Sunday, August 9, 2015

{FREEBIE} Totally Transformed: Pez Dispensers {Updated}

Last summer I introduced a mini-series on my blog where I took everyday objects and totally transformed them. I really need to get back to this series this year because I absolutely loved it! 

Today I am throwing it back to one of my previously transformed items and adding in a corresponding freebie worksheet for you! Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to grab the freebie.

One of my favorite resources to use in my kindergarten classroom are CVC sliders. They really help isolate each sound and get across the blending action. I use all kinds of sliders but sometimes the paper ones just don't add that wow factor to hook my learners. In order to solve that problem, cue the transformation...

That's right! Pez Dispensers are my favorite way to use CVC sliders in the classroom! I can easily hook my learners by introducing different holiday themes or favorite movie characters.  I'm thinking this year these Minion themed dispensers would be a huge hit after the summer movie success! What little one would not be rushing to complete this center activity if they got to play with these adorable Minions? 

These are the easiest to put together and don't require spending a ton of money on ink and lamination. These are perfect for the kinestetic learner and you never have to worry about mixing up any pieces during a center activity. I always ask for Pez Dispenser donations from parents and purchase on after holiday clearance when I can get them for 25 cents or less. Here are the steps on how I made my CVC sliders. 

The words can easily be changed out whenever you want to mix it up. You can ever add the picture to the other side of the slider if you want to make it self correcting. This shows your students how you can make anything from their real lives into a learning experience. However, most of all, it makes learning FUN which is a must in my kindergarten classroom! 

I created this quick little freebie for you all that corresponds with the Pez Dispenser CVC sliders that would be perfect to use as a literacy center, during guided reading, or as a fast finisher drawer. 

To download this freebie, just click on the picture below.

The kids slide the Pez sliders out one letter at a time and write one letter per box. After blending the sounds together, they illustrate the word in the circle. 

I really hope you find this idea useful as it is a huge fan favorite in my classroom and I know it will be with yours as well! If you do re-create these, I'd love to see how you use them in your classroom! Be sure to tag me on instagram so I can see what you created!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

#2getherwearebetter Bulletin Board Bonanza!

Can you believe that is is August already? Where has the summer gone? 
Two of my favorite ladies Angie and Ashley have this amazing linky party on the 2nd of each month that brings teachers together called #2GetherWeAreBetter.

This month's theme is all things bulletin boards. I don't know about you, but nothing makes me happier than getting back to school bulletin board inspiration! And can you believe over 100 people linked up! That's a lot of amazing inspiration! Thanks to this linky, this year I will create my best bulletin boards yet! 

Some of my teacher friends are already back to school: I don't envy you now, but I sure will when you get out in early May! I go back the last week of August which means I have not gotten the chance to set up my classroom yet this year. However, with that being said, I have 3 bulletin board tips from last year to share!

As a first year teacher, I had a love/hate relationship with bulletin boards. I wanted to create cute bulletin boards, but they were way down the list of must-dos for the year. These "wow work" walls were all the rage on Pinterest and I just had to create one. By adding one single clothespin on a thumbtack with some paper below, I was able to create interchangeable bulletin boards in seconds. It made my life a million times easier to just switch out a craftivity each month than having to change bulletin board paper and borders on huge walls. If there is one tip you need to add to your life, this is the one! Work Smarter Not Harder is my work motto!

If you have an ugly green tape covered magnetic chalkboard like me, you can jazz it up in seconds! There was so way I was going to keep that eye sore around that was completely unusable. Just hang some butcher paper and use a magnetic border to hold it in place. It will also add some flair to a magnetic white board without having to deal with creating tape border lines. I literally whipped up a whole wall length bulletin board in seconds! I purchased mine at Lakeshore last year but they are discontinued now. You can find tons of great options on Amazon by searching "magnetic borders". They are very affordable considering you can use them year after year!

I'm going to spare you the tip I wish I learned. Not every beautiful design you see on Pinterest will you be able to re-create and/or have it work for your needs. I saw the ribbon word walls on Pinterest and was so excited to try them out! It was such a pain in the neck to create, but once it was done it was beautiful! I was so proud of the word wall! Enter 30 kindergarteners and the wall was toast! It was an every day struggle to keep the cards sticking on the interactive wall, keep the ribbon hanging up on the wall as they removed cards, and having the ribbon not fray and fall apart in the process. I didn't even take an EOY photo because the wall was a mess and I couldn't wait to take it down. This year, I am definitely going for practicality over gorgeous looks. So as you are browsing through all these amazing ideas, just keep this tip in mind! 

Thanks to Mel from Graphics from the Pond for the adorable polka dot numbers used in the post!
I hope you found these tips useful when it comes to decorating for the year! I can't wait to see what my teacher tribemates have created! Stay tuned next month for the classroom reveal linky party! That is sure to be a good one!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

How is it August Already???

This post will be short and sweet because it is officially back to school month and I am in high gear getting ready to start in a new school this year. 

Come link up with Farley and join in on the fun! 

Here's to a fantastic school year!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

All About This Kinder Teacher

This week I'm linking up with my Teacher Tribe. I'm so thankful to have a linky with all my fellow K teachers in one place. It's part of the Kinder Tribe blog that I will be faithfully stalking this school year! 

Here is a little bit more about me!

I'm really excited to embark on my 2nd year teaching. What better time to be starting out in this profession than with all the best resources and collaboration at your fingertips!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dolch Word Mini Book Companion Freebie

Sometimes you stumble upon a product that makes your teaching a breeze! This year, I found just that in a FREEBIE no less! 

A huge focus in my classroom this year was on sight word recognition. I am not sure what the benchmark is for your district, but mine is 75 for kindergarten. With so little time to master all those words, one product was a lifesaver! 

All year my students were obsessed with their dolch word mini books created by Sarah from A Sunny Day in First Grade
They would constantly review their words and help coach their peers so they could earn their stickers and move up to the next level book. Sarah's product ranges from pre-primer to third grade words so differentiation was a breeze!

I am a big believer in parent collaboration in education so I wanted to send home weekly progress sheets with the students listing words to review. Out of necessity, I created an assessment sheet that corresponds exactly with Sarah's freebie, even down to the clip art!

It was an effortless transition for the parents, and they loved being able to see at a glance what words to practice. By including the date, you can easily see how students are progressing week to week.

After using the product in my classroom all year, I reached out to Sarah asking if I could share my assessment component and she graciously agreed. I just love this teacher collaboration network!

If you are interested in the two products, you can click on the links below to head to our TpT stores.

Hope they are as useful for you as they were for me!
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