Friday, June 29, 2012

Time to Celebrate

Hi Everyone!

     I don't know what the weather is like in your part of the country, but here in the NE it is HOT!!  I've been out of school for a week now and I feel totally recharged.  I gave myself this week to be a complete lazy bum because from this point forward, this summer is going to be a busy one.  We're planning my sister Squeebie's September wedding (so happy about this!) and at the same time getting ready to help my Dad go another round with the Big "C" (so worried about this - I can't even type the actual word.) I am completely optimistic that both will go off without a hitch and we'll all be smiling in the end. 
     In the meantime, I realized two pretty cool things.  First, today is the one year anniversary of starting this blog.  Happy Blogiversary to me! I've had such an amazing year sharing with, connecting to and learning about teachers from all over the world.  I am a better teacher because of it, and I thank you all for letting me be a part of it.  I've really enjoyed taking a peek into your classrooms and showing you a little piece of mine. The second really cool thing I noticed was that I hit 1000 followers.  Holy Moly!  How did that happen? 
     Thinking about all of the above,  I feel the need to celebrate.   I want to celebrate lazy summer days and busy ones. I want to celebrate bloggy milestones and sharing with friends.  Most importantly, I want to celebrate new beginnings (Squeebie) and happy endings (Dad). Are you in?
     First, I have a summer freebie for you.  Teaching money can be especially challenging for K-1 teachers, so I made a cute little math station game to help the kid practice adding coins. You can grab a copy down below the picture if you think you can use it.
     Then, the celebration really kicks off tomorrow with a monster giveaway .  Over 25 fellow bloggers have generously donated prizes so the lucky winners will have a whole bundle of terrific new materials to start the school year off with a bang. Be sure to check back in to enter!

     Again - thanks for the terrific year.  May you have many milestones, new beginnings, happy endings and lazy summer days of your own to celebrate!

Monday, June 25, 2012

PJs, Thunderstorms & Freebies

     Ahhh. . . There's nothing like the first Monday morning of summer vacation without the 5am alarm clock ringing. Happy, happy, happy!  It was a very dark, stormy day and I took advantage of it by staying in my jammies all day long.  I even took an afternoon nap snuggled up with my sweet beagle, Sally.  Again, I have to say ahhhh. . .
     I wasn't a complete sloth however, I took some time today to work on some requests I've had to modify some of my past freebies.  So, put on your jammies and grab whatever you think you could use!

     First up are the playdough labels I made for the first day of school last summer. (Here's the original post.) 
     There's apparently been a lot of pinning going on (It makes me a little giddy when I see people pinning my stuff - I'm such a dork!) because the original post had 1084 views yesterday - holy molyI've gotten a bunch of emails and comments requesting labels with grade levels other than kindergarten, so you can find First Grade labels here and Preschool labels here

     Next are last summer's backpack tags that say "Class of 2024 It all starts with Kindergarten..."  My kids LOVED them and they lasted all year because I laminated them.  Eager teachers who are already planning for the fall have been itching for new tags, so you can grab the updated, class of 2025 version here.
      To match the backpack tags, I made labels to put on little bottles of bubbles as an an end of year gift for my class.  I got the three packs of 4oz, bubbles from Dollar Tree and the labels fit perfectly!
     Looking ahead, I thought some people might like them for an Open House favor or first day of school present, so I made these also.

     Well, that's all for tonight. I can't be overly ambitious on Jammies Day, after all.  If you see grab something you think you'll use, I'd love a comment!

Have a Great Night!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

So I Cried...

It was the last day of school yesterday and
I told myself that this year, I won't cry.
As attached as I am to my energetic little gang,
I thought I was ready for them to move on.

Then, right before dismissal
We were gathered, for one last time, in our meeting area
Backpacks on, ready to go.
I thought, "I'm really going to make it - no tears for me."

Then came a surprise from the music teacher -
Our school song began playing over the loud speaker.
I was caught off guard - I wasn't prepared!

From my kids, looking up at me
Came this sea of little voices
Sweet, sweet kindergarten voices

Voices that I have spent 181 days with
Voices that I have laughed and cried with
Voices that have called my name 872 times
Voices that have said "I love you"
So I cried. . .

I cried because
These voices won't bounce around my classroom anymore
These voices will soon call somebody else's name
These voices will learn and laugh without me
These voices will now only speak of kindergarten as a memory
So I cried. . .

I cried with the hope
That these voices will hold their sweetness
That these voices will keep laughing as they learn
That these voices will stay strong against the world
That these voices will always have someone to tell "I love you"
So I cried. . .

Then the song ended
Someone said "Cha cha cha"
And we all laughed. . .

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Giveaway Winners

Just a quick post to announce the winners of the Goodbye from Pete Giveaway. The lucky winners of the Pete's Summer Vacation Math and Literacy unit are:
  1. Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies
  2. Kristy Helms
  3. Jennifer from Herding Cats in Kindergarten
To spread a little more "Pete Love' I picked three more winners for a bonus prize.  This cute little autograph "craftivity" is a great end of the year activity and my kids loved making it!

The winners of the craftivity are:
  1. megandw
  2. Lisa R. from Learning is Something to Treasure
  3. Amy Mc
Congrats, ladies!  If your email address is not in your comment on the giveaway page, send it to me so I can send your prize!

Have a great night!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Goodbye from Pete - Giveaway and Freebie

     This year my class was obsessed with Pete the Cat. To say goodbye to the year and celebrate our love for Pete, I wrote an emergent reader for the kids titled, Pete’s Summer Vacation about all of the things I imagined Pete would do with his days off. I try to base my math and literacy stations around books we love, so it was pretty neat when the kids asked if our last bunch of stations could be based on this book. So I went to work and came up with a pile of math and literacy stations, as well as a cute autograph craftivity. I think it’s the perfect way for my class to end the year. Since I know many of you love Pete too, I thought I would share a freebie and have a quick giveaway so you could have some summertime fun with your kiddos, too! 

First, for the Giveaway:

The 100+ page unit includes an original emergent reader, 12 Math and Literacy activities designed to celebrate the end of the school year in a fun yet meaningful way & a cute autograph craftivity. If you think your class might enjoy it too, enter the Giveaway up to three times by:
1. Leave a comment if your class loves Pete.
2. Leave a comment if you're a follower of my blog.
3. Leave a comment if you follow my TPT store.

The Giveaway will run through Tuesday, June 5th at midnight and I'll choose at least three winners at random.

Now for the Freebie - a student version of the emergent reader to use either for guided groups or independent reading.  The repetitive text and picture support helped even my most beginning readers read independently and my kids loved coloring in the pics.  Click below the picture to grab a copy.

On a side note, the background and clipart for the Emergent Reader picture above came from my new favorite Clipart Designer, Melanie from Graphics From the Pond. She has the cutest stuff, allows commercial use for teachers and has a bunch of freebies.  Check out her Blog or her TPT store.

Have a great night!