Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Week Lesson Plans

Typically I spend my summer working on plans for my room. I like change and try to do a new theme in my class every year. However, this year I decided that I would keep elements from last year and not really have a "Theme"! Shocking!!!!!!

By making this decision, I am freeing up my time to plan! So far I have my first week plans completely written, with all of the centers, stations, and word work completed. Here are my plans. I have linked the items that I purchased or got free of a site. If I forgot to link one, I'm sorry it wasn't intentional. Let me know and I will put the link on. First Week Lesson Plans

I did not link the photos of books, pins, or crafts. Sorry I just goggled what I wanted and then skimmed the images until I found what I was looking for. As  a disclaimer, I don't know when my specials will be. For the last two years I had the sames schedule. I will adjust if needed. 

Happy Planning! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monsters, Monster, and more Monsters!

My first theme of the year will be monsters. I have been busy making centers, finding good books, and writing lesson plans. For years I have done edible math on Fridays. This year I want to connect Food Fridays to my theme. So, I have been very bust planning out my year of Food Fridays. Today I want to share my first Food Friday for Made it Monday.

My boys and I made these Monster Cupcakes.

This is the finished product. They are super cute and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Step 1: Gather your materials. 

Cake mix (I used Blue Velvet)
Ingredients for cake
Dum Dum Suckers
Peach or Green Apple Rings
Frosting ( I am a big fan of homemade cakes and frostings! However, for making character and fancy cupcakes, cake mixes and canned frosting works best
Food coloring. I use Wilton gel. 
Make cupcakes according to directions
Scoop into lined cupcake pan ( I tried to use 1/2 of an ice cream scoop)
 Helpful Hint: You can make ahead and freeze. I prefer them to be frozen when we decorate. Little hands can't squish them as easily.

Step 2: Prepare Decorations

Poke Dum Dum through bottom of Peach Ring. We made two for each monster, but one would work also.
Color frosting - I use FREEZER quart storage bags. Place bag in a cup, put in frosting and color 
Mix color in bag by squishing (make sure you get all the air out before you zip close).

Step 3: Decorate

Glue marshmallow to the top of the cupcake. (use frosting as glue)
Snip off a small (very small) corner of freezer bag.
Frost by swirling frosting over the top of the cupcake. If you hold the bag above the cupcake
it makes strings, and they lay over the marshmallow. 
Once frosted, poke the "eyes" through the frosted marshmallow

I have made these cupcakes with children ages 5 and up. The kids have a blast and they turn out really cute. For my younger kiddos, I put the frosting in the bag but let them do the coloring. If they struggle with the "eyes" I will do it for them. On a side note, I do ask for parental help. I never have a problem getting parents to come in and help. I will be doing a post on how to involve parents when teaching at an Inner city, high ELL, high poverty school soon. 

For more fun ideas, hop over to 4th Grade Frolics, to link with lots more Made it Monday posts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday WOW! That's a great idea!

So, I mentioned before that I was overwhelmed after I left I Teach K! I learned so much and I am still trying to process that information. However, there were a couple of WOW moments that I want to share today. I do all of my teaching on the carpet. I love the proximity I have to my cubs and I can keep my eye on everyone. A pretty important thing when you have over 30 kids. One thing that I have struggled with is the amount of time it takes for supplies to be handed out. I now have a solution: CARPET BAGS! Thank you Kim Adsit from Kinder Gals! Such a simple solution to a big problem. What is a carpet bag. It is a bag assigned to each student that contains all the supplies the children are likely to need in a day. I found some on Oriental Trading that may work. They are reasonably priced and the colors I want. Carpet Bags
I also found my next WOW product on Oriental Trading. During one of the sessions Mr. Greg, from Smedley's Smorgasboard presented, he talked about these white boards. In the past I have attached my white boards to my clipboards. This year I wanted to go in a different direction. While they were a little more than I wanted, they are perfect. Shhh, Mr. K doesn't know I bought them yet. These paddles will fit in my carpet bags perfectly.
What’s the Answer? Dry Erase Paddles
I can't wait to make my carpet bags. I am sure they are the perfect solution. I will share them when I have them all put together.

What WOW moments have you had this summer?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Made It Monday!

Wow! It's been a "monstrous" week. My how time flies when you're having a blast! I spent the last week filling my brain with the most amazing information. Even though I live in Vegas, I have never been to I Teach K. It has been my goal since I went back to the classroom. This year I was fortunate enough to be able to go. I left feeling excited, invigorated, and overwhelmed. Knowing that school starts in a few short weeks and that I am going to visit my mom at the end of the month, I started working on my back to school lesson plans and centers.

Today I am linking up with Tara, from 4th Grade Frolics, I am sharing what I have made since I've been back. The clip art I used is from DJ Inkers and the font is KG. While I don't have a TPT store, I am willing to share my creations. If you see something that will work for you, leave me a comment and I will email it to you. You can always private message me on Facebook if you'd rather.

Wishing you a fabulous day! 

Monday, July 7, 2014


Today was the first day of I Teach K! I had a blast. I loved the sessions I went to. I will say, I changed one of the classes I had signed up for because I just wasn't feeling it. Yep, I said it. I'm sorry. But let's face it, I Teach K is expensive, I am glad they encourage you to change classes if you are not getting what you need out of the class you are attending.

I am a watcher! I can't tell you how much fun it was to sit back and watch all the people. I recognized so many of my favorite bloggers. Mr. Greg was a ROCK STAR! People were waiting in line to take pictures with him. It was fun to watch. I didn't get many pictures I was to busy watching. I will be better tomorrow.

Later Gators, I'm going to bed so I can be refreshed for tomorrow!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Five for Friday - July 4th

Today I thought I would link up with Kacy from Doodle Bugs and give you a little peek into my world.

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I LOVE the 4th of July! I am PROUD to be an American. That being said, let the celebrations begin. 

Love my handsome father. 16 years old and off to fight in WWII! 
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On Sunday, my family and I took a ride on the High Roller! If your coming to Vegas for I Teach K, I recommend taking a ride.
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Participated in my first ever Twitter chat, hosted by Debbie Clements.  Perfect for a first timer. Super fun! Will be doing this again.
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Trying to decide how to cut my hair. I have long hair now and think it's time to go short and sassy.
Maybe an A-Line. My boys have told me NO Willy Wonka hair cut!!!!!
Apparently, last hair cut looked a lot like this. HEE HEE!!
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Finally, I'm having a GIVEAWAY!!!!!! 

That's it folks. Looking forward to I Teach K and going to this,

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sensory Table Fun!

Four years ago I was headed back to the classroom after 8 years as a strategist. While I was eager to begin the newest chapter in my life, I was nervous!!!! I put on a brave face and told anyone who asked how excited I was to be going back to the land of Glitter, Paint, and Play-Doh! I was going old school! I was going to have house keeping, dramatic play, art, and most of all I had big plans for the sand and water table I found in my room. 

OK, you can stop laughing! Yes, I had NO idea what Kindergarten was like. It had been 8 years since I had taught Kindergarten. Things had changed A LOT! Fast forward 4 years. I still want a room full of glitter, paint, Play-Doh, and my sensory table. I do pretty well integrating art into my lessons. I mean my students didn't refer to me as The Queen of Glitter for nothing! But, how to integrate the sensory table. When I shared my vision with a couple of colleagues, the only thing they had to tell me was, "We can't do things like that anymore, we don't have time!" So, no help on there. Where to turn, Pinterest of course! I have to say, I found a TON of ideas. So taking those ideas, I came up with some ideas of my own. For water day, rather than just have water games. I wanted to do a science with water station. I went with water beads with glow sticks and Squishy Baff. What is Squishy Baff?
OMG!!!!! Fun, slimy, gooey, amazing stuff! It is designed to go in the bathtub but works great in a sensory tub. It was easy to make and clean up. We did lots of experiments with viscosity, sink and float, and just had fun!

The Squishy Baff is the picture on the top. You may notice that the bottom picture is NOT your typical sand/water table. All of our other sand/water tables were being used so I used an inflatable salad bar I bought for family get togethers. It worked great. 

These two activities were just the beginning of what I have planned for my sensory table. I have another great activity with water beads. I will be using it at the beginning of the year. I can't wait to share the pictures and details with y'all. 

Finally, don't forget to enter my giveaway! 
Enter the using the Rafflecopter on Wednesday post. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


I've been wanting to do a giveaway for a while and was going to wait until I hit a milestone on my Facebook page or blog. I have even thought about waiting until my birthday. This one is a HUGE milestone year! That's all I'm saying! I am in complete denial! Then it hit me, DUH I don't need a reason, I can do whatever I want and I WANT to have a Giveaway! 

Enter below on the Rafflecopter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 2014, Currently

 I  am totally enjoying learning how to link up and join the amazing parties going on all over the place. I have always loved the first of the month when I can read all of the "Currently" blog posts. Because of that, I decided I'd give it a try. Welcome to my completely ordinary life with my extraordinary children! 

Listening: my boys are grounded from all technology. The best thing I ever did was buy them iPhones for Christmas. I finally have a "currency" that means a lot to my boys. In order to get them back, they have to "earn" 500 points. The points are earned by doing chores. I have a list of chores with points attached. They decide what they want to do. No stress for me. All up to them!!!!

Loving: my family is everything to me. My niece is THE MOST AMAZING mom I have ever seen. She has 5 children and is on top of everything. She recently started making a summer bucket list of things to do with her family. So of course, I am going to do that too. Because when I grow up, I want to be the type of mom she is!

Thinking: I Teach K is only a week away. I know, I live in Vegas! No big deal, right? WRONG! I have begged, prayed,  wanted to go to this conference since going back into the classroom. Finally, my principal agreed to pay! Yipee! I can't wait to go, sit, watch, and learn from all of my Kindergarten idols (BTW: I'm super shy, so I will most likely just sit and soak in their greatness from a far)!

Wanting:to get out of the heat!  People is is suppose to get up to 115 degrees today. If you are coming for I Teach K, prepare for the furnace. Although it should be a little cooler next week. 

Needing: doesn't matter how many times I clean my pantry and fridge, it is a mess in a couple of days. So, I am going to reorganize and label EVERYTHING! Just need a few more baskets and mason jars.

4th of July: one of my favorite days of the year. Can't wait to enjoy with friends and family! 

Happy July!