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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

[FREEBIE] Binder Covers

Here are 2 of the binder covers that I've made for this school year.

If you download one, or both, please leave a comment!


Weekly Binder Cover (red apples) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Classroom Updates 2013

We started back to school on Monday! I tried to start off full speed, but I was quickly reminded that pregnant ladies can't move desks, totes full of books, or a 15' x 30' rug. I was glad to have the whole week to get things pulled back together. It was great to have a strong helper to come move all the big things and put together the new student mailboxes I ordered! Thanks hubby! 

My teacher desk. We moved it so that I have more room at the calendar & carpet. 
Fun teacher binder cover that I made this summer, the wonderful mint green binder is from our school. Each wing has its own color K-2 is mint green, 3-5 baby blue and 6-8 lavender.

 View from my desk into the room. My rainbow table is cover with my left over to-do items & giant poster paper. 

My love corner with all my teacher gifts & family pics. 

 The rest of my room from my desk. So happy I can see almost EVERYTHING this year. 

 Behind the rainbow table- Sight Word/Turtle Word drawers with games, flashcards, and other materials. More room to put out the rest of my Intervention & small group materials. 

Sight Word Tracker- Each student will track his/her own progress as they master pages of our Sight Word/Turtle Word packet. I haven't written in student names yet, because my class list usually changes for the first month or month and a half of school. 

 Inspirational wall- this is where we put up our Daily 5 poster, but it will be a few months before we get to that. 

 Daily schedule (so far)- We are still working on some details as a Kindergarten team. Excited to have lunch & recess coverage this year! 
Schedule cards from  

 ELA materials- mostly used during Daily 5 and will be rotated throughout the year. 
Shelves are from Target $40-50 each. 
Cookie sheets from Dollar Tree $1 each. 
Math materials- same as ELA shelves. Lots of math manipulatives from the ThinkMath! program. 

 Our school uses CHAMPS as a classroom management tool. I LOVE CHAMPS, it really helps anchor the kiddos. 
C- Conversation- what is the voice level? 
H- Help- how will I get help? 
A- Activity- what am I working on? 
M- Movement- how will we move, or where will we be? 
P- Participation - I write the I can statement here. 
S- Social Contract- what are we working on this week? (Each week the students pick one thing of the Social Contract to practice) 
For more on CHAMPS or Social Contract visit Capturing Kids Hearts with the Flippen Group

Another view of CHAMPS, our Open Court letter cards and the American Sign Language Alphabet. The Kindergarteners really LOVE learning the signs for each letter. It is AWESOME when we start sounding out words I can just hold up the sign for the letter and the kids can check the alphabet cards. 

Classroom jobs-  I used clip-art from different documents that I have downloaded from TPT, like the schedule cards or other job charts. We will use clothespins to show who has what job each week. 

 The start of my paper lanterns. I bought the rest from Party City this weekend :) The one's hanging are a great garage sale find! Yes, the green floof-floof will be coming down. 

 Calendar- So happy with the rainbow boarder!
- Hundreds chart 
- Number of the day 
- Daily Depositor 
- Calendar 
- Today's weather 
- Clock
 - Just finished the months of the year 
to post at the top of the calendar in the empty yellow space.
- Touch Point & Ten Frame posters to fill in the rest of my calendar & number-line area above the yellow counting by 5's number-line. 

 Word Wall- This is one of my favorite areas in my classroom. The wall is covered in felt (bought from Joann). Each sight word that is added to the word wall has Velcro on the back, that way the students can go to the word wall, get the word they need, take it to their seat, then put it back when they're done. It really helps 5 & 6 year-olds use the word wall instead of looking up and down and trying to keep track of where they are. 

Writing Center- This is currently what I have set up as our Writing Center. I had a table here before with a shelving unit/ paper sorter on top. The table was taken for use elsewhere in the building and the shelving unit/ paper sorter was damaged over the summer. I'm still working with this to see how to make it the most functional. 

 Cubbies- Each student gets a cubby and 1 hook underneath. It gets kinda messy underneath because the kids backpacks, coats, sweaters, lunchboxes etc., get tangled together. At the beginning of the year I write the student's names on their cubby tags, later on the students will write their own names. Each cubby also has a blue pencil box to hold the student's reward coupons or Taylor Tokens (which are used at the school store). 

 Beginning of the Year Goals- As part of our curriculum students must make, track and reflect on personal goals. Each student will choose one goal at a time to work on. When then master the goal they will earn a sticker on their name card/tag that is displayed on the goal chart. (Again I haven't written out name cards because my class list isn't finalized yet). 
- Follow Social Contract 
- Write Name & Date on papers 
- Use SLANT (Sit-up, Listen, Ask questions, Nod, Track the speaker)... basically.. sit up and look at the teacher/presenter while he/she is talking. 
- Remember Morning Routine (Hang up Backpack, put away Folder, tell Lunch choice, start Do-Now)
- Independence 
- Keep materials and space neat 

Daily Folders- these tubs will be put on the floor each morning in front of the mailboxes so the students can reach to file their folders into a hanging green file. I didn't think the kids would be able to do this, but they can! It makes pack up so much better, faster, and if a kid has to leave they can quickly grab their folder without digging through 28 others. 

Mailboxes- I used hand-me-down cardboard mailboxes last year to test out this idea. I LOVE the MAILBOXES!!!! Way easier for me and the kiddos and no lost papers in the great abyss of cubbies. 

* How is your classroom coming along? 
* When do your kiddos show up? 
* Am I the only one that doesn't feel ready?!? 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Classroom Summer Projects

I've been working on a bunch of different thing over the summer. Here is a peek at some of the ways I've spent my days!

Postcards for the new kiddos! 

Calendar Days from KinderCraze

Super long pointer (aka water squirt-er from Dollar Tree) - great idea Kindergarten Works! This was the kids can reach up high to point to Alphabet or Number cards! 

 Cute Dollar Tree die-cuts that turned into..... 
Classroom jobs! We'll use clothespins to assign jobs. 

We are having a "CHILL with your Y5/Kindergarten teacher" event next week to get to know the kids & families! Event will include: slip & slide, crazy sprinkler, popsicles & quality time with your new teacher! 

 Classroom books for Daily 5. I tried to have these organized in different baskets last year, but it didn't work. They will now be organized by level. I made these cute star labels! Printed on address labels & cut in half. We will also have some non-leveled books organized by subject.

Die-Cut #'s 5 & 6 for my kiddos birthday crowns. I use bulletin-boarder to make crowns, then staple these to the crowns. So excited Michigan changed the law and we will have mostly 5 year-olds who are turning 6 this year! 

This is just the start of a project, more to come later! Great FREE graphics from Ashley Hughes on TPT. 

We have a School-Wide Behavior System that all classrooms use. I have decided to add reward & consequences to the chart so that the FAMILIES and KIDDOS know what is in store! 
Orange: Dress down ticket (kids wear uniforms at our Charter School) + Jewel on clip 
Purple: 2 Taylor Tokens (usable at the school store)  + Jewel on clip 
Green: Full Recess + working toward Friday reward (reward coupon, & dress down- students who don't move their clip all week get to dress down on Fridays) 
Yellow: -5 Minutes of Recess + (one yellow can still earn a reward coupon on Friday)  
Blue: -10 Minutes of Recess + parent contact 
Red: No Recess + parent contact + after school (handwriting packet) or lunch detention (don't each lunch with friends, have to sit alone).  

Birthday Balloons! Free download from Once Upon A First Grade Adventure!

Sight Word Dominoes- we use Open Court and have our words divided up on "Turtles" (seems kinda silly sight you're supposed to know the words quickly on sight). Here is the document you can use or edit. 

Sight Word Board Games. Again we use Open Court, so the words are aligned to their program. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Professional lettering

I saw this on .... PINTEREST... and HAD to try it. Print out what you want to paint onto your project using Microsoft Word, trace and perfect!

Her is a sign for outside of my classroom:
- Wood from Joann's ($2)
- Silver marker on hand ($4) 
- Navy spray paint on hand ($1.50)
- Cute anchor ($0.70)

1. Sprayed wood navy blue, dried over night.
2. Typed "Mrs. Brady Kindergarten" in Microsoft Word I made sure I put the font on "outline" [select font, right click, FONT, then click on "outline"]. 
3. Traced words onto spray painted wood.

4. Painted letters in with a paint pen.

5. Painted anchor white, then added silver polka dots around anchor

6. Glue anchor onto sign.
7. Sprayed with clear to "set" and "save" my sign for years to come!

This is a place mat that I used the same technique on:
1. I bought this place mat at Joann's on clearance this week ($1-2).
2. I printed out "Welcome to the Brady's" using Microsoft Word. I made sure I put the font on "outline" [select font, right click, FONT, then click on "outline"].
3. Pushed VERY hard while tracing the words onto the foam place mat.
4. Ta-da!

Friday, March 23, 2012

[awesome] cupcakes

These are the cupcakes that I made for our youth group dessert auction fundraiser.

- Pillsbury cupcake mix $1.10 on sale at Kroger
- Eggs $0.99 on sale at Kroger
- Oil borrowed from my neighbor because I ran out
- Whipped white icing $1.69 on sale at Kroger
- Plain white icing $1.20 on sale at Kroger
- Cupcake liners I had a bunch on hand, about $1-3 each, I always buy them on sale or clearance at Kroger, Joann, Michael's, etc.
- Cupcake pan plenty in stock at my house
- Variety of decorations $0.10-0.80 each at the Bulk Food/Candy store
- Disposable Aluminum cake pans $1 for 3 from Dollar Tree
- Plastic tray (for rainbow cupcakes) $1 at Dollar Tree


I made 1 batch of white cake cupcakes came out to 22 cupcakes. I made sets of 3, 4, or 8 cupcakes and decorated each set differently.

I followed the baking directions on the cupcake box. I always mix wet ingredients first and let the eggs get fluffy then I add in the cake mix.

I let the cupcakes cool, then I iced them and added embellishments (details below)

[Over the Rainbow]

I made the rainbow cupcakes last (all out of one batch of cake mix). I scooped batter into a measuring cup and added food coloring (one color at a time) until I got the color I wanted (about 5-10 drops of each color). I layered the different colors (in color order) one at a time. I didn't worry about making every layer the same or perfect.

yellow batter

first layer

green and blue layers

purple and red layers

baked cupcake in the pan

full view
(you can see my 1950's gold fleck counter top)

[mostly] finish product
half of the cupcakes had spiral whipped icing with rainbow sprinkles
half of the cupcakes had blue icing with "Sour Rainbow Tracks" cut into 2 1/2in long pieces then stuffed into white whipped frosting to hold it up and it looks like fluffy little clouds

[Butterfly garden]

I purchased gummy-butterflies from the bulk store I put them on top of dyed yellow coconut to make it look like the middle of a flower. I then put the cupcake inside of an inside-out Wilton(R) cupcake purple flower liner. I piped purple antennae onto cupcakes.

[Cherry Berry]

Whipped white icing with gummy strawberries or cherries on top. I sprinkled little rainbow balls to help make them a little more fun. You can see the napkin liner I put inside of each aluminum tray I got from the dollar store to dress up the containers.

[Under the sea]

To give the cupcakes a swirled effect I put in a few tablespoons of batter, then I added blue food dye to the cupcakes, then added a few more tablespoons of batter (you get the idea) stirring with a toothpick.

After the cupcakes came out of the oven.

Finished product. Blue icing swirled to make "waves" (I used a knife and I pulled up to make the little peaks) Then I added gummy sea life Swedish fish and a gummy shark from the bulk store. The sand is crushed gray-ham crackers (as my Oma says).