Sunday, July 31, 2011

So.Much.To.Do.Head.Spinning.

Ok, I have so much to do! The bad thing is my room is not done yet. I am moving into a new room (new construction) and it will not be finished until Friday, the 5th. I go back to school on Wednesday, the 3rd AND Open House is Monday, the 8th!! YIKES!! So, I have been trying to get things ready for Open House and the first week of school. I made a little list to try and help me stay organize...cross your fingers!
My Back to School to Do List

Pinterest strikes again!

How cute is this?

You can see the original blog post here
http://simplesisterblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/fast-and-fabulous-teacher-gift.html

You can create these at wordle.com. You have the ability to change background color, text color, font, how you want them arranged.....FUN!!

Wordle: Mrs Lees Kindergarten 2011

Letter Land Party


Letter Land Alphabet Party! We start school on a Wednesday. The following Monday we begin what we call the Letter Party! Each day we do a quick introduction to each letter. We do go in ABC order. I write each child's first name on a sentence strip. I usually have the girls on one color and the boys on another. I hang up a large pocket chart in our morning meeting area. I use a piece of bulletin board border to divide the pocket chart in half. I always put the letter of the day at the top of the pocket chart. I introduce the letter...talk about what the upper case and lower case looks like. We do talk about the sound also. Whatever picture you use for that letter, the kids make up an action for it. For example, last year mine was an apple. So, we actually used the ASL sign for apple. MY KIDS LOVED THAT THEY WERE LEARNING SIGN LANGUAGE! I then show each child's name. If it has the letter in their name, then they take it back to their seat and trace it, circle it, or put a sticker over the top! They then bring it back to morning meeting area and we put their name on the top half of the pocket chart. If their name doesn't have the letter of the day, then they go to the bottom half of the pocket chart. Now, if they have the letter in their name AND it is the first letter of their name, then they get to be King/Queen for the day. They get to wear a crown and a little sign that I made for them! They love it! After all names are in the pocket chart we talk about it. Do we have more names with the letter? How many girls have the letter? How many do NOT have the letter? Possibilities are endless here! Whew...hang with me...almost done! The kids also have a Letter Party book. Each day we complete a page. The pages that I use are from Starfall.com. Like I said, this really is a brief introduction to each and every letter. After the first 26 days, then we spend more time on each letter/letter sound. Once we make it all the way through the alphabet with first names, then we start over again with last names.

I hope this makes sense! I will post pictures as soon as I am able to get in my room. Until then...here is a freebie for you. It is the cover the Letter Party book, the King/Queen of the day signs, and labels for the pocket chart. I am considering using Frog Street Press ABCs for my pictures...haven't quite decided if I want to recreate everything. :-)

Letter Party Land

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How cute are these?

Here is another Pinterest find. This was pinned on a board that I follow (thank you Melissa Alonzo-Dillard!)

Well, it led me to this great site Salt & Paper Printables

These cute little labels are FREE and CUSTOMIZABLE! You can change the colors and then save them as PDFs. FUN!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Facebook Mixer

Great idea! Michelle over at KINDER FUN is hosting a Facebook Mixer. You can see which blogs you follow are also on Facebook!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Linky Party for Pinterest

As if blogging wasn't enough...someone, a GENIUS I might add...came up with Pinterest. I love it! I was always bookmarking things, saving things, and then I would forget where and what I was doing. Now, I have boards that I can go to that help me stay organized!! Michelle over at
MICHELLES' MATH IN THE MIDDLE is hosting a linky party! What a great way to get new ideas and share our pins! So, if you are already pinning, then go add your link. If not, then you need an invite. I can send you one, but need your email address!!

Reading Street Linky Party

Leslie over at Life In First Grade is hosting a Reading Street Linky party!! If you use SF Reading Street, any grade level, head over and check it out!!

Life In First Grade

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Q and U Wedding

We did this a few years ago. I am just testing to see if I can post a video :-) I made up invitations, engagement announcements, the whole 9 yards!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blank Canvas? What are your thoughts!?


OK, I am finding so many cute things in blogland. I haven't been able to print anything (my printer died) and haven't been able to get to school to print. My question is...have you ever started your year with blank walls? I know that we work so hard on getting our rooms ready for Open House, Back to School Night, Meet the teacher, well whatever you call it, but should we really have everything up already? What are your thoughts? I know that after the first week of school, my team has "color days." The kids wear a certain color each day. The also bring a picture (from magazines) in and we make a color poster for our classroom. We do these together and the kids know where they are, what they are for, and even which picture they contributed. I think it means more to them than if I had a cute color poster already hanging up in the room when they come the first day. Do you do any cool projects together like this? I am really curious to what everyone does or thinks about this!
Thank you!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

100th Day Celebration and Linky Party

TBA is celebrating being in the blogging world 100 days today! So, to help celebrate, they are hosting a linky party! Hop on over to get some great 100th day activities!

Happy 100th Day TBA!


We read "The Wolf's Chicken Stew" by Keiko Kaska

The Wolf’s Chicken Stew Activities

Other activities:
1. You could make 100 pancakes!
2. Make a class book! You could have the kids work together. Give each group an 11 X18 sheet of construction paper. Have them draw 100 things that they would cook and take to the chicken.
3. They could write a letter to Uncle Wolf and ask him to bring them 100 _______.
4. Draw an outline of the wolf, or copy from the book and blow up. The kids stick on 100 “kiss” stickers.

*I have found these activities on various sites and can't remember specifically which ones. Sorry! I am sure if you google the book you could find lots more.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Add a "pin it" button to each blog post! Part 2

Ok, I told you...not an expert at this. I added it to my blog post just fine, but then as I tried to pin things...NOTHING! Uggg! Well, I went back and looked at it some more. I guess I should have read a liiiiiiittle more :-)


So, after you finish your blog post, then you need to customize it!

KRISTEN (Ladybug Teacher Files), where are you??? I need your help!! :-) I am adding your button here simply because it is the last pic I used. I hope you don't mind! I want to see if I can pin it from my blog.

Ladybug Teacher Files

OK, I am so close! I have it so the description comes up right. I still need to work on the other two parts! I will post as soon as I figure it out. I AM SORRY!! :-(

Ladybug's Teacher Files: 1000+ Followers Giveaway!!!

FANTASTIC give away!! I am sure you already follow both of Kristen's blogs, BUT just in case....

Ladybug's Teacher Files: 1000+ Followers Giveaway!!!: "AAAAA!!!! I am so excited I can't even focus on making a graphic to show how excited I am!!! I stayed off my blog all week working on my st..."



Pin It

Add a "pin it" button to each blog post!

First, you might be asking....What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
It is quickly becoming an educator's favorite tool!!

Now, you might be asking...How do I get on?
Pinterest is currently invite-only. You can request an invite from us or you can be invited by someone who is already a part of Pinterest.When you receive an invite, you can register via Facebook Connect or connect through Twitter.
I can send you an invite....if you follow my blog and leave me your email address in your comment!

Once you are signed up! Your home screen will look like this

Now, you want to go under the "About" tab (upper right corner) and click on help.

On the left click on "Goodies" and here you will find how to add the "pin it" button to your bookmark bar, Pinterest for iPhone, how to install a "follow me on pinterest" button to your site or your blog, and finally add a "pin it" button to each and every blog post!

Whew...hang with me...we are getting there! NOW, you want to copy the code in that box.

Ok, now to the blog part!
1.Go to your blog's dashboard and then click on the "settings" tab
2. Click on Formatting
3.Scroll all of the way down to "post template"


4.Now, paste the code from Pinterest in this box. Save Settings.

This will put the "pin it" button in each and every one of your posts! When you go to make a new blog post...that code will automatically appear. I just put my cursor at the beginning of the code and hit enter a few times to move it downward. You can then begin entering your post.

Now, your followers can pin things that they like directly to their pin boards!

Ok, how was that!? Do I need to add more screen shots?












Pin It

Pinterest

This is just a test post! I added a "pin it" button to my posts and just seeing if it worked! :-)

Pin It

And the winner is...



Congrats Lynda from Curls and a Smile! Email me and I will let you know how to get your blog design! Woo Hoo!! I can't wait to see which one you choose!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seat and Storage Crates UPDATE and link to directions!

Ok, lots of questions on my pinspiration project! I saw these crates on pinterest and then other boards I followed started making their own. Well, then I saw a post over at
What The Teacher Wants

She made the seat and storage crates AND also posted about the cost and step by step directions. You need to go check her post out and follow her blog (if you don't already!) Seriously...so easy to make!

As far as the cost, it will really depend. I had the plywood already and my hubby had all of the tools to cut it, plus the staple gun and staples. So, no cost for me there. I was pretty picky about the material that I wanted. I wanted to stick with the black, lime green, and pink color scheme. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby and it was 6.99 a yard. Unless I figured wrong ...I really hope not....but 1/2 of a yard should cover the seat. I am sure that you could find cheaper material though. I also bought the foam at Hobby Lobby. It was $14.99 for the entire roll and I was able to make all 6 seats with one roll. The ribbon is pretty necessary! It's serves an actual purpose...it's the handle! I bought mine at Hobby Lobby and it was 3.49 for a roll. The crates were purchased from Wal-Mart and were $3.67 each. That is the cheapest that I have seen them so far. Last, I needed the spray adhesive. You can get that from Wal-Mart too. You only need a small can. Oh, and when the can says the over spray will remain a little sticky...YEP! It does!!

I hope that this helps! I hope "What The Teacher Wants" doesn't mind me sending people over there to check out her post, but she has the directions all typed out with pictures. VERY HELPFUL and much better than I could have done!!

Go make your seats!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Pinspiration Project

Life Isn't Always Frogs and Cupcakes is hosting a "Pinspiration Linky Party"
VISIT BY CLICKING HERE


Well, I have been pinning, repinning, liking, and commenting on Pinterest boards for a few weeks now. I love it!! There are so many bloggers that had completed a pinterest project and I had not....UNTIL NOW! I am so excited! My favorite pin was the crate seating. My wonderful hubby cut all of the wood for me. I bought the bright crates from Wal-Mart (only $3.67 a piece.) I found fabulous material and ribbon at Hobby Lobby. I made 6 seats (3 of each) for my small group meeting area.





Grade Level Linky Party

Kim over at Teacher's Lane is hosting a linky party. A grade level linky party! Super idea! Now, you can check out specific grade level blogs! Go over and check it out!

The Teacher's Lane Linky Party

Test Post with Picture

I am sure that most of you bloggers are like me and teaching yourself. It is always helpful when experienced bloggers post tips. TBA posted a tip on a link/picture post. So, this is just practice! :-)

This just happens to be a new site that I found from my new obsession....PINTEREST!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I am so excited!! IFLIP VIDEO

I just found an iflip video recorder and a tripod stand on Amazon, for only $75! I have had this on my wishlist for quite sometime! I am already thinking of all of the cool things that I can do with it in my classroom. If you have any ideas, then please share!

Favorite Fonts Linky Party

Finally In First Linky Party
Go over and add your favorite fonts!

Ok, I do love fonts. There are so many! I think that my favorites are all from DJ Inkers! I love their fonts and their clip art. CUTE!!! Here are my faves. I am sorry, but I had to add them as a scribd document. I am not sure how you all got yours in your post without doing that?! Hmmmmm! I am still learning!
Favorite Fonts

Monday, July 4, 2011

Just Add Clipart Freebie Linky Party

Just Add Clipart Freebie Linky Party

Head on over and grab all of the freebies!

My freebie is the cover words and month words to the Kindergarten Portfolio that I create each year for my kids! I am also hosting a linky party regarding portfolios or memory books. I would love to see what others do for this!
Kindergarten Keepsakes
You can see my post here:
Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten Portfolio or Memory Book Linky Party




Saturday, July 2, 2011

I love Target!

I have been looking for the perfect area rug for my library corner. Well, I found one today! I was so excited. The rugs I had been looking at were priced anywhere from 59.99 to 99.99. Oh, I didn't want to spend that much. I found this one and it was only 29.99! It is perfect. The colors that I wanted and the ABC's are an added bonus!

Now, I needed a tub to put library friends (the animals that my kinders can read to) in! I found one...AT TARGET!! It was only 5.99. I will fancy it up with my paint pens!

This next find was purely by accident. Someone had stuck it on an end cap, where it obviously didn't belong. It spoke to me! I figured it was a sign!

These pillow I found at Gordman's! They were both clearanced...chaaaa chiiiiing!


Now, I need a lamp, new book baskets, maybe a small table...like a night stand and some low shelves and my library is good to go!! I think :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Portfolio/Memory Books LINKY PARTY!!!

Ok, I have edited this post. I am a new blogger and I don't have that many followers, but I love getting new ideas. I would really like to see what you do for your kiddos as far as memory books, portfolios, or scrapbooks. Please consider blogging about this and linking up. This is my first linky party and I really hope that I have done this right! Cross your fingers!!

These are portfolios that I keep all year long. Let's see if I can explain this without being to confusing. First, you need 5 paper bags per child. You cut off the bottoms, then you bind all of the bags together. So, you have 1 bag for two months (Aug/Sep, Oct/Nov, Dec/Jan, Feb/Mar, April/May) I have the kids create a theme/seasonal cover for each month. Now, this year...I started the covers with just pretty generic art activities. Well, then I saw a handprint calendar (can't remember where) and thought that would be cute for each month's cover! I had the thought of going back and changing the first couple that I did and then one of my parents told me to "just let it be" lol! I had to live with it. I figured if the parents weren't going to care, then I should be fine with it this way. I save writing, art, basically anything that I want to save. The kids even picked out a few things to save! The bag holds everything...doesn't necessarily need to be flat paper. I will be honest with you, by May they get pretty FULL! It is worth it! We present them to our parents at our Kindergarten Celebration Night!!