Thursday, July 31, 2014

Classroom Decor

Hi friends!!  I hope you're all having an amazing week!!  I have a few more weeks of summer vacation left, how about you?  Today I am going to be linking up with Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bees for their Back 2 School weekly linky party.
The first week was all about behavior management, and you can read my post about that by clicking HERE.  Last week we linked up to talk about different assessments, read that post HERE. This week we are talking about classroom decor.  This is the PERFECT topic for me, since I am giving my classroom an Extreme Makeover this year!!  I have decided to truly embrace the dragons theme and redo my classroom to reflect that theme.

Since there are no pre-made dragon classroom decor packs, so I am starting from scratch.  That's okay, I enjoy creating!!  :-)  Here is what I've gotten done so far.

I made a dragon-themed alphabet line.  I made sure to include both sounds of each vowel, the long and the short sounds.
I also decided to include the hard and soft sounds of 'C' and....
also the hard and soft sounds of 'G'.

Next I wanted to work on some labels for our Daily 5 Book Boxes.  I went through a few designs before I settled on this one.
The book boxes my kinders use are the colors of the rainbow, ROYGB, but no violet.  :-(  I wanted the labels to match the colors of the boxes.  I also wanted the labels to incorporate my theme, use numbers instead of names, and they needed to show my kinders what was okay for them to have in their boxes.  I think I nailed it. :-)

Next up, my schedule tags!!
I try to use as many real photographs as I can on my schedule board.  On the specialist tags, I have their pictures.  Same thing for our guidance counselor.  The lunch tag has a picture of the cafeteria, the computer lab tag has a picture of the computer lab, the recess tag has a picture of...well, you get the idea!!  :-)  I feel like using the real photographs of our school and it's staff as part of my schedule board helps my kinders better understand what is happening during our day.  They also reference the pictures to help job their memory of their specialist teacher's names, as well as to help them figure out what we're going to be doing and where we're going to be visiting.  
I also remade the behavior calendars that I want to use in my room.  Last year I drew their calendars in Notebook software, which was a PAIN!!  This year I found an incredibly wonderful dragon-themed blank calendar template.
All I needed to do was to add the month, days, and dates.  I also added a clip art pic or two to each month, just to make it a bit more fun.  I am going to be printing out a copy for myself and keeping it in my teacher binder.  I might even color it!!  :-)

The last piece of decor I have made, so far, is a set of alphabet cards for my Word Wall.
I wanted something bright and colorful, as well as something that fit in with my theme of dragons but without taking away from the letters themselves.  I decided on including rainbows as part of my theme since a) rainbows and dragons go well together, and b) my Daily 5 Book Boxes match the colors of the rainbow (except for violet).  I was lucky enough to find some amazing rainbow letters.  Aren't these super cute?  {I also got a set of numbers.  Perfect!!}

Next up on my list are number signs, my hallway display wall, and Daily 5 reading and math signs.  Luckily I have a few weeks of summer left to finish as much as I can!!  I can't wait to go back to the linky party and read all about the other classroom decors out there!!  Does your classroom have a decor or theme?  I would LOVE for you to tell me all about it by leaving a comment!!  :-)

p.s. - This is how I left my classroom in mid-June.
I don't get to go back in there until mid-August.  I'm trying not to stress out at how much work there is to be done!!  :-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Hump Day everyone!!  Today I'm linking up with Christina over at Sugar and Spice for her Wordless Wednesday linky party!!  This is a really fun linky where you share a picture that inspires conversation without you saying anything about it!  Check out all of the other pictures teachers are sharing for this awesome linky!!

I've been spending most of my summer with this little face!!  She just figured out how to sit up by herself last week, and she is loving the new view!!  For those of you who may not know, she's my 6 month old niece.  I love getting to spend so much time with her and watch her and she learns new things and grows up!!
 My question for you is: Who have you been spending your summer with??  I know that some of you have headed back to school, and I hope that your summer was everything you wanted it to be, and that you got recharged for a brand new year!!  I'll be headed back in a few weeks, but until then I'll be making sure to live up the time I have left!!  :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday

Today I'm linking up with Deanna Jump's Two for Tuesday linky party.  If you've never heard of this linky, it is AMAZING!!  A bunch of teachers and teacher bloggers are sharing their favorite books, and I ALWAYS find two or three books I've never heard of that I absolutely must have.  If you're anything like me and obsessed with books, than this is the linky for you!!

Today I am sharing another one of my beginning of the year books that focuses on the alphabet.  This is an awesome book to have in your classroom library!!
This adorable frolic through the alphabet is a creation of Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees.  This is a great book to read with littles because it has bright and colorful illustrations, as well as lots of pictures to find on each page.
Each letter is given a cute little rhyme, and the illustrations blend into each other.  I encourage my littles to look for all of the pictures that start with the given letter.  This is also a great opportunity for vocabulary since many of these pictures and words are ones that littles may not have had any exposure with.
I also use this book to focus on beginning sounds.  After reading each letter, we make that letter's sound.  This is a good place to stop and talk because there is a 'c' word on this page that makes the same sound as 'k'.  I take time to point out that sometimes letters and their sounds can be tricky!!
At the very end of the book if a checklist that tells you (and sometimes shows you) the different picture words that appear on each letter's page.  It's fun for them to go back and find the ones they missed, and it also teaches them to go back into the text to find the answer.  Score!!

By the end of this week, I will have an activity for this book (or two) added to My Favorite Alphabet Book bundle, so make sure you buy a copy while it's at its lowest price!!  Oh, and today is the LAST DAY to enter my giveaway for a chance to win this bundle!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Markdown Monday

It's Monday, so I'll be linking up with Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations for their Markdown Monday linky party!!  There are SO MANY AMAZING deals, don't forget to go check out the rest of who linked up!!

Today I am going to be marking down two of my products. First up is one I JUST finished this weekend, and I am pretty proud of it!!
This is a pack of awards I'm going to be using all year long.  See, last year I had a group of littles that cared more about ratting each other out than they did about getting along as friends.  It was the first year I'd ever had a group like that, and I was scrambling for ideas to help build a better classroom community.  This idea flitted through my mind, but for whatever reason my brain went a different way last year.  Since that way worked for me, this idea got filed away somewhere in my head.  Recently I got a chance to plan with my team before school starts, and this idea popped back into my head.  This time I went with it, and here's what I came up with.
I made several different styles of awards using Krista Wallden's FABULOUS Super Hero Kids Clipart.  There are a set of awards with a squiggly border and flying super heroes. Each award you see is one of a set of two different awards. There is a Comic Burst, or 'pow', symbol between the two heroes.  You can write the date the award was earned inside that burst.
Included with each set of awards are a set of Super Friend Bracelets.  These can be copied onto construction paper OR onto white paper and you Super Friend can decorate his/her bracelet.  For the awards featuring flying boys, there is a set of bracelets that has a super hero with 'messy' hair as well as one with 'slicked back' hair. (check the images of the clip art on the picture of the award to understand what I mean about their hairstyles)
Also included with each style of awards is a page of Super Friend badges.  These badges can be copied onto colored paper and attached to a super hero mask or cape purchased from The Dollar Tree and presented to your Super Friend!!
Another style has flying super hero girls, and there are two different styles of clipart used.  A girl with two ponytails and another girl with only one.
There are also two styles of Super Friend flying super hero girl bracelets.  I think these are so much fun!!  There is also another set of badges with a different font used.
One of my very favorites in the pack features a super hero and his/her trusty sidekick.  How cute is that super hero dog!?!?!? 
Of course I had to make Super Friend bracelets featuring that fabulous four-legged hero!!  Pretty sure these are my favorite bracelets too!!
I made a set with super heroes in their 'ready for action' stance, and I included a super shield for the date.
There are two awards with super girls standing, and there are also bracelets with the super heros standing in their hero poses.

There is a set for the boys, too!!

I also included an award with a boy and a girl super hero.
Finally, to round this packet of awesomeness off, I included a class book that your students could write about their Super Friend!!
One for the super boys, 
and another for the super girls.  Included are two different styles of writing response sheets.
A version for younger students where they can write their friend's name and draw a picture of their friend as a super hero.  Maybe they want to draw their Super Friend being helpful or showing the traits of a good friend.
A second version could be used with older students and they could list reasons to support why their friend is a Super Friend, as well as provide evidence by giving examples.  They could draw a picture of their friend on the back, or on a separate piece of paper and attach this to the bottom of their drawing.

Also, I included a SUPER SIMPLE checklist that you could choose to use to keep track of which students have earned the Super Friend award and how many times they have earned it.
There is room for 18 student names on this sheet.

For THIS WEEK ONLY, this product will be marked down to $3.00.  This is a savings of $2.00 from the original list price!!!!  Make sure to get a copy for yourself before you miss out on the markdown price!!

You can also get a FREEBIE from this pack!!  All you have to do is click on the image below, head over to my Facebook page, click 'Like', and find the Fans ONLY 2 tab.  There is an EXCLUSIVE freebie on this tab AND the Fans ONLY tab.  Go over and grab your freebies, and make sure to hover over 'Like' and make sure you click 'Get Notifications'.  This way you will be the FIRST to know about any flash freebies or giveaways!!

p.s. - I am ALMOST FINISHED the update to my 'Who Would You Put Here?' Character and Setting activity.  I have been working hard on creating additions for this packet, and I think you will LOVE them!!  Here's just a tiny sneak peek!!  **These additions haven't been uploaded yet, but will be by the end of the week, but probably sooner!!!**
These activities are what is currently in the packet, which you can get at my TPT store now for $3.00.  Here are some things I am adding!!
There's your tiny sneak peek!!  If you like what you see then make sure to go to my TPT store and grab this activity while it's still $3.00  As soon as I finish the additions, the price is going to go up!!

Now go scroll back to the top of my post and hop on over to Kelly and Kim's to see what other AMAZING resources you can stock up on for the beginning of the year!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Smorgasbord

Happy Sunday everyone! Today I am linking up with the fabulous Michelle from Fabulous in First for her Sunday Smorgasbord linky party!!
This is one of my favorite linky parties because it is all about sharing your randomness from the past week!!  Some weeks I have more to share than others, which is totally okay!  When you're done reading about my randomosity please go click on the Sunday Smorgasbord picture to take you to the linky party and learn about everyone else's randomness!!

These incredibly cute numbers are the creations of the ever-fabulous Krista Wallden!

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to get a chance to have a summer planning session with the other three members of my team.  We were able to get the first two weeks of school planned out, which is a HUGE relief for the beginning of the year.  As we got to talking to our newest team mate about classroom decor, I had a rather shocking realization.  I had decided to have an Extreme Classroom Makeover at the end of last year, and still hadn't done anything about it.  So I got to work on some of the new decor I want to incorporate into my dragons theme.  Here's what I have so far!
On Friday I mentioned that I had finished the behavior calendars I am going to use with my kinders this year.  I am also going to be keeping a set in my Teacher Binder, so I hope to be able to get the months of August and September colored in before school starts!!

Also on Friday I shared with you the new alphabet line I'm going to be using in my room this year.  I had mentioned that I wasn't sure if I should include the hard and soft sounds of the letters C and G.  I know how important they are and was leaning towards including them, but still wasn't quite sure if that would be too much for my littles.  After more thought, and some SUPER comments and suggestions, I decided to include both sounds for those letters on my ABC line.
I think that they turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself!!  :-)  I'm excited to get them printed, laminated, and hung up in my classroom this year!!

I also finished a set of labels I am going to use on my Daily 5 Book Bins this year.  I wanted the labels to match the theme, have a number, and show my kinders what they could keep in their book boxes.  I had a style in mind, but after I created it I wasn't sure about it.  
So I went to my Facebook friends and asked them what they thought.  I got such great feedback that their thoughtful suggestions helped to create an entirely different idea in my mind.  Here's what I am going to be putting on their book boxes.
These tags will match the colors of my book boxes (the blue tag isn't shown) and it will allow me to arrange the book boxes in the colors of the rainbow, ROYGB.  I don't have any violet boxes. :-(

I have also been hard at work making my Facebook page even better than before.  After the kindness of many friends, my Facebook page was shared and 'Liked' over 100 times!!!
This is AMAZING!!  Getting 100 'Likes' used to be something I was only able to dream about, and now it's actually happened!!  I'm so excited about reaching this milestone, that I had to celebrate by creating another Fans ONLY Exclusive freebie!!
The freebie contains a Super Friend Award page, a page for Super Friend bracelets, and another page of Super Friend badges that can be attached to a super hero mask or cape from The Dollar Tree.  How much fun is that!!??  To get your freebie, click on the 'Like' Kindergarten Dragons on Facebook picture above to go to my Facebook page.  After you 'Like' my page, you'll be able to find this freebie under the Fans ONLY 2 tab.  I still don't know how to add multiple freebies to the same Facebook page, so until I learn how I'll be creating new pages to share freebies for.  Hopefully I'll be able to figure this out soon!!!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!  If you have to go back to school tomorrow, I wish you the very best of school years!!  I'll be headed back mid-August, and am hoping I get some things done before it's time to go back!!  EEKK!!!  :-)

p.s. - Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!!!!  Winners will be chosen Wednesday night!!