Saturday, December 20, 2014

All I want for Christmas is a ....TpT Gift Certificate!!

We are all so busy wrapping, shopping and just busy with the holiday buzz.  It if finally school break and time for some quality family time..and I can't wait!  I will be traveling up to Michigan, then to New York and back to NC in three weeks!  So much time for wedding planning, TpT creating, and relaxing with some 'me' time!

.....but let's be REAL....we are Teachers...and all we want for Christmas is some money for quality resources, printables, books, clipart, and fonts!!  Merry Christmas to You...here is your chance to win a $10 gift certificate to TpT! 



And if you don't win--you can always suggest to family and friends...
that you really want one! Purchase a TpT Gift Certificate


Thanks to Laura Candler for putting this linky on!  She put this together with amazing bloggers and such great prizes.  Check out her page with more chances to win! :)  Check out all of the other bloggers who are a part of this amazing linky and enter their giveaway for your chance to win!


<!

Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Still have a little Christmas shopping to do?!  I have the perfect giveaway for you to win! 

Day 12 of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway is an awesome way for you to win a fun gift card to Target and $20 worth of TPT dollars to our stores!  What a win-win -- Something for you and your classroom and a gift card to spend on others.  Head on over to our rafflecoptor for your chance to win :)

Below are our store links so you can go shopping and also the giveaway!! Zippy has put together this amazing giveaway--so be sure to give her some tpt lovin'

Be sure to enter the giveaway in order to win a little shopping spree :)





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Curls and a Smile

Teaching With Grace

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah-Designs

Creating Teaching Inspiring

Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween Bash Blog Hop



Welcome to Creating, Teaching, Inspiring!! 
I have an awesome post full of fun fall ideas for you and your classroom during the Halloween Bash Blogger Hop!!  Do not forget to click the links to enter the giveaways and continue hopping through The Teaching 2 Step blog!



Halloween is such a fun time in the classroom.  I love the holiday for the candy! haha. I also love Halloween because it officially marks "real" autumn in North Carolina.  It's finally chilly, and you can wear your jeans and sweatshirts! 

Here I am with last years Halloween costume on!  My team is 5 people large, and we had the perfect idea! We were the Five Little Monkeys!  What a great way to include math into Halloween!  During our math lessons, we talked about having a total of five monkeys and what would happen if one falls off.  This introduced the concept of subtraction without using the word subtract, or minus but by using the concepts of more and less.  During Literacy lessons, we discussed different topics, such as, characters, setting and events in a story.  This costume really brought in so many different educational topics!  Such an easy costume, and fun way to celebrate Halloween in a non spooky kind of way.  



I said that I love Halloween for the candy, but Reeses are definitely my favorite!  Leave a comment with your favorite!!  I bet a lot of teachers would agree--anything chocolate is good for me! 


I wanted to include a few of my favorite things about fall and the Halloween season!  I love the dollar bins and sale prices - you get such a deal to decorate the classroom or your house!  And isn't everything pumpkin flavored better?!  Pumpkin cookies, lattes and candle scents--fabulous!  And not to mention, the change of colors just makes my day! 







Lastly, I would like to leave you with a writing center freebie for the full week of halloween!  It is perfect in Pre-K, Kindergarten or even First Grade for an independent writing/reading center.  Great way to have a fun activity during a crazy, spooky, candy filled, week!  Enjoy this freebie, make me a promise and leave me some great feedback! ;)



              
Also, I have my most popular Autumn product on sale 20% off!  
Take advantage now, while the sale price is active!



                                                   







Be sure to enter the giveaway and hop around the blog posts!  Some great Halloween recipes, crafts and freebies!  Also, check out our stores in TPT and search "Halloween Bash 2014".  A bunch of freebies and seriously discounted products will pop up for you to check out!

Thank you for joining The Teaching 2 Step Halloween Hop, I appreciate you stopping by. We hope you enjoyed our post, did you know you can follow us on FacebookPinterest and Twitter. Hop through more Halloween Bash Bloggers below.

An InLinkz Link-up


Monday, September 29, 2014

Technology in Kindergarten-It Is Possible!

Technology is one of those things that a lot of teachers are afraid of, apprehensive to start because it changes so quickly, or it is just one more thing on their plate.

I was one of those teachers that have been putting off technology for a multitude of reasons and excuses.
-Its too hard with all the little people
-Too much to learn
-The kids will never get it
-How am i supposed to provide rigor on an app?
-I have way to much to teach to worry about technology.
-It is just one more thing on my plate!
-A smart board...what?! 
-We have Ipads at this school? 

But, rest assured it is absolutely possible in all classrooms, all grade levels across the country!  ((you just need the actual technology..lol))  I am telling you..it CAN happen!  In my kindergarten classroom, I wrote a grant for 3 iPads from the Media Technology Committee and it was approved and my classroom was given 3 student iPads.  I also have my teacher iPad used for testing as well as student use.  My kindergarten classroom has 5 desktops also.  Lake Myra has amazing technology support staff that encourage group projects, staff and student collaboration and multi-grade level projects.  

My grade level uses technology in different ways, but this year, my focus has been to bring technology into our classroom to create deeper thinking, rather than just replacement activities.  My goal is to work on projects throughout the quarter that have an end product, to show parents, observers, other grade levels, teachers in our school and to share with ya'll.  

I have found that new ideas, new technology and the ability to integrate it into my classroom has created an environment of leaders, engaged learners and a deeper level of thinking across all students.  Applying math and literacy skills in a different way than paper and pencil requires a deeper level of understanding and knowledge base!
Technology fits seemlessly into the common core and kindergarten instruction!


I have found many ways to incorporate technology into my classroom this quarter. 
 Feel free to use any of these ideas and let me know how they work!  

IDEA #1



  • Bringing students together to synergize is a win-win for students and teachers.  At Lake Myra, we had the opportunity during our literacy block to push into a STEM class and incorporate letters, sounds and technology.  The STEM class was doing an end of quarter celebration, sharpening the saw, and we could use their expertise!  
  • We are using  Pic Collage, and Book Creator apps to create an iBook that can be sent out to parents.  The book is going to be pic collages of Letterland images for each letter and 3 images that begin with the letter sound.  Now that the pic collages are done, we are going to compile them into Book Creator and have the students record their voices into the app, so the book will have a speaking feature.  Once we track back in, we will complete this project and I will get it up on the blog for students, families, friends and bloggers to take a look, use at home, in schools or even for an example for your own project!  
IDEA #2

  • Worried that technology is going to take up time and take away from instruction because their is so much initial learning to do?! I have a solution!  Practice technology with Tech-sperts (4th or 5th grade leaders) during morning work and you will be all ready for tech use during instruction!  
  • In this instance a fifth grade student came in to help a kinder with the Pic Collage App.  We made pictures representing each number 1-10.  This can be made into a book, picture, anchor chart, etc.  The opportunities and ideas are endless!  During Morning Work on this day, we focused on number identification, and number representation all using technology.  This is all common core related too! A double bonus!
  • If you have the technology, find helpers around the school!  There is always someone who wants to be a helping hand, and most of the time the kids are better at the tech than we are. ;)

IDEA #3



  • This image is from a small group during math instruction.  Ever think of instead of having center rotations from activity to activity..that you could use a technology facilitator, fifth grade helper, teaching assistant to run a technology group?!  On this day, Elizabeth Adams (Our Tech Facilitator) created and ran a center in the hallway, using the app Aurasma. The activity she created was a number hunt, and when you hold the iPad over a certain card, it magically tells you where else you need to go.  When you move on correctly to the next picture, you can continue the number hunt.  Think of this as a scavenger hunt, just using technology.  In this center, we reinforced number words, numbers, ten frames, and numbers represented by objects.

IDEA #4



  • This is another great alternative to computers!  The kids all know how to get to the math and literacy games on the computers, so that means they can use the smart board too and play the games with peers.  During SMART board use, students are practicing the math or literacy skill, but they are also learning problem solving, sharing/taking turns, and working out difficulties with their peers.  It provides social skills and academics at the same time!  SMART Board is such a great tool to teach so many skills.  You can use the SMART Technology software to create games and activities, or start off easy and play games from the computer that the kids already know!  Either way, there is so much to be learned.



Here is my fair warning if your SMART Board is not mounted...

This picture speaks a thousand words  ;) 
Don't get me wrong, sometimes, technology goes awry, but take a deep breath, 
try your best to fix it and always have a back up plan! 
 Good thing SMART board mounting is in the budget this year! 



And if all else fails, let the kids explore during developmental centers!  And see how it goes, the kids will be able to teach you so many tricks, that may be new to you; my advice: EMBRACE IT!  :)


Even if you don't have enough technology for a whole group, let the kids share and take turns.  It is great practice of social skills, while learning new apps, games and activities!  





Feel free to add your experiences with any of these apps or technology in your classroom.  Every room is different, and I'd love to hear how you incorporate your resources into daily or weekly instruction!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to School Classroom Reveal:: Ocean Style

So I have been redocorating and my room is finally the way I want it!  I have spent days coloring, hours laminating, cutting and hanging my artwork, and have started the school year off with a beautiful classroom! This classroom was a labor of love, but I love it and so do the kids!  So it was all worth it :)

I projected clip art, from fantastic artists onto my smart board, taped up a piece of big poster board and got to tracing.  I would bring home a big pile of poster board over the weekend for hours of fun coloring.  I began this process during the fourth quarter of school last year.   I would stay after school and trace, trace during inside recess (when the temperatures were too hot to go out) and I would come in early to trace and color.

 





Lets start with the huge bulletin boards first.  I did a 3 color pattern on each bulletin board.  I didn't want to buy the expensive bulletin board paper because I really tried to stay within my $100 budget.  I used two boarders on each bulletin board to add some pop to the sea creatures and who doesn't love a little chevron...especially when its yellow! :)



The main bulletin boards in my room are labeled by subject, so I have a place to put all of my anchor charts and the kids have a specific place to look for each type of chart.  I combined the bulletin boards of Math&Science and Writing&Reading.  Some of these anchor charts definitely are used in reading and writing interchangeably, so it just makes sense to keep them all together on the same wall.

 



Here is the Math&Science board.  Right now we are working on representing numbers in different ways, so those are all ten anchor charts.  

Another fun part of decorating your classroom is making creative projects to catch someone's eye as they walk in the door.  I made three canvases and hung them in the classroom; they have different textures, colors and size.
  



Another important step in a kindergarten classroom is to have a place big enough to provide sight words that students can see during reading, and writing.  In my classroom I have a huge white board, that use.  I created the Splish Splash Ocean Theme Sight Word Wall .  This consists of the letters and over 75 common sight words with the option of adding your own sight words to some empty bubbles.  I chose to write the words on bubbles because it went along with the theme and the words could be big and bold enough to see from across the room.  

I also added a little creative touch to it when I made tissue paper flowers to go along the bottom of my word wall.  This added the illusion of waves and seaweed.  

Above my word wall, I have the Alphabet cards, that I have also created for the Ocean Theme.  Splish-Splash-Number-and-Alphabet-Cards  In this product, I have included both the alphabet cards pictured and the number line with ten frames, the number word, and number to depict each individual number.

 






To go along with the Ocean Theme, I took down my colorful ABC patterned curtains and my mom and I searched for a month for the perfect ocean theme fabric.  With many attempts in finding the perfect fabric, my mom finally found it and it was on sale. :)  I have 5 huge storage areas in my classroom, and because I try so hard to be organized, but some days, its just a disaster I need to cover them! The greens, blues and white brighten up my room and bring some ocean looking waves to a large part of my room. These curtains make all the difference in the world!  Thanks Mom!


The finishing touch was the wreath on the door.  I had never made a wreath like this before, but it was so fun and pretty easy...once I got the hang of it.


Here are the supplies I used for my wreath!  You can totally do the same :)


Thanks for taking a look at my new classroom!  I have a bunch of Ocean Theme products in my store including name tags, number line, alphabet, word wall, color posters etc.  


Have a wonderful beginning to another great year! 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back 2 School--And a Giveaway!


I am participating in the Back 2 School Bloghop and giveaway from The Fabulous First Grade.  Continue daily on the blog hop and receive freebies, and a chance to win over $100 worth of TpT products!  I have a few great ideas about the beginning of the school year that are helpful in any classroom in elementary!

The first thing I do each year is organize, label and put away school supplies.  I work on this in the morning as the kids are coming in, so I don't have a stack to tackle at the end of the first day! I use a shelving unit in my classroom to complete this process.  It has 20 tubs, and 20 different supplies in each!


One of my favorite classroom decor trick are my built in whiteboards on my guided reading/math table.  Doesn't it ever bother you to have to get out white boards, erasers and markers in every group, when you only want to complete a couple minute activity on them, before reading?  I have the perfect trick for you!  All you need is contact paper and construction paper!  Cut our squares of construction paper, and contact paper over them....and wahoo, you have built in white boards!  



Another extremely important thing to accomplish at the beginning of the year is your management system, goals, and expectations.  One really fun way I kept my students excited, engaged and motivated to read was to create a goal of reading 500 books as a class.  After we accomplished our goal, we earned a bubble, chalk and hula hoop party! This idea can be adapted in many different ways to work in your classroom; you can set reading goals in minutes, or number of books.  Classrooms can track this during independent reading time in class or as a homework assignment.  Make sure you use a reward as something the kids decide on so they are even more motivated to participate! 


The last little tid bit, I am sure to include in my back to school routine, is a structured morning and morning meeting that follows a few steps.  In my classroom when we are called to the carpet we complete four or five tasks.  We read the morning message, we say "Good Morning" to our friends by shaking hands, we play a game and do a little movement activity to ensure our wiggles are out by the time we get to specials!




Thanks so much for hopping by and taking a look at my tid bits of helpful hints for the beginning of the year!  Don't forget to enter the giveaway for over $100 of TpT products! You can enter over at The Fabulous First Grade.

Before you go, here is a freebie.  This is an exclusive freebie to my blog; it isnt posted anywhere else!  You are the first get get it; let me know how it works for you!  It is a conflict resolution, reflection sheet, that can be used at any grade level.  For kindergarten-1st grade, prompting, support and guidance are essential.  This can be used for upper grades independently! :)



Next go to Jen's Kinder Kids for amazing ideas for back to school!