Sunday, October 19, 2014

Awesome Easy October Idea


I've come to love the saying "work smarter not harder", so today I am sharing a super simple activity for Pre-K and K. It is easy and requires little prep. You will need:

Per Child:

3 white pipe cleaners

60 orange beads

1 green pipe cleaner

Begin by twisting your 3 white pipe cleaners together at the center, like the spokes on a wheel.

Children will add 10 pony beads to each spoke.

Then gather each end together and twist to form the stem.

Wrap a green pipe cleaner at the top and "curl" ends to form the vine by wrapping ends on a pencil. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Back to School 2014

It's back to school time and I am super excited again this year with my teacher teams! I am also super excited with the decorations I just ordered from Just Artifacts I ordered the big paper lanterns in pink, purple and black patterns. I can't wait for them to arrive!! I ordered these....
Plus I ordered a solid color of a total of 9 lanterns. I am lucky that I am allowed to hang things from my ceiling. :) I plan this year to just have a color theme, rather than an animal or character as I have done in other years. 
It has been a crazy few months for me with lots of time needed for family needs. I hope things settle down and I can get back to blogging more regularly. I have had some computer problems again so I am back to my ancient and slow computer. I can't really make or draw on it because when I do too much it freezes and shuts down. Once I really investigate computers I will replace the "good" one.

So this year I will re-do my room using the above colors. I think I will do black backgrounds on all my bulletin boards and use the colors for border. I want to keep it clean, bright and organized this year!!
I did a LOT of throwing away at the end of last year so hopefully this year my set up will be quick. Last time I was at the school my floors were being waxed so I couldn't get in to set up but hopefully later this week I can go in and take some before/after pictures. I love the before and after pictures dont you?

I have a few back to school boards on Pinterest that might be helpful with your planning and organizing. I also have as a brand new COLLABORATIVE board called "Elementary Doors and Bulletin Boards". The "rules" are simple....just pin elementary bulletin boards and decorated classroom doors. :) If you would like to pin to my collaborative board it's super easy!!
1. Follow me on Pinterest.
2. Send me your email/pinterest user name.
3. I will add you and you can begin pinning. 

I have a few packets which might help you with your beginning of the year planning. There is a sale right now on Teachers Pay Teachers using the code BTS14. This will give you an extra percentage off. TPT Sales are a great time to stock up on products you will need throughout the year.
I like to go through my "wishlist" and try to purchase some of the items I have saved. I also use the sale as a time to check out new teachers to TPT. I know some prefer to buy from only teachers with a particular amount of followers but I have seen great products from newer teachers as well.

I will be back soon to share my other new craft project and before and after pictures of my classroom. Enjoy the rest of your summer!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Directed Drawing in Kindergarten Bridges to Writing


Welcome the the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!! Is your head spinning with great ideas? If you are new to my blog, I am a Kindergarten Intervention Specialist. I am a cross-categorical teacher, but I work primarily with students who have one or more learning disabilities in language arts, written expression or math. I also work with children who have social emotional and behavioral needs. My students are an amazing group of learners!!

For the last four days we have been researching the Emperor Penguin. I am going to try to compile all of the links, videos, games, and common core activities we used for a future post because it was FANTASTIC! The kids had a blast and learned so much! We are currently writing our own E-book that is nearly complete. The kids REALLY enjoyed creating it. I loved watching them work cooperatively together through the process. I will share the "how to's" for that next week.

I like to do directed drawing (aka guided drawing) with my students. I feel like this is an excellent activity for listening and following directions, fine motor and spacial awareness through a multi-sensory activity. We used our penguin art as illustrations in an e-book we are currently writing together. Below is the basic process I used for my lesson:

Step 1 For our emperor penguins I began by demonstrating the complete drawing and describing each line.
Step 2 I drew the penguin a 2nd time with the group. The children drew lightly with a pencil so they could erase if needed. We completed each step of the penguin together as a large group.
Step 3 The children traced their line drawings with a black crayon and added any other detail they wanted. Some children drew baby penguins, others eggs etc.
Step 4 The children painted their drawing with water color paints.
The entire process with clean up took us 30 minutes and the final artwork was unique and amazing!!

Below is a VERY rough draft I just drew up for the step by step to the penguin.

And look what I found in the hallways at school...more unique directed drawing! FaBuLoUs!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope this idea is useful in your classroom!! And now you are off to the amazing April from"A Modern Teacher" to hear some great tips about using Start Cards. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Easiest Kindergarten Math Game EVER!!

Today the kiddo's had a blast playing the easiest math game EVER!! Seriously....if you have unifix cubes it is basically zero prep.

Got these?

Today we played a game practicing "greater than" and "less than" and practiced tally marks as well. Ahead of time I took plastic circles, but poker chips would be perfect. I wrote "greater than" on one side and "less than" on the other. That was the prep, E*A*S*Y   P*E*A*S*Y!!
The children picked a buddy and took one handful of cubes. They built their cubes into a tower. Then they took turns flipping the discs and recording it on a piece of paper. The kids negotiated who would record and flip...taking turns etc. Some kids played 6 rounds of this game....seriously they loved it.

Looking for a good book with a social message?
A few weeks ago I started a Friendship Group on Fridays. I have a few students who need to work on some specific social skills. I wanted it to be fun but also allow for discussion on feelings. We read a book with a topic or trait we need to discuss. and then play a game or do a cooperative activity together.The first week we read My Mouth Is a Volcano. After reading the book we mixed up a batch of salt dough and made our own volcano together. This week we read....
This book is really funny, has a bit of fairytale humor and a message too. I also found this version on You Tube if you can't get your hands on a copy of the book.

I love good books don't you??

Saturday, January 25, 2014

February Freebies All Around

I have been doing some updates to my blogs and trying to get them 'linked' together. I think I have finally achieved success. You can now visit my clip art blog Oodles of Doodles by clicking on the 'clip art' tab above. Today I am giving away some simple blackline weather clip art.  Try using the link above to grab a copy.

I have posted my February Calendar Numbers on my FB page. Click on the 'Fan Freebie" button to download your free copy. Joy of Kindergarten on Facebook

I have a new Kindergarten Math Journal for February. It is free right now on TPT so grab a copy quick.

There is a color and b/w version of every page. 

I made this last year but it really is timeless. I'm posting it again in case you never got it.
This one is on google docs and you can access it with this link:

Stay Warm!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Introducing January Math Journals for Kindergarten

Home for a snow day and sharing my most recent creation. I have created a simple math journal packet that I will be implementing with my students. Many of my students struggle with writing numbers and letters using correct formation and size. I want them to be able to demonstrate what they know with increased independence. I love seeing all the unique math journals kindergarten teachers are using in their classrooms. I searched and searched for a math journal template that would be appropriate for my students. (Remember, my goal is independence.) I found some great stuff but it was either too hard, required too much teacher direction, or it was jut not appealing. So, I made my own to exactly address the skills my kiddo's need to work on.

I have included a color and black/white version of each page. In the top section the students will trace each number. I used a dotted font for the numbers. They will then color today, tomorrow, and yesterday.
In the middle section the children will trace and write the day of the week sentence. They will write the name of the day beginning with a capital letter then lower case. 
The bottom section is where they will represent the date using tally marks and the 10 frames. I may tweak this a bit for February but this is what I am trying for January.
I like how many different skills are practiced on one page. This will nicely supplement the work we do with our math curriculum, and it will provide daily practice in the areas my students need help.
This product is currently free in my TPT store, so feel free to try it out. 

Stay Warm!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Free Snowman Calendar Numbers, January Kindergarten Homework & RTI for Behavior

WOW, I cannot believe how long it has been since I wrote a post! The last few months have been beyond crazy at our house. Mr. Hubs had a major medical situation which has settled down for the most part now but kept us running to doctors, specialists, and testing procedures for a few months. I was able to work through most of the days  but free time for blogging and creating was lost in the wind. We also grew from a house of 5 to a house of 8  when my daughter moved back home with her two little boys. Busy! Busy! Busy!

A Few Thoughts About RTI for Behavior
I have spent a lot of time researching how to effectively use the RTI process for students with behavioral needs. I think RTI is effective for subject areas such as Language Arts, Writing and Math. However, when it comes to behavioral concerns it becomes more vague. I think the key is to prioritize the behavioral needs. What is the one thing you would like to focus on first? Write a measurable goal for a specific time of day. Targeting the entire day and collecting useful measurable data is next to impossible. Make sure that your goal is measurable. For example, you can't really measure listening but you can measure a student's ability to carry out a verbal directive. I will be posting more about this soon with some examples of measurable goals. I will also post the data sheet I use to collect measurable data.

I Made Something New! Can You Believe it!?!
I did a little drawing yesterday and started a set of February clip art. Here is a little preview of one of the files.

I also actually made a new set of calendar numbers using my snowman clip art. You can practice patterning as well using the frames ABBC pattern. It is free in my TPT store.

This is the clip art set I used to create the calendar numbers. It is currently 30% off in my TPT store.

My monthly January homework packet is also available in my TPT store. It includes 4 weeks of Kindergarten homework.


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