Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crafty Tuesday...DIY Mini Chalkboard

   Ok, so I haven't done a Crafty Tuesday post in awhile, but my craftiness has absolutely not been abandoned!
   Chalkboard paint is the new craft craze these days and I was eager to create something. The only materials that I found for a writing center (in my teacher stash and materials in the center) were white boards. What ever happened to chalkboards? So there was my little project: I made mini chalkboards for my preschool classroom!
    Very simple and quick to make! 
    I just grabbed 2 mini clip board & paper sets at the Dollar Tree and picked up some chalkboard paint at Michaels. (I love that these 2 stores are two doors down from each other in the same plaza! Makes shopping easy, but sometimes not so great on my pocket!)
    Anyhow, each clipboard needed two coats of paint and I waited at least an hour between each coat.
And within 3 hours time, I had some cute little mini chalkboards- and paper pads--that are going to 
go into my Writing Center!! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Crazy over Pizza!

    There is no question about it in this house- my little munchkin LOVES pizza! And the funny thing is, about less than a year ago, this was far from the truth, as she wanted nothing to do with pizza...and I thought that was the weirdest thing ever. What preschooler does not like pizza? But sometime before her 5th birthday, the love for pizza finally emerged! Now I have to be careful when I ask her what she would like to eat...because nine times out of ten, the answer will be pizza. (That is, if the answer is not chicken nuggets, yogurt or a Nutella sandwich!)
   So we did some learning with a fun little pizza theme. She learned quite a few sight words during the last school year and I have continued to reinforce them all summer long.
   With Kindergarten right around the corner, sight word review was on the to-do list and so we reviewed sight words with a fun activity idea that came from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. All that is needed is some construction paper, glue markers and some paper plates. I colored the paper plates to look like pizza slices and wrote different sight words from the Pre-Primer Dolch Sight Word list onto the "ingredients" (broccoli, pepperoni and sausage)
She read each sight word and if she read it correctly, she glued it onto a slice of pizza.
She made three of these little pizzas... enough for everyone!

     And everyone has heard of the book " The Little Red Hen", right?  Well, I was shocked when I found out that there is now a book called, "The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza" I was shocked b/c many years ago in a teacher training workshop, my group and I were asked to modernize an old folk tale as part of a Reader's Theatre activity, and this was the exact twist we put in our modern version of The Littlle Red Hen. Interesting.... I could have had a published book right now...who knew?
     Anyway, we read this book and then made a pizza! Well, actually, we made mini pizzas, using flatbread, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and my favorite topping: Pepperoni
She put hers together like a pro!  Just cheese, please! 
All ready to go into the oven!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Getting Organized...

    This school year, I am determined to get organized and stay organized! With all the free time I had the past school year, I was able to start really looking through all of my teacher stuff. And I mean really looking through, as in actually deciding to toss some things out!! That was huge for me, but I have accumulated so much stuff in the past 10 years, some things just had to go (mostly paper goods, thankfully!)
   Anyhow, since my munchkin is a little older this summer, she can easily keep herself entertained for longer periods of time! So that has made a world of difference, as she plays, colors, reads or even watches a DVD or two, while I sit alongside her and work on some little projects.
   Two of the first things I knew I had to organize were my stickers (I've got way too many, in my opinion) and my books. I have all of my books in plastic totes, according to seasons & holidays, but I now have an awesome library collection at my new preschool center that I can use...and it will save my books from the inevitable wear & tear and love from little preschool hands!
   For my stickers, I grabbed a binder and picked up a few clear plastic pencil pouches. Since I tend to file things according to seasons & holidays, I did just that. Each pouch holds stickers for each season. And the other pouches are filled with other types of reward stickers...
My personal favorite: Scratch & Sniff Stickers!!
    When it came to organizing books, I decided that I will just take a few of my personal favorites from my library, into the classroom. I picked up a few of these magazine file boxes at Target.
    I was going to make my own from cereal boxes, but since they will be used by 3-5 year olds, I need something more sturdy and durable. I used fun animal print duct tape to jazz up the boxes.(After alot of thought, I decided to go with a Jungle Themed Classroom this year!)
    Since these boxes will be handled by little hands, I went the extra mile and reinforced all the edges of the boxed with clear packaging tape. No cardboard cuts for my munchkins! Plus, I am sure that it will help keep the boxes intact so that they make it through the school year.
     I bought random label holders somewhere awhile back (I can't remember where...I think it was Michaels) and they were never used... until now! I also purchased these Book Bin Labels to help me get organized,  from Krazee 4 Kindergarten. There are over 200 different labels!
    Here is how I am going to organize my books. Each book box has a Theme label and a colored dot sticker. The books that belong in that Theme Box have the same color dot sticker, making it easy to match the book to its correct box.
    Four of the boxes are for Monthly Theme Books and other boxes are for universal themes, such as Alphabet Books, Number Books, etc.  
    As I was browsing Pinterest for more ways to organize classroom materials, I saw a cute weekly drawer organizer and I wanted to make my own. So, here it is! (That last drawer is empty, but I think I might make it a Sub drawer.)
     And of course, since now I have a way to organize my weekly lessons and projects, I decided that if I am going to be really committed to staying organized, I am going to need Monthly Binders as well. That is my current project... I will share it soon!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's Back to School Time!

    Yay! It's one of my favorite times of year!  
It's Back To School Time! 
    And, NO it is not because the kids will be out of the house and busy all day, as opposed to sitting at home some days, bored out of their minds... Well, that is part of it.
    But not only am I excited that they are going back to school-- I am excited because I am, too! I enjoyed my year off from teaching (even though I did miss it alot) and now it is time to get back into a classroom and do what I do best: Teach preschool children!
   I realize that it has been over a month since I last posted here on my blog and NO, I didn't neglect my blog once my Facebook Page launched, I just really had no time to sit and actually blog. The munchkin and I have continued to do fun learning activities throughout the summer, they just (unfortunately) didn't make it onto the blog.  July was a VERY busy month- busier than I had expected it to be! We had family come to visit and then took off to Myrtle Beach (which was awesome!) and then when we got back, a job was offered and I gladly accepted! And since then, I have been in a Back to School state of mind. 
    I have been thinking alot about my blog this week and it is going to be 3 years old soon! I am looking around to try and redesign it this school year! I have no clue where to start but the plans are in the works! Hopefully by Christmas I can get it all together.
    Anyhow, I am planning a small Back to School Giveway in the next 2 weeks. Any prize ideas that you would like me to consider?? Please share what kinds of goodies you like to win!
   Well, back to being crafty and creating my fun Jungle classroom decor! I can't wait to show you what I have been working on!