Hypothesis' blog for ideas for a science center.  I have always wanted to do one, but just never got around to it.  Well, thanks to Laral's blog, I'm doing it!  This is a magnetic discovery tin I made.  It's a muffin tin from the Dollar Tree (seriously, what did we do before the Dollar Tree?), wedding favor tins from Hobby Lobby (50% off!) and random stuff I scrounged from around the house.  This tin has a birthday candle, screws, a cotton ball, staples, a penny and some buttons.  My kiddos will predict whether or not the items are magnetic and test their theories with a magnet wand that I will tie to the hole at the end of the tin.  I've got another muffin tin and plenty of favor tins so I'll make at least one more, maybe two. :-)

Tomorrow is our big moving day at school, so I'm sure I won't be making such a big mess at home.  I'll post again when I've whipped up a few more items!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sunday, June 30 is a BIG day!!

Wow! I haven't posted in so long...please forgive me! Last year was a very intense, stressful year at school up to the very end and while Summer School wasn't too bad, personal issues made blogging difficult. Now that my summer has finally started, I realized that two very big events were about to occur. What are they?? First...unless you have been in isolation, you have heard that Google Reader will disappear after tomorrow. So, don't panic and just click the button at the top of the right hand column to follow me on Bloglovin. Super easy and I set my own account up in less time than it takes to blink an eye! Just click a button and they will import all your blogs from Google Reader! wonderful Kinderland friends and I are having a flash sale, tomorrow, June 30, for one day only!  Click the sale picture to go directly to my TpT store.  I've just uploaded a few back to school decorating packs as well as a couple of games perfect for the beginning of the year!
Here's the list of all the wonderful stores that are participating!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happenings...and a sale!

Life is 100% certifiable nuttiness around here!  I basically go from home to school to home then crash these last few weeks.  The end of the year is like this for everyone, right??

I promise that in the next week or so, I will post about all the goings on lately in Eagle Land.  My kinders are so ready for summer!

But, just as a reminder of how much we as teachers, and you as one of my readers and TpT watchers, are appreciated, TpT is throwing their annual Teacher Appreciation Sale! 
 I'll be participating in the sale, along with thousands of other buyers.  Everything in my store is up to 20% off and if you use the extra TAD13 code at the check out, you'll get an additional 10% the sale price, which, people who are WAY better at math than me tell me, makes the total discount up to 28%.  It's one of those times I say "sure" with a smile and a nod of my head.  :-)

Because it's been so busy around here, I haven't had a chance to create as much as I would like to, but here are a few things that I've posted to my store recently you may want to check out!  Click each cover to go to my store. 

First off, my chicken, frog, plant and butterfly life cycle mini packs sold so well, I bundled them so that you can use them all during your life cycle studies. 

For a fun Math Write the Room that will be sure to get your students counting and seeing spots, I created a composing/decomposing teen numbers game. 
The end of year is near, but the learning is not over!  Have a little summer fun in your classroom with my newest pack, complete with 2 literacy and 2 math games.
And these are not new, but they are some HOT sellers in my store.  They are great for any time of the year.  Why don't you check these out?


Here's a direct link to my store if you'd like to browse :)
And I'm linking up at Lanier's Lions so you can see other great Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers are participating!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

If you want them to learn, you have to bait the hook! (with a FREEBIE!!)

I {big puffy heart} Spring!  Not only does it mean ice, snow and cold are gone, but I get to teach some of my all time favorite units--weather, insects, frogs and for the last two weeks-plants, seeds and worms!  We have had so much fun learning about the needs of a seed, parts and functions of a plant and worms. 

Our week starts with a poem:
Then we started learning about the parts and functions of a plant using the one thing I saved from my college days:
The students made their own version:

They turn out so adorable!!
We also wrote about growing our own garden:
We also sequenced this life cycle of a plant using my Plant Life Cycle pack.  Click here to see it for yourself!

The next week we learned about a plant's helper, the wiggly worm!  Here's a few highlights!
Gummy Worm addition and subtraction game:
Apples and Worms ending sound review:
And my NUMBER ONE!!, absolute favorite activity all year....a "wormology" lesson!
Recording our findings:
And the release!
Click here for my wormology sheet!
Up next...insects!