Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog Lovin'

 As some of you might know, Google Reader is shutting down from the 1st of July and as from that date, you will lose the list of blogs you follow. I personally use Bloglovin’, as most of you, but for those of you who don’t, you can easily transfer the list of all the blogs you already follow so you don’t miss out...Thank you to all those who are following. We are enjoying getting to know some of you and are loving this new world we are in. We hope to gain some new followers and friends!

Please click on the left sidebar to start following....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jungle Organization Station

Cards and tag to organize a Jungle/Safari classroom!
You can pick up the unit HERE!

Here is a Jungle/Safari theme organization station to go with Kim's post on
              O is for Organization! click here
Label to organize all those school supplies!
If you need a label that is not here, let us
know and we will make it for you!


                          Amazing Apple Unit!

You can pick up this unit for a steal By clicking HERE!!
APPLES, APPLES, APPLES!  We use this unit in the fall and my little ones love it!!
We start "A" week reading Johnny Appleseed and teaching the students the song "Oh, The Lord's Been Good To Me".  At our learning center time we match lower and uppercase letters, we  put apples into the correct number basket, and pattern with apple stamps.  During craft time, we make an apple and we do our Johnny Appleseed Glyph.  At the end of the unit we taste yellow, green, and red apples and graph our favorite!  We make Johnny Appleseed hats (gray construction paper with a pan handle) and end with carmel apples......Who says learning can't be fun and delicious!!

My Under the Sea Adventure!

Ohhhhh! How I love a theme! I think my fascination with themes began when my twins (a boy and a girl) were born...
It started with their Nursery.... God keeps His promises and He sure did! Everything was Noah (and it was the sweetest nursery ever!)

Kim made up the words to this
announcement!  One of her amazing
talents! Love, Liz

And then the Birthday parties came... their first Birthday was a Carnival Theme...from clowns and old fashioned games to selling tickets for popcorn and cotton candy it was a hit! People at the park actually thought it was a real Carnival and wanted to buy tickets!

Each Birthday became another opportunity for me to express my love through a fun and exciting party. A Garden theme for their 2nd, a Pooh Bear & Friends for their 3rd, and a Princess/Pirate for their 4th. My babies are now 12 and this past year we had a "Double Blessing or Double Trouble Party" and played all kind of wacky games that had something to do with a dozen!

Well, I guess it is no surprise I love turning my classroom into a Thematic Wonderland... from Honey Bear Lane, and a Race Car Theme to a Beautifully painted Under the Sea Adventure... it is something that I will never grow weary of.
Let me show you just a few pictures of my classroom... with more to come when I set up again in the Fall...

"O" is for Organization!

New tags and cards to help me organize in my
Under the Sea Theme!  Get the unit HERE!

You've been Organized!
Or at least that is the note I leave my family and friends after I spend countless hours organizing their garages, closets, and offices! And for some strange reason I LOVE it! The last 2 Summers I have spent some time organizing other peoples personal spaces... my husband shakes his head in disbelief wondering why I get so much joy out of arranging others peoples junk and not our own?! I love the whole process of figuring out the best way for an area to work and that also relates to my classroom as well! Whether it is the organizing aspect or the WOW factor of a theme when you walk in the door... I love it all! Here are a few shots of how I try to keep my room productive...

This idea came to me after trying several different bins and crates... I just simply cut a hanging shoe rack horizontally and tacked it going across our Art table. The students can reach all of their materials for directed or independent play and they LOVE it and so do I! For an even more organized look, I hot glue the craft item to show which art supply belongs in each pouch! So little hands know where to put it when they are finished!

Further down is a look at some of my cabinets... I try to label each row so I can stay as organized as possible. Remember to always use tape when labeling so you can easily pull it off if you want to change things around.
These are some of the things I label.  If you don't see
something here you need, let me know and I will add it!

This is my main cabinet... when my students start off the year I label each table 1,2,3 and 4.
The matching green numbered container is filled with crayons and the matching blue is filled with
markers. Each week a student or "Table Runner" is in charge of getting the container before work time. In the past I have had containers for each child, however, I found for this age group this was a quick and effective alternative to chaos of boxes everywhere!

My new table labels
My scissor box always stays on top of my counter for safety, and I quickly pass the scissors out... when the students are finished they place them on their table number and I pick them up. Later in the year I do have a "Treasured Student" who is in charge of taking the box from table to table and picking them up.

As you can see I absolutely love these cute boxes... I found them at the dollar store and use them from everything from Play-doh, to Lost & Found (something EVERY class should have!)

My last idea is one that has made things much easier for my little ones, thus helping keep me sane... it is simply putting a picture of the manipulative in the container and showing through the outside of the box. I do this for EVERYTHING in my room and it really helps things to get back into their proper places!
Happy Organizing! And please share your ideas... I love new ones!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Light Table Deals!!

SHOPPING!!!  I usually only shop this much in summer...
So I was out shopping for some new bar stools for our family room and saw these things at Deals and just couldn't resist!!  My wonderful hubby made me a light table for my classroom last year, and so I am forever hunting for fun stuff to add.  Well.......Lookie what I found....A bunch of translucent toys!  I use these for counters, game pieces and well just fun!!
I want to add a black light to my light table so I bought
some glow in the dark spiders and snakes.  

This tray was $3 which is more than I usually spend,
but I thought it was perfect to put different items in and
see how light picks up through the beveled plastic.
I also added these shot glasses, perfect for water beads
and little jewels!

These were on clearance at TARGET!!!  My favorite store!!
Perfect to store my new little treasures in!  I have a wire shelf
in my classroom that I store all the manipulative's and games
for the light table center.

This is my light table and a couple of the things that my students do in this center.  I always model an activity first and then add it to the center.  I did purchase a light panel this year to model and have light activities at my table centers.  Would love to hear if you have any great ideas that I could use with my light center.....