Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Johnny!

     Here's a quick little post to share a coloring page that you can use to celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday tomorrow.  I have the day off - yippee! - so we're celebrating on Friday with an Apple Extravaganza.  Tomorrow I'm playing gopher for my sister who is getting married on Saturday. Squeebi (childhood nickname) if you're reading this, 3 days, 12 hours and 3 minutes to go!!

Click on the picture to download

Have a great day tomorrow!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Some Delicious Apple Freebies

We're learning about our first historical figure, Johnny Appleseed next week and we have a bushel of fun activities planned. If you're celebrating his birthday too, here are some ideas you might be able to use.

First up is a fun little cooking activity.
You'll need mini bagels, cream cheese, pretzel braids, green food coloring and red M&Ms.  There's a recipe book to read with the kids before they make their snack and then a recipe card for them to follow.

We're also going to be exploring what a biography is and learning about major events in Johnny Appleseed's life.  We're going to be reading an emergent reader about Johnny and then we'll be doing this cute little craftivity that includes a scrapbook of Johnny's life.
My favorite part of the scrapbook is baby Johnny with his bottle of apple juice - it doesn't take much to amuse me!  (Right click on the image below for a cute little clipart freebie.) You can pick up this packet in my TPT store (available alone or as part of my Fun with johnny Appleseed unit.)

For a few more freebies, check out this recent post.

Have a great night!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Open House Classroom Tour

Phew! Our first five day week coupled with Open House Night made for one very tired teacher! At least Open House was on Thursday night so we only had Friday to get through to make it to the weekend. The hot mess my class was yesterday can probably be explained by the number of kids who stayed up late eating pizza with babysitters while their parents came to visit! Since my classroom was in tip-top shape for the big night, I thought it would be a good time to share some pics of my home away from home.  Take a peek:
 Our Classroom Door - Come On In!

 As you walk in the classroom

Our Word Wall

Our Reading Corner

Our Small Group Table

Our Focus Wall

Our Name Jeeps - LOVE 'em!

What Time Is...

Our Job Chart

My Desk

My secret to an "Open House-Ready" Classroom - shove everything that doesn't have a home yet under your desk where the parents can't see it!

Well, there you have it - my little corner of the world. I've tried to make it a warm, cozy place where we can learn and laugh, and hope that it makes the kids smile each morning when they walk through the door.  Can't ask for more than that...

Have a great night!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pete Saves the Day (Freebie)

Hiya Everyone!
     First of all, I'm having a gleeful moment of instant nostalgia. The Sound of Music is on and I feel like I'm 8 years old again, getting to stay up late on a school night to watch Maria twirl around and around on the top of a mountain. Love it! Now on to a great little freebie I have for you...
     If you're anything like me, taking a day off from school ties your stomach in knots. Sub plans to write, materials to prepare, checking the clock every ten minutes and wondering if everything's OK.   It's usually easier just to go in, even if you're under the weather. Taking a day off during the first few weeks of school is even worse - how can your little guys can possibly get through the day without you there?!?
     Well, I faced the unthinkable on Friday.  It was the 7th day of school and I needed to take a personal day - YIKES! My Dad was having surgery (which went VERY well - woohoo!) and I wanted to be at the hospital with my family. I debated for a while about whether I should take the day off, because my class is just settling in to routines and procedures and I felt a little bit like I was abandoning them during a really crucial time. To make things even more tricky, it was School Picture Day. After talking with my AP, we decided that picture day was manageable and the kids would be just fine without me for a day (imagine that).
     So I got to work creating very detailed sub plans that I thought would keep the kids busy, engaged and learning on their first day with a sub. I wanted to give the sub easy to follow plans, knowing that he/she would be not only facing the usual challenges of being a sub, but also tackling them with a class still relatively unfamiliar with each other and the routine. Enter everyone's favorite feline - Pete the Cat!
    I had just introduced my newest group of kinder kids to the first Pete book on Thursday, and as expected, they were in love. I figured that giving them a day full of Pete was the best way to keep them engaged and help the day moving along.  I came up with lessons and follow up activities for reading, writing, word study, math and science and wrote detailed directions for the sub. I prepared all of the materials, left everything labelled and organized, and left school on Thursday feeling OK about abandoning leaving my sweet class in the hands of a well-prepared sub.
     The day's plans came out so well that I thought I would share them as a little gift from me and Pete to make your life a little easier. If you have a day off coming up or just want to prepare an emergency sub kit, everything you need is in the packet.  Just grab a copy of the book, Pete the Cat - I Love My White Shoes, follow the directions for prepping the materials, and enjoy a stress-free day off!
Download Your Freebie Here
Have a great day off!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Job Chart Part 2

     Four school days down and boy, do I need this 3 day weekend! Although we always start the week before Labor Day, we typically only have a 2 or 3 day week, followed by a 4 day week after Labor Day. It's a great way to ease into the routine and let the kids build some stamina gradually. This year however, the powers that be gave us a 4 day week to start with and what a difference a day makes!  By Friday we were all a little shot - having three days to recover is awesome!
     I'm overwhelmed and tickled by the response to my last post about how to make your own pocket chart. As you may know, my newest undertaking is creating my own clipart to meet my way too nit-picky needs. I was stoked about how the clipart for my job chart came out, but to get so many emails about it completely caught me by surprise! Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment or email me, you totally made my day!  The most common question I received was if the clipart is for sale. I would love to offer the set, but since I'm just starting out, I don't really know how to do things like make the background transparent or make the graphics at a high resolution so you can enlarge them to any size. I've really just been playing around with it for my own projects, so I haven't looked into any of that yet - that's my next goal.
     In the meantime, I've posted my DIY Instant Job Chart in my TPT store. Included are the printable pockets for 33 different jobs, as well as simple job cards in case you just want to use them in your own pocket chart. I've also included wordless versions of both formats in case you want to write in different job titles. Take a look at what's included:

This is what my chart looks like in my classroom. I hung it with a ribbon and I just love it!  The kids are excited to pick their first jobs this week.

     Well, I'm off to bed. I have big plans tomorrow for a few burgers and beers in the sunshine. Just the thing to recharge me and get me ready for week 2 with the new gang. I hope you're planning a little R&R to celebrate Labor Day as well.
Have a great day off!