Friday, January 27, 2012

More eskimos!

Today, the nine four-year olds that made it to class made these cute eskimos from Life in First Grade.  Normally I have 15 four-year olds!  Something is going around, and whatever it is, I don't want it!

LOVE that the first one has red hair, just like the boy who made him, and rainbow hair on the right : )  

Kitty eskimo on the left, and purple hair over here on the right!

The one on the right has a mustache!  

The patterns for this craft are FREE over at Life in First Grade.  You'll notice that mine are a little different.  I opted to let my kids draw their hair instead of using the pattern.  I love these!  So cute!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eskimos- Take 2!

So, today, I did the eskimo craft that I posted about yesterday again!  This time with my 3s, and this time I remembered to have them put the cotton balls on the arms and legs.... Voila!  I LOVE how much cuter they are with the little bit of extra detail!

And once again...time for me to get back to...what else...but READING for grad school!  I'm up to my eyeballs in reading assignments and it's only the first week!  Seriously, 5 chapters for one class, 2 for another, and 7 for another.  That's 14 chapters!  Technically, I've already read 11 of those chapters because I got the books ahead of time and read before classes had even started, BUT, I'm rereading.... maybe not all of them, but we'll see!    :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eskimos, anyone?

I'm taking a quick break from grad school reading to bring you a blog post!  (And I'll apologize ahead of time if my blogs become a bit infrequent.  I'm taking THREE grad classes this semester to work towards my Reading Specialist Certification and Master's in Language and Literacy Education).  But anyway... here's our craft of the day:

Cute Eskimos (Idea from Little Illuminations...just realized I forgot to have the kiddos glue cotton on the hands and feet...grr )

Here's a good book to go along with this craft:

Ok, time to get back to reading!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Drawing Book

Pinned Image

I recently came across this "You Can Draw a Cat!" workbook page and thought this would be a great resource to have!

I'm interested in making and laminating copies of this page and others like it to help my students with writer's workshop.  I also thought it would be helpful to have for mini-lessons.  I'm not very artistic, so this will help me do a better job modeling a good picture for my students, and then of course, I can model how to stretch out words to write something to go with my picture!!

After some searching, I found the source of this page:

Follow the Directions & Draw It All by Yourself!: 25 Easy, Reproducible Lessons That Guide Kids Step-by-Step to Draw Adorable Pictures & Learn the Important Skill of Following Directions

I'm very excited to get a hold of this and start using it!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Penguins, please?!?

Hello all!  This past week, I did penguin books and activities with my preschoolers.  Here's the crafts we did:

Happy Feet Penguins!!!  From Joanna Davis at ourartlately/we heart art!  LOVE this!  Hers are especially cute with the added details that her kinders did.  Be sure to check hers out!  I would have loved to have done a little more with our penguins, but we just didn't have the time!  And, some, just couldn't commit any more attention....SNACK, please??  Sigh...

And... to simplify our next penguin project, students started with this....

And turned it into this... (B=black, W=white)

(Original Idea below from HERE)...I found this idea via Pinterest, and although ours didn't turn out quite as cute, I'm glad I could fit *most* of this craft snow or bows :(   because getting this one done was a bit painful, I must admit.  After putting on about a dozen squares, if even that, my 3s were telling me they were done.  Done??      
I referred them back to my example to motivate them to keep going.  I hoped the next day my 4s would be more into it, but no such luck I'm afraid.  Next time, I'll scale the size down, and perhaps cut bigger squares.  Live and learn... 

Here's a page from Mailbox Teacher's Helper that we did...

After this week, I'm a little burnt out on doing a craft every day.  Some of my 4s are misbehaving more regularly during our craft time.  I had TWO students on Friday that I did not let finish their craft due to their behavior, and yet another student who I had to confiscate a glue stick from.  I proceeded to glue FOR this student so that no more of the glue stick would be needlessly wasted.  Maybe it was because of the impending snowstorm we had Friday night... 

I will try 2 more crafts this upcoming week (eskimos!!), but after that, crafts may become few and far in between, I'm afraid.  We'll see!  How do you manage your craft time???

I typically give students a piece of their craft at a time, while guiding them on where to glue the piece.  I'm wondering if it would be better to just have ALL of the pieces on the table for them while still guiding them... it's worth a try!  I'll report back!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More snowman crafts!

Sorry for the lack of posting anything lately.  The snowman projects I had planned took a little longer than expected.

After reading The Biggest, Best Snowman, my 4 year old class made name snowmen.  (They wrote each letter of their name on a snowball).  I am REALLY proud to say that 13 out of 15 wrote their letters independently.




(I dotted the letters for him, and then he traced them)

We also did the snowmen from Deanna Jump's snowman unit:
I meant to have my kiddos add snowflakes, but as you can see, I forgot!

And, here's yet another snowman craft...this one done by my 3s:

ALMOST finished....

FINALLY finished!

Again, I meant to have students add snowflakes to the sky, but just getting the squares on took long enough.  If I were to do this again, next time I would make a snowman HALF the size for my kiddos to fill in with squares.  They just didn't keep interested long enough to completely fill the space.  The one that IS pretty covered, I helped with!  *This idea came from The Elementary Art Room

Here's a sequencing activity we did (from a winter idea book):

And last, here's a sight-word activity I made.  The printable came free from HERE:

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012




If you look closely, you'll see touches of glitter above the snowman.  You'll also notice some with eyes (students that didn't follow directions) and some without eyes (because the snowmen are looking UP!).  I can't blame my littles for wanting eyes on their snowmen, and I have to say, they're cute both ways.  

This cute little craft comes from we heart art.  Here's the picture over at Joanna's blog that inspired me:

I only had red felt, so we used tissue paper instead, but I love the project with felt.  Next time!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Check out a new blog!

Hello!  I hope everyone is having a terrific weekend!  I wanted to take a minute to blog about a new blog!  My step-daughter, who enjoys playing school with her dolls, REALLY wanted to have her own blog!  I agreed to help her with one, and I know she would be really excited to have some page views, comments, and/or followers, so show her some blog love at Miss Newcomer's School for Dolls. (I'm sure a lot of you can relate to when you were younger and played school!  I know I did!  I wish I would've kept a record of what I did with my "students," so I think if my step-daughter DOES decide to be a teacher one day, this will be really neat for her to look back on.)  While you're there, you'll see a sneak-peak of an upcoming project that my class will be doing... Happy Feet Penguins.  As I was prepping this project, my step-daughter decided that she was going to have her class do a mini-version of it.  It's very cute!  The idea comes from we heart art.  I'm excited for my class to do this project, but first we'll be doing snowmen this week!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year Craft and 2 Giveaways!

Today, my 3 year olds decorated a 2012 banner:

I planned to do this at the last minute after seeing a flip-book version of this craft featured on April's blog, Chalk Talk.  The idea comes from A Pirate's Life for Us.  (See below...under each flap, students wrote a resolution).

Have you heard about Holly's giveaway at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade?  To celebrate reaching 250 followers, she is donating $30 to a charitable organization of the winner's choice.  If I win, I would choose for the money to go to the SPCA because animals are so near and dear to my heart.  I sometimes watch Animal Cops and it breaks my heart when I see the many cases of animal cruelty.  My dog, Louie, is from the SPCA, and I couldn't be more happy to have him.  I spoil him, but he spoils me just as much!  Be sure to visit Holly's blog for your chance to win this amazing giveaway.  

Another great giveaway is taking place at Color Me Kinder.  Edana is giving away a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers!  Head on over for your chance to win!  While you're there, be sure to check out Edana's New Year's ideas.  I can't wait to use them next year!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Versatile Blogger

Thank you Sarah, from A KinderGarden in Bloom for awarding me with the Versatile Blogger award.  I have to admit, I'm not great when it comes to following the rules of awards, but I will do my best with this one.  I am always so excited to see when I have people looking at my blog, comments, and awards, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

The rules of this award are to thank the person that nominated you with a link back to them, to tell 7 things about yourself, and to pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they've received an award.

Here goes with the 7 things about me.  I haven't really shared anything about myself, so I hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit better!

1.  I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University in December of 2006.   
2.  My favorite shows are Friends, Criminal Minds, and American Horror Story.  I also enjoy 2 Broke Girls and I Hate My Teenage Daughter.  

3.  My favorite movies are 27 Dresses, Just Like Heaven, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and The Proposal just to name a few.

4.  I LOVE my dog, Louie!  Here he is sporting my SDSU sweatshirt.

5.  I am a wife and a stepmom.  

6.  I live in Pennsylvania...because it's where my parents live.  I MISS San Diego so much, especially this time of year when it's so awfully cold here!

7.  And finally....hmm....I haven't landed a contracted teaching job yet, which is very discouraging.  I've done day-to-day subbing and long-term subbing.  Currently, as you know, I'm teaching preschool.  I'm working on my Reading Specialist certification in hopes to get a contracted job!  Hopefully it will pay off!  

If there's anything else you'd like me to share, feel free to ask.  

Now, here's where I'm going to break the rules.  I follow a lot of blogs...not sure how many... 20 or so?  I know that's not a TON but most I've been following for awhile, so they're not newly discovered, and I'm SURE they've received tons of awards.  My top 3, scratch that, 4.... no, make it 5...

If you haven't visited these blogs, they are amazing, and most of my ideas come from them!  

Thanks again for the comments, awards, and shout-outs.  I appreciate it!!  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you enjoyed your holiday break! Today was back to school for me, and here's what we did...

For our read-aloud, I read Squirrel's New Year's Resolution.

For our follow-up craft, which didn't have anything to do with squirrels....we made this darling craft:

Here's a close-up (above and below done by my 3s):

I found this idea from the wonderful Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade.

I wanted to use scrapbook paper like Cara did, but unfortunately I couldn't find any confetti or New Year's pages, so I opted for construction paper and let the kids decorate them.  I also wanted to use the glitter poms and thought I had some in my supply closet, but it turns out I only had boring old regular ones, so that's what we had to use...  (below are Cara's...aren't they great!!)

newyear1 newyear5

*Also, be sure to check out Brooke Perry's post!  I love her idea to graph what time her students went to bed on New Year's Eve (regular time, a little later than usual, a little after midnight, or late night owl).  Love it!

Here was our morning work...just some plain and simple coloring for our first day back!

page 1

page 2

Finally, here's our center work activities, both of which came from Mailbox:

beginning sounds practice

counting backwards practice

Happy New Year again!!