Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Creative Teaching Press Sneak Peak 2016

Creative Teaching Press Upcycle Style for the New School Year- Are you ready to start thinking about decorating for next year?  I know, you need to finish this year, but really, I know you are thinking about next year.  I've already bought a few things, and have marked a few things on Pinterest.  You can check out my 2016 CTP Classroom  board here.
Pinterest board for Creative Teaching Press
Last week I shared some of the Upcycle Styles that I was giving away and the Lucky Winner is...

Last week I shared with you a few new items that are
Coming Soon to Creative Teaching Press 2016
These magnetic decor strips will be available soon.
They will be perfect for decorating and dividing white boards
Creative Teaching Press Magnetic Decor Strips
Creative Teaching Press Magnetic Decor Strips
Who wouldn't want magnetic border- no more double sided tape or adding your own magnetic tape that doesn't stick.

But wait there's more, a sneak peak at the latest and greatest items from
I am SUPER EXCITED about the Dotted Swirl Magnetic Decor Strips on page 3.  These will match the rest of the border I already use in my classroom.  I will be able to use it to outline my sight word wall and not worry about my border falling off every time the heater turns on.
CTP Dotted Swirl magnetic border
I'm also really excited about using this new chart next year to record homework. It will coordinate nicely with the rest of my classroom decor.
CTP Dots on Chalkboard Chart
Then there are these- Look at how beautiful they are.  We just finished our butterfly unit and these picture cards would have been perfect.  This is just one set from the Life Cycles Mini Bulletin Boards Set- frogs and sunflowers are also included.
Creative Teaching Press Life cycles

Would you like another chance to win? 
Creative Teaching Press is giving 5 Teachers a chance to win
$50 Dollars to their store.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

ABC Countdown to Summer

With less than 30 days of school I have started to prepare for the ABC Countdown to Summer.  My kindergarten team and I plan one activity a day with an alphabet letter theme starting with the letter A and ending with the letter Z on the last day- Zip Up and Zoom Out!
ABC Countdown to Summer: Countdown the days to summer break with a fun activity that correlates with a letter each day.
With 26 days of fun and festivities we try to keep it small and do it all on a shoestring budget.  We do post a sign-up, asking for specific donations.  Our parents are usually responsive and happy to donate the needed items.  Many of our families work and cannot come into the classroom to volunteer, but donating a box of Goldfish crackers or a 6 pack of bubbles from the Dollar Tree, they can do.

Here is my ABC Countdown Calendar in two different formats.  One is a download here the other is Free in my TPT store.  Add your own dates to these FREE calendars.  Please note that both require 8.5 x 14" legal size paper.  Click the pictures to download.
 Count down the days until summer vacation with fun activities each day starting with the letter A and ending on Z to Zip up and Zoom out.  This is an editable word doc calendar.  The ideas are there all you need to do is change the dates to meet your needs.  It is a word doc formatted to be printed on legal sized paper 8.5x14
ABC Countdown to Summer: Countdown the days to summer break with a fun activity that correlates with a letter each day.  Add your own dates to this FREE calendar. Must be printed on legal sized paper.
Bubbles day is always their favorite day. My co-worker always comes out during his lunch break and brings his magic bubble wand and makes gigantic bubbles
for the kids. 

This is his special recipe for the bubbles.
Bubble recipe to make big bubbles and a bubble wand
Our last day of school is June 3rd which means our countdown begins this Thursday which is also the night of our open house.  When is your last day of school?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Upcycle Style WIth Creative Teaching Press

CTP Blogger Hop 2016 Time 4 KindergartenThe school year is coming to an end and if you are like me, you are already thinking about how to decorate for next year. This year, I have used the Chalk It Up! collection from Creative Teaching Press.  I love the simplicity and old school look with the pops of color this collection has.  I use the lesson plan book to write out my weekly plans.  It works perfectly for all my needs and the fact that it coordinates with my room decor is a bonus.

CTP 1350 Chalk It Up! Lesson Plan Book
Using a combination of products I created a book bag check out system.  Each book bag number is written on the pencil.  Students names are written on the pockets.  
CTP Chalk It Up Collection- Book Bag Check Out System
 This is my parent information board that I have outside my door.  As you can see I used the Dots on Chalkboard Border to outline the board. I use the extra large library pockets to hold important notices for parents or as a place for parents to return notes to me.
CTP Chalk It Up Colloection Dots on a Chalkboard- Parent Information Board
With only 6 weeks left, I'm starting to imagine how I want to decorate for next year.  I always try to reuse borders, letters, pockets, and charts from previous years if they are in good condition.

I am very excited about the new product Creative Teaching Press has for 2016. I just love the new Upcycle Style collection from CTP.   Who wouldn't want to start the year off welcoming their students with the Welcome to School Bulletin board set.
CTP Upcycle Style Welcome to School Bulletin Board Set CTP 7054
To create a sense of community and responsibility, CTP has a coordinating  classroom jobs mini bulletin board display.  Use Pacon Azure Blue Fadeless butcher paper in the background
Creative Teaching Press Upcycle Classroom Jobs CTP 7054

They also have this fun Rustic Medallions border that can be used in conjunction with their other products below.
The Upcycle Library Pockets are similar to the pockets I used above to create my book bags check out system.  They can also be used for center management, creating job charts or storing game pieces.   
Creative Teaching Press Upcycle Library Pockets CTP 6742
The Rustic Stipe Nameplate has a whimsical feel.  These can be used to label students desks and cubbies, but they can also be used to label items around the classroom too.
Creative Teaching Press Rustic Stripe Name Plate CTP 4464
Creative Teaching Press Rustic Stripe Name Plate CTP 4464
Here are a few other items in the collection.
  • CTP 1405 Student Incentive Charts
  • CTP 7136 Upcycle Style Hot Spots
  • CTP 6009 Arrow 6" Cut Outs
CTP 1405 Student Incentive Chart CTP 7136 Upcycle Style Hot Spots
These arrows could be used to locate places around the classroom or label baskets for turning in work- be creative and imaginative!Creative Teaching Press Arrow Cut Outs 6" CTP 6009
Now, how would you like to win these fabulous pieces I've just shown?
All you need to do is enter below.

Coming Soon to Creative Teaching Press 2016
These magnetic decor strips will be available soon.
They will be perfect for decorating and dividing white boards

Creative Teaching Press Magnetic Decor Strips
Creative Teaching Press Magnetic Decor Strips
Make sure to enter, tell your friends and check back on May 4th to see if you've won.  If you want to see what my other CTP Blogger Friends are giving away and enter to win their goodies too, just click on over to my friend Jennifer's blog over at Herding Kats to see all the goodies she has to give away.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Butterfly Handprint Art

Making Butterfly handprint art is one of my all time favorite spring projects.  I have been making these for years with my students.  I will say, that this is a project that really needs that amazing classroom volunteer.  Luckily for me, I had one again this year.  While she was helping the kids with the project, i was busy running math and literacy centers.
Butterfly Handprint Art Projects for spring.  Use paint and my free body template to create this adorable butterfly to decorate bulletin boards or windows.  this is a great art project for open house and fun for pre-school and kindergarten students.
The easiest way to do this is to paint one hand then place it onto the paper and press their hand down making sure they don't slide it around.  Once they lift their hand, tell them to make a fist and keep it closed.  I try to do the hand that is away from me first.  This helps to not get paint on me.  Then do the other hand.  Once you've painted both hands.  Give them a baby wipe to clean hands, then have them wash at the sink.  Then return to repeat for the second color.

Once the hands have dried.  I freehand trace around the edges so they know where to cut.  As they cut out their hands, remind them to put their names on the back of each one.  You could also do this for them before they start to cut.

Now, for those of you who want to skip the whole paint thing all together, you can have your kids trace their hands and cut them out.  This is a hard skill.  They need to work with a friend, tracing each others hands.

Now all you need is the body part.  I printed mine on construction paper.  I trimmed it to fit into my printer. You can read about that here in Printer Tips and Tricks. To download my free butterfly handprint art body template just click the picture.
Butterfly handprint art: Free body template.
Once you've glued the hands to the back, add some googly eyes and chenille stems for antennas and you have an adorable butterfly handprint art project to hang around your classroom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22nd.  How do you celebrate Earth day and teach your students to be respectful and kind to our planet Earth?  In kindergarten, I introduce the vocabulary words reduce, reuse and recycle.  Using picture cards and a pocket chart we sort items that we can either reduce their usage, reuse or recycle. We also complete a sorting activity later in the week as follow-up activity to see if they truly understand the concept.
Celebrate Earth Day in the classroom with activities to teach your kindergarten students about ways they can help to protect our mother Earth.
This is a great opportunity to let the students share how they help to protect the Earth at their own home.  Many share that they save cans or water bottles for recycling.
Earth Day sorting activity, reduce, reuse, recycle
Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures is a cute movie to help explain the difference between reduce, reuse and recycle.  It even gives the history as to how Earth day came about.
For a combined writing and art project, students create a crayon resist and water color painting of the Earth.  Then, they write a personal promise to do their part to protect it.
Earth Day art and writing project:  crayon resist and water color art
Earth Day art and writing project:  crayon resist and water color art Earth Day art and writing project:  crayon resist and water color art
All of the items shared above can be found in my Earth Day Packet in my TpT store.
Celebrate Earth Day with four activities to get your students thinking about the Earth.  Learn about garbage, recycling and composting with 2 sorting activities. Create a writing and art activity for your bulletin boards. Practice some addition math facts too.
I wish I would have found this song a little earlier.  I think it would have been great to have my students learn it, to perform it at our weekly assembly.
Enjoy the rest of your week!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

All About Butterflies

Last week we began learning all about plants and this week we will be learning all about butterflies and metamorphosis.  I did have to introduce our crawling little friends last week as they arrived earlier than expected.
All About Butterflies: Resources to teach the life cycle of the butterfly. Books, video links lessons and activities for kindergarten.
We will begin learning all about butterflies by starting with the life cycle of the butterfly. First we will read the emergent reader, then complete the sequencing activity from my All About the Butterfly pack.
All About the Butterfly: An Emergent Reader, sequencing activity, mobile and more. This is a packet for teaching the life cycle of the butterfly.
We will finish with making this watercolor butterfly mobile.  It is the perfect decoration for Open House.  These pictures do not do it justice.
Life Cycle of Butterflies MobileLife Cycle of Butterflies Mobile
Life Cycle of Butterflies MobileLife Cycle of Butterflies Mobile
Here a few videos that are appropriate for kindergarten.  I searched Pinterest and Youtube for videos that would be kid friendly and easy for kindergartners to comprehend; this is what I found.
This is a nice time lapsed video of the monarch butterfly.
We will be reviewing some math skills with ordering numbers. For some of my little ones it will be an assessment to see if they finally have the skill and for others it will be to keep the skill fresh.  You can get this fro FREE in my TpT store.  Just click the picture below.
Number sequencing 1-20: Free from available at our caterpillars have morphed into butterflies and we are ready release them, we will have a little celebration.  We will be making these headbands and drinking nectar (juice) through tiny straws without using our hands. These headbands demonstrate the lifecycle of the butterfly.
Imitating a butterfly by drinking nectar through tiny strawsButterfly life cycle headband created by time4kindergarten available at
butterfly lifecycle headband: Students where this when they release their butterflies
Over the years I have collected many books to read with my class.  My favorite of course is The Hungry Caterpillar.  Here are a few others we will be reading.
The following section contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links, to purchase the product or any other products from this website, I'll receive a commission.
During the next few weeks we will be watching our bean plants grow and our tiny little caterpillars experience the stages of metamorphosis- fun times in our classroom right now.  We do have one more little spring time insect to add to our spring time fun, but you will have to check back to see what it is.
Have a great week.

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