Blog Design Giveaway…Photo Challenge…Pics of my Room YIKES!

A Photo a Day Challenge
I am participating in the August 2015 photo challenge. Today is the first day and the “A Photo a Day”challenge thru #EDUGOOD. The challenge today is “Bestie” in honor of “National Girlfriend’s Day”.
Challenge1 Best Friends
Blog Design Giveaway
I am super excited to announce I am giving away a free blogger blog design through my Facebook page. It’s simple to enter, just leave a comment on my Facebook page and you are in!! In addition from now until August 10th I am offering 20% off my design package.
Blog Giveaway
A Work in Progress
So as I shared before my co-teacher and I moved to two classrooms with a connecting wall that has doors that slide open. We have been crazy busy trying to move furniture and get it set up. Today I will share our “before” pictures. We have so much combined stuff there was barely a path going through the classroom. At this point when we took the picture, everything had been moved to one room because the other side was getting a new floor. Don’t laugh too hard!!
              roombefore

So Excited For My New Design!!

Wow, it is hard to believe it has been so long since I have written a blog post. Life has been busy and while I have kept up with Instagram and Facebook this little blog has been severely neglected. So what is new.....

This past winter I began doing the Whole Life Challenge, which I really enjoyed. WLC is not really a diet but more a lifestyle change to cleaner eating, exercise, and taking care of the body and mind. I loved it and in the process lost 24 pounds.
I am moving rooms....yikes....I have got a LOT of stuff. I am moving into a double room with my general ed teaching partner. We both have out own classroom but the center wall has two big doors/dividers that we will keep open. Right now all of our stuff is in my room while the other side gets new tile. We went up the other day to see if it was ready and we could barely navigate the room. We laughed so hard...it was like an episode of "Teacher Hourders".....a new show we think we should be on....lol.
I will take lots of pictures of the set up process!! We are super excited to be REALLY co-teaching! We will be sharing tips this year on making co-teaching successful!  
What else is new??? Well...this new design of course. I read about a bazillion tutorials and finally got everything working in the places I wanted them. I almost gave up in the process and asked someone for help....and she wouldn't.....SOB...what???....why??? Don't teachers help each other? Well there's always that "one" in any situation right?? Here's an idea if you add "I'm not trying to be snarky" to what you say to someone....you probably are being snarky, duh.  So I made this....and posted it on FB and now I will add it here....


Happy summer friends! Be sure to take some time for yourself and relax!! I will be back soon with pictures of our hourder...I mean classroom. Wait until you see...it is hilarious!


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. 


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 each....so 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!!!

Directed Drawing in Kindergarten Bridges to Writing

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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. 






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??

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!!!