Sunday, October 26, 2014

Last Bits of October

Can you believe that this is the last week of October? This month has been C-R-A-Z-Y!!! One minute it feels like it has flown by, the next it feels like it the slowest month ever.

Here's what we've been up to:
Last week we observed pumpkin, we opened one up sand passed it around smelling, and feeling it. Next we filled the pumpkin with dirt to grow a pumpkin in a pumpkin.

pumpkins, kindergarten science, October, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin life cycle
pumpkins, kindergarten science, October, halloween
pumpkins, kindergarten science, October, halloween

We did some playing around with ten frames.  As we sat on the carpet in a circle, i would say a number and the kids would use the colored foam dots to represent the number on their ten frame board.
ten frames, kindergarten math
We also predicted and experimented with pumpkins and their buoyancy. This was one of our tiny pumpkins that we tested out to see if it would sink or float.

This week I know will be I-N-S-A-N-E!!!
Friday is HALLOWEEN and our school will be dressing up.
A group of us will be going as SUPER TEACHERS!

Linking up with Mrs. Wills for a Peek at my Week.  Make sure you visit her page for some other fabulous weekly plans.

I've planned some fun center activities for the week.
Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat
October writing center, vocabulary, writing
Letter B book, sight word readers

these are from my Dollar Store Post
count and clip, halloween math
number order, halloween math
roll count cover,, ten frames, halloween math
We will also be measuring our pumpkins.  You can get this from my TpT Store for FREE
pumpkin measurement

I've also linked up with All Things Apple
for Sunday Circular. All of my Halloween themed prodiucts are on Sale Today.
Be sure to stop by All Things Apple to see the other great sales.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bright Ideas-Printer Tricks and Tips

I am a printer hoarder; I currently have 3 printers sitting in my home office.  My newest printer is by far the best for printing in color.  My other two are good, but old and ink consuming.  I kept them as a back-up-  really because I don't know what else to do with them .

Over the years I have become quote the expert when it comes to printing  I love printing on construction paper.  It is easier to come by then colored card stock- just walk to my school's paper closet.  Construction paper comes in three basic sizes, is 9x12, 12x18 or 18x24.  No, I don't have a wide format printer, but I do own a paper cutter.  All I do is trim my paper to 8.5" wide and voila!!! it fits into my printer by-pass tray.

You might be wondering what I do with this new found paper.  Lately, I've been printing my pocket chart poems on it.

So, for those of us who are visual learners, here are the pictures I took along the way to show you how quick and simple it really is.
I make a file the length and width of my paper.
Next, I insert a table 8.25"x13.5".  
Then I pick the font and text size to use for my sentence strips.
For this poem I used KG Miss Kindergarten font size 96.

Have you ever wanted to shrink the pages of a file?  I have lots of files that the cards are too big to fit in a pocket chart.  By reducing the file when I print, I can save paper, ink and have smaller cards.
multiple page printing, printer tricks
If you enjoyed these Bright Ideas.  Be sure to follow me on BloglovinFacebook, and Instagram.
I hope you have enjoyed my Bright Ideas.  Look at all the other bloggers who are sharing their Bright Ideas this month.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Getting Parents To Volunteer

parent volunteers neededHave you ever felt like displaying this sign in your classroom window?  It isn't always easy getting parents to volunteer.  I remember when I first started teaching, I had parent volunteers every day sometimes even two.  Times, however have changed.  With many families  having both parents working, or only a single parent, it has become difficult for parents to find the time to come into the classroom.  

Parents want to help, but often, they don't feel confident in their ability to work with students, or perhaps they feel their English isn't adequate enough to communicate with the teacher. Over the hers, I have worked hard to get my parents involved. Here are a few ays I get my parents to help.

The Parent Helper Box
parent volunteer boxI place this box outside my door in the morning.  Inside the envelopes are things I need a volunteer to do.  Usually it is cutting, collating or stapling.  I always write directions, have a sample and supply the needed items like a stapler or scissors.  This is a great way for the working parent or for the moms who still have little ones at home, to help but just can't come in.

The Centers Calendar
Each month I place a calendar on my information board asking for parents to sign up for specific time slots.  These are the times I need a parent to help at a center.  Really what I need is someone to keep the children on task and resolve problems while I work with a small group.  The parents who come, see what we are doing at school and often notice that their child needs more practice.  I have a mom who can only come in on Tuesdays,  Her English is very limited, so I always leave her prep work.  She had noticed that her child wasn't able to keep up with the class.  I have noticed that her child all of a sudden seems to know more letters and sounds.  It is a WIN-WIN situation.
parent volunteer calendarparent volunteer request

For special events or class projects where I will need more help, I will put up a special sign-up.  The parents never seem to let me down.

Donations List
Whenever we are working on a project and I need items donated, I put a list up.  This month I am asking for medium sized pumpkins.

Parents might not always be able to donate their time, but they will find ways to help, whether it be prepping items at their home or sending in items so you don't have to go to Target after school.  I'd love to hear how you get parents involved, I'm always looking for more ideas.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dollar Store Centers

I love creating centers that can meet the individual needs of my students.  Creating centers, takes time and sometimes a lot of ink, laminating and cutting out.  Recently I have found myself wandering the aisles of our local .99¢ store, The Dollar Tree and Target's Dollar Spot. While meandering about and filling up my basket with too many unneeded items, I came across some items that I new would be great for centers.

I found the pumpkins and the spider webs at the .99¢ Store.  The spiders were from the Dollar Tree. I printed out some numbers and hushed a circle punch to cut them out.  I laminated the numbers then glued all 3 pieces together with white glue.
Dollar Store centers, Halloween centers

The ten frames I made and added the erasers that my husband found while we were cruising the Target Dollar Spot.  50 cute Halloween erasers makes one fun center.
ten frames, halloween math centers, Target $1 Spot

Next up are these adorable cutouts from the Dollar Store.  The minute I saw them I thought of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  This was perfect timing as our letter last week was the letter M.  These were perfect for upper and lower case letter matching. I used my Cricut to make the letters, but a marker or letter stickers works too.
dollar store centers,If you give a mouse a cookie
I also snagged these lock and key cutouts from the Dollar store.  I made a number matching game with these. I used some colored sticky dots I had and the Cricut for the numbers.
dollar store centers, easy math centers for kindergarten

I also found these in the back to school section of Target, They were on clearance.  I'll use them to make some rhyming cards and sight word match games for later n the year.
target, kindergarten centers,
I hope I've given you some inspiration for some creative, inexpensive and easy to make centers.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Morning Routines

The other day I shared my attendance board with you and mentioned that I hadn't used it yet.  Well I have now, and it worked.  The kids are really getting the morning routines.
attendance board, magnetic board, kindergarten
A few friends still need some verbal prompting, but they are doing it.
Here is what we have been doing.

morning routines, daily routines, class must do's, morning work
I now need to add this new routine.  I'll place it between putting away their homework and before they come to the carpet.
morning routines, lunch choice, morning work
The cards above are from my Back to School Rules packet.
school rules, morning routines, classroom procedures
What routines do you have for your students each morning?  i'd love to read about them.  You can leave me a comment below.

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